when things come full circle

You guys are going to laugh (especially if you’re an OG blog reader),

Lf valdosta sign

but this time next year, we’ll be living in Valdosta, GA.

If you’re unfamiliar with Valdosta, which I used to affectionately call “Valdizzy” on the blog, it’s a quaint southern Georgia town 22 miles from the Florida border. We lived in Valdosta for about 4 years, and it was the second spot we lived after our short stay in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Blast from the past

(Pic from the V-town days! *Sigh* I look so rested haha)

As you can probably surmise, I have mixed feelings about the move.

Part of me is like, “YES, VALDOSTA!” because it’s comforting to return to a place I know, where we still have friends and contacts. The people are so wonderful and friendly; it’s filled with beautiful green parks and gorgeous scenery; and there’s something pretty magical about Georgia summer rains.


It’s a close drive to Jacksonville and Orlando, and I feel like we can take the girls on so many new adventures, like strawberry/blueberry picking, trips to the farm to get fresh produce, the cool local V-town restaurants, the Pilot’s work events (it’s more of a family/community than it was in Tucson and here) in addition to beach and Disney trips.

The other part of me is kind of bummed. I have a hard time being away from my family, and Valdosta is pretty far from Tucson. (I’m thankful we’ll still be here in the states. I’ve always thought an overseas move would be a lot of fun, but would prefer that when the girls are a little older.) The logistics will be a little different since a trip to Tucson will be a day of air travel. I know I can do it, but it definitely won’t be as easy as hopping in the car. The good news is that we’ll be closer to the Pilot’s family and will get to see them more often!

I tend to just feel a little bummed about impending moves in general. It’s part of the life we live, but it’s still hard to say “see ya later” to close friends who have become our family over the past 2 years.

W betsy


(Our Vegas “prom” picture + the Pilot’s mustache)

Me and jess

Barre friends

Liv and isa

It’s also stressful trying to find a new tribe everywhere you go. I have to research new doctors, dentists, hairdressers, specialists, eyebrow-waxers, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dog sitters, dog groomers, vets,  and now babysitters, etc. every few years. Once I find my list of *people* I’m like DANG. I have to start all over again! I’m trying to just chill for now, but before we know, it I’ll be researching and interviewing like crazy.

It adds a different layer now that Liv is older and has made her own special friendships. Her teachers and friends here have been truly incredible, and while kids are so resilient (probably more than adults!), I know she’ll be sad to move away from them. 

Livi on the dance floor

(This picture of Liv on the dance floor with her best friend cracks me up every.time)

I’m excited for the potential and changes that are on the horizon. The past year has been kind of a rough one, and I feel like moving will be chance to start fresh. While Valdosta wasn’t initially my favorite place, I grew to love it and even found myself missing it when we left. I’m excited to see our friends there, and also really excited for the Pilot because he’ll be taking on a new role, and will also be flying again. Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally finish my MBA since my credits at VSU are still good. 

I’m going to eat ALLTHEINDIANFOOD at Passage 2 India.

Baigan bhartha

Valdosta will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s where I started the blog, which truly changed my life. I was stuck in a rut, trying to “find myself” and out of that uncertainty grew this amazing space. I never thought it would turn into what it is now (and the big dreams/goals I have for it), and am so thankful to you all for making this the fun and inspirational community it has become. Valdosta has a tendency to spark my creativity, so hopefully that will be the case when we return. 

Now, the best part of this news: before we head to Valdosta in the spring, we’ll be in Tucson FOR THREE WHOLE MONTHS. The Pilot has to re-qualify in the aircraft, so we’ll head to Tucson before the holidays and spend a few glorious months surrounded by the fam. It’s going to be pretty much the best. Maybe Kyle will let me help out on his food truck. 🙂

So there ya have it. Heading back to the birthplace of the blog… 



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  1. Brittany Taylor says:

    Well I didn’t read the blog in your Valdosta days so I’m excited to read it now! I am sure you will have wonderful memories there as well!! I have never moved so I’m not sure how the logistics play out but I’m sure you will handle it gracefully:)

  2. Giant Hug!!! You’re my FAV blog BFF no matter where you are!! I look forward to reading you every day and you’ve inspired me endlessly. Gina (from Mass)

    • Fitnessista says:

      name twin! thank you so much for reading for so long, and for the sweet words. means the world to me <3

  3. Big hug from a longtime reader. I’ve been reading from the Valdosta days. I, too, am about to embark on a big move (Michigan to Florida), and it’s rough, no matter how old you are. Like you put it, stress from leaving what you know, being farther away from your family and closest friends, and the dread of finding a new tribe. Enjoy the remaining time in San Diego and your three months in Tuscon.

