by Mrs. Smith on March 1, 2021

Rip it off like a bandaid version:
The punchline is, we’re basically *moving to Oregon. 

*but we’re keeping our home here and I have every intention of bringing the kids back here at least once a year if not twice and Hawaii will ALWAYS be home to my soul. So. I have a hard time actually spitting out that word up there that starts with “m” and ends with lots of cardboard boxes to play with.

My normal “will you just get to the point already” version:

As I opened my blog here with the intent to write an update, I saw the picture in the background of my homepage.

(the one over there —->)

and I thought,

“Where do you start when nothing is the same?”

But between that thought and this blank post waiting for me to put words out there — I had this picture on my mind.

May be an image of one or more people, nature and tree

Something about those two pictures together helped me see something the same.

Not *everything* has changed.

Mr Smith and I are still walking where our hearts lead us.

That feeling when we got off the plane on Oahu — when we drove around the island and up onto the BYUH campus — when the rain came down in torrents, making that little rental car feel like a submarine — when I met the wives of the faculty in his department — when I put my toes in the sand and felt the mountains in the distance hold me in their strength…

That’s the same feeling I get when I see moss-covered branches playing peekaboo with sunbeams — when the pine trees tower over my tiny little self — when mist clings to the earth like those clouds who are just too tired to get all the way up in the sky — when my 1yo niece lights up and says hi when she sees me, and blows kisses when I leave…

There’s a feeling of home that is exactly the same even if everything else is different,
and although this was an inside-out, backwards kind of change, here we are.

I had one friend who saw this move coming before I even left Hawaii, and probably several others will not be surprised by it, but honest to goodness, it wasn’t a pre-meditated thing. I wasn’t scoping out Oregon with the intent to move there. It started out as a house swap, pure and simple.

That feeling of being one with nature there that I love so much about Hawaii — it was there in the very first moment we drove into town, and it never let up. And after I’d been there a whole 2 weeks, my mommy-heart knew the kids really needed to be there for the whole school year. Coming home at Christmas really wasn’t right.

And then…

I’ve been waiting for words, but it’s probably time to just get it out there.

We (almost accidentally) found a home here and (not so accidentally) bought it. Tada.

Who does that?!

We do, I guess.

God help our children roll with it.

It’s perfect, though. If it wasn’t exactly what I’ve had simmering in the back of my mind as an ideal set-up, we wouldn’t have done it.

Here’s how it happened:

When I was planning how to stay in the area from Christmas to June, Mr Smith and I went and met a family who was interested in the prospect. They lived in a really beautiful area, out in the country a bit, and when we got home that night, Mr Smith thought, “Hmm. I wonder if there’s anything for sale out there…”

He set some really specific search parameters. I thought for sure there was no way there would be anything like that on the market. We were being pretty picky + homes in that area are either a million dollars or they sell REALLY quickly.

But boom.
There it was. It was like, wait. Why is this home still on the market? FOR REALS, stuff in this area NEVER just sits there for a month. Stuff will often be in escrow the day it gets listed. Is there something wrong with it?

We went to see it the next day, and no.
There really wasn’t anything wrong with it.

It’s older-ish and quirky in places, but so are we. The sellers were unique/eccentric, but I can relate to that. (Are we not all quite different in our own ways, really?)

The location, the home itself, the everything — it was all just… right. It even came with a giant outside dog for my kids who’ve been desperately wanting a canine bigger than my yappy little sidekick.

I will tell you it was his idea: he’s the one that hit search on redfin.
He will tell you it was my idea: I wanted to extend the house swap. I had toyed around with the idea of buying something out there. (But not enough to actually look. Because, ha, no, why would I ever actually move? Pshhhhh, nooooooo, that’s not happening, not really, not unless we found The Perfect Spot, and that would never happen, surely…)

So. We’re both right. 😉 It was a joint decision.

After this school year, Mr Smith will no longer be working for BYUH.
The kids are making new friends and adjusting to the idea of not living where we’ve been the last ten years.

And my sister and I are still kind of in shock that we are actually going to be living without a great big old ocean in between us.

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