the next chapter

To tell you the truth…i don’t know where to even begin……so i suppose i will start here.

I always wanted to write a book…..the kind where there might be a mystery…or maybe…

it’s just a drama….or better yet….the book could be about a stay at home momma…who likes to drink wine…

{in moderation of course}

shop for pretty clothes at Anthro….and take photos of her kids when they decide to put KY jelly in their hair.

This is that book……and this is Chapter 8…page 172….right smack dab in the middle ……

and the book won’t end till i type……

The End

on that last page. But for now…you are about to to turn from page 172.

Chapter 8

Last month we found out that come the middle of June….bryan will no longer have a job.

We moved to Illinois almost four years ago….it will actually be four years this July…and let me tell you…

it was one of the hardest moves we had done. The company bryan works for had closed down their office

in Denver but really wanted him here in Chicago….so we knew that this was something we had to do.

I didn’t like it.

I didn’t have to like it…because i was happy.

I didn’t like him.

I was mad….and upset that a job could do that to us.

I didn’t like that this move….this move that would continue to pay our mortgage every month

and put food on our plates…and pay our health insurance….

no…i didn’t like it….but i lived with it.

I was selfish.

I got over it…but our first three months here…where i knew NO one…was the worst three months of our lives.

I was misserable….and therefore made my husband miserable.

I soon made some friends…the kids adjusted….and i grew to love this house that we bought….

right along with the neighborhood and the kids school.

Oh how i love that school…where the school secretary knows me by name

{and has my number on speed dial i’m sure}

but please don’t get me started about my friends….oh it took a while….but these girls are my heart and soul.

My heart and soul are what gets me thru these long winters….not the cracking open a bottle of wine

at 2 p.m….though that helps a little.

We adjusted…we learned…we survived our first winter..and we kept talking about

our next chapter.

When we are alone…we dream about where we would live if we could….

we plan escapes every year….

we go down to florida….we fly to california….we go to new mexico.

Bryan takes boys trips…and i take girls trips.

We dream. We plan.

We have a life with three amazingly beautiful children.

Not the smartest kids in town…but hey…we can’t all be perfect.

So last month….after we found out the news that we would no longer have a job….

one that would continue to pay our mortgage…and put food on the table….

we sat down….and dreamed.

Well…i dreamed while bryan edited that dream with facts…

and i thank god every day that he put a realist in my life….

because it’s the realist that keeps me grounded….

but it’s the dreamer that keeps the realist aware of the possibilities.

Our next chapter of life….will be the hardest…..but it will also …i’m hoping…fingers and toes crossed….

be the one…that when we look back on it………

the most amazing…

the most rewarding….

and by far…..the one where my children will one day look at each other and know…

that life is for living….

and you only live once.

What i know for sure….is that we only have one life…..

and i don’t want to look back one day….and think that we didn’t live it like we should have…

that life that is right here…right now…looking us in the face…

and telling us to do something with it….

or take that opportunity in which it could only make us stronger.

So….here it is….our new chapter in life.

We are selling our home….

{or renting it out..beggars can’t be choosers}

packing up….and moving to one of our most favorite places…where we will spend one whole year…

{even though there is not one single Target or Anthro on Kauai….and forget about my two buck chuck}

and make this life that we live….worth living.


  1. oh the pictures are amazing –what a preview to what will be a wonderful year…………..

  2. OMG!!!!!!!!! I’ve been waiting for this post!!! I have never met you, but I feel like you are a friend.. what I know for sure..(Oprah) is that this decision will be one you will NEVER regret!!! I have one life to live .. make the most of it..and most AWARE of the magical moments you have ahead of you! The Universe is working its magic!

  3. Wow!!! What a huge change!! I hope your house sells fast and HIGH! How exciting for you guys!

  4. Oh, honey, that’s what internet is for…and UPS. Ship a pallet of 2-Buck Chuck ahead of time and use the empty bottles as wind chimes/horns. 😀 I am excited and hurting all at the same time for you. That takes some huge balls to do what you’re about to do and surrender to an uncomfortable, yet awesome dream.

