Goodbye, California

Four and a half years ago when we moved to California, we knew it wouldn’t be forever. It was an exciting opportunity at a time in our lives when we didn’t have anything holding us down or keeping us from saying “why not?!”, so we packed up for some temporary fun in the Golden State. A few years of West Coast’ing and we’d head back to our friends and families in Ohio to settle down. Save our seats at the dinner table, ma.


heading to our going away party, March 2010. babies! we were newly engaged then! chico was an only child! what happened to that lipstick?!

The longer we stayed out here though, the more that carpe diem’ish spirit grew. All the “what the hell, let’s do it!”-ness was an unexpected but super awesome perk of making that jump in 2010. Not only did we get to experience so much life in sunny Southern California (in all of its beautifully perfect and obnoxiously fake-perfect ways) but it really got us out of our comfort zones.

[for ease of editing, flow of the story, and respect for all characters, the intro is very “we.” the following will be very singular because I don’t want to speak on Brian’s behalf and also he’s a lot less fucked up than I am so probably none of these really apply to him anyway]

How Uprooting Your Life and Moving Somewhere Far Away Where You Don’t Know Anyone Can Impact Your Life for the (mostly) Better


first month in town, walking the Laguna Beach boardwalk like some young lovesick froufrous (sis was visiting and took this pic)

  • I learned how to open up, soften my steely outer shell, and not be such a judgmental bitch in an effort to make friends. And when that didn’t work I resorted to soliciting people from the internet. The latter boasts a much higher success rate, unshockingly.
  • I realized my Type A was a lot less of a “cute quirk” and more of a deplorable obstacle for anyone trying to make plans, live, or work with me, and let the hippie surfer vibe mellow out my uptight ass a little.
  • I developed the ability to distinguish Thai from Indian curry, pronounce and enjoy pho, and chopstick dexterity I never imagined possible.
  • I became a total and unapologetic beer snob.
  • I grew meaningful relationships (including some I didn’t think would stand the test of time,) let others fizzle out, and planted new ones I’m pretty confident are just getting started. My friend-garden has been weeded, preened, and slathered in manure, and I’m really happy with its outlook. Quality really is the name of the game.
  • I offered a shoulder to the sad and weary, and let myself accept it when I needed one, too.
  • I honestly reflected on our first years of marriage, and (after some time) realized that the valleys are worth more than the peaks. Having someone willing to ride that roller coaster, hand-in-hand or screaming at the top of our lungs, means the world.
  • I fell in and out of love with running like a billion times.
  • I made some career moves that small-town Ohio Sarah wouldn’t have been ballsy enough to make, and some that would’ve made College Sarah cringe, but realized in the end working for/with people you want to be on a team with is a hell of a lot more fulfilling (and fun!) than doing anything just because you’re good at it/stuck in it/went-to-school-for-it-and-are-determined-to-get-your-tuition-money-out-of-it.

On that note…

(you had to realize by now this was all going somewhere)

This weekend I’m closing our SoCal chapter and driving whatever fits in a little tow-behind trailer up to Bend, Oregon. !!!!! <— So many exclamations! A new adventure awaits and I’m outrageously excited about it.

(yes, even the cold and snow)

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.42.24 AM

bookmarked this page in June and have had it open ever since

It’ll be an unconventional transition at first – Brian’s staying down here to finish out the year at the hospital and going back to Ohio for Christmas. (That was my consolation to his parents for “We’re moving, but it’s not to Ohio yet, sorry!”) I’ll be settling into our new home, taste-testing and run-testing all our new soon-to-be favorite spots, and trying to figure out how to shape-shift my flipflops collection into snowboots.

On the bright side, Emily is still the most easily persuadable person on the planet when it comes to shenaniganing and road tripping, so she’s flying down Friday to make the 15-hour drive with me! And the dogs. Two humans, two small dogs, and an over-packed trailer tugging behind it all. I may have failed to disclose those parts of the deal when I sent the trip proposal.


three words and a screen cap of a cheap flight. like candy from a baby…

California has been great. More so figuratively than literally, but still, 100% grateful for our time here. But you know, “all good things come to an end” and “one door closes another one opens” and all that shit.

