Getting Settled and Some Things

After unloading everything from our house into the U-Haul truck, we wised up and hired movers to unload everything into our second-floor apartment in Oregon. Once they moved everything in on Saturday, I felt buried. Literally.

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Going from a four bedroom home to a two bedroom apartment, yea we have too much stuff. But, good news, we some how made it all fit.

Sunday I took Steven over to the Nike campus to show him around.

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Got the obligatory “first day of work” pic.

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The dogs are settling in nicely too. They’re loving the dog park at our apartment complex. They don’t stand still long enough for me to take their picture but we’re working on it.

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Some things about our new home:

  • we need rain boots
  • we {thankfully} settled in an area where there is a Target, McDonald’s, Best Buy, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart within a 5-mile radius. I’m calling it, the “Barrett Parkway” of Hillsboro. SW 185th is AKA Barrett Parkway
  • the 3-hour time difference is kicking our butts
  • everyone drives a Subaru
  • my commute to work is 10 minutes – I feel like I’m in some kind of alternate universe

Some things about Nike:

  • everyone wears a backpack
  • they REALLY want you to drink the Nike Kool-Aid. I’m happy to oblige
  • it’s the complete opposite of a law firm, and no one has an office
  • we’ve already spent my first week’s paycheck at the Nike Company Store, so there’s that

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The view from my desk doesn’t suck either. Oh – the desks are dry erase boards – I can’t wait to doodle all day!

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Steven and I celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary on Monday too. We had a romantic dinner of pork chops, pierogies, and zucchini squash. We’re so cute. Starting off our second year of marriage in a brand new home, brand new job, it’s such a fresh start to this next year! He’s been so supportive of me throughout the move, I couldn’t ask for a more amazing partner in life.

Enough sappy…I’ll leave you with this perfect little post from Sophia Bush aka Brooke Davis. I just love her.

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Be Humble. Be Hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room. {rinse, and repeat}

Hope y’all are having a great week so far!

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The Trek Out West, Part2

After Winter Storm Selene packed up, there were still several roads and highways in Denver and Wyoming that were closed down. We had to wait until 10am on Thursday to head out so we got a late start getting out of Kansas. IMG_2442

The dogs were anxious to get out of the hotel. Some of the roads in Denver were pretty icy – the drive through Colorado was pretty stressful. But it was beautiful, so beautiful.

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Then we hit Wyoming…which is a state full of absolutely nothing. It was even worse than Kansas. This was my least favorite state to drive through because there was nothing to look it. This part was also pretty scary because it was insanely windy. Steven and I could barely keep our cars on the road.

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We ended the day in Salt Lake City. We didn’t get there until about 9:30 so the whole drive on Thursday into Utah was dark. A solid 12-hour driving day, and we were spent.

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We headed out of Salt Lake early on Friday determined to make it to our apartment by that night. This was my view heading out of SLC – so beautiful!

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Steven and I both bought audiobooks to listen to on the last day of the trip. He listened to the first Harry Potter book, and I listed to The Girl on the Train. Listening to an audiobook made the last day go by so much faster and it kept me awake and alert the whole time. If you haven’t read The Girl on the Train, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s on my top three favorite books list now. And, I think they’re making it into a movie. I’ll be at the midnight showing, don’t worry.

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The dogs have been pretty good through the entire trip. Would I take them on a 4-day road trip again? Absolutely not. But, they did give me some great photo opportunities when they were cuddled up in the back seat!

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After we got out of SLC, we moved into Idaho. While not the worst state on the trip, it definitely didn’t do anything to wow me. Nice and flat, residential in areas, lots of rolling hills and farms. Basically that’s it. I found it more important to snap a pic of my only means of survival on the trip than to photograph the scenery, if that tells you anything.

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Ahhhh, Goldfish. How I love thee. And then, before I knew it…I saw it.

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Home sweet home! The drive through Oregon was by far our favorite. We drove all along the Columbia river which divides Oregon and Washington. It was absolutely gorgeous. My quick iPhone while driving pictures do not do it justice. Steven and I will definitely be back to the Columbia River Gorge to take some better pictures of it. It really was stunning.

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My favorite part was Steven’s text to me while driving along the river, “That’s the biggest f’ing lake I’ve ever seen!” He wasn’t paying attention to a map like I was…I informed him that it is in fact, a river, not a lake. It was hilarious. We pulled into our apartment complex right at 6pm – just before the office closed so we made it just in time.

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We were so so happy to finally be home! We took the dogs to play in the dog park and then went out to dinner at a restaurant near the apartment. Today is unpacking day. We moved out bed into the apartment on Friday night but that was is. We’ll get everything moved in and all set up this weekend and then hit the ground running on Monday for day 1 at the new job!

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

The Trek Out West, Part 1

Before we headed out of Atlanta, I got to spend time with all my favorite people. Blondie took me out to all my favorite places – and some new places I hadn’t had a chance to visit yet. IMG_2400

Ponce City Market is an outdoor shopping mall with all kinds of yummy restaurants and hip shops. It’s new-ish in Atlanta and I haven’t had a chance to make my way out there. So Blondie and I checked it out and it surpassed all my expectations.

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Don’t worry, we found the restaurant with tacos. Because even when we try new places, we will ALWAYS find the tacos.

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Then on Sunday my parents threw me and Steven a family going-away party.

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My grandparents, aunt and uncle, and my brothers (and their girlfriends) all came over and had dinner and dessert with us to send us off.

