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Dawn Damalas Meehan

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Dawn Damalas Meehan is a single mom living in Orlando with her six children, ages 17 to 6. She's the author of Because I Said So and You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth). When she's not blogging, she can be found playing chauffeur, getting buried under a mountain of laundry, or explaining to her kids why they can't have an indoor Slip 'N Slide or a pet squirrel.

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There’s no Place Like Home for the Holidays

By Dawn Damalas Meehan |

Yesterday, I wrote a post describing my inner turmoil. I admitted to having self-doubts about this move to Florida. Although there are things I like about Florida and good reasons for moving here, there are also things I hate about Florida and reasons why I wonder if I should’ve stayed in Chicagoland. The post was about my self-doubt and homesickness. Period.

Some people took personal offense because I said that the healthcare and schools were worse down here. I’m sorry, but they are. No, I did not say that ALL schools in the south are worse than ALL schools in the north. Someone even suggested that perhaps I should have done my homework and checked out the schools before moving. Seriously? You seriously think I didn’t do that??? It was also brought up several times that I just had a poor attitude and if I was more open to change, things would be fine, but I’m unhappy because I’m choosing to be unhappy. If you know me at all, you know that I’m upbeat and positive 98% of the time. I look on the bright side and see the humor in most every situation. That said, I am human and just like everyone else in this world, I get down now and then. You could plant me just about anywhere and I could adjust, but the fact that my kids don’t like it here breaks my heart. That is what has me questioning every decision I’ve ever made. It was even said that if I wasn’t so negative, my kids would be happy here. Again, those are ludicrous assumptions. You have no idea how hard I work at countering every negative thing my kids say about this place with something positive.

Plus, I had to leave work two hours early yesterday, I got a speeding ticket, I had to wait at the orthopedist’s office for two hours, and I found out that Savannah needs a third surgery on her knee because she’s in constant pain every day. This all added to my feelings of sadness and frustration so I turned to my blog as an outlet.

I’m sorry to anyone I offended with my post yesterday. However, the post was not about you. It was simply about me missing the comfort and familiarity of home and me questioning if I’d made the right decision for my family.

And to everyone who said, “I used to like reading you, but now you’re too (insert word of choice)”, my suggestion to you is this – STOP READING ME! Although I love to entertain and make people laugh, sometimes things are just sucky. If I write a heartfelt post about the not-so-great parts of life, it’s because it’s what’s going on in my life right now. I know a lot of people are experiencing similar circumstances and I know it helps to know you’re not alone. If you don’t like that, don’t read my blog. Find your free entertainment elsewhere. Or maybe start your own blog and see how easy it is to come up with a funny post every day while strangers tell you what you’re doing wrong and how you should write.

And finally, to all my virtual friends and family who are tried and true, thank you for just being there! It means more than you can imagine! :)

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About Dawn Damalas Meehan


Dawn Damalas Meehan

Dawn Damalas Meehan is a single mom living in Orlando with her six children, ages 17 to 6. She's the author of Because I Said So and You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth). Read bio and latest posts → Read Dawn's latest posts →

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110 thoughts on “There’s no Place Like Home for the Holidays

  1. Paula says:

    Well put Dawn,well put

  2. Jenn says:

    Dawn, I am so sorry people were mean to you, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and that you and your kids find peace, you all deserve it!

  3. Wendy says:

    No one can be happy all the time. I’ve been told mupltiple times that the only thing you can choose in life is your attitude. I choose to be happy & upbeat for as long as I can but then I crash. We all do from time to time. Your blog is your outlet and I have faith that the vast majority of us understand that sometimes, you need to vent.

  4. Anji Raitt says:

    Thanks for this Dawn, and yes, you can write WHATEVER you want. It’s your blog, your thoughts, your time, your investment. If they wanna come along for the ride, then great. If not, then find another one to read. I’ve told people the same about my blog. It’s not there for me to make you feel good about yourself, to make you feel anything – it’s for me and me alone. Enjoy – or choose not to. Keep being yourself Dawn, it’s what makes you, you.

  5. Angel Read says:

    I think its kinda like… most of us just hang out with people who enjoy our company and think we are cool. But as a blogger with a popular blog, you’re sort of hanging out with EVERYONE! And you can’t please everyone. The more popular you get, the better your chances of pissing someone off. So don’t worry about THEM! Some people just like to complain. It makes them feel important. The rest of us think you’re awesome and really do want to hear what you have to say!

  6. Angel Read says:

    (PS… I’m commenting with my new, top-secret blog identity but I am “friends” with you on Facebook… My first name here is the same as my first name on Facebook! ;)

  7. Jaime says:

    I’m sorry you got mean/rude comments. You always try to be upbeat but like you said, you are human. We all have our bad days and you are entitled to have whatever feelings you do. You have the right to write about anything you want on YOUR blog. For people to suggest you’re doing it wrong or not making them happy, obviously they have no empathy. I admire you for being a single mom of 6 and having the guts to do what you did, trying to give your kids a better life. Hang in there! :)

  8. Kristine says:

    Dawn, I became your fan because of your humor posts, but as I got to know you and your family, I really value the realness of your posts as well. I completely agree with you; if someone has a problem with you not being funny all the time, they can stop reading…no one is holding a gun to their heads forcing them to read your blog. It makes me sad that some people have to try to “improve” other people’s personal stories, or judge people’s lives as if they have all the answers. Please don’t change a bit, your true fans wouldn’t want it any other way.

  9. Tina says:

    Love you more everyday!

  10. Tia says:

    Moving alone is HARD, so I can imagine that moving the whole gang provides that much more reason to doubt. I hope things start getting easier very soon, and in the meantime it is fine to vent on your own blog!

  11. Anna Skamarakas says:

    Dawn – Stay strong my sister in disdain for the state of FL. It’s not that I didn’t like FL – because who doesn’t like waking up in January, watching a blizzard take place in your hometown, then browsing through your wardrobe of bikinis and flip flops and choosing your attire for the day? (okay, so I wouldn’t know about the bikini part, and my FL neighbors are still thanking me for that small favor, but I did have multiple pairs of festive flip-flops) Who wouldn’t like being so close to Mickey Mouse and all of his amazing magic? Who doesn’t like cheaper housing, no leaf raking, and never having to turn on the hiney heat in your car?

    And then I had children. And I realized that in all of the areas I wanted to live, I had to send my kids to private school to make up for the things they wouldn’t get in the FL public schools. And then medical issues began creeping in, and I realized how desperately I missed being just outside of some of the best hospitals in the country when I lived in Philadelphia.