Luckily that new door is opening to probably the only place that can rival SoCal’s beer scene. Made convincing Brian a little easier… It only took 3 seconds instead of 30.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.01.34 AM

Here’s to a week of frantic packing and purging! You probably won’t hear from me again here until after the move, but you know where to find me on Twitter and IG.

  • Does anyone in Orange County want some furniture, a tube TV, or an orange and black motorcycle? Really, we’re selling 80% of our shit.
  • Does anyone have a favorite pair of cute AND warm winter boots? hashtag I miss my flipflops already…

Sarah OUaL


21 thoughts on “Goodbye, California

  1. Hell, YES. Not only to Bend (duh) but everything else. I’m flat out jealous of the beer you’re going to be drinking. Cheers to this new chapter!

    As for boots, it’s been nine years since I made my big move away from home (same state but practically Canada with a shit ton more snow) and I still can’t find a favorite pair of winter boots.


  2. Congrats on moving!!! A little insight on your drive up if you are going to be driving through the SF bay area make a stop at the North Face outlet (1238 FIFTH STREET
    BERKELEY, CA 94710) especially if its over the holiday weekend,CRAZY GOOD SALE!! you can stock up on all things North Face and warm. I got my favorite cute winter boots there for crazy cheap, plus jackets and pull overs. I have family that live in the area and when I visit its the number one shopping stop for us.


  3. Wow — this is really, really weird. Why? Because I moved to CA from the midwest 5 years ago and I am so ready for a change and if you ask any of my friends where I’ve been talking about moving for the last few months, they will tell you Bend, OR. And you and the hubs are moving to f*cking BEND, OREGON! And now I am extremely jealous — and also extremely excited for you. This is going to be AN AMAZING adventure and I cannot wait to follow your every move. Can I come visit you guys? No, like I’m serious. Also, I wish I lived in OC because I’d buy all your shit. I’m going through a break-up and need to re-buy just about errrrrything. :) \

    ahhh, just so many happy thoughts for you two. amazing.


  4. So f’ing excited for you guys!!! It’s still our 3 (now 2.5) year plan to move to Bend. It’s totally worth the career suicide for us. For now I just plan 2 week visits when I go see my parents. Drinks in December? :) Also get yourself a pair of Sorel boots: ASAP. You won’t be sorry and you’ll fit in with the local kids.


  5. We did the same many moons ago, the great move from ye olde Midwest – Chicago to Seattle. Thought the same, that we’d move home in a few years. HA! Ten years, a house and two kids later… The PNW is where it’s at :)


  6. Bend?!?! Hell ya! Definitely invest in some Sorels. This NH girl still has a pair she bought over 10 years a go that are still going strong. Now they make ones that are actually kind of cute (as it is possible for a snow boot) on top of the more basic style. Load up on puffers, wooly hats, mittens and embrace winter. Your gonna love it.


  7. Pingback: The One with the Puppies | sweat once a day

  8. Sounds like a great adventure– Bend is so beautiful and so many amazing trails to run. Here’s to the next next chapter in your life– may it bring you prosperity and peace.


  9. What!!!??? Wait does that mean no cheering section at the top of the hill at the OC half this year? Booooooo you know you kept me in that race this year…I am serious…I wanted out and kept telling myself “just get to Sarah” ..see the good you did in SoCal?!!! Ok seriously….I am so happy for you and so jealous….I moved here in 2000 and I have been ready to move for a while now…. Where there is snow……the Canadian does not like the heat so much…but 2 kids and a husband against one mom….I don’t win this one…. I hope you guys will be happy there….beautiful Oregon! Have a safe road trip!
    Happy Thanksgiving!



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