Whew. Who knew that moving away from home would be so hard. When Geoff graduated 4 months ago, I was so ready for a change. And now I remember why I struggle so hard with it. Right after Geoff accepted the job offer in Oregon, we planned a trip to look for housing. We spent 4 days driving around, seeing tons of places and trying to figure out which neighborhood would be best for our family. And it wasn’t until our last day before we had to head back to Idaho to pack up that we found something! The housing market in Oregon is CRAZY! And nothing that we wanted was available as soon as we needed it. But we finally found a brand new townhome in a little complex right off of a main street in Phoenix. Yes, there’s a Phoenix, Oregon. We paid the deposit and boarded our plane back to Idaho less than 3 hours later.
When we got back, we packed everything up, decided how we were going to get all our stuff to Oregon and crunched so many numbers that our heads were spinning trying to figure out how we were going to afford to move! But, everything came together. We said our goodbyes to family and friends, turned in our keys, and headed out. My sister was so sweet and made the trip with me and the girls in our car so I didn’t have to drive 12 hours alone with 2 kids under 3. And Geoff drove the moving truck with what seemed like our whole lives inside.
About half way into the drive, our car got hit by a deer. It happened so fast and there’s no way I could have even reacted in time to miss it. It ran right into the right front bumper, damaged the engine frame, crushed the light, dented the back passenger side door where my sister was sitting, and made it so we couldn’t even open the front passenger side door…oh, and cracked the windshield. We are SO lucky no one was hurt and the air bags didn’t go off. I pulled over and half the bumper was hanging off and rubbing against the tire. But we were in the middle of nowhere and the engine seemed to be running fine so we kept driving. We made it to Oregon. Grabbed the keys to our new place, paid rent and started unpacking the moving truck. Luckily, there were a few people from our new ward to help us unpack so we got everything into our place in just about an hour. My sister stayed the next day and helped me unpack and find places for pretty much everything. And then the next morning I dropped her off at the airport, dropped Geoff off at work and then it was just me and the girls. In a new place, and a new town with new people and no one we knew.
The first few days were really hard and I missed my family and my home like I never have before. The only feeling that compared is when I moved into my first apartment in college, and that was only 20 minutes away from my house! Geoff’s job was going well but I just felt stuck. I was feeling super isolated and lonely and like I didn’t belong in this place. I felt like I was never going to thrive or be happy here and I didn’t know how to fix it. … But my sister and I planned to face time and scrapbook together so I was looking forward to that and knew it would lift my spirits. Then I got a phone call from our insurance company telling us that our car was declared a total loss because it was going to cost too much to fix it. Over $7000 to be exact. And I was shocked! I know it sounds silly, but saying goodbye to that car and having to deal with getting a new one was so hard. We bought that car the day before Adalynn was born and brought her and Embree home from the hospital in that car. And here I was in a new place where nothing was familiar and now, I had to learn a new car and new streets and new stores….and new people. Not even 4 hours later, my sister texted me telling me that she couldn’t scrapbook because my best friend had just had a miscarriage and she wanted to be able to console her and be there for her in this hard time. And I was so upset and so overwhelmed. Not because I couldn’t scrapbook. But because I was hundreds of miles away and I couldn’t do anything to help. I wasn’t home like I wanted and needed to be and there was nothing I could do about it. And that was my breaking point.
The crazy thing is that I still knew we were supposed to be here. Even though I was feeling so frustrated and alone. Geoff was applying to so many jobs before he graduated and he did get a job in Idaho Falls so we thought we’d be staying. And then 2 weeks after he started, he got an email from this company in Oregon saying they wanted to interview him. It was the perfect fit and in aviation like he’s always wanted. But, he had NO memory of applying to the job. AT ALL. He still doesn’t. Everything fell into place for us to move here and after a lot prayers and pondering, it still felt right. Moving to a new place isn’t easy and I still struggle to feel like home. We still have boxes that aren’t unpacked and we’re still figuring out where everything is. But I’m so grateful that we’ve met so many kind and friendly people and that God has given me the strength to get out of my comfort zone and to be patient. Of course, I hate not being able to pump my own gas and I’ve seen how bad the smoke can get. But, not having sales tax is great and even though it’s the dead of summer, everything is still so lush and green here. And green’s my favorite color so I guess I’ll take it. I still miss Idaho and of course, I miss my family and friends, but each day here gets easier and I know one day I’ll be able to call this place home too.