    And I missed my family at Christmas. And Thanksgiving. And Halloween. And Arbor Day. And Groundhog Day.

    I didn’t miss raking, but I missed the colors of fall. And I didn’t miss shoveling, but I missed looking at the falling, drifting snow while I sat inside drinking hot tea. And I missed hiney heat.

    If I can offer you anything based on my ten years living in both Central and South Florida, it’s that it does get easier. But it doesn’t really get better. The schools are what they are, and what I wasn’t paying in a monthly mortgage, I was handing over in tuition. I prayed to stay healthy so I didn’t have to worry about intense dealings with the doctors and hospitals.

    Don’t feel badly for a minute that you’re second guessing yourself. I did it for ten years, making gallons of lemonade from the lemons, before I finally moved back to the northeast.

    You’re entitled to want to be home – for Christmas and everyday. And you’re entitled to your feelings. And you’re entitled to tell others to shut the hell up and get over it.

    Big hugs, Merry Christmas, and Stay Strong!!

  12. Wendy says:

    Although you can’t hear me, I am applauding you!!! I read your blog because you are real and honest and sometimes real is not fun. Thank you for staying true to yourself and blogging with laughter and tears. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I pray you are blessed in many ways this season.

  13. Jen says:

    Dawn, I wanted to let you know that I will continue to read your posts. I think you are awesome and are entitled to your opinions and feelings. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and I will be praying that you discover what it is God wants you to do!

  14. Kacy says:

    Hi Dawn,
    I am sorry for the negative responses you received yesterday. I did read the post, and I actually really appreciate your realness on your blog. (key words: real, your blog). I appreciate that you take time to write about your life. I even more appreciate that you express your realness. I think that so often people, and especially moms, are constantly comparing ourselves to each other, and judging other, and not just taking time to relate, and support each other. As with any big family decisions there are positives and negatives. A cross country move is a huge adjustment for everyone. Praying God’s peace over you and your family this Christmas season.

  15. Elisabeth from Norway says:

    Just wanted to say that it will all sort out. Promise.
    You are a great mum. You are really doing your best for your family, and you are doing it all alone. I am so impressed by you!! No wonder you get homesick at christmas.

    Don’t let the sadness get to you. Whenever you get homesick, just remember that “time” is always a component. Remember that it takes a while to adjust and to get good friends. To grow roots.

    Tell yourself that “In /six months/a year/18 months we will reconsider if this is the best thing for us, if we still don’t feel like we belong here, well then we will move back”. Chicago will still be there if you want to move back. But if you do, you should really try to make your time in Florida in to a great adventure for the time you are staying there.

    And please don’t care about bad comments. It sounds as if some people misunderstood you and thought that you meant that something was wrong with Florida. I didn’t hear that at all. What you were saying was that you felt a bit alienated and homesick. Right?! That is completely normal. You are not at home, and you are probably at the point in your time away from home when you miss everything beeing safe and homely. (With me that takes about two weeks.) It will get better, it is just a phase!

    And have a lovely holiday. I can tell you from Norway that ice, cold and snow is not so much to miss. After the first two days it is actually just cold and annoying.

    (And sorry for spelling errors, english is my second language)

  16. Sandy says:


  17. Emilysweetpea says:

    Hugs Dawn! One thing I love about reading you is that you are honest. I know you don’t tell us everything, nor should you, but you aren’t someone online and another person in real life. Your blogger self is not a pretend persona, and I think that draws a lot of us readers to you. Sure we like to laugh at the antics your kids get up to and we wonder how you make it all work but I appreciate you sharing it all with us. I hope we can encourage you during this tough time. You are a great Mom and doing your best to support the kids in this major transition while trying to balance everything on your own. It’s gotta be hard, but I know you will make it work! I hope your Christmas break comes soon and you can have some time to relax and enjoy each other.

  18. Frankie says:

    The thing about the written word is that you can’t tell a person’s tone of voice and therefore their thoughts and intent behind the words. Written words are easily misconstrued. I know my comments to you yesterday were.

    I know the tone in my heart I sent the comments in obviously didn’t translate in your head the way they were said in mine. I’m very sorry about the misunderstanding. I was not questioning if you’d checked out schools, I was simply relaying my experiences as I’ve gone through move after move as a military spouse after spending the first 34 years of my life in my home city/state. I was sympathizing and my words were written from a good heart with kindness and sympathy supposed to be the tone. Again I’m very sorry that my comments did not come across with the same intentions in which they were sent.

    Have I as a G.R.I.T.S taken offense to some of your comments about the south? Yes the fact stands that some of your comments in your blog and on Facebook since moving to FL have offended me. I can’t change that feeling nor would I want to. I’m very proud of where I come from but I’ll admit that yesterday was probably not the day to have that discussion with you. I’m sorry for my bad timing.

    I wish you and your children peace not just this holiday season but each and every day of the year. The adjustment’s all of your are going through are difficult ones but they can, do and will get better day by day.

  19. Tonya Funkhouser says:

    Dawn, you say what you feel when you need too!! I know how it is to uproot your whole family and move. We did this 5 1/2 years ago, and even though my kids were willing the first little while was tough. It took a good year for them all to adjust, but in the long run they seen it was for the best. If you decide moving back to Chicagoland in better for you, and your family then it is your choice to make! No matter what I LOVE reading your blog and facebook posts and always support you 110%.

  20. Cheri-Beri says:

    People and their narrowmindedness. I read your blog yesterday and thought, “Wow, she’s honest . . . don’t know if I could publicly do that.” But I should. I should be more transparent. We help people more with being real than we do with all pie in the sky all the time. God bless you! Those other people can just shut the front door!!!

  21. md says:

    I’m a Florida transplant as well. It was a tough adjustment for a long time, but I’ve been here 14 years and it’s absolutely the place I want to be.

    Girl, sometimes life is crap, and it’s necessary to bitch & moan. You’re only doing it wrong if you’re not drinking wine. So, cheers.

  22. Cara says:

    Those people can suck it. I still love reading your posts and completely understand your homesickness and wish to make everything better for your kids. Hang in there Dawn. We love you and are rooting for you!

  23. Amy says:

    You tell em, Dawn! Yes, I came here for the humor. I stayed for the person. You are not a flat piece of cardboard and your blog shows that. I have plenty of places to go for funny. I come to find out how you are doing. I’m sorry it’s rough right now, I truly am. I moved from GA to Mt Prospect, IL, right near you! I know how different it is, good and bad. Just keep swimming. I had a very rough move as a kid and it was only one town over. It’s always hard. You will make it.

