life update

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I'm back! It feels good to be writing here again after a couple week hiatus. I truly missed writing, but taking a break was needed to focus on our move. So much has happened since my last post, and I want to fill you in on where we've been and where we are now!

Since I last wrote, Blake took the LSAT (still waiting on the score...) and we took a trip up to the North Shore, packed up and moved out of our first home, and traveled over 1000 miles to a new city. This could end up being a very long post, so I will try to keep it just to the highlights.



Before moving, we had some wonderful times with family and friends. After the LSAT, I threw a goodbye/birthday party for Blake. It was so much fun having people in our home one last time. That weekend we headed to Wisconsin for a couple days of family time and recuperation. One of the highlights was meeting our brand new niece, Loretta Margaret!

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The following week was filled with packing, as I was trying to get as much done before we travelled Up North for a little getaway. We had planned this trip before deciding to move to Philly, and even though it wasn't the ideal time, I was not going to back out of it.

The North Shore holds a special place in both of our hearts and has played a roll in our relationship. Blake spent 2 summers on the North Shore working before and after we met, we road tripped the shore while dating, and we eventually honeymooned outside of Duluth.

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This trip, we stayed at the most adorable B&B near Tettagouche State Park - Baptism River Inn. The inn is right along the Baptism River and we could hear the water from our room. The decor was rustic and cozy, just the way I like. We loved sitting in the common room drinking coffee and playing numerous rounds of cribbage. Our favorite part by far was the sauna!! I have done many saunas, but this was unlike any I have ever done. The building was tiny and looked like a something from a fairytale. It used a wood-burning stove that we built ourselves! If anyone is looking for a quiet getaway, I would highly recommend this inn!

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Food was also a highlight on this trip. The inn-keepers did a phenomenal job with breakfasts both mornings! I am so inspired to make elaborate breakfasts on weekends now. One night we went to our favorite restaurant to celebrate Blake's birthday. If you are ever on the North Shore, you must go to New Scenic Cafe. We went there twice on our honeymoon, and had to go back again. I love their emphasis on fresh ingredients and unique flavor combinations. The staff is also incredibly helpful and kind.

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We returned from our weekend away, refreshed and ready to tackle the move ahead. In 2 days, with the help of my parents, we finished packing, loaded our 16-foot Penske truck, and said goodbye to our first apartment. It was sad to leave the place we had made home, but I felt excited for the new adventures in Philadelphia.

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We split our drive into 3 days, with stops to visit friends along the way. Our first night, we stopped in Madison and stayed with some new friends, Shane and Olivia. Olivia and I met through a mutual friend and hit it off right away. Recently, Olivia and I have connected through Instagram and we started making plans to visit each other. Olivia is a beautiful woman with an amazing heart - follow her on Instagram @liv.ruckstuhl. Both Blake and I loved connecting with Shane and Olivia, and were blessed by their hospitality.

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Next stop, Indianapolis! We stayed with dear family friends, the Gramley's. Growing up, my family would go to the beach in N. Carolina with the Gramley's, and Ken and Gretta became like aunt and uncle to us kids. We had a delightful visit, catching up on life and introducing them to Blake.
The next morning, we were up early to hit the road for a 11-hour drive. Well, it was supposed to be 11-hour drive, but with stops and driving through the mountains, it ended up being 13 hours! It was a long drive and a little stressful. But, wow, the scenery was beautiful! I had no clue that the western side of Pennsylvania was so mountainous! It was beautiful to look at, but our poor truck had a little trouble with all the inclines. What was even more interesting is that during our drive we listened to Hillbilly Elegy. If you haven't heard of the book, it is primarily set in the Appalachian mountains (which we were driving through). It's an incredible book and melds sociological study and memoir.
We finally made it to Philadelphia late on Friday night. We are living with my sister and brother-in-law, who are in the city. This meant that we had to unload the truck and drop it off that night. Let's just say, parking is not the easiest in the city... But we did it, and are now settled into their guest room for the next 2 months.

So now what?...Well, we are figuring that out. Blake and I are both committed to jumping right into life here, because we don't know how long we'll be here. Right now, we are living in my sister and brother-in-law's guest room with all of our boxes until after Thanksgiving, when we will move to their basement apartment. Blake is currently looking for work, and I have at least one part-time nanny jobs starting next week. We are also working to build connections in the city. We found a church and are going to our first small group tonight!

There are so many emotions, thoughts, and desires running through my mind right now. Our life is simple, and I am growing to love that. We don't have any big commitments or distractions, it's just us right now. It's hard to be in-between homes and not really have a space of our own, but I am trying to not let those feelings get in the way of me living life here. Without a steady income right now, we have to be tight with money, which is making us be creative with how to have fun together.

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If you have made it this far, thanks for reading! I am so excited to share more about our life and adventures in Philly, and to continue sharing about health at every size, body acceptance, and safer living.

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