We’ve got news: We’re moving!

Hello, my friends, and welcome to one of the last blog posts of 2020 on A Lady Goes West. What a year it has been. Last week, I told you I had some news, and here it is: We’re moving!

After eight years of life in the San Francisco Bay Area, our little family is heading back to the East Coast. We’re moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, and we’re really excited about it.

We’ve got news: We’re moving!

Pitt family at Dinosaur Hill November 2020 by A Lady Goes West

A little history on our lives in San Francisco …

When Dave and I took a leap of faith to leave everyone and everything we’d ever known in Orlando, Florida to chase a little adventure in California, we had no idea if we’d like it or if we’d stay for a long time. Well, we loved it. San Francisco and the East Bay of San Francisco are amazing places to live.

Because of our big move out here, I started a new path that has led me to own my own business that I absolutely love, and Dave has had some crazy success working for the Golden State Warriors, bringing home three diamond-encrusted championship rings. We got Rudy. We had Brady. We bought a beautiful home. We met wonderful people. There have been so many great things. But it hasn’t been all that easy for us. In some ways, it’s been downright hard at times.

The Pitt family at Dinosaur Hill November 2020 by A Lady Goes West

Let’s be honest: Having a child with no family help around and a husband who works crazy hours in the NBA was not a great combination for me. The first year of Brady’s life was t-o-u-g-h. I tried to work, teach my classes, manage our house and care for a kid who didn’t sleep … alone, much of the time. Dave did everything when he was home, but he was gone a lot. (Yes, I know, this may not seem signifiant to many, especially with only one kid, but it was significant for me.) We got through all of that, things normalized a bit, and then COVID hit. While it’s been nice to have Dave around more these last few months, this time has really made us think about where we want to be long-term — and that’s on the East Coast, closer to family, but still in a “big-ish” city. 

While Dave’s job is one that he didn’t want to walk away from, it became clear to us that we needed to make a change. It couldn’t have been more serendipitous that Dave’s former boss just happened to take a new role as the president of sports marketing agency in Charlotte. Dave and him kept in touch, and when Dave told him we wanted to get back east, things started to fall into place nicely. So Dave’s got a great new job lined up in Charlotte, that will keep him in sports, but will have him doing what he does on the agency side instead of being part of a team. I’m very proud of him, and he’s pumped to try something new.

But there’s more: Most of you know that I’m incredibly close to my mom, and it’s been very difficult to be so far from her. While we did a good job seeing each other two or three times a year the first few years, that became more challenging after Brady was born, and as my dad got sick. There were two years where I only saw my mom once a year. That’s twice in two years. It was awful. But that will all change now, because my mom will be a 10-hour drive away, one that she is planning to make all the time, spending long stretches with us throughout the year (YAY!). It’s also like a 1-hour flight, so I’ll be using that option a lot too to go down and see her. 

In addition to being a day’s drive away from my mom, we’ll also be about 3.5-hours away from my brother and his wife in Atlanta. Dave’s parents are back in Florida now too, so also a day’s drive away, and Dave’s other siblings and their families are in the Northeast. Basically, all of our close people, including our long-time best friends, will be in the same time zone (outside of Dave’s younger sister, Gwena, who is in San Francisco and who we will totally miss having nearby). A great change for us!

Dave and Ashley at Dinosaur Hill November 2020 by A Lady Goes West

What it’s been like lately …

Over the last month, my stress level has been through the roof — with the pending move, preparing and showing the house, the loss of my dad and so many other national-pandemic-related things — I’ve had numerous breakdowns. So much so, that I was losing hair and dealing with all sorts of stress side effects — which are all starting to get better, slowly but surely.

We had to do a lot of things to get our house on the market to sell, then we prepared for photos, did a bunch of showings, sold our house, booked movers and have begun the process of selling a lot of our furniture that we don’t want to take with us. The cool part is that one of my dear friends is our realtor, and we sold our house to a set of friends too. 

What are our plans in Charlotte …

So what are our plans in Charlotte? We are going to rent for a couple months while we look for a house to buy, and we’re looking at neighborhoods just south of downtown Charlotte. Housing is a lot more affordable in Charlotte than in the Bay Area, so that’s a major plus for us. Other than that, we don’t really know anyone, and we’re okay with that. We’ve made a big move before, and we know we can make it our “home” as time goes on.

Brady knows that we’re moving, and he’s excited to go to his new house. In fact, nearly every time we get in the car now, he asks if we’re going to North Carolina. I think he’s at a very adaptable and easy age to make this change, and we’ll be glad to be settled into a house that we love well before he needs to start kindergarten in the public school system.

Brady at Dinosaur Hill November 2020 by A Lady Goes West

Our movers are coming January 5th, and we’ve got one-way tickets for January 6th, landing in Charlotte and showing up to a short-term rental, with all of our belongings heading to a storage facility until we find a house. While the last couple of months have been stressful, I know we’ve got a lot ahead — but I also know that this move is meant to be for us, and we’re going to enjoy the adventure, just like we enjoyed the adventure out west.

We’re going to miss a lot about being in the Bay Area, but we know in our hearts this is a change we’re destined to make.

The Pitt family at Dinosaur Hill November 2020 by A Lady Goes West-1

By the way, as soon as I started telling people about the move, one of the questions that came up is the name of the blog. As you know, the whole reason I started A Lady Goes West was because we left Florida to move to California and I wanted to document it. Well, the blog has evolved over the years. So YES, I will be changing the name. I’m just not entirely sure what I will be changing it too — I welcome any and all ideas. 

That’s my news for today, friends! Thank you for being here and following along with our lives! Much more to come soon. πŸ™‚ 

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

Have you ever been to Charlotte?

What should I rename the blog?

