It got me to thinking about how much our lives have changed living away from everyone we know and love for the past 6 years.
We met at the end of January 2002 and had our first date on 02/02/02.
He was told by the company he worked for that he had to move to Arizona to the corporate office or lose his job. This was October 2002. We had been dating for 8 months.
He called me at work to tell me this news. I was upset by the news but also by the fact that he told me over the phone while I was working. He said we needed to talk to which I replied that there was nothing to talk about. I wasn't about to pick up my life and move to away from everything I knew and loved. Plus I had a daughter, 7 years old at that time. Long distance relationship was also out of the question for me.
I cried at my desk at work and told my two good friends in the office about it to which they replied: Well he just won't go! To which I replied: Sounds to me like he's serious about going.
Later that night, we talked...a lot. I had made the decision to go with him under the condition that we make a commitment to each other in marriage being that I had a young daughter and would not risk picking up both of our lives for him to have it end when we move (it happens).
We planned a wedding, I left a job and working for a company that I really loved, sold my condo & bought our house in AZ all by June of 2003. I had refused to move sooner than that because my daughter was having her first communion that April and I wanted her to finish 2nd grade at her school before we moved which gave us the summer to get settled in AZ.
Here's a picture of the room we were married in...I loved it! It was so beautiful.
There were velvet benches and seats around the room for the guests. The chairs were for our parents and grandparents.
The 3 of us boarded the plane with my 3 cats in tow. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've never lived anywhere else.
My daughter made friends easily. For me & him, it was much harder. I made every effort to know my neighbors (something that can be hard to do in AZ, believe it or not, because you hardly ever see anyone out of front of their houses).
I worked part time for the first time in my adult life. Until we had my youngest girl.
I have been a stay at home mom since she was born almost 4 years ago.
I will tell you that one of the hardest things was being in the hospital with my newborn baby with no visitors. I was happy to have the new baby but so sad that my mom wasn't there to see her like she was with my first one.
But this is our life. We don't like being so far away from everyone but this is the way it is now.
Last June, we went to Vegas to renew our wedding vows with Elvis. This was the first time since we were married that we were away from the kids (his dad and stepmom flew in to stay with the kids while we were gone).
It was so much fun to do that I'm thinking we might have to do that every 5 years!
Elvis walked me down the isle! He was so much fun! He sang 3 of my favorite Elvis songs, too.
6 years has taken us far away from our family longer than I'd like.
It has given us a very small handful of new but great friends.
It has given us another beautiful daughter to love and made my oldest a big sister (something I will never be)
It has taken us places we might not have ever seen (the Grand Canyon, Sedona) and given us the opportunity to take road trips together to California & Nevada that we wouldn't have done otherwise.
It has introduced us to creatures that we have learned to live with but don't necessarily like!
In 6 years we have seen death touch our family 6 times, one that effects our lives daily.
It has taught us that like it or not, we only have each other to count on.
It has shown me that even when we don't like each other, we still love each other.