on the move.

Well… it’s that time again. The crazy Seitlers are packing up their bags and their wandering gypsy feet are off to a new destination again. Yes, we are becoming quite the family joke these days… but oh, well!

We’ve had such a hard time finding the right place for our little family. Either we were too isolated where we were with no family or friends near-by or the cost of housing was too high or Travis just couldn’t find a job… (or all of the above). It’s been a long, hard eight years of trying to get all the puzzle pieces to fit together for us.

The move to Columbus was especially hard for us. We took a huge leap of faith and moved to Ohio before everyone else in Travis’ family was read to move. We knew we were taking this jump early and that they wouldn’t be ready to move this year, but we knew we need to leave the overpriced PA/MD area. And we saw that the price of housing was lower here in Ohio. When we came to visit the city last September, everything looked so promising to us! But we hardly knew this city at all… and when we made our big jump, we landed in a pretty rough neighborhood.

Since the day we arrived, I’ve been struggling to not to have a panic attack every time think about it…


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I’ve seriously been living in “La La” Land… as in “I have my hands over my eyes and I’m constantly yelling ‘La lalalalala!’ to try not to think about how bad it is here.” (Okay—proofreading this and I see that I said “eyes.” That was a typo, but that must have been one of those Freudian Slips… I meant to say ears, but I think maybe eyes is more appropriate after all. Ha!)

And due to all of the muck and mess around me, I’ve become a major homebody this year… I have to work myself up to even go out to the store. Here in my house, it feels like “home” because all our stuff is here and it makes it feel normal, even when everything around me is so out of whack. My computer has become my best friend this year. And I think I’ve gained about ten pounds.

Now, there were good things about our move. Like: our rent was so cheap, we could pay our bills with the freelance work that we do. And Ohio is rather midwife-friendly, so it was a good place to have Penny (vs. in PA). But that’s about all I’m thankful for… the opportunity to have my baby peacefully at home and that I learned in a new way that God always provides. Aside from that, I’ve just been in a shell all year, just surviving and certainly not living…

But all that is about to end…

because we’re moving!

For years my mom has been saying to us “Well… have you ever thought about moving to Sarasota?” And I’ve always told Travis that no—I couldn’t take the heat and humidity again. I left Florida 10 years ago because I wanted to live with four seasons and I never intended to move back. I thought, “It’s nice to visit… in February.” But I didn’t think I wanted to live there again.

Well, you can thank the Columbus Zoo for changing my mind. Ha!

For Travis’ birthday we went to the zoo and in my last post, I talked about how depressing the weather was and how it was getting to us. What I didn’t talk about was our visit to the Manatee Exhibit.


[me and Snooty the manatee]

We walked into the room where the tank for the manatees was housed and they had this cute little walkway under some fake mangrove trees. I was all excited saying, “Come on, kids! Come look at this!” Then we watched the manatees swimming around and eating lettuce and I thought about all the manatees I’d seen in Florida on the boat with my mom and at Sea World and how I missed that… and then there was this video of two guys on a speed boat going through the bay and a fake boat for kids to sit on and a fake alligator… and I think I just started to think “Why does all of this stuff have to be fake?! This is where I’m from. I wish my kids knew this stuff like it was normal, everyday stuff… Why are we here when we could be there?”


[silly Travis and little Penny on the fake gator]

That thought had been brewing in my mind for months, especially when I was talking to Travis one day about how sad I was about how faaaaaaaaar we are from the ocean now. In MD and PA we were still on the East Coast and not in the Mid-West. He said “Honey, this is normal. What’s not normal is being able to go to the beach every weekend!” And I thought “Why not? That’s sad. That’s what I did growing up! Why can’t my kids have that?” But still, I didn’t think I really wanted to go back. I didn’t know what Travis would think, how he would fit in or adjust… and how I would ever deal with the stinkin’ humidity again!

But it turned out that he was even more eager to move to Florida than I was! He feels like he suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder and let me tell you—Columbus weather leaves much to be desired. I got used to having cloudy weather for 5 days straight in MD and PA in the Winter. But even there you’d get a break and have about 3 days of sunshine again. Here in Columbus you have 7 days of clouds with a break of one sunny morning (if you’re lucky). I keep opening the curtains up to a sunny morning and by the afternoon, the clear blue sky I saw is completely gone and there are only gray skies overhead—completely overcast with no rain or snow. It’s like living in the Land of Endless Night. And it really gets to you after a while. So, because of that we knew that even if we found a nicer area of Columbus to live in, we wouldn’t really be happy here.

