Why We Move

Hubby has been trying to convince me for months now that he absolutely needs a boat. This is funny to me because isn't he on the spending fast too? And isn't buying a boat a terrible investment considering we are landlocked by cornfields? And in what world will he be spending his one day off of work frolicking out on the water instead of home taking care of the babies so I don't emotionally self-destruct and run away?

So now he is starting to shift towards getting a kayak . The best reason I've heard yet is, "Babe, it could be 'our thing.' And this is even funnier because I am well aware that a kayak holds only ONE person. But in all seriousness, this leads me to my next point which is something we are always talking about: what is 'our thing?' This has been a point of insecurity as I hear about other couples biking and learning Arabic and gardening together. We have tried camping (I am allergic to grass), hunting (I fell through a beaver dam), and fishing (I caught more fish and we fought about it).

Mike and I have almost nothing in common except we are both blonde, our favorite food is guacamole, and we love Jesus. When we got married, I was freaked out because this is where the similarities ended, and to note, I am not even a natural blonde so we really just had two things in common. Four years of marriage and self-discovery, and we have learned these are our 'things:'

1. Cheesecake Factory-- it's our goal to taste everything on the menu
2. Trying different types of red wine from the Walmart 
3. Being parents together is totally one of our things  

And finally to end the discussion about the boat/kayak, I flat out told him to get over it, because it appears that our ultimate 'thing' is moving and he better get on board with it because that's what we're going to be spending the next 5 weekends doing. Sigh.

Moving... this is our 'thing' forever, and ever, amen. 

I am 95% writing this post for myself, because we are moving again and I am not sure why. My mom is out of town so I can’t verbally process with her. So, "greetings" dear reader, here is my drama, pull up a chair and stay a while.

This is the main reason we move, we fight to keep moments like this happening on a daily basis:

Mike traveled for a year. Lou was three-months-old when he started going on the road. At first there was something exciting about being able to watch whatever I wanted on TV night after night (Hello Nashville!) But evenings of popcorn and jellybeans for dinner lost their luster and we decided things needed to change, so we started making kale chips. And in regards to moving, Mike got sick of living in hotels and I did not particularly like crying on the floor all the live long day and seeing Lou look out the window searching for dada's truck. Adding to the stressful situation, when she was five-months-old we found out we were pregnant with Mack. It was then that I "called it," saying this lifestyle was not sustainable for our marriage (a nice way of saying if we continue at this, I may not like you anymore). We found a great couple willing to rent our home so that we were able to follow Mike to his next job. 

These are the main reasons I am willing to pack up our home, potentially every year, to follow my husband around the wide expanse that is the Midwest.

      Mike loves his job. Isn’t it just the best to watch the people you love do what they love? The cliche saying goes: "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." That is precious. (So, who out there loves changing diapers and cooking three meals a day? Not I, said the fly!) But Mike does love his career. It is his calling. And I find that seriously awesome. Most days, my husband comes home completely spent, mentally and physically. But he never complains. When we talk about finding something more "normal," I can sense this is not where God has us right now. Every job under the sun has its pro’s and con’s. Some people’s spouse come home at 5 pm every day but they may hate their jobs. Many partners travel all the time, live months of the year overseas, spend weekends on the road, or work the late-shift. We know many, many people who struggle to find work right now. I look at our life, Mike's schedule and the instability of it all, and I can say "it is well" because he has work and I am deeply grateful. 

      I love Mike. To me, it is worth it to be lonely and friendless in a new town to see my husband at the end of the day. Even if it's just staring at him from across the table while he shoves food into his mouth. And eventually, I do make other friends, I always have because I am desperate for people and deep connection and am not afraid to say so. So even if at first, it's me and the babes sun-up to sun-down, at least I have that face-to-face connection with my best friend every night. What works for our family may not work for another, and I do not consider myself a better wife because I move for my husband. Other families may not function well doing this, heck we don't even function well moving so often but it is worth it. Many families within Mike's company do not do this method because they have deep roots in their towns, kids in school, families nearby, and the wife may have a career worth settling down for. So we are more like vagabond hippies, one step away from buying a VW camper (our plan before we found out we were pregnant with Mack, a viable option with one child not two) and Heaven knows I could go for weeks without showering and get myself talked into joining a cult so this nomad lifestyle works for me as well. I love change, I get a little stir-crazy if I'm in one place for a while. Just a few weeks ago I spent hours trying to talk hubby into moving our family to Burundi to build medical clinics with this amazing organization. We could make it in the bush, we've been doing a spending fast for three months, totally the same thing. Electricity? Over-rated. Then Mike reminded me what life was like when we didn't have a dishwasher and how dramatic I was about it and how I made him share a plate and fork with me every meal to minimize clean-up. 

