We’re Moving, Again!
Yes, we’re crazy and yes, we’re moving right before baby boy arrives. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months to say the least. But in our heart of hearts we know we’d be happiest back in Oregon. There was a lot of factors that went into our decision and we thought long and hard about everything we wanted for our lives as we enter this new chapter (with baby #2). We made a pros and cons list, we thought about how we might feel differently if we lived in a different neighborhood in Los Angeles, we thought about all the things we didn’t like about Oregon and why we moved here in the first place. We are not trying to move again for a very long time, so this decision was a BIG DEAL and very emotional. We are so happy with our decision and cannot wait to get settled back in Oregon. I’m sharing more on what ultimately swayed us to move back below.
I think many of you have guessed, I haven’t been that happy here in LA. It’s been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I actually experienced real depression for the first time in my life (more on that later). I’m a very reflective, self-healing, get-to-the-root-of-the-problem kind of person. I was really trying to figure out what was going on – was it the pregnancy, was it work, was it the move, – what was I so unhappy with that was making me feel so hopeless, sad, and miserable. I’m not fully over these feelings yet, but my mental state is a lot better than it was 2 months ago. I started talking to Mike about everything and I confessed, I wasn’t happy in LA. I didn’t even want to go there because we just moved and maybe it was hormones talking. Mike’s initial reaction was panic and stress. We started to discuss what was SO different from life in Oregon to life in LA that I was feeling this way. I asked myself, what if we were settled in our home, what if we didn’t live in this neighborhood, what if I wasn’t pregnant, what if it wasn’t so hot, would I still be feeling all these feelings. We weighed the pros and cons of possibly moving to another area in LA or moving back to Oregon. Once we started really talking about what it was we were missing and what we wanted out of life for our family, Mike was completely on board and started having similar feelings. Ultimately, when it came down to it, we felt more at home in Oregon. We felt our family would do best in a slower pace of life, where there’s ease and simplicity. It took us living here for 7+ months to realize how good we had it in Oregon, lol.
Okay, so we knew we wanted to move back to Oregon. Now what? We didn’t want to make any rash decisions, plus there was a lot of logistics keeping us in LA until at least the end of our lease in March, so we sat on our feelings for a while. Things tend to move super fast with us (me, specifically), so next thing you know the ball started rolling and I can officially confirm we’re moving back to Oregon in 4 weeks.
I’m excited to get back to our life in Oregon. We’re moving back to the same general area we lived in before – with all our familiar favorites: grocery stores, coffee shops, nail salon, hair salon, family, friends, and restaurants. I’m excited to get back to our favorite breakfast spots where they know our order by heart. I’m excited to stop into our local grocery store for fresh baked bread and greetings from our checkout friends. I’m excited to pop into downtown Portland for photoshoots and our favorite coffee shops. I’m excited to be able to drive across town to see family in the middle of the week. I’m excited to pop into the Zoo during the week without being worried about traffic. I’m excited to go to 5 different pumpkin patches on real farms in the fall. I’m excited to have it all within arms reach. The close proximity to everything was something we definitely took for granted in Oregon. You can have breakfast in a quaint neighborhood, head to the pumpkin patch at the farm, and then go to lunch in downtown Portland all in an afternoon. It’s all at your fingertips. And with 5 months of 100 degree heat, I’m actually happy to welcome the rain, lol.
At the end of the day, we have no regrets moving here. Rather, I think it’s been extremely eye-opening and the greatest learning experience of my life. I’ve learned things about myself I never knew and it has helped me figure out what is MOST important to me and my family. It’s opened my eyes to what I want out of life, even when I thought I knew. When Mike and I set out to start a family, we were very intentional. We wanted to raise our kids at home together, we wanted to live a very easy life, where we could spend as much time together making memories and making the everyday beautiful. We had this… but as I took on more as a mom and business owner, I thought I wanted more or that the grass was greener elsewhere. I also think a year at-home during quarantine had a larger impact on me than I realized at the time. This detour is all a part of our journey and I’m excited to continue to see how life unfolds for us. Baby boy arrives in the next couple of months and we’re so relieved to get settled in a place we see ourselves for years to come.
While I don’t want to be super negative, I know many of you are going to want to know specifics about the differences between LA and Oregon and what really swayed us. Again, we feel in our heart of hearts Oregon suits our family best for many reasons, but here are a few stand-out factors that were the icing on the cake for our family.
One of the most obvious things that stands out to me about LA is there’s no ease. Nothing comes easy here. If we lived in a more suburban neighborhood, do I think there would have been a bit more ease, sure. But in general, the lifestyle here is just SO different then what we were used to. And yes, we knew that coming here. But it’s one of those things you don’t know until you actually experience it. Mike and I both grew up in the Bay Area, we know the commutator life, the congestion, the fast pace, etc. But, it’s very different here. I haven’t even been able to make a hair appt. You call a salon and they tell you to call the stylist personally. You do that and they never get back to you. Going to the grocery store is a hassle (I dread it), picking up takeout has to be strategic, planning your weekends have to be based around traffic.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m pregnant or if it’s something I’m just learning about myself as I’ve gotten older, but ever since I’ve been here, I’ve craved comfort. And there’s nothing about LA that says comfort. You don’t get that feeling when you go to your favorite coffee shop or your local grocery store. People don’t say hi, remember your face, or make it comforting. It’s not a friendly atmosphere. Something that’s also very LA (with some neighborhoods being an exception) – you can live in the nicest neighborhoods and just 5 minutes away, you’re in a whole different country. It just doesn’t bring comfort or that neighborly vibe. My doctor’s appointments have been so transactional – nothing really comforting. Harper’s doctor’s checkup for school was in a prison cell.
When you research kid-friendly things to do in Los Angeles or The Valley, lists and ideas pop up on Google. But, until you live here and have something to compare it to, you don’t realize, LA is actually not very kid-friendly. We live a lifestyle where we can go and do things during the week instead of the weekends (to help beat the crowds). Since everything is so spread out here and with the crazy traffic, you can’t go anywhere in the middle of the week unless you want it to be an all day excursion where you sit in traffic for most of the day. Yes, there’s the zoo, Universal Studios, the train at Griffith Park, or Disneyland, but good luck getting there during the week. You look up splash pads and there’s 1 close by.
I thought there were a lot more plant-based options here, but after 7 months, I’m realizing I WAS WRONG. Yes, LA has great food, but that’s in LA, not the Valley. You have to go to West Hollywood and Venice for all the plant-based goodness. Other than a few spots in LA, we haven’t been impressed with the food here. This is coming from a family that is plant-based, so for those of you who live here and love the restaurants, don’t come for me, lol. The food hasn’t been great and the plant-based options are limited. We’re big on hanging out at favorite coffee shops, bakeries, or going out to dinner during the weekdays. We haven’t been able to find any go-to’s yet where we don’t have to drive 40 minutes.