Moving Forward

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God put this strange little component into my life called moving. I haven’t lived in the same house for more than 3 years since I was 8 years old. I’m 36.

My first good-bye. She made this poster, made us cookies, and gave me a jar of shells...the jar broke in a move about 15 years later. We wrote letters for years. Too bad email hadn't been invented. BUT...we reconnected on Facebook a few years ago! We don't have Annie hair anymore.

Funny things about moving a lot as a kid.

1. You learn how to make new friends. You forever look for the new kids in life and offer to be their friend.

2. You learn that a house isn’t your home. A home is loving who you live with…and, who you once lived with.

3. You learn you are right where you need to be. Had I not moved, then moved again, I would not have met my high school group of girlfriends…

One of whom, became my stepsister! Pretty sure we were sisters anyway. Voguing in masquerade will do that.

and, I quite possibly would have never met my high school sweetheart husband, and that’s just ridiculous.

John's Prom 1993...Forever Young...Amen to that!

So after living 4 hours apart for 5 years through college, it was  finally time to get married and settle down…Oh High School Besties, HOLLLLLLLA!!! Aren’t they cute?

Did anyone notice we were inspired to do a black and white wedding from our Prom 1993? Told you I was cheesy. These girls are as funny and feisty as they are beautiful.

…but guess who joined the Air Force in college? We graduated one week, got married the next, and left town in 2 beat up cars to Phoenix, Arizona.

Funny things about our time in Arizona. 

1. Being the new kid as an adult is easier, but still not easy.

2. Arizona dry heat=sticking your head in an oven.

3. Teaching at a school with a rattlesnake problem is freaky.

4. I learned how to play golf, had my first ever bee sting, coached 2 of my favorite sports, took 2 trips to Cali, 6 trips to Vegas, and was a staff cheerleader which means I did routines for hundreds of people to NSync songs. Life complete.

I taught 6th grade ,then I moved to 2nd grade where I was ready to stay awhile…but it was time to move already…to a new country!

Funny things about our time in England.

1.  I went from never being out of the country to visiting 16 countries PRE KIDS! This totally made up for not taking a proper honeymoon, sorry Branson, MO. I made an amazing group of friends ages 20s-60s.  AND…had I not moved,then moved again, and again,and again…I would have never met my soul sister BFF in green beside me, and that is an impossible thought.

Epic performance for our bride-friend in 2009 to the Itchy Kitchy Ya Ya Song.

2. Driving on the left isn’t as difficult as you think, cars are coming at you in the right lane! Survival instincts take over habits.

3. We had to live in a tiny pub hotel room before getting into a house. At this pub, we had boxes packed to the ceiling. We had to move rooms 3 times in 3 months. DO I HAVE A MOVING CURSE? We had Clark Griswold meltdowns.

4. Moving forced me to stay flexible. I landed a 4th grade position…3 days before school started! I finally made it to teaching the same grade twice… then I found out we had to MOVE buildings! What? Pack up and move the classroom across the street?  Really?

5. I heart London, specifically The West End, Notting Hill, Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross, the tube, and Robotron at Picadilly Circus. I also reallllly heart Cambridge…a pint of cider, then punting on the River Cam. I could go on…and on…and on. I drink a cuppa PG Tips every morning and often think about the time in our lives.

6. I didn’t see my the USA, including my parents, much of my family, or hometown friends for 2 years straight. As wild of as adventure as we were on, that was hard. No Skype! No Facebook! E-Mail was still dial-up;)

Then, Air Force said it was time to move. We really wanted to go to the East coast…Air Force sent us to OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…and, I came home pregnant with my first bambino.

When you are living out of boxes, you think outside the box to fake some normalcy.

Funny Things about our time in Oklahoma. 

1. After living in another temporary base apartment for 3 months while house shopping,  then moving into our  home, I became the pregnant substitute teacher who used her big belly as a classroom management tool.

2. My babies like to move out of my body early. My body goes into preterm labor at about 32ish weeks, requires some light bed rest and meds until I deliver at 37-38 weeks. Happened exactly the same, 3 times. I like to tell people my labors lasted 6 weeks each.

3. Moving away is very lonely at first, but I became an expert in making friends. In Okie, I turned to The Baby Class.  I invited them all over for our first playdate…which over the next 2 years turned into the best support group ever…and friends I will keep for a lifetime. PS. We have 13 kids between us;)

My Okie Mamas deserve credit for directly helping me raise my kids all while nurturing my soul.

But…then we had to move AGAIN…to Ohio…Seriously God? Our babies were 2, 18 months, and 3 months. We were moving 12 hours away from our support system. I think that’s the time in our lives we really started praying daily again… many times a day!

