house hunters

I don’t know about you all, but I totally forgot how stressful the house hunting process can be. Josh and I contacted a realtor around the start of January. The lease on our apartment doesn’t end until June (in case you didn’t know, it’s basically impossible to get out of a lease unless you join the armed forces or die), but we just wanted to get ahead of the curve. We knew it was too early to put an offer on a house if we found one we liked, but at least we would be able to look at what kind of styles of houses were available and get a feel for the neighborhoods around us. We saw probably 8-10 houses over a couple of weeks- some we really liked and some not so much. And I started panicking. Because there were only a couple houses a week popping up on the market in our price range and in areas we felt comfortable living. And every house we liked had an offer on it within a day or two. There was no way a decent house was magically going to sit on the market until March-ish when it would be ok for us to put an offer out. What if there weren’t any houses coming on the market in March? What if we had to settle for a not-so-great neighborhood or house? Tons of scary thoughts went flying through my mind. In reality, I know I was worrying over nothing. We could reasonably keep looking into April and still close in enough time to not renew our lease. And if we still couldn’t find anything, worse case scenario would be renewing our apartment lease month by month. It definitely wouldn’t be ideal, but we wouldn’t be homeless.

Fast forward to the middle of February. We ask our realtor to go look at a house over the weekend and we end up really liking it. After talking with our realtor (who is really so helpful and knowledgeable), he assured us he could get us to close on the house and get possession in April, but not have to make our first mortgage payment until June when our lease is up. An answer to our prayers (and all my unnecessary worrying lol). We put in an offer and after a couple days of negotiating back and forth, our offer was accepted! We’re currently waiting on our inspection to occur and our loan paperwork to go through. There are still a lot of things that need to happen in the coming weeks before closing, but we’re staying positive everything goes through and getting so excited at the idea of having our own little home to fix up and make ours! 

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you won’t always be motivated

Happy Wednesday! I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t a great night for me last night…I was abruptly woken up in the middle of the night to Rocko heaving loudly and throwing up all over our bedroom carpet. Not once, but twice. A few hours apart. Hearing that heaving noise will wake you up real quick! Needless to say, I didn’t get a very restful night’s sleep. I’m feeling tired, grumpy, and my neck and head are arthritis achy from non-stop rain the past 2 days. I don’t have much motivation today to get moving or go to the gym. Thankfully, Wednesday’s are usually rest days from the gym for me. But, it got me thinking, what if it wasn’t a rest day? I’ve noticed more recently, I’ve not had much motivation to work out at my gym. Part of it is the weather has been very cold, very windy, snowy, and dreary. I think it’s hard for anyone to want to be out and about in weather like that. I think another part about not being motivated is the people at the gym are really nice, but they’re not my gym family from home. And I understand they never will be. But, it’s been hard for me not to compare everything back to my home gym because that’s what I’ve known for the past 4 years. I struggle to want to go to my new gym because I don’t quite feel like I belong or like it’s my home. Another part of not feeling motivated is that I commute a little over two hours total back and forth to work. Before, I had about a 7 minute drive to work and a 20 minute drive to the gym and spent 2-3 hours almost 5-6 days a week doing accessory work and participating in the class workout. Now, I have just enough time to make it to the class workout maybe 4-5 times a week. How my time is spent is different and will continue to be different because I’ll always have a longer commute to work. I won’t be able to spend any extra time at the gym because I won’t be able to free up the time I have commuting to and from work. And really, after already spending about 10 hours away from home every day for work, I don’t want to be at the gym a lot of extra time. I want to be home spending time with Josh and Rocko. A few times the past couple of weeks, I did something I’ve never done before. I drove right past the gym because I just didn’t feel like going. I wanted to be active, but I didn’t want to be gone from home another 2 hours. Instead, I went home, did a quick 15-20 minute workout, showered, and had the rest of the evening free to spend with Josh when he got home from class. A year ago, the thought of skipping CF class would have driven me insane. The thought probably wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Now, the idea of getting a good workout in anywhere, especially at home, is super appealing to me. We’ve started looking for a house which has made me become so excited at the idea of having a home gym again, a place where I can come straight home after a long day of work, get a good (quick and free!) workout in, and be done for the day. I’m trying to take it one day at a time and figure out what this new stage of life is for me. I know I won’t always be motivated and that’s ok. I don’t have to be. I’m just trying to love and accept who I am each and every day.

new year

I’m sitting here sipping my Earl Grey tea, wondering how it’s already been over a week into the new year. 2019 is already going by so fast it seems!

