I have said this many a time returning “home” to Colorado after visiting family and friends in Oregon and California over the last several years, and now the circumstances are becoming reversed.
It’s all been pretty secretive for awhile now that my husband was offered a job in Washington State a couple months ago. Part of our trip back to Oregon this month was to get some more details, pray deeply, make a final decision, and look around the area where we would be living and working if Sam were to accept this job.
And finally, I am equally devastated and thrilled to be announcing that we will be leaving our beautiful home in Colorado and moving back to the Great Northwest! In no less than….. ONE.MONTH.
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and have always had a special place in my heart for the good ol’ Pacific NW. 5 years ago, while my husband was still bouncing around in the NFL, we were living in a basement apartment that belonged to some friends from church while we figured out where we would want to make our home base. Almost all of our belongings were stored in boxes, and his car was still in Dallas, TX after getting released from the Cowboys. It was at that time that we, adventurous, childless couple that we were, decided to up and move to Denver. We both felt drawn back there after his stint with the Broncos, and God gave us peace in that decision. Since that time, he played for three more teams, worked two other local jobs, and we had our daughter in January of 2012.
We have seen some big paychecks, but they have never been consistent or for a long period of time. We have gone 9+ months without a paycheck at all. We’ve used up a good chunk of the money we were saving to buy a house with. My husband has struggled to find the right job for him that will actually pay the bills. We have been so blessed with the growth of my business over the last year, but considering the immense challenges we faced during my pregnancy with Tessah, if we’d like to expand our family at all Sam has got to have a steady job that will pay the bills.
This is the reality behind “living the NFL dream” that too few people understand.
We knew God brought us to Colorado for this season. We built the foundation of our marriage here, made so many great friends here, our daughter was born here, and found an incredible house church family here.
It is heartbreaking to leave this place that we have grown to love so much, where I have built an established business and found a wonderful network within the local birth community. I have been SO supported here, felt so loved, and so nurtured. I am thankful for each and every one of those relationships.
But, as many people who have children understand, once your family starts to expand, priorities change. We have to do what is right for us, and at this time, we have been given a wonderful opportunity to be so much closer to family. We will be living in the South Hill/Puyallup area of Washington, just a few miles from my brother and his family, and a short 2.5 hour drive from the rest of my family. Everything came together so perfectly in such a short time, every piece falling into place. We both felt a complete peace about the decision. We found and secured the perfect little rental house on a cul-de-sac, complete with an office, a fenced-in backyard (which I have been aching for ever since Tessah has started to walk!) and two little garden beds. And we are able to move in at the perfect time for Sam to start work just a couple days later. We just now need to find renters to move into our wonderful townhome here in Colorado. Finding the house in Washington was such a big blessing to me, as I love our place in Highlands Ranch so much and was feeling so conflicted over leaving it. It’s been the perfect space for us, (minus the backyard.)
One of the other encouraging pieces of the journey is that through the online network of birth photographers, I have already become close with three other photographers around the area we will be moving to who have expressed how excited they are for me to join them there! Birth communities are very tight-knit, and can be very competitive and hostile in certain areas of the country (or the world for that matter!) I’ve heard many stories from other birth photographers unable to build strong friendships or backup relationships with local colleagues. Praising the Lord for these friendships preceding our move there, and I can’t wait to meet each of these sweet, talented ladies in person for the first time!
When we first move there, I will be taking a month or two to get settled, but I’m looking forward to maybe taking on only 1-2 births a month while my husband gets his feet under him in this time-demanding job. I’m also open to the possibility of photographing deliveries in the Portland area, as my parents and other family members live there. Excited to see how that will all transpire!
I am pretty devastated, however, to have to break this news to a lot of people around the Denver area who were hoping for me to capture their next birth, whether they are pregnant at this time or not. I have a long list of inquiries for due dates over the next 7 months to let them know I won’t be available for them. Although, I’m not completely opposed to the idea of making a Denver vacation out of a trip to photograph a birth. 😉 Of course we’ll just have to see how the circumstances allow.
I am feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment, riding this emotional roller coaster moment by moment, but resting in the fact that God’s GOT THIS. He has orchestrated everything so perfectly up to this point, and it is simply up to us to trust in His plan and do our best with the time and provisions He has given us.
So here’s to surviving the next month as I have several birth stories and videos to complete, another birth to capture, a house to pack, and every detail in between! Watch out Washington, here we come!!