A Decade in East Texas | East Texas Moms

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We are transplants celebrating the end of our first decade among the pine trees. It has not always been rainbows and sunshine living in East Texas. There have been years when I was dying for a chance to escape.

We moved here for a job, but now were find ourselves wanting to stay for completely different reasons. For outsiders, the formula to contentment can be a hard shell to crack in the Pineywoods, an area that thrives on longevity of family ties and roots.

When our tie to the area was closely linked to job satisfaction, our love or annoyance with our East Texan life fluctuated with unmet expectations. We re-centered on building and embracing a local community for our transplant family and perspectives shifted to more steady emotions. As we saw the end of our 10th year as East Texans come to a close with 2019, we are thankful for the East Texas we love and the future we see for our family under its pine canopy.

Thank you East Texas for Community.

East Texas offers many outlets for community – church, school, neighborhood, workplace.  It remains small enough to feel intimate and you can still spot someone you know in most large crowds, without sacrificing anything else. East Texans are among the most hospitable, caring servants and you will find many open doors and open arms once you find your community.

Thank you East Texas for Choices.

Families are not one-size-fits-all and thankfully East Texas offers choices to find the best fit for yours and for mine. School and sports choices are diverse to make sure your children are thriving. Local eateries have taken off along with a slew of new chain restaurants to make sure we have plenty of options when another “I’m hungry” rises from the back seat. Local churches offer community but also variety to make sure everyone can find their home. Employment opportunities are climbing exponentially and more choices in the job market will make employers become more competitive.

Thank you East Texas for Growth.

Compare the East Texas of 2010 to 2020 and you won’t want to turn back time. New family-friendly hangout spots offer alternatives to restaurants. Entertainment options for families have increased and shopping, from groceries to clothing, have become more favorable to the budget-savvy mom. Culture and arts have been woven into the growth and new businesses, making East Texas a hot spot. And it is only going to keep getting better. Within a strong Texas economy, East Texas is projected to be the star, outperforming the rest of the state.

For our family, we had to hit reset on where we were looking to build community and now we have a genuine and sincere local ‘family’ and look forward to making memories for years with them. Here’s to the next decade among the Pineywoods!

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shaeconnell
After a pit stop in Houston of newlywed bliss and a marketing/communications job, this Central Texan made her way to the Pineywoods of East Texas to call Tyler her home since 2009. Shae and her husband, Dash, took a chance on Tyler when God opened a door for a college tennis coaching gig for Dash and the small city continues to surprise them as they learn to lean in to all that the community offers. After three sons (born in 2009, 2011, and 2016) and a decade among the pine trees, no other place feels more like home. Shae spends her work hours as a part-time work-from-home copy editor for an education company and her play hours snuggling her toddler, cheering on her older boys at the ballpark, school stage and court, and being a coach’s wife to her busy husband. Shae loves the outdoors, gathering friends around the table, and roots loudly for the TJC Apaches, the Aggies and the Astros! This introvert is living an extroverted life and loving the lessons it teaches as it unfolds.

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