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.

MY OTHER VIDEOS

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.

Dogpark

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

Craftsteak

(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… 

xoxo

Gina

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116 Comments

  1. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on July 26, 2016 at 6:21 am

    I’m glad you’re heading somewhere you’re at least familiar with. And getting to spend a few months with your family before you go sounds pretty great too!

  2. Whit on July 26, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Bahhhhhh! I feel like the worst friend ever. You’re already leaving and I feel like you just got here and we both had babes and life got stupid busy. Love you!!!!

  3. Masala Girl on July 26, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Awww I remember the valdosta days I knew you’d go back eventually, but didn’t think it’d be so soon! I’m kind of excited to hear about how its changed. It’ll probably way different being in a small city, but at least Orlando is close! ☺ enjoy Tuscon, meanwhile !!

  4. Marita on July 26, 2016 at 6:38 am

    As a fellow military spouse living in GA (Robins AFB) I can totally relate to the love/hate relationship! Always nice to come back to something familiar, but so hard to leave the better assignments. I’ve only driven through, but Valdosta seems MUCH nicer than Warner Robins 🙂

  5. Meagan @ My Life as Mrs on July 26, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Hey east coast! Such a long move but it’s nice that you aren’t starting 100% over. I love love love Disney world so I’m excited for a few WDW posts 😉

  6. DC on July 26, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Well…YAY for new adventures! I remember those days 🙂

    You will find a new Valdizzy tribe!!

  7. Katie O on July 26, 2016 at 6:45 am

    That’s awesome! And sad. I’ve loved knowing you were on the same ‘coast’ as me and then the same state. I’ve actually made a trip to Georgia and it struck me how beautiful it is. And three months in Tucson with family will be heavenly! Wishing you the best as you start the process of moving your home and family. <3

  8. Shannon Crenshaw Rhoads on July 26, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Glad you get to spend some time in Tucson before heading east, and that you’re at least headed somewhere familiar!

  9. Katie on July 26, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Congrats on the move! 🙂

    I was wondering if you would do a post on the logistics of moving across country with two little ones and two dogs? My husband and I will be relocating for his job soon from Columbus, OH to either Phoenix or Orlando and have never moved out of state before. We have a cat who has separation anxiety and hates riding in the car. I always wanted to take a cross-country drive, but am terrified and excited at the same time. Not sure if you touched on this in the past, but would love to get some tips to keep the move stress-free and fun! 🙂

  10. Jessie on July 26, 2016 at 6:52 am

    I’m so glad it is a familiar place for you at least!! And you get to spend a few months back home with your family. Best wishes and hope your stay in Georgia is a great time for you and your family!!

  11. Jessica @ Semi-Sweet Tooth on July 26, 2016 at 7:03 am

    That’s awesome! As somebody who has moved to and from the same place multiple times, I can tell you that it will be an interesting transition. (At least it’s always been for me.) I start out thinking that nothing has changed, then assume everything has changed, then land somewhere in the middle.

    You’ll love being close to the people and places that you loved, though. And I can’t wait to follow with fresh eyes since I’m a newer reader. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this exciting news!
    XO, Jessica
    http://www.semisweettooth.com

  12. Amy on July 26, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Wow, this is going to be another adventure for you and your fam Gina! I think you’ll be good at it, kids can adapt more easily or so I’ve heard. Being able to visit Disney—cool and it’s not permanent, right? Thanks for sharing your perspective with us:)

  13. Jessica @ Fit Talker on July 26, 2016 at 7:06 am

    This post gave me chills…in a good way.

    Full circle is definitely the case. Every situation has the good and bad, so you embrace the good and try not to think about the bad. And since it seems another move will happen, if it’s not ideal, it’s not forever.

    At least you have a wonderful family to do it all with. 🙂

  14. Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! on July 26, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Awww, I know that moving will be tough, but Georgia will be fantastic! And maybe when I drive down to our family home in florida next, I’ll be able to stop in Valdosta and meet you! (Blogger date!!!)

