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Frequently Asked Life Questions That I Figured It Was Time To Share

We are making a massive life change this summer by moving to Oregon and the closer we get to it the harder it is. We’ve talked about moving to Portland for 12 years and we found what we hope is the great property in the great location to raise our kids, grow our family, and groom our fantasy alpacas. But there is still a “are we doing the right thing feeling”, frequently and honestly I don’t think it’s going to go away for a while. And I think that’s ok. Maybe this isn’t the right move, and if so we’ll cross that rainy bridge when we get to it. Every time we go up to visit we feel like it’s the solid RIGHT decision and we are SO excited. The property is just magical, but our family is extremely content living in Lake Arrowhead and there are just so many unknowns about the move back to Oregon, back to a city. So every time I have doubts I try to remind myself of why we are doing this and then I look at the photos of the farm and conjure up how we feel there. I remind myself of the school, our community, my lifelong friends and siblings, and not to mention the amazing food, incredible thrift and vintage shopping, and trees – OH THE TREES. I want all of these things for my family, my husband but mostly my kids. But moving to another state – and even more – moving HOME is harder than I thought it would be. So here are all the questions I get from friends and family and figured that those of you who are following closely likely are wondering the same things. Here goes.

When Are You Moving To Oregon?

We are moving mid August, as school starts September 1st. We have rented a house near the farm and school and in a few weeks, we are going up to move in so that when we arrive in August we can settle in and have a couple weeks of acclimating to the neighborhood. We’ll set up playdates in the neighborhood with kids of similar ages, and play a lot on the school playground so they feel familiar with it.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how to design a quiet, neural yet exciting living room

Are You Selling The Mountain House?

Heck no. We won’t sell here until we have to – you’ll have to pry it from my dead hands. We plan on coming back for Christmas and summers, which keeps us connected to this magical place as well as our friends in LA that I’m going to miss SO VERY MUCH. Of course anything can happen, but as of now, we have zero plans to sell and intend on making many more years of memories here. Besides… this is our backup plan.

Are You Going To Rent Out The Mountain House To Others?

Oh, this has been quite the debate. Obviously, neither of us love the idea of strangers trashing our beautiful, happy place and doing weird things in our bed. But I also love the idea of it being enjoyed and not sit empty! The short-term rental market up here is pretty crazy and we know that we could rent it out for a decent amount when it would be sitting empty for months. As of now, the plan is to have it privately managed, extremely vetted, by a neighbor and renting out for commercial and photo shoots. It won’t be on Airbnb (for now) and can hopefully be a great family retreat for multiple families when we aren’t here. Stay tuned on how to book. Also at any point, if it doesn’t work then we can pivot. There are no definites here 🙂

first post vaxxed team happy hour!

What Will Happen With The Business?

Everything will run as-is. I have this awesome team that is all LA-based (for now) so I’m sure there will be some navigating some shoots and schedules and I’m not naive enough to think that there won’t be challenges. But we have been working remotely for a year so we know that the business can do that, I just also want to make sure everyone thrives in this work lifestyle without me. I will likely fly down every 6 weeks to touch base with my team and we’ll likely have more team retreats for brainstorming, bonding/morale and to stay connected. Right now I come to LA every other week for shoots or Mal/Veronica or Sara will come up here. So there will be some navigating of production for the smaller partnerships. Obviously, all the farm stuff has to be taken up there, so as of now Brian will produce social (then sending to Mal to edit and post) and we’ll hire freelance photographers when needed. I hope to have more team lunches and just want to make sure that everyone is still happy and having fun. More team lunches and happy hours please!!! Remember that I’m an enneagram 7 so my goal isn’t to build the business to be big, but to make sure that everyone is having fun, thriving, living their best life. Me too. 🙂

So What Are You Nervous About?

