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What is it they say about a year? It makes all the difference?

19 Jul

It’s been exactly a year since I drove up to Asheville with the baby, the dog, the cat, and a week’s worth of supplies to sign the deed on our new house (Walter was on vacay, that lucky dog!). Last year I was in the middle of chaos on July 19th. This year the rush of life is much more pleasant, especially because it doesn’t involve unpacking a house worth of boxes.

img_20170719_133401978_topThis was me on July 19, 2017. I had only had 3 hours sleep, I had just driven 3.5 hours with the constantly meowing cat, we had been living in two different states for a month, just got a contract on our Atlanta house, and I had just spent the last week celebrating one of my best friend’s weddings. Oof.

Today, however, it is 68° outside, cloudy and gorgeous, and we spent the morning outside mulching the garden bed, planting rose of Sharons transplanted from my mom’s yard, taking a walk to the blueberry farm on our street, and napping before a play date this afternoon.

img_20180719_110116_638Kiddos doing what they love best: getting dirty and playing with mud. One day soon I’d love for this to get off our driveway, but I do love the imaginative play a big pile of dirt creates.

img_20180719_123453_267Our neighbors two doors down. Besides the ticks, I love #countrylife

Walter is almost six years old and is as fascinating and amazing a person as I could hope for in someone so young. His curiosity and depth into life astound me. The only real struggle I have with him right now is deciding whether to continue homeschooling or to put him in the excellent elementary school he is slated for. I love homeschooling, but it is also a great window into all my parenting fears and flaws I battle with on a daily basis.

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Rex is a year and a half and is really one of the most joyful people I know. I soak up his smiles and adventurous spirit, and one of the things I love about where we live is that we are in the middle of nature and he thrives on that. If I open the door to let the dog or cat out and he doesn’t get to go outside, he usually screams at me.

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While I still miss my Atlanta friends and family, I feel like we make a good bit of effort to see everyone at least once a year. I just spent a week with the boys in ATL and a very busy schedule of play dates. It was exhausting but oh so wonderful! I also feel like I am finding some good friends up here, and that makes all the difference in the world. Because of these things, and the amazing location we live in, I can say I have no regrets about this move. It definitely wasn’t always a smooth transition — there were many nights I asked myself and Dave “why did we do this again?” — but I don’t think I could go back. I feel such joy and peace when I look outside my windows, and I know this is a lucky feeling.

img_20180714_154452_717July 2018 — I look like a much more sane person! I’d travel the world to hang out with these three beauties. These are my book club gals and some of the best friends a girl could ask for. Okay so to be honest I am involved in five book clubs (two in Atlanta and three in Asheville). It’s hard to keep up sometimes but reading is my passion!

There have only been two homes in my life that in retrospect have been true homes. The first was my apartment on Charles Allen Dr in Midtown. I began my life there, even though I was already 23. I found poetry and yoga and the love of my life; I accomplished goals that I set for myself, and I had a lot of fun doing it!

And here, in this beautiful home in Asheville, I am more present than I’ve ever been. I rock my baby to sleep and read with my other child before bed and tend to the yard and go to local farms to buy food and explore the wilderness and, and, and… The list could go on, but I won’t! Time to go continue enjoying life.

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Have I Changed?

4 Dec

My mom asked me a couple visits ago if I thought our move to Asheville had changed me.

It was hard for me to answer because I think I’m always changing all the time. I am nowhere near the person I was 10 years ago or probably even 10 minutes ago. Even though many times I feel like the same person I was at age six. These thoughts are both comforting to me and a source of anxiety at times.

But maybe what she was really asking was, “What do I feel Asheville has changed in me so far?” This is a question which I had no good answer to give her when she asked, but I’ve been thinking about it every day since then.

I think the best way to put it is, retreating to the mountains has made me retreat from the rest of the world as well. It’s amazing to me that after almost 33 years in one city, four months in another one makes me see Atlanta in a whole new light. While it is a pretty Southern town, it is also a busy, bustling city and part of the rat race. I think a country girl has always been inside me waiting to be let out. I am drawn to the Laura Ingalls Wilder/American Girl Doll (when they were about history)/Janette Oke types of stories, and now I’m trying to live a little bit more like that. I dream of heading more towards the ideas the Amish have, where mechanical technology is preferable to electrical. A deep rooting into the earth, a connectedness.

