Ok, here it is.  I had to do it sometime.  Blog about our upcoming move.  I just recently started this blog, so I'm not really letting the cat out of the bag here, announcing a big move to my readers.  If you read this, you probably know me pretty well and know already that there's a big move on our horizon.  But I think I need to do it for me.  

At the end of July, our family of six will be embarking on a new adventure.  Or a past adventure revisited in a new way or something.  Moving to a place very far from here, but where we've lived before.  My husband is very excited about the job opportunity.  And I'm supportive and excited for him.  I know there are new adventures for our family and we have extended family there (sadly a few hours away though)... and we might even be able to buy a house for the first time, which is something I've always hoped to do.  It's a nice place to live.  And I know God will provide a church and friends and it will be a good thing.  But I have to admit, I'm super sad to be moving away from here.  

Our town is not the loveliest of towns.  I'm quite certain it's never topped a list of great places to live.  But the people here are amazing and I'm going to miss them with all of my heart.  We're leaving behind three sisters, three brothers-in-law, eight nieces and a nephew, my mom and her husband, and a whole lot of "family" that we're not technically related to.  

I grew up here and started going to our church about 20 years ago.  The church became family in my teen years when my own family was falling apart.  This family has embraced my husband and our kids, and we've had such special friendships with people here.  The girlfriends that I have here are amazing.  Each one is so precious to me.  Each one, I believe, hand picked by God to create a beautiful bouquet of friendship.  We've laughed together, cried together, worshipped together and prayed together.  We've been roommates on retreats, served in ministry together, and have seen each other through many, many ups and downs.  I've even pulled out their kids' teeth.  We've cooked and cleaned for and with each other, played cards, welcomed new life and grieved losses. Friendship just doesn't get any sweeter.  I'm going to miss them so much.

And the sisters.  Oh my goodness, the sisters (sister-in-law included).  I know that distance can't really separate sisters, but I will so miss the closeness in distance that we have now.  My kids' cousins are their best friends.  I'm so sad that they won't be in each others' face-to-face-on-a-regular-basis lives.  I really haven't let myself think about this very deeply yet.  I'm afraid if I let myself start crying, I might not be able to stop.  When we moved back here 9 years ago, I really thought it was permanent.  We talked about Brooklyn and her cousin Josh going to prom together.  My niece Emily will be getting her drivers license in a couple of years, and probably a boyfriend at some point.  I wanted to be here for things like that.  I love that I can call my sister when one of my kids needs a ride somewhere or to go get coffee or go to a movie.  Or visit my Santa Cruz and Monterey sisters for day trips or meeting them at parks half way between our homes for play days.  (Or have them call when their car breaks down and they need a ride and a place to stay for the night!)  There's no doubt in my mind that we'll still be close, but I'm so sad that I won't be able to see them regularly.

I don't mean for it to sound like I'm totally against this move.  I'm not.  I was part of the decision making process.  And I decided I want a happy husband.  He deserves to be happy in his work and he's super good at what he does.  He's very talented and creative, and being in a job like he was in was sucking the life (and joy) out of him.  So I'm really excited for him.  And I'm looking forward to other things about the move too.  Maybe I'll make a list and blog about those things another day.  But at the same time, I need to grieve the loss of what we're leaving behind, because I think that's important too.  

I'm confident that we'll be fine when we get there.  I totally trust that God will provide a church family and friends for us.  It won't be the same as what we have here, but it will be good in a new way.  I'm sure it will take some time, but I'm willing to be patient.  And I'm sure our family unit will get even closer in the process.  I read a book once that had a line I'll never forget.  I don't remember the title or the author of the book, but it said, "It's amazing what God can do with a broken heart when given all the pieces."  I'll be leaving here broken, but God will have every piece of my brokenness and He'll turn it into something good.