I’m worried about my boundaries. Living in the country has been a firm boundary that has slowed me down DRAMATICALLY and despite the year being what it was (terrifying, devastating, full of fear and anger), I’m a far better version of myself up here. I’m a better mom, a better wife, far more present and healthier. So yah, I’m nervous about going back to old patterns, over-scheduling myself, feeling the pull of social obligations and work events. Emily Bowser, who has worked with me for 7 years told me once in exacerbated confidence that she thinks I’m an introvert that extroverts very well. She is also an enneagram expert and highly in tune with personality types. the fact that I don’t leave my house more than twice a month (besides nature of course) does tell me that maybe I’m not the extrovert that I thought I was. But is this just my pandemic personality? What will I be like up there? I’m more self-aware of my patterns now and I have new tools so I think it will be different. Also, Portland is just a different speed than LA. As many of you know living in a large city like LA there is this innate drive and ambition and need to be busy that I don’t think is present in more mid-size cities. I’m excited for a slower speed of life (but fine maybe a bit faster than mountain speed). But we’ll see.

Are The Kids Excited To Move??

You bet. They are still in the ages that if WE are happy, excited, and together they are so excited. This year has been so bonding for us, but I also know that they are VERY excited for friends again. We’ve been playing outside with more neighborhood kids and they CRAVE it, you can sense the desperation. We already have them enrolled in soccer to meet more kids and families and they are so excited to be with all their cousins (both family and my best friend’s kids). I actually don’t worry about them at all. Of course, we’ve been homeschooling so I’m curious if they will need to do a bit of catching up academically, but I’m sure it will be fine.

Why Is It Hard To Move Home?

Moving “home” is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. There is a lot of familiarity but also a lot of fears. Fear of all the expectations (of life and others of me), of triggering memories, of not being the version of me that I was 25 years ago and how people will react to that. Fear of having to deal with some emotional stuff I’ve successfully avoided for two decades. Fear of losing boundaries, giving away too much access, and not staying focused on my priorities. It’s like Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama, only I will CERTAINLY not be romanced by my small town abusive high school boyfriend, don’t worry. I think it’s mostly about my own issues – rectifying past me and figuring out who “future me” is. I could go on and on, but you get it. For those of us who purposefully left where they were raised to live in larger cities and pursue our careers/relationships/families, there is this feeling of going “back” that is fraught, while being so grateful that we even have this opportunity and flexibility in life.

But When Do You Think You’ll Be Done With The Renovation??

We have a GREAT opportunity at a big print feature in a magazine that will shoot next May, for an August 2022 reveal. So we are hoping to be in the house by March in time to decorate for the reveals. If it were up to us (Anne, Brian, and I) we could do it, but as you all know between permitting, booking subs, and shipping delays there is a lot not in my control. So we are scrambling to ensure that we are ready on the design side when things are needed.

What Stage Of The Renovation Process Are You In Now?

We have demo’d and are currently in a holding pattern. We have all our “plans” done – meaning, engineering, structural, plumbing, electrical, foundation, etc. ARCIFORM is EXTREMELY on it, professional, and organized. It’s been as stress-free as it possibly can be when doing a renovation of this size. I feel so supported and just so grateful. We submitted for permits a few weeks ago and are now just waiting for the green light. The house has been demo’d as you’ve seen and as soon as we get approved we will blast into framing, rough plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and all the stuff inside the walls. So it’s our job to make sure we have everything on-site when the walls can finally get closed and everything can be put on top – i.e. cabinets, tile, flooring, light fixtures, etc. We are working on elevations for every room, tile selections, and just the details that will make it special. We are this close to finishing our window package (we have some custom windows I’m VERY excited about all via Sierra Pacific) and we are also almost done with our entire lighting and plumbing orders – I can’t WAIT to show you. My head still hurts sometimes but so much less because of having Anne, Stephyn, Adam, Jamie, and Marty working behind the scenes to execute and support. Also when I do get stressed I remind myself that while what I do is intellectually stressful, renovating is an absolute privilege.