While my fondest memories of my childhood were running wild throughout our neighborhood with my friends, I didn’t have the stars. The city is so absorbing that even in the suburbs it is hard to see what’s going on in the universe. Here, I look up at the sky all the time and am falling in love with everything astronomy has to offer. Star myths of the past and space explorations of the future…

I’ve definitely been unhappy at times during this transition. I desperately miss my people in Atlanta. We had developed a really solid home base in Marietta the year that we were there in terms of homeschool and the YMCA and of course the friendships that we garnered throughout our years in ATL. Some of the things I’ve tried to replicate here so far have only disappointed me. But I’m not giving up. I gave myself a year to feel at home and I’m not even halfway there.

I worry about the boys not growing up in a neighborhood, especially since we homeschool, and if I can provide all that they need to have satisfying childhoods. But growing up in the country has its perks too, and I’m so excited for all the plans I have for our land. We planted some rose bushes yesterday, and it filled me with happiness to see our family work together to add beauty to the incredible nature that surrounds us here.

One step at a time!

IMG_20171203_181728_824A cute little bear we found in our front yard.

The Move

7 Sep

The past three months I’ve been fixated on The Move. Our move last year was apparently just a mini-move taste to prepare us for this crazy move we call Asheville.

We came because of this (and a job with Blossman Services):

IMG_20170629_182549591 (1)The view from our property. The stargazing is amazing here on a clear night when the moon isn’t full.

And this:

IMG_20170904_221542_01The Craggy Garden Mountains are a 30 minute drive and a beautiful, short hike from our house. The winding mountain roads are pretty scary though! We were amazed at the bicyclists we saw going up the Blue Ridge Parkway.

 

But most of the time I’ve felt like this:

IMG_20170730_192732234_HDRDespite my wild eyes, these boys have been stellar through all this craziness — we’ve driven to and from Atlanta ~25 times over the last several months. This picture in particular was taken about an hour before I crashed after putting the boys to bed around 8pm.

This has not been the easiest few months of my life. Dave started his job about a month before I was able to move up with the boys and the animals. Once we were back together again our lives were consumed by unpacking and organizing our house. We also were going back to Atlanta every weekend for various goodbye parties and wrapping up loose ends. Now that we’re on the tail end of our move, I’m ramping up homeschool and other kiddo activities so we won’t be hermits (even though I just want to hibernate like a bear right now until I’m not so weary).

Relocating can be tough, but hey, the high is 70° today, and it’s only early September. Watch out Asheville weather, I may fall in love!

IMG_20170817_195651_960Serendipitous.

Huuuuge News

26 May

This is one of my top five biggest announcements of all time:

We are moving to Asheville, NC in less than a month!

Woah. Just woah.

Some people move around a lot (or at least once!), but I have never lived anywhere but Atlanta, Georgia. Well, except when I was three — my first memories of life are out in the desert in Claremont, California. But everything else in my life has been right here in this metro area.

This is why my brain has been so frazzled lately. I am trying to live life to fullest, transition us up there in the next few weeks, and all while needing to keep the house clean and running after two tinys.

I thought we were done moving for a long time. We finally just got settled in the new house and were enjoying our suburban life as a family of four, when this opportunity came to us. It was literally only a couple weeks after I said to Dave and my mom, “I want to live somewhere besides Atlanta,” but I was thinking of something like Alaska or Canada. Thank goodness we’re only going to be three hours away by car, not six hours by plane. The Universe knew I didn’t really mean that far away.

I’m nervous, but also really excited.

IMG_20170520_221652_716Life will be like this all the time. #SierraNevadaBrewing

It now feels like moving to East Cobb was a baby step for this move. I was very happy to get where we are now, but it had its challenges. I was pregnant, feeling terrible, and spent a lot of time being lonely. Moving 30 minutes away at times felt like an entire state away. But I navigated (and cried) until I got to a place where the boys and I are happy and busy — almost too busy!

Besides uprooting the great life we have here and leaving our beautiful home and yard and all our friends and family, one of the things that makes me the most sad about leaving is the diversity of East Cobb. I have been very happy to be a part of a really diverse (and not just black and white too!) community over the last year. We are sometimes the only white people at an event, like story time at our local library. Asheville, unfortunately, is pretty white-washed. I know the mentality is open-minded there, but still. I like being in a melting pot of culture.

However, I feel in my soul that this is the right move for us right now. Dave is very excited about his new career path. We met our realtor — and so far our only friend in Asheville — through our current next door neighbor, who has been super great to us ever since we moved to Marietta. I’m a hippie at heart who cares more and more about the earth, and I love the artsy, green, sustainable, local culture up there. I’m looking forward to this next challenge and all the opportunities we’ll have. I’ll really miss where we are, but sometimes you just gotta take a leap!