Taking the CA out of the Catalons

It’s official, y’all! The Catalon’s are no longer Californians. I can use the word “official”  because as of 7:30 p.m. CST last night, Amber arrived and made our home complete.

Our Dodger Blue home

I’ve been eager to write this post because that will have meant a) we finally made it to Texas and b) I’m done packing and unpacking.

But let me tell you, it was quite the roller coaster to get to this momentous point:

I’ve moved countless times – mostly westbound along the 210 with my mom growing up – but some pretty big moves too, including Napa Valley for college and around the world to Florence, Italy. I considered myself a Master Packer (I think there’s a Filipino joke there but I’m too white to remember exactly what it is…) and figured this move wouldn’t be much more difficult. Steven has moved twice. Numerous times in and out of his dorm room at PUC and then to his own place in Loma Linda (until I kicked him out so Kathryn and I could turn it into a basic girl’s dream – fiddle leaf plant included).

Figured it’d be no biggie. We decided on a fully-furnished, all utilities included, short-term rental house to alleviate the stress of moving furniture and getting everything set up while we begin our quest for our first home purchase (that’s going to be another blog post later…). Steven’s work asked him to start on October 16 so the plan was to quit my job October 12 and head east shortly after. Three days after announcing my plan to my boss, Kelly, I realized I was so.not.ready to move. Work was crazy busy. House wasn’t even close to being packed up. And emotionally, I hadn’t even processed what this move would mean. I quickly texted Steven and asked how he felt about going ahead of me (and Amber) and we’d meet him at the end of the month. Being the trooper that he is, he agreed because he knew I needed the time and he couldn’t postpone work any longer (they had already extended his start date to accommodate our Italy trip in September). Turn of events instance #1.

When Steven left for Austin, I had no distractions (minus MLB Postseason … RIP Dodgers 2016-2017 season) and figured I could knock it out in no time. Upon surveying the contents of our quaint 1,005 sq ft home, I quickly became astonished by how much we’d accumulated in two years. I grabbed my phone and texted my mom, who was planning on visiting the following weekend, if she’d be game to help me with a yard sale. She replied “Yes!” and it was settled – I’d be running my very first yard sale! Turn of events instance #2. Those days leading up to it were wholly consumed by the yard sale – inventorying, categorizing, pricing and prepping. When it was all said and done, I had close to 75 people rummage through my prized possessions, three personal home-shopping visits, numerous OfferUp meet ups, 12 hours of sleep in three days (I kid you not) and added $1,300 to our checking account. It was a great outcome but I was doggone tired after. I had zero energy to pack what was left of the house and couldn’t even figure out where to start. And by that time, it was T-minus six days to get everything done! My work BFF, Ally, must’ve sensed I was internally panicking and came over that week and helped me pack 80% of the house. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without her (other than torch the house to the ground and peaced out).

Now, it’s Sunday — T-minus one day. House is packed. Boxes were ready to be loaded in our car. Let’s do this. Steven’s parents arrive to help us load up the Subaru and they casually mention they’re going to Game 6 of the World Series with Stacy and her boyfriend on Tuesday (mind you, Game 5 hadn’t occurred yet so we were all anticipating Game 6 to be the final game for the Dodgers to bring home the coveted championship…where are all the sobbing emojis?!).  Steven looks to me and sees the jealousy spewing from my face. His dad lightheartedly says, “Stay for the game! Steven doesn’t have to be at work until 3 p.m. on Wednesday … you guys can just fly to Austin!” [Checks Southwest — 6 a.m. flight out of LAX Wednesday morning]
But what about our car? “Mom and I will drive the car on Friday!”
What about Amber? “She can ride with us!”
How are we going to get tickets?! “Ate hasn’t bought them yet … [proceeds to call Steven’s sister and she just hits the + sign to increase the number of tickets from 4 to 6 and says, “DONE”].”
I GUESS WE’RE STAYING A COUPLE MORE DAYS! Turn of events instance #3.

Last time in our first Catalon Casa. Please excuse Steven’s attire — he decided to wear every piece of Dodger paraphernalia that he owned for the game.

We quickly unload the car, transfer as much as we can into four suitcases (thanks for the free checked bags, Southwest!), fill the new space with more stuff that would’ve been in the garage and soak in the fact that we were going to go to our very first World Series game! The Dodgers gave us the best sporting experience of our lives and the perfect final night in California with our family. We were all so pumped after the win, no one could possibly feel sad as we said our goodbyes.

My in-laws and Amber hit the road Friday afternoon and had an adventure of their own to get here. I still can’t believe they willingly offered to do the trek instead of us but we are unbelievably grateful. Amber was a perfect passenger and even got her own bed in the hotel.

Girlfriend is taking full advantage of being the closest thing to a grandchild.

I can’t believe we’re actually here but I couldn’t be more certain that God had His hand over every twist and turn to get us here. Prayers and visits are always welcome. We’re loving getting to know our new city and I can’t wait to share more about why we decided to call this place our home!



Moving Day

Today is my official move in day to a house in Loma Linda with my cousin and a friend. I’ve known since I took my job that eventually I’d move out on my own, but I just didn’t know when. My home with my family is only 15 minutes away from work, there’s no rent and I have all the comforts of a home that anyone could need. Despite all the reasons to stay, I have been anxiously awaiting my own place for years. I think it’s a great symbol of independence and since the rent is so cheap (split three ways), this opportunity was impossible to pass up.

I’m so excited to move in today and get situated but these past couple of days have been really hard on me. You see, growing up, I always had two homes. I had the my most cherished home in Montebello and then I had either an apartment/condo/townhome/house with my mom all over the LA country. My mom and I moved a lot but it was always an upgrade from the last, so I never minded. But since I left for college in 2007, my mom has realized that she doesn’t need a big place since I was only home for a couple months of the year. So she began to downsize and after I left my job in Newport Beach, she moved once again to Corona del Mar into a one bedroom/one bathroom place by the beach. In that process, whatever possessions remained in Newport were boxed up and sent over to my dad’s. There just wasn’t any space. And as I’ve been packing up ALL my things at my dad’s, I’ve had to go through over two decades worth of stuff and decide what was trash, giveaway (mostly this category), storage and for the new house. My room that I’ve occupied for almost exactly 6 years has been completely stripped.

No matter where my parents live, I know I’ll consider it “home” even if I’ve never lived there with them. It’s a pretty sad thought that neither of my two houses contain anything to call my own, but I guess that’s just how life is. We settle in and when we do decide to move on, it’s not about the possessions that make it your home … it’s the people you always come back to.

Wish me luck!