Hello Lovelies! I wanted to share a bit more about how my journey led me and my family to the Midwest and how I came to be on the path that I am. The time leading up to and after our big move from New York back to the Midwest has been one of frustration, sadness, self-discovery, and transitions. It truly is amazing what a difference a year makes.
On July 21, 2015, my husband, Matt and I packed up all of our belongings, our daughter, and our pets and said goodbye to the home we had lived in for the past nine years. A lot had led up to this drastic life event and I’m here to tell you that it has been quite the roller coaster ride.
Matt and I are college sweethearts. Our relationship began the night his fraternity brother invited me and my sorority sister to a Fight Night. Don’t ask, I don’t know why we went either, but I’m sure glad we did. Three years later, in 2007 we were married. By that point, I had already left my home state of Iowa to join Matt in his hometown in the Catskills of NY. Man did I have a hard time adjusting! I had only ever known Iowa and grew up surrounded by my family. Moving to NY was a huge step for me and for our relationship. It wasn’t always easy but as the years progressed I settled into our life there.
By the time we made our big move I definitely considered NY our home and was sad to be leaving it. However, throughout the nine years I never truly stopped missing home and Matt and I had talked many times about the possibility of moving. Nothing ever happened, though, something always stopped us. That all changed in the Summer of 2015 though.
Matt had worked hard over the previous years to earn his Masters in Education and he tried and tried to get a teaching position. The problem was that there weren’t many to be had in his subject area. Not only that but I was feeling stuck in my career. I had created a wonderful career, and I wasn’t too bad at it if I can brag a little, but something about it just wasn’t fulfilling for me. Then in 2012, after a lengthy struggle with infertility, Matt and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Addison. The day I had to leave her to return to work was one of the hardest days of my life because I was leaving her to go to work a career that no longer gave me joy.
Over the next 3 1/2 years, I continued in my career, while juggling family life and Matt worked hard as a substitute teacher but still couldn’t find a full-time teaching position. Finally, the day arrived where we both reached the point where we had enough. We didn’t feel like we were moving forward and I was becoming increasingly stressed with the juggling act of work and family. Not only that but I yearned for Addie to be able to get to know her cousins. So in June of 2015, we made the decision to leave our life in NY and move to my hometown.
The morning we left our home in NY.
We were filled with excitement, apprehension, and hope for the new life we were going to be starting. We told our families and friends and I put in my notice at my job. As our moving day approached we were spending as much time with our family and friends as we could and preparing for our move. The possibilities seemed limitless to us. Then all of that came crashing down.
When Things Don’t Go As Planned
On July 19, 2015, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law that would forever change our family. This tragedy is not my story to tell but it required us to drop everything and leave for Iowa, two weeks before our originally planned moving date. Nothing else mattered, we just needed to get back to Iowa to be with my family. So that’s what we did. By July 21, 2015, we were on the road and heading towards our new life.
The following days and weeks were a blur. We didn’t have a house yet so we moved in with my brother and sister-in-law and we navigated the tragic times my family was going through. In between that Matt and I somehow managed to discuss what our next steps were going to be for our family. He was lucky enough to get a leave position at the school right across the street from my brother’s house and I began my life as a SAHM.
As the months rolled on we kind of coasted. Matt settled into his leave position at the school and I was adjusting to being a SAHM. In between that we moved in with my parent’s to allow my brother and sister-in-law time to adjust to their life in Iowa. They had just moved back from Maryland just a month before us. With only Matt working, and only temporarily, our financial situation did not allow for us to get our own place yet. We were nomads. Matt thankfully got offered a full-time teaching position at a school that would allow us to stay in my hometown. Still, it didn’t begin until the following 2016-2017 school year and his income wasn’t going to be enough for us to afford to move into our own place. I was at a loss. This was not the life I envisioned for us when we made this decision.
I was beginning to think that we’d never move forward. Had we made a mistake? I was beginning to feel guilty for not contributing financially and was feeling the pull to return to work so that we could begin to move forward again. There was just one problem, though, I still wanted to be a SAHM and we want to have more children. I knew that I would not want to leave them to return to work. I became lost. Why did it have to be one or the other?
I wanted to work and with Addie starting pre-k in the Fall I felt like I should. The thing was, I didn’t want to give up the option I had to be there for Addie and for any other children we may or may not have in the future. I just didn’t know what to do. I only knew one career type and if you asked me what my passion was I couldn’t tell you. Once again I felt stuck and I didn’t know how to get out.
How Cookie Crumbs Came To Be
As I contemplated our financial dilemmas and my personal struggle I yearned for a sign, anything that would tell me what I should do. Little did I know, that sign would be delivered via my bonsai tree that sits in the upstairs tv room of my parent’s house. I was sitting there, during a rare quiet moment and looked over at my little tree and suddenly a switch flipped. I wanted to write about what that tree taught me. Not only did I want to do that but more ideas flooded out that I had to furiously write down before I forgot them. Like that, I realized my passion, I wanted to write and create. For the first time in months I felt alive again and that, my friends, is how this blog came to life.
I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in signs being laid out for you when you need them the most. I choose to believe that it was a sign, that after years of struggling with the decision to move back to Iowa, Matt and I chose the exact moment when my family would need to all be together the most to finally make that move. I choose to believe that it was a sign when I looked at my little tree and the flood gates of my creativity came alive again. I don’t know exactly where these signs are leading us, but I know and trust that they’re leading us in the right direction.
I truly hope you will continue on this journey with me. I have no idea where it’s leading and I’m learning as I go with this blogging thing but I would love to have you come along with me.