It’s all super exciting, with so much to look forward to and I feel so lucky to be in the position. The unknowns of this move will all work themselves out or not. And everything will be ok, or maybe it won’t for a while because maybe we have a lot to learn and the Universe wants to challenge us in new ways. WHO KNOWS. It’s another chapter of life and I’m personally very, VERY excited to see what happens in these next pages….. Hopefully it will be a super boring novel about friendship and community and family, with a heavy action scene of thrifting. So much drama in the years of thrifting yet to come. xx


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69 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Life Questions That I Figured It Was Time To Share

  1. I really needed this post! I’ve been living in rented for 7 years after a disaster house move/miscarriage/divorce. I’m with a new partner and we’ve been given an eviction notice.
    It will be cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent again, but man this market sucks. We have a chance at a good place and I can tell myself rationally that it’s a good idea, but I’ve had major panic attacks and there’s so much baggage (mentally and literally).
    We are in a privileged position to be able to buy and that’s never far from my mind, but hearing you say how you feel has helped today.
    I’m really looking forward to your honestly about your move, and of course the design!
    It’s wrong, but I have already started Pinterest boards for the house I don’t own…

    1. Victorie, that’s hard. It’s great tgat you acknowledge your privilege, yet don’t begrudge yourself the fun invokved in this whole process, too. Cramming Pinterest boards is part of the fun. Wallow in your dreams … you might just manifest your home! 😊

      1. Yeah it’s so great that she’s honoring her privilege because you know what it really sucks for people out there in America that are actually going to work every day and they aren’t living on the government dime or aren’t sitting around crying thinking I’m so screwed because I am this color or this race or this non gender. Whatever. America is generally done with this narrative – thinkint that another race is putting them down. Quit all the Woke stuff on this amazing blog and let’s all get back to work in America. Maga

        1. Wow. Black people are and have been literally killed by state-sanctioned violence for decades and centuries. And trust me, POC are not sitting around crying about it. They’ve been organizing, starting extremely successful businesses and non-profits, and helping their community and others as well for that whole time. I guess if you aren’t friends with any POC or work with them you might not know that but C’mon. America is not “Over this narrative.” In fact, the work is just beginning. And there are plenty of white people like me who have been literally working on this since childhood (Klu Klux Klan came in costume and circled the stage where my parents were performing at a Race Unity day they and others organized, I literally have memories sitting on the pavement next to a KKK member in full regalia as they were basically threatening my parents). Helping others and working against injustice and state-sponsored violence is not a fad, not the media’s doing, it is literally about being a decent fucking human being and recognizing that there is literally no difference between us, we are all human beings so be one and stand up for your fellow humans. Give love and that is what you will receive. If you don’t like that most of us reading the blog believe that than I’m sure you can find a blog run by people whose grandparents and great-grandparents went to lynchings in the town square with a picnic basket for their Sunday fun.

        2. Do you even know any people who are on the other side of this issue? I do and they aren’t at all how you caricature them. I live in Missisippi – right in the middle of Trump-country – and there are a lot of black people here with legitimate grievances about what has been done to them and previous generations of their families. They want justice for the past, but they also get up and go to work everyday, pay their taxes every year, participate in their communities, and are very friendly to white people (like me). Your word bile is vile. And the actual real people I know (and not some fear-based cartoon fantasy like what you typed out) do very good things that do make America better – unlike Trump who whines about our political process working how it’s supposed to rather than actual injustices, doesn’t go to work everyday he just lives off the hard work of others, doesn’t pay his taxes (and neither do his allegedly great businesses that have gone bankrupt so many times), isn’t an integral part of his community (or even his family that he has traded out twice for a new mistress, oops, family), and he can barely be friendly to people who are just like him (i.e., how he burned and backstabbed all the silly Republicans who helped him get some power temporarily) much less those who are different from him. Individuals in minorities are everything Trump and maga-people claim to be, but they don’t have to trumpet it because it’s real and they live it everyday so people like me can see for themselves. If you have to loudly brag about how great you are, like Trump and his supporters, it’s because no one can see for themselves what isn’t really there.

    2. that sounds so challenging, and i’m so glad you have a partner but being evicted is so tough. Navigating i’m sure must be scary. I’m so not a worrier so i’m trying to calm the rumination with literally looking at photos of the farm, and picturing my kids riding bikes with neighborhood kids. Oh and antique/thrift shopping (something we simply can’t do up here). good luck.xx

      1. Emily and crew, Are you going to take down this Jo Maga comment? Seems inconsistent with your (and most of your readers) values.

        1. I hope they leave it up. That woman was so obviously rude and ignorant, it’s good to have the curtain pulled back to show the truth of Trump and the maga movement, lest we forget.