  24. MH says:

    Let me just say this… I was not questioning you being homesick or your move to Fla. What upset ME was your bashing of everything in the “south”…we are not all redneck idiots….we have some amazing schools….we have amazing doctors….I just felt like you were putting “us” down and that is so not cool in my book. Cultures are different everywhere…but being different does not mean some people are “idiots” or uneducated. That was simply my point. I am truly sorry for offending you, but you offended me and many of us who are proud to be from the south. I will continue to read your blog because you do speak from the heart and that is what drew me to your blog. I hope you find comfort soon in your decision to move to Florida. The move is still new…to you and to your kids…give yourself time…it will all work out. Again I am sorry that I ruffled your feathers. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  25. Lisa says:

    Dawn, I love your blog, and you are a real person with real feelings, and its very easy to second guess yourself when making a major life decision, especially one that affects your kids. I was appalled at some of the negative comments you got yesterday. You don’t have to apologize for feeling down. Things will get easier. Know that there are plenty of people out there who feel just like you do (me being one of them.) Keep your head up, it will get better.

  26. Korinthia Klein says:

    I thought your post yesterday was excellent. It was heartfelt and honest. I don’t know how you do all you have to do and remain so upbeat most of the time. What you’re going through is hard. Try not to be distracted by commenters who want to make your blog about themselves.

  27. Kelly says:

    Don’t worry one second about what rude comments people make. You are a HERO to be doing this all by yourself with 6 kids and all the change that has come about in the past year. May the Lord bless you & encourage you during this tough time. You keep keepin’ on, girl!

  28. CT says:

    Dawn, of COURSE you are going to feel homesick. Of COURSE this move is hard on everyone. It’s normal, it’s okay and it’s expected. And I have no doubt that if anyone can make it work, it’s you. Ignore those people who could not see you were just “having a moment” and needed a little support (rather than a defensive trashing). Best of all, you have some wonderful time off work coming up and I bet that will change your perspective dramatically! Enjoy your holidays with your family and all the blessings you have.

  29. Jill Dettman says:

    Hang in there. Nothing sucks forever. Not even a Dyson.

  30. SassyIntern says:

    I have NEVER commented before! I LOVE reading your blog because you are funny and yet you show that you are human just like the rest of us! Thank you for sharing both your struggles and the good times! Keep it up, please don’t listen to the negative people!!

  31. Nancy Dixon says:

    don’t worry one minute about them… Geez.. i have lived in NE Fla, South Fla and my parents moved me to SW Fla in my sophmore year.. i missed my friends so much, i had to get rid of my horse, leave my niece and nephew, and my oldest sister and brothers. Soon, i started making friends and such and soon i liked it.. It still was never home and I moved myself back three times so that may happen to your kids.. i know your heart must hurt when your kids are unhappy.. I hope all is better for you and you win the dang lotto and you won’t have money worries..Hope you have a Merry Christmas.. Sure wish I could send you all up to Chi town for the holidays..

  32. tamara says:

    I’ve been reading your blog forever and I’m surprised you got that sort of feedback. No worries, though, I’ll continue reading because we’re all cheering you and your family on and know at some point everything will be awesome. Sometimes the decisions we have to make as adults make it sucky to be an adult, but we’re supposed to look out and do the best we can for our kids and you’re doing everything you can for your kids every day! You rock! Happy Holidays!

  33. Karen says:

    Sometimes people suck. You rock. The end. :)

  34. Stephy says:

    I wan’t aware you were writing this blog to keep everyone happy…I thought you wrote because you enjoyed writing. People are idiots hun.
    Homesickness happens! Period! Don’t care who you are.
    If you as a parent don’t question every decision you make you’re doing something wrong.
    *hugs* to you and awesome job!
    Keep your head held high and hang in there.

  35. Heather McConley says:

    Dawn, thank you for being who you are every day. We love reading your blog no matter what. Many folks don’t understand that most humor is born from pain. On the 2% days, know there are still lots of us out here who support & love you. Hugs & prayers from me to/for you.

  36. kathy Buehler says:

    Just keep on writing whatever you feel like writing, I thought yesterday’s post was very thoughtful and heartfelt, and that, to me, seems like pretty good writing. And pretty good reading. I know how hard it is to do things alone without a partner, and sometimes it just stinks. It is so unfair, I can’t even begin to keep score, but you have the love and respect of your family and friends, and your virtual friends. At the end of the day, the biggest loser is the one who chose not to put everything on the line for his family. You are, in the immortal words of Charlie Sheen, “Winning!” Even on your worst day! Keep on, we are all cheering for you.And, there is not a thing wrong with considering going home…

  37. Cheryl Pangolin says:

    I don’t know why people feel the need to rain on others when they’re feeling down. Anyone that’s read your blog long-term knows that you usually upbeat, and even when things look grim you generally find a way to make lemonade out of lemons. You’re allowed to express unhappiness when that’s what you’re feeling, and you shouldn’t need anyone’s permission to do it, or receive nasty replies when you do so.

    You are a wonderful person and a fabulous mother, and I’m praying for your load to lighten and your kids to adjust and find happiness in their new home.

    Big hugs to you all!

  38. dawn says:

    Amen sister!

    We were seriously looking into moving to central Fl but the schools…oy vey!

    I recently got flamed big time for a blog post I wrote by people who I don’t even know. what’s up with that?

    Thanks for keeping it real.

  39. Ashley henderson says:

    I totally get girl! Hang in there! We moved to Florida (2 hrs north of you:) about 4 years ago, after living in the midwest all of our lives. It’s an adjustment and the southern folks just don’t get it! It does however get easier , being away from family and friends, but it also takes time. By the way….I love it when you are real and honest! Praying for you and the kids while adjusting to the “southern” life!

  40. Grace O'Hara says:

    I have been following you since Pokemon on Ebay … you are funny Dawn and if people dont like you they arent “normal” keep making us smile we would be lost without you mrs x

  41. grace o'hara says:

    You rock hen

  42. Cathy Mc says:

    Dawn, I love the fact that you’re “real” not perky fake…..we all have days where we yell too much or are just down……I think you’re “normal” as the rest of us thats why I follow your blog …

  43. Amy says:

    Dawn, I moved from IN – TX 13 years ago now. Like you, my ex decided he didn’t need to work. Like you, he decided to drop out of the kids lives. I transplanted 5 kids aged 4-14 and like you, it was a major culture shock. I’m not going to say that it was easy on the kids. It was an adjustment. We’d have good days and bad days. What I will tell you is that the longer we were here, the bad days got further apart. We found new doctors. Not the first one we looked at. I went thru I think 4 pediatricians before I found one that I didn’t want to toss under a bus. :)

    I had no family here. I was lucky in one thing and that was that my 4 boys all played baseball. 3 of them played on select traveling teams and in spending many many evenings with the parents of their teammates, we made friends. We found new “family”. We found new people to count on and we adjusted. I remember our first holiday season away from all our family and friends – it was HARD!

