We recently received our orders and will be moving to Washington, D.C. area this fall. I am feeling bittersweet about leaving San Diego for "the DMV" (what my friend DeShon calls it - the DC, Maryland, Virginia area). San Diego is where we had our second child, I learned to love corn tortillas, Mexican food from the Baja California region, my skin glows year round because it isn't bogged down with humidity. San Diego is where Gabriella learned how to walk, it's where I met four women who I know will be lifelong friends. The reality of leaving them is going to be very difficult when the time comes for us to make our way to our new city. I'm becoming emotional just thinking about it. This is the life of a military family, and very seldom is it glamorous or without emotional challenges.
The great aspect of this move is that we'll get to spend a lot of time exploring and enjoying our nation's capitol. John and I both are history enthusiasts, I adore architecture, and we fully plan on eating as much seafood as humanly possible. The seafood especially is something we are excited about, we love it. But in San Diego, I do have to say - eating as much seafood as we like is just not cost effective for our family.
I feel like I should apologize to my readers because I am trying to keep this from reading like a list of why the move will be great for my family and I, but as we search for a new home, winter clothes, etc, the reality of leaving San Diego is hitting me pretty hard. So I need a list. Right now, I need a list that I can refer back to when my throat begins to get tight at the thought of not being there for Prince's first birthday party, or to grab weekend brunches at Great Maple, or take the kids to Erin's house and relax while the kids play. I need a list to keep me focused on why John and I chose this lifestyle for our family, despite the monumental and consistent challenges we knew we would have. I feel a little silly for needing this list because I grew up as a Navy Brat. I know what this feeling is, I've felt it every time we had to leave friends behind, and when I leave a city behind. I know what it feels like for your best friend's lives to continue without you while you've moved away, and seeing them forge new relationships - or for new businesses to pop up and replace your favorite spots.
If you are reading this and you have had the experience of growing up and living close to or near your home city, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine your favorite ice cream shop. This shop has been open for years and they offer the same flavors you love - butter pecan and rum raisin. They offer a lot of other flavors as well, but your favorites are those two. Well, you grow up, maybe discover another ice cream shop, and maybe you stop coming to this particular ice cream shop. One day though, you get nostalgic for your favorites, so you go visit the old ice cream shop. The shop is still open. But the customers are new, the neighborhood around it is new, the decor is new, the prices have gone up, and to top all of that off - they stopped carrying butter pecan and rum raisin.
This isn't an uncommon problem we face as consumers, you know? But imagine the ice cream shop is your best friend, and the flavors of ice cream is the city you left. Well your friend is still your friend, but what you knew about that person and their daily life, things you loved about their kids and family, little inside jokes you shared - all those things have evolved and eventually changed so much that they're not longer an aspect of your friend's life or personality.
Much in the same way the ice cream stop still stands, but the customers, decor, the neighborhood have all changed. You don't know your friend the same way, you've been away too long and they have changed; and have new best friends. Thinking about that stings, and makes me question why we chose this life. So, if you don't mind, here's my list on why The DMV is going to be a fantastic move for my family:
- Our children will likely get to see snow
- If I play my cards right, I can easily get to NYC to FINALLY see Hamilton
- Can you say CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL?! Omg. I can't wait to shoot a maternity session with that backdrop. You've seen my photography (if you haven't, go look) - it would work amazingly well with the dramatic and sweeping views of beautiful blooming cherry trees.
- My babies (who are not really babies anymore #toddlerlife) will start school there! I am so ready to send them on off to preschool and kindergarten, because let's face it - daycare is expensive.
- We'll be back on the East Coast, closer to my family with the ability to see them during the holidays without spending $6 million dollars for plane tickets.
- We get to drive across the country again! Woot!
- New friends and professional opportunities for both John and I
(this list is not easy to make, but each bullet point I create makes me feel a bit better...ya'll still with me?)
- Amanda said all the museums are free!
- Crabcakes. Soft shelled crab. All the crabs please. Put them right on my crab loving plate.
- I look adorable in boots. And so will Gabriella and Emerson. (John already wears them to work every day, so this won't be new for him)
- We can get to Vermont and Maine! I really would love to see the foilage change, I haven't lived anywhere with seasons since 1997.
- Humidity! (I know I listed this as a plus above, but now that I think about it, I really don't love the dry skin I have in San Diego. Dry skin creates wrinkles, and I'm too young for all that)
- Beaches that are warm will be closer, the Pacific Coast is beautiful - but the water too cold for this Florida girl.
- All the new places I get to shoot and explore! I love location scouting.
This new beginning will eventually come to another bittersweet end, as they are wont to do. Even though it does not get easier to say goodbye, appreciating the greatness in each challenge will help dull the sting of the departure.
If you've been or live in the area, leave a comment so I can add to my list!