    3. Oof, I’m trying to buy right now and the market is even more insane than it used to be. Like, I have a masters degree and a great job and I’m seeing 450 sf studios I can’t afford. My rent isn’t exactly cheap either! I feel your pain, and really hope everything works out with the place you’re going for. But don’t beat yourself up if you have to rent for a bit longer either – a lot of people who bought their four bedroom houses back in 2010 keep telling me that renting is a “waste of money” and in the same breath complain about their $20k roof replacement, so I just try to put all that nonsense out of my mind rather than worrying about where others think I “should” be. (See also: “I was on my second house by the time I was your age!” Great, and rent was probably equivalent to my current monthly grocery bill.) And I started my “someday” home Pinterest board years ago, so you’re not alone there either 🙂

  2. aaaagggh. i find this all so interesting! the human aspect. i also like following right now because we are also in the middle of moving after 13 years and there’s so much “are we doing the right thing?” (well, at least from me. my husband is all for it) even though we have been talking about moving for years. i love my life where we currently are and hope we love it at the new place. this was very encouraging to read. thank you.

    1. One thing that helps me is to keep in mind that there might not be a “right” thing. Both choices could very easily turn out well, but we tend to view choices as binary with opposite outcomes (even if just subconsciously) and put a lot of pressure on ourselves to choose the right thing! I moved across the country by myself to a state I’d never even visited, and I literally had to just not think about it – it was the only way I’d make it happen without driving myself crazy worrying about things I couldn’t control.

  3. Thanks for speaking so openly about this. I’m in a similar boat, and it means so much to see a favorite blog articulate the emotions I wrangle with daily. I fantasize about moving home, but it seems so so hard!

  4. Thanks for this insight, you are always making an honest effort to connect with us loyal reader and that’s what keeps us coming back! This is such a huge transition for your entire family, and because of that, how can you not question all its layers? I’ve found when there are big life changes for me it helps to put it in the perspective of “this season of my life”. My girls are 8 and 9, and we moved into our current dream/forever home back in 2016 – we moved from the city to rural(ish), renovated a ton which was an amazing experience for me (husband hated it, lol/sorry!), man we committed with some deep ROOTS. Just five years later and I’m already quietly asking “maybe something different is coming down the pipeline?”. All those huge decisions that felt SO PERMANENT and so monumental just five years ago are already morphing into possibly, maybe?, could we turn this into something else…..??? Who knows. And that’s ok too! Anyways, you’ve got a stellar and exciting plan right in front of you, so enjoy this season of your amazing life.

    1. ah, thanks. I don’t know if if was you or another reader who brought ‘season of life’ into my vocabulary, but I say it all the time. It sounds so cheesy but its so true. Same with ‘the obstacles are actually part of the journey’ – that gives me a lot of comfort during all the unknowns and challenges. Its like – this is actually supposed to happen for me to learn something. thanks for sharing. xx

      1. “This is actually supposed to happen for me to learn something”. So true, although sometimes (for me, anyway) the trick is figuring out what am I supposed to be learning here? hahaha…

    2. I read Kathleen Turner’s autobiography recently and one of her quotes has wormed its way into my brain like a really catchy but unexpectedly deep song of summer: “the object of our lives is the growth of our souls.” I like the idea that mistakes & struggle are integral to growth (while, hopefully, minimizing damage to others along the way).

  5. Love this post, Emily – thanks for opening up and also for being honest about your expectations. I’m excited to see what’s to come!

  6. After a decade in LA, I moved home to Oregon in 2016 and you bet it was scary. Different circumstances as I was single and 28, but i felt all that uncertainty and worry and “is this the right step???” It was the best step. Oregon is magical and I spent every day of that first year back feeling like I was living the dream. So many good things fell into place that never could have happened in LA. I think it’s going to be amazing for you guys! I’m so excited for the Oregon-based content and I hope I even bump into you sometime! I’ve been a reader since before Charlie & this is my favorite part of your journey yet. Thanks for bringing us along! 🙂

