We decided to go for it. We moved to Las Vegas. The enticement of me not having to work was too strong and of course the number one factor being that we would be with my husband more. He would get to spend so much more time with us (baby girl and I). Be a present dad. Hard to be like nah, I’d rather you be gone 70% of the time. We had a 2 month old baby at the time of the decision. Plus he sold the move with all the amazing stories of outdoor/traveling excursions we could do on the West Coast. I could gravitate back to photography and being creative. Focus on raising our amazing lil human. We both love exploring new cities and cultures so the pros outweighed the cons. Well “outweighed” is the wrong term. The weight of leaving my family was heavy. We move around a lot but never this far. The next farthest being Jackson, MS… a story for a different day. So this weight- add 10,000 pounds due to my Dad being sick. 10,000 more due to me being a fresh, hormonal mom. Knowing that I will not have my Mama or anyone besides husband to help me with this new little being. But we went for it. We are good at that. We moved out of our house at the end of September. I spent the month of October at my parents house, trying to help my mom out with my dad and just spending some quality time with them before the move. I’m glad I got to experience one more Fall in Ohio.
In November, baby girl and I joined my husband in Las Vegas. She was exactly 5 months old. We rented a furnished condo by the strip until we could house shop. Corporate housing. All of our stuff was in a storage unit except our “necessities.” I try not to cling to stuff but it was HARD living out of a suitcase. Especially for 3 months and with a BABY. We went house searching almost daily. The condo so small. Not that I’m used to huge space or anything but it seemed like the walls were closing in on us at times. We tried to make the best of it but the guilt was strong. The reality that my Dad would pass soon was too overwhelming. It was a low point for me. Emotionally for sure. Too many changes going on simultaneously. It was pretty dark for awhile. Dark like I’d never felt. And I am not in denial about being an emotional being. I go through ups and downs. C’est la vie. But this was different. Looking back kinda blows my mind. Makes me realize I’m kinda a boss bitch. On my birthday I got a call from my mom telling me I needed to come home basically for the passing of my dad. So the baby, my husband and I headed back East for over another month. We made the best of our Thanksgiving holiday. My dad was in good spirits having everyone together. After that things declined. My dad died an hour and a half before his 64th birthday, just a few days after the holiday. I’m glad we got to make one more good memory because there are too few associated with this time.
When my dad did pass, the darkness saturated. I’m thankful I have a supporting, empathetic partner in life because I was lost for a bit. Grief is definitely a process. One which I am very much still dealing with. I was so anxious about everything. I was trying to be excited about our new adventure but I was so mad. And sad. It was rough. I received so many kind messages from people. I’m thankful for those close friends and family members that helped me get through, also respecting my privacy. They know who they are.
Once we found and settled into our new house, we put a little love into it. It started to feel more and more like a home. Our little family’s new home. A fresh start in a new city. I started feeling better. I love adventure but I thrive with routine. Getting into a daily routine with my baby girl was comforting. Being a gypsy with my baby was finally over. Damn. Crazy. So I began to heal. I’m still healing. Healing from becoming a mom, healing from moving so far away from my family with my baby, and most importantly healing from the death of my father. I know it’s not over and grieving is a process. I’m trying to allow myself days. Days when I feel the doom and gloom. But I don’t want to live there. I feel so fortunate to have had this time to be a Mom, rejuvenate, get to know my new city, get back in touch with my creative side, just do me. I don’t want to spend it focusing on the past or how life has cheated someone so important to me. Life is unfair. I, like most people learned that long ago. Instead of dwelling on the negative, I’m trying to live my Dad’s legacy. He was such a good man, always making the best of everything. If I even strive to be as good I’ll be bettering myself in some way.
So now we’re in Vegas, chilling. Trying to focus on meeting people. I didn’t think Mom groups were my style but I think it may be necessary here. Making friends as an adult is trickier than when you’re young. And with a baby…shoot. In high school and college you’re surrounded by peers. Then all the sudden you are released into the world. Your new neighbors are seldom going to be your cohorts. You have to put yourself out there. Something my husband is great at but me…I need encouragement at times. I’m optimistic though. Well…welcome to Las Vegas frans. Let the adventure begin.