    God bless you and yours. All I can say is – it will get better and for the younger ones, they’ll grow up and consider themselves native Floridians. :) Hugs!

  44. Rikki says:

    I’m sure you know this but it’ll all be okay in the end. I know your kids hate FL now but they will grow to love it, or at least not hate it SO much. When I was 12 years old I moved to a new town(granted it was just 15 minutes from where I wad) and when I first got here I hated it here and sore it was the worst place in the world. After a year or so I grew to love it and now can’t imagine being anywhere else. AND like I said I only moved 15 minutes away, so I didn’t experience near the culture shock you guys are but hang in there.

    You are a wonderful person and an amazing mom, your kid may be struggling now but when they are older they will understand why you made the choices/sacrifices you did.

  45. Rikki says:

    Oh and also nobody wants roses and sunshine all the time. It gets old, I love that you are real enough to talk about your troubles.

  46. Erin T says:

    Anyone who is upbeat all the time is on drugs. Say what you want, express what you want, and a big fat birdie to anyone who thinks you should be “on” all the time. I have read your blog for a LONG time (not since Pokemon, but close!) and will continue to do so until you stop being real. Real = The good AND the bad.

  47. Don Knutson says:

    Dawn, As I may have said, Come on down to sunny Florida. Also, come on over. Let’s compare notes and get reaquainted. We are from Schaumburg and miss “Back Home” too. Together we can remember what cold northern Illinois was and still is.
    We moved from northern Illinois for a better life. Make new friends and enjoy the weather and friends.

  48. Joann says:

    Your blog is great. Your attitude is amazing – if I had had to move away from my support system, I’d have been complaining about it for months. Instead, you just keep finding the good things, and showing a fabulous attitude under a difficult situation. My heart broke for you and your kids. I was hoping the adjustment would be a little easier, but heck, I was homesick in college and I voluntarily went away! I was homesick visiting a college w/ my mom. I’ll keep you guys in my prayers. You asked for Christmas traditions. We have one that my mom heard about. She finds an obscure (usually kitchen-related) thing. First person to guess it wins a prize – or the item. The year of the bowl scraper was a fail, as we all knew what it was. The hard boiled egg peeler (attached to the faucet to peel the egg) was a difficult year!

  49. Tina says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you write us The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly~That’s what this messy journey of life is about and you pen it SO eloquently!!! Thanks for Keeping It Real, Dawn, and for taking the hits for it! It is SO VERY comforting that others, too, are happy, joyful, gracious, struggling, succeeding, cranky, questioning, regretful, hopeful, REAL!
    Seriously, Thank You!!!!

  50. Linda Pepa says:

    I personally love your posts and read them all, no one is happy and funny all the time. Life is hard, you have had a hard time, expecting you to be upbeat and happy and funny for every post is just not realistic. I enjoy your insight, enjoy hearing about your children both the funny and the sad. I am sorry you have had to deal with some nastiness re your last post, I like that you feel you can share your experiences and if some people have a problem with that, maybe they should move on cause there are a lot of us out here who like to read all the sides of Dawn and not just the funny good times. Sharing the bad as well as the good makes me feel I do really know you even if it is in cyberspace. So just keep on keeping on, I commend you for even being able to post as often as you do with all the things you have on your plate. Have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy your children, it is always sad to be away from home at this time of year but you have 6 little and not so little people there to share it with and make memories of the holiday with, so try and enjoy them and the holiday. Best wishes, Merry Christmas, big hugs, Linda

  51. Pam says:

    Oh Dawn, I wish I was there to talk to you. Years ago my then husband was let go from a company he had started because of the greed of his two partners. We were both crushed, but I was more upset then he was. We had 4 kids, the oldest just ready to graduate from high school. He was offered a job within a few weeks but it entailed us to move from family and friends in the midwest and move to Florida. I can’t begin to discribe how awful I thought it all was, and it was pretty awful. Within a few months my mom started a slow decline. The kids hated the move almost as much as I did We left our oldest son behind as he started college. Things were bad, but my attitude was worse. You are doing great. You are more positive on your worst days than I ever was. You are right in your criticism of Florida schools. One of my kids really got into trouble. We had no idea – he skipped over 20 days of school before the school decided we should be informed. His school was so overcrowded one girl was taken to the hospital when she fell and was trampled in the hall between classes. Our house was broken into while we were sleeping by a ‘cat burglar’ who had broken into over 50 homes and had not been reported on by the news media because it was not big news. But on the other hand good things did come out of it. My second oldest liked the school much better than his old one and was made to take a performing arts class. He took theater and is now the head of the community theater in my town. My husband and I realized we were not happy together and divorced. We now live 1000 miles apart and I’m becoming happier and more self confident all the time. Three of the four kids live within an hour, and they are the ones with my grandkids. The son who had so much trouble is doing good, has a good job and I don’t worry about him like I did for so many years. All of your concerns are valid. You are being a great mom. I had to work very hard to get grounded as you are, and I will never be able to go back and be as good a mom as you are.

  52. Christy says:

    Sending peace & love your way!!! {{{Hugs}}}

  53. Jessica says:

    Dawn you inspire me every day. Anyone who says negative things to you, F them!

  54. Donna W says:

    This is what happens when we “keep it real”. Some people can’t face the cold, hard facts of life, which is to say, NOBODY IS PERFECT.
    Blog on, Dawn. I’m cheering for you.

  55. Tracy S says:

    I’m sorry that your being honest upset some people. I’m a Northerner too and I’m sure I would be in extreme culture shock if I moved down South. And I’m sure the Southerners would be in extreme culture shock if they moved up North. Although, if they wanted to keep saying “soda” they could move to SE Wisconsin, because we say that here ;o)

    I pray that your bad days get farther and farther apart.

