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Toto, I Don’t Think We’re In Kansas Anymore

I wake up some days, and I feel like something is off. I feel like I woke up in someone else’s home, and that I borrowed their bed to sleep in for the night. Then there are some days I wake up and I can’t believe I live here, and I can’t wait to start my day. I would ask what is wrong with me, but because some of you may actually tell me the answer to that, I just try to get used to it all.

I am trying to find my purpose right now, and that has been a bit of a challenge. I worked almost a full-time job for the last 5 years, and before that I was a full-time at home Mom. Since January I have been prepping for this move, so I have had a main goal and purpose for the last 6 months. Now here, living the dream, I feel almost guilty walking into a Disney Park with no real purpose but to enjoy. Craig has gone back to full-time since the move, so I try to keep the kids out of the house so he can have some quiet while he works. I am doing my best, but some days, it is just cheaper to stay home and swim. I love this blog, I love everything about it. I love being able to meet up with new people, and make connections that I would have normally never had the chance to. I love that I have inspired some of you to follow your dreams- it is SUCH an honor when someone says that. I feel I have some purpose being able to bring you fun things we have discovered here in FL, and share with you our Disney days. But again, I am trying hard to adapt to it all.

Maybe I am trying to avoid the fear I have that this won’t go on forever, that it may all just eventually end. I have had that in my past, where you have that moment of “This is too good to be true, this can’t be real” and I get that a lot here. I have yet to still grasp that we are indeed here- because of the lack of things and such in our home, sometimes Craig feels it has the “feel” of a vacation rental. Like we are just passing through, even though we know we aren’t. Am I just paranoid? Is God telling me something that I am just not listening to? I have no idea. Relocation can bring on MANY insecurities that you had no idea you even had inside you.

I am trying to get used to leaving our home without stressing out. I really am not fond of 192, only because the traffic lights seem to be red FOREVER. I am learning that I would rather pay the quarter on the tollway then deal with the business and lights of other main roads. On top of that, our van is STILL giving us problems. It will be great for a couple of weeks, and it started to actually SHAKE on Craig today while he was running an errand at lunch. We can never get it to do it for someone looking to fix it, so I am stressing out a bit about that. Believe it or not, I can find WDW so quickly and easily, that it is almost comforting at this point because I know what I am doing there. When I am in WDW, I feel like I am home and that everything is ok. Its actually after I leave property and have to find my way home among the craziness of traffic that I’m not used to, yet. I know, I have only been here 3 weeks, it will all come in time, but these moments of fear really get to me.

I sometimes ask myself “What would you be doing in WI right now if you were there?” and honestly, the answer would probably be “nothing.” During the summer, I would swim with the girls, go to Bristol Renn Faire, hang out with my parents, and just chill out. Being here seems like an endless Disney vacation, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a very different thing.

I find that I want to spend more money here than I ever wanted to in WI- when you don’t have the ease of buying it because it’s “Out of sight, out of mind” it’s easier to hold onto your money. But attending the Parks every other day, especially the kids, are tempted to want and want when we go to visit. They have the same allowance they had when we lived in WI, so they have had to learn to budget it for what they truly want to buy. Occasionally I will pony up money for something unique and special, but when you can buy a case of Coke or Water in the store for what they charge for one bottle in the Parks, that part has gotten much easier. When we are in WDW, we FEEL like we are on vacation. When you feel like that, you also feel like you should have the vacation money to go with it- but we don’t. We have the “Living on a Budget” money and have to live within our means to enjoy the house we have in the state we wanted to live in.

I won’t lie to you, I have had those moments of “What was I thinking?” and then one of you sends a kind comment, or a meet and greet appears out of nowhere, or my husband hugs me and lets me know it will be ok. I know, why should I be comforted, when this was our dream? I can’t say this enough, NOTHING comes without a price. Nothing comes without sacrifice and hard work, nor the sharp edge of reality. There are things I DO miss about WI, but because they were of the safe and comfort nature. I am happy to have so much to do here and I am never bored, but I do miss the small things like running to the store I knew so well up the street, or the Mall that I could run in and know where everything was. I miss running to Bath and Body for my lotions, or even the gas station because it was familiar to me. Here, everything is unfamiliar and, at times, can just be nerve wracking.

