That’s right! We are headed back to San Diego after a wonderfully life-changing experience here in Portland. The move is truly bittersweet this time around. We have to say goodbye to people who have changed us. But we get to go home to be closer to our family. These 16 months have been the best thing ever. I feel like we were mean to be here for this season. My life and my perspective are truly changed.

Moving FAQ

1. So why are you moving again?

Joel was promoted at his work. Hooray! And our long term goal has always been to be back with our parents and siblings.

2. Are you going to transfer with Starbucks?

Nope. I would love to get another job – something full time would be awesome. Soooo…I hope you’ll think of me if you hear of something! 😉



This morning I woke up sick, disoriented and out of it. And as Joel and I took the normal drive to drop him off at work, my heart became full. It’s crisp outside – Oregon did not delay the start of Fall. The streets are damp but the sun is out making the streets bright. And as I sit here drinking my pumpkin spice coffee, I am overwhelmed by all the things in my life to be thankful for. I love this season. I’m thankful for a season that allows me to sip on pumpkin drinks and cozy up under blankets. I’m thankful we have a home – even though it is not perfectly decorated – it keeps us warm and gives us a place to rest and relax. I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me and loves me even when that’s not an easy task. We are able to eat throughout the day. Even though sometimes it seems like money is tight, we are still able to fill our bellies. I’m thankful for the church we’ve found – for the vision they have and that we get to be a part of. I’m thankful for the connections we’re making. It has been a slow process but we are able to greet people at church because we know their name and they know ours. I’m thankful for this move and how it’s changing us and challenging us. And I’m thankful for our family, for supporting us even when it’s hard and we miss each other. There are so many reason for us to be joyful and on a regular basis, I forget. I don’t acknowledge the things we have and I just complain about the things we don’t have. I hope you are reminded today to be thankful for the things in your life even if times are tough or you’ve lost hope. There is a plan for you. And that plan is divine and has a great purpose.

becoming mrs. smith — the beginning

The following weeks after our wedding, there were several things that needed to be accomplished. One of those things included changing my name from Stine to Smith. To be honest, it’s a very conflicting experience. I have always been Kaley Stine. There was a time in middle school I didn’t like my last name but, other than that, I have grown quite fond of it. It’s who I am. And although I am extremely excited to be married to Joel and start the adventure with him, I had a bit of anxiety about changing my name.

It’s a long process: I had to get our marriage certificate, then I had to go to the social security office, and then I had to go to the DMV. It has to be done in this order. Then after that, I had to change my name EVERYWHERE ELSE: the bank, school, work, any medical offices, Facebook/all social media, literally anywhere that has your name – which is everywhere! It can be overwhelming.

I often get anxiety with unknown interactions. I build it up to be something really scary because WHAT IF they are mean to me or WHAT IF I don’t know how to respond? Writing it down makes me feel really dumb but it really is how I feel sometimes.

So, needless to say, changing my name was full of unknown interactions causing me anxiety.

I waited until January to legally change my name – nearly 6 months after our wedding.

Now that I am officially Mrs. Smith, there’s kind of this disconnect in my identity. For my whole life, I was Miss Stine. Now, being Mrs. Smith, I can’t help but feel like that’s my Mother-In-Law. My MIL is really great. I feel like I lucked out as far as MIL’s go. She is kind, and generous, loving, and she’s got this infectious laugh that makes you want to laugh with her.  During the wedding process, she was supportive. She was always on my side. Whatever I wanted, she fought with me. She has always made me feel a part of her family.


(my beautiful mother-in-law)

SO, being Mrs. Smith isn’t a bad thing. It just doesn’t fully feel like my identity…yet.

I’m sure I’m not the only newlywed who has experienced this. I would even venture to say almost every newly married woman, who has changed their name, has felt this way.

This blog will capture my journey as I become Mrs. Smith telling stories, sharing recipes Joel and I try, and how we are making our house our home. I hope you’ll come with me.