For the past few years, I have been into making resolutions and setting goals. Usually it was something fitness related (get a bar muscle-up), but sometimes it was budget related (don’t eat out as much) or even “diet” related (drink more water). As 2019 was fast approaching, I started thinking about what resolutions or goals I could make for the year. The more I thought through things, the more I began to notice my heart just wasn’t in making any resolutions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making resolutions. They can be super productive and encouraging and were just that for me for a long time. Recently though, it’s just seemed to become more restrictive (don’t do this, don’t do that) or discouraging for me (you’ve really let yourself down- you didn’t drink enough water today or get a muscle-up).

2018 was such a monumental change compared to my previous years. I started a new job- not just once, but twice. Josh and I moved to Ohio. We’ve grown closer together and learned how to rely on one another for help. I feel as if I’m in a completely different time of life, a different mindset than I’ve ever been in. After hearing the idea on a few podcasts I listen to, I really started to love the thought of picking a word for the year. A word to help set the tone for the year, a word to come back to whether I’m struggling or having a great day. After a few days, I finally settled on my word. I want 2019 to be the year of being present. I want to be present in the good, the bad, the sad, all the moments I possibly can be present in. I want to come home after a long day to have a nice dinner with Josh talking over our day, not engrossed in our phones or worried about the laundry list of chores to be done. If I get a flat tire, I want to be present in recognizing I’m in a sucky situation and that’s just how it goes sometimes. In the middle of a workout, I want to be present in my breathing, my form, how hard I’m pushing myself and that I can make it through. If I’m watching an episode of Kids Baking Championship, I want to be present in the fun and impressiveness of the young bakers instead of scrolling through Instagram or checking emails. I want to walk outside and take a deep breath of the cold, fresh air, to be present in knowing God put me on this beautiful earth to enjoy His creation. The little moments are what make our lives unique and interesting and ours. I don’t want to let them slip by because I was too distracted by unnecessary things. I hope to enjoy exactly where I’m at each and every day. So, here’s to a brand new year and a year of being present!

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reflections

I feel like it was just yesterday that Josh and I were eating pizza and watching a movie on New Years Eve and then I blinked and bam! it’s the end of 2018! It really becomes more and more true every year- the older I get, the faster time seems to go by.

As the new year approaches, I feel compelled to just sit back and reflect on everything that has happened this past year. And let me tell you, it has been a doozy of a year! I have done and been a part of things I never even imagined. It’s been scary. It’s been exciting. It’s been stressful. It’s been fun. It’s been depressing. It’s been joyful.

So here goes some of the crazy, amazing highlights from this year:

I quit my job of 5 years in Seymour and started a new job in Louisville.

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We went to the Arnold Classic to watch some crazy strong people lift and cheer on our friend, Rusty, in his first Olympic Weightlifting meet.

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We had a super fun Easter with our family (especially the Easter egg hunt with our nephew, Hudson).

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We went to a live filming of an episode of Top Chef at Rupp Arena.

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Josh got accepted to the Masters program in Medical Dietetics at Ohio State University.

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We sold our house in about 4 hours without even officially putting it on the market and had to move in with my parents.

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Josh quit his job of 5 years and moved to our apartment in Ohio with Rocko (with lots of helps from our parents!). Saying goodbye was the hardest.

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I continued staying with my parents while job hunting (why is it nearly impossible to get hired anywhere?!).

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I spent an awesome weekend with some dear friends celebrating Joel’s wedding.

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I [finally] found a new job, said very sad goodbyes to friends and family, and moved to Ohio.

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My mom, sister, and I threw the cutest baby shower for my sister-in-law and nephew-to-be.

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We explored the gorgeous scenery around Hocking Hills.

