Habitude Fitness

Current California Habitudes!

Hey there Fitness Family! Here is one of those, “get to know me/a little more personal/ Phillips Family update” posts!

As some of you know, my family made a big move from the northern Chicago suburbs to the bay area in California. We moved in March, and are maybe starting to settle in a bit…??

Moving in wearing an almost 2-year-old here…now THAT’s a workout!

There are still some boxes not unpacked, I need GPS to get everywhere, I’d like to hang more pictures on the wall, and I can’t remember my neighbor’s name even though I’ve met him 5 times…But for the most part, we are feeling unpacked and settling into our little rental house in Pleasanton, California.

The catalyst for our move was a great job opportunity for my husband.
We tend to like adventure and thought,
Sure, let’s go out for a few years and see how it goes! And for the most part, so far so good! My husband Jake is really liking what he is doing. Our neighborhood is beautiful, quiet, and wonderfully friendly. The weather is…well…perfect as you could guess (although the Bay area has micro climates that can vary 20-degrees depending on where you are! AND…it was CLOUDY yesterday…the nerve!! lol;). The town where we settled in for this first year is extremely family friendly. It has a fun calendar of events, a quaint yet bustling downtown, well-rated schools, many parks, and is under an hour drive to San Fran, Silicon Valley, lots of local wineries, the ocean, the mountains, Napa Valley, Muir Woods, and many beautiful Brentwood farms.

Visiting Daddy at work has been a once a month goal for us. Facebook’s campus is very family oriented, and we are so grateful to be able to stop in and share a meal with him!

Feeling Sad:
I say we are doing well, “for the most part” because although we are enjoying ourselves, I do miss our life, community, friends, and family in the Mid-West. Thank goodness that staying connected is a breeze these days! We are doing our fair share of letter writing and sending off Georgie’s artwork via the mail, but that’s because it’s fun. Nowadays, how awesome is it to text, email, and video chat anyone and everyone no matter where you are?! We are so grateful for the convenience and fun of seeing our friends and family in this way. However,  sometimes I have days where I  just feel sad. I am not lonely or depressed! It’s just a sad feeling I have of the relationships we loved and had at our fingertips. I get especially sad when Georgie asks to go see one of her many little friends…ugh! In those cases we video call people or look at a photo album I put together for her that’s filled with pictures of her friends and family. It helps (both of us!) and she hasn’t forgotten anyone!

Getting Connected:
So far we have done a bit of exploring, playing outside, and trying to get connected. Meeting people takes time, and I am totally aware of this. I am trying to enjoy the journey while not putting too much pressure on myself. We are visiting new churches, trying out new gyms, playing at the park, talking with neighbors, and most recently I joined a moms group that has been so welcoming. With all of this going on I know, we’ll find our community…our “people”.

I am running with the jogging stroller and the pup a couple of times a week (but this IT band is killing me! Need to find relief if I want to keep it up!), along with home HIIT workouts (which I often post to my Habitude Fitness Instagram stories, check them out!). I am also dropping in on some fitness classes at area gyms. I do miss leading fitness classes and training, but I am also enjoying the break of not having any commitments right now. The flexibility is allowing me two important things:
1. Taking my time to see what’s next and where a good fit for me will be.
2. Precious uninterrupted time with my now 2-year-old daughter.

A little on # 1.
I am trying to be extremely open-handed right now. Yes, I LOVE fitness and LOVE people. I will probably teach classes until I am in the nursing home. “Come on Katie…grab the 2 pounders and let’s get the gun show started ya old bag! It’s 4:00 and I don’t want to be late for dinner!” LOL! But starting over can be exciting too. Hmmm….I wonder what’s next for this Mama? Stay tuned…I know God has a plan!

On # 2.
You may be surprised to know this (but if you really know me, you won’t be surprised at all!) I am actually more introverted than extroverted. I am relational rather than social. I love deep and meaningful relationships. If I have theses in my life, I could stay at home for a week and never see a soul and be completely content. Staying here at home and trying to create a loving and comfortable space for my family has been nice. I have potty trained my daughter quite easily because we haven’t had to be off rushing around to this and that…and I love having so much time to spend with her. She is growing up WAY too fast, and I know I will look back on this time and say, “Remember when we moved to California when Georgie was 2. We had so much fun together. She was running through the hose naked and eating watermelon on the patio with the juices streaming down her chin. We went to the beach and she was amazed at the waves…it was a wonderful time in our lives!”
Things That are Less Than Desirable:
1. The traffic.
I was living in the Chicagoland area. I traveled and drove around a lot…but it pales in comparison to here. This over populated state has highways that are a minimum of 4 lanes wide, plus the carpool/electric car lane. There’s always traffic, accidents, slow-down, and people who don’t pay attention. With that said all of the winding roads, bridges, mountain highways, and high volume of cars make travel a bit intense.