  15. Lily on July 26, 2016 at 7:22 am

    aw back to Valdosta! I guessed that might be the location, based on the ambivalence in previous posts. I can relate, it’s hard to leave such a gorgeous place and proximity to family. It will be so interesting to see Valdosta through new eyes, though- I wonder if it will feel very different, now with two kids and a few years wiser? Anyhow, awesomesauce about 3 months in Tucson 🙂

  16. Julie on July 26, 2016 at 7:36 am

    First, thank you to the Pilot & you & the kids for your service! It really is a huge sacrifice, & I appreciate it so much!! It makes my heart hurt that you have to leave family & friends. I had never even thought of having to find new docs, babysitters, hairdresser, etc. SOOOO stressful! On the upside, I do think it’ll be wonderful going back to Valdosta (as opposed to a totally new place), & it’ll be FABULOUS getting to spend 3 mos. in Tucson! You are for sure a “glass half full” kinda person so you will make it great in Valdosta. I look forward to hearing about all of your adventures between now & then & giving virtual hugs if/when you need them during the process. XO

    • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on July 26, 2016 at 8:30 am

      That’s so sweet of you to thank them for their service! I AGREE! Thank you to the Harneys. 🙂 hehehehe especially P. Because I mean. She’s cute. And Liv too!

  17. Cassie on July 26, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Let me know if you head up nashville’s way! And good luck. You live an incredible life, but I can only imagine how hard some of it is.

  18. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on July 26, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Life seems to have a way of taking us where we are meant to be, even if it’s not necessarily our number one spot! You’ll have to let me know when you’re in Tucson so I can visit the food truck. I’m also missing my friends there. I just don’t have the same tribe in Phoenix.

  19. Jess on July 26, 2016 at 7:53 am

    It must be so hard moving all the time. But you handle it all so well. Good luck with everything and enjoy San Diego while you can xxx

  20. s on July 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

    haha, i guess i’m an OG reader because i remember your early posts about “valdizzy,” so it’s funny to me that you’re moving back! i was always envious of you guys’ local produce (and passage to india meals) though! good luck with the move!

  21. Abby on July 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Wow! Well we recently moved near Atlanta, Ga and it’s been hard being a 4 hour plane ride from all our family in Nevada- but it’s been fun! It’ll all work out!

  22. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on July 26, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I know you have mixed feelings about this move, but maybe your second time in Valdosta will bring the beginning of something else new and amazing?? 🙂 I bet it will!

  23. Alaina on July 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Hi! I don’t post much, but love your blog and read it daily! I actually live in Peachtree City, Ga, so I am happy to hear you will be closer to my neck of the woods. Although, I am sure you have mixed feelings on the move, ultimately wherever your family is will make you happiest so hang in there! Plus, the girls are still young enough to thrive with moving…imagine if they were in the middle of high school…now that would be tough. I know you probably already realize all this and not hear to preach, but I can imagine how difficult this situation must be for you given the research you need to do, etc. You are a power woman, so I have no doubts this will be a piece of cake for you. 😉 If you ever want to visit ‘The Bubble’, let me know! 😀

  24. Stacie Smith on July 26, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I live in Albany, GA. Georgia is its own unique little place (I could do without the humidity). But I have never lived anywhere but Georgia. It will be a tough transition, but I am glad that you will have family and friends nearby.

  25. Ali on July 26, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Wow!! What a crazy thing! I remember the blog in the Valdizzy days! I am so stoked to see how different the experience is for you with your little ones, from how it was as singlettes! <3 <3 <3

  26. angie kilar on July 26, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Ahhh Valdosta….I thought that when I saw your comment to me last night. But now it should be better with the girls..you can see it through their eyes. I cant wait to read about the new shenanigans esp since Ive been reading the blog since march 2009. But I will be sad to not see SD shenanigans.

    I am sooo excited for you ESP Liv since you will be THISCLOSE to Disney World. Man, Liv’s going to go crazy.

  27. joelle on July 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

    As someone who’s been reading since the Valdosta days, I can’t help but feel nostalgic as well.. weird I know, but reading your post brought me back to where I was reading your posts back in the day (I was dating someone in the AF then too and trying to figure out what the heck I was doing in my life, so related to a lot). I’m glad to have been lucky enough to chat/spin with you in real life while you’ve been here in California, and am sending lots of good wishes to you and your family! Everything happens for a reason, right? I’m sure your kiddos will love the greenery and southern charm of GA. 🙂

  28. Kaitlin on July 26, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I’m amazed you have such notice before your move! We have only ever had 3 months to prepare for the new location. I’m sure you’ve heard other military people say this, but grieving what you’re leaving behind is very normal, and healthy. Change is hard, but I’m continually amazed how many good things come out of it, even when I loathe the change initially.

  29. S U G A R & S A V A G E on July 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    it’s amazing how life works, isn’t it? while I feel your pain of uprooting yourselves from your new community of friends, it sounds like an exciting time for you and your family!

