Wednesday, April 21, 2010

leaving parad*se

This is a picture of the shoreline of my favorite *sland in the middle of the Gulf 0f Mexic0. I've openly talked about how bad the economy is in SWFL, one of the hardest hit areas in the nation. We've personally been very fortunate to be in the position we were in when the bust happened, but we did take a hard hit. J was able to start up a new business which has been a huge blessing during this transition of EG adjusting to her bright new world and adjusting to the man that terrified her the most just 11 short months ago. His schedule has been super flexible and he's had to work 1/2 the hours as he did once before. But this fabulous, laid back gig comes at the hands of those who happen to be sitting on the B0D. If you've been a long time reader, then you know how scary our B0D can be . It gives another whole meaning to never shit where you eat.

(a photo of my girl meeting my favorite *sland for the first time)
With all that being said, J decided to take advantage of a job opportunity in Georg*a. It's a place we are familiar with, a place I sort of said I could do, a place we've been to many times in the past. In fact, it was almost one year ago when I did this post, about that damn GA kitchen that I love. I dreamed it because GA was back on the table during that time in our life as well & I was trying to make peace with the idea, but we tabled it because we were waiting on TA for EG.

Over spring break we went up to GA. J was asked to come & do what he does best and to decide if it was something he liked =0) While he went to work, EG, G and me spent 3 days criss crossing the GA streets looking at properties, just in case J came back and said he wanted to take the plunge.
When opportunity came knocking, we heard the call and the decision has been made.
I can sit here and convince myself how this is economically the best move for our family. I can tell you that the school system, from what I've learned, is nothing short of the best of the best. In fact, the school system is what tugged at my heart strings the most. I can tell you that the cost of living is night and day. The opportunity for my kids is much bigger up there than it is down here. I was amazed by the cute little tennis courts for the kids and the miniature size t-ball fields for the little ones. This is an area that values children, unlike ours. There's a lot going on up there and I can't deny that, but what my head and my heart think are 2 different things.

The decision has been made, the house has been sold, the property has been rented and everything is lined up for this move...but yet, I'm so deeply torn between my head and my heart. This parad*se is my home. I've called it home since 1993 and there hasn't been a day in my life that I have not *loved* my life here. Most of you probably can see that through our pictures. We live a very full life and it's one I hold very dear. We have no family here per say, but we do have a very beautiful family of friends that we have chosen. My fabulous inlaws are only 1 1/2 hour north of us and I have no idea how I will survive without them. I already miss them so...
I can barely breathe when I think of leaving my cul-de-sac, the kid haven of fun that my kids adore. My sweet sweet neighbor who would do absolutely anything for my family and vice versa. My boating buddies and dear god, there's the place I long for the most... *sland time.

Who will be my Pr*ncess Ann & sip pink drinks in the hot tub with me after a day of sun & sand? Lordy beans our kids go together like a hot dog needs a bun. & then there's my home...
the place we created & adore.
The place we brought 2 of our babies home to. The place where love grew and memories were made.
I meet the new owner tomorrow, he better be nice, cause I'm in no mood.
I know I shouldn't get emotionally attached to a home, because after all, it is just brick & stucco, but I *really* love my home. It's completely us.
Driving anywhere in this town has become a game Russian Roulette, it's between the road & my tears. This my friends is home.
How do you leave a place you love?
How do you live without the sand between your toes & the salty air that I breathe?
These things terrify me and I'm more than an emotional wreck when I think of not living the life I love...

43 comments:

Kim said...

I have tears in my eyes for you my friend.. I know that you LOVE your island and beach time.. I would LOVE to live where the sand and water where right there.. I know you have thought this over and you are making the right choices. you and J are AMAZING parents and will do well whereever you go...
BIG HUGS..
I sooo love the photos....I soo remember when I moved here 12 years ago with only my 3 children and my sister. .and she moved away a couple years later.. it is hard. but I wouldn't have done it any other way.. it has opened soooo many doors for the kids and I..
BIG HUGS..
Glad I have got to follow your journey my friend..

Wanda said...

Gosh, so much going on for you right now. That's really tough - being torn between your heart and your head.

Hoping you find peace.
{hugs}

Marsha said...

Oh, Tracy....I'm so sorry. Between your post and that song...I'm tearing up! Listen, your amazing family will make anywhere home because you are all together. There's something waiting for you. There's a reason for this, and I know your heart is aching for all you'll be missing. But try to find a place in your heart to rejoice for this new chapter with new friends and new discoveries and new memories. Maybe you'll find yourself blogging in a few years about your amazing neighbors, life and fun in GA! I just can't believe it won't go with you! It's so obvious you MAKE it happen everywhere you go! You'll be fine, girl. Hang in there.