  4. Just moved to GA from FL (not a big move, only 9 hours!) and it was hard doing that. It’s hard to leave what you’re used to…. And now I’m in a place where health takes a back seat to hamburgers and icecream…… I’m sure you’ll find some new and old things to enjoy while there! Looking forward to the adventure. Been reading since Valdizzy days!

  5. Oh, I remember the Valdosta days! Excited for your new adventures (and your three months in Tuscon!), and sad for you as you leave what has become your home. Bittersweet for sure, but I’m sure wonderful things are ahead! Sending hugs and best wishes!

  6. Lindsay says:

    I’ve been reading since the Valdosta days & have loved watching your blog and family grow! We just moved. It isn’t the easiest to move, but the exploring had been fun!

  7. Alexis caldwell says:

    We just pcs’d last year and finding your new “tribe” is the worst part!!! I have yet to find a hairstylist I like. (trying a new place on Thursdays so fingers crossed!) I have been too scared to try the nail salons here and the doctors… not my favorite. It seems like as soon as we get settled and have all of our ducks in a row, it’s time to move again. I am over the military lifestyle and ready to just be settled.

    • Fitnessista says:

      exactly! it’s the hardest part about moving
      how did the new place go today??

      • Alexis caldwell says:

        The salon I tried out today was great! I had to travel an hour to find a good salon, but it was totally worth it! Can’t wait to see all of your new adventures in GA! We pcs’d from the Savannah area and we miss it!

  8. Erin M. says:

    Congratulations and best of luck!

  9. I remember the Valdosta days. Yes, change is hard but I think it will be easier being back at a place you remember. Plus it’s not a total start from scratch. Hopefully you can re-connect with some people you used to know and had to move away from.

    Best of luck to you guys on the move <3

  10. OMG, I remember when you lived in Valdosta. Its been so much fun watching you and your family and your blog grow!

  11. I started reading health blogs, yours included! back in grad school… when you were still in Valdosta! which doesn’t feel that long ago! Then i think about how much has happened and I can’t believe I’ve been following you for so long! it’s definitely been quite the journey and I love reading all about it and letting us readers be a part of it all! Good luck with the move!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you for reading for so long! yes, it’s crazy how much has happened since then, but it went by so quickly

  12. I love your transparency! It’s one reason I love the the blog sooo much! You always seem to find a light in any situation. Even if it’s not “ideal”. You inspire me to want to do better! In eating, exercise , attitude and perspective. So many blogs paint the perfect picture that have left me with that” what’s wrong with me then ” feeling. But you, have and are genuine and honest. I have never lived anywhere but New Orleans,. My husband s job doesn’t have different locations. I alwAys wanted to pick up and move ,maybe one day! Enjoying where u are on the way to where your going!

  13. Bethany says:

    Moody!!! We have friends there! =) Good luck on your move! I totally get your feelings. We are in Japan now and my husband wants to go back to Little Rock after this. We were there for 3 years (he has been there a totally of 8) and while I would love to be closer to family and love the familiar places, I would also like to discover something new. I do hope and pray we return to the States with this being our second overseas assignment back to back. I kind of have my heart set on CO. Moody is our number 3/4 choice though. =)

  14. Brittany says:

    I started reading towards the end of your Valdosta days. Can’t wait to hear about your new adventure! Kind of funny how you went from Valdosta to Tucson to San Diego and now you’re going from San Diego to Tucson to Valdosta!

  15. That’s AWESOME he will be flying again. No doubt he will love love that! Men and their planes. #theoriginalgirlfriend 😉

  16. Hi Gina your blog appeared in my Google news page so since you write about fitness I’ll follow you. Funny you’re moving to Valdosta, a place I lived for 4 months in 2014. My then boyfriend moved there but I did not like the place. It does have nice homes and pretty areas but there’s absolutely nothing to do, very boring. I am from San Diego and currently live in Monrovia, CA, near Pasadena. It is hard to leave my CA where there’s so much to do to live in a backwards place. I ended up going to Jacksonville a lot for entertainment. Also I drove by Moody air Base once. It’s not really in Valdosta but in the surrounding area. Anyway good luck to your family there.

  17. Is it weird that this post made me tear up a bit? I started reading your blog when you were in Valdosta (although I never comment ) and am SO excited for your family! Enjoy your time in CA and AZ! I look forward to reading all your adventures!