    1. Ah, thanks Ashley. that does make me feel better. I KNOW that we are ready to leave LA, so the question is was moving back home (or should we have moved to the willammete valley to be a little distanced). Not going to lie that the weather is scaring us (we have 300 days of sun + all four gorgeous seasons in lake arrowhead). So hearing from Socal folks that they weren’t super depressed is great. And yes I hope to have some in-person community service/rummage sale events and i’d love to meet some PDX (or oregon) readers. xx

      1. I think the weather will not be so bad! And you have the mountain house for a sun escape, as well as Hawaii! A great place to go during dreary rainy months. It seems people either love or hate the rain in the northwest. I love it- everything is so green and fresh! And the summers are glorious (speaking as one who lived in Midwest since birth but moved to Seattle 21 years ago- I love the climate here.)

      2. I actually moved to Hood River this fall terrified of the grayness (coming from Florida). But it really hasn’t been bad at all and you’re right – Oregon is MAGICAL!

  7. All the very very best you, EH & family! And to the EHD crew! Here’s to the next chapter & adventures to come.

  8. Emily, kudos for being real, again.
    These are all unknowns and that’s all part of excitement… not knowing.
    The pandemic gas brpught you so many knowings: you need nature, your extended family (even thpugh that comes with somd challenges), your immediate family has grown together and knitted into a wonderful organism of kinship tgat will stay with you all forever.
    I hear the struggle of nit wanting to be in the rat race again. It’s not healthy. Soooo, choose. Choose mindfully about each and every yes and no you say. Take time to think, then answer, based on the knowings about you and your family that the last couple of years have gifted you.
    Remember, even if you win the rat race, that still makes you a rat!🐀
    Choose nature, peace and calm.

    While I’m not moving state or even moving house, I’m now on my own in my ol’ girl house. Finally. 🤗
    The options are limitless. I have an expensive house in an amazing location, but very little money.
    So, anything I do needs to be done on a shoestring, with loads of DIY thrown in.
    I have alrwady painted the outside of my house, myself, all but the very highest parts, because painters charge sooo much in Australia. It was hard, but it was worth it!
    I have plans for z deck, but if the quotes are too high, it’ll be a ‘love job’ with a kind of busy-bee of famiky and friends and everythkng crossed that we can do a good job.
    I’d love an IKEA kitchen, but…$. So, I’m going to paing the cupboards and switch things around with dome new fittings and bits bobs. I’m currently shopping for a new/2nd hand kitchen work benchy thing to go in tge huge fireplace next to the stove. So. Many. Options.
    I’m in the middle of reinstating a study into the 2nnd bedroom (guest room is a separate building in the backyard) and it’s tricky, so I’m continuously shuffling furniture, rugs, and shelving around.
    100 year old windows need TLC and painting, but I can’t do this again. It’s going to be $$ for a professional, but there are some things I have to pass on… but it’s winter here and tge windows are sodden, so…I wait.
    Fun, drama, money-pit, excitement … it’s all part of the honour and joy of owning a home.
    I’m immensely grateful!

      1. Ah, thanks Rusty. A couple years ago I had this thought that has helped guide me – growing up I would watch movies about the stock market and the 80’s rat race that surrounded it and thought – who would ever choose that for themselves? That life, driven by money/success and fame is NOT what I want and clearly not fulfilling. Cut to 2018 an i’m breaking down about workload and pressure and i’m like ‘digital media is the new rat race – its LITERALLY this chase amongst so many others towards something we even don’t know – but we are all just doing it, no one ever wins, and even if you feel like you are ‘winning’ the reward is success, not fulfillment. it became hard to enjoy time with family and have meaningful connections because i had to be on 14 platforms at the same time. Not to negate the success that the hustle has created, or sound ungrateful for the ease that it can bring which I am very very grateful for (and i’m proud of my past self that did hustle so much) but this shift is truly existential so I don’t think i’m going back on the wheel or rejoining the race. I know i’ll have busier times than the last year obviously, but yes hoping and feeling confidant that it can be managed in a healthy way. xx

        1. You’ve grown so ,uch and discovered your authentic adult self through a pandemic!
          Relish your new knowings about what makes your soul sing, the things that really matter … and never let go. Create dpace between offers and so-called opportunities, so you can choose indgully.
          You’ve got this. 😊 xx

        2. Oh, wow, “the reward is success not fulfillment” is very insightful. I’m going to be repeating that!

    1. Rusty – Happy to read your ex moved out and the house is all yours! Although it’s frustrating not to have money to do some renovations, it will be a great challenge to do a lot yourself. A few cosmetic changes can make such a difference. Plus it’s your house now. You can do anything you want.