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We found our most favorite movie theater complete with local pizza and a huge beer/cider selection.

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We slowly settled in to our new routines and relying on each other completely. We cooked lots of yummy dinners together, shared lots of drinks, and played some Scrabble!

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We celebrated lots of fun times with friends and family (the annual Hambling Halloween party and game night).

We welcomed our newest nephew, Reece, into the world.

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We spent lots of quality time (and stuffed our faces) with our families at Thanksgiving.

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We celebrated our nephew, Hudson’s, first birthday.

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We were blessed to spend time with our families over Christmas, to relish in the time we had together and all the joy the season brings.

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The Lord has blessed us so much. I am so grateful that we have been given these opportunities to learn and grow as individuals and as a couple. I have no idea what the next year will bring, but if we can handle all the changes 2018 brought, we can handle anything!

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holidaze

It’s just the first week of December and we’ve already experienced a massive ice storm (everything covered in inches of ice, branches everywhere, and even trees broken in half!), some snow, a sunny 60 degree day, and more snow! Seriously, we never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us here in the Midwest.

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All the snow and chilly weather has me really in the mood to snuggle under a fluffy blanket, watch some Christmas movies, and drink a big mug of hot chocolate! Thank God for the weekend, right??

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The last few weeks, I’ve been trying to adjust to the idea that the holidays are going to be very different this year. Living out of state makes it quite difficult to plan around everyone’s schedules and nearly impossible to make it to every little holiday event like we did in previous years. Josh and I have been trying to figure out when to head home so that we have enough time with both of our families. I’m excited to see everyone, to eat lots of delicious fattening food, and spend time with our nephews. But I’ve got to be honest- it’s really hard being the “guests” in town. The few times we’ve gone home, we’ve stayed with my parents. Who are seriously the best. They always have food and drinks and fresh sheets on the guest bed and they don’t mind helping us with Rocko. But it’s just not our home. There’s a level of comfort that just isn’t there when it’s not your own home- we have to tiptoe down the hallway so as not to wake anyone up, we have to make sure Rocko doesn’t get on the couch in the living room, we have to pack multiple days worth of clothes and shoes and toiletries and live out of a suitcase for days. And if my siblings bring their dogs, say goodbye to any peace and quiet- it’s just hours of running and wrestling and barking between the dogs. I had really taken for granted how easy we had it when we lived in the same town as both of our parents and could just drive five minutes to get home!

Another thing that’s different this year is that living in an apartment, there isn’t enough room for a full size Christmas tree. Decorating our tree is my most favorite part of alllll of the Christmas holiday. Since we were babies, my parents have given me and my siblings a super fun, personalized ornament for the tree. And even though I’m 30 and married and “all grown up”, I look forward to this every year. I’ve even started buying Josh a fun ornament so he can be a part of my favorite Christmas tradition too. So, when I realized we wouldn’t be spending an afternoon assembling the tree and hanging each special ornament on it, I was really bummed out. I maybe even cried. Ok, I did cry. I felt silly because it’s just a tree but it holds so many memories for me. It’s not the same, but we did get a tiny tree (about a foot tall) to sit on the table next to the TV. We don’t have any miniature ornaments for it (yet), but we did buy some battery-operated Christmas lights for a little extra sparkle. It may not seem like much, but a little Christmas magic goes a long way. And even though I may not love our tiny apartment that doesn’t have room for a big tree, it’s our home and I’m so thankful to be living there with Josh instead of a state apart!

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It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little things, to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. I know it happens to me! I’m doing my best to remember the true reason for celebrating at Christmas has nothing to do with the comforts of my own place or a big decorated tree or getting awesome presents. Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones, being thankful and counting all your blessings, and celebrating the birth of our Savior and through this the gift of being saved from death! 

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un-be-leaf-able

What do you do when it’s the first weekend of November and the weather is quintessential crisp, cool fall weather? Well, we jam-packed it full of zoo adventures and hiking and of course watching movies and eating delicious food! It was honestly one of the best weekends we’ve had since moving to Columbus.

