Thoughts On Our Move From Virginia To Washington

Hi friends! It has been a whirlwind. From having our baby girl...moving across country again...settling in...and then a national pandemic! Catching up with things on the blog has my head spinning. But there were a few things from this past year that I wanted to try to document here. So forgive me if things are out of order!

I shared quite a few things over on Instagram during our move that I collected all here to read in one place. I'll also be sharing some of our cross country road trip highlights soon as well.


We had started planning a trip to Niagara Falls for our ten year anniversary with the kids before we decided to move. It was my last real bucket list place I wanted to go before we moved. Our first family vacation as four and our last real vacation on the East Coast - it was bittersweet.

As we took one last look at the falls I couldn't help but get a little emotional. The end of vacation made me realize our time in Virginia was coming to an end.

I was so overwhelmed by the beauty before me and saddened that these east coast adventures were coming to an end. Being in Niagara has been a once in a lifetime experience. And yet so has this season of being in Virginia.

Driving home meant coming home to a staged to sell house. Still our stuff but not quite feeling like home anymore. The reality hit that things are going to move quickly and a lot of change is coming.

A sense of sadness to be saying goodbye. But also scared of the unknown and the busy that comes with moving. All the while trying to be in the moment.

I am so thankful to be in this beautiful place with my precious family. And the reminder that simply being together will always outweigh even the most amazing destination.

It was a crazy two months before we moved. My husband had a work trip down to Arkansas that we tagged along with, hitting North Carolina and New Orleans for a couple more bucket list locations before we moved. We traveled a lot in those last few months. Looking back now, I am so grateful we were able to see and do so much before our national shutdown.

ARKANSAS ✨ Small town southern Arkansas - not a lot to do 😉 but the kindest people, GIANT Baptist churches, and beautiful country roads. We ate fried chicken and catfish, made friends with the hotel employees and experienced some big things.

Signed final paperwork with a mobile notary at our hotel for our home in Washington. The house closes next week! We have yet to see the house in person. Crazy. (And praying we get an offer on our current house soon! - edited to add that we decided to rent the house instead!)

Said goodbye to part of Brent's team that will stay in Arkansas for the month. We will be on our way to Washington by the time they return to Virginia. My heart ached seeing them say goodbye and hearing all the wonderful and encouraging things they said to Brent about the type of boss he has been to them. I never would have imagined my emotions could be entangled with these men but they have become friends and a bright spot during our time in Virginia.

Being on the road and interacting with people from other states has brought a lot of joy. It helps me feel grounded with humanity. That there are kind people everywhere and that home is still home no matter where you live. We met a lot of good people in the south. I'm grateful.

The glory of fall. Our moving countdown has begun. Two more weeks. Sappy nostalgic posts to come.

Titus and I pressed some flowers from our yard and I laminated them into bookmarks. A little bit of Virginia to take along with us.

I wrote a few goodbye notes which is new to me. I've never really said goodbye to anyone with the knowledge that I may never see them again. It's a strange and sad feeling. These sweet friends, who I really barely know, will forever have a place in my heart. 

A friendship that may seem like a blink, but genuine and intentional conversations that brought life and hope. In the midst of the chaos, I'm trying to make time to say or write the words. And it's reminding me that we don't always know the mark our relationship can make. So keep on showing kindness trusting it makes a greater impact than we will ever know. 

Fall is romancing us to linger. This is the road that connects to our street and every spring and fall it is glorious! We moved here in November of 2016 and so it only feels appropriate that we leave as we came - remembering the beauty and wonder of fall in Virginia. 

Making lists, feeling overwhelmed, stress eating, can't sleep. The insanity has set in. 11 days.

I started @cultivatewhatmatters Powersheets in June of 2018. I purchased the six month book as it was mid year. I finally finished it in September 2019. It took me 1 year and 3 months to do 6 months worth! That doesn't sound very productive but let me explain.

June of 2018 was a turning point in my life. We were going on 8 months of trying to get pregnant and our son was a month shy of turning 2. After a big move and two years of first time parenting, I finally found myself again. I learned how to take care of myself truly for the first time since I became a mother. It only took 2 years and Powersheets!

In that same month I got pregnant and all my motivation went out the window. So much morning sickness! The next time I picked up Powersheets was April 2019. 10 months later and with a brand new 2 month old!

