This is a really long journal entry about our move from California to Texas. I don’t want to forget the details, so I’ve written it all down and felt inspired to share. Grab a snack and settle in, cause it’s a long one!
This post is something I’ve been wanting to write for a few weeks. Honestly it’s probably more for me than for you because it’s a journaling of our move and all the things we went through as we moved from California to Texas.
The details are already starting to slip away, and these are experiences that I don’t want to forget. I don’t typically use this blog as a journal anymore, but posting it gives me the motivation to actually sit down and write it all out. So here we go.
In November 2018, just a week or two before Thanksgiving, Philip found out about a director’s position in his company opening up in Dallas.
Philip has worked for Enterprise for more than 12 years, and about 8 years he told me that Dallas was his dream location if he stayed with Enterprise long term. It has a great economy, it’s a very family friendly state, the cost of living is low, people are so friendly, it’s a very religious state — there were just so many pros.
At the time we lived in Utah, and then we were relocated to Southern California. I was nervous to move to California at first, since I’d lived in Utah for the last 8 years, but instantly fell in love with Huntington Beach, where we then lived for four years.
After four years in Huntington Beach, we were ready to buy a house. We found a new build community inland about 20 minutes, and built our little white Santa Barbara style house. We loved our neighbors and the boys’ school, but honestly it never felt like home in the way Huntington Beach did.
So in November, almost exactly two years after moving into our new home, when this opportunity came open in Dallas, we felt ready to go. We didn’t feel the strong ties holding us there, and I felt more sad about the possibility of leaving California in general than leaving our house and our neighborhood.
We spent Thanksgiving in Seattle that year, and the day before we left, Philip turned in his application for this position. He had spent the last 4 years working in a specific division of Enterprise, and this new position was for a different division. He was nervous that the length of time in his current division would exclude him from being considered for this new position, so we were super relieved when he got the green light to apply.
The week after we returned from Seattle, he had his phone interview, and the following week he flew out for a face to face interview.
The day he got the call that he got the job, he was down in San Diego for the day for work. He was in meetings all day long, and I got a quick text from him that said, “I’m heading into my next meeting and don’t have time to call, but I just got off the phone with Brent. Get your cowgirl boots ready, cause we’re moving to Texas!!”
Of course I instantly burst into tears of relief and excitement and stress and nervousness and all the things. This was a huge step for Philip in his career, and I was excited about a new adventure.
He would start his job Monday, January 14th.
That afternoon, when the boys got home from school, I sat them down with a fresh batch of muffins and a card game, and told them the news. They knew that this move to Texas was a possibility, but now we knew for sure.
B did not take it well. He burst into tears too and begged me not to make him move. “I’ll do anything! Please let me stay here. I’ll move once I’m done with elementary school!” It about broke my heart. But I calmed him down and told him that we would figure it out. Maybe we could stay through the end of the school year so he didn’t have to start at a new school halfway through the year. I think seeing that his mom was willing to talk through other options, and that I was on his side and empathetic, helped him calm down and feel better about the move.
How did Fos and Sanny take it? Of course Sanny was two and didn’t know the difference. Fos found out that the Cowboys had a big football stadium there, and as long as he could go to a football game he was on board with moving.
We spent the next few days talking about our moving plans, and trying to figure out how to accommodate B as much as we could. But staying through the end of the school year would mean Philip would have to move on his own in January and we’d be apart for five months. Obviously not ideal for any of us. We also decided that moving partway through the year would allow the boys and me to make friends before summer break, and would make next year going into fourth and first grade easier on the boys because they’d already know the school and have friends.
So our original plan was to try to move right after Christmas and the new year. We decided we wanted the boys to be able to start school when everyone came back from Christmas break, so we would need to move the first or second day in January.
But as we got closer to that date, the logistics just didn’t work. We needed to sell our house, and it wasn’t smart to put our house on the market until after the new year.
So we decided to just kind of play it by ear. Enterprise gave us a moving package, which included packers and movers, so we were able to live completely normally up until packing day. But we did need to organize, clean, and Marie Kondo our house to get it ready for our open houses and ready for packers.
I spent about a week going through every closet, drawer, and cupboard, donating items, organizing, and throwing so much away. We deep cleaned the house, and got it ready for our broker preview. It was at about that time that Philip came down with the flu – excellent timing.
Our realtor had suggested that I do paint touch ups throughout the house, so the afternoon before our broker preview, with Philip sick in bed, I went throughout the house and did all the paint touch ups. That night, when the paint had dried, we were horrified to see that every paint touch up was like a bright white splotch on our otherwise fingerprint covered walls. It hadn’t been obvious before how dirty the lower half of the walls had become with little boys constantly touching them, but once the touch ups were there it was glaringly obvious.
Thankfully the next day, with the house full of sunlight, the wall issue was less obvious. But our realtor strongly recommended that we paint all the walls before the first open house.
And it was around that time that all three boys and I came down with the flu.
That weekend, the night before the first open house, with three very sick children and a very sick husband, and being sick myself, and I painted our entire house.
