Why We’re Moving Back to Oregon

First, a little history about why we moved south: In the late summer of ’07, we were in Medford, praying for employment. Ricky had begun his journey into the world of small home business in web design, but his skills were still developing, and Southern Oregon wasn’t the premier spot to gain steady clientele (or a 9-5 job) at the time. So we just prayed for another means of provision… …Some kind of provision. Three weeks went by, & we got a call from Uncle Frank & Aunt Sherry, who (in short) said they were looking for someone in web development / design for their company. They offered to fly us down as a family, for what turned out to be Ricky’s week-long ‘interview’. After that week, he was offered a well paying job & we decided to move…2100 miles away, to Texas. To cut back on moving expenses, we chose to sell most of our belongings and replenish upon arrival. It was a very difficult transition to a new part of the country…starting over, in every sense. Finding new potential friends, a good mom’s group, a great school / friends for Braylon, the right church family to connect with, new musicians to make music with, and new belongings to replenish our bare home with…was a challenge.

I prayed every day those first few months, for the strength I needed to move forward, having comfort and some faith in the fact that it was God & God alone, who provided us this new opportunity. I was very thankful, but for some reason, nervous. During those first 30-45 days, anxiety showed up in my body as intestinal pain / frequent bathroom trips. But those symptoms died down not long after finding our 1st church home, Calvary Austin, and once I met a fellow musician & started a band with him in October ’07 (Illuminate). We were gettin’ used to this place. Feeling like we belonged & were welcome.

Living in the Austin area became a pretty cool experience, once we started getting connected. We’ve loved how funky & artistic and free the “Live Music Capitol of the World” is. Hutto is so cute & fun & tight-knit, too. We had a great time getting to know Ricky’s extended family those first two years. We are both still so grateful for the opportunities they offered to Ricky, which helped him to grow in his web design field. He learned so much there, as well as on his own, at home. He’s such a self-motivated, disciplined, entrepreneurial spirit! And I could not be prouder of him & how he’s grown. I LOVE that guy!!

The kiddos & I met some great friends along the way, in this Lone Star State.  Braylon’s closest or most constant friends have been Chaney (Mr’s Paul’s son), & Brady both of whom are white & went to Kindergarten w/him while we lived on Kothman… Abigail who is Hispanic and Andra who is half-black (from our lil neighborhood on Orgain)….and finally, Austin, half-white, part Mexican & I think part Italian, has been a great friend for him since moving to our current place in the Riverwalk subdivision, on Altamont. Angel has loved getting to know other lil ones her age & has gotten much 1-on-1, learning time at Parent’s Day Out held at Hutto Baptist. Her current class has just 4 other 3 yr. olds. And what an amazing atmosphere she has there every Tues. & Thurs., 9-2. Her favorite friends are teachers, Ms. Darah & Shelly, and her girlfriend, Dru.

I’ve been blessed with some amazing friendships (many of whom happen to be Bray’s friends’ moms ~ like Candy, who I will cherish in my heart). Marlena & Evie will also be greatly missed: two super-supportive sisters in Christ who have really been there for me & I for them. I know that these women & I will keep in contact. We’ve been together through too much to let proximity affect us much. Our common thread of Jesus as our Lord and Savior will keep us connected {but I’m sure Facebook will help a little too :). } As far as the question we’ve been asked at church (The Bridge Community) and by others “Why are we moving back to Oregon?”…the answer is pretty simple. But leave it to me to complicate it! How ’bout ya have a seat & go warm up your coffee….

Ok, you back? Good. When we moved here to Texas, we knew in our hearts that it would only be for a season. Didn’t know its duration, but knew it wouldn’t be long. It was a time of lesson learning and skill learning and ‘dependence-on-God-when-all-seems-foreign-learning’. Not that we’ve learned it all, by no means! But we sure have come a long way, as a family. We’ve grown closer to God as well, which accounts for so much peace and greater faith than we ever had before our move here. For this we are so grateful.

We tried to find a way to move back to Oregon last August, but it simply didn’t work out…and didn’t seem right. Things are just … different now.  I don’t know how to explain it.  Many factors were considered.

