The end of May will be my one year anniversary of moving back to Utah.
I'm going to be honest. I miss Florida. I miss it deeply.
Sometimes I wonder if moving back was the right thing to do.
Being away from family made me depend on my church and ward family. It made me more active in church than I have ever been in my life. And I think because of that activity, I was the happiest I've ever been.
We also depended on our own, tiny, family unit. We banded together. We spent a lot of time together. We did lots of fun activities. We went to Disney every week. We went swimming multiple times a week. We went to the park every week. We walked around the pond and fed the ducks every day.
I was also in great shape and had a great tan! :-D It helps when the sun is always out and the UV index is low.
It was also great not paying state taxes.
I look back on our time in Florida and I only remember positive things. It takes me a while to remember the bad things. Such as sleeping 5 or fewer hours a night, and never seeing family. Cockroaches in our cars. Fire ants in the grass.
Did the bad outweigh the good? Did it really? I'm not so sure.
Of course I can't talk positively about Florida without upsetting someone. When I first moved back someone told me, "All you ever talk about is Florida." In all honesty, it hurt my feelings to hear that. I thought people would care about where I lived for the past few years, and would enjoy hearing what we had gone through.
It was a really incredible time of my life.
I felt like I could not have a new baby without the help of friends and family. That's the main reason we moved back home.
But now I'm wondering... what if I had stayed in Utah for six months to have baby Lucy and get settled and then moved back? How would things be if we still lived out there? What if we bought a house out there?
I miss it.
We're stuck here now. That's not really a bad thing. We're really happy to be around family. I'm overjoyed to be near my sisters. We've grown closer together than ever before. I regret the days I spent dodging them, or ignoring them. I wish I had been a better big sister. But I'm here now. They can talk to me now.
I know, deep down, moving back to Utah was the right thing for our family. But it's really difficult when you have a yearning to go back and live where you've always wanted to live.
Maybe we'll go back one day. But for now, I'm happy to be raising my two wonderful girls in a safe, family friendly neighborhood. I'm happy that they get to see their cousins every week. I'm overjoyed to be near my sisters and sisters in law who love my children like they love their own.
I hope I can teach my girls the things I learned when I lived outside of Utah, such as acceptance and love. I hope I can expose them to people of all different faiths and walks of life. I want them to know about the atonement, and of forgiveness. But mostly, I want them to love. Love unconditionally. Love diversity. Love differences. Love everyone.