I do not recommend this one bit.
But the next morning the house looked incredible. Impeccable. Honestly I would do it again, because the house looked so pristine and beautiful.
Our first open house went by, and then a full week. No offers. The broker preview had been so positive, with multiple realtors saying that it would sell in the first week. But nothing.
All these people were coming through saying they loved it, and then they’d just fade away and not make an offer. Our real estate agent told us to be patient — it had only been a week! But I was watching other homes on the market in our area that were just sitting there for weeks, and I felt nervous that ours would sit and sit too.
The night before our second open house (which was actually only a few days after our house officially went on the market — we held our first open house before it was on market just for the extra exposure), I was on my way home from the grocery store, and a scripture popped into my head. Malachi 3:10. …Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Outloud I said, “Ok, Heavenly Father. Prove it to me. I will do everything you’ve asked me to do. I’ll study my scriptures every single day by myself and with my boys. I’ll go to the temple. I’ll invite the missionaries into our home. I’ll get the house as ready as I’m able. You bring the right person to our open house and get it sold within two weeks.”
I’ll just interject here with a note. It’s not the best idea to make deals like this with God. It doesn’t work that way. But I was feeling desperate. Philip was moving in a few days to start his new job, and after a full week we’d had zero interest. Also other houses at our price point were taking several months to sell during this time of year.
So here I was, making a deal with God.
I was feeling so positive the next day during our open house, but again — lots of good feedback, but no serious interest.
And then the next week, the same thing.
As we neared approached the end of my two week timeline I’d set with God (now just over two weeks on the market), we’d had no serious interest and I was freaking out. Philip had already moved to start his job, and I’d call him every night in a complete spiral.
That Sunday, I did a personal fast (abstaining from eating or drinking for 2 meals). Tomorrow was the last day of my two week deal, and it suddenly hit me. I was going about this all wrong. I was going through the motions of praying, attending the temple, etc, but I wasn’t actually relying on God. I was demanding my own timeline, not giving into His timing and trusting that He was in control and would take care of us. He had given us this opportunity to move and He wouldn’t abandon us.
That night I called Philip and I told him we just needed to move forward with faith. We needed to pick a move date and start putting everything into place.
We scheduled our move for two weeks from that date, and we trusted that God would take care of us and help us sell the house before we left. And if not, it would all work out.
I went into Monday feeling so calm and peaceful, knowing that even though our house hadn’t sold in two weeks, it would sell and we’d be fine.
That weekend Philip was back in town for a couple of days. On Friday night, we got a call from our realtor that an offer had come in! We met with her Saturday morning before the open house to go through it. It was a lower offer than we’d hoped for, but she felt confident that we could negotiate up a bit.
During our open house that afternoon, a family came through, found out there was an offer on the table already, and immediately began working up a second offer!
Of course they didn’t know how much the original offer was for, so to stay competitive they offered full asking price. I was floored.
Here was our miracle.
Less than three weeks on the market, and only 6 days longer than my two week deal I’d made with God, He brought us the right family and an incredible offer.
You can only imagine the prayers of gratitude I offered that weekend. I learned a lot about myself and faith during those two weeks, and although I feel so grateful that we saw this miracle in only three weeks, I can honestly say I would have been willing to wait longer if necessary because I learned that God is in control and I can rely on His timing.
The next few weeks were a complete whirlwind with paperwork, packers, movers, meltdowns from exhaustion, saying goodbye to friends, and securing a rental property in Texas until our new home is done.
We also unexpected lost Philip’s mom during this transition. She had been suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s for nearly the last decade, and last year she was moved to a memory care facility. It had been a pretty rapid decline over the last few months, and after a fall and a resulting broken hip, she passed in early February. We were heartbroken to lose her, but were grateful she didn’t have to suffer any longer.
We moved to Texas the first week in February, stayed in a hotel for two nights, and then flew to Utah for the weekend for the funeral.
Our plan was to get to Texas early enough to tour the boys’ new school and go to church so the boys could hopefully meet some new friends before they started their first day at the new school. But because of the funeral, we were gone that weekend and didn’t return until the following Monday.
But again, a tender mercy. Philip met a family at church when he was living out there for a few weeks on his own, and the mom reached out to me on Instagram. She arranged a playdate for us the day after we moved to Texas and got together her 3rd grade son and a few other 3rd graders so my boys could meet some kids in their classes before they started school the following week.
We also were able to tour their new school during the school day, and when we walked into B’s classroom, all the kids cheered, saying “a new kid!!” B was so taken aback by this, but it made him feel so welcomed and excited to come the next week.
Since then it’s been little mini miracle after mini miracle. The boys have loved their new school and have made instant friends, our new neighborhood is beautiful and quiet, we live right next to a big, fun park, our new church is so inviting and wonderful and full of young families, Philip loves his new job, and we all just feel really, really happy.
I guess the bottom line is, change is scary. The unknown is scary. But with a little faith, it all works out.
Bring on the Texas adventure.
I also made a fun little video of our move if you’re interested in watching!