  56. Ceci says:

    If knowing other people are/have been in the same boat makes you feel better…

    Moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to southwestern Louisiana was about the biggest nightmare my family could have imagined. I was seven when we moved. In CA, my parents were still trying to complete a VERY messy divorce, my mother was pregnant with my little sister, I was adjusting to my new stepdad, my father was out of the picture (not exactly by his choice, but he wasn’t making any effort to communicate with me), and my relatives were in such conflict that my mother had to institute a password before I could leave with any of them from school. Oh, and two people showed up to my 7th birthday party out of I don’t remember how many were invited. We moved to a new apartment with my grandmother in CA, because we were broke and had to move someplace where people didn’t know where we were. Happily, I ended up in the same complex and class as my cousin, to whom I had been joined at the hip my entire life. Life was on the upswing for me. But this particular grandmother was impossible to live with as far as adult matters were concerned, my parents were broke, and my dad (stepdad) had no job. He and I both licked our tongues dry on envelopes and stamps sending out his resumes, and he finally got a job… in Louisiana. I thought, “Cool, there will be alligators in our backyard!” I was seven, after all.

    We got there, rather a mess. My mother endured days of driving through the desert while pregnant. I left my favorite doll (my security blanket equivalent) at a hotel, and while they were willing to ship it COD to my dad’s new job, I was without my source of comfort at nights. I got attacked by fire ants in my first week, and in the dark, too, so that I couldn’t see what was attacking my legs. Over the course of the next two years, a neighbor tried to break into our house, we suffered culture shock from hell, and my parents were so broke they had to resort to food stamps, which was a MAJOR blow to their pride. We ate hamburger most nights because it was cheap, there were nights they skipped meals, and leftovers dragged on forever. My father, grandfather, and a cousin I was close to all died within six months of each other- and all hours away by plane. I had few friends, and then my closest one moved away. My softball team lost every game we played, and there were always roaches in the kitchen, no matter how spotless we kept it. We found out our pipes had disintegrated and the dirt I played in was full of raw sewage. Our landlord turned out to be a sexual predator. My mother and I were both homesick beyond all belief, and she had no one- no friends, no family, no support system at all, when before she’d had twenty family babysitters she could call if needed.

    Things did get better though. My dad got his dog back from his ex-wife. We slowly found ourselves in better financial shape, my parents finally got to go on their honeymoon, and eventually we progressed to the point that we were able to move again- this time to Dad’s home state, where his family welcomed my mother and me with open arms and let us live with them until we found a house to rent. Before we moved, I got the silver accelerated reader medal- second place in my whole school, out of all grades.

    Those very full two years were hard for everyone, and we still look back and shake our heads at how awful it all was. However, we also still acknowledge that there wasn’t much choice at the time, and that without the lower cost of living and the all-important job, we would have ended up in an even worse mess in CA. I strongly suspect that no matter how awful it is now, you will find ways to cope, and work every day toward making your lives better, until you either move on or make your stay permanent- both of which are honorable and fine choices. Best of luck to you and your family.

  57. Ceci says:

    Oops, that should read “my dad got his dog back from his parents so she was safe from his ex-wife.” Baby distracted me and I hit delete and drastically changed the meaning of that sentence.

  58. Lynn Worley says:

    I know I don’t write much over here…but had to respond to this one. I just keep praying that you can stick it out a while longer and that things calm down. It takes a while to get used to an area. And when you’re a kid it’s so easy to blame everything on the move and to remember their former home with rose colored glasses. I doubt if FL’s as bad as they think and know IL wasn’t as good as they remember. Moving uproots a family and it takes time to adjust. When I moved up here maybe a month after we got her two of my kids wanted to go to a theater downtown. So I got out my mapquest and figured out how to get there. It was dark and raining. I dropped them off and then it hit me. I didn’t have a clue how to get home! I knew I had to take the freeway south but in Seattle there aren’t that many on ramps! I pulled over and started crying! Same thing happened years ago when I moved to CA. There were multiple times when I cried about moving out there away from both families. I didn’t have any option with either move. My husband’s a pastor and he was called to a church so we went. Time did help a lot, though. It’s just so much harder for you because you have to take all the responsibility and you’re obviously second guessing yourself. You made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time. Hang in there! Give FL a chance and you might just be surprised at some point when you start referring to FL as home.
    Whatever lies ahead, the Lord is with you! Praying!
    Psalms 32:8, 10-11 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (10-11) Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

  59. Mandy says:

    Dawn. You are amazing. Ignore all the negatives and please do vent whenever you need to. Big hugs to you and the kids.

  60. Frau_Mahlzahn says:

    I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts (and books), and you’ve made so many people around the world laugh! And you have kept your spirits up despite all the struggles you and your kids have gone through over the past months, so it is very sad to see/read that things are just getting too much.

    I wish I could help!

    Other than stopping by here and dropping a few words. I so hope that things will get better for you all!

    So long,

  61. Frau_Mahlzahn says:

    Kristine wrote:

    *****Dawn, I became your fan because of your humor posts, but as I got to know you and your family, I really value the realness of your posts as well.*****

    I second that!

    So long,

  62. Helen Spencer says:

    What’s the point in a blog if you can’t say how you feel? It’s YOUR blog!!!

    Family stories from past & present at

  63. Syd says:

    If you go back to the post when you had just arrived (or were talking about the excitement of moving – I can’t quite remember) you will find the first of two comments I have made (this being the second). It predicted that after 6 months, you would enter phase 2 of culture shock, after the honeymoon.

    Not because I’m super clever or psychic, but because it is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. I know how hard it is (and I don’t have 6 kids!) I promise you – as correct as I was about the timing of your culture shock, I am also correct that you will reach a balance in another 6 or so months. Take a deep breath. You have not made a ‘giant mistake’. Or maybe you have but probably not since you didn’t have a lot of choices.

    What you’re going through is normal, even if it doesn’t feel good at all.

    Internet hugs to you and your family at this very difficult time of the year, especially being so far from your support network. It will be okay – it always is, even when it isn’t.

  64. Sandi says:

    Started reading you because you were funny – stayed with reading you because you were real and honest. Sorry – wherever you go you are stuck with me :) But hopefully you are getting lots of support and that you do stick it out in Florida. Its a transition. Give it more time. If you still feel this way in 6 months – then reevaluate. And know that there are many of your readers who enjoy reading it all – and that we will stick with you.

  65. Sharon says:

    Gosh Dawn, I’m sending big hugs your way. I always would wonder “way back when” when people would question my parenting style for one thing or another, just what they would do in the same situation. Everyone is different and everyone is entitled to their opinion BUT to share that opinion with someone, especially someone they don’t really know is just not right! You are doing a super job, you are doing what is right for you and your family and you’re right, if they don’t like your opinions, they can stop reading! So sorry about Savannah’s knee. That’s so hard for a young girl to be having problems like that at such an early age. Prayers to you and the whole family for Christmas. Keep up the EXCELLENT posts!