  5. On a lighter note…. does this mean we might see more ‘body piercing’?? 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for this post! My husband recently got a job in Colorado and I am dreading the move from Washington State. It’s hard to leave and start all over again. But thanks for your post and giving me hope that it will get better! ps. My best friend moved to Maui and although it has been the hardest transition of her life, on rough days she walks to the beach and realizes she is living her dream! Good Luck!

  7. All I know is that I hope you keep blogging….cause I can’t wait to follow you {via the internet} when you’re out there living your dream. Prayers and blessings to you….change is always difficult but always makes us stronger.


  8. Dear Kasey, I am sad for you and I am happy for you….I am almost in the same condition with my family and my three kids…we are at that point you plan to turn your life in …worth living….you are great, positive a nd brave!!!With all my love , all the best, MOnica

  9. WOW! I’m jealous for the journey. You are a great inspiration to others.
    Happy Easter!

  10. Wow.
    Go for it!
    What a fab adventure you are going to have…
    There is no better time than NOW, and I can only imagine what amazing experiences you are all going to have.. together. Best of luck with a quick sale for the house too, that can sometimes be the most be the frustrating part!
    We sold up, bought a caravan, took the kids out of school and are in the middle of traveling around Australia, it’s the craziest and best thing we have ever done!!
    Happy Easter to you and your family..

  11. I am the only one with my heart in my throat for you and your family. No job, a house being sold in the worst market possible (even though it’s darling), and moving to Hawaii, where the cost of living is outrageous and the public schools are so bad, everyone I know who has lived there has had to put their children in very expensive private schools. I have friends who lived from Hawaii and *cried* when they were finally able to leave and move to Virginia (!), they were so glad to get out of there.

    Life is not always a trip to the beach, though I wish you the very best.

    • It’s only for one year…i think we will live.

      • Kasey…I think your adventure sounds awesome! I am a firm believer in the “you only live once” mentality! I want to refer you to a blog called I used to know these people as our kids were at the same school. The husband lost his job, hence the change in plans (go back to the very beginning of the blog). They decided to take the opportunity to travel the world for one year with their quite small children. I found their bravery very inspiring! You are on a similar road…

        If the schools stink in Hawaii and you cannot do private…do an online school that is affiliated with a university. Stanford has one (gifted) and so does U of Missouri and U of Indiana. There are probably others.

        Just my 2 cents….sorry. I am sure it is annoying to receive unsolicited advice from strangers! Wishing you all the best of luck!!!

      • Ha! I’m thinking Candice is jealous. Me too. I wanna come with you!!!! Congrats!!! I’m a little late to this chapter but it sounds amazing to me!! xoxoxoox

  12. Kasey,Aloha & Mahalo. We pray that all your dreams come true.
    “Wherever two or more are gathered, ask and it shall be received” We ask that your house sell.A bestselling book be written in Kauai. Joy and learning for the children. A new career for Bryan and may God protect and continue to shower blesssings on this family now and forever. Amen. Are you familiar with the Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. I dedicate “Over the Rainbow” to you (check you tube)

  13. Kasey,

    Way to go for recognizing that this is your opportunity for adventure. Have fun and blog a lot…I’ll be vicariously enjoying!

  14. What an amazing adventure!!! Talk about making lemonaide out of lemons! Have the time of you life – I cant wait to read about it. I think we will be stuck in Illinois FOREVER. Not to be a total vulture but I hope you will have a fabulous moving sale!!!

  15. EXCITING! and there is always 🙂

  16. oh Kasey, what an awesome adventure you and your family are starting on…..I think it is wonderful that you have the oppitunity to be able to do this!….I will be reading your blog and being happy for every adventure you will have with your family there…My husband just got laid-off from Kennedy Space Center 2 weeks ago, so, I do know the scary part of it…..he will start looking for jobs soon and not sure where we will end up, but I think God has a plan for us and we will heed his word…..All of my family live in NC, and I have been in Florida for 7 years now….just looking forward to living life..and on with the next chapter….

