The Right Choice

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As our move to Nashville drew near, emotions came at me like waves. Some days I felt pure excitement but often I found myself alone, quiet with my thoughts, wondering, “Are we making the right choice?” My ability to compartmentalize came in handy as we said our goodbyes (or as I like to call them, “see ya laters”). That strategy worked only temporarily. I still had an eight hour drive alone in the car. During those long stretches of highway, I allowed myself to feel every emotion; a few tears fell, but mostly I felt a nervous energy.

It’s not exactly easy to uproot on your own accord, but when we arrived, to a care package filled with necessities to make our transition easier, I took it as extra confirmation that we made the right choice. I’m so grateful for this new adventure.

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My Home

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It’s moving day! It’s still hard to believe we’re at this point, despite the year long preparation, but there is no denying it.

“This is like really happening now, babe.” Words Jordan has been telling me almost daily. ūüėČ

The¬†truck is loaded with our belongings (thanks to our dear family/friends) and currently, we’re on the road with coffee and snacks. Jordan is driving the truck, bless him, while I’m in our car. I’ve never driven alone for this long before, but I have several¬†podcasts¬†saved to keep me entertained.

I’m going to miss this house of mine, the house my parents moved into 20 years ago. The house that became my home. Thanks for all the love and memories.

…until we meet again.

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Weekend Links / / Our Last

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^ The pre-family-picture pictures are always the best. I love that Jenna is standing all stoic waiting for the rest of us to follow suit.

This was a good, but also bittersweet week. It began with visiting Jordan’s grandparents. Over the past nine years I’ve been embraced as their own grandchild and it feels really special. They live about two hours away, so we took a mini road trip with his youngest sisters. On Sunday, Jordan and I celebrated our birthday with our families. It’s quirky sharing a birthday, but we’ve grown to love it. For dinner, my dad made his¬†famous Cincinnati Chili, but we each chose our own cake; you can’t share everything!

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My mom baked¬†my favorite cinnamon chocolate cake, which complimented my mother-in-law’s¬†homemade ice cream cake!¬†In between packing and moving preparations,¬†we had dinner dates with family and friends. This is our last weekend as Illinois residents, but¬†I still¬†haven’t¬†fully grasped what that all¬†means. People continually ask me how it feels, but honestly it’ll take a couple of months for this¬†new reality to actually seem real. My last day of work is on Monday and we leave¬†on Tuesday. Most of our belongings are packed away, but I’m sure I’ve missed something.

Please pardon me as I become extremely frantic over packing details.

These articles/blog post/interviews served as great inspiration and perfect procrastination material.

1 | When I grow up.¬†It’s¬†daunting to determine what we will do when we grow up. I appreciated Rebecca’s honest words about her¬†journey through different education decisions, careers, and life choices. Maybe our life path isn’t what we set out to accomplish,¬†but life is created in those unexpected moments.

2 | Fresh Air interviews Joan Rivers. A compilation of three interviews Terry Gross has had with Joan over the years.

3 | On turning 30. For her 30th birthday, Sarah shares 30 things she still has yet to learn. The older I get the more I realize I always have more to learn.

4 | The secret to 80 years of marriage.

5 | Chelsea’s list of 10 lies¬†every girl tells herself had me cracking up. Particularly the one about not regretting chopping your hair off. I’ve definitely been there and done that!

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Weekend Links / / Moving Addition

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I have officially entered the unromantic stage of moving: changing banks, car insurance plans, and backing up my computer. We’re also trying to get caught up on doctors visits (mainly the dentist – boo!). ¬†All of these things I have put off in the name of travel, but since we’ve been back from NYC for over a month, that excuse isn’t valid anymore. If you find this space a little quieter than usual, you¬†know what I’m¬†doing.

I’ve been rather nonchalant about¬†our move¬†because neither of us are changing jobs or having to sell a house, but it’s time to buckle down and get the unglamorous work done. We only have a few weeks left!

Instead of¬†researching truck rentals, this is what I’ve been reading this week.

1 | When you are tightly wound. Kate Bauer’s writing is so effortless, but hits you with such clarity.

2 | On¬†marriage¬†and why love isn’t enough.

3 | Essie Button goes Nordic. I first discovered¬†Est√©e through her¬†beauty channel on YouTube, but she¬†and her boyfriend, Aslan, are vlogging their way¬†through Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and I can’t stop watching!

4 | Banana + Chocolate + Peanut butter. Everything I want in a snack, that I hadn’t thought to combine.