  66. Stephanie Honeycutt says:


    I first want to say that I love your posts. I also want to add that I am from the south, and your blurbs regarding the difference make me LOL! I totally get that you don’t mean any harm, that a lot of times, this is your way of “making the best” of a not so good situation and one of the best ways to do that is with HUMOR! :-) I know it must be quite a culture shock for you all, but please know that you are a very admirable, brave mom who is doing the best she can under the circumstances. While I don’t know what it is like to make such a drastic move, I do know how it feels to have written words taken out of context, and how if feels to catch the backlash as a result. Big hugs to all of you, and hang in there. <3

  67. Carrie M. says:

    Dawn, I can’t believe some people would say those things to you. I’ve been reading your blog since the Pokemon Card Fiasco (lol) and can tell that you are a very upbeat, positive person. Everyone goes through tough times and I appreciate that you share the good with the bad. It honestly does help me realize that my life is normal…warts and al. Thanks for opening yourself up to us..enduring criticism and all. Forget the critics.

  68. Nate B says:


    I think what draws me to your blog is your honesty. This post cemented that for me. You’re not a stand up comedian, you are a person who is often funny, but like all people, you have bad days once in a while. While I’m not a parent I can so often appreciate what you have to say (or what your kids have to say).

    Thanks so much for what you do.

  69. ElleBee says:

    I’m not sure why I felt so compelled to comment. I know that I’m just one little fan among your many fans. I think because you have achieved a bit of “star status” in the blog world, people forget that you’re a real person, a mom just trying to do the best thing for her family. Being a parent is hard, we all know that. Being a single mom of six kids would put most of us right over the edge. No advice from me, Dawn. Just look at the responses from all of your fans here, and remember that even though most of us have never met you, we support you.

  70. Shannon in Canada! says:

    Dawn I just want to say how much I love your posts. I read regularly and have for years. I have laughed at your jokes and cried at your struggles yet I have never commented. For any of those people who send you hurtful or negative e-mails I’m willing to bed there are oodles of us silent ones loving your from a distance and wishing the best for you. Stay strong. You truly are my hero and I am awed by every post as your love for your family and your ability to overcome what life throws at you shines through regardless of what you write about.

  71. Kirstin says:

    We have a saying in out house, never reply with a negative comment unless you have walked in that person’s shoe. Writing encouraging words is okay. I really apprecaite your keeping life real, I don’t read anything where life is “perfect.” After reading your blog, I usually think, you would understand and not judge my house which is more than I can say for a lot of people. I hope life gets easier for all of you and Christmas break will be fun and relaxing.

  72. Steph says:

    As someone who moved with her husband and three daughters away from all family and friends I understand your feelings. You need to remember that you did what was best for you and your family and to heck with the icky people!

  73. kriswithmany says:

    To the person who thought Dawn was complaining about the school system or saying that southerners are rednecks – go back and actually read the post this time. She says that she has a difficult job, and Austin claims everyone at school is illiterate. Dawn did NOT call people illiterate – she was showing Austin’s attitude toward the people at school.

    Dawn, keep writing, and don’t let the mean people get to you!

  74. Lisa R says:

    I enjoy reading you BECAUSE you are who you are. The good with the bad.
    I admire how you raise your kids, the choices you make and the risks you take.
    Keep doin’ what you are doing…..and kudos for you NOT trying to “say” the “right” things to please everyone!!

  75. Keisha says:

    Ditto to anyone who has ever said anything good and nice to you. Your life is your own and only you know what the Lord has told you is best for you and your family. Those decision always come with a huge list of pros and cons, but at the end of the day the most important thing is that you know that no matter how hard the day was, you’ve done what Heavenly Father asked of you to the best of your abilities. My family moved a lot growing up and it’s never easy. You and your kids will adjust or the Lord will tell you the trial is over and send you where you can be happy.


  76. mommyrox says:

    Plain and simple…..mean people suck.
    I love you for who you are, the message you send, and the strength to continue to share with the world the good, funny and bad.
    Merry Christmas!
    if another surgery means more cards to send to Savannah please let us know and we can continue the love train.

  77. Vicki says:

    Dawn, I am sorry people were so mean to you. You have every right to post whatever you want and I read your blog because you are so real. It makes me feel OK to know other families have trials.

    I have always lived in FL, over 50 years now, and most of our schools DO stink. That is a whole subject that you and I cannot solve on a blog.

    I do want to encourage you and your kids that God loves you and He is still on the throne even in FL. He has not forsaken you and HE will continue to direct your paths. We all have our trials and I know He uses then to bring us closer to Himself. Sometimes it just takes a while for us to see where it is leading but as you draw unto Him He will give you all comfort and peace. I will add you all to my prayers and I wish you the most blessed Christmas you have ever had.

  78. Patty Merry says:

    Everyone has sucky days and you are allowed to use your blog for an outlet for those feelings. That is what keeps us from going postal in our real world. Every mom can feel your pain and dispair, but I know your sunny can-do spirit will always return. We love you!

  79. Krys72599 says:

    Count me in the latter group: the “virtual friends and family who are tried and true…”
    My first thought yesterday was, “Thank goodness she can vent here!” because I always figured you to be a very upbeat, encouraging and supportive mom who’d do anything for her kids. (I’ve read more than one post here! It sort of comes across in your writing!)
    It never crossed my mind to even THINK any of those mean things, let alone send them to you.
    I bet they kick puppies, too.

  80. Jen Cato says:

    Hey gal… no matter what, you’re stuck with me, too. I’m sorry people gave you crap for your post yesterday. It’s your blog though and they should understand that. You’re allowed to post whatever you want. <3 I'm with you all the way and you keep posting. Keep your head up, too and we're sending lots of prayers, hugs and love your way… hoping that it helps. :) So sorry about Savannah needing more surgery. I know that's not a good thing and totally frustrating, too. If you ever need to talk, we're here for you sweetie. (hugs) XOXO

    Merry Christmas guys! <3

  81. Katie S says:

    We have moved several times, each time to a different state and whole new set of people, circumstances, etc. You’re at the typical point of feeling discouraged because it’s all still new, but you’ve been there long enough for the honeymoon stage to wear off. I consistently found another hard point was at the 1 year mark because you think it should feel like home by then, but it doesn’t quite yet. I think it takes two years to start feeling settled. Maybe this will encourage your kids, and I hope you. Even though two years feels like a long time :o )

  82. JL says:

    I love reading your blog. I look forward to it everyday. Thank you for writing.