Polar Bear said...

I have never been a fan of change, especially when it takes me out of my 'comfort zone'.
Even though this is going to be HARD, I know you'll tackle it head-on and in no time you'll be serving guacamole and cold beers out of the perfect kitchen!

Thinking of you!

Island Girl said...

{{{{HUGS}}}}


You needed that I think!!!

Well they say when God closes a door, he opens a window and this must be the road you were meant to walk.

We are here for you though...anytime just a click away!!!

again {{{{HUGS}}}

Bobbie

Sandra said...

Wow, I can so understand how you feel. It was hard for me to leave our previous home and we were only moving 15 minutes away! I have come to understand from reading your blog over the years how much you love life in paradise and I can totally see why you are sad.

However, I am also a big believer in that everything happens for a reason and that things are meant to be as they happen. I am sure you will be creating a wonderful new life in GA. (((hugs)))

Melinda said...

Thinking of you and your family as you prepare to make this big transition. It must be so difficult to leave a place you love. All of the memories you created will come with you and stay with you forever. I know you will create wonderful new memories in GA.

Shari U said...

It's hard to image you living anywhere but Florida. I know it will be hard to leave....

We moved to Georgia 20 years ago this month and I'm glad to say it's become our home. I never thought I'd be so proud to have a "UGA MOM" bumper sticker on my car! I hope you'll love it here as much as we do. I hope you have plenty of sweatshirts, too, cause it darn sure isn't as warm as Florida this time of year!

Good luck with your move, I hope it all goes well.

Colleen said...

I'm sobbing. The ugly cry. WIth you. I know you... and I know where your heart is. I know how hard it is going to be. Its not forever. (I tell myself this EVERY day). Promise you I will hold your hand and your cocktail glass for you as much as you need next weekend. Love you. Paradise will never be the same...but we sure will have FUN on the last girls weekend.

PS... I will STILL always come visit you. Island or not.

Kim said...

I feel for you, Tracy. After following you for so long, it's hard to imagine you anywhere else. I can only imagine what you are feeling.

Hugs...

Noemi said...

I can only imagine the tug of war between your heart and your mind...

This post has made me cry... After reading your blog for so many years I can not even imagine you any other place than you Paradise.

You are so true Florida has been one of the WORST states hit with this crummy economy. I can't even sell my house in Central Florida even if I wanted to. It is worth half of what I paid for 5 years ago.

BUT I am sure you will find your groove in GA. You and your family will make any house a HOME...

(((((HUGS))))))

Ani said...

My parents have lived in the same house for 35 years, and we have lived in our current home for 8... I am NOT a big fan of moves :-)
That said, I know your family will flourish in your new nest, and you will always have a piece of your island in your heart.
Hugs.

Kayce said...

Holy cow! When you said a new adventure was beginnning you weren't kidding! I can only imagine what emotions you are struggling with right now. We have wanted to make a big move like that for 5 years, but we always go back to the things that tie us here. You are all in our thoughts and prayers and hey...congratulations! :)

Debra said...

First, thank you for allowing me to join your blog. Wow, moving to GA, this I didn't expect. You fit the florida life so well. I wish you and your family the very best in your new journey. I know you will make it your home and I look forward to watching you all grow into it. It is wonderful that J has a great job opportunity that allows him to be with his family so much more. That is a true blessing. BTW, I'm from Chicago originally but have lived in Alabama most of my life. I will be happy to teach you the slang. My daughters now say, "I'm parched Momma" when they are thirsty, in the cutest southern accent possible. Peace to you and yours.

Colleen said...

I have huge tears in my eyes reading your post...11 years ago we made the move from CA (my home of 35 years) to Chicago. It has not been easy. It was a smart decision money wise and job career but I did leave family behind and I struggle with that every day. I am an only child and my family is my world. You take such beautiful pictures!! I cannot wait to follow your new and exciting journey!!! You are going to ROCK GA!!!!! : ) The economy has hurt us too...it has probably hurt most people in some way...it sucks! Keep those amazing pictures coming and I hope you are blowing up a few of these!!! They are gorgeous!!

Rick and Ellen said...

