Moving to CA, and Our First Christmas & New Years

I’m not entirely sure where to start this post. I have failed at keeping my blog updated like I said I would after we moved. To be very clear, we moved to California three days before Christmas last year (2019). The truth is the past two and a half months have been a total blur. Between moving, getting adjusted to California life, living with my in-laws, and learning how to deal with the traffic (and humidity! Um, hello frizzy hair!) it’s been very crazy.

Looking back, I don’t think I was as prepared for all of the bumps that have happened since we’ve been here. I’ve been very homesick and have missed my family and friends very much. I’d be lying if I said it’s all be rainbows and sunshine because it hasn’t. It’s been hard being far away from my family and friends. I’ve cried a lot more than I’d like to admit. Truthfully, I’m still not sure how I feel about living in California. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really grateful that Dale and I were in a position to even move to California. So many people dream of living here, and we got to do it. It’s just been a much bigger of an adjustment living here than what I anticipated. It’s been a wild ride!

December 22, 2019: Moving Day

Anyway, if I could sum moving and the holidays into one word it would be overwhelmingly exciting, terrifying, and a total blur. Okay, so that’s way more than one word but you get my point. Dale and I were exhausted from moving a few days before Christmas. It was insane. I will never, ever, ever move three days before Christmas ever again. End of story. It was stressful. I’m really grateful that my father-in-law was kind enough to come out and help us move to California.

All packed up! California here we come!

We left super early the morning of December 22. I think we got up at 5:00 and left by 7:30-ish. We finished cleaning the apartment that we lived in, stopped for some gas, and then hit the road. Overall, driving through Utah to Arizona to Nevada on I-15 was really easy. I really enjoy road trips (minus sitting the car). I love jamming out to music and listening to audio books. I listened to a lot of country music and had the Harry Potter books blasted for most of the drive.

We. Are. TIRED.

There’s really nothing exciting to report about our move to California. We saw a lot of road kill on our way to California. While I listened a lot of Harry Potter and found myself even quoting certain parts of the book. I have no shame in admitting that, thank you very much. We did, however, were accidentally separated from each other when we were trying to meet up at the boarder of California. The GPS took me to the wrong gas station that I was supposed to meet Dale at. After he sent me the address again, I ended up getting lost AGAIN. I am so bad with directions (Thanks, Dad. Appreciate the gift you gave me. It was SO thoughtful!)! Eventually, we found each other but it was after we entered into California so we missed the cool picture with the state sign that says, “Welcome to California.” We’ll get it one of these days. We also filled up twice for the van, and once for my car. We were so blessed that the worst thing that happened was the separation. We didn’t have any car problems, flat tires, and good company.

We made it to California around 10:00 pm. It was late. Dale and his dad unloaded the truck really quick (thankfully, we don’t have a ton of stuff) and left everything in the garage. They had to return the moving van first thing in the morning. Once that was done, Dale and I spent the rest of the day unpacking a few things. We are keeping 90% of our stuff in a storage unit right now. We’re waiting on a few things to pan out before we move out of my in-laws.

The Holidays: Christmas & New Years

I was so excited about decorating the Christmas tree!
Dale put the angel on the top of the tree since we couldn’t find our star.
My Nana (grandmother) made Dale a stocking for Christmas! I love it!
He is the reason for the season.

The next couple of days flew by! I am shocked at how fast they went. We finished unpacking, and finally set up our Christmas tree. It really didn’t feel like the holidays because our studio apartment in Utah was full of boxes. We had no holiday decorations up so it was so nice having a little Christmas tree up. I really appreciated the holidays so much more this year because of how unique our circumstances were.

Next thing I knew it was Christmas Eve! We spent Christmas Eve with Dale’s family. We ate amazing food (above). It was also so great to finally really get to know Dale’s side of the family. They are absolutely lovely people. I really enjoyed getting to know them. We also karaoke-ed. It’s a good thing that I don’t know Dale’s family very well. I didn’t karaoke a whole lot because singing in front of people I don’t know well freaks me out. Those of you who have witnessed my karaoke skills know that you have to pry the microphone from my hand ’cause I love karaoke. Throughout the night, I did feel homesick. Besides my mission, I have never missed a Christmas Eve with my family so it was very bittersweet.

Traditional Christmas morning breakfast

The next morning was Christmas! It was so wonderful! Dale and I carried on my family’s tradition of making cinnamon rolls, eggs, and bacon for our breakfast. We got ready for the day, and then went over to Dale’s extended family to celebrate Christmas. It was SO much fun! We opened some nice gifts from each other, and from Dale’s family. There was so much food that was amazing, karaoke, and great company. I really loved getting to know everyone so much better, and learning about all of the new traditions. Side note: Chinese food for Christmas is apparently a thing that I was never aware of.

Merry Christmas! Love, The Quinio Family

After Christmas was over, we took the next two days at the beach and saw some of the really pretty lights around the area. People go all out here. It’s crazy.

Fa la la la la la la la

Then two days after Christmas, we went on our San Francisco trip! IT WAS AMAZING! If you missed my post about the trip, you can click HERE and HERE to read part one and part two. I have never been to San Francisco before. It was so awesome seeing so much of California over the few days that we went. I loved the drive, and spending more time with Dale’s family. I definitely married into a good family.

When we returned, I was exhausted. I was super lucky that my Fibromyaliga didn’t start acting up until the end of the trip. When we got back, I spent the next day or so resting and trying to get my body to bounce back from all of the insane busyness of the holidays and moving.

Then we started off the new year in California! We had another wonderful family party with more karaoke, Chinese food, and great company! I had so much fun at the party. I might sound like a broken record, but I really loved getting to know Dale’s family better. One crappy part of having your in-laws’ family out-of-state is you don’t get to know them in the same way that you do in person. I am so grateful that we’re now in California and look forward to many more family gatherings.

Starting the new year with a bang of some good ol’ Sparkling Cider!

I’m not sure what 2020 is going to bring especially with this Covid-19 stuff going on right now. But I do know this: 2020 is going to be a memorable year. It’s going to be a wild ride! I’m excited to make friends in California, to experience new things, and build a life out here. I can’t wait to see where life will take Dale and I! I’m also really excited to meet my new year goals. I’m so excited to get back in shape, to read more books, and to actually finish a bunch of crafts that I started. I’ll have to write more on my new year goals another time. Until then . . .

Questions for you:

  • What are your goals for the new year?
  • Do you believe in New Year Resolutions?
  • Have you ever traveled to San Francisco?

Leave your answer in the comments below!

XO Sam

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