5 | Creating a capsule wardrobe. I LOVE this idea and I have begun sorting through my closet this week. Instead of having all four seasons vying for coveted closet space, one 37 piece capsule is displayed at once (potentially two if you need a separate work wardrobe). Have any of you tried this concept yet?

What have you been reading?

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A Final Walk

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Early on in our relationship, Jordan and I began taking walks. We didn’t intend to make walking a regular occurrence, but it became a way for us to steal a few quiet moments alone without distractions. Walking is also a great way to orient yourself to a new town, so we walk a lot on vacations and anytime we move to a new place.

Our first apartment, sadly, wasn’t in a neighborhood, but nestled in a¬†larger complex, so our only walk option was amidst the condos. Not exactly ideal, but we made due ūüėČ

The apartment we just moved out of was in a wonderful neighborhood. Old, unique homes, with children riding their bikes or playing baseball in the streets; it was a place where neighbors wave and greet one another. Picturesque really. When the weather cooperated, we would walk around the block a few times each afternoon. Sometimes we would veer off into town and find our way to Dairy Queen or stop by the library, but an agenda wasn’t necessary.

Last week, before we moved, we took our last walk through the neighborhood. A storm was brewing, so I’m glad I brought my jacket. We took our time lingering near our favorite homes, looking across the country club fairways to the clubhouse where our wedding reception took place… reflecting on future changes.

I will always look back on our time in this particular house with fond memories; moments of heartache and joy, growth and growing pains, but most especially love.

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^ FYI: Gap is killing it with their summer dresses this season. And they seem to have a sale every other week!

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/ / Do you like to go on nightly walks?

/ / Linking with Lisa for wiww.

Moving On

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I’ve gone back and forth about when I would go¬†public¬†on how our life is going to change in the next couple of months. I thought maybe I would wait until the truck was loaded and we were on the road, but as my life is consumed¬†by¬†boxes, I suppose this is really happening.

To properly tell this story, let’s¬†backtrack a bit.

As a child, living in¬†Chicago for¬†the rest of my life wasn’t something I ever seriously considered. My parents moved across the country a few different times and finally settled in this area when I was seven (Jordan’s journey isn’t that much different). The closest extended family¬†was¬†three hours away. Growing older, I experienced my brothers getting married, moving, having kids, and buying homes. Following in their footsteps seemed logical.

When Jordan and I tied the knot, we didn’t particularly have a “forever plan.” We had a graduate-college-plan, which than immediately led into a payoff-the-college-debt-plan.¬†Jordan and I have spent our¬†adult life either dating or married and therefore, we’ve had to¬†figure out what-we-want-to-do-when-we-grow-up together. We’ve moved around (a lot), changed jobs, traveled, and¬†started a business. But for some reason officially¬†settling down¬†in one area hasn’t been a priority.

The past two years have been filled with a lot of moments that seemed confusing at first, but in hindsight are starting to make sense.

In a few different waves, close friends have moved to Nashville, dropping hints along the way about us¬†joining them. I never took their hints seriously. Jordan quietly was considering it, but he knows me well and didn’t pressure me. We were finally in jobs that allowed us to travel, spend time with friends, and be flexible enough for a growing family. I had hopes and dreams about raising children¬†near grandparents (something I hadn’t experienced) and I wasn’t keen on¬†jeopardizing that.

To say that¬†last year¬†was rough is quite the understatement. It’s still hard to be honest. I thought simply agreeing to grow our family was the big step, but that was the easy part.¬†Our future children won’t be “oops! babies,” but they won’t come in a perfectly timed manner either.

Our¬†life had morphed into being¬†extremely mobile. It seemed that¬†God was¬†positioning us for something new. So when the pokes and prods continued from friends, I wasn’t¬†looking at them as wishful thinking¬†anymore. We came to¬†realize that¬†this could be just a small part of our amazing adventure together. I’m open to moving on, exciting¬†adventures, fresh opportunities, and a new way of living. I wasn’t scared anymore to make future plans without exactly knowing how our¬†future would look.

In the fall, Jordan and I are moving to Nashville. But first, we are making a pit-stop with my parents for the summer.

Although we’re sad to be leaving family and friends, we’re ready and excited for this next chapter of our life. One that is uncertain, except knowing the weather will be much warmer ūüėČ

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^ Even after four moves, I’m still not the most organized packer.

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^ I’m really sad to leave behind these amazing built-in cabinets.

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