Family First: A Tough Decision

It is with a bittersweet heart that I write this post. It is not easy to type these words, but we have some big news: After five wonderful years in Georgia, we are moving back to Kettering, Ohio.

This decision was not easy. In fact, we have gone back and forth with lists of pros and cons, ways to avoid moving, any possible other approaches to our situation and countless late night discussions about what is best for over a year now. We’ve prayed, talked with friends and family, received advice from people and discussed it with our mentors. After all the thinking, overthinking, and second guessing, one thing was clear…we need to put our family first.

Without getting into the long story and details, we have a financial situation that needs tackled and the only way to do it is to make a drastic move. Financial burden is heavy. It puts strain on your marriage, keeps you awake at night, takes your focus away from enjoying life, and sometimes, it steals your joy all together.  If I can’t be a happy wife, momma, friend, photographer and colleague, then I can’t enjoy life. Those “hats” are the essence of who I am…my personality and my world. Life is too short to be stressed.

When I look back on the past five years I can’t BELIEVE how much we’ve grown. In May 2010, after just buying our house and just getting married not even 2 years prior, Travis and I threw everything we owned into a U-Haul in Kettering, OH and drove about 8 hours to Buford, GA, so I could relocate with the company I work for.

We knew no one outside of a few of my work colleagues.
We knew nothing about the area.
We had no clue what we would do about a job for Travis.
It was the biggest challenge we had ever faced together.

From there, it was a whirlwind. God’s plan soon came into play and before we knew it, two people walked into our lives randomly (we literally met them at a restaurant) and we became immediate friends. They suggested a church and we fell in love with it. Soon we joined a small group there. After that, our friendships started growing through church and my job, people supported us with anything we needed, helped Travis get a job, helped us move into our first house here, threw us showers to welcome both baby girls, brought us meals after both  girls were born and were always there to listen or offer advice. The stories of support go on and on.

One big risk I took in Georgia was starting my photography business. Soon after moving, my wonderful friend through work encouraged me to just go for it! So I thought of a name, got my business license, built a website and started taking photos for friends to build a portfolio. It grew from there. While it’s still a very small business, my experience has grown, my work as a photographer has grown, and my client base grows every year.

If I were to list all the wonderful moments we’ve shared with friends and family here in the past five years, this post would take days to both write and read. I can’t possibly name every single person that we’ve met in our time here, but to all our friends that have embraced us with open arms, laughed with us, cried with us, celebrated with us, and held us up when we were down, THANK YOU. To my mom, who moved down here and has been a huge supporter and wonderful mom to us and grandma to her grand-babies…we are forever grateful and love you, THANK YOU. We will miss you but will still see you often, I promise!! <3 <3

Five years ago I never thought I would leave Ohio, the only place I had ever known. Shortly after moving, I never thought I would return to Ohio. But, our plan is never the same as the Lord’s, and He has never steered us wrong. Somehow, recently, all the pieces have fallen into place and the prayers we’ve been lifting up for a clear path have been answered. It’s time to jump into the next chapter of our lives.

We’re excited to be close to more of our family again and have our kids be able to play with their cousins and grow up around more family just like we did. I’m fortunate that my company is letting me continue in my current role and work from Ohio. And we’re happy to have an opportunity to move back into the house in Kettering we still own (though it will be a TIGHT fit for our little family), clean it up, do some improvements and sell it sometime in the future.

Georgia has been the place where we’ve grown. It has been life changing. For me, my time here has blessed me with newly found confidence that comes with stepping outside my comfort zone, huge growth in my personal, spiritual and professional life, opportunities I would not have had without moving, and a chance to meet some of the most genuine, caring people in the world. For Travis, he has been able to gain confidence in his role as a full time dad, grow spiritually and begin to start his own business venture through his Christian podcast and really step up and lead our family even when it feels impossible.

We will miss every single person we have met in our time here…probably more than you know. There will be lots of tears (and there have already been some) as we make this transition, especially as we walk away from the place where we carried two beautiful baby girls through the front door, but, putting our family first fills our hearts with happiness and you can’t put a price on that!




All our love,

Kate, Travis, Abigail and Mackenzie

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