My hope, is that with time, this all gets easier. I want to get the kids in their schools and for them to be happy about it, and for Emily to not be teased because of her eye. Summer is easy in a sense because I get to protect them both before the really hard stuff starts, and I want NOTHING but for them to be OK. If my dream, our dream, hurts them in any way in the educational department, I will truly feel like I have failed them, and I just can’t let that happen.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy we did this. I haven’t lived in a home in years, and I am happy that my family has been blessed with many new things, places, and people. I just feel like I am truly Dorothy in the land of Oz right now, but there is no going back to Kansas anymore. Oz is home now, and I am happy it is, I just wish I could get used to it a lot faster than I am. If I have learned anything in this Relocation so far, is that every day is filled with a different road, person, and experience. I am trying to dance on the Yellow Brick Road as much as I can, and even when I stumble, I know I have a lot of support to keep moving forward with. As Dorothy sings “If happy little bluebirds fly, why oh why can’t I?”


  1. Amy, as someone who recently moved (albeit, not as cool of a location… but I didn’t have my family), it’s so so so hard. I’ve been in my town 8 months and it still seems like a foreign place. But you have your family and your new neighbor family and it will get better!!


  2. Everything will be ok sweetie!! It just takes some time and adjusting!! ((hugs)) You and your family are living your dream and you have all of your friends and family supporting you!! Just keep moving forward!! Love ya!!


  3. Thank you for this article. My dream is to move to Orlando, but I also think what will I do without my parents just 20 mins away especially since I have 3 small kids, a 11 yr old, 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. I am so happy that you are living your dream. I hope to one day be able to live my dream also.


  4. Amy, a baby bird can’t fly the moment it hatches. It has to grow, practice flapping it’s wings to build up their strength, take short flights before it feels comfortable for longer outings. You are no different, you will get there! You are smart and have a WONDERFUL support system! Sorry you are having a difficult day, hugs. Hope tomorrow is better for you! **Oh and save this pep talk for you to forward back to me in 2 years, OK?! LOL**


  5. Right on… Go Amy and the Petermanns! I love reading the blogs, they are so fun! Soarin is one of my favs too and I love the LAND ride. Its just a nice relaxing ride to rest your feet and smell the plants in the greenhouse. (LOL for some reason it smells really good in there!) The dog animatronic in the farm scene reminds me of my dog that passed away recently so I named him Buddy <3….. lol. anyway, hang in there things will get better for you all, you are still adjusting to this new awesome life in O-TOWN! I can't wait to relocate myself down there. I am saving up now! thanks again for sharing with us.


  6. Dear Amy~
    Your apprehension is showing but it is A-OK. It’s perfectly normal to feel like you’re on vacation. I would have to say most of the time, I still feel like I am. But let me reassure you that as the house gets more of your personality, as the kids settle into school, when you discover the seemingly secret shortcut to the grocery store, you will feel more at home. I can attest to feeling like a fish-outta-water for so many things when we first arrived here. Even the sunsets wow-ed us. But for every marvel, there were equal parts “huh?”…the grass is really different – thick and spongy; the dirt isn’t dirt, it’s sand; the thunder doesn’t crack, it rumbles. But all these things, while still strange and wonderful, I’m getting used to. And it’s lovely! Florida is my adopted home state now and I think of each day as a new adventure. Apprehensive, for sure. Hanging in to see where God’s plan takes us, you bet and you are not alone. You’ve got friends in FL! 🙂


  7. Amy, I am still feeling this way and it has been almost a year since we moved here from Seattle! It’s been such a culture shock for us too. I was so excited to be so close to WDW but coming down still involves a hotel stay or two and that gets pretty spendy. I keep questioning whether or not we made the right decision too. I can relate to almost every single word you said! We need to chat and see if we can find comfort somehow with our similar stories! Hang in there!


  8. I know your feelings of being new and apprehensive. I moved with my hubby (boyfriend at the time) to his home is Oslo, Norway and it was a huge adjustment. I felt homesick and it was my first time being away from my family. I’m from Orlando and I hated the dark cold snowy Norwegian winter. But I got used to it and it all worked out. Now I’m home in Orlando again and don’t regret moving to Norway but there is no place like home.
    I’m sure you’ll find your comfort zone here. It’s hard to feel at home i guess in a vacation paradise unless you were born here but after awhile it will be familiar and routine.


