We’re Moving to California!

Well, this post has been a long time coming, but we’ve got some big news we’ve been keeping under wraps…

We’re moving to California!

Nope, that’s not clickbait. It’s the real deal.

After months of thought, going back and forth and weighing all the pros and cons, we’ve decided to take the leap and move our family to sunny Southern California.

We’ve lived in Omaha, Nebraska for a decade now. We built our first home here, had our babies here, and even most of our friends and family are here. For all intents and purposes, this is “home”.

But this idea of moving back to California, where we spent 5 years during our childless 20s, has been nagging us for years. For those that know us well, it’s probably not that surprising at all. And while we’re anxious to pick up and start over again in a new state, there are lots of things to be excited about.

Why are you moving??

Work Opportunities for Matt

Those that have followed us for a while now know that Matt works for a company based in Southern California. He actually took the role when I was nine months pregnant with Evelyn, and has been commuting back and forth every other week since! He’s been rocking this hybrid/remote style of work for seven years, and while his travel time has lessened over the years, it doesn’t make it any easier when he has to leave.

After flying back and forth between Nebraska and California for years, this move will give him an opportunity to spend more nights at home and also be more present in the day-to-day operations of his company. And while business travel will always be a necessity for him, a move will mean much shorter travel days (something we all look forward to!).

More Resources for Sophie

Of course, Matt’s job already being located in Southern California makes the transition that much easier, but having access to more services for Sophie was another huge push behind the move.

Let’s face it: disability services in Nebraska aren’t great. And even if you do qualify for Medicaid, getting any sort of assistance is a struggle. Nebraska’s service model is antiquated, at best, receives little funding, and suffers from a severe lack of providers for essential services like caregiving and respite. Every year we’re up for renewal, we cross our fingers that we’ll keep Sophie’s Medicaid to at least cover the cost of her many doctor appointments and therapies.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know California has it’s own set of struggles in the disability world. We’ll be diving head first into a whole new system that has its own set of rules and red tape. But we can at least expect that Sophie will always qualify for disability services and have access to resources for the complex care she needs, plus added benefits like allowing me to be paid as her caregiver, a full-time job in itself!

But what we’re most excited about for Sophie are the opportunities to take part in more innovative therapies. We’ve already waitlisted her for another intensive at NAPA Center Los Angeles this fall and hope to get into at least two intensives each year. We’re also excited to be in a generally more liberal part of the country where disability rights are a priority and inclusivity is encouraged. We are so excited to connect with more families who have children like Sophie, so if you’re living in the SoCal area, please reach out!

Shane’s Inspiration: an inclusive playground in Los Angeles

Easier Access to Travel

Another perk of living in Southern California is all the added opportunity for travel! With such a diverse landscape, I’ve already got my travel wish list started to include everything from wine tasting in the central valley to exploring new beaches, hiking through the desert, and sledding in the mountains. There will be lots of weekend road trips as well as trips to National Parks, Disneyland, you name it…right at our fingertips!

And when we do want to get out of California, we’ll have our pick of multiple airports for cheap flight deals that have me oh so excited!

Hello, Sunshine

I’d be lying if I said the weather in Southern California wasn’t a huge added bonus, especially after this nasty neverending Nebraska winter we’ve had. I’ve never been one for cold weather (even growing up in South Dakota – you never get used to it!) and Sophie especially thrives in a more temperate environment.

Strand Beach from Dana Point Headlands

So Where Are You Going?

After weighing many different cities from Encinitas all the way up to Manhattan Beach, we decided to ultimately land back in the OC: Dana Point, to be exact. The coastal city at the far southern edge of Orange County has the perfect laid back feel that we’re craving, while being almost exactly halfway between Matt’s two Southern California offices.

We knew it was fate when we found a well-loved therapy clinic, two equine therapy centers, and a special needs elementary school all within 5 miles. As soon as a rental house with a pool popped up, we rushed to seal the deal!

But What About Your House in Omaha?

That’s the first question we get when telling our friends and family about the move.

At first we had planned to rent it, not knowing if this move to California will be permanent. There’s definitely a possibility that we may return to the Midwest in a few years. But the idea of having long-term renters didn’t excite us, especially after all the work and custom details we’ve put into remodeling this home.

So, with the market hot, we’ve decided to sell. We put the finishing touches on the renovation literally last week, just in time to hit the market today.

We love this house so much. It’s exactly what we envisioned for it when we bought the dated wreck three years ago: a light and airy space that feels immediately calming the moment you walk in the door. There’s definitely a sad feeling leaving it now that our vision is finally complete.

But this house has also served us so well. It allowed us to free up our budget to buy our vacation rental in Florida. It served as a place of respite while the world went through a crazy pandemic. And we’ve met some awesome neighbors that we’ll keep in our lives forever.

I’m so excited for whomever we pass it on to!

So When is this Happening?

Our second most frequently asked question: when is this happening?

Well, pretty soon. With a rental house secured and our house on the market, we’ve got a moving truck scheduled for early June, just after Evelyn’s 7th birthday. We’ll take our time getting to California, doing a week-long road trip through Colorado, Utah and Nevada before landing in Orange County just in time to enjoy summer at the beach.

So, there you have it. Of course, we are anxious about all the changes coming with this next adventure and sad about friends and family that we’re leaving behind, but most of all we are excited for the new opportunities that lie ahead. Life is too short to wonder ‘what if’, and we’d rather take the leap now than have any regrets.

If you have any questions or want to connect, please reach out! We are always an open book!

xo laura

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