I know how difficult change can be and I am sorry you are having to go through so many changes right now. After following your Blog for so long you just define what life in Paradise is all about. I will miss your pictures of all your excursions to your island, I know not more than you. You and J appear to be so strong and connected to one another, you and your family will succeed anywhere you go. You have a nack of making everyone feel at home and I know very soon you will have made your new house a very loving home. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Enjoy your last girl's weekend with Colleen! Nobody not even that damn BOD can take away your memories. May the BOD rot in hell for bringing such turmoil to such great people!

funnylittlepollywogs said...

Oh T-
I am so sorry! Your sadness comes right through your words. Ever since I started following along with you I have been absolutely wishing that I lived in your corner of paradise, it seems so wonderful! (I know, NOT making you feel any better...) But, I also know that, as others have said, you have, in no small part, CREATED your paradise. There are people who live where you do right now who are miserable (I am sure that you could name a few).

There are parts of Georgia that are WONDERFUL, too! I am sure that you know this. Have you been to Savannah? I love that city! So full of character, fun and southern charm. There is water, too! Let's not forget all of the little Islands and the a bigger one, Hilton Head! I am sure that you are fully aware of all of this, but I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and I know that you will make your own little piece of Paradise wherever you go. At least your not moving to somewhere like, let's say...Kansas! Sorry, no offense to anyone...I've never even been there!

Thinking of you!

Colleen said...

Thanks Tracy for the invite! I look forward to following you on your new journey. I am so sorry you are leaving your paradise but you will create a new one I am sure of it!
Being retired military we are use to the moving around. Each place we went I never wanted to leave.
Praying you find peace in your move!

Suzie said...

WOW - like everyone else, this is not what I expected when you said it was time for a change.

As corny as it sounds "home IS where the heart is". You and your family all have wonderful hearts and will make new friends and new memories wherever you are.

Dawn and Dale said...

Praying for your family and the changes that are heading your way! ((((HUGS)))) Just think.....now more "northern tourists" to annoy you!!! lol (Can't remember the acronym you had for them again! lol)

Tawni said...

I can feel in your post how torn you are. We've been torn in the same way - but opposite - you know? Wanting to leave, but can't.

I think I'll leave my comment before I say something terribly corny and cliche'...

*hug*

t

P.S.
The song on your blog right now is KILLING me...*teary*

Jacquie said...

Oh Tracy, I had no idea. The new place sounds fabulous but wow...... I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. You've got the internets here cheering you on.

Stacy said...

Best of luck to you! I can't imagine how difficult this is to you.. hang in there..

Diana said...

I am sorry for all of this..I can not imagine leaving Paradise but I think you can make any place Paradise.
So how close to the gulf will you be now?

JoAnn in NJ said...

Hi Tracy,
I'm' shocked at all your new changes too! But it always takes a big leap of faith to make big life changes - just like when you became Eme's parents.

The good news is that GA is beautiful and I think there is a large and welcoming adoption community there....and you can make "island time" in GA...it's not landlocked! :)

I'm one cheering you on...we really want to move too but right now its beyond our reach...hopefully 2011 will bring everything together.

Thank you for continuing to allow me to peep in on your journey!

Catherine said...

Wow! When you said things were changing you weren't kidding. My heart ached for you as I read this post. You're trying so much to look for the silver lining and be 'up' about the changes and yet your heart loves so much of what is currently home. Moving is such a huge step but I know you'll do great and make many wonderful new friends while keeping the old too.

(((hugs)))

dana said...

Oh dear..... I know that this is going to be hard. It is amazing that your house sold in this economy so that must be a sign that this is "right" even if it feels so wrong right now. I will admist that towns like you are describing are wonderful for kids to grow up in because we live in one like that. I hope things keep falling into place and you can feel the assurance that you need even while your heart is aching.

M :-) said...

I am crying. Change is SO hard, and leaving the place that you absolutely adore has to be heart wrenching. Two years ago we left the home that we brought two of our babies home to - I was an emotional wreck. I cried non-stop. Before we left the house for the last time I went into their rooms - sat on the floor - and bawled. There were so many memories there, and it was killing me. I still cry when I think about it, but we are now making new memories in our new home - and you will do the same.

I'm thinking about you. (((hugs)))

Daniella said...

I had a feeling this was coming and I'm crying as I read your post. I know exactly how you feel. I would feel the exact same way if our life changed and had us leaving this paradise. I also know though that change as scary as it is, can be good and you my friend will find your happiness in GA.... I wish you all the very, very best as your start this new part of your journey.

Meg said...

I know how you feel.....we left our home 13 years ago- and now move every 3 years.....it is hard especially with kids. I wish you peace during this transition.....for you and the kids.......We moved from Fl to NV after EK had been home a year- she did okay.....I had to sleep in her room for a few nights but she did a lot better than I had anticipated........my boys had a harder time......Best wishes and soak up every minute you have left.

dawn said...