2. Home prices are insane.
But I am sure you knew that. We knew that too when we decided to move here, but nonetheless, it was shocking what kind of tiny or extremely old home you could live in for $4500/month. We decided to rent here for a year to get the lay of the land. We also decided to move outside of Silicon Valley a bit which helped. We ended up in a great neighborhood and we are so grateful for that!

3. The DMV.
The process to get your car registered here, and get a California driver’s License is arduous. We are going through the process right now. I can’t say I disagree with their policies per say, it is just a HUGE pain getting this all taken care of. I am in the process of studying for my written driver’s test. Everyone has told us we’d better study, so we are preparing before we make that appointment! (I even bought the practice test and cheat sheet for $9.99…money back guarantee so…:)

I feel at “home” because I am with my family, and they are my home. They are what each day is centered around, so no matter where we are, as long as we are together, it feels like home.

(I have already moved 8 times in 10 years of marriage! 2 of those were temporary apartments from the company while we found a permanent place, but a move is still a move…and only 1 was actually far away from the Mid-West for our UK adventure!) However, once the dust finally settled here, I started to feel the stress, the transition, the loss, and the changes we have all went through with this big move to the West Coast. It’s not a bad thing to feel these things. I am just allowing them to come and go and trying to FEEL them rather than bury them so that I am emotionally healthy.

Some highlights:

Post run cool down!


Kale, mango, coconut, and cashews…and not a bad view!


We love hunting down the best parks in the area!


Half Moon Bay…
my new happy place.
(Saw some whales too!)


We were able to sneak away to Park City Utah for a wedding! I have never been out west…the views here blew my mind! Those mountains…:)


Setting up some back yard fun with the baby pool and water table!


We always try to look for a reason to pour some champs! Moving day cheers!


Cherry picking in Brentwood!


Nana (my Mama!) was our first west coast visitor!


Juice and Java is our special new spot after library story time. Finding awesome local food spots is always on my radar!


I am asking you a couple of things:
1. If you have ever been to this area of Cali, what are your favorite things to do? I am making a bucket list for us, and would love your opinions!
2. If you have ever moved or moved frequently, what is your advice for dealing with the transitions in a healthy way?

Stay tuned for more Cali Habitudes!

…this guy is enjoying his time here as well..:)

Your Trainer,


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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi Cassie,
    I lived in the Bay area and worked in Mtn. View. I always loved going to downtown San Fransisco and riding the cable cars, eating dim sum in Chinatown, and the Alcatraz tour is great! Glad you found Half Moon Bay, really pretty but it is cold (as is Newark where I lived when I first moved there). I had a coworker who lived in Half Moon Bay and it was really foggy a lot. Anyway, for trips further away I liked Monterey and the Bay Aquarium, and Hearst Castle (although expensive) along Big Sur.
    Closer to home there are still some Missions (catholic) outside of Fremont and I think San Jose. And the Morton Salt flats outside of Newark, lots of birds and they give tours sometimes. Loved Mt. Tamalpias over the bay bridge. we would have a picnic lunch looking back down at San Fransicso – really pretty!
    Of course you are close to the Sierra Nevadas, to avoid the crowds of Yosemite we went to Lassen Volcanic National Park and stayed at a cabin resourt up in the Sierras.
    Be patient, wishing you all the best!

  • The ”Mom’s Group’ will hopefully lead to friendships. Also, once you guys find a church you like, that should lead to new friendships. We are of course excited to have you here on the West Coast and are looking forward to visit with you in a few weeks. ( Wyatt too😊).

  • Your story sounds a lot like ours 😊 we moved from Chicago to Seattle about a year and a half ago and the parallels are all there (figuring out the driving and the housing/over population, etc). We’ve also moved A LOT in the last 12 years & we’re still trying to figure it all out! 💜

  • I loved reading this Cassie! I’m so glad you’re settled in there, although I’m sad too that you won’t be here to lead the classes that I’ve been going less and less to, but nonetheless, I’m always happy to see your face there! I wish nothing but the best for the three of you there on your latest adventure, and am thankful I’ll be able to follow you along on the ride through your posts. Take care, and enjoy every day. 🙂


  • I’m SOOO happy you posted this! I was just thinking about (and praying for) you. Now I feel like we just had a nice long chat. Too bad that when we are in California this summer that we will still be about 6 hours away from you. . .

  • Bawling here as I read and see. So proud of you guys!! Miss you like crazy. Turns out I need to learn to be a better long distance friend. I will!!!!
    Love the sun and beach! Georgie is thriving with so much of you!!! Potty trained!!! Way to go!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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