  30. Kirsten on July 26, 2016 at 8:55 am

    One of my favorite things from your Valdizzy days was when you would go to Florida and go shopping and then photograph everything that you bought. I remember when you got hooked on Teavana! Good times 🙂

  31. Brianne on July 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I hope you do get an overseas station at some point. We were stationed in Germany when I was in 3rd-5th grade and some of my favorite childhood family memories are from there. There is a much deeper sense of community (because there are only so many Americans there. And experiencing a different culture and language was awesome. Plus travel was cheap when booked through the base so we went everywhere.

  32. Yen on July 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Got any tips on how to go about finding your new “tribe”? I recently made an east coast to west coast move (LA …whahoo!) and am struggling with finding trustworthy doctors, accountants, “my people”..etc.

  33. Leigh Canady on July 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I am so excited that you are moving to Georgia as I’m in Augusta, GA !!!! I know that it’s not nearly as glamorous as California though! I recall having to move from Athens to Valdosta for grad school and I was dreading it, but I ended up loving Valdosta. I will say a little prayer that all goes well with your move!!!!

  34. Jennifer on July 26, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Is he air force? Nothing like the peach state! I’m at robins. If you are ever up this way, I’d love to meet you, and maybe catch a workout with you!

  35. Kelly on July 26, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Wow Girl! The next few months are going to be “tre” busy for you! I know how organized you are (compared to me you’re a genius at it) and you’ll get it done. You got this! I’m glad to know, I’ve been wondering about it every since you’ve hinted. Thanks for sharing it with us now and in future.

  36. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 26, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Gina wow!! I remember your Valdosta blogging days very well. Can’t believe you’re going back. It really is full circle and all the positives you pointed out – like knowing where you’re going and still have friends there – as opposed to somewhere totally new and foreign, so that’s great for you guys. I wish we could have spent more time together in San Diego! Hopefully you get to come back 🙂

  37. Erica on July 26, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Aw, totally feels fitnessita nostalgic!

  38. Jessica C on July 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Sending thoughts for a smooth transition your way! We moved cross country from Texas to North Carolina a year ago and it was SO HARD to find a new tribe (in fact, some days it’s still really hard!!) – so in a small way (only one move compared to all of yours!!), I can relate.

    (I’m also impressed at how connected you’ve become after two years in a place — any tips — maybe a future post??! We’ve tried a variety of things to meet people here, and it just hasn’t been as “easy” as I expected!)

    Anyways, I’m a long time reader of your blog, and I’m looking forward to hearing more of y’all’s adventures! 🙂

  39. jodie on July 26, 2016 at 10:14 am

    So happy you will be returning to familiar territory. Although I was hoping it was my neck of the woods. 3 months in Tucson is awesome. I have been reading/following your blog from the beginning. Have a great week.

  40. Krista on July 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I totally chuckled when I read this! I’ve been reading your blog since the Valdosta days so it will be neat to follow your adventures there again. 🙂

  41. Silvia on July 26, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Dang. Valdizzy probably captures it….. but it might be different with the kids, a new experience, like riding bikes on safe roads, etc. The MBA sounds like a great idea, too. You will fall on your feet, and when it gets too boring, there is always creativity waiting to fill the void.

  42. Donna D. on July 26, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I’ll be making my first move to Valdosta come February! Nervous about a move from a big town (Charlotte, NC) to such a small town. I have no idea where to start to build a circle of friends. It’s totally different territory than where I have spent most of my adult life. Eeek!

  43. Melissa on July 26, 2016 at 10:35 am

    While not an OG reader, I have enjoyed dropping by here and there and enjoy your blog. Just wanted to say I live in Amelia Island, FL (i.e. not far from where you will be) and am part of a very fitness-minded community. In case you ever want to hit the beach and meet some fun people, we are here!

  44. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on July 26, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Wow, it really does come full circle! I’m excited for your family’s next adventure and happy you get to spend a few months with your extended family!!

  45. Erin on July 26, 2016 at 10:55 am

    The first thing I thought of was, “Gina’s going to get her Indian food back!” Good luck with the move!

  46. Tracy on July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

    It is so hard to be far from your family but great to be somewhere familiar, right? As always, I’m so impressed with your ability to handle a not-so-perfect choice with such grace and optimism. It will be fun to follow along back to Valdosta!

  47. Tracy on July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

    And high five for 3 months in Tucson!!!

  48. Kimberly Smith on July 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Best of luck with the move and enjoy the time with your family in Tucson! You will be close to Disney World!! 🙂

  49. Blair on July 26, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been reading since the Valdosta days on your blog, so I’m excited to see you return to your “roots!” 🙂 Good luck, Gina!

  50. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on July 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I hope your move goes well. Moving is always hard at least that is how I feel. Wishing you the best. xo Lauren

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