Whoa you guys. Just whoa.
You really know how to make a girl feel loved, you know that? I mean, the outpouring of love, excitement and virtual confetti Kyle, Gatsby and I received yesterday was nothing short of amazing and I can't thank you enough. In just one day people have offered to help us move, bring meals over while we get settled, help organize, unpack, set up and decorate with me. And let's face it, decorating our apartment is one of the things I'm most excited about. One friend (who works for a vet in Ventura) generously offered a free exam for Gatsby, just so we can try out their services as we hunt for a new vet. (Leaving Dr. Wonderful behind is really, really hard for me...) The love, generosity, kindness and pure excitement people have shown us has filled up my heart in so many ways, and made us that much more excited to come home.
In our early discussions of relocating back to California, we tossed around the various pros and cons of making such a big move every evening while we walked Gatsby around the neighborhood. Many of our "cons" revolved around the cost of living in California and the notion that we would have to commute for jobs in our respective fields. It seemed like such a big undertaking: tripling our rent, putting off buying a home for a few more years and sacrificing a few dream vacations to afford to live in such an expensive state. But you know what we kept coming back to? What really made us pull the trigger on this move? COMMUNITY. We couldn't put a price tag on the people who make our lives full. We couldn't put a price tag on girl's/guy's nights, dinner parties, birthday celebrations and days at the beach with our friends and their kids. We couldn't quantify the value in having three of our close friends in walking distance or Kyle's childhood best friend, his amazing wife and one of my oldest, best and most treasured friends in driving distance....and by driving distance, I mean 25 minutes not 25 hours. Community is so, so important to Kyle and me: it's what we have been lacking in Atlanta, and what we really wanted as we looked at the future of our lives together. And, having our community cheer us on as we prepare to move, and be so eager to support us while we get settled just reaffirms that we made the right decision.
This week I took everything off our walls and turned our dining room into "Moving HQ" with all our belongings spread across the dining room table, to be sorted into categories and packed into appropriate boxes (I am nothing if not organized.....). Currently looking for anyone with connections to Hogwarts who can request a house elf be sent to me and assist with this whole packing thing because even though my best intentions the last few nights have been to go home and put everything in boxes, I have, instead, re-watched the entire first season of The Sopranos. Though I am one organized mofo, packing is my least favorite thing to do, and I just want it to be over. Unpacking, reorganizing and decorating? I can't wait for.
Sidenote: Gatsby has learned what boxes mean, and is having mild anxiety because he thinks we're leaving him.....he's been extra clingy and we keep reassuring him he's coming with us, and will be so happy at the beach.
This weekend Kyle and I have plans to sit down and write the first post in our "relocation series" (official name TBD) which will go live sometime next week. I have added a category to Just Go Left called "Ashten Loves Local", where I will share all things Ventura with you: food, fun, friends and, of course, lots and lots of beach photos. Maybe it will convince some of you to come visit us sooner than later. (HINT HINT)
You guys, it's so nice to be able to share this with you. So many good things are happening for Kyle and me right now, and you're all coming along for the ride, which is pretty much the best thing ever.
And, did I mention this is where we're moving?