      1. Thank you 🥰 xx
        It’s so calm and peaceful, although it feels quite strange too.
        I’m fruffling around doing bits n bobs and I’m very creative so it’ll come together over time.
        Tiny, little, elephant steps. 🐘
        Every single day, I’m immensely grateful for my little cottage and the beautiful garden.🤗

        1. Yay! I’ve been wondering how it all shook out, but didn’t want to ask in case things were still in an awkward or painful phase. I’m so happy for you about this, and I know the chemo been going well too! Oh, I hope you have a great winter!

  9. After nearly 13 years in LA, I moved back to Portland in 2013. My husband was the primary income, and his job was transferred to Portland. I was a SAHM to a toddler and pregnant with #2, and we had maybe 3 days to decide. I didn’t want to leave, but we needed job security. A month later, we left. It was fast and not at all what I thought I wanted. I had major ego hang-ups about coming back, feeling like I didn’t “make it.” I had to reconcile some emotional baggage from when I left, too, and that’s been probably really healthy (yay therapy!). We ended up living in the same area I grew up in because we prioritized access to family. It took me a couple of years to get over my issues and settle into the Portland version of my adult self. Sometimes things are weird, like running into random high school hook-ups at my kids swim lessons. I don’t love that. But, overall, this is above and beyond the best thing for our family, and we have access to so many opportunities we wouldn’t have had we stayed, including the support to have a third child. I kind of refer to the move as the best thing that’s ever happened to me that I never wanted to happen.

    Anyway, I wanted to share in hopes of validating some of your thinking, and also to share a vantage point from 8 years post-LA move. Sending you all the good vibes:)

    1. Thank you Becky. It truly does help with the socal perspective. and yes to running into people. we won’t be in lake oswego, but its still a small city. and yes to therapy 🙂

  10. I love that you said you want your team to be happy and feel fulfilled! I totally noticed that before you said anything! I am with you on that too. I grew up in Portland and love it! I loved the people and nature! I think you have been lead to this through your journey. And it is so brave of you to take this jump with all the fears. Plus moving stuff is such a pain and a lot of work that would stop most people. Way to go girl!!

  11. Been in the same boat a few times in the past. Moved my family back to Hawaii where I grew up after living away on the mainland for more than 15 years. I will admit that during the first year, I kept thinking did we make the right decision? Was it a mistake to move closer to family? Many of the reasons I left in the first place were made crystal clear again. However, in the long run, it was the best decision for everyone, but it only lasted 10 years. Once my kids were in college, it was time to move again. Now 6 years later, I am in a better place, in a great relationship and have my dream home.

  12. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the farm will be a happy medium of the LA and the mountain house. Especially being so close to the city. I live on 10 acres 24 miles from downtown Fort Worth, so not as close, but similar. It’s the BEST happy medium! I think the location change plus the new habits y’all have from the mountain house will make the farm work even better for your fam. And, speaking from experience, if you do get some farm animals (alpacas, chickens, mini donks, whatever) they kind of force you to take more time at home.
    Can’t wait to see the reno start moving in real-life!

  13. Emily, thank you for being so vulnerable. A few years ago my family moved across our city from an urban area to a rural-type area (not unlike your new farmhouse – in the city but feels completely secluded and had land). It was my husband’s dream and my nightmare. He had been miserable in the city, never felt that he could go outside, hated all the noise, could never really rest. There was no part of me that wanted a farm, but as a way to help him find peace we got animals and worked the land and did the whole thing. I remember within a week I could see a totally different man sitting in front of me. Our kids, who had been happy in the city, transformed into wild and brave creatures I had never met.
    While we were there there was not a moment I enjoyed the animals or the farm – but I had never been happier. My family was at peace. The relationships in that place were life giving. It was the best move for our whole family and that was more than enough.
    The rain isn’t going away in Portland (well, maybe it will. Climate change has made the PNW here a lot sunnier). The challenges of home aren’t going away. But it sounds like your family will thrive and that will likely be more than enough.
    I’m super excited for you.

