Everything’s Different

Feeling at home a bit more each day

So another month of silence went by. I know that I neglected the blog for longer than I wanted to, and much longer than I should have.

I missed you guys!

Starting my life over somewhere new has taken time away from those things and people I miss every day. Finding a new place to live, new job, new furniture, new everything kept me busier than I’ve been in years. Doing all of these things alone has been an even bigger challenge – but one that I’m taking on happily.

I finished the 100 Happy Days Challenge, and still need to share that with you, and I will very soon. There are hundreds of photos on my phone I need to go through, edit, and upload. There are even more on my computer I need to edit and share from my drive out here in August. My goal is to get that done before I make the trip again in November.

That’s right – I’m making (most of) that 4-day trip all over again, but this time with D. I might be nuts for going through that drive again, but this time I won’t be alone, and I’ll get to spend more time sightseeing and just taking it all in, instead of doing all the driving. I’m not 100% sure I’ll have space to take my camera with me, but I really hope I do so I can take even more photos of these places in a totally different season.

If you’re wondering how I’m doing out here on my own without D, I have to admit I’m doing better than I expected. I am trying to cherish my time alone, and enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s not always easy, and I definitely miss having someone to talk to some nights, but this is good for me. I needed a break from everyone, including D, and needed time to get acclimated to my new surroundings. It has been going well, and I’m really starting to like living here.

Yes, it’s still weird to me that I live here. That I’ve been living here for two months already. It’s not a vacation or a dream…at least I hope it’s not a dream!

The new job is going well, too. I was hired to teach an English class exactly one week before classes started, so I’ve spent the bulk of my free time working on getting my class together. I’m still not totally caught up with what I need to do, but I’m getting there. Starting a whole class from scratch, and with none of us getting our textbooks (even me) until 3 weeks into the quarter, was a nightmare. But we made it through that, and now class is getting easier. Many of my students moved to Seattle right around the same time I did, so it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has no idea where to find anything.

The new apartment is great. It’s in a suburb, which makes the commute to work a bit nuts, but it’s a quiet neighborhood, and the apartment itself is bigger than I expected to get here. I’ve been having fun refurnishing from scratch, and getting to take my time in making decisions. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect side tables, and need a dining room table (which I’ll get when D is here and can help me with the heavy lifting), but the rest of it is coming together nicely. I think I’ve been to Ikea enough times in the past two months to last a lifetime. I’m also going to do more DIY stuff around the apartment, partly so our apartment doesn’t look like an Ikea catalog, and partly because my home decor budget is toast. Bring on the paint!

Crap, this is long. I guess this is what happens when one bails on their blog for a month!

I’ll be back very soon with much more to say. Just hopefully not all in one post. :-)

I hope everyone is doing well, and I can’t wait to catch up with all of you!

100 Happy Days Challenge: Days 81-90

Welcome back to the #100happydays Challenge! As per usual, this took me far more than 10 days to complete, but at LOT happened in between days 81-90. :-)

Days 81-84

Day 81: After a long month of research, and a long wait, my new camera finally arrived! I’m excited to start using it more, especially for blogging. It’s going to be nice not to only have the iPhone to take photos!

Day 82: Packed up everything I owned into my little red car and spent a couple days with my brother-in-law before heading on the road. I was nervous that it wouldn’t all fit, but it did!

Day 83: On the road! Leaving Ohio was tough…really tough. Part of me knew once I left, I wouldn’t have the urge to turn around – and I was right.

Day 84: I spent most of my second day on the road in Nebraska and South Dakota. It was a beautiful drive, and I’d highly recommend South Dakota if you’re in the mood for a road trip!

Days 85-88

Day 85: Woke up in Deadwood, South Dakota (yes, the same town from the show), and decided to take a morning hike/stroll through their cemetery. Got to spend a quiet moment with Wild Bill Hickok and Jane Cannery before the tour buses rolled in. It was a great way to spend the morning before hitting the road again.

Day 86: I spent my first few days in Seattle getting to know my in-laws, which for me meant some late nights with my sister-in-law and a bottle of wine and mornings playing Legos with my nephews. I built Lego Batman a house, complete with a palm tree on the roof – because why not?

Day 87: Hung out at the beach off of Lake Washington. It was a great reminder of why I’m here. I’ve always wanted to live near water – and now I get to see this whenever I want!