Funny Things about our time in Ohio. 

1. Living in a tiny apartment, without a single friend, in a very snowy winter with 3 kids under the age of 3 forces a deep look at your inner soul…and then you make friends. Amazing friends who help with your babies and keep your sanity in check.

My "village" in Ohio was small, but mighty! Shout out to my neighbor moms too!

2. Traveling 12 hours to visit home with 3 toddlers also forces a deep look at your inner soul.

3.  For the first time in our lives, we found a church we actually enjoyed, learned from, left feeling energized, and it helped us survive and thrive in the chaos.

4. I discovered Facebook. Insert reconnecting to friends all the way back from every city I’ve lived.

Year 2…We were happy, but something was calling us home. We prayed, waited, researched, and brainstormed. We knew where we wanted to go. Then a friend called with a job opportunity right where we wanted to move. Time to move again…in the worse economy we’ve ever lived in. Insert sacrifices.

Funny Things about Moving Back Home (3 hours from our hometown). 

1. Houses in bad economies do not sell well. My dad and stepmom graciously offered for us to live in their beautiful basement during this transition near the city we wanted to live in. It was humbling for sure, but awesome.

2. Sometimes 6 months turns into a whole year, but that can be a blessing.  I only lived with my dad until age 14. But, I got one year back as a 35 year old. 35 year olds still need their dad.

3. Sometimes jobs aren’t a good match.

4. Prayer really does help and so does finding a really great church again. So does ice cream. So does exercise. So does having a really funny spouse. So does having a very supportive family. So does having really goofy friends.

5. Houses in bad economies do eventually sell.

6. You learn you are right where you need to be.

7. Sometimes new jobs you love can’t happen without an old job you didn’t love.

8. I’m tired of moving.

9. I’m tired of moving.

10. We laugh when the children have no memory of any of the houses or temporary houses they have lived in, they just know this home. All those moves. All the crazy. All the boxes. No credit.

Technically, I have made a circle. I think that’s cool. I am back in the metro area I was born in. Life as a gypsy didn’t build one home with all my childhood memories. Moving built me. Brick by brick. Green shag carpet by orange shag carpet. Lesson by lesson. I am the sum of all those moves.  I am blessed with friends across the world map. I’ve had a valuable walk through the grade levels of my profession. I’ve experienced life in different areas of the country and in a different country. Most importantly, our faith was renewed. I am forever moved by moving.

Moving may not be a life theme for you…but something is…

I learned to love the phrase “Bye for now”

Shelisa

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Comments

  1. Shelisa,
    I really needed this blog entry today. We have has several talks regarding this topic. As this month comes to an end, I am reminded that in a few short months I will be facing an important decision. Not knowing where you will live or work in the next year can be terrifying (especially for someone who hasn’t really ever moved away). At times I am overwhelmed with the fear and anxiety (this happened just yesterday). I’ve decided to think about the possibilities every time I think about the difficulties of moving “away”. This particular entry left me with some comfort. It felt like you wrote it just for me. Despite your many readers, I will remain convinced this blog started with “Dear Jenna,” 😉 It was like we were sitting at your kitchen island gabbing.

    Anyway, thanks for comforting me from so far away! I guess this is more evidence that distance, location, and addresses don’t really determine home or comfort

    • Dear Jenna,

      I had written a rough draft of this post about 2 months ago. After our kitchen island talk, I realized I needed to get it published. So, really, I did write this for you! I was you. I lived with my mom 22 years before I left home. It was hard. I was homesick. It was frustrating at times trying to find a job each move. BUT…I have faith that we are always right where we need to be. If the opportunity presents itself, spread your wings, girl, and ride that current. Collect friends, adventures, and build an amazing foundation with your man. You can always go home…just click your ruby red slippers…which reminds me, there’s a house for sale just a few doors down;)

      Love,
      Shelisa

Trackbacks

  1. […] is it brought back nearly 30 year old emotions of my favorite climbing tree. If you’ve read this post, you know I’ve moved a lot. During 3rd-5th grades I lived a small town called Carthage, MO […]

  2. […] I’ve moved a lot. Like….a lot a lot.  One of the many things I’ve learned in hauling your stuff in and out of boxes, is that you learn quickly the things you love, the things you like, and the things you can forget about quickly. I’m soooooo done moving and I want to fill my home with the stuff I love. The stuff I loooove is a memory or connection or object made with love with family or friends whether its a cool rock from the lake, photos, or an art project like our family tree art. […]

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