Mar 24, 2016

From One Sunshine State to the Other...

West Coast is the best coast, they say. Well, I guess we'll find out if that's true because S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E!!! Team Cote just got orders to move to the great state of CALIFORNIA!


No, you don't need to adjust your eyes. You read that last paragraph correctly. We're moving. To California. THIS JUNE. Cue panic and shock and all of the freak outs.

Have we been keeping a secret? Nope. Was this in our plan for 2016? Not a chance. Were we supposed to move this year? Negative. Are we excited? Welllll...yes and no. Is this the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? YES, DEFINITELY. Here's the skinny on life as of two weeks ago:

Back in January, D got word that he had been selected for a very prestigious list of 60-some top-vectored officers in his career field. Big deal, super proud, he's a rockstar (for real). From this list, a board of important higher-up, big wig-types had the task of placing select officers into spots for 26 different jobs around the world. Long story short, we thought it was a long shot that D was get chosen for a spot. I should stop thinking anything is too crazy for the Air Force because lo and behold, D was selected for a job at a base in Cali and now here we are! Preparing to move to the West Coast for the first time in either of our lives.

To say all of this is blowing my mind would be a serious understatement. In fact, I did lose my marbles the morning D broke the news to me (as one would expect from a hormonal pregnant woman). I'd really washed my hands of the idea that we might even have the slightest chance to be selected for a new job. I know that seems like I don't think much of D and his stellar Air Force performance as an officer, but there were so many other factors involved in selection that I didn't give it a second thought. Probably why I feel so blind-sighted by it all! For the record, D is a bit shocked, too. Also for the record, even though this was totally not in our plan, I'm so darn proud of that man o' mine! He's really the cream of the crop in more ways than one.

Where does that leave us now? Well, for one thing, we've got a house to sell in less than 3 months time. So, that's fun. I'll be 7 months pregnant traveling 3,000 miles cross-country...also SUPER fun. And we get to do all the other typical "moving with the military" appointments and paperwork and pack-outs as with any other move (plus a slurry of doc appointments for yours truly). Needless to say, I'm pooped just thinking of all that we have to do in such a short amount of time. BUT we've done it before and we'll hike up our bootstraps and do it again! If I can move to Europe for 3 years, I can surely handle moving to California, right? RIGHT, YOU GUYS?!

If I could drink wine right now, I'd need ALL of it.

Having an extra layer of stress because our pending bundle of joy isn't ideal, but it's also not the end of the world. I have to keep reminding myself that hundreds of women/families do this each year, so it's not like I'm reinventing the wheel here. It is, however, more than I wanted to handle during this special time in our lives. I'm slowly trying to let go of the romantic ideas of a perfect nursery, seaside delivery, and spending the next year sharing mornings by the ocean with our little beach baby. I hate the abyss of unknown that will be the last few months of my pregnancy. There's only so much we can do from here in Florida, so some important baby-related details will have to wait until we finally make it to Cali. Feeling a bit out of control (and me no likey), but onward we march. 

From the research I've been feverishly doing these last few days, I think I'm really going to like the medical facilities/hospitals in our soon-to-be new home city. I'm thankful that I'll be able to stay with off-base OB care since the base doesn't have that (much like our current base here in Florida). So, that's a bright spot in all of this. Not to mention, the base we'll be moving to is a hop, skip, and jump away from insanely gorgeous destinations like Napa Valley, San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe (yay!). We've always wanted to venture out west and explore, so the travel opportunities that are about to be afforded us are endless and so exciting! Even with a little babe in tow! Can you tell I'm clinging to all the little silver-linings I can find? I am. And rightly so. This is a major life change among some already major life changes happening for us this year, so we need all the little bright spots we can get. Is Tuck going with us? That's an issue still to be determined. He's an old fart that doesn't do well with change and I'm a pregnant fart that is slightly neurotic and we're worried how those two will mesh so far from our lifelines (re: my parents). So, we have some pros and cons to weigh out, but it's likely he'll be back with his grandma and grandpa. That KILLS me, but he'll be a much happier (and less neglected) pup living with them.

Truth be told, we are excited. I'll be even more excited once we start making big check marks on our "to-do" list, but excited just the same. If you have any California or moving cross-country tips for us, please, we're all ears! And if you have any prayers or words of encouragement to spare, we could use a few (or a lot) of those as well. While our world seems totally upside down at the moment, we continue to trust in God's plan for our growing family. His plan is always much more wonderful than ours, I just need to get outta my head and get onboard

Cali, here we come!

43 comments:

  1. Congrats!! As a Cali native I love this as someone who was also pregnant at one point I can see why you are stressed. Hope you guys figure it all out and let me be the first to say Welcome to California!!

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    1. Thanks, Marie! It'll be a wild ride, but we're ready for the adventure! :)

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  2. Oh wow girl! JUNE IS SO SOON (I say as I realize "holy crap my wedding is in 10 weeks!") Congrats to your hubby, though, that's awesome that he got selected!