Day 88: Made the family my famous meatloaf for dinner. I’m glad I made two loaves, because between 3 kids and 3 adults, it went fast! The two older kids even insisted on packing it for lunch the next day!

Days 89-90

Day 89: My sister-in-law took me into Seattle for an afternoon at the Pike Place Market, and a quick trip to Fran’s Chocolates. I came home with a few, and they were amazing!

Day 90: This white fur ball is Brody. My in-laws have two dogs, and are fostering another one. I feel bad that I’m allergic to one of them, but not Brody! Every time I’m on the couch, he’s right there with me. :-)

 

With only 10 more days to go, I can’t wait to share all the craziness that’s about to happen! I’ve come a long way in 90 days, but these next 10 might prove to be the most eventful yet!

Belated Update

 

 

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Well I’ve been a terrible blogger lately!

I’m currently sitting in my brother-in-law’s house in Renton, WA, where I’ll be staying until I can find an apartment. Between getting to know him and his wife, their 3 kids, and 2 dogs better, and figuring out where to find the nearest Ulta, I haven’t had much time to myself to do anything blog-related.

So for now, I’ll do a quick catch-up, and post more detailed stuff later:

1. The trip out here went really well. It sounds insane, but I think driving from Ohio to Washington alone was easier than if I had done it with D. It was great to have the time to myself, and to do some sightseeing along the way. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some updates on where I went, but I’ll post more about that after I get through the hundreds of photos I need to edit!

2. Seattle so far is not exactly what I was expecting…but in a good way. It’s a lot smaller than people made it out to be, and everyone is much nicer than I was told to expect. It is actually making apartment hunting a bit daunting – there doesn’t seem to be too many places to avoid, which usually makes narrowing down a good neighborhood a little easier!

3. DON’T ASK ME HOW I LIKE THE WEATHER SO FAR. I like it just fine. It’s a lot like Ohio’s weather – sunny some days, rainy other days. It’s a little cooler, but I like that. I’ve stopped telling people I just moved here because I’ve been here a week and a half, and I’m already tired of explaining it. No, Seattle, your weather isn’t that unique – and please stop trying to convince me otherwise. And yes, I own an umbrella and rain boots – I’m a goddamned adult. In fact, I went to my niece’s soccer game yesterday and I’m pretty sure I came far better prepared than half the people there. I think I’ll be okay. :-)

4. There are times I feel like I’ve stepped back into the 90s. It’s weird. Downtown Seattle also smells faintly of weed. That is also weird for me. I’m sure I’ll get over it. I’m sure I’ll get lynched on the internet for this, but it seems like a less-weird version of Portland. 

5. I have played with Legos more in the past week than I have in the past 10 years, and haven’t watched any television with swearing in it. Living with a family of 3 kids is starting to get to me a little. I need low-grade jokes about sex, drugs, and shit in my life. Yes, of all the things I miss about not having my own apartment, it’s the lack of grown-up language. Oh, and ending my day with clothes that haven’t been covered in apple juice and dog hair. They’re amazing kids, and I’m having fun getting to bond with them…but man, I have a hard time not saying the word shit. I crave it, and I miss it. ;-)

More details to come later, but for now, I need to go tackle a 3 year old and eat some lunch.

Hope everyone is doing well!

On the Road!

#100happydays Day 83: Goodbye, Ohio!

 

Good morning everyone!

I just wanted to update everyone about how the big move is going so far! I left Dayton, Ohio, yesterday morning, and made it to Omaha, Nebraska after a grueling 11-hour drive. I swear the state of Illinois never ends!

Leaving Ohio was tough, and all the goodbyes were really tough. After a great night’s sleep I’m ready for day two, which will be MUCH shorter and full of sight-seeing! There isn’t much to see in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, or Iowa that I was excited about (one can only get so excited over corn…corn…and more corn), so I decided to blow through those states in one day, which was a little nuts – but right now I’m almost a third of the way to Seattle!

I’ll keep you all updated as I keep heading west!

Hope everyone is having a great start to their week!

100 Happy Days Challenge: Days 71-80

I can’t believe I made it this far with this challenge – but now, I feel like I’m in the home stretch!

This past 10 days have been difficult to document (hence why it took almost a month to get done). A lot has happened over the last month, and while some of it was sad, most of it has been just plain busy!

