900 Hours | Life By The Sea

When that little girl looked up at the sky in Virginia Beach three years ago and told us she wanted to see more stars at night…everything changed.

Mike and I kind of had a crazy notion that moving to our favorite place in the world COULD happen…we just needed to know it would be okay for him to commute because we really needed his income and benefits to continue supporting our family. So, it started becoming a possibility BUT I was like wait…will this really work?

I then sat down and mentored a friend I love and she told me how she was completely fine living in a small space because she loved where she lived. She really inspired me that day and a fire was lit…we were gonna do this. A 2 bedroom not-so-beautiful or ever updated condo was available, for $300 less than we were paying rent for in Kempsville and it was an end unit. AND the neighboring unit only visited every few months. And there was a tiny little OCEAN VIEW!

We took it. For $1000 a month, we were living on the Outer Banks. It was an absolute dream come true and although the place wasn’t nice at all, the carpet was really hideous and clearly old…appliances kept breaking…it was so meh, we really didn’t care. We were HOME. Home! What a word! What a FEELING!

This came with a big cost…Mike would be commuting to Virginia Beach 5 days a week. That meant he had to budget two hours in the morning toward commuting and he usually got home within two hours of getting off of work. The drive up through North Carolina was beautiful and peaceful but there’s always traffic in Hampton Roads so he had to always endure that and it meant spending up to 4 hours daily on the road depending on the day.

That meant up to 4 hours away from us on top of a 8 hour work day. 20 hours of travel a week. 80 hours of travel a month. Over 900 hours of traveling A YEAR. I really, really missed him during those early morning windows. No breakfast together during the work week. Us having to either push back dinner later or not have him at it at all. And yes, this sounds like it was really hard for Mike but he and I can both tell you honestly it was way, way harder on me. I was the one with two little kids alone for all of these extra hours. Then pregnant without him for those hours. And then last year during the hardest time of my life…with three really wild and anxious little girls who wore me down because it was me alone with them for 12 hours a day and only having childcare when I was out working. 60 hours a week with the girls on my own. Almost no me time, except for the amazing YMCA which helped SO much…but mostly just really a lonely and hard season for me. You probably know by now I’m a really happy person but I was having some really, really rough moments and hard times last year. I couldn’t take that period of 5-6:30pm with the girls when they completely go crazy and get restless anymore. I tried SO much to distract them and calm them but nothing ever worked, and I really needed him so badly during that time window because I was sinking into a lot of sadness and frustration after being with the girls and tirelessly serving their needs all day long alone.

I don’t know how we did it, but we did it.

WE WORKED SOOOO HARD FOR THIS!!! So so hard! I wanted to raise our girls here so badly. This is my Capeside (Dawson’s Creek fans understand what I’m saying!), this is my Southport (Safe Haven lovers…y’all feel me?!) … this is my white house with blue shutters and room overlooking the water so I can paint (The Notebook!!!:)) but I only do a little watercolor so maybe we’ll pretend Rachel McAdams said “so I can edit pictures and blog” instead of paint hahaha!

So……after 2 1/2 years of missing our guy. Missing breakfasts together, missing dinners, not being able to visit or drop off lunch, not being able to have him more involved with the girls activities, etc….Mike is FINALLY working on the Outer Banks 15 minutes from our home. I GET HIM BACK FOR up to 900 more HOURS A YEAR!!!! How crazy is that?! We are racking our brains trying to properly think of how to thank the incredible woman who hired him. We’re SO THANKFUL and he is so so excited to put a lot of heart into this new company and work extremely hard for them and help them shine!

I’m dreaming of bringing him coffee. And lunch. And the crazy fact that my guy will be able to bring his little girl to Kindergarten next year. That is HUGE FOR US!!

Mike loved his time at Geico. Giving his two weeks notice was hard because he really loved and respected his team and supervisors. It was one of the hardest things he’s ever done and I know they must be bummed to be missing him, he’s SO kind and so good to everyone and he’s so good at his job! But, we are thankful right now beyond all measure. At the end of this month he’ll be starting down here and I can’t say I’m anything less than extremely relieved to have more time to myself and more help with the girls and to see that man working at such a wonderful company he’s prepared to bust his butt for.

I get more time with you Mike. The girls get Daddy more. We are so grateful for all of the hard work you did commuting for 2 1/2 years, we will never forget what you sacrificed to have this family spend its days on the Outer Banks.





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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Hannah Hicks says:

    This is so amazing for you and your sweet family!! So happy for you guys! Following y’all on social media puts a smile on my face daily… And is a constant reminder that life is just way too short to be anything but happy, that life does not have to be another person’s definition of perfect to be wonderful, and to just have FUN! Thank you for always being real and inspiring! <3

  2. So SO happy for y’all, Amanda!!!! GAH!!!! <3 <3 <3

  3. Bahh! This is so awesome! You and Mike show me and Kevin that the big dreams really can happen and the fairytale is worth the extra work☺ Congratulations Mike!! I’m so excited for you and your family Amanda!

  4. Kat Jones says:

    We will definitely miss Mike here at Geico but we are all so happy for you both!!!!

  5. Brooke says:

    I was getting super nervous for a minute thinking all of you were leaving! So happy for you, Amanda. Having all that extra time is going to be a serious game changer for the whole family. Yay for family time and new beginnings!

  6. Oh Girl I am so so happy for ya’ll!! As a momma who was in this situation for 8 years, I feel your pain and I am so happy you will have him home with you!!!

  7. Carly Vega says:

    Congrats on more time at home! <3 When I started working from home, I really thought I would love the alone time. When my husband takes vacation days and then goes back to work, I miss him. I'm glad you worked through the trials that God laid before you! Your blessing is beautiful! Now if I can just convince my husband to move to the OBX! LOL <3 xoxo Carly!

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