Okay, so Iowa it is, and he promises me it will be just as exciting as Africa.

      Life is hard and God is good. This is my motto until I die. Seriously. It is the lens through which I look at the world and its terrible difficulties, all of which are much worse than packing up your crap and moving to a new town. But there is much we lose by moving- deep friendships forged through tears and postpartum depression, a Gospel-centered church (which is so, so hard to find), the familiar faces I love to see and talk to at the doctor's office, the grocery store, the coffee shop. My daughter adores her friends here. She prays for them at every meal, goes to bed at night asking me, "Who we gonna see tomorrow?" Lou runs around the nursery, library, gym looking for their little faces and yelling their names. There is so much sweetness in familiarity, we have loved learning and falling into the rhythms of this small town. I kid you not, I so often drive through the McDonald's that one day the high school boy who works the cashier window said to me, "I haven't seen you for a while, maybe since last Monday? I saw your car and knew you were here for your caramel sundae." Adorable, so I called my best friend Betsy to tell her how cute living in a small town is. And I subsequently called my husband and gave him a detailed description of this fellow just in case I went missing.

I was more scared to be a stay-at-home-mom than anything else I'd ever done. It was not my dream. But slowly, the friends I've met here and the little routine we have built taught me to love and thrive in this new role. More than I thought possible. I am a better wife, a better mother, and a better friend because of our year spent here.  

There is pain for us in moving. Particularly this time. But I trust God. And as always, I cling to His word:

"Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed. For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. I say to myself, The Lord is my portion, therefore, I will wait for Him.'" 
-Lamentations 3:22-23

But did I mention we hire a moving crew? Yep this is them, they are professionals. Not the most reliable, but they are expert stashers of all things. Why just yesterday, I noticed I was missing a whole shelf of books. This morning I opened my underwear drawer and there they were. Can't wait to pack a zillion boxes with these two minions... 


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Where are you moving this time? I will be praying for strength and energy for you through the move!

    1. Thank you Noelle! We will not be far from you! I'm sending you a message right now!

  2. Love the new blog design! So pretty!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! Heather at www.lifemadelovely-blog.com did it! She is a blogger and graphic designer. I love it too :)

  3. Ally, your blog is so good for me! I can relate to you on so many levels and it comforts my heart. Thank you for sharing your life!

    1. Katie! Thanks for saying hi, it is so good to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words, heart comfort is the best thing ever-- and I'm so glad you can relate, that makes me feel less alone in my craziness!

  4. Yes, this! So good. We've moved 4 times in our almost 3 years of marriage. It exhausting and crazy, but if it means I get to be near Brian, it's worth it. The hardest thing for me is learning how to put down roots quickly and build deep friendships in a short amount of time. Sometimes it feels like "what's the point?" when you know you won't be there long. But life is lonely sometimes, and we need people! Even if that means inviting them to my hotel room to hang out.. cause yeah, we lived in a hotel for faaar too long. Love you, mama!

    1. You lived in a hotel? And moved 4 times in 3 years? We are at 4 for 4 and I thought that was bad! You are the first friend I have heard say that, so thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in this. The ladies that you took the time to invest in along your journey were blessed by your friendship McKenzie, even if it was just for a short while. I cannot believe the depth we have reached with friends here in just a year, makes me so sad to move on but also makes me hopeful for what's ahead. Singing Sara Groves, "He's Always Been Faithful to Me" alllll the day long. Thanks for saying "hi" McKenzie, love you too (and I want more pictures of Baby Jane, now ... please).


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