Big Changes, Moving, and Gratitude

Jackets we bought on clearance, thanks to advice from my small group (thanks, Tiff!)

Jackets we bought on clearance, thanks to advice from my small group (thanks, Tiff!)

Big changes ahead. Dustin, my husband, and I are moving to Albany, NY this Fall (mid November). While any move to another area is significant, this transition is huge for us in particular because we have never lived outside of the South (I’ve never lived outside the state of Georgia). While we are bracing ourselves for the change (immersion by winter!), we are also very excited about the opportunity to move to a brand new part of the country and continue to develop our relationship as a new married couple.

This past weekend, we finalized a purchase on a home in Albany. The evening we finalized the purchase of the house (after an agonizingly long closing), I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude in between moments of exhaustion.

Thank goodness for them

Thank goodness for them

I remembered the coffee we’d shared with Dustin’s parents when they gave us invaluable advice about their experience when they had moved cities as a couple. When I imagined how we might want to arrange furniture, I realized that the overwhelming majority of what will fill our home has been gifted or passed down to us from our generous parents, from a leather sofa and coffee table for the living room, to beds and rugs and curtains and dressers for bedrooms, to beautiful top-of-the-line cookware and silverware in the kitchen. And, I thought of the reasons we could even afford to put a down payment on the house, which are a result of the budgeting lessons our parents taught us, the investment our parents made in our educations, and generous gifts from our extended families, gifted when we were still playing “house” as young children. Yet, saying “thank you” feels insufficient; I wish I could tell my mom, dad, step-mom,  mother-in-law, and father-in-law how much their support means to us. How much they mean to us.

And, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to make the decision to move to Albany without the support of a few very special friends. My dear small group held my hand and prayed with me through the past three years – from debating the decision to move, to searching for answers in Dustin’s latest health tests, and even giving extensive advice on shopping for warm clothes. Meg, Lauren and Simpson, three of my dearest friends, loved me through the process and didn’t hesitate to express concerns along the way that I was usually too optimistic (or scared) to admit to myself.

Still haven't come to terms with leaving these two yet.

Still haven’t come to terms with leaving these two yet.

And, Kelly and Kaitlyn, my work BFFs, are my daily stronghold – travailing the everyday, ordinary developments with me. They listen and express care for me no matter how trivial the topic – from navigating workplace politics, to my latest difficulties with a very simple DIY project, to climbing the “jungle gym.” What will I do when I don’t get to see these two in-person everyday? I haven’t yet come to terms with this part of the change. Thankfully, these two are in the process of their own changes (Kaitlyn’s new house and Kelly’s baby to come!), so I’m sure we’ll figure out how to adjust together. 

The best selfie we could take with the moving sign

The best selfie we could take with the moving sign

While Dustin and I now have our very first home, it doesn’t really “belong” to us (or Wells Fargo, either). This home only came into our ownership as a result of the “credit” that our families and friends have accrued on our behalf. They’ve given time, care, love, and resources to us, and we have infinitely reaped the rewards of their investment. Our name may be on the title, but the true “owners” are our family and friends, even if they are hundreds of miles away. This house is a “home” because of the love that has been poured into it on our behalf by others – and we would have never been able to purchase it without them.

We say “goodbye” to Atlanta, GA (for now) and “hey, ya’ll!” to cooler summers, ice scrapers, and other new adventures in Albany, NY.

3 thoughts on “Big Changes, Moving, and Gratitude

  1. This post makes me sad and optimistic at the same time. I remember hearing about you from the Twittersphere, and upon following you on Twitter, and seeing your blog, I realized that there was an amazing amount of value in hearing what you had to say. I read your posts on social media, on marketing in general, on life, and on your faith, and saw something that I could relate to a great deal with. I met you at Digital Atlanta, and I was blown away by your humility, and complete understanding of your craft. When I interviewed at Engauge, and I had the chance to interview with you, I viewed that itself as an honor, and when I was hired to work alongside you, I was humbled at the opportunity.

    Since I’ve started almost four months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to not only work alongside you, learning from you, growing from it, and figuring out agency life, I’ve seen how you interact with people on a regular basis. You are simply one of the most encouraging, understanding, caring and smart people I know, not just in this field, but in life period. The way you encourage the people under you, and above you, the way you always deal with everything with a smile (even when you don’t want to), and the way you just generally care about people makes you a great person I will miss seeing each day. The fact that you are a consummate professional makes you great for your job, but I’m a lover of people, not jobs, and you’re one of the best I know.

    You will be missed around here, that can’t be underestimated, but I am extremely excited for what God has for you and Dustin for your future together. This life is an incredible journey, and when you are given a helpmate, a partner, it becomes twice as adventurous. I know there are big things for you guys on the horizon, and I have no doubt that you will absolutely crush whatever it is you end up doing, although selfishly I hope it’s still with Moxie/Engauge. I can’t thank you enough for all the ways you’ve helped me make the transition (sometimes painful, but mostly joyful) into agency life, and I will ever owe you a debt a gratitude. Cheers to you and Dustin, and cheers to the next chapter of your amazing story.

  2. So excited for you both! I remember well the purchase our first home 25 years ago. So sweet, exciting and very overwhelming. I know you have a great support group that will endure even 100’s of miles of separation. You are both so special and we know you will thrive in your new home. Snow and winter are not so bad!!! Love you!!!

  3. Cannot send enough love and gratitude to both of you. I count myself incredibly blessed to have been able to watch you and Dustin grow in the last few years and to have you both welcome me (and Patrick) so graciously into your lives. I cannot WAIT to continue to support that journey. I have no doubt that the miles are going to be but a pebble in our path, we now only both have more excuses for NYC trips 😉 Love, love, love you.

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