The owners of our rental home are foreclosing on it, and it’s going up for sale around the time our lease is technically up. We’d have to move anyway. We both agreed that it’s time we return to spend the next season of our lives with family and old friends up there ~ people who’ve made a combined tremendous impact on us.  A few months ago, Ricky’s mom & Bob decided to make the move from Oregon to Texas, 4-5 hrs away from us, primarily to be close to and take care of Gam, Ricky’s Grandmother. Being in the same state as us has been as added bonus for both of us, but it’s not often we’ve gotten to drive that distance for visits or vice versa. Realistically, we’ve not been able to visit that often with so much driving distance between. In a perfect world, we’d love to be within a half-hr’s drive from all of our relatives. How cool would that be. We had that special close-distance with Janis and Bob in southern Oregon for a good season too (9/2003- 9/2007), & it was sure a blessing. We loved being close to them & will always be close with them via phone & email, if not face to face. But my take on this is, right now, they know they have been called my God to move to Texas to care for Gam (and I’m sure to reconnect w/her sisters too). It made my heart leap with joy to hear that today was the 1st Mother’s Day Janis was able to spend with her mother in 21 years. How special!! I am just overjoyed for her. And for Gam to be able to spend this time with her & Bob – the sweetheart and help that he is as well. We know that even though we’ve always said & agreed that this would be just a season for us here in TX, it’ll be tough movin’ back to OR, with them still living here. They are so supportive and understanding about our situation. It blows me away. Janis has expressed many times that she’ll eventually want to move back to the NW too, especially if all her kiddos are there! So that is definitely comforting to know that will probably happen down the road. Until then, it’ll have to be a season of talking and texting frequently! I have no doubt that we will all remain close. Our love for each other has grown so deep. I will always be thankful for the support they’ve given us in word & deed, and hope we’ve been as much a blessing to them.

We will miss seeing Ricky’s Dad & Jan as well. Our trips to Arp were super special… unforgettable. When we heard that Rick Sr. was looking into job replacement up in Oregon, we got so excited! We had no idea we were both looking into moving back at the same time.  Jan’s kids & grandkids live near there, so I’m praying that an opportunity arises for them to relocate as well.

What’s in Portland, Oregon? We know that God is opening doors right now for us to move…to a place of lush beauty (1.5 hr-drive or less to from the beach, snow-capped mountains, the Gorge & Multnomah Falls) & familiarity, where other family members, new & old, will be. Where a few good friends will pick up where we left off.

Ricky and I will be able to have dates at places we used to go when were first dating, back in ’95-’97, nearly 15 years ago. We have so many good memories and so many crazy stories to show & tell our kiddos about our life together before they arrived! I can’t wait.

Cousins will be able to play & get to know each other face to face, all over again. Li’l Riley can learn about Braylon & Angel, up close, and them about Riley. He’s already like 16 mo.s old & I hate that we’ve missed so much already. Jeremy & Jamie have expressed excitement about us moving back & we are thrilled to be able to spend some quality time with them – BBQ’ing & hangin’ out, just gettin’ to know them again. I’ve heard Jeremy has changed a lot since bein’ a married man, and Jamie is a joy & a wonderful family-oriented, loving wifey. Bray will have a great time with his other cuz, Tyler, too – I just know it.

We’ve been talkin’ with Kim & Clint about meetin half-way in Seattle to get together face to face with them, too. Seven hrs north-east of Portland isn’t toooo far to drive to see them. We’ve treasured a closeness with them when we all used to live in Oregon together & their kids were little, but that’s lacked for several years. It seems we’ve grown close in some ways, as we’re learning many of the same things & staying in touch often. Of course, I can’t wait to be closer to my parents who, besides my God and my hubby, have been my greatest support. Just hanging out with them gives me peace. My mom’s open-door policy & pure love, and my Dad’s big huge bear-hugs are things that are irreplaceable. They fill me up for just so long, before I feel my emotional tummy growling for them again. My sister, Charity, her awesome husband, Schearon & their girls live just 8 houses down from my mom & dad. Braylon used to be so close to her daughters, but honestly they’ve grown apart in the last year or two, which makes me very sad. Angel will be able to really begin a fun, playful relationship with those sweet girls, Jamae (8) and Gabby (6); she was just 8 mo.s old when we moved away. I’ve missed my sister & her family terribly & cannot wait to hang out with her again – maybe taking exercise classes, eating salads, getting pedicures, having family picnics & scrap-booking sessions…I’ll get to attend her art shows and she, my music shows whenever I get back in a band. Who knows – but whatever we do, it won’t have to be over the phone, webcam or Facebook any longer.