And there are so many other things besides sunshine and warm weather that we’re looking forward to—like all the friends and family that are in the Sarasota area. Travis just loves hanging out with other people and this year was hard on him because I can tell you—I really didn’t want to invite anyone over to our nasty apartment complex for dinner. It was too embarrassing for me. And I’m so excited because I already have requests from people who want to babysit my kiddos so that Travis and I can go out on a date! Our last date was our anniversary in June 2008. Before that, I think the last time we were alone was our five year anniversary in 2007. We have never been able to just go on a date because we never lived that close to family or friends who could watch our kids for us. Oh! I can’t wait.

The sad thing is that after living through this rough year, I have a really hard time believing that all these good things are really on their way. We have one day left now before we go to pick up the moving van! I’m surrounded by boxes and I still don’t believe we’re actually going—it’s very surreal. We will be in Florida on Friday and it just is not sinking in yet! This is all just happening to me and I’m going with the flow, packing and cleaning as fast as I can. I don’t know when it’s going to sink in… but I know it’s going to feel SO good (humidity and all because I just don’t care about that right now.)!

I’ve always been a Florida Girl… and as much as I wanted to fit in up North, it’s never felt normal here. I’ve been a real fish out of water. I can’t wait until things feel normal again to me! When I’m driving around a city that I actually know? Yeah… it’s going to feel REAL good. And it’s all happening this week.

So! Goodbye, Columbus. Like to say that it’s been great, but I’d be lyin’.

And “Hellooooo, Florida!” Wow…

Here we go! The gypsies are off again!

13 Responses to “on the move.”

  1. danielle Says:

    wow, nicole! i’m excited for you!! congrats on the move… i hope everything goes smoothly guys!

  2. Tammy L Says:

    Loved reading your update… so glad you get to move! Even if you don’t stay in FL for the rest of your life, it should be welcome change!! πŸ˜€ Maybe your next move will be to the PNW! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ We’ll be praying as you guys get everything finished up/started up this week!! πŸ™‚

  3. Kelleigh Says:

    My heart is racing! I SO wish I could be there to help you pack or help you unpack and settle in. Its sort of agonizing not being able to help you out. One good thing about you becoming a homebody with all of your friends living in the computer is that you got to know ME! Right? Well, I certainly am thankful for that and for all of the time and energy you have invested in me. I’ll be keeping your family in my prayers! I’m so excited for this new adventure, and I hope that you find your new home to be a real blessing for you! Love ya, girl!

  4. Sharon Dale Says:

    Oh Nicole, I don’t know how you’ve lasted this long in such a situation. I could never have gotten to where i am today without my real life friends and my family close by. I’m so glad you guys are happy to get back home again and hope all goes well for you as I certainly don’t enjoy the packing and moving bit. Speak soon once you’ve settled in again πŸ™‚

  5. Jenn Says:

    Wow Nicole, I am so happy for you. I know how you feel being stuck somewhere – I’ve felt that way pretty much my whole life, being in WI – unfortunately I am unable to move. How exciting to be able to do what you guys are doing. I’ll say I am a bit jealous! Good luck with the drive. πŸ™‚

  6. gabs Says:

    thanks for sharing such a long story of your life. I feel so happy for you! enjoy!

  7. Dani B Says:

    Wow! I can’t believe I have never even met you, but I seem to remember your move to Ohio. What a weird feeling. I’m so glad that things are working our for you and I pray that you find peace at last! God does work in mysterious ways. It seems like we find our place on our own, but he’s never far away guiding us.

  8. Eva Says:

    I know how you feel, we moved to Utah last year. We were so excited… that lasted about two weeks. It was horrible and like you I hardly left my house…. my laptop became my bestfriend. We didn’t even make it a year, in ten months we were back home. It’s been great! I’m so happy for you, best of luck with your move!

  9. Jill Says:

    so excited for your family!!!

  10. Melissa Says:

    Nicole, I’m happy for you and your family. Best of luck with the move.

  11. alamama Says:

    good news!

  12. gabs Says:

    a very merry christmas to you and yours!

  13. gabs Says:

    hi nicole, I was wondering how are you doing?
    hope everything is fine?