Family over 3 years ago by Liz Adams

Moving is Sad

I’ve had a tough week. Moving is sad. Writing it out is cathartic to me so I’m going to write it out.

I am really sad to leave our house. I’ve talked about this before and so many of you reassured me that this is such a natural feeling as you let go of your first home. I keep thinking about the feeling Dave and I had when we first bought her. So proud, so excited and feeling like “this is it!” We always knew this wouldn’t be our forever home but I think I pictured our forever there. I think that’s what you have to do to make a house a home.

I’ve been so sentimental. Trying to make our boys feel my sadness. I think it’s maybe one of the ways that I mourn. Wanting everyone to feel the emotions that I feel is comforting to me, makes me feel like I’m not alone. Dave keeps telling me that it’s ok, that they are adaptable and that the boys will go through this transition so smoothly! Which I know.

I am so excited for South Carolina. We are so excited. I have felt this pull for so long but I think it’s been a lot on top of welcoming George, slowly packing and watching our house become less of a home. Pulling photos off the wall, boxes everywhere – legit chaos in all corners. We decided to move to my parents house for the week and a half before we fly to South Carolina, that way the boxes can pile up everywhere and the transition goes a little more smoothly. But I’ve realized that this waiting is tough. the movers comes tomorrow and I’m ready to rip off the bandaid!

I’m honestly not even thinking about the fact that we are moving away from family and friends. We plan to come back to the Midwest for a good chunk of the summer, I’ll be back in May when my sister has her baby and my family visits Charleston a lot. I think the sadness of not having them closer will hit once we are already there. Right now it’s the leaving our sense of home, my sense of home, our routine, the people and places that make up our day to day – that feels sad and heavy.

This past Sunday was the last night in our home. I cried the entire day. Wandering around aimlessly in my pajamas until 4pm just crying. I wrote our house a letter, telling her she has been the best home for our growing family. That she is small and mighty and made us feel so loved. That her creaky floors just reminded us of how close we actually are. On our last night I put the letter in the fireplace so it would burn into the chimney to stay there forever. To tell her that we would never forget her.

Does this make me sound crazy?

I’ve never been good at transitions or change. But a little piece of me is staying at this sweet little house. The sweetest house where I rocked my babies in the middle of the night, cooked dinner, gave bubble baths, read them books, laid in the grass and looked for airplanes, ran through sprinklers and watched my babies grow over the past 4 years. We became parents a second and third time in this home. Dave and I grew as parents and grew as husband and wife. The feeling that this home gave me is the reason I get excited for what’s next. That we will carry this feeling with us in South Carolina.

Home is wherever I’m with Dave, Charlie, Jack, George and Webster and that is more than enough. But for now, I’m going to mourn this sweet little house with tulips on the shutters. I’m going to miss her so much.


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  1. Now I’m all teary! I haven’t owned a house, but all these feelings are absolutely normal!! I cried leaving our last apartment even though I was SO OVER living next to annoying students. I LOVE the idea of writing the letter and leaving it in the fireplace. Maybe writing a letter to the new house will help too?

    Either way, it’s totally normal to have a mixture of happy and sad emotions and it’s very understandable that transitioning from living so close to family will be an adjustment. A wise person told me 10 years ago that all big life changes take 6 months to start to adjust to. It doesn’t feel like that’s possible sometimes, but I have found it to be annoyingly true. We just moved in Sept from Boston (I’d gone to college there, lived there 13 years and had amazing friends and support) to Memphis and it’s been ROUGH. I’ve cried more tears than I can count and spent a lot of energy and sleepless nights sad and angry. But here I am 5 months later and it’s starting to feel more like it will be ok. Lo and behold, the 6 month rule proves itself again. I know that it will take more than 6 months to feel at home here but the shift I feel in that time is a far cry from where I was a month or two in. Hang in there and take these weeks day by day. It will be wonderful and Chicago will be so glad to welcome you back next time you visit <3

  2. I/we have moved a number of times. The hardest was from what we dreamt was our forever home, a custom build that we saved and planned for in every inch. We loved everything about it! We took a huge leap of faith that through four moves in four years brought us back to our childhood city, Chicago! It took us 35 years of marriage to land where we never saw ourselves. It has truly brought us the sweetest times/memories. Enjoy this time, love watching your journey!

  3. I teared up reading this post and have been thinking of you all week. Change is hard, even when what’s on the either side is good & exciting. Even if the ownership of the house will soon change, the memories you created there will forever be in your mind and in your heart. Thinking of you over the coming days are you enjoy some time with your family and then head south to settle into your new home. XO

  4. We just moved and are now decorating our new house, living in a place we don’t know people, but loving the nature, space outdoors, etc. It’s all the things…all the emotions. The mix of excitement, dread, possibilities, and loss.

