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Our Worst Kept Secret: One Step Back to Take a Giant Leap Forward

Jan 25, 2017

As of today, it’s been 916 days since we moved away from Colorado.

It’s been 916 days of heartache, of homesickness, and quite honestly: of regret.

This blog is about to be a short novel, so bare with me here. This is literally the worst kept secret we’ve ever tried to keep … but now that the cat is out of the bag, we’re formally announcing …

We’re moving back to Colorado Springs in 10 days!!!

When we crossed the state line out of Colorado toward California in the summer of 2014, I turned my face away from Randy so he wouldn’t see the silent tears pouring down my cheeks. It was at that moment I knew we had made a huge, huge mistake and as Harold and Kumar said - we’ve gone too far to turn back now.

Even as we signed our old house over to its new owners a few months later, we both had this uneasy feeling in our chests - and that unease has grown into full grown uncomfortableness over the last almost-three years.

Initially, we wanted to move to California to be closer to my family. I had these ideas in my head of Parenthood style get-togethers and being able to have my parents help us out with watching the kids so we could work as much as possible so Randy could quit his ‘day job’ and work with me full-time.

And then reality sunk in.

My parents both work full-time still, and my dad is a small business owner like us. We didn’t end up moving in down the street from them as we had wanted to do, but rather about 45 minutes away because the idea of spending double (if not triple) what we paid for our house in Colorado would have destroyed our budget and we would have been totally house-poor (you know - when you have a nice house but can’t afford to eat anything but ramen noodles? Thank you, again, Dave Ramsey for ruining saving our lives.) At first, we would see my parents long enough to drop the kids off whenever we had weddings, and sometimes on holidays. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t fair and it certainly harmed our relationships.

At one point, I called my best friend Missee and tearfully asked why we ever moved away from Colorado. She paused, took a deep breath and what she said made so much sense. She said, “you had to move there to learn. You had to move there, because if you hadn’t, you’d have always wondered if you should have.

When she said that … it hit me like a ton of bricks. We had to come here to learn, to see, to experience. And we did … and we also realized that some bigger dreams of ours would never be able to happen here.

The Big Dreams That Never Could Happen in California

For those of you who have been following along with our adventure over the last few years, you know it’s our dream to open up a wedding venue (we talked about it a little when we announced our move to California). More specifically, our dream is to open up a beautiful ranch with a big white barn with horses, for Randy to grow food for us, and for us to own several acres that will also serve as a wedding venue. Initially, our dream was to do this in Joshua Tree.

And then reality set in. 

It would be not just one or two million dollars - but we’re talking several million dollars to get the kind of land we’re looking for in California, plus build the farm and home we’ve been dreaming of for the last 15 years.

Just the idea of spending several million dollars makes me want to cry, throw up, laugh and cringe - all at the same time. And to be honest, the idea of waking up in Joshua Tree every day for the rest of our lives is not something either of us are over the moon about. Beautiful place to visit, but to live here permanently? I know you can’t see the face I’m making, but it looks something akin to the face you made as a kid when your mom put a huge scoop of your least favorite vegetables on your plate at dinnertime - and you had to eat them all, without the promise of dessert at the end.

You guys, we just aren’t meant to live here.

You guys are also aware of how much Randy + I want to adopt, it’s something we’ve been wanting to do for years. We were well on the way to that goal when we were in Colorado, working with an agency and getting the ball rolling with all the home visits and stuff, but that entire process came to a screaming halt when we discovered how expensive everything here is and we simply couldn’t afford a big enough house that could fit the six of us, let alone adding in a new baby into the house.

So, what’s our plan?

We are listing our house in just a few short days, it’ll officially be on the market and ready for a new family to come and enjoy. It’s fully renovated with brand new flooring, brand new kitchen, updated appliances, even a brand new room to make it an official 3 bedroom house, and we’re so excited for whoever decides to move into it!

We’ll be leaving California the second week of February to go back home to Colorado Springs. We’ll be camping in our RV until we find a new home or some land to purchase. We don’t really have any concrete plans, except going home. We’re flying by the seat of our pants (or, errrr, driving by the seat of our RV) and letting things fall into place.

One small step back right now … for one giant leap in the future.

We realize that on the outside, selling our house and moving into our RV without any permanent address ahead of us in Colorado is sorta crazy, and giving up this beautiful house we’ve worked on for the last 2 years is a giant step backwards and in some regard, it is. But we’re looking at it as a way to take a ginormous leap forward because moving back to Colorado is all we’ve wanted to do since we left, and we can finally start working on accomplishing some of our big dreams.

Oh, and one more thing … 

Boudoir is coming BACK!!

When we moved to California, boudoir took a backseat to everything else because I didn’t have a shooting space! But, now that we’re coming home to Colorado, we’re going to be getting the boudoir studio back up and running. Once we are settled and have it ready to launch, I’ll be sharing more about it!

Sooo … yeah, here we go!

Wish us luck, send us safe travel vibes and prayers for our California home to sell as quickly as possible. We’ll be back in California at least a dozen times this year and a dozen more in 2018, so don’t worry: this is “see you later!” and not goodbye!!



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  1. Sara O'Hara

    January 25th, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I am so dang happy for you guys!!!! I’m coming to the springs soon to visit my best friend, and we have to get together when I come (dates TBD)!! SO SO excited for you!

  2. Teresa

    January 26th, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Way to go !!! For surely I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord,not to harm but prosper you !!! For He loves you so very much, Ashley and Randy and He is leading you back around to a place of joy!!! And many blessings await there for you and your young ones !!! So excited, what a beautiful post !!! Please visit Fl soon!!! 4 bedrooms here ! 3 are empty !!! 😍😍😍

  3. Marquette LaRee

    January 26th, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Ah! How exciting!! This gives me hope for where we’re at! We knew moving here was the right decision, but we knew it wasn’t permanent, would be hard, and we didn’t know why. But I think we had to learn the exact thing that you did! I can’t wait to see your Colorado dreams come true!!

  4. Holly

    January 26th, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Oh guys, I know you’re so excited!! I’m happy for you and cannot wait to see what all the future holds for you. I know no matter where y’all go, you will thrive! Congratulations!!

  5. Candi

    January 27th, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Congrats to you for following your hearts! I can’t wait see your future shining bright!

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