A few years ago, Brendan and I decided we wanted to have an adventure. So, we moved to California.
That’s the super short version of why we’ve called this sunny place home for three years now, and it’s funny to me how our greatest adventure yet, our little girl, is a big part of why we’re choosing to leave this state we’ve come to love. For anyone raising kids far from family, you know it’s hard. Facetime and texting videos just isn’t enough sometimes. Brendan and I always knew we’d end up back on the East Coast at some point, and, to a certain degree, I think it surprised us both that we’d head back so soon after he finished residency. We both kind of thought we’d hang out a few more years since it’s a pretty fun place to live!
But God showed us the right job in the right town with the right “feeling.”
So, today we’re showing our one-way tickets at the Southwest boarding gate to head back to our first home, knowing that we’re leaving a piece of our hearts here in Sonoma County. This is the place where we realized how freeing and inspiring and cathartic the ocean was for us (and a big reason why we’re moving to the beach!). It’s where I became a crazy garden lady, and he got to pick cherry tomatoes off the vine in our backyard. We didn’t have many weekends where he wasn’t working, but the ones we did have were spent gazing up at redwoods or out over golden hills or driving down cliff-hugging highways along the coast. We found towns we fell in love with and made friends that became family. I got to photograph couples among the vineyards and above the Golden Gate bridge and on hills dotted with giant oak trees.
There’s no doubt that we’ll miss this place for all its quirks and California-isms. We came here as a couple and will be leaving as a family, and if that was the only thing we gained, they’d still be three of the most beautiful years I think we’ll ever have together.
Hello, North Carolina!
Emily is a Wilmington wedding and portrait photographer. She loves natural light and is available to travel worldwide.