  5. Oh my goodness, I can’t imagine how bittersweet this must feel, especially on the heels of welcoming your baby! Such a tender, emotional time. I had my first baby last year and upgraded to a “mom car” a few months later and cried for a whole day when I realized I hadn’t gotten a picture of my son and I with the car he came home from the hospital in – so, no, you’re not crazy for writing a letter to the house you brought your babies home to! And fortunately, it’s impossible to be sad in Charleston – it’s just the loveliest place!!

  6. This made me cry! I love the idea of burning a letter in the fireplace. You’ll never forget this place and she knows it. ❤️

  7. Aww! Such a bittersweet post! I adore your little home, but I’m also so excited to see this new chapter for all of you!!
    I still remember how sad I was when you moved from the city, it was so nice bumping into you guys from time to time.
    I’m so happy you guys are doing what your heart thinks is best! I’m sure it is going to be a blast!
    Wishing you the very best and thank you for sharing this!

  8. Ugh trying to blink away tears over here! This really hit home because we are also moving . . . In May and only 30 mins away and incredibly blessed to have found a great new home during a housing shortage, but still. You’re so right. Moving is sad! Wishing best of luck for you and your gang these next few weeks!

  9. This is so so beautiful, Liz. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. I LOVED the ritual of writing the letter and then burning it in the fire. We are moving in a few months, and I am so sad to leave, too. I am definitely going to do this letter writing process. I am sure your home knows how much you love it, and I bet the next people who live there will feel that love and benefit from it.

  10. Writing the letter and sending it up the chimney to be a part of the house forever is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us! I may have to borrow that one some day…

  11. I felt this this summer when we moved from our tiny first house to our forever home. Totally normal even if our husbands and kids think we are crazy!

  12. Liz, I am reading this with tears in my eyes! I recently sold my first car that I purchased myself out of PA school. I spent so many hours in that car driving from hospital to hospital and offices. That car shared in all of my little triumps and the struggles of working as a healthcare provider. On our last drive I “thanked” her for getting me safely everywhere I needed to go. I thought about how much I had grown from the time I initially bought her. So no, you are not crazy, and I am sure many many many of us can relate to this post! I can’t wait to see what Charleston holds for you and your sweet family. Sending you love!

  13. I got emotional reading this beautiful post, Liz! I can relate as I’m moving on Friday and also uprooting myself from my norm and comfort zone of the past few years. Like you I’m excited for all that’s to come, yet also feel that sadness about saying goodbye to a place I’ve loved and that’s brought me happiness. I love the idea of writing the house a letter and what someone else said here too about writing a letter to your new house, too. Wishing you the best in the move and your new home in Charleston!

  14. So very normal, but it never gets easier! We’re on our third house and each time is just as hard as the last. Soak up the memories and know you’ll make sweet new memories in this new adventure!

  15. This brought me to tears. You explained your feelings so well. I felt a lot of this with our first home and now that we’re settled into our second home I can’t really imagine leaving. So much of what makes you a family is embedded in the walls and in the memories we make in our homes as things grow and change. I think you writing a letter and putting it in the fireplace was a beautiful sentiment. I did something similar in a moment of mourning/grieving and it really helped me. I hope it helped you too. Wishing you a smooth transition in your next chapter. We all adore you and know amazing things are to come for all of you. Best of luck!

  16. Ugh, Liz! I feel this post so deeply and fully understand where you are coming from! We have moved several times… and it’s such a surreal feeling. Especially because every time we have moved, we have usually added a baby to our family.

    You have had the most positive and real outlook on this move and I have no doubt that this is such a great adventure for your family. There will be adjustments and things you will have to figure out, but from someone that has moved lots and finally moved to our forever destination, the adventure is all worth this feeling you have now.

    Best of luck! Lots of hugs! Can’t wait to watch your adventure!!!

  17. Oh, Lizzy I so totally know how you feel. I cried for days when we left our first home, the hone that we brought our son home in and raised him for the first 5 years. But it’s only a period of time, and I honestly didn’t cry one day in our new home. It’s the goodbye that stings, but the hello is so so sweet. Especially in a new state! Best wishes to you and your beautiful family, you will do great things!!

  18. This is absolutely beautiful. When my parents sell our childhood home I will do just this. What a beautiful home you made here and a new beautiful home is awaiting you in a new city.

