No, not pregnant.
We’re moving back to the UK in the summer.
We came out to California 6 1/2 years ago. I didn’t want to come. We had just had a baby. I wanted to buy a house near my mum, put up pictures on the walls and snuggle my baby. But we got this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move here and so I agreed to come for one year (maybe two). We said goodbye to everyone we loved, got on a plane and landed in the Bay Area.
Suffice to say that we loved it. One year stretched into two. Then three. We renewed our visas for a bit longer. We renewed them again a few years later. But come this summer, we’ve been on our visas for seven years and we can’t renew them any more. We have to choose between getting a green card and moving back to the UK.
If we get a green card, we may as well buy a house and if we buy a house, we will never leave. And in the meantime, our families go on without us on the other side of the world. Our parents get older. They’re still all ridiculously healthy, for which we are grateful, but realistically they won’t be forever. And we want to spend as much time with them as we can whilst we still have them. We’ve lived in dread of ‘that phone call’ since we moved here and whilst I am eternally grateful that we haven’t yet had it, we never want to choose between looking after our families and living in California.
Also…we miss them!
So we’re moving home.
Whilst there is a LOT we are looking forward to about moving back, I can’t deny that we are also heartbroken to be leaving. We love it here. We love almost everything about California. In fact, I wrote an entire blog post about it. I’ve already started crying in church about leaving the loveliest church I’ve ever been to. You can only imagine how weepy I’m going to be all 2017. But we all feel very peaceful about this decision. It’s the right one and we are ready. My parents being here over Christmas made it all much more real and also much more exciting.
In terms of ACTUAL plans…they’re a bit vague. The overall plan is to move down south to where I grew up, in a large village on Salisbury Plain. We are thinking about building a house in my parents’ garden but we’ve also seen a house for sale that we really like. We have applied for a place for the Dude at the primary school (elementary school) that I went to. That felt a bit weird.
We have more questions than answers still, but this much is fairly set. Come the start of June, we’ll ship my beloved cat back to the UK to stay with his grandparents and we’ll be doing a road trip around the US for a month or so. In August, we’ll get on a plane and head back to that small, green, grey-skied island inhabited with grumpy people with hearts of gold and we’ll be settling back into life near our families.
Deep breaths, people. Deep breaths.