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  3. That is so exciting that he was selected for such a prestigious position! California will be such a fun place for you two to explore with your little babe! :) Are y'all going to be in Northern or Southern Cali? We had a cross country move last June and are doing it again this June, and I agree that's it's no piece of cake! You'll get settled though and will start loving your new home! :)

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  4. Congrats on the new adventure. I feel like a pro at cross country journeys as each of our 6 past duty stations (in the last 15 years) have been East to West and back like a see-saw. We have always moved our stuff ourselves, so I am NO help with packers. The Marine always drives the giant moving truck with a trailer hauling one vehicle and myself driving behind him.

    California is gorgeous, no matter which part you're located. Bummer that you'll be away from Family, but it makes the military friends become family quicker and easier, too. Plus, with a little babe, they'll be TONS of activities to get involved with in the community so you'll gain knowledge of the area pretty fast.

    I have to admit, I'm quite jealous. We've been "stuck" in the midwest longer than we've been anywhere else and I'm ready for a moving adventure again.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! SIX cross-country moves? That's some craziness! But man, if you can do that, I can definitely handle this! We aren't brave enough to do a full-DITY, but you are a PCSing rockstar! We've been far from family the last 5 years, so that's no big change...just wish we could have stayed in FL a little bit longer to enjoy our home. Feels like we JUST bought it and now we're selling it. Sad! Fingers crossed you guys get a fun new assignment soon! Thanks for all the encouragement, girl!!

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  5. Congratulations! My husband and I just moved to CA with the AF and we love it! We're currently driving down CA-1 on our way home from Big Sur. California is beautiful and wonderful. We also made the cross country trip (2,804 miles) with our 3 month old daughter. It can be done. Just take your time and enjoy seeing the beautiful country! You will love California!

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    1. NICE! I can't wait to do a PCH drive! I hear so many nice things about Cali, so that's what keeps us excited about this move. It'll be tough, but also a fun adventure. :) Glad to know it can be done!! Thanks for the encouragement, Mary! Much appreciated!

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  6. I am so excited for you guys!! I am a born and raised west coast girl! :) What an awesome adventure this is going to be for you all.

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    1. Thanks, Jen! We're slowly but surely getting very excited ourselves. An adventure for sure! :)

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  7. Ahh! I'd be FREAKING, but if anyone can do it you guys can :)

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  8. YAY! I'm so proud of D AND you! High five to his career move AND you for your unwavering support with the little gal on the way! :D

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    1. Thanks, Margo! I learned a long time ago not to fight the AF life...so much easier to just keep on truckin'. But I am counting down the years until his retirement and us settling down back in NC...just 12 more YEARS to go! HA! In all seriousness, we're excited to get traveling again. My camera has been neglected for far too long!

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  9. The military has a knack for giving us surprises, huh? Hope you guys LOVE it!

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  10. While I was raised in Utah (and currently still live here) I was born in Cali. It will always hold a special place for me. I love it. I think you will too! (Maybe minus the traffic..)

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  11. If you're heading to San Diego, you should meet Shannon of Aloha Olonas! http://alohaolonas.com/

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    1. We won't be living anywhere near San Diego, but we do hope to visit! Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check her out!

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    2. Hi Casey (and thanks Suki!),
      I'm Shannon and I'm also a military spouse and (new) travel blogger living in California. Should you ever come down to SoCal I'd hope to connect with you. Love your blog and welcome to the West Coast (soon.)

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    3. Hi Shannon! Thank you! I will definitely let you know when we make it down that way! Nice to "meet" you!

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    4. I came here stalk your comments, hoping to find some SoCal bloggers, and it looks like my plan worked :)

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  12. You can do it!!! Just embrace the adventure for what it is! Even if there are a few speed bumps along the way, think about how great the stories will be later :)

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    1. Thanks, Francesca! I agree, we live for great stories...so I'm sure this move will provide some awesome ones!! :)

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  13. How exciting!!! ENjoy the adventure! :)

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  14. Oh my gosh, congratulations girl! I can't even imagine the stress though! Go eat all the chocolate since you can't have wine!!!

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  15. we PCSed from GA to El Paso, TX and here's my tips- 1) make it a road trip!! You will be so exhausted from driving across a whole lotta nothing that you will be much happier if you know you're going to stop somewhere fun (new Orleans, San Antonio, Austin, Tucson, Albuquerque...get exploring!). Plus it's better for you mentally to take a break and stay in a place for a day or so. We drove 1400 miles over 5 days and it saved my sanity. It could've been done in 3 days, but the fun days we planned in New Orleans and Austin were so fun! 2) bring good snacks and drinks (also a gallon of water). Especially when you start driving through Texas there is NOTHING. Plus it's fun to stop at rest stops, eat healthy non gas station food, and take some pictures. 3) get Walkie talkies if you're driving two cars-this was invaluable for us! And bring sunglasses. You'll be driving West into the sun and that desert sun is BRIGHT!

    Good luck! This will be a great adventure!