We’ll all be able to go to family get-togethers again with my Aunt & Uncle, Barb & Dave, and my 3 cousins (& their fams) from Vancouver, WA. – Charity & I were so close to Ben, Jon & Andrew, growin’ up, and still love them & their families so much.  On the other side, my Dad’s brother Steve, Deb (& their kids, Rocky & Sami) have been missed as well. BBQ’s, potlucks and holidays w/our extended fam have always been an uplifting, relaxing, good ‘ol time, & we leave feeling satisfied, full of joy & good food.

As far as my man, Ricky has learned some tough things about friendship while here. He’s reached out to many, but a great friend, who is available, is hard to find. One very important thing he has to look forward to, is spending time again with his one main friend in the NW, Jason. Jason & Ricky have become like brothers and have grown together through SoOoOoO much & have been there for each other since about 2000. In the last year, they’ve done a ton of texting, but really…how deep can the roots of real friendship grow through text? So they’re both super excited to get to hang out again, play or watch basketball, grill dinners, we’ll double-date with Jason’s new wifey, Jessica, possibly share a small home-group w/them (from their church home, Athey Creek Fellowship)…who knows!  We were able to be in their wedding not long ago ~ this is a couple that I believe will continue to be a constant in our lives – one that we really look forward to spending time with, growing in friendship & godliness together.

Ricky’s been preparing, but not in the least bit stressing. He’ll either do what he’s been doing since Sept ‘o9 (working on various freelance projects -some small and some long-term – from wherever there’s internet access: home office…Starbucks…Barnes & Noble, etc.) & simply gain clientele /jobs in the less saturated metropolis of Portland…or, if God has a different idea, Ricky’s open to working in his design field for a company who will provide a decent salary & benefits for the family. I’m so proud of his unyielding faith and trust in a God who always has and always will provide for us. We’re open to either avenue, and in no way are we scared or worried that things will not pan out once we move. If our God is for us, who can be against us?!  Not once has he let us down.

I’ve got 3-4 friends from before our move south, that I am looking forward to reconnecting with too.

I’ll be a stay-at-home-mom for a while, but spending most of my free time volunteering to help raise funds/awareness about an issue that I have felt increasingly passionate about since last July, child trafficking. I’m going to start with getting involved in a Portland Walk, which will hopefully happen Oct 2nd. I may even be blessed with the opportunity to become the Portland Ambassador for SCTNow. After the Walk, I might teach again, at a Gymboree Play & Music. My last day there was May 8th. It’s been so fun, energetic (I’ve lost 1 lbs!) & interesting working with 0-5 yr olds and their care-givers. I get to help them spend quality time together, playing, growing socially & behaviorally, learning about expression through vocabulary & my favorite…art!! The Gymboree P&M owner in Portland has already requested I come in to guest-teach a few classes and who knows what may transpire after that! Maybe a part-time teaching opportunity. I also plan on forming a band – writing songs & singing at small venues again (like coffee shops, benefits and other forms of outreach). I can’t go long without writing and singing. I’ll die!

Good things are on the horizon. Although there will be friends and family very much missed here in TX, I just have to look at it like, this chapter of living in Austin, has been a true learning experience -one that we can turn back to & re-visit (in our minds as well as physically – as funds allow), & one that we will remember with smiles on our faces.  A new chapter is yet to begin.

Alright, it’s like 1am so I’m gonna finally wrap this novel up in saying this last part:  The Lord has assured me, personally that I need to feel NO guilt about this move. That was so comforting, as it seems there are loose ends & who really knows if we fulfilled our calling here. But He’s spoken to me a word ~ that He has “new beginnings for us there” … to look at it as not a step back, but a step forward. And that His love for us always has been and always will be unconditional. We have so much peace and our faith is increasing. So with all of that said,

Here’s To The Future…

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2 thoughts on “Why We’re Moving Back to Oregon

  1. Cathy May 13, 2010 / 9:41 pm

    So…I had to come over here and get the scoop! Yay!!! Maybe we can reconnect too.:) Salem and P-town are not very far apart. Let me know when you’re really back!

  2. Marlena May 14, 2010 / 7:27 am

    Chelan, what a beautiful blog! I am SO excited for you guys and ALL that God has for you in Oregon. I’m so proud of you and Ricky…for waiting on the Lord in this, and for making such a “big move” to follow in His direction! I will always treasure our sweet friendship. I trust that God will keep us connected through the blessed world wide web! I see a trip to Oregon in our future!!

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