Change is in the Air


I’m sitting on the deck at my parents house, beautiful July morning, looking out onto bright blue Lake Superior, dotted with Madeline Island and Long Island.   As of about 9 am this morning the most valuable thing I own is my 2006 Prius.  I’m setting the bar fairly low in terms of using the word “valuable”, though I really love my car.  

Ten months ago I had a commercial mortgage, a few business loans, a house loan and owned a second car.  But the last of those items, our house, has been sold as of this morning.  

It is incredibly liberating and freeing to not be tethered to a place or institution.  

We are moving our family out west.  My husband, Jon is on the road with said Prius driving to Oregon from Wisconsin.  I am flying there with the three kids in 5 days.     

So lets back up to August 2014.  The family and I headed west for a three week road trip.  Jon and I did lots of talking and listening to podcasts for inspiration about what we wanted to do in our lives.  The kids watched a good amount of Frozen and The Incredibles.  Fun was had by all.

We have family in Oregon and my husband grew up there.  But this visit really got us thinking about where we wanted to live.  It was hard to admit it, but maybe it wasn’t where we were.

At the time we lived in northern Wisconsin and owned Big Water Coffee Roasters, an awesome little coffee shop with a fast growing wholesale business.  We were going on eight years of ownership and we were getting to the point where we needed to decide if this was the path we continued.  

It was a tough decision.  Our business was finally going in the direction we’d worked so hard to get to.  We were growing really fast AND we were profitable! Amazing, I know!  It felt great.  

But there was something inside me that still wasn’t satisfied.  And now I knew it wasn’t about my business, it was about me.

So we did lots of talking, reflecting, more talking…..but at some point you have to stop talking and start acting.  (Or as I like to say, “shit or get off the pot”)

We came to the decision that we were ready to move to Oregon.  Whoa.  This felt big.  How the hell are we going to do this?!

It was October when I said that.  We worked hard to make it happen.  

We were able to sell our business to our employees, who would run it as a worker owned cooperative, and we had also found a buyer for our building.   

So at the end of March, we signed numerous papers and let our first “baby” go off into the great hands of our staff.

It felt amazing to accomplish selling our business.

Oh, did I mention I was pregnant.  Yep, due in May.  Number three was making sure I knew he was there.

So before we could head west we had a few more things to do, like have the baby and sell the house.  

In May I had Sam.  He’s pretty awesome and knows he’s a third child.  Very chill.

And it just so happened that the house sold within a week of listing it, in a not-so-hot market. Yes, things are going well.  When you work so hard at something for eight years, it feels great when it all comes together in the end.  

So we’ve both started our next big things (our businesses) and have been busy working, enjoying the beach, loving the time with our newest addition, packing up our house (Yuck!) and making plans for our move out west.


We are choosing our life.  Choosing to make a change if we aren’t happy.  Choosing to create the life we want.  It is pretty powerful.  

The next step in this adventure is going to be interesting.  

We are staying at my sister’s house when we arrive in Portland.  We haven’t quite decided what city we are going to live in.  We don’t have housing lined up.  We have three kids under five.  

We maybe a bit off our rockers.

Numerous decisions are going to be made fairly quickly.  We’ve had to tell ourselves a few things.

  1. No place will be perfect
  2. Make a decision, move forward and make the best of it
  3. You can always change, nothing is permanent

If I hold onto those things, the coming month should be pretty painless.  As long as the kids cooperate of course.

So stay tuned.  More to come on the wild adventures of the Dani Ewalt and crew…..