  17. Many blessings to you and your family. i know you will be just fine. i love your honesty and how you clearly have a love of adventure! thanks for always sharing and bringing a smile to many faces. i’ve never commented on your blog before but i surely look forward to reading it every day. i can’t wait for you to share this next chapter in your life. its going to be awesome.


  18. OMG that is so exciting! My husband and I are thinking of doing this too. Right after kid number two has graduated from high school in three years. I first found your blog when you were in Hawaii last year and your family seemed to really thrive there. Good luck to you!

  19. Big changes…wow! And you sound so “together” about it…good for you:) When my hubby lost his previous job in 2009, I was so worried and thought it might be the “end of the world”, but we survived. And he got a really good job in just a month. We were{are}blessed. But darn, we didn’t get to move to Hawaii 😉 I have faith that you guys will do fine…”when one door opens…”. Wishing you lots of luck, love & happiness in your next chapter:) And promise us, you’ll take time away from the beach to blog {please tell us you’ll still be blogging}!! Hugs & kisses– Leah

  20. Wishing you, & your beautiful family much joy on your new journey! Hoping you’ll continue blogging, & posting your gorgeous pics, & hilarious posts! I do have to admit that a few of us are sad that we can’t say we won’t be able to brag that we know of an awesome blogger that lives near our home town anymore! Lol! I know an old friend from Illinois that now lives in Hawaii, & just LOVES it there! I’m going to send her your blog link! Oh, & I know some girls who would love to go to your garage sale!!!!

  21. Personally I lived in Hawaii and I loved it so very much!!! Oh yes I cried too, cried like hell when I had to leave. Go for it Kasey, life is an adventure.

  22. OMG!!! I don’t know what to say… I’m sorry your husband is losing his job… but I’m happy about your one full year in Hawaii… Good luck in your new adventures, you are blessed with a wonderful family. I read your blog everyday and I love it. All I can say is that I hope you keep blogging while there 🙂

  23. Well, sheet….the always shopping flea marketeer is leaving for sunny beaches. Hope we see you a couple more times before you go….

  24. Ah may the adventure begin, you are one brave soul. You will never know until you do it. Wishing you well .

  25. you are so right. indeed a kindred spirit (i heart anne shirley)
    best wishes! xx

  26. Natasha Burns says:

    Congrats, you guys are fearless, brave and inspiring. And you’re half way closer to Australia then! Come visit!! 🙂

  27. i can’t wait to see your vintage style mixed with some maui wowie. : )
    i love a good adventure!
    keep us all posted!

  28. That’s exciting Kasey. I hope you write your book, it would be a number one, best seller for sure. Hugs from Australia.

  29. Oh Kasey! I am so happy for you, wishing you the best, hoping you keep blogging, and also jealous that you’ve found the strength and bravery to make such a change that I haven’t found yet. You only live once so make it the best it can be for you! All the best to you!

  30. Very Exciting!! I think many of us dream of leaving the day in day out working life and actually LIVING!!! May your souls be refreshed and opportunities ABOUND!!! What a way to make Lemonade out of Lemons!!!

  31. Follow your dreams! When one door closes & another one opens. This is going to be one amazing year for you & your family.

  32. Do it!….to live a dream even for a year is better then never living it at all….

  33. Dear Kasey,I will be first in line to buy your book.You,Bryan and the kids will always be happy and cherish your time in lovely Kauai.You might never want to leave or go on to your next adventure.We would love to do what you are doing but 2 two year old big black labs would have to be in quarantine for 6 months.Much easier with kids(HA,Ha).You are an inspiration to me & I have to admit I am a bit jealous.If you ever want to swap places for a week or so let me know.I live in Fallbrook just about 40 miles North of San Diego.I am an antique dealer so think you would like the house.Please keep blogging & put those Winter coats in storage or better yet have a big sale.
    Best of luck and continued joy of life,Kim

  34. adrienne says:

    you go girl!!!! i can’t wait to read about it!!