  9. Ames,

    I completely understand. All I can say, is that in due time, you will become more and more comfortable here. Keep at it! In the meantime, I will continue to pray for you and you family.
    I’m so very thankful and blessed to have the Petermann’s as my dear friends.



  10. Hey Amy, it’s understandable that you will have down days, happy days, days when you question everything, and days when you feel like you’re living your dream. I don’t think I’m suprised at anything that you’ve written in this latest blog, us humans love the idea of starting something new but our brains struggle to adjust whether it’s a new home, new job, or even a new life. It will get easier and everyday life will slowly fit in with that ‘vacation’ feeling.
    You mention it in the post, just remember how many people you’ve connected with because of this experience, even some of us from the UK, and how you’ve inspired us to take brave ‘little’ steps to do things to make ourselves happy.


  11. You will be just fine! I moved to Texas from Puerto Rico and it took me a while to get used to the new town. The best part is that everyday is now a new adventure with new places to explore and people to meet.

    BTW on a side note, do you know about ? They sell furniture and decorations that were in Disney resorts. Last I heard, they had a store in Celebration…. May be a good way to furnish the house 😀


  12. Just as the move took time to organize and plan so too will this. Just keep doing what your doing, think happy thoughts (which isnt to hard to do down there) and keep smiling. It takes courage to persue your dream and I think you, craig and the girls courageous for packing up your lives and moving miles and miles away from “safe”. The thought of packing up amd moving that far away from home scares the living daylights out of me. So, CHEERS!! to you and the family. Hoping that all goes wll in the coming months and that everything starts falling into place and it starts to feel safe.


  13. Thanks for being so honest in this post. I wondered if at some point some of these issues would come up. Mine would be wanting to go in the parks and spend like I was on vacation when I’m not. I’m sure given some time all of these issues will work themselves out.


  14. Amy i sooo love reading the blog and wish we could do what u did Live the dream but as we r in the UK i can’t see it happening so i am living vicariously through you. It will be hard but i know u will get there. To me i think that because its summer vacation time it may be a little harder cos without school yet there is the lack of routine to make it ‘normal’ and u r very lucky to have the AP’s to be able to visit the parks all the time. So thats like the vacation part and may be contributing to a few of the thoughts u r having. I am sure it will settle down soon but for now loving the park updates and remember u can bring in the coke and ask for cups of ice at the counter service places to save some money :o)


  15. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I honestly don’t know if anything will help other than you just have to give it time. Time does wonders for everything, I really believe that time heals a lot of things. I think in time, as you settle in more, and your girls start school, things will start to feel more normal. You will always miss WI and your family and all the familiararity (sp?) but in time, Florida will start to feel like home too. I wish you guys continued happiness there and hope that God will help eaze your anxiety!


  16. The subject of this blog is one that I wanted to hear badly. I’m expecting that when we move there will be many moments where I question if we did the right thing, especially when there are kids involved. If my daughter is bullied, is it because we moved or would it have happened anywhere? Could I have prevented it? I’ve come to the conclusion that some kids are just cruel between the ages of 11 and 17 and it’s going to happen no matter where we live.
    How does one handle being able to visit WDW daily without incurring alot of cost related to food and drink? Just as you have done, you go home for dinner or lunch but it’s so easy to be tempted by the smell of a churro, the site of Beaches & Cream, or the though of how much easier it would be to just eat there. Then there are the cocktails that are 7.00-11.00/piece. There’s really no way to get around that except to save it for special occassions or limit yourself to one. Can I consider one frozen margarita to be lunch? Maybe I can save that way LOL. I bring up food and drink because that’s an expense one doesn’t normally incur in daily home life. I mean, even if you eat out at lunch every day because you work, that is lunch for only one person. When it’s you and your children, that’s 3 and the cost is more like 30.00 vs. 7.00 or 8.00. You put it very well saying that the mindset is of being on vacation so you’re normally inclined to pay the price. That’s just one more change in thought I will gladly have to go through:)


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