19 February 2007

funny thing is

the biggest life changes sort of fall into your lap when you aren't paying any attention at all. we didn't go looking for this and would never (never, not in a hundred years) have predicted a move out to the great northwest, but here we are. moving to portland, oregon in less than a month.

ward's been offered a job with laika and it was just too good of a thing to pass up. after flying out in january to check out the scene, and then after so much talking and crying and more talking and thinking and talking and praying and more crying and thinking and then some arguments (very thinly disguised as 'discussions') and thinking, more praying and even more talking, we decided to say yes. yes, we'll take it. yes, we'll move our family to the opposite end of the country. yes, we'll take on a monumental life change. yes, yes, yes.

I am bracing myself for an adventure like no other.

I can't even talk about how much I'm going to miss everyone and every last little thing here. really, I can't. because my eyes start to water and the waves, they start to swell and break and I just can't keep doing that. I'll never get anything done. despite the deep sadness, there's excitement-- a kind of excitement completely new to me. it bubbles right beneath the surface and whispers things like 'fresh start' and 'brand new city' and talks about reuniting with the loveliest old friends and the meeting of so many fantastic new and wonderful friends. it speaks (with conviction) about the spectacular nature of the unknown. I like that voice, I am trying very hard to pay close attention to what she says because that's how I'll be finding my way through this. when I am listening closely to her voice, I can almost hear the crack of the world breaking open for us.

all these conflicting feelings make for days with staccato-like ebb and flow. that is to say, I am giddy one moment and weepy the next. the best I can do is ride the waves and greet the change with the widest, most open arms I can manage. a close friend of mine recently told me about a saying she'd seen somewhere-- leap and a net will appear.

I thank her for sharing that because well, we're leaping. and we're hoping and praying for a net to appear. but then, that's what life is all about.

(first taste of portland is here)


  1. I've no doubt the net will appear.

    I'm so excited for you! And I look forward to reading and seeing all about the new adventures.

  2. Oh my dear, dear fabulous Andrea,

    Thank goodness for life's adventures - they do indeed make us alive! I am so very excited for you and only wish that I resided in the town of your destiny. Although I am so very close you will see me in no time. I feel privileged to have been part of the journey so far and intend to be rock solid/sitting on your shoulder for this next chapter of your lovely lives.


  3. Congratulations--it all sounds very exciting. I love, love that scary fresh new start idea, especially since I've lived in one place most of my life. (I wondered what was up when all those Portland shots started showing up in my contacts' photos on flickr...)

  4. I can testify to those nets. We've encountered a bazillion in our new city so far. God is good ALL THE TIME!

    I'm very thankful for your tough decisions and I think you all will thrive with Ward and his new great job! Praise God! I'll miss our thoughts of getting together becoming less of a reality :)
    We'll just have to follow you out there in 5 years or so :)

  5. wow andrea! that is amazing! i know it is hard to move across the country, but i also know you will be blessed.

  6. I'm excited for this new life for you and your family. Portland seems like a really good fit for you guys, I see great things for your family there, truly my dear.
    Very excited to see all the beauty you show us in your new digs. xo

  7. it sounds like a wonderful adventure and i hope it turns out to be the most wonderful move you've ever made

  8. wow, andrea...i'm all nervous and excited for you. what an amazing adventure. way to go for saying yes...

  9. Wow. Having moved cross-country earlier this year (also for husband's fantastic job), I must say, it's a weird experience. But it'll be a great experience. You'll get to experience a new place through the lens of your camera and the eyes of your children. Best of luck!

  10. Oh sweet Andrea,

    I absolutely understand that feeling of loss...friends, family, comfort, roots. I've been there and it's so, so hard. But I *do* think Portland will be a great fit for you. And I feel so happy and lucky to be on the receiving end for your wonderful family! We'll all work together to be your net.


  11. that is huge news! scary but exciting at the same time. we left family behind in texas 10 years ago when we moved to oregon, and it's still sometimes hard to be so far away. but we love this city and know it is the right place for our little family. i'd LOVE to meet you in person when you get here -- we'll have to plan a get together with you, me and meegan. she is such a dear friend and the perfect person to introduce you to portland, since she is one of those rare natives. any idea what part of town you will be living in??