  18. Holly B says:

    We can’t wait to have you back in V-town!!! We have quite a few new restaurants that may spark your interest. And MAYBE we’ll see you again around anytime fitness Best of luck!!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      you have to tell me about all of the new things! and yes, i’ll definitely be back around there 🙂

  19. That is definitely a full circle move! It isn’t home, but at least you do have roots there.☺ Exciting!

  20. This is very exciting! I am only about 1.5 hours below Valdosta. I’ll be taking a class wherever you teach!!

  21. Wishing you all the best with your move. I will miss your SD adventures. I’m a west coast girl and can relate. But I love your blog so much, it will be fun to see your new adventures! I know you can make the most of where ever you are. Yay for getting to spend time with family before you move. You’ve had a rough time of it this past year. Hope the change is a positive one for your family. Good luck!

  22. Jessica says:

    You always look at the bright side which makes reading your blog enjoyable. I live in NE, we have a large air force base here so just think, at least you aren’t being transferred here. Although every place is what you make of it!

  23. I totally understand the bittersweet feeling of moving!! There is no other way to describe it. Looking forward to hearing about all of the details and how you and your family soak up all your last moments before the move 🙂

  24. Long-ish reader over here too…but I don’t comment all too much. I live in Atlanta, so I am excited to welcome you (back) to the South! And you are right, there are lots of good things about GA (I try to focus on that, instead of the bad!) I would totally roadtrip out to Valdizzy to take a class if you taught…that probably makes me sound like a stalker. Oh man…Anyway, so excited for you and your little family!

    • Fitnessista says:

      yay, so awesome! i would love if you did that 🙂 we’ll be in atlanta quite a bit too, to visit tom’s dad

  25. Victoria Morris says:

    I have been reading your blog since your Valdosta days! And I feel like I am doing a full circle with you. It has been so fun to watch you and your family grow. I never even heard of Valdosta before I met your blog! So many positives, especially that you get to be with your family in Tucson for three months! I am happy for you and your sweet family.
    Love and prayers for all of you.

  26. I love it! Are you going to bring back Indian Food Wednesday? 😉 I still celebrate it now and again. I bet it’s going to be really cool, introducing the girls to a place you already know. Enjoy the ride!

  27. I so understand everything you are saying! Best of luck to you in the new adventure! From the wife of a NAVY pilot (who lived in Jacksonville!). I have to say I’m getting tired of all the moving. We just moved overseas and it was not easy.

  28. I was kind of hoping it would be in Mass at Hanscom (not sure if that’s even an option). But mostly because I wanted to take one of your classes. 🙂 Moving to New England is probably worst-case if you hate the cold, though – at least Valdosta is warm!

  29. Best of luck! It’ll definitely be an adventure!

  30. adrianna says:

    can’t believe you guys are headed back there. i’ve been reading since those days, and how much your life has changed! very excited to read the new adventures, and know you and the fam will do great with it all. congrats and best of luck!

  31. Does this mean a return of Funny Quotes lady?! #OGreader

  32. Holly Winner says:

    I live just north of the Columbus, GA area and wasn’t a reader your first time in Valdosta. So, I’m thrilled to follow along this next step of your journey! Valdosta is in the Plantation Trace tourism region of the state and has so many wonderful agritourism attraction. You can check them all out on our tourism website! – http://www.exploregeorgia.org/

  33. I’ve been reading since your Valdosta days and it really is crazy how things do come full circle sometimes 🙂 Your blog is one of my favorites – So Valdosta is special to me because of that too. I know – cheesy 🙂 Good luck with your move and YEAH for being with family for 3 whole months!!

  34. Jennifer says:

    My cousins live near Waycross in Manor! Small world. We’ve been wanting to get down there for a visit. We live in philly so it’s always quite a culture shock to be down there 🙂

  35. Found this – great tips, treats and very insightful!

  36. Excited for you to be headed back to the South!!!! Will be so great for the little ones!!!

  37. Congrats on the move but I know it can be hard with small kids once they start to make little buds of their own. We actually relocated to Jacksonville 18 months ago with our two girls ( about the same age as yours). The community down here is amazing as you know. Wishing you the best of luck and let me know if you need recommendations for hair dresser, doc, etc in the Jax area. I have some amazing ones.

    • Fitnessista says:

      oh i would LOVE that! would you mind emailing me? i have a feeling we’ll be in jax often 🙂 (fitnessista at gmail)

  38. Out of curiosity and wondering where you’ll be blogging from does this mean you’ll be in Valdosta for another 4 years like you were last time? I remember when you left the pilot was changing jobs so he wasn’t flying his plane anymore but you said now he will be. So does that mean that since you’re being stationed in Valdosta that you’ll probably be there for the next few years at least?

    • Fitnessista says:

      we should only be there for 2 1/2 years. last time, we were kept there longer because our other location closed down, and our time started over again when we got there.

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