  83. Donna in PA :) says:

    I’m sorry, I think I missed the post where you added “comedienne” to your resume. WHERE do these mean, judgmental, hurtful people get off telling you what to write in YOUR blog?!?! I’m so glad you told them to stop reading your posts. I was going to say the same thing!!!! Are they being held down against their will and forced to read your blog? I don’t think so!!!! You just keep doing what you’re doing — live your life, take care of your kids and try to keep your sanity (as best as you can). Take everything one day at a time and PRAY. God is most certainly with you and the kids. Big (((hugs))) to all of you. :o )

  84. Nicolette says:

    I always read, don’t always comment. I’m sorry some people are rude. I love reading your blog. Good days, bad days, I will read it. I appreciate your transparency and honest emotions. Life isn’t always tied up neatly in a bow. You are a good mama and things do have a way of working out in the end. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  85. MKT says:

    Just adding another happy comment to say we love you hang in there!!!

  86. Kristin says:

    Well, I can’t add to what everyone else said. But I did see two of the naysayers from yesterday apologizing – they are right though – it’s so hard to distinguish tone in writing. But regardless, that was nice to see them explain their comments.

    “The South” or wherever. My SIL gets offended when I joke about Montana not being in the current century. Because they’re not. Cell phone towers? Wifi? Limited in Montana. So I jest. And she gets offended. Facts are facts!

  87. Marianne says:

    I would send you some Pizano’s if I could. Yet you really need to avoid the stalker factor on blogging, so I understand. I’m sending you a cyber-Due’s instead.

  88. Shelly says:

    Keep it real sweetie & never mind the haters. Most of us have only good thoughts for you and we’re praying for you too. I think what you did was VERY brave and your kids will someday thank you for showing them how to be a strong individual. You have so many reasons to be proud of yourself and never doubt yourself (or at least never let the doubt get you down for very long). And it’s okay to have a pity party every now & then, and when you’re finished with it, grab a friend and bottle of rum and toast the end of it. The grab a friend part might require skype but I’m sure all of your friends back in IL will be willing to join you!

  89. Anne Collins says:

    Like the others say, we read you because you are funny and Real! Sometimes being Real means you tell us of your fears, sorrows, struggles. Moving is tough!! I had to move with my family when I was 15. To make it worse, my older sister didn’t have to move. She stayed in the same town to go to college. BUT 40 years later, I’m glad I had the opportunity to move from the city to the country, 500 miles away. I learned SO much. It wasn’t easy, but I am richer for it. And hopefully, a kinder, more compassionate person.

    I think it takes 2 years to make the adjustment to a new place, whether one far away and so different or one not so far and not so different. I hope your kids will give your new home more time to grow on them. They’ll have good, old friends in two years. Meanwhile, you all miss your loved ones and friends. Thank heavens for Facebook and phones. You’ll always miss them, but it won’t’ hurt so so much in a while. I send you best wishes for a brighter day and for comfort for those longing days when you miss home. Someday Florida will also be home, but it takes time to create that feeling for any new place to live.

  90. sallie says:

    As one who has moved lots (including to central FL and to chicagoland), and who has moved kids, i’ll just say this: yes, it breaks your heart when your kids complain about moving and you feel responsible for uprooting their lives. but maybe it helps to know that “moving” can become a handy box for kids (and parents?) to throw all kinds of feelings into — from I did bad on a test today…to I was embarassed…to that boy doesn’t like me…to I’m trying to figure out who I really am. it’s sometimes easier for them to just say, “my life wouldn’t suck if you hadn’t moved us to [name of state].” but the true source of the sorrow may be something very different…but harder to face. “Moving” is something you can both relate to, so it can become an emblem for lots of losses.
    You have been a rock for your kids and you made a thoughtful decision. say whatever you want — it’s your blog. and remember, at this time of year, that the incarnation meant “moving” from a pretty wonderful to a pretty inhospitable place, all for love of His children. He knows what you are going through. Virtual hugs to you!

  91. Ally says:

    I read just a few mommy blogs, 4 or 5. I read a couple of Mormon Mommy Blogs, and end up feeling inferior. They have tons of perfect kids, perfect marriages, plenty of money but don’t work. They are crafty and clever…I like you! You are honest and working hard; you are not judgy… Hang in there

  92. Cheryl says:

    Dawn, it’s your blog & you can blog any way you want. You are an amazingly upbeat person who has had a year from hell. Keep hanging in there, continue to hold your head high and just be you! You are wonderful and one of the most positive people I know.
    Merry Chirsmas from the frozen north!

  93. Mary-Leah says:

    I, too, blog, and most of my posts are upbeat and funny. However, we went through a two-year ordeal trying to get a modification on our mortgage because we were in danger of losing our house, due to a job loss. It was a horrible time, but of course we were upbeat and cheerful MOST of the time. However, I wrote a particularly negative blog post and my mother-in-law commented that I was too negative and that my blog used to entertain her but not so much anymore. I told her I write my blog for ME and anyone who enjoys reading it is welcome to read it. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading it is welcome to delete it from their favorites. Everyone has bad days, and blogs are a great venue for posting our feelings. No one can be “up” all the time and for those who only want to be entertained, go watch funny videos or something! Dawn, you keep writing what’s in your heart. That’s your true self.

  94. hildigunnur says:

    You go, girl! I missed that post and the comments but keep on, things will work out I’m sure!

  95. Danielle says:

    I don’t usually comment, but I just had to tell you that I read you because I love your honesty. Sometimes life is just sucky; and that’s ok! Thanks for making me laugh; and thanks for being honest when life isn’t so funny! I like to know I’m not alone.

  96. Kim H says:

    Oh for cryin’ in the bucket! Isn’t it funny how people ccome back to read your posts, and then do nothing but gripe and whine, yet they keep coming back? You are one very busy lady! I could only hope to have half of the talent you have for writing and entertaining the rest of us. Anyone who doesn’t understand that you have a life beyond the “fun” stuff is just plain ignorant. As another commenter wrote, “let them write a blog and see how much work it takes” (or something like that). Life ain’t always a bowl of cherries. Grow up, people. You don’t like it? Leave.

  97. Sherry Schneider says:

    I read only a few blogs regularly. Yours is one of them. If there’s one thing they all have in common is that they are real. Good times and bad. Real people. You are real. Thank you for being real. Thank you for sharing your life. Thank you for your honesty. I will pray for you because I know, from experience, that during those tough times it hurts even to pray for yourself. God knows you are hurting. I will be lifting you up in prayer to him.