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    1. Thanks for all the great tips, Shannon! We have 9 days, plus 2 or 3 extra leave days we'll tack on for a total of 11 or 12 days to get from Florida to Cali, so we'll be taking it nice and slloowww. We'll be traveling the Northern route so we can stop and visit family in Kansas, so no Texas adventures this time across. :(

      Thankfully, we'll only have 1 car to drive across, so we get to road trip together! Figured it'll be much easier on my pregnant body not to have to drive 5+ hours a day (plus, I HATE driving!). We are so looking forward to seeing all the weird road-trippy stuff and stopping at all sorts of new restaurants along the way. We're totally trying to look at this as a fun adventure instead of an annoying move! Should be interesting to say the least!! I hope our adventure turns out a great as your did. :) :)

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    2. Eh, you're not missing much in Texas, trust me! ;) Unless you just loooove deserts and tumbleweeds. But Arizona and New Mexico-be still my heart! They are incredible states to travel through. So interesting and gorgeous scenery!

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  16. This is so exciting! Congrats to D for a job well done. Any and all moves to me are big. I'm a bit neurotic about it all and moves stress me out quite a bit. Try to relax and lean on your support group the best you can. Stressing won't change anything. Obviously, this is easier said then done. You have your mind focused on the good and that's the best place you can be. I won't worry too much about having the perfect nursery. Those can surprisingly be pieced together extremely quickly. Hubby and I pieced Bear's nursery together in a few weeks before he deployed. It all falls into place in the end.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jenna! We've got so many people cheering us on, so I know we can make it all work! Always daunting at the beginning, but now that we've got the moving ball rolling, it's feeling less awful and more exciting by the day. :)

      As for the nursery, we'll have roughly 2 months to get things together for baby girl once we arrive. I hear that's more than enough time, so I'm feeling less manic about that nowadays. The initial shock had me mourning the loss of all I'd already mentally prepared for here, but I'm still feeling pretty adaptable these days, so all should work out! :)

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  17. The West Coast is the best coast!!! We moved to SF almost two years ago. Other than the cost of living, we love it! I like to say, we pay to play. Being from the East coast, this is a whole new world. I'm thinking you will be stationed at Travis. If so, hello wine country (after baby of course)!!! So much to do, you will love seriously love it here. I started a bucket list on my blog when we moved. Maybe it will give you some good ideas- http://www.anarrowgate.com/2015/01/san-francisco-bucket-list.html

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    1. I hear SF is super fun and gorgeous, so we'll absolutely be spending as much time there as we can while in Cali! We won't be at Travis, but still close by to Napa and all that WINE! Man, I can't wait to have that first post-baby glass. ;) Thanks for the bucket list suggestions. Looks great!

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  18. Congratulations to D! I'm so happy for you two and your future baby girl. You will like northern California as the air is cleaner than SoCal. Welcome to my neck of the woods.

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    1. Thank you! Glad to hear NorCal is lovely. Growing more excited everyday. :)

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  19. Hi Casey! Based on the destinations you mentioned (Napa, Tahoe) I'm guessing you're moving to my neck of the woods! I am a born and raised Northern Californian, currently living in the city of Folsom. (It's by Sacramento, midway between San Francisco and the Coast, and Tahoe and the Mountains). Anyway, I was going to send you an email saying that if you have any questions at all, I'd be happy to help if I can! I know the area very well! Feel free to email me if you'd like! olivia.souders(at)gmail.com

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  20. What an exciting time in your and D's life right now! Looks like you're going to have a little California surfer girl on your hands :P

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    1. Thank you!! We totally will! Haha

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  21. Congratulations on your baby news and newest adventure west! My husband and I have been following your blog for a while now for travel tips. We are currently expats living in Amsterdam, our time here is coming to and end and we will be moving to LA at the beginning of May! Which at that point I'll be 28 weeks pregnant!! So I completely understand how overwhelmed you are feeling!! Good Luck with everything!! As you already know...everything always works out!

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    1. Thanks so much!! So thrilled to hear you've been following along for so long...big thanks! Sorry about the lack of cool travel going on around here lately, but hopefully we'll have lots to write about after we get to Cali. :) You can definitely relate, girl! MAN! I hope you have a smooth and uneventful move and pregnancy as well! I'll be sure to wave at you from NorCal!

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  22. Currently by Alameda and had a bundle of joy here as well! The Internet is great, but if you need recommendations for anything- ask away! Redwoods are a must, Golden Gate is iconic, 7x7 site is a must and Napa is a wine lovers paradise. You're going to be in prime territory!

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  23. I know a great group of gals, all young mamas, who all PCS'd to Cali from Germany! Depending on the base, I'd be happy to put you in touch. They all seem to really love it, and they are all active and out and about with the babes in tow. Their pics make me jealous (we're still here in Germany where it's a whole lotta rainy). Best of luck!

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  24. So I actually first heard the news on snapchat since I am SO BEHIND in reading blogs. I only have time to read blogs now because of insomnia. Yay. I've loved all your snaps lately on getting ready to move.

    Good luck with everything!!!

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  25. I know it is so hard but you are so blessed to have so many adventures! I would have killed to live in Germany and Florida and California!! All amazing places!!!!

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  26. Thanks for all your info. Website is very nice and informative content. movers and packers in marathahalli

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