Here’s a look at days 71-80! Days 71-74

Day 71: I got a special package in the mail from Girls Who Code - a 3D printed bracelet that I made myself…with code…on their website! This is such a great initiative to get young girls interested in computer science, which is something I wish had been around when I was younger. I was a rather early adopter when it came to computers, but there wasn’t much out there in terms of education programs – especially ones that appealed to young girls. This is a great group doing great things, so if you have time definitely check them out!

Day 72: This had to be one of the coldest summer days this year. I ended up busting out a sweater, skinny jeans, and of course some red shoes!

Day 73: I officially started packing up around this time, and my room has been a disaster ever since! Things are starting to come together more now, but that first big purge of stuff was hard. I’m only taking with me what will fit in my car, so it has been a major undertaking to whittle down my life to what’s truly important, and get rid of things I don’t need or love.

Day 74: After watching a ton of YouTube videos about healthy shakes and protein drinks, I bought a few samples to try. This one tasted like cake batter, which is dangerous. However, I also found out that my stomach can’t handle whey protein anymore (since swearing off most dairy). If you can handle dairy, this is a great shake to try – it was yummy!

Days 75-78

Day 75: I spent most of this day wrapping up loose ends with both of my jobs, and saying goodbye to everyone. While it wasn’t the happiest of days, and I spent a good chunk of it crying like an idiot, it was nice to get to say one last goodbye to the two campuses who helped me get my career started. :-)

Day 76: After a long, rough day the day before, I decided to treat myself to a long hike in Yellow Springs, and lunch courtesy of the food vendors outside the local BP. The pulled port sandwich was amazing, and the beans and rice were great too – though I couldn’t even come close to finishing them (D ended up finishing it for dinner). Such a great way to end a long, sweaty hike!

Day 77: This was actually taken the day before D’s birthday. He was planning to stay home from work on his birthday, so the only chance I had to surprise him was the day before! He’s not a cake person, so instead I made cookies (one of his favorites), got him some of his favorite candy, and the large gold box in the background is a (very, very, very expensive) bottle of whiskey. I also decorated the house with balloons and streamers, but forgot to take pics of it! He was both surprised and very happy!

Day 78: Summer finally showed up around here! It took a long time for the weather to warm up, but it’s finally feeling like summer around here (just in time for it to end soon…gotta love Ohio).

Days 79-80

Day 79: I found the perfect notebook to take with me on my journey to Seattle!

Day 80: To prepare for my road trip, of course I had to do a little shopping! I’ll probably show off what I got over the next week or so, when I finally get prepped for my big move out west!

Hope you enjoyed! Now I’m off to go donate my body weight in clothes and books!

Taking It In

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Before I make the long journey to Seattle, I’ve been making sure that I find time to enjoy the things I love about living in Ohio. Granted, there aren’t too many things I’m going to miss (besides people, of course), but my newfound love of hiking in our state parks is going to be one of them. There aren’t many places to go around here that offer a view of something other than corn and bean farmland, but the trails we do have are pretty amazing!

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My favorite park so far has been the Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It’s a relatively small park, but it packs a lot of amazing views into such a compact area. I love going here because I can get in a pretty good workout in less than an hour, or I can take my time and enjoy the waterfalls and springs. It’s also attached to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which is where I usually go biking, so if I want to, I can switch things up by doing a bit of both on longer workout days.

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It has been looking a little worse for wear lately because the park has been hit by some pretty big storms this spring and summer. However, it’s still a great place to get away from city life and spend some time in nature. The park is always full of families, hikers, kids on field trips, and teenagers hanging out after school – and every one of them is super friendly.

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I know that there will be dozens of new parks for me to explore when I get to Seattle in a couple weeks, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the new scenery. However, since I didn’t grow up in Dayton, and my family isn’t here, this may be one of the last times I get to visit Yellow Springs…possibly ever. I hope that I get to come back someday, especially since this is the town D and I got married in. For now, though – it’s going to be one of my tougher goodbyes.

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Hopefully you have enjoyed my sharing this park with you over the years! It has been a great sanctuary for me whenever I had a bad day and needed to relax, or run out my frustration until my lungs ached. I can’t wait to move on to bigger and better things…but today, I want to give a big thanks to the little park that made life a little bit sweeter.

Oh, and another awesome thing about Yellow Springs? One of the gas stations in town allows people to set up food tents in their parking lot every weekend, so after a long, sweaty, tough hike, you can pig out on some of the best pulled pork sandwiches and beans and rice you’ve ever had:

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Seriously – this stuff is dangerously good. :-)