I can’t believe my last update was in June! SO SO MUCH has happened. Let me attempt to remember everything. Lol.
We left our beloved Oregon in August. It was extremely bittersweet. We knew what we were giving up when we left but we also knew what we were gaining. Plus what many people don’t realize or understand is we came to Utah because God asked us to. We didn’t necessarily want to go. There was no clear path and it didn’t make any sense. Like at all. But that familiar spiritual feeling we get when its time to move came stronger than ever so away we went.
The day before we were supposed to drive the 12 hours to Utah, my back went out. I was incapacitated. I didn’t know exactly how I would be able to drive let alone help pack or load a vehicle. Also on this day, we received an offer on our beach house! After having two sales fall through, we had arranged to make it a long term rental while we tried to get a vacation rental permit from the county. Did we think this sale would also fall through? Yes, yes we did. We finalized our countered offer at 10pm the night before we left. It was bananas.
After receiving lots of help from my in-laws and many pain killers later, we made it to Utah. Gordon drove his truck and hauled a large trailer of beach house furniture. I took the SUV with all the kids, the dog, a car top carrier and smaller trailer with all our gym equipment. It was quite the caravan to behold, but we somehow made it to Utah in one day. We actually had friends from Forest Grove leaving for Utah to visit some family the same day, so we were all on the road together! It made the trip much more bearable.
We stayed at an airbnb property about 10 minutes away from our new house and had a great time enjoying the last few weeks of summer. We went to many parks, took the dog on many walks, tried to familiarize ourselves with new roads, got school supplies, did our final walk through and moved into the house on the first day of school!
The days leading up to us closing on the house were some of the most stressful days I’ve ever experienced. Our beach house was under contract but would close in September, two weeks too late. How would we qualify for two home mortgages with just one income? Our mortgage broker and our financial advisor somehow worked their magic and we signed the paperwork. When I say this was a miracle, I truly do mean it. There were a number of times where I thought we weren’t going to be able to close on the house as planned. SO many things had to fall into place and looking back, we can see God pulling all the strings to ensure we got in as planned. It was a rocky road and one I never want to go down again. But huzzah! It all worked out and we love this house. The first two months of us living here, Gordon or I would exclaim “I love this house!” It’s been a dream and perfect for our family.
We closed on the beach house just after Labor Day and have been so relieved to have that off our plate. We always wanted to sell, but didn’t think it was going to be possible with the housing market tanking and the stupid county freezing all vacation rental permits. It was a huge blessing to be able to sell that house and turn the page on our time in Oregon. And we are basically done with ever wanting an income property again. HARD PASS.
Since being in Utah, my kids have been doing great. The elementary school Blake and Eddie attend is the best one in the county, which was a fun thing to realize AFTER I enrolled them. Blake’s teacher is actually Brooke’s Young Women’s advisor at church, which is a fun crossover! Porter is at a great preschool and daycare. He goes every weekday but Wednesday. Sometimes we doesn’t want to go, but once we get him there, he thrives! And he just got a new preschool teacher which happens to be the daughter of one of the few friends I have here. Lol. Brooke is getting straight A’s at school and sometimes has a bad attitude about certain teachers, but for the most part is doing well. She has started getting excited about driving (gulp) and is looking for different and creative ways to earn money. Currently she sells her clothes online and uses her proceeds to buy more clothes. She’s actually really good at it. Am I surprised? No I am not.
The middle boys played soccer in the Fall-Blake and Eddie both did well. Blake’s team got along so well that they decided to try indoor soccer in the winter, which they are terrible at. Lol! They are still learning, but it’s hard to learn when you’re playing competitive teams. Blake absolutely wants to join a competitive league in the spring and I do think we will let him try out…if he gets chosen for a team, then we will decide if we want to bite the bullet. Eddie is switching his focus and likes soccer but wants to try new sports. We actually might put him in gymnastics because he has freakishly good upper body strength.
Gordon’s job is great and we are so grateful he has such flexibility. Also, we are seeing more clearly just how beneficial previously hard or negative experiences with other careers are paying off in this career. The relationships he’s made and the bridges he has kept intact have turned into great stepping stones for opportunities for PPG. (PPG= Priority Protection Group, which is his own company that he works on occasionally in addition to his salaried position at Bedrock.) 2023 was a whirlwind of change but we are excited for what 2024 will bring. We are so positive and excited as we look forward.
I continue to work on Brash + Co with my friend and neighbor Claudia. As we were counting down the new year, we hit 50,000 followers on Instagram. It was our goal for the year to hit 50k, but it seemed impossible. Somehow, our stats continue to climb. Again, we feel like God is pulling some strings for us to grow and get in front of a bunch of eyeballs even though we still don’t really know what we are doing (lol). It’s by no means a full-time gig and its split between the two of us, so we are very happily working away bit by bit. We are hoping to earn a little extra spending money with this side gig…maybe take our families back to Hawaii or something. But honestly, that won’t happen for a few more years. We are earning pennies. Ha! But it’s sure fun to share our mom wisdom online.
I’m still nursing my back back to 100% and some days are better than others, but I’m still trying to get to 100% mobility so I can get back to lifting like I used to. I am still taking Crouton on walks, lifting light weights, doing my Peloton bike rides and doing random Peloton barre or yoga classes. I think I need to see a chiropractor or maybe a physical therapist. I have gotten this pillow to help with my neck issues and it has helped immensely. The first week took an adjustment, but now I will become one of those people who pack their pillows for vacation.
While I still feel like I don’t know why we moved to Utah, I feel a sense of peace and stability here. Heading into 2024, I have so much hope. Hope for what? I don’t really know that either. Ha! But I just know I have so much gratitude for the hard year we had and for the ways God so obviously blessed us. Thank you, 2023. Here we come, 2024.