We are one month away from having lived in Ohio for a year. I have to say that the newness has not worn off, I still love it here! This is by far my favorite place that I have lived in my life. God has really blessed us here.
Even though our pay was substantially lower, we are finding that the quality of life here is far more superior than in Washington state. The income taxes are horrible here but it may be worth it because it is so beautiful here and full of life. Did I just say that? LOL! At least the sales tax is low and there is no tax on food. We were able to purchase our first home before we moved here and have our first brand-new car. I believe the time was right for us to enter into these "luxuries" and keep our debt-free lifestyle.
The kids love it here too, they are happy all the time and we never run out of things to do. If anything, there is SO much to do in our area alone that it is overwhelming and even after a year, we haven't even touched the whole of it. Then, there is all that is out to do just 90 minutes from here and then on - there is nothing like living in the eastern part of the US! I was on the west coast for 18 years (Alaska and WA) and though I loved Alaska's scenery, it was horribly lonely there. Washington was probably the worst place we have lived in my opinion, although my husband loved it but he is loving it here now possibly more than WA.
God led us in a new direction as He is showing us just what He called us to this city for, it is becoming very clear we have a purpose. Many amazing things have happened as God opened doors to show us He is not limited in how He can use us in the future. Our church is wonderful and the people are very loving and our oldest daughter is really growing in her walk with the Lord. I also experienced something that I never thought I would experience in my life. I thought that because of my past traumas in life that I would never feel like I "belong." However, I finally feel like I belong! It had nothing to do with my past traumas, it just had to do with being where God wants us. I hope to blog on this very topic in the future about heeding God's voice above all and really having faith in Him.
The weather here is better than I expected. I was thinking it would be horrible with the humidity but I've found after now living here through every season, it is not bad at all! The humidity is hardly noticeable to me and I've only felt it "muggy" on a few days this summer. I'm loving every season here and it is wonderful to have fall and see the leaves change - we missed that for 10 years in WA.
I think that about sums it up so far - thanking God for this city and our new life here.