It's been almost 5 years that I've lived here in North Carolina. Falling in love with North Carolina isn't hard. It's beautiful. The Army Man and I often talk about how much we love it here. It's been a wonderful place to start our lives as a family. It feels like home. That's not to say that we don't miss California. Because of course we do. We miss our families, first and foremost. We want to live close to them and see them on every holiday and birthday. We want Laura to know them better than just through phone calls and the occasional visit. Sometimes I want that life so badly that it brings me to tears.
But one thing I've learned is that the quickest way to an unhappy life is to focus on the negatives. When I start complaining about how much I miss California and our families, it makes it a lot harder to love living in North Carolina. And that's not fair, because it's wonderful here. Nature in North Carolina is fantastic: the seasons change and we even get leaves falling to the ground, along with the occasional snow day. The "liberal Californian" in me can't help but chuckle when the marquee at the Shell station reminds me to pray daily. The Army Man and I have had the opportunity to buy a home, something that probably never would have happened back in the land of half-million dollar starter homes. And like California, we have it all-the beach and mountains. We're close to so many things and since we've lived here we've had the chance to visit Florida, South Carolina, Washington DC, Pennsylvania and New York. We've even talked about retiring in North Carolina. It's been a wonderful 5 years here, and I look forward to at least a few more, if the Army is willing.