In the last 7 months I have been learning those healthy habits to finding myself again, now with two children and ANOTHER CROSS COUNTRY MOVE! And I'm still learning.

The thing is, I'm actually kind of shocked I've accomplished anything these last three years because it's suddenly all a blur. So much change, trials, growing, pain, frustration, loneliness, sadness, keep trying, make new friends, make some other new friends, try another church, pray, cry, surrender.
But you guys. I have grown and learned so much I cannot even wrap my head around it.

You cannot see where you have been unless you look back. Through these Powersheets it gave me the ability to focus through the chaos to see who I want to be and what I want to accomplish in the future. And the discipline to look back and relish at how far I've come.

I choose to not be blind to what is going on right in front of me. Nothing is a mistake in God's will for my life. And these 3 years are a milestone to the unraveling of my life's journey. I am so thankful for Powersheets (and @cjrosenberg for getting me into them). I just got my 2020 book and I'm ready for what is to come.

Cultivate what matters. Little by little I'm finding the time to flourish into the person I am supposed to be.

Today's agenda: take things off walls, wash and bag up linens, and pack four weeks worth of clothes/essentials. Movers are coming Tuesday.

 Soaking up these last days.

Day 1 of 2 (and possibly 3) of movers. They packed up about half the house and will finish and start loading tomorrow. My husband's company covers the move as part of his transfer and we are so grateful.

It was a long day. Constant tending to my children trying to not be in the way and restricting what we got out to play with. But since I couldn't stay busy around the house as I normally would, a good chunk of my day was simply enjoying my children.

I asked myself - what if I did this more often? Just cuddled on the couch. Just sat and played. I struggle with being still. And while I desire to live purposefully in my own individual ways, I know future Ashley of grown children would want me to stop and be with my family. So I'm trying, learning, and hopefully being inspired amidst the chaos to create new habits. 

When you CHOOSE to leave your dream home // There have been many moments the past few weeks where I have gotten a pit in my stomach taking in a sweet moment while admiring our beautiful home. I think to myself - why would we CHOOSE to leave this beautiful place? When we left California, it felt like we had to. That the move to Virginia was the best of our options at the time.

But choosing to move this time was initiated by us. We love this home SO much and we definitely have second guessed ourselves a few times. But what I'm learning is that a big beautiful home does not equal happiness.

We are choosing to move to a smaller and older house in a significantly more expensive town. The first thing we have to do is put up a wall when we get there so each of the kids can have their own room. We are starting over. We will know no one.

But life here only continued to get harder and that living here, even in this amazing home, began to feel unbearable.

We are moving for a better scenario for our family. Less weekend work and more time for our family. Less driving and more community. Closer to family so we can get a date night to foster our marriage. And so our kids can have more time with extended family.

My heart aches to leave this home. But even more, my heart aches for our family. And so we choose to walk away from our dream home trusting our joy is not found in things but instead in each other.

The house is all packed up and our things are on their way to Washington! We still need to clean and take care of a few things at the house. But we are staying with friends until we leave. We have a little work going away party Saturday and the dreaded goodbye to our neighbors who have become our closest friends. And then we head off. 

Emotions are high and Titus has been having a hard time. So we are grateful to be able to take a breather from doing to hang out with friends and rest today. 

I've been writing a lot of goodbye notes while Brent has been receiving them. Yesterday was his last day of work and tomorrow we have a little so long celebration in his honor.

The outpouring of kind words and encouragement towards him has left us both moved. It reminded me why we came here in the first place - to allow him to thrive in his career. To give him the chance to live out some of his dreams as he had already given me so many of mine.

While our time here has been short and challenging, there is still no question that he has made a mark on people. And I've never been more proud of him. What a blessing to experience the fruit on the other side of heartache. It is even sweeter because of the difficulties. And it helps us realize those long hard days were actually worth something.

These little cards were for our pediatrician and favorite post office worker. People who love on my kids...and my husband...are becoming great gifts to me.

Said goodbye today to our Virginia family - our sweet neighbors and Titus's best friend. So many tears. And realizing the people you care about actually care just as much about you. What a blessing to know these people. 

So long Virginia! ❤ We thank you for the beautiful memories, the kind friends, the lovely seasons, and for our wonderful home. 

Our next family chapter begins. I can hardly believe we are doing this again! The road is our home for the next two weeks. #urkescrosscountry road trip round two starts now! 


Highlights from our cross country road trip to come!