They say home is where your heart is. In February of 2006 I left Virginia, the place I’d called home for 13 years. Virginia is where I went to school, made friends, knew everyone and their business. I grew up in a very small town where everyone knew you and you knew them. You knew their mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. When I left my home in Virginia, I left my heart there.
Moving from what was familiar to me was really a challenge, and I almost gave up a few times. After getting married and a job relocation, we ended up in Louisiana.
I didn’t give Louisiana a fair chance. I didn’t want to. I wanted to be back in Virginia with my friends and family. I missed the familiar sights, the weather, and everything there was to do there. I went back to Virginia every chance I could during our first year of marriage. I even went so far as to drive back to Virginia and apply for my old job, which I got but eventually turned down to stay with Sean in Louisiana.
Then, I was pregnant and we bought a house. We were pregnant again with Sean in December of 2010. I was laying down roots in a place I hated, but didn’t really have any reason to dislike. Sean and I would talk about moving back. He was hesitant and I could understand why. Sean makes a pretty good income and he just wanted to start enjoying life, not continue moving. Looking back, I feel awful for what I put my poor husband through. The truth is, for five or six years after we moved to Louisiana, I kept my heart in Virginia.
After one more trip back to Virginia with the kids during the summer of 2013, I finally realized what I was doing by leaving my heart in Virginia, when what I really needed to do was make my home in Louisiana. On my drive back home this time, I realized that I had missed Louisiana – the swamps, the beautiful sunsets and, of course, the food. When I hit Louisiana with the kids, I knew it wasn’t the physical place I missed about Virginia, it was the community, and the love I felt for the people there.
Coincidentally, it was shortly after a summer in Virginia that Tiany e-mailed me and asked if I’d like to help her launch BatonRougeMoms.com. I jumped at the chance! Then, I met Maggie of MyBatonRougeMommy.com. Maggie and Tiany are the sweetest. Maggie was born and raised right here in Louisiana and she loves her state. Tiany moved to Louisiana and she even said it took some time for her to like it here, but now she loves it and enjoys the community, especially other moms. Between Tiany and Maggie, I knew I had found a great group of friends who would support me and help me to realize just how amazing Louisiana is and what it has to offer.
Joining BatonRougeMoms.com and making an effort to contact other moms to set up play-dates and girl’s nights out has made life so much more enjoyable. I realized that making friends and having “sisters” to lean on is just what I needed. Truly, home is where the heart is. For me, that means that wherever you have love, you’ll have a home.
If you’re new to the area, don’t hide out as long as I did. Make the first step. Reach out to other moms in your area, put yourself out there, mingle, don’t be afraid to speak up. Go on adventures with your family. Louisiana is a beautiful state, rich in tradition and southern hospitality. Don’t miss out for as long as I did!