My bags are packed for my suitcase heart

// Quick back story for those just reading //
Last August, my dad and stepmom came to Washington for our September 1st wedding. It was a dream come true to be walked down the aisle by my dad and dance to a song we've shared since I was born. I truly cherished this time. To make matters even better, we opted for a family trip immediately following. To not only lay my Grandma to rest, but to linger in the festivities and time together. So our family of four, plus dad and stepmom took to a road trip down Hwy 101 from Tacoma to California. It was the trip of a lifetime. Amazing. Incredible. A dream come true and a time I won't be forgetting any time soon.

My parents have lived in Florida for over a decade. After the economy crashed, things were never the same for them. In the midst of all the unforeseen changes that settled in, my dad grew a successful business and my stepmom got promoted to the highest level in her work place. They did well. And yet, it wasn't enough. I mean, it was - but after awhile they found themselves looking around wondering, "Is this it?" Missing their family (us) across the country, we regularly joked about all living near each other again. That someday they might move to Washington, because after all, they ended up loving it here.

Some months later, my dad took a gamble. He listed his business for sale. A one shot, take all offer. Not thinking we would reach the desired goal, we didn't take it seriously, but were curious about the people who inquired. It wasn't until one man came, found an interest in a few items and the ability to profit with a little more effort from this deal, and he took it.

That's right, he took the offer. He paid almost half up front and within a week paid for the rest in cash. We all sat back bewildered wondering, "Oh my gosh, is this really happening? What do we do?" And so it was, that boxes were being filled, more things were sold off and given away, and we got the call asking if we wanted to assist in this cross country venture.

Having just started our Bachelor's program, the timing was terrible. The challenges that would rise would be substantial. Yet as we sat weighing the pros and cons, we knew in our hearts it was a trip we would take regardless of what it would take. We would make it work like we've done times before.

With two kids, two dogs, a rented minivan, and homework on the road, here we go. This is crazy, some might even say irresponsible. But once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are ones we simply can't take for granted. We aren't in the best place to take a trip across the country - AND BACK - but if there's one thing my husband and I are good at, it's managing our money and time when it really counts.

Here we go...