Push Through the “Not To”

Last week I was surprised and swooning when I got an email from my husband, saying that he took the liberty to write a guest post for the blog. He’s a fantastic writer! I hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired by what Chad has to share with you today. Enjoy! – Charlotte

Chad at Sunset Cliffs | May 2015

Push Through the “Not To”

Hey! Husband of the girl who continues to stay great here. As we’ve continued to share our news more and more over the past few weeks, reactions have been supportive, emotional, and interestingly enough, increasingly predictable. They tend to sound something like this:

“Wow, that’s great! I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“I’m so jealous, I hope I can move somewhere warm someday.”

My reply, quite often, has been simple, and nothing profound:

“Awesome. So what’s stopping you?”


At the risk of sounding naive, I understand that there are certain obstacles in life that are more difficult to get around than others. For us, these obstacles were mainly financial in nature. Selling the house, selling our cars, buying an SUV, finding a home, finding jobs, etc. With the obvious need to keep our plans private until they were official, what has seemed like an impromptu change to many has long been in the works. During the months and months we’ve spent dreaming up this plan, we’ve learned that there will always be a reason “not to” do whatever it is in life that you truly want to go after. But too often, we allow these reasons to appear unconquerable and insurmountable when in fact – they are never too big to actually stop us.

Reasons “not to” can often sound like this:

We can’t move to San Diego, because we’ve never been that far from home.

I can’t go to grad school, because I’m worried that I’m not smart enough to keep up with the work.

I can’t go to Uganda, because flights are expensive and I’d be way out of my comfort zone.

I can’t quit my job that I hate, because what if I’m never able to find something else?


Before we had met, we both had dreams that died as a result of letting our reasons “not to” hold us back. This time, holding each other accountable as a team, we were determined to not let that happen. We knew from the start that it was highly unlikely that everything would fall into place in perfect unison. We have answers to some questions, but there are still many, many unknowns. I won’t lie – sometimes, it can be really hard to take this leap and walk forward with such uncertainty of what the future in our new home holds for us. But, our goal has been to wholeheartedly trust God to lead us to where He wants us to go by walking through the doors that He has opened for us. All of those doors haven’t opened just yet, but some have, and we trust that eventually, everything will be clear and make sense.


Yesterday I had a conversation with a co-worker who was asking about our plan. I explained that while we’ve saved wisely and crossed out many items on our To-Do-Before-We-Move list, secure employment and income was still one big question mark. He commented “Yeah, but fear of the unknown is a pretty crappy reason not to go for it”, something that I could not agree with more. It’s easy to be comfortable, but far too often we allow comfort and security to guide our decisions.

Charlotte and I are not special people. We don’t deserve seeing our dreams coming to fruition any more than you do. The deciding factor for us was that we could not look back 30 years from now, living with the regret of not taking this leap. The weight of that regret simply outmatched the risk of failure.

And now, with moving day just one day away, we hope more than ever that our move might inspire just one person to take that leap of faith. Whether it’s a move like ours, a career change, or just tackling something outside your comfort zone, know that the biggest risk of all is falling victim to the “not to.” 


Stay great and stay classy, readers. – Chad


Remembering February, Welcoming March


It’s been quite a while since I’ve visited this space to write, but cut me some slack – February was one heck of a month! Life has been happening at all kinds of crazy fast speeds – quite a lot for my head and my heart to process. I wanted to take a few minutes today to reflect on what February was like for us, and to set some intentions as we look forward to March…what is bound to be our most unsettled and adventurous season yet.

To start March well, I want to remember and practice gratitude for all that took place in February.


  • We sold our home… and I cried buckets of tears when we carried the last box out. While I truthfully only lived there for four months once we were married, it was Chad’s home when we first met and while we were dating. It was the backdrop for the very first origins of our story. First kisses, hosting parties and dinners, bringing Chasey home, learning to cook together, setting the fire alarm off almost every time…we’ve had so many good memories there – it was bittersweet to leave them behind in our cute little brick home with the blue shutters. Selling our home was a necessary step to make our dreams of living in California a reality; we prayed and prayed and prayed for a buyer to come along, and I’m glad another family will make new memories in it. I really can’t wait to drive by with our kiddos years down the road, point out the window and say, that’s where it all started.
  • Chad turned 29We celebrated with a dinner date in Center City Philadelphia at The Dandelion. The atmosphere gave me all of the magical comfy, cozy old library feels and the food was delicious. We also bought our SUV that will take us across the country next week, had a taco bar birthday feast with his family, brunched at The Hotel duPont, and watched the Super Bowl with our friends. A weekend full of wins. 🙂

  • We quit our jobs and solidified our move to California (!!!!!!!) More about that here.
  • I got back to somewhat of a fitness routine. Yoga, body pump, and kickboxing really saved my soul in the midst of a month of craziness and transitions.
  • We moved in temporarily with my in-laws. Chad’s parents have been so kind to host us while we had to be out of our house, but weren’t quite ready to drive to California yet. It’s been fun to spend more time with them and it’s a huge blessing to have a place to stay for a bit.
  • I learned that Skype interviews feel a lot like blind dates. As I’m job hunting remotely, I’ve had quite a few interviews this month via video, and let me tell you…it’s tough! Luckily, it’s been a positive experience and I’ve been able to sharpen my speaking and interviewing skills a bit after being out of practice.
  • We got to go away – twice! We spent two consecutive weekends in the Pocono mountains with my family, and at the Delaware beaches with Chad’s oldest friends, some of my favorite people. I’m so grateful to have had time together!
  • We said goodbye (for now) to our family and best friends. And this has been even more painful than the Skype interviews. Even though we know we won’t be in California forever, even though we know we’ll be back for Christmas and weddings and babies and graduations…it’s just tough. There’s no other way to say it.



  • Traveling across the country with my husband and our dog! This is a once in a lifetime goal of mine that honestly, I wasn’t sure that I’d ever be lucky enough to reach. Starting on Saturday (yikes – just 4 days away) we are hitting Charlottesville VA, Nashville TN, Little Rock AR, Dallas TX, Waco TX (Must find Chip & JoJo), Carlsbad NM, Tucson AZ, and last but not least…our new home: San Diego, California!
  • Seeing and staying with friends along the way. God has shown us just how much He really loves us, and reminded us of His promise that He will always provide, by blessing us with sweet, generous friends all across the country. We couldn’t be more grateful to have places to stay, and to experience all of these new cities through the eyes of locals. Some friends are new, some friends are old, and some are reunions with folks I wasn’t ever sure that I would see again – can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait.
  • Moving into our new neighborhood. See that little cafe nestled on the side of the pier? Two years ago, Chad  and I had breakfast there, marveling at the town behind the Pacific. We never could have guessed that two years later we’d be married and moving into that exact town. More coffee dates on the pier!
Yep. That’s for real. One of those little homes just a few streets back is ours. WE ARE NOT COOL ENOUGH TO LIVE THIS LIFE.

And even though March is a month of chaos, transition, and change for us – I still want to be intentional to set a few small #goals.


  • Find ways to love on and thank our awesome hosts.
  • Stay meat-free!
  • Create a capsule wardrobe.
  • Blog at least 3 more times.
  • Run at Sunset Cliffs and Torrey Pines


  • Maintain mornings with Jesus, even while on the road.
  • Journal – even if just a few sentences – about all of the big life stuff that happens.
  • Call/text my Mom, because I promised. 😉

If you’ve stuck with me and have scrolled down this far – thank you! I can’t thank our family and friends enough for all of the love, support, and prayers you’ve given us to make this month and change actually happen for us.

Wishing you a wonderful March!