  12. Hey you, I wish you the best. You are so wonderful to be game for this adventure with Ward. I know ya'll will be just fine. It was scary when I made my leap from Atlanta to New York, but you know what? It's been the best source of growth I've experienced in a long while...and there were plenty of nets to catch me I've found out.

    Please do keep your blog going (and I hope Ward does, too), because it's the best way to keep in touch with you guys despite all the moving!

  13. we're here for you! call anytime. xo

  14. I know its hard work, and hard emotionally, but I can't wait till you get out here. We are already planning an outing:) (we found a cool beer and pizza movie theatre that we have to try!)

  15. Andrea,

    we were thinking of moving out there too, though it wouldn't be for another year or two. just thinking about it that far off in the future was scary, so I can imagine the whirlwind of emotion you must be in right now. I think you'll settle in perfectly, though. Can't wait to see more photos of the new home-sweet-home and the adventures that come with it!

  16. This is just for you...


    it's gonna be great!

  17. Andrea

    Am one of your readers (and admirers) from Portland....wishing you all the best in your move here and hoping that you love it as much as we do...it really is a fantastic city!
    If you need any info or ideas, please feel free to email, I'd be happy to help!
    Jen Stenson

  18. so exciting! and i can only imagine your state at the moment - but so thrilled you will only be a few hours away! there's lots of nets by the ocean!

  19. best wishes Andrea! portland will be lucky to have you :)

  20. Wow -- what a decision! I moved around a bit as a child, and I know it can be scary, but if it's the right situation, it can be so good. You picked a great city from what I hear though. Best of luck to you.

  21. i've been reading your blog for quite some time now, but never commented. this time i just had to. my husband is in the same field as your husband and we've had many, many a discussion about the possiblity of packing up all we know here and moving across country, possibly even oregon, and it scares me to death. my whole family is here. i don't know what i would do if i couldn't hop in the car and go see my mother every weekend. but i know if he gets an offer that is impossible to pass up, we too will have to make that journey. he's trying so hard to avoid it. but with the industry (at least here in dallas) being so flaky, it's seems inevitable.

    several of his buddies are at laika. from what we here it is a wonderful place to live and a great place to work and we would definitely consider it.

    good luck in portland and maybe we will one day meet in oregon!

    that girl from texas

  22. i'm standing right under that net and can't wait for you to land in it already ! :)

    good luck w/ everything.... all i can say is we will be lucky to read about all the adventure! xo

  23. The quote you mentioned was my theme for last year. I must say I took lots of chances and it was an amazing year. I am excited that you are moving. I know that it is scary and yet I am selfishly aware that we will be on the same coast and maybe the possibilities of meeting will be better. Maybe you will end up on a trip to SF and I can show you around. I am simply excited for all of the possibilities!

  24. man oh man...the west coast just got even cooler...

    i have friends that i keep promising to visit in portland...now i have even more people to hook up with out there!

    looking forward to reading/viewing your big adventure, girlie.

    wooHOOOOO! things are happening!

  25. oh, i know this is nerve-wracking, but i am so excited for you! i love portland and i know that you will see so many wonderful things in that city and i can't wait to see if through your eyes. and don't forget to take a road trip up to seattle so i can show you guys all the sights up there as well!

  26. YES! YES! YES!

    Although I'll miss having you guys on this side of the country, I'm glad you're taking a chance on something that will probably turn out to be so wonderful for all of you.

    (Is it weird that the first thing I thought of is that you'll be living in the same city as the Shins? Ay, I'm such a stalker.)

    Anyway, smooches galore and best of luck with this! Don't think this means you won't still be hit up for ATL pizza and miscellaneous coolness recommedations from time to time...


  27. ...it will...it will appear...

    this is so exciting...i've never been to portland but from what i've heard from others it's bursting with the best creative/artistic energy...you'll fit right in...

  28. leap and a net will appear, I love that saying and it is so true.
    faith, courage and action :)
    Hey A I just flickr emailed you, get back to me when you can ;)

  29. oh man, Andrea, It's all going to be so great. Everything will be more than fine. Doors are flying open for you and your fantastic family. Congratulations and I can't wait to see you on the west coast. West-side!

