(how we got here)
Ever since I was a teenager, I've wanted a life in California. One that didn't involve quite so many "rules" as my parents religion. I'm not really sure why I picked California in particular, other than it was way the fuck away from small-town Missouri and it had an ocean. Oh, and I wanted to be in Los Angeles, because I wanted to be in a city. (I also L.O.V.E. New York City, but it's too frickin cold for me!)
My very first trip to Cali was a flight into Reno, NV, staying with my (ex) boyfriend's friend somewhere between Sacramento and Reno. It was so beautiful. I learned I'm pretty bad at skeet shooting, and that "keeping up with the boys" when it comes to tequila shots is a pretty bad idea.
This trip with my (ex) boyfriend involved spending an afternoon in San Fransisco, driving up the 1 to Bodega Bay where we spent the night, then winding our way back home via Napa Valley (with a few stops, of course!)
It was beautiful, if not the city.
In 2005, Keith was working for a company that several offices in California, and he flew out several times, mostly to San Jose.
One of his trips was scheduled for January of 2006 to Irvine, CA, in Orange County, when I was pregnant with Josie. Matthew was still (at 2 years old) not sleeping through the night, and I knew that after Josie was born, I'd be getting even less sleep than I was already, so we planned to buy me another ticket and I could go with Keith on this trip. (I mean, who wouldn't want to go to Southern Cali in the middle of winter?!)
That trip in January fell through, and once I hit my third tri-mester, I told Keith he wasn't allowed to travel without me. When they rescheduled his trip for March, he passed along my request, and his company paid for my plane ticket! We had an awesome weekend (Fri-Tues), and met some really great people that lived in Venice Beach, Ian and Alicia.
For two years, Ian bugged us about coming back out for a visit. Keith and I finally managed to go in 2008 for another long weekend. The first thing Ian said to us was "where's your kids?", at which point I laughed, because this was the first break I'd had since the last time we out in CA.
We fell in love with what is known as "the Westside". (That would be anything west of the 405.) This included Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Mar Vista and Culver City.
Keith started looking for a job in these areas. Because even though we loved LA and California, the point was to live and work on the west side so we wouldn't have to deal with traffic. I mean, what's the point of living in paradise if you have to drive 2 hours in traffic to just get to and from work?
So life went on, and in August 2010 we came out as a family, and not only did my kids get to fly for the very first time, they got to visit the ocean! And eat at In-n-Out Burger! We had an awesome vacation.
This past April, Keith was doing some research for something his company was going to start implementing, and ran across a blog that listed companies that were hiring. One of them happened to be a very well known company. Keith clicked on it, and it listed it's location as Santa Monica, CA. Interesting. So he clicked again, and the qualifications needed was his "exact" skill set. Interesting. He applied and sent his resume thinking that nothing would happen of it. He expected a "thank you but we're only looking at local candidates" type of response.
The very next day, the HR department called and said they wanted to set up a phone interview. Um, ok! So the phone interview is set up, and the day after that she calls again and says they want to fly him out for a face-to-face interview. WHAT?!
We just might actually need to tell a few people at this point. Especially since I had just told my sister not 4 months before that we weren't looking to move anytime soon. So we told our best friends and my adopted family.
He spent the weekend after my birthday in LA for his interview (which he NAILED, btw) staying with Ian and Alicia again.
By the end of the next week, he had signed paperwork, turned in his notice at his old job, and we told the rest of our families.
Within 3 weeks, we went from "we're not even looking" to "OMG, WE'RE MOVING TO CALIFORNIA!!!"
Keith left Kansas City on June 5th, and the kids and I joined him on July 27th. During that time I had so much help packing and getting the house ready to move that I could never express my thanks enough to those that helped. My friends ROCK, y'all.
So now we've been in Santa Monica for 3 months now and we're all fitting in quite nicely. Even Matthew, who I think had the hardest time adjusting. I love my kids school and I love their teachers. Well, Matthew's teacher, anyway. Josie's teacher I'm kinda 'meh' about, but she's nice and Josie doesn't have any problems.
Keith L.O.V.E.S his new job, and they love him. We're starting to find people we can be friends with as well.
We all miss everyone back in Kansas City terribly, though. We can't wait until we get the house there sold so we can come visit everyone. (I would count the days, but that's not exactly how the housing market works)
And... it's still fucking perfect out here.