the story so far.

It’s cold tonight. Like, actually cold.

Well, cold for me, anyway. The temperature will dip below freezing tonight, and that’s the first time I’ve felt that in nearly four years.

Because we don’t live in Naples anymore. We live in Tallahassee again.

So I haven’t really blogged in a long time. There are several reasons for this. First of all, I blog for a living now (what?! yay!) which means sitting down to my own blog kind of feels like work. And that’s tiring. But mostly I haven’t blogged here because my family has been on a rather intense rollercoaster since February and I’ve been struggling with how to write about that both authentically and respectfully. While it certainly is my story (and you know how much I love to tell my story) I have to be aware of the fact that it’s also Dan’s story. And Dax’s story. And Case’s. It is not solely my own, and therefore I do not have full rights to it.

So with your grace, I’ll try to tell our story in a way that is both truthful and honoring to the three people I love most.

Back in February, Dan decided to make quite the swift career move out of youth ministry and into teaching. But (and here’s the tricky part) while the career change was his choice, the timing of his career change was thrust upon us in — quite frankly — the crappiest way, and I’ll leave it at that. When he decided that he wanted to start a brand new career, he also decided that he’d prefer to do that in a city he calls home. Thus, Tallahassee.

There was only one issue: he was jobless in February, and our landlord wouldn’t let us out of our lease until the end of June.

That led to a season of crazy uncertainty, financial stress, and (starting in late June) couch surfing, which would all be crazy enough on their own, but we also had two small children and a cat along for the ride. Thankfully, Tallahassee very much is home to us, so we had a pretty swell collection of roofs to put over our heads and none of us missed a single meal. I also learned how few toys my children need in order to be satisfied, so now whenever the kids’ room is a mess I’m quite tempted to just throw away everything (but I don’t).

We didn’t finally snag our own place until September, a good month after Dan started his new job as a Language Arts teacher at a performing arts magnet middle school in town. And it’s now almost the middle of December and we still haven’t fully unpacked.

It’s still crazy. But it’s settling into normal and it feels so nice.

Dax misses his best friend from Naples, which makes me sad, but he’s also making lots of new friends at his preschool. Case is entering the terrible twos, which is hilarious to me now that I’ve actually lived through it already. He’s more dramatic than I remember Dax being; whenever he doesn’t get his way he face-plants on the floor and screams, and it’s just so amazing.

Dan is really loving teaching, and I’m loving him loving it. The majority of my income comes from writing now, so I finally (after 15 years of writing on the Internet) feel comfortable calling myself “a writer.”

And it’s cold.

And so good.