Monday, February 2, 2015

Just like that we're on the West Coast

So many times last week I found myself thinking 'by this weekend I will be living across the country'. It felt surreal. Despite all our belongings having made it ahead of us, despite knowing an empty townhouse awaited us, despite the airplane tickets booked, rental cars, and hotel---it still didn't feel real.

But there's something so weird that happens when you deliberately put one foot in front of the other. 


Go figure, huh? 

With that said, we are here. We survived two long plane rides and I think all the prayers I rallied ahead of time for my unruly kids to please be calm, for the love, helped. I really, truly think it worked because the unthinkable happened.

Granted, it was about 1.5 hours each, at separate times--but it helped make the first 6.5 hour plane ride feel a little more manageable. That and the mini iPads if we're showing all our cards. Trust me, the people around me appreciated the constant entertainment. That and me putting on a circus show of 'what other cool new art-thing/craft/toy can I pull out of my bag'. 

I'm proud to say that no one complained about us (that I know of), and at the end of each flight Lucy was giving hugs (and even got a kiss from a lady). Despite the unwanted germs, I'd call that a win. Declan and I high-fived and let out a huge sigh of relief when we touched down in San Diego.

We had been up an insane amount of hours at that point. We still had to get through the airport with two kids (no stroller), all our stuff (including two massive car seats), and hop on a shuttle to get a rental car. In my brain, it would never happen. The logistics of doing that while keeping two small children (who should have been on leashes) alive scared me. But our motto of 'one step at a time' continued to play out and before we knew it we were resting in a hotel room at 3 in the afternoon west coast time. 

I should probably say that no resting actually took place. Emeline just kept insisting that 'my body is telling me to jump on the bed', and Lucy kept begging for snacks. We decided to head over to check out this new place we hadn't even seen with our own eyes that we were supposed to call home. Talk about nerve-wracking. Also, not recommended on so little sleep. I lacked vision and to be honest I felt incredibly overwhelmed.  I'll write more about those feelings another time, because part of me needs to process that a little more.

We decided to head to in-n-out for burgers and fries, because, obviously. I held a noodle-like-sleeping Lucy on me the whole time. Her poor body was just exhausted and so confused by the time change. We all slept from 6:30pm-6:30am and we needed every ounce of that rest for our big move day.


The next morning with fresh eyes and sleep we reassured ourselves that we got this and promised ourselves we could make this place feel like a cozy home. It's especially in those moments I am so grateful for my husband and partner--because leaning on each other is all we could do.

Hiring two hours of moving help was the best decision ever. We had two of the sweetest guys helping us, who had our u-boxes unloaded within 45 minutes, boxes in the right rooms, and then they even put our beds together. A sweet delivery of fresh flowers from Declan's sister and an edible arrangements from my family made our welcome a little bit sweeter. 

Slowly but surely this little place so foreign to us just 24 hours before started to warm up and feel more like a place we could see ourselves.

Besides, heading to the place that drew us here to begin with is always a quick smack in the face, too. 

Hello--this, all this, is just a short drive away now. 

This little adventure is bound to have ups and downs, twists and turns--and a whole lot of sunshine.

With these people by my side, we'll figure it all out--one step at a time.


  1. I am so excited for y'all, girlfriend. I can't imagine how difficult it's been to uproot and move across country, but I think you're so brave. I know God has some big things in store for the Balla family...this is just the first step of your journey!

  2. California looks good on you, momma! :) Praying for you guys!

  3. OMG I have been in my new homes for 2 months and have 3 little frames on my wall. You have been there just days and it already looks great!

  4. I'm so incredibly proud of you guys. You are doing something most only dream of. Like me. And you make it look so easy!

  5. Congratulations on making it and already starting to decorate! I imagine that your transition will have some rough patches, but it's so exciting! Hope everything continues to work out in your favor. :)

  6. So so so amazing! I cannot wait to see all of the glorious beach pictures, bright smiling faces and wonderful adventures your family dives into! Prayers for continued movement and making lots and lots of new friendships! You are so brave!

  7. I am loving watching this adventure/dream unfold!!! As if I wasn't ready to move to the beach enough already ;)

  8. You worked hard for this move, girl. You totally deserve every bit of it. You're missing 19 degrees of frigidity over here .. haha! So happy for you.

  9. welcome to San Diego!!! you are going to love it here :)

  10. Woo hoo!!!! Welcome to Sunny So Cal! ;) Cheers to sunshine, beaches, and lots of sandy toes! ;)

    (no idea if my previous comment went through)

  11. Congrats on surviving. I'm a lil' jealous right now as I'm in sub zero temps :-)

  12. Yay! I am so excited for you!! I cannot wait to see all the new and exciting things you have to share with us.

  13. That sounds like so much fun - what an adventure! But I can't believe you can unpack and decorate so quickly. Impressive! I hope you're soaking up all those rays of suns and enjoying the "new" - being in a new place just sounds exciting.

  14. So glad the trip there went smoothly! And wow, it looks like you're getting settled really fast, that's awesome! Welcome to your new home... :)

  15. When I had moved cross country to CA, I had came out early and looked at houses. Did you guys do the same? How did you find your house?