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40 Comments

  1. How exciting! I just found your blog this weekend and I LOVE it…I’m based in Wilmington, NC and we moved here a few years ago from Alaska. Charlotte is great! I bet your son will love the kids’ museums. I can tell you it’s a big transition from west coast back to east, but it’s been wonderful. Safe travels, and consider this an early welcome to NC!

  2. I live in Charlotte & you will love it! So exciting for you. PS – just discovered your site & LOVE IT! Ballantyne is nice, and the train is so convenient.

  3. I think you are going to love getting out of the bay. I was born and raised in the bay area. Once we had our daughter I knew we had to make the move. We moved to Ohio to be closer to my husband’s family and it was one of the best decisions we ever made, just for the housing situation alone! Good luck with everything Ashley!

    1. Hi Krista, The cost of living difference is so significant when you leave the Bay Area, it’s CRAZY. That alone would be reason to move, but the fact that this will bring us closer to all of our family makes it even more of a good idea. I’m glad you are happy in Ohio. Our best friends live in Columbus and we’ve been there to see them a lot over the years. πŸ™‚

  4. Ah how exciting! We moved house 8 weeks ago and yes it is stressful but sooo worth it, and you are such an organised and positive person I’m sure it will go well! Happy for you guys to have something happy happening after such a difficult year, and look forward to hearing all about a new place! Good luck! πŸ™‚

  5. Such exciting news! It sounds like everything fell into place and that it will be good for you guys!
    SO so happy you’ll be closer to family, too.
    xoxo

    1. Hi Gina! Thanks, my friend! It’s clear to us that this move is the right path, so we’re excited about it! I know you are no stranger to cross-country moves. Glad you are settled now! πŸ™‚

  6. Good luck with the move, so happy for you guys.

    Regarding the name of the blog, I vote for just keeping it! You are a lady who went west and it shaped so much of who you all are, even the decision to move to NC might not have happened had you not moved here for close to a decade πŸ™‚ Plus I work in marketing and it’s really hard to rebrand without losing some of the brand equity you’ve gained over the years. But, if I have any more ideas, I’ll send them your way!

    1. Hi Sheila! I hear you on the name of the blog — totally a pain to change a name and try to make a smooth transition. I appreciate your professional insight, and I agree — so I’ll weigh the pros and cons if I can come up with a worthy change! πŸ™‚

  7. Such exciting news! I’ve never been the Charlotte but have heard it’s amazing. And I imagine will be so nice to be closer to family. Can’t wait to follow along!

  8. So excited for you and your family, Ashley! I know quite a few people who have moved during the pandemic – it’s been a good time for reevaluating priorities and soul searching to say the least – and every one of them is so much happier now, especially because most are closer to family. Enjoy these last couple of weeks in the East Bay and I’m excited to follow along with your adventures in moving and getting settled in Charlotte!

    1. Thank you, Liz! I have also heard of a lot of people reevaluating where they live and what’s going on in their lives. This has definitely been a year to look inward. Thanks for your sweet words! We’re excited!

    1. Hi Sabrina! I’m sad you didn’t get to come to one of my classes too — I miss in-person classes so much! Thank you for reading and for following along. Hope you have a great holiday week!

  9. Oh my goodness! I can imagine you have been stressed out. I hope the hardest parts are behind you and you are able to relax a little over Christmas. That is very exciting news! Being close to family is so important for us too! What a great way to start the new year! Cheers!!!

    1. Thank you, Catherine! It’s been a lot the last few weeks, but I know all the effort will pay off for a good change in the end. πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful holiday!

  10. Is me saying “Yay! So excited for you and can’t wait to invite myself for a visit!” getting old yet? Hehe. I truly am so excited for you and I feel such joy for your Mom because I know how much being only driving distance away will mean for her.

    Looking forward to updates!

    Oh and as you know, I just moved recently too. But only 40 minutes and only myself from a one-bedroom to a teenier one-bedroom. I have no right to complain about the stress that has and continues to create for me right now because you’ve got several people to pack and unpack for! I will be here for you whenever you need to vent!

    xoxo.

    1. Hi Courtney! Moving is super stressful, especially if you’ve been somewhere for a while, so you are totally justified for still feeling it. I hope you get settled and comfortable in your new pad soon, my friend!! πŸ™‚ xoxox

  11. This is so exciting!! I am a born and raised Charlottean, and hope you love the Queen City as much as I do! Welcome south!

  12. A Lady Goes South !.That is the name. Congratulations on your new life in Charlotte. Its exciting time for your family. Have a wonderful move and enjoy the process.

  13. I grew up in Charlotte, but moved to Winston Salem after college. It’s a great city and we love going back to visit frequently!!

  14. Hi Ashley, can’t believe I missed this post. I hope the move is going smoothly. Re: the blog name change, I wanted to chime in and see if you’ve considered updating the tagline/logo to reflect your new life back east instead of actually changing the name to something 100% different. So the URL would stay as is but visually, readers would see “A Lady Goes West (then East)” or “A Lady Went West,” you get the idea. So you still have the same brand recognition and name concept (and don’t have to deal w/redirects and losing any SEO juice if you changed the URL) but just slightly updated. I always thought if Tom and I moved back to the US, I’d keep ouiinfrance.com and just update the logo to visually include something like “Oui In France No More” instead of a total re-brand and URL.

    If you feel like you want a complete refresh, maybe just go with your first and last name as the new domain name so that way you are the brand and your site grows with you as your life changes since your name will always be relevant to your brand.

    Just my 2 cents!

    xx
    Diane

    1. Hi Diane! Totally okay that you missed the post! I truly appreciate your insightful input on the name change — and these are all things I’m considering implementing. Your two cents are valuable! Happy new year, friend! πŸ™‚ xoxo

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