  19. Well now I’m sobbing… and we move every three years! #military. So beautifully written, and such a beautiful home we’ve all come to love as well! Best wishes on your move and new adventures ahead!!

  20. I love what you did with the letter. The idea of writing a letter to your house to let them know how much you valued their comfort and warmth throughout the years is a great way to end this chapter of your life.

  21. It’s so so hard , had that exact feeling leaving our home after almost 30 years , so many memories . But change is good , enjoy your new home and make new memories !

  22. Reading this takes me back 3 years and a million happy memories ago. I grew up in Ohio, and had lived in Chicago for 12 years, when my husband received a job opportunity in Austin, TX. I was a Midwestern girl at heart and had never even visited Austin. We were married in Chicago, had our first boy there, and I was pregnant with our second boy at that time. We had just spend a year and a half renovating our dream historic home in Lincoln Park and had only lived in it for 10 months. After some tears and uncertainty – leaving our dream home, leaving our close proximity to my family in Ohio, we took the leap! Almost 3 years later, I can’t imagine my life without Austin, TX. You don’t know until you try and the sense of community and friends who’ve become family, have made Austin the perfect place for us. Your pull to SC is a real thing and you only get one life. Enjoy the adventure! You can always move back to Chicago if SC isn’t a good fit. That home and all that she’s given you will live on in memories and photos for a lifetime. Good luck to you and your sweet family!

  23. Oh Liz! I completely understand. We’ve lived in our home for 17 years!!! I can’t *imagine* moving (even though I literally want to remodel the entire house). It’s just so much a part of our family that it’s almost like another member.

    Take the time you need to mourn. It’s bittersweet for sure, but I’m sure once you get into the bustle of moving and making SC your new home, along w/ the excitement of renovating and decorating your new house, you’ll feel much more at ease. I think your sweet farewell was perfect, actually. I can’t wait to follow along you and your family’s journey. Good luck and see you all soon!! xx

  24. Thank you for writing this post. We just moved away from a city where I’ve lived my entire life and where my parents live. We are only 45 minutes down the road but I’m still not there anymore – I have a new grocery store, pharmacy, school system, etc. It was the right move for our family but it is very bittersweet. After some settling in, my kids are thriving and we are truly loving where we are. FaceTime is crucial because I don’t get to see my parents all the time so we have used it like crazy. Allowing myself to be sad and to feel those feelings allowed me to deal with it and move on to feeling good and excited for our new house and town. Wishing you and the family all the best.

  25. you are the absolute sweetest soul Liz Adams! I just felt so much emotion reading this! We are in our first home and I feel that comment you made, we know it’s not our forever home but we also picture forever here. I know you’re new home is going to bring you so much joy, happiness, and incredible memories with your sweet family.

    xo Laura Leigh

  26. This made me cry for you! I know those emotions very well and it is all so NORMAL. If you didn’t have them I would think there’s something wrong with you. Haha. Writing it down and expressing it helps I’m sure. I wish I would have done that when we left Birmingham and headed for Mt Pleasant SC. Our story is completely different as our ages are too but the feelings are the same. The town you are going to is so friendly and I’m sure you will find your way easily. Young kids help make new friends! I love following along with you and your sweet family. Let’s always remind ourselves how grateful we are to be able to have choices in our lives and the ability to chase our dreams.

  27. I loved reading this, Liz. It made me teary! There’s nothing like a first home and I’m sure you’ll treasure her forever. Wishing you a smooth transition to SC—can’t wait to follow your family’s journey there! I’m sure you’re going to love it!

  28. This made my heart hurt and I cried. We are contemplating the same move and leaving family. Ugh sending you big hugs this week! Off social media for a bit, but I will be checking back in to follow you journey XO

  29. Moving is definitely hard! My kids are late high school and college and I used to get super sad every year packing up their “too small” clothes… so I definitely get the sentimentality of moving and leaving so much behind. But, as a fellow South Carolina resident (Greenville) I think you will LOVE living in Charleston! Best of luck to your cute family as you navigate this new adventure!

  30. I love what you wrote; when we sold our home I cried for days; it was where my boys grew up and the memories were all so wonderful, your boys are young enough that you will make new memories; and you can always go home. You are a kindred spirit.

  31. Oh this made me cry, this is so perfectly beautiful. To all things there is a season, and you are leaving a very lovely, special one. This year has shown me we are all conditioned to couch hard things with all the other good things, and that it’s okay, and healthy, not to. To separately mourn this while separately celebrating what’s next. Best of luck 💕