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Missing one bro above, but they were all there. We had the best time, and I am so grateful for all the support my family has given us.

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Monday we packed up the U-Haul…using all 20 feet of that truck. If it was even an inch smaller, we would have been in trouble.

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Then we went out to dinner with our best friends. It was the perfect send-off. Words can’t describe how much we’re going to miss them. An old pic, because I forgot to ask our waitress to take one for us on Monday.

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We left bright and early on Tuesday morning. This was my view all day.

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Steven is driving the U-Haul and I’m following in our car with the dogs. They’ve done pretty well so far. We asked the vet for some medicine for them so they have been sleeping for most of the drive.

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Mila is a terrible co-pilot.

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Wilson got nice and comfy in the back seat. Mila takes shorter naps than Wilson so when she’s awake, this is her favorite spot.

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Tuesday’s drive took us through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri.

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My thoughts on Tuesday’s trip…there were too many bridges. I have a fear (I’m not going to call it a phobia) of driving on a bridge over water. It gives me a lot of anxiety.

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Try not to be too impressed by the artistic beauty of these pictures. I took them while driving (sorry mom) so they’re not the best.

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We made it to our hotel right outside Kansas City, Missouri around 5:15pm CST, which made it about a 12-hour driving day. We passed out immediately. We needed to be well rested for Wednesday’s drive.

We set out around 7am on Wednesday. One cool thing we passed – the Kansas City Royals baseball stadium.

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There was a big sign right under the KC logo (car is blocking it) that said “Home of the 2015  World Series Champions” which I thought was pretty neat. The other notable sight on Wednesday’s drive…

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These giant wind turbines! This picture does not do it justice – they are massive. Kansas is filled with these things!

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There really isn’t a whole lot else in Kansas except for these turbines. It’s the little things that impress me. There wasn’t a whole lot to choose from on Tuesday because our drive got cut short. We were supposed to make it up to Cheyenne, Wyoming. But that didn’t happen. Blame it on Selene.

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Winter Storm / Blizzard Selene forced us to stop just west of the Colorado border in Colby, Kansas. We were supposed to turn north and cut through Nebraska on up into Wyoming, but the highway leading to Cheyenne closed down early in the morning due to white-out conditions.

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Luckily we were able to find a hotel in time and stop just before the weather started getting bad. But, this means our next two days of driving will be longer than we originally planned. But, that’s life. One re-route after another!

Hope you all are staying safe and warm! We’re just going to be chilling in Kansas, waiting for the storm to pass!

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This little reminder from my mom…perfect!

 

 

Got a Gypsy’s Soul To Blame

“Do you know anyone out there?”

“Have you ever been to Oregon?”

“Are you nervous to leave your family and friends?”

“It rains. A lot.”

These are just a few of the reactions I got when I told my friends, family, co-workers, and Facebook friends that my husband and I were relocating to Portland, Oregon for my dream job.

On the more positive side, I haven’t heard one person say a single bad thing about Oregon. Everyone I’ve talked to who has been there, lived there, vacationed there, has said it’s beautiful, or it was one of their favorite states that they lived in. So that’s pretty solid. Especially since my only time spent in the state was for the 48 hours I was there for my interview. My husband has never been. So to say we are excited is an understatement.

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I don’t know who wrote this, but I love it. I’m putting 2500+ miles between me and my best friends and family. From the place I have lived my entire life, the home that has shaped me into who I am today. My friends and my family – they are the good thing that I will no longer get to see nearly enough.The South. You will always have my heart.

But my home…that’s still left to be decided. I believe home is where you make it. It’s where I share the bed at night with my partner in life and my best friend. It’s where my dogs have a comfy couch to sleep on. It’s where my clothes hang and my shoes sprawl out on the floor. Where my Kitchen-Aid mixer sets on the counter. That’s home. My home in Georgia was the first home Steven and I purchased together. A beautiful little 4-bedroom tri-level home 45 minutes from the city in a (huge) cute little subdivision.

Now my home will be a 938-square-foot two bedroom apartment in the city of Portland. Well, a little outside Portland. But still, it’s the city. I’ll start to build my heart and my family back up again in this new city. Learn new roads, new grocery stores. Find a new movie theater, coffee shop (I hear you can’t walk 500 feet without being smacked in the face by a coffee shop – my kind of people). And so many new things my sweet town in Georgia didn’t have. Like new trails and mountains to hike (yea, real mountains. take that, Kennesaw mountain), new beach towns to visit, and more breweries and restaurants than you could possibly imagine.

I love change. I crave it. Change is what drives me. Because if you’re changing that means you’re growing and learning and experiencing everything you can. I crave experiences and challenges. Tell me how hard it is to move across the country – and I’ll do it with a smile. Because it will make me a better person. It will widen my eyes and my mind to just how massive our country is, and that’s another little piece of knowledge that I’ll have and get to share with others. I will have lived that.

“Got a gypsy’s soul to blame and you were born for leavin.”

One of my favorite lines in all of music. Zac Brown Band. I’ve always connected to that line. I’ve moved countless times, changed jobs a handful of times (more than most at my age I’d say), wanted to be a number of different professions, fallen in love with every different sport or gym or activity, changed my mind on every whim. It’s me. It’s my personality to constantly crave change. Maybe one day I’ll find the place that my heart feels content and at home. I think I’m getting pretty close. But that gypsy soul, that will never leave me.

We start our trek out west next Tuesday. I’m counting down the days. More pictures, and more stories coming your way.