Chapter Next is a phrase my husband and I have talked about for years. It references our future, our plans for the future and our next goals. Eventually we got to the point where we had something very specific in mind for our Chapter Next. All of our financial planning, daily decisions and marital conversations were with this specific Chapter Next in mind.
We were going to move to Southern California. We liked the weather, we liked the beach, we liked the proximity to Disneyland, we liked the laid-back lifestyle. That’s where we were going to start and raise our family. That was our Chapter Next.
We were both plugging away at our jobs, making good money, moving up in our fields, enjoying being newlyweds in a big house in Woodinville, WA. We knew that if we were going to make our Chapter Next a reality, we needed to start saving money and planning the move. So we downsized to a townhouse in nearby Redmond and started researching jobs, houses and neighborhoods in Orange County. We enjoyed a summer trip to Disneyland and took a few days of it to meet with potential employers, tour the headquarters of Disney, discuss job opportunities there, as well as tour a number of houses and neighborhoods in our desired area. Our family and friends knew our move was coming.
Then… the curve ball. My husband was offered a job opportunity with his current company in Bellevue that we couldn’t pass up. More money, more travel, more growth potential, more stimulating challenges. We had to stay for now. But were we going to continue to wait for our Chapter Next dreams before starting our family? No. The next month, I was pregnant.
Becoming a mom changed my life – my already happy and fulfilled life became even more so. My entire world changed. I left my job that no longer felt challenging and rewarding to focus on raising our baby daughter. But now we found ourselves in a small cramped townhouse with another family member – the opposite of why we moved there. So we moved back to our bigger family-friendly house in Woodinville and immediately found out that another baby was on the way.
My decision to start my blog is my way of embracing our new Chapter Next. So many things were “waiting” for Chapter Next to happen first, including having babies and writing my blog. Instead, our Chapter Next is now. We are so happy in the PNW, raising our young family near our family and friends, cheering on our Cougs and Seahawks every football season, and having a place that has been our home for many years. We still occasionally think about sunny California on a rainy dreary day… maybe that Chapter Next is when we have teenagers, or when we retire. We shall see. Until then, our Chapter Next is now and we couldn’t be happier.
My adventures as a mom, my experiments in the kitchen, my interior design ideas, my DIY re-furnishing projects…. those are the inspirations behind this Chapter Next Blog.