I know how much your love paradise. Your happiness emanates through every post ('cept the BOD ones). Your happiness is fueled by you family and they will still be doing that just in a different place.
Sad for you.......but out of piles of poo grow gorgeous roses.

Anonymous said...

Ver shocked to hear you are leaving Florida. I don't live on a island, but I do love it here in Florida. Wishing you peace during this transition in life. But you have had a lot of stress in the last few years with the BOD......so maybe Georgia will provide a new respite for you. Having grown up in Alabama, I did experience a bit more of a community feel as compared to my florida home. Peace to you and your family. ____Melissa

Red Thread to my Daughter said...

Tracy,
I am a true believer in things happening for a reason. You seem like the type of person that will embrace the change and make it work for your family... You will make a lot of new friends and be happy in your new home... Give it time.. Good luck
Lisa

Kris said...

wow tracy. this is huge and i only had to track back one post to know what was up. having moved way too many times in my life i know this pain you are feeling. my heart aches for you. hell, i can't imagine you without sand between your toes.

i know you all will grow new roots in GA though and that from those roots, some amazing things will bloom.

Gretchen said...

Wow, big changes. And I'll still live vicariously through you as you become a souther' Belle. While it's not an island paradise, GA is beautiful. Wishing you all the best in your move.

Stacie said...

I feel awful that you have to leave your home, but if you had to be anywhere else in the country, I am glad you are choosing GA (or that it is choosing you!)

I have grown up here, and am proud to call myself a Georgia Bulldog!

This is not Ohio, but you will see how much these folks love football around here, oh, and sweet tea :)

Welcome to the true south, and don't be afraid to let your heart settle here eventually, but for now, you rightfully love FL!

Welcome to GA, and I hope it is more than you ever need for your family!
<3

Stacie

Magi said...

I know how difficult this move must seem right now. Speaking as someone who's moved a lot in their life, I can tell you that it's been good for me for the most part.

I've lived for four years in southern Florida, but on the east coast in the Lauderdale area. I've also lived in Georgia in a tiny town called Pine Mountain. My fondest childhood memories are of those years in Pine Mountain. Because of that I love Georgia. My sister lives just south of Atlanta in Hapeville, but is moving this summer to Peachtree City.

The area you describe sounds wonderful, and your latest post with the new owner's offer sounds like a dream come true. I hope you can look back someday and say this was the best change for your family.

Good luck!

Shannon said...

Yup, you were made to blog! And your gorgeous family just radiates from the pages! I so remember that blog with you in your kitchen. What a great re-read with all the sentiments for E from your boys. Perfect scrapbook. Here's to a beautiful new journey of heart and home!

3 Peanuts said...

T---I feel so bad for you. I have been there. I have left the home that I designed every nook and cranny of and built and decorated and brought Kate home to. I also left the one before that which I LOVED too and brought the boys home to. It is so hard to leave a house, a street, a neighborhood and a city that you love. I have had to do it twice and it was HARD but after a year, you grow into the new place so wonderfully. For me, it took a year. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

Show i'm just catching up since you sent me your new blog address. from your fb posts and our conversation, I figured you had decided to make the move. As much as you love Florida Tracy, I think it's "paradise" because YOU made it so. Your house is a great "home" because YOU made it so! You are such a fun loving spirit of a person and I believe paradise can be wherever you are because YOU will make it so. Your attitude creates your paradise. Hopefully, there is a large lake nearby your new place where you can continue to go boating and enjoy some amazing sunsets. I won't be the exact same as the gulf but...
Here's hoping the move goes smoothly!

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

ok.. that should have started out with "so".. I promise I didn't start my morning with a coctail and are slurring my words already

Jennifer said...

Wow! So very sorry you are leaving the place you love so much. I'm glad you are going somewhere that sounds so family friendly. I know that will be a big bonus...you'll have to think on that when you are missing paradise. Good luck in the transition. :)

La-La-Liene said...

I'm just catching up but I know that you will make the best life possible for yourself and your family in GA. Picking up and moving, especially when you've been somewhere for a long time it is never easy. Because of Lane's job in the Air Force we move every 3 years and although I know it's coming, I still dread every moment of having to pick up and start all over again. Georgia is a nice place to live and raise a family where I know you already have some friends. From what I have gotten to know about you reading your blogs for over 3 years now, you are a very likable person and will have friends in no time.

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