It’s now January and we have celebrated Christmas and rang the New Year in and I wanted to reflect on 2015. 2015 was probably one of the craziest years for myself and my husband but really it was par for the course. Our journey through this life together is never dull and there is always something new on the horizon for us. When I say I want to “Live – Love – Laugh” I really mean it! Here is my year in review for 2015 that will take us all the way back to the beginning of last January.
My Aha Moment
In early January of 2015 I had what Oprah Winfrey would call an “Aha Moment”! It was truly the beginning of all the change that occurred and the adventure that we experienced in 2015. I had been working all day on projects for my business Lucky Dog Consulting when I decided to take a break that gave me that moment of clarity. I was standing in the kitchen making something and was mulling over the conversations Eric and I had had over the past several months about moving to Seattle. Trying to figure out why we just couldn’t pull the trigger and move. Why? What was keeping us from finding out what Seattle was like? It was the strangest experience for me but I realized that we couldn’t move because we were home owners. It was so strange to realize it was our beautiful home that we loved so much that was keeping us in place and making us feel trapped.
Eric walked into the kitchen and we were talking about this and that nothing really important when I said it out loud. As I was saying the words out loud “Why don’t we sell the house and move to Seattle?” it was the most powerful moment and realization I had ever experienced! Yes we could move to Seattle we just needed to realize what was holding us back and figure out how to deal with it!
It was as if saying the words out loud made it real and made it ok. Eric agreed immediately! We were both very excited and started planning our next moves to our goal!
An “Aha Moment” is an exciting and liberating experience! It is life changing and boy did it change our lives!
Selling Our Home
By the end of January we had found a Realtor, put our house on the market, and in 3 days it was sold to someone who had been living in our neighborhood waiting to buy just the right house for his family! Eric and I believe in reading the signs around us that guide us in the directions of our lives. This was clearly a sign that it was meant to be that we should sell our home and move. Don’t get me wrong making this decision was difficult. Selling our beautiful home was hard to do. It was our very first home that we owned! That home will always have a special place in our hearts. We had considered renting it out but we just couldn’t do it. We knew that no one else would care for our home the way we would.
We had sold the house so quickly we had to start figuring out what was next. Well when you sell your house what’s next is you have to pack it up and move! Eric arranged for storage pods since we didn’t have a place lined up yet in Seattle. We started packing the house up. You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to move! The funny part about that statement is we had only lived in the house for 4 years. It is just the 2 of us and the dogs so there really shouldn’t have been too much to pack. Guess again. We packed, we donated, and even on the very last day we were still giving stuff away.
One of the best things that came out of the move was meeting Nathan and Amanda. We had gotten to the point that we still just had too much stuff to fit into the storage pod and we were running out of time. This meant that we just needed someone to take it off of our hands. So, I put up a Craigslist ad that basically said everything MUST go! We had living room furniture, a Tempurpedic bed, office chairs, and few miscellaneous things that just couldn’t come with us. I put up the ad and had tons of people contact me. It was crazy! The first guy said he would be there the next day and he would pick up everything. Well that didn’t happen. He sent me a text message that he wasn’t able to come. I immediately sent Amanda a text message to see if she was still interested. Lucky for me she was!
Amanda and her family had just relocated from Las Vegas to Reno and did not have much furniture. She had been checking out Craigslist and as luck would have it she saw our ad. We found out later that her in-laws lived just down the street from us all the time that we had lived in Truckee! Helping Nathan and Amanda was just another sign. We were able to help out a family in need because of our move to Seattle!
We moved out of the house the first week of March and into a hotel in Truckee. We still had some things to wrap up before we moved. This ended up actually taking much longer than we had anticipated. I believe we stayed in the Hotel Truckee Tahoe for about 3 weeks. During this time I met with clients that I had been working on projects for, we bought a motorcycle for Eric, and did a few touristy things to check off the list.
In April we moved into a hotel in Reno and stayed at the Residence Inn. Remember we pay attention to signs? Well there were a couple of job opportunities in Reno for Eric that came up after we had sold the house. So we decided to stick around and see if anything panned out. Unfortunately they didn’t and by April 24th we decided to finally hit the road and head North!
We hit the road on the evening of April 24th and headed towards Sutherlin, Oregon to visit with my folks. We stayed in Sutherlin for a couple of days and started talking about stopping in Portland to take a look and see if we might want to move there.