  35. WOW! So excited for you! What an adventure you guys are going to have, and I can’t wait to follow along with you! Wishing you an amazing journey!

  36. Sweet Kasey!

    I think that you have such a way with words! You are able to make your reader feel emotions she didn’t realize she could for a bestie she has never even met! I too am leaving a life that 4 years ago I didn’t think that I wanted. I have grown to love every minute of where I am. Change is tuff. You will be able to make us look at it and laugh and cry! I am excited to stayed tuned for the next chapters of your fun book. You will kinda be my inspiration! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and life with all of us. Such good times. You are so awesome!

  37. Congratulations! I read your blog faithfully and feel as though I know you “in person”. Thanks for sharing your plans w/ your faithful readers/friends. What a fabulous plan – and a great way to “make lemonade” out of your husband’s job situation. (First you add lemonade to cupcakes, now you turn what might be a sucky situation into an opportunity.)

    Best of luck. I can’t wait to read about your Hawaiian adventure.

    Oh, and if you need help staging your house for sale, I am pretty good at it. (We’re in our 5th house in 11 years…)

  38. Rock the house Kasey. You and your family are awesome and I can’t wait to read about this next chapter!

  39. Kasey ~ i am very excited for you and your family…I know you said it is good that your husband is a realist for you but i’m sure you being who you are is very good for him too:) you and your family will have an amazing year together and what a perfect time to do it ~ i cannot wait to keep up with you all through this next year…it will be amazing and life IS for living just as you wrote the post before:)

  40. So happy for you!! Enjoy every moment and Carpe Diem!!

  41. WOW! Well, I’m sorry to hear about the job loss but so excited for the five of you to be going to Kauai! Is this just for a year? Is there a new job opportunity there? What an exciting adventure for you to be able to have. Can’t wait to read all about it!

  42. I love adventures and admire your decision!

  43. What an amazing attitude you have during such a hard event in your life. I have a feeling you and your family are going to do better than alright. Enjoy your year, I hope it opens up new doors for you.

  44. so sorry about your honey’s job. i’ve been there and it sucks, but it does force you to look outside the box and dream a bit. i’m wondering if you crawled into my dreams by the way. we have had very serious talks about doing this exact same thing. actually it involved an airstream camper…because we could never afford to move there, but you are really doing it. can’t wait to see how your year goes. i’ll be watching:)

  45. Wow! How exciting! You guys already look like you belong in Hawaii. Best of luck selling the house.

  46. I am amazed at how much we have in common!!! I went to Paris in 1990 before me and Mike married in 1992!! I have always felt that I was somewhat of a daydreamer with rosy glasses and pathetically hopelessly romantic. We toured Europe-my eyes feasted on the beauty of Paris-the only city where even the park benches and bridges are created as works of art!! Loved the architecture. We stayed in the Latin Quarter-a little edgy but in our budget–colorful and wonderful greek food!!! Loved it! We are headed to Maui in 20 days with our 2 boys. My first trip was with Mike for his work to where else? Kauii!!! We loved it! Once when we traveled to the east coast to Vermont, Maine, NH—-I said, hey we are young, no kids—let’s just do it—-let’s just move. We lived in MN at the time. Within 3 mos. Mike lost his job at Pillsbury/GreenGiant in MPLS. and we moved to Iowa for his new job at Pioneer HiBred. I love Iowa, but never thought I would move out of MN. Now I try never to say-I wanna just move–I am superstitious that he will lose his job!!!!! Best of luck-love to read your blog and got here to you from 320 and before her, Little Prairie Girl!!! Cheryl

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