One year ago this week we piled in the car and began the four day road trip from Ohio to Texas. We had known the move was coming for a while. We had planned for it, sold our house, quit and started looking for new jobs, found new doctors (I was 7 months pregnant at the time), researched everything. Prepared and ready would be how I would have described us. But really you’re never fully prepared for a cross country move and your expectations are always skewed. Now one year later life looks like I thought it would and it doesn’t look anything like I thought it would all at the same time.
It’s been a year of change. Learning how to live with my mom, grandmother and brother again. Adding a baby boy to the mix. Learning how to stay at home and trying to figure out what that’s suppose to look like, and feel like, and mean. Deciding what and how I should be spending my time. Not sleeping and feeling guilty for not “accomplishing” anything other than keeping the people in the house alive. (and, really that is an accomplishment all it’s own.)
As I reflect on the past year and everything that has happened I’ve come up with a list of five things I love about being here and five things I really miss about Columbus. In no particular order.
5 things I Love about El Paso
1. The Mountains
Everyday I look out the window and see these gorgeous mountains jutting up into the sky. They aren’t the mountains that people typically think of—covered in trees and snow topped peaks. But they are beautiful and rugged and colorful. And they remind me of how big God is.
2. The Weather/Sun
This one is a little cliche for Texas, but none-the-less, I love the weather. More so in the winter than the summer (still not a huge fan of 100+ degree days) but 60’s in January. I’ll take it. Plus you can beat 320+ days of sunshine. I actually miss a cloudy day now, but would rather miss clouds than sun.
We moved here for family. To be close to both my immediate and extended family and I love it. I love being able to stop in and visit with my great aunts. I love seeing aunts and uncles and getting to know them as an adult and getting to see my kids interact with them. I love that Hannah will have intimate knowledge of her great grandmother and aunts—memories that will go with her forever. I love that she knows her uncles and grandmother in a way that can only come with living with them. It’s now always easy and we definitely have bumps, but it is so worth it.
4. Church family
We came from an amazing legacy of a church in columbus, but in recent years just hadn’t been able to connect with a community in quite the same way as in college or just post college. Here we have found a community that we can call home, that we can serve with and that lives life alongside us—it’s been refreshing and challenging and I am so blessed and thankful for it.
5. Being a full time Mom and wife.
I love staying at home with my kids. Being able to see them grow and change and learn is extremely rewarding. I don’t miss waking up before the sun to get ready for work and frantic mornings getting Hannah out of bed and running to work and spending all my energy there, just drive an hour plus home and attempt to be a good mom in a couple hours. It’s not always easy staying at home, but, for me, it is infinitely better as a stay at home mom.
5 things I miss about Columbus
We have some amazing friends in Ohio (and beyond, but they all started in Ohio.) People who taught us so much and befriended us and guided us as we grew and became a family. I miss seeing them on a regular basis. I love Skype and Facebook and whatnot to keep in touch, but it’s just not the same as seeing them on a regular basis.
2. Columbus culture
I miss the art, food, festivals, local shops, local pride of Columbus. I miss the short north and gallery hop. I miss the summer festivals and the local restaurants (I could really use some North Star and Lavash right now). I miss the amazing zoo and the best library in the country. Columbus culture will always hold a special place in my heart.
3. Stormy days
I do miss the rain and the thunder and lightning. I miss being able to curl up on the couch on a stormy day and read and snuggle and watch movies. I love the sun and all that it means, but sometimes you just want a gloomy day.
4. CCAD Art sales
I loved art sales. So many talented students and alumni and staff. I loved being able to get real, original art for a reasonable price and supporting up and coming artists and designers.
5. Our 1st house
The house doesn’t make a home, I know that. But I still really miss the first house we turned into our home. I miss the nooks and crannies and quirks, but mostly I think I miss that it was all us, mismatched furniture and all. I miss that old charmer that was 2 blocks from a great park with lovely neighbors and wonderful memories.
And now we embark on year two as Texans.