We hit the road and headed to Portland on April 29th. Two cars, two dogs, and trailer full of stuff and headed up I-5! Our first hotel was the Best Western Inn at the Meadows and it was the worst hotel! If you ever visit Portland do NOT stay there! We stayed one night and then moved to the Jantzen Beach Red Lion hotel. We loved staying at the Red Lion! They made us feel like we were part of the family!
The Red Lion was our last hotel. We fell in love with Portland and decided to stay! In May we started looking for a place to rent and found a wonderful house in North Portland right next to a beautiful park. It’s a great location near the airport, downtown, restaurants, shopping, parks, and coffee shops! We feel very lucky to have found this house.
Our Crazy Summer
We moved into our new home in the beginning of June. The storage pods came a couple of weeks later. Eric had to go back down to Reno to pick up the motorcycle. While he was down there he and our friend Jeremy went on road trip. With Eric on his road trip unpacking the storage pod had to wait.
While Eric was away on his trip I got a phone call from my daughter with a surprise announcement. Yes, my 24 year old daughter was pregnant! Not just a little pregnant but REALLY pregnant! At the time we thought she was about 6 months pregnant. She was probably more like 8 months pregnant.
In mid June I found out my daughter was living in a very small town in the middle of Nevada and that her living situation was not the best situation for pregnant woman. So, I hopped on a plane to Reno, Nevada. My mother’s intuition was right and I arranged for my daughter to go back to California and stay with her best friend.
I went on a trip back to Truckee right after 4th of July. This was a solo trip for me to go visit friends and enjoy my favorite body of water Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, it rained almost the entire time. On the bright side I got to visit with many of my friends which was fantastic!
The Grand Baby
My daughter’s due date changed several times during the month of July. My granddaughter Ava was born July 20, 2015 in the wee hours of the morning! Yes, I am now part of the grandparents club! I decided that I was not ready for anyone to call me Grandma so Ava is going to call me Nana!
All through out the summer and into the fall we have been settling into our new home. In July we hired some movers to help us move the boxes from the pod into the house. Neither of us was physically able to do this between Eric’s back and my broken toe it just wasn’t going to happen.
We slowly but surely put things in there place but as you may know unpacking takes a long time and we still have boxes we have not even touched yet.
In the September I saw that WordCamp Portland was scheduled in October. I was very excited to see that there was a WordCamp being held in my own city! I went to the website and saw that they needed volunteers and I contacted Justin to sign up. I volunteered to manage their social media communications. As their Social Media Manager I engaged with the WCPDX community before, during, and after the event. I love helping out my community!
Rescue Mission 2
My daughter gave birth to Ava in late July by the middle of August she had moved back to Nevada. I kept in contact with her daily ever since June and was concerned for her and Ava living in a town in the middle of no where, no transportation of her own or public transportation, only her cell phone, and for their safety.
In October I received a text from my daughter’s best friend that something had happened. I called my daughter and there was no answer. I left a voice mail and sent text messages. She finally called me back and she was in tears. There had been an incident with her boyfriend and he had verbally & physically abused her. I kept her on the phone while my husband contacted the local police in Nevada to go check on her and the baby. The police arrived while we were on the phone and they took her to a safe place until I could arrive the next day.
I jumped on a plane that day and arrived in the middle of the night. Picked up a rental car and drove to my daughter & granddaughter to pick them up. I arranged for them to stay in a hotel while we figured out next steps. By the end of the week we packed up everything we could and moved them back to California.
We have both been looking for jobs locally here in Portland since the fall. The job hunt is a full time job in itself and in today’s world it is more complicated than ever. The job hunt is not just about submitting your resume any more. It’s about networking, volunteering, the search, resume updates, LinkedIn, recruiters, job boards, and the list goes on and on. I am currently still on the hunt but the good news is Eric started his new job last week!
The holidays have been very different for us this year. Halloween was a lot of fun because even with the rain we stil handed out a ton of candy and it was great to see all the kids dressed up in their costumes. Thanksgiving we enjoyed celebrating at the Red Lion hotel for dinner next the Columbia river. Christmas was quiet with the just the 2 of us but I had my first Skype with baby Ava which I will cherish in my heart always. New Years we spent watching Alabama stomp Michigan State and neighbors shooting off fireworks.
2015 has been quite the year! It has been a roller coaster year for us with exciting moments and surprises along the way. Here’s to a new year with all of the possibilities and opportunities that come with it! 2016 here we go!