*This is a personal and long post so if you just come here for fashion, then just come back tomorrow!
I love social media and blogs (heck I have one of my own!) but the only thing that bugs me is that they literally allow people to filter their lives to only show the best parts. I am 100% guilty of this. Even a sucky situation can be shared in such a way that it looks beautiful and garners likes and comments and sometimes even jealousy. With that being said, after sharing yesterday’s travel diary of all the highlights of my trip, I wanted to share the real reason I was in California last week since based off my Instagram, Twitter and blog it wasn’t clear (because I made a point not to share).
My family is moving.
I know that might not seem monumental or worthy of a post like this at first but I have never been so distraught or cried so much over something – let me explain. Other than a stint in Italy when I was really little, my family has lived in California my entire life. Actually my mom has never lived anywhere other than the golden state! After my parents got married and after we returned from abroad, we moved between a few places all in California and ultimately settled in Sonoma. In fact, we lived in the very same house since just after I was in kindergarten.
I loved growing up in that small town in wine country. Then I went to college and LOVED it even more. It was one of those cases where I didn’t realize what I had until I didn’t have it any more. It blew my mind when I realized that I grew up in a place where people vacation, that people have on their bucket lists, that is world renowned and featured in magazines and online publications daily. Up until then, it was just home. Suddenly I had this renewed appreciation for my hometown and stopped taking it for granted.
Not only that, but I loved our house. It was a labor of love and I really do mean labor; it is a small little house that required quite a bit of work. Luckily I was usually too little to really help with the heavy lifting 😉 but there was constantly some project being done, an addition, landscaping, something to help dad with in the woodshop, etc. For the most part my parents and siblings and I did all the work ourselves, for a few reasons: to save money of course, but also to teach us the value of hard work and to give us pride in the final product. This produced what is to me the most beautiful home in all the land. And then there is the backyard – it is my version of an oasis. My mother has such a green thumb and she turned what was at first literally a wasteland (honestly it was yellow dry grass, those sticky spiky things everywhere, with just our tether -ball in the middle of the yard) to a lush sanctuary. I always think to myself as I am sitting on the bench reading that this is probably what the Garden of Eden looked like before the fall.
I mentioned two winters ago that my family was moving temporarily to Washington DC and we even visited them for Christmas that year. It was only an 8 month move for my dad’s work and they returned to Sonoma at the end of last summer in time for my sisters to start up at their old schools for this school year.Well my parents have always intended to leave California but didn’t quite know the timing. After their time in DC, they decided that now is the time. My youngest sister will be starting high school in the fall and they want her to be able to go all four years in one school and my other sister did a semester at the school where they will go and absolutely loved it. The timing was right for them.
I am honestly really excited for them and this new adventure ahead. I know how much they loved the DC area and made so many wonderful friends, but I cannot believe they are really leaving my hometown. It blows my mind that holidays will be celebrated somewhere else, in a house that I never called home, that they will start a life in a place that I never experienced, and that when I one day take my kids to their grandparents that it will be a place that I never lived rather than the place I was so blessed to call home.
We found out about the move shortly before last Christmas which is the reason Matt and I decided last minute to head out there and surprise them. Everyone made a point to come home as it would be our last Christmas as a family in that house. It was bittersweet to say the least. I cried the whole way back to KC and told Matt there was no way that could be my last trip home. So I planned this trip. My true last time home.
I thought I would be more sad when I got home to California this time around since I sobbed literally every single time I thought about the move since I found out last December. I can’t even begin to tell you how many tears I have cried over this trip and the upcoming move (I am crying right now just writing this). However, once I was home I was so so so happy. That place just makes me so content and my soul feels at rest. My head couldn’t even wrap around the fact that this was my last time home until my last two days. At that point it finally started to hit me that my time was running out. Suddenly I thought of a million things I hadn’t done and wouldn’t have time to accomplish. I couldn’t sleep the last night because I knew that if I fell asleep that when I awoke, it would be over. I finally did fall asleep but we had to be up for our flight at 3 am so definitely didn’t awake refreshed. On the flight back to Kansas City, if I wasn’t sleeping I was crying.
I know that there are worse things that can happen than my family moving away from my hometown and putting my childhood home on the market, but this has really rocked my world. Plus, I know that I will be back at some point since my sister and her husband still live in the area and I will have friends getting married, but it won’t be the same. I won’t have a home to go back to and it will be more of a vacation than a visit home.
Whether you think it’s a big deal or not, I just wanted to share this to show you that everything isn’t always as it seems. While I did in fact have a truly wonderful time at home, the premise of my being there was anything but and I want people to understand that. Social media can be deceiving, there is so much more going on than you can see.
All of that being said, if you are ever planning a trip to Napa/Sonoma, feel free to reach out to me as I would love to help guide you around my hometowns (I went to high school in Napa so I claim both). No matter where my family ultimately settles, or where Matt and I end up, I will always be a proud California girl and will consider myself so lucky to have grown up in such a treasure of a home in the beautiful small town of Sonoma, CA.
“I know they say you can’t go home again, but I just had to come back one last time.”
-The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert