The Tarpleys are moving to Texas

Here we are standing under the sign that Troy engraved and painted when he proposed to me four years ago. On the other side, the sign reads: “Will you marry me?” We’re celebrating our third wedding anniversary next week and are excited about our next steps as a family of three.

Troy and I have some exciting news: we’re moving to Austin, Texas!

Ever since Madelyn was born, we’ve wanted to live closer to family. This move makes that possible. Troy, who’s from Texas, has accepted a great new job at a hospital north of Austin. He’ll be starting in early January. I’ll continue working for Images & Voices of Hope — a job that affords me the flexibility of working from anywhere.

We have a lot to figure out between now and mid-December when we move. We’re in the thick of a time-consuming transition, and the weight of it all has admittedly left us feeling overwhelmed. But we’re making progress. In the past week, we’ve found a daycare for Madelyn and a home that we want to buy. Next up is trying to sell our townhouse and figuring out how we’re going to pack and move our stuff and ourselves cross-country.

I love St. Petersburg and will miss it dearly. It’s the city where I launched my career, got married, and started a family. It’s my home. Lately, though, I’ve gotten the same feeling I had my senior year of college — the feeling that it’s time to step outside my comfort zone and establish new roots in a different place. Time to embrace all the beautiful uncertainties that inevitably come with big life changes.

Doing so takes courage.

It helps knowing that Troy and I are making this decision together — with and for our baby. We want to raise Madelyn in the company of family members instead of having to travel 1,000+ miles to see them. We want Madelyn to grow up playing with all the other kiddos on Troy’s side of the family. We want more built-in babysitters so that we can go on date nights and occasional weekend getaways. It goes without saying that we love being with Madelyn, but we need “us time,” too.

The move to Austin doesn’t bring us any closer to my family (I miss you, dad!) but we’re going to make it a point to visit Massachusetts a couple of times a year. Madelyn may be a southerner, but we can’t let her forget her New England roots. We don’t want her to forget her friends in Florida either, so we’re expecting y’all (did I just say that?) to visit once we’re settled in Austin.

The next few months are going to be crazy and fun. Kind of like parenting. We’re hoping for a smooth-ish transition, and we’re excited about writing this next chapter in our family story. It’s my favorite story — one that’s marked by auspicious beginnings and audacious love.