      1. Right? I want to know too 🙂 And yes we think we’ve found both. – brian wants suburbs and to recreate his childhood in an older neighborhood of Sacramento and I want rural to recreate my childhood and we both want a community that we feel welcomed in. So this truly does seem like the least risk 🙂 Y’all are making me feel better. thank you 🙂

    1. What a wonderful outcome!
      I love the description of your kids “wild and brave creatures.”😊

  14. The mountain house is not a bad backup plan to have! Enjoy the entire thing!

  15. Moved ‘home’ 8 years ago. Definitely not always perfect but best decision we ever made. Especially to have our kids around family.
    The actual day of leaving is hard, but once you get there, it will be great.
    And give yourself permission to change, and know that you may move on from some of the friendships you left behind, and that’s ok 🙂

  16. Emily…reading this post was amazing. Thanks for sharing. I’m so excited for you/your family and your next adventure/chapter. It sounds amazing. Glad you aren’t selling your stunning mountain home. I found it interesting that you said you are more of an introvert than the extrovert you thought you were and that you typically only go out a couple times a month as of late. I was talking to my sister about this the other day and saying a similar thing about myself. I feel that I am more of an introvert than the extrovert I was before. I like being home…nothing wrong with that. Who knows…maybe after the pandemic lifts completely you and I will bounce back to extrovert. Or, maybe we won’t because we love the cozy peaceful sense of home and what that means. XO Elizabeth

    1. It’s interesting … the MBTI personality data shows that we start easing away from our ‘true type’ of 21 yrs old and in the opposite direction to a degree.
      I’ve noticed this too. The rather overt extrovert in me enjoys more time on my own, being still, being mindful.
      I’m still energised by people, but find so much rejuvenation through time alone.

  17. You have a great outlook/perspective/attitude so I am sure it will all be great!

  18. Big changes are scary, but so exciting! It’s funny, I was born and raised in Portland and really want to move away in a few years. For me, it’s mainly because of the weather. I’ve always struggled here. I lived on Maui for awhile and dream of moving back. I’m currently pregnant with my second boy and we hope that in 3 years or so when our first is ready to start school we can make the move happen. I miss the sunshine and water, and I love the idea of the pace of life there. We would miss family, but it also feels like a fun adventure, while at the same time feeling terrifying! Welcome home and I look forward to the inspirational envy I will feel looking at the finished renovation 🙂

  19. I don’t remember you mentioning this in one of your posts, but is the farm property on septic or are you connected to city sewer? We’re on septic, but want to connect to city, but we have to figure out what the cost would be. I feel like my family’s move is similar to yours. We lived in LA for many years. Once we sold our house we moved to the Sierra Nevada mountains with my mom for awhile. We loved being in the mountains, but there weren’t a lot of kids or opportunities to do things, so we ended up moving to the Portland area. I love it here for my kids. I have a hard time with the weather, but the beauty of this area makes me happy.

  20. LOVE Sierra Pacific windows and doors! We replace half of the house windows and doors 2 years ago. Just sent our 2nd and final order yesterday. Great customer service and quality.
    Good luck,

  21. You’re my favorite blogger, hands down. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and letting us in on how you’re processing it all. I find you so very relatable, real and also very impressive. Thanks, Em!

  22. During the pandemic I moved my single 35 y/o female self, and my solo business, across the country from Maine to Montana. It was a heart move, it made no sense on paper but was 100% right intuitively, and it’s was SO scary. I doubted it every step of the way, but I learned the key to propelling big life change: ONE STEP AT A TIME.

    Order the boxes, pack the things in the boxes, throw the things out, sell the car, get the PO Box, say hello to your neighbors, go to the grocery store, fill the new home with love day by day, book the flights to make work feasible, etc etc. whatever your version of this is.. the small decisions move you forward. I thought it was some big emotional transformation, but As I focused on the small steps one at a time, I realized that I was building something much much bigger in a kind of mundane way. And I was creating a trusting relationship with myself and my intuition, embarking on an imperfect journey. You don’t get anywhere without moving your feet one step at a time, I learned. After ten years of being so afraid of this, so afraid of messing up and loosing a business I spent 10 years creating, and all this questions, I just let the fear go and it turns out there was ground there to hold me. I’m all good, there’s abundance, and there will be for you too!

