I can’t believe it’s been five months since Jeff, Cooper and I pulled away from our empty Portland apartment and drove across the country to our new home in Grand Rapids, Mich. What?! Five months! That’s almost half of a year! Time flies by achingly fast. It’s so strange to flip from one life — apartment living in a big(ish) city, hanging out with the loveliest mix of friends, both working at Nike, super liberal environment — to another life entirely, with its unique set of benefits and peccadillos. I understand how people avoid major moves, the kind of moves Jeff and I somehow prompt with crazy frequency. We shake up our lives like an Etch A Sketch: What do we want our new normal to be like? When the dust settles, will we be different from the people we were before? It’s a wild and unpredictable ride but I feel blessed to be able to choose that ride and make it the most memorable, fulfilling journey possible.
Hey, but Grand Rapids has been great to us so far. (I mean, it’s Beer City USA!) We miss our Portland friends for sure, especially our buddies Lindsay and Daniel, but it’s been so satisfying to see our families and Midwest-based friends so often. And we L-O-V-E owning a house. It’s ridiculously fun. I feel very homeowner-y, seizing every opportunity to feather our new nest. I paint. And buy rugs. And trim hedges. And plant flower bulbs. And attend home shows. And take advantage of DTE Energy’s and Consumers Energy’s free energy efficiency audits. I love it. Professionally, Jeff is digging into his job at Herman Miller (yay, employee discount!) and I’m pursuing my own little freelance communications entity. I hope to keep blogging, although I’m not quite sure if it makes sense now that I live closer to the people who I mainly wrote for while I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Anyway, we’ll see what happens with that.
I never got around to posting pictures from some of our goodbye get-togethers with co-workers, bowling teammates and friends in Portland — or our road trip across 11 states. Our five-day trek included overnights in Kalispell, Montana; Billings, Montana; Murdo, South Dakota (not recommended); and Chicago, Illinois. We were awed by the beauty of Idaho and Montana, explored the grandeur of the half of Glacier National Park that wasn’t snowed in (in June!), made the obligatory stop at Mount Rushmore, and caught the nearly deserted Badlands National Park as the sun danced across its majestic buttes and spires just before sunset. We also ate the most disgusting pizza EVER — which I never thought was possible — a late-night pepperoni pizza in the tiny town of Murdo. A “signature” pizza with a cinnamon crust and icing for dipping. Pepperoni + cinnamon = throw that pizza in the trash. Along with the garlic bread that was more garlic-y than straight-up chomping a clove of garlic. That hit the trash can as well, and we went to bed hungry. Anyway, we also got to spend a couple of days in Chicago with Rob, Amy and Ben, and we got the chance to meet our friends’ cute-as-a-button little girl, Marley. Our road trip culminated in Michigan with the closing on our house in West Michigan.
So here’s a less-than-stellar compilation of the handful of iPhone photos that escaped the sudden death of my picture-packed external hard drive. (Grr.)
Here’s to new adventures and forever friends!
You are missed for sure, but oh how fun your new location will be with all that beer and Michigan hospitality