"I do not think you will ever have it this good, ever again."
He said it with an approving smile and in complete sincerity as he looked around the new home he was helping us move into. The home was beautiful: open floor plan, high ceilings, three bedrooms, two bathrooms. The backyard was huge: plenty of room for our almost crawling Zoe to eventually run around, a pool, gorgeous roses and citrus trees. The front yard had huge hydrangeas and roses and other flowers and the front of the home was covered in vines - there was a fountain. It was beautiful. It was perfect for our family of three and just as perfect a little over a year later for our family of four. We held many parties and hosted dinners and hat parades. We danced it out. That house was filled with love and friends and good memories and we were grateful our friends rented it to us and grateful that we had the opportunity to purchase it (escrow went through on April Fools Day, 2010). It was the first home we owned and it didn't feel like it could possibly get any better.
We were comfortable, and if I've learned one thing in nearly forty years (What?!?!) it's that when you are comfortable, life has a way of twirling around and keeping you on your toes. In May 2012, Daniel got a job offer for Houston. We were leaving the place we'd met, fallen in love, become partners/newlyweds, had our children. We were leaving friends we'd adopted as family and a theatre community we loved. I cried for months. I cried off and on on the way to Texas and I had some serious homesickness for almost a year.
But Texas became our home. I remember driving around our new neighborhood about a month or so after moving here and laughing to myself: "I do not think you will ever have it this good, ever again."
This house was filled with old friends and new, awesome neighbors, and family. We had parties and living room camp outs. We started new traditions and got involved in new communities. We set down roots and were grateful for every new experience we had.
We lived through a scary pregnancy and brought two more beautiful girls into this world. Charlotte benefited from being near one of the best pediatric hospitals we could be at when dealing with her CHD.
The Biggies thrived within our neighborhood and their school. Their teachers were nothing short of amazing and we love that they love to learn. They have been surrounded with love and acceptance and have so many people here who have helped shape them into these smart, inquisitive kids.
Times are crazy right now in Daniel's industry. Around the holidays we knew we might be facing some big changes. In February he was researching jobs because a large chunk of employees would need to reapply for a position. In March he put his name in the hat for four jobs. One was here, three were in Bakersfield. Worst case scenario, Daniel would be left standing and have no job at all. We lost a lot of sleep worrying and stressing. Today we got the official word: Daniel has a job - in Bakersfield. We don't know all the details yet, but we know we are going and we feel sad to leave what we have built here. It's comforting being close to Texas Children's and we feel invested in this community and the kids' school. But we are so excited to reunite with old friends and become invested in Bakersfield again.
Home is where Daniel and Zoe and Finn and Molly and Charlotte are. No matter where we are, we are living the best life because we are living it together. California. Texas. Indonesia. Kazakhstan. Home is where your family is and memories can be made anywhere. Will we ever have it THIS good ever again? Maybe not. We will have some other good. Life is good. Life is an adventure. I might be nervous and sad, but I'm ready and I'm happy and we're going to be just fine - no matter what.