    PS if you need a free lance photographer in PNW, I’m your gal

  23. Good luck!! I remember feeling this mix of feelings when we made a major life move two years ago. Now I feel like it was absolutely the right decision.

  24. Curious if you’re experiencing a spike in building materials or any shortages up there. I’m seeing residential projects around me in Texas postponed. Just wondering since you’re closer to Canada if wood materials are more accessible.

    1. It’s probably marginally better, but the lumber prices are still way out of control here! But since lumber was pretty plentiful/popular to begin with, maybe the change hasn’t been as severe as other places? It’s definitely taken a toll on a lot of my projects, and based on what I hear from contractors, that’s been happening across the board.

      1. @emma where r u located in CA…BC? I’m in NS 🙂 My DH works in commercial construction & certain building materials including lumber are $$$$$ RN Thanks for sharing 🙂 Xx

  25. Very much appreciate how much you are sharing here and am tossing this out in case it helps. I was considering moving from SoCal to Seattle and was worried about seasonal depression. I’d been traveling there for work every 2 weeks for several years and had experienced the short, gray days and the effects on my colleagues. A woman from Hawaii told me that she was pretty miserable before she learned that she needed to spend 1 hour outside every day. Even when it’s drizzling. Doesn’t have to be all at once but has to be between sunrise and sunset so a 20 min walk at lunch, 10 min outdoor “coffee breaks” all add up. I ended up staying here but found the practice of spending bits of time outside to be a good thing anywhere!

  26. I grew up in the Eugene area and after graduation from the U of O I married and moved to LA for 16 years. Then more than 30 years ago we moved back to Oregon (not the Eugene area). My son was 9 when we moved back to Oregon and I’ve never regretted it for a minute, although massive changes were ahead of us. Sometimes I wonder if I would have returned if I’d known what was ahead of me – probably!

  27. I moved back home to be closer to family after living interstate for 15 years and it’s easier and harder than you think. Some of the things you have been nostalgic for you find might no longer be true and it’s not just you but the place that has changed. Although on other days it feels like it hasn’t changed at all. On the upside, you have old established friendships and deeply established patterns of relationships but these can also be the downside. Can you see how this goes?
    Bottom line for me was, it wasn’t always easy finding my place again but I did settle back in and never regretted the decision. It felt like the right thing.
    Having said that, it’s now been nine years and I feel I could be ready for another move! I’ll always come back here because I’m rooted here, but there’s nothing to stop leaving and coming back, especially after reconnecting.

    One other question: What does Brian think and how will he continue his acting up there? Or is it close enough it doesn’t matter?

  28. Your honest writing and perspective on moving home is resonating with me right now, as we just wrote an offer on a fixer on Kauai, sold our house in LA, packed our worldly goods into a container, got our dogs certified, and moved. In 2 months! I look forward to learning from you.

  29. Well, I’ve been watching you and following you from Portland for ages. I have a super small-time remodeling biz of my own (though, totally offline during COVID). Welcome home! I can’t wait to see the new digs.

  30. I moved to PDX a couple of years ago from a lifetime in the Bay Area (sorry, not trying to gentrify but I cannot ever afford to live well where I grew up). I think it will be less rainy than you anticipate, but then again I did not move from the LA area. You and I are the exact same age. I had never moved away from home and have also struggled with the feeling of identity, the future me vs who I have always been and what it means for the first time to not know everything about a place. (strange feeling for me) What I will say is the quality of life here compared to CA is AWESOME! You will be happy I think with the balance between country and city, it is definitely a slower pace of life than the large CA cities and there’s WAY WAY more kindness here. Life is good. I know how you feel and I think you are making the right move, but you’re right, it is ok to feel all the feelings but push through toward what you think is the right thing to do. All the best, I am enjoying following this journey.

  31. That room looks so happy already, the LIGHT. So excited for this next chapter for you all.

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