  30. i'm so excited for you, and honestly myself to potentially meet you on the west coast;)
    good luck these next few!!!

  31. Is it weird to say that I will miss you...even though I don't see you regularly? This news is so big and wide - it feels like a hug from a new friend. Kinda awkward and intimidating. And also, kinda awesome. Hooray for all the Hulas and the Seventys.

  32. WELCOME to the west, GH!!! portland is darling and you'll fall in love before you know it. hugs. :)

  33. It sounds wonderful! Portland--yeah! Believe me, leaping into the unknown via a big move like this can be frazzling but fantastic. I wish you all the best as you prepare.

    Beautiful, bright, fun Flickr set!

  34. thanks so much, y'all-- a thousand times over, thank you-- for the encouraging words, all the love. much appreciated on my end. you have no idea. xoxo

    rebecca-- yay for more portland peoples! I look forward to meeting you! we are hoping to find a home to rent in the SE or NE area (and close in). we've sight our sights on a couple of schools in particular and are trying to find a house in one of those districts. no such luck yet but I am hoping, hoping, hoping.

    joy-- can't wait!

    robyn-- look me up if you ever decide to make the move out west. :)

    nessie-- I love it. lovelovelove it. extra special thanks to you, mama. xo

    anonymous (jen)-- thanks so much for the kind words, but also for your email address! I'll be emailing you soon-- always love to get different perspectives on portland. and the more portland peoples I know, the merrier! (in my humble opinion, anyway). :)

    hey, that girl from texas-- at first I thought I knew who you were and then I read you were from dallas, so, no I don't. anyway, doesn't matter--- just wanted to say I know EXACTLY how you feel, right there with you. look me up if you ever make the move out to portland (laika, perhaps?) and we can commiserate over faraway families. and thanks for reading and de-blurking. :)

    kristine-- I would LOOOOVE to meet you! omg, so many excuses (translation: amazing blogger folks) to visit the san francisco area... and I've never been! it'll be one of the first big trips I make once we get settled out there. would love for you to show me around! hooray!

    kathleen-- wish I could of met you while living here on the east coast... always thought we'd make a road trip up to new york and stop in baltimore along the way. oh well. now you just HAVE to come out to the northwest! we can all get together with jon and joy too... how great would that be???

    anatomist-- I've only been to seattle once (years ago) and already know so many people there... can't wait to meet you! yes, you must give us your seattle picks and show us around a bit... I think I need to commission you to make another tee-shirt for ezra... (though you're going to have your hands full soon, I think)... :)

    michelle-- wish I could've met you while living here in the south. dang! you know I'm always good for atlanta picks-- any time! the south is in my blood for good and fifteen years in atlanta should never go to waste. use me, I say! use me. (and oh, I know... the shins... THE SHINS!)

    justine-- I'm on it! expect an email soon. :)

    madness-- west side, baby. WEST SIDE!

    oh joanna-- another person from the south that I'm going to miss getting together with... we just had the lunch that one time... SO UNFAIR! although I'm glad we at least had that. you and perfect ryan need to make a trip out to portland to visit the hulas and the seventys.

    jennifer-- you're out there, right? somewhere? we're eventually going to meet, right? I'm hoping. :)

    dianeinjapan-- yes, you've been through this, right? tell me I'm going to survive it. oh wait, you already did... thank you so much.

  35. Oh man, Portland is wonderful. My sister lives there, and I go there to visit, and man, I'd love to meet you for tea, you gorgeous, inspiring lady! Change is always terrifying. Yet it always bring wondrous things. Good luck and congrats both!

  36. OMG!! you'll be in Portland!!! yay! i go there once a year to teach at Art and Soul in october. we'll have to meet up. super yay!


  37. yep...i'm out 'here'...just a *wee* bit south of portland, i'm afraid...san jose, ca. but YES...would SO dig meeting you. i do roadtrip from time to time and will DEFinately holler at you next time i head through portland on the way to visit my baby brother in washington.


  38. Wow!!! Congratulations on the cool new job and move! I can't wait to read more about it and experience what life is like in Portland through your creative lens. Gonna be a blast, my dear!