  98. says:

    dawn- i was shocked by the comments the other night. I have commented a few times when I read you were moving because of a job and benefits. I actually believe in trust your gut. I love the proverb: Leap and a Net Will Appear (of course, I always lie about my weight so my net would like break). But, if your support system is up north with family and friends… get going.
    1. Do you have a lease? Can you get out of it?
    2. Do you have a place to live temporarily if you return HOME.
    3. FYI.. Starbucks has benefits
    Would love to know what you decide. laura

  99. Beej says:

    Dude. Don’t apologize to whomever was “offended” by what you wrote (I’m realllllly hoping that apology was sarcastic ;-) ). Seriously. Offended? Screw ‘em. Screw ‘em right in the ear!

  100. Teresa says:

    You know what? Mean people suck.

    Now, what I have to say is that moving to a new place away from family is VERY hard. When we moved to the town we live in about 5.5 years ago, we knew ONE family. We knew no one else. It was very lonely for a long time. My husband has a stable job (not saying it’s the best job or that he would love to be in this position forever) and it’s the first time we’ve been financially stable in many years. But, we kept dreaming of moving away; moving back to a location closer to “home”. In the past 5+ years, we have made friends, gotten involved in activities around the community, found a church, and started to feel comfortable. That being said, up until this past summer, we were mentally planning how we could leave this place and go back “home”. This summer, at about 5 years into our life here, we went “home” for a visit and it was the first time that “home” didn’t feel like “home” anymore. It took THAT LONG. I have heard and been told that it takes at LEAST a year before you start to feel comfortable in a new state/city/town. For us, we noticed the transition as we found our niche, but we didn’t firmly feel like THIS town was “our home” for 5 years. I know that’s a long time and seems daunting, but please keep sticking with it. Keep your chin up. Write about your frustrations when you need to (we’ll keep you in our prayers) and I also enjoy your positive, happy posts (and join you in your laughter). You amaze me with all that you do! I’ll be praying for your adjustment to your new home, new job, and pray for your guidance toward activities and involvements that make you feel more at home.

  101. Ontario Girl says:

    Pffft! To all those nasties out there who take it all too personally. While I am sorry that things are tough – I know what it is like to make life altering decisions and question yourself every single day about it – I appreciate your posts. It makes me feel less alone and has reminded me that I am not alone and not the only person feeling this way. I have always liked your honesty. THAT is why I follow you….not just for the laughs. I appreciate that you are *real*.

    So to those who take your posts personally, to them I say….life must get pretty tiring when you spend so much time making abstract things all about you. :-P

    Keep hanging in there, Dawn!!

  102. Kristen says:

    Thank you for writIng both posts. We have moved from Colorado to Austria to Tennessee to Virginia and now finally to Wyoming (where we have lived before) in the span of four years. We have a six year old and now an eleven month old as well. It is really hard to move away from where you know and love to places where things are so different. We learned to love TN, but not VA. I hope FL is your TN. Hang in there. The kid part is the most heartbreaking. Maybe you guys don’t stay, maybe you do. Just remember that nothing lasts forever and you can do this!

  103. Amanda says:

    Everyone is allowed to get homesick now and then. I moved away from home about 13 years ago. There are still times I miss it even though over all I’m happy where I am now. It’s hard, especially at the holidays to not miss what you’re used to – family, food, friends, great conversations, etc. The phone and internet just aren’t the same.

    For what it’s worth, I thought your feelings about FL schools and health care were pretty valid. From what I’ve seen from other parents chatter about the same topics, they aren’t spectacular. In fact, FL is one of the more complained about states I’ve seen in the special needs community about trying to get proper services for children.

    (((hugs))), people have been mean lately as a whole, I think it’s holiday stress, and Merry Christmas!

  104. rachael says:

    hey dawn,
    like u said, its your blog, its your outlet, what u said is about you…& bravo to you for telling these people who obviously don’t know you well to stop reading if they’ve so many issues with what you said…honestly, i really don’t think you even need to say sorry to these people…you’ve got enough on your plate, you’ve every right to ventilate on your blog, the last thing you should worry about is worrying about how offensive some people are feeling, no, not the last thing, you should NOT have to worry at all

  105. BG says:

    I really liked your post. Loved the honesty in it. As someone who has moved a few times I know it’s not all roses and sunshine all the time, and just because there are challenging moments and doubt doesn’t mean it’s bad, or not thought out. It just is. Wish you all the best.

  106. Julie F. says:

    Wow! I can’t believe people came down on you so hard for your need to vent and get things off of your chest. I think that if they can’t say something nice and encouraging that they should just keep their fingers off of the keyboard.

    I can relate to how you and your kids feel. Towards the end of my junior year in high school, almost 22 years ago, my parents uprooted me from my school and friends in Colorado and moved us to Florida. My mom had just lost her job in Colorado and they were tired of the cold weather and decided to move somewhere warmer – much, much warmer (too warm for me). We had no friends or family nearby and it really sucked. I hated my parents for taking me away from my friends and school. I still live in Florida, and yes, the public education system here isn’t all that great for the most part. I remember using textbooks in Florida as a senior in high school that I had already used as a freshman and sophomore in Colorado. I remember that in a few of my classes I could have actually taught my teachers a thing or two because they didn’t have a clue and I had already learned what they were attempting to teach one, two or three years earlier in Colordado. On a positive note – I never would have met my husband if I hadn’t moved to Florida.

    It must be incredibly hard to be a single mom to six kids and to be so far away from family and friends, especially around the holidays. Those of us that have been reading your blog for a long time know that you thought and prayed long and hard about your decision to move and made the best decision for your family. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas!

  107. Laura G says:

    I think you’re awesome, and brave, and funny, and real. To name just a few! Always love reading your blog, the good, the bad, the funny. Have a Merry, Warm Christmas! It’s gloomy and cold here in Chicago, not too much to miss!

  108. sandy north says:

    I feel bad for you! you use a blog to write about what you are going through and your thoughts. If you sensored everything you were going to write; to be sure and not affend your blog would be empty. I can only imagine the negative comments you got must have been from people that have never experienced doubt or sadness. lucky them.

  109. Lindie says:

    I started reading your blog because my daughter said I should! You and Stacie met in a mommy’s area and you both have 6 kids. Your way is harder since you had yours pretty close together. Stacie had 3, waited until they were in their teens and then had built in baby sitters for the next 3. I like reading blogs from everywhere, it gives me a sense of what is happening and how people are feeling elsewhere. We moved 18 times in my first daughter’s life before she entered college so I know all about home sickness. Knowing others are together and you aren’t there. It’s hard.

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