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Just the Six of Us

We were trading “you guys” for “y’all”. Mountains for beaches. Long winters for humid summers. Familiarity for the unknown. We would either love it, or move back in a year. According to our parents “You and Patrick can go anywhere, but the grandkids stay!”

Colorado is no longer ‘home’ for us. The day the moving truck drove away with all of our things, I realized that ‘home’ would be wherever the six of us ended up together, not the materials within a house. Patrick had moved to North Carolina four weeks before us to begin his new job while the kids finished the school year and I packed up the house in Colorado. All we had ever known was living near our families, our lives had been spent near the majestic Rocky Mountains. Early in our marriage, we often dreamed of the idea of me signing travel nursing contracts as an RN in order to see more of the world. Still, after four kids we wondered what it might be like to live somewhere warmer (we don’t like the cold), a place that required us to lean solely on each other without the familiarity of family and friends we had been surrounded by for so long.

News of the offered position 1500 miles away from all we had ever known was so exciting and exhilarating. We were about to embark on quite an adventure. There was fear of the unknown. Would we miss our family? Would the kids be okay leaving their friends and starting over? Would we like the new school? Would we be lucky enough to have great neighbors again? Would we like the humid heat? Would it feel like home? Answers to these questions didn’t come right away.

We’ve been in Cary for two years now. We are not overly outgoing and people warned us that it might take six months to a year to feel settled in our new community. It has taken all of that two years to plant our feet firmly in what we still refer to as our new home. While there are difficult things about moving away from our families, there has been so much growth in our marriage and family culture to make the experience of uprooting valuable.

The day we left Colorado, we decided the new location also offered an opportunity to push the ‘reset’ button on the culture within our family of six. We didn’t set up cable TV at our new house. The kids could no longer expect screen time every day, it would be earned throughout the week to be enjoyed on the weekends. We started family walks around our neighborhood circle after dinner each night. As often as possible, we would enjoy breakfast and dinner around the table…all six chairs filled. We would be sure to spend focused time with each child before bed every night.

These were all things we wanted to do while in Colorado. But it seems for us that the move required the six of us to focus on being the fillers of each other’s love buckets because we didn’t know a single other person. Our four kids, while normal bickering siblings, are a tight little group of four. They are each other’s best friends, watch out for each other and do everything together. Patrick and I have realized how much our time with our children fills their little love buckets, providing them a security that allows them to grow in each of their unique ways.

We miss our families dearly. Our parents visit every few months, but it isn’t the same as seeing them at every school event, swim meet or hockey practice. However, when they do visit, we soak up every minute of their presence, knowing it is a gift we can no longer enjoy on a daily basis. We never imagined our family would land in Cary, NC. Home is where we do life together.

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