Earlier last week, Josh’s mom called and asked if we would be up for a visit on Saturday. We actually didn’t have anything planned, so we were more than happy/excited to have visitors for the day! With the weather being so nice, we thought it would be a great chance to check out the Columbus Zoo with Josh’s parents. It was maybe a bit chillier than I would have preferred when walking around outside for several hours, but that also meant the zoo was a LOT less crowded and that was just perfect to me. We were quite sad that a few exhibits had been closed for the season, but we still had a really fun time walking around seeing all the animals. I had no idea how huge the Columbus Zoo is- it took us almost four hours to walk through everything and not even all the exhibits were open!

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I absolutely loved the brown bear brothers there and the baby manatees eating their lettuce!

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After working up an appetite at the zoo, we headed to Cap City Diner for lunch. Josh and I had both been recommended this restaurant by a couple different people, so we figured it was definitely worth trying. I loved it and I think everyone else did as well. The decor was exactly what you would think of for a diner- black and white tile, fun food art on the walls, and big booths with red leather seats.

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The menu had lots to choose from- fish and chips, meatloaf, pasta, burgers, eggs benedict, breakfast burritos, sooo many options! I thoroughly enjoyed my leftover Thanksgiving dinner sandwich with a side of mashed potatoes and white gravy.  The sandwich was two thick slices of toasted buttermilk bread stuffed with cranberry sauce, roasted turkey breast, and house-made stuffing. Yummmmm!

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Josh ordered the meatloaf dinner and it was scrumptious! The meatloaf came on a piece of toasted buttermilk bread topped with creamy mashed potatoes, chili onion rings, and BBQ gravy with a side of broccoli.

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We would gladly go back there for brunch, lunch, or dinner! And hopefully next time we’ll save room for a milkshake or a piece of their giant chocolate layer cake!

It was so nice to spend time with family and to have a day out on the town. But homesickness hit me hard just a few hours after they left. Josh had fixed french onion soup with soda bread for dinner, but I was just not feeling it. And I just kept feeling worse and worse. Finally, I couldn’t hold my feelings in any longer. I sat down on the couch next to Josh and just sobbed. I let it all out- my struggles with feeling so overwhelmed by everything – having a new job, living in a new apartment, going to a new gym, having no friends or family nearby. My new coworkers and gym group are all so nice, but I still feel lonely and like I can’t really connect with anyone. I miss my friends, I miss my home gyms, I miss my home. Everything is just different and hard right now. I know eventually it will get better and this will become “home”, but right now I’m having a harder time settling in than I thought I would. I’m so glad I let Josh know how I was feeling. I used to hold everything in and just shut down, but I’ve learned that that doesn’t do either of us any good and I just have to be honest and open about how I’m feeling…whether my feelings make sense or not.

For all the sadness and struggle I felt Saturday evening, Sunday was the exact opposite. Getting everything off my chest helped me to enjoy every last second of our time together Sunday and just live. We woke up around 6:30 am to spend the morning exploring Hocking Hills State Park. I really really wanted to visit there again after our trip there a few weekends ago and I knew this would be our last real chance for perfect weather and the most beautiful shades of golden yellow, burnt orange, and red leaves. On a recent Instagram story, we had seen pictures and video of Rock House and knew we had to visit there. We were the only car in the parking lot when we arrived and took off on an easy ½-mile hike to Rock House. The air was chilly and crisp, the birds chirping in the trees. It was so peaceful and refreshing.

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Rock House was so simple and really beautiful. We were totally alone except for the breeze through the cave and some birds cooing back and forth. I loved the large natural arches cut into the Blackhand sandstone walls allowing patches of fall light to illuminate the cave. It’s amazing to me what weather and time can do to nature, how it can change something from uninspiring to something majestic.

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After visiting Rock House, we drove a few miles over to Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve. It was a little bit more crowded when we pulled into the parking lot, but thankfully we managed to have the Gorge Trail mainly to ourselves. The ½-mile (down and back) trail was paved almost the whole way and was easily traversed as we made our way past Horsehead Grotto and the tall stone cliff walls.

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As we got closer to the end of the trail, the path became more natural and rugged. I loved hopping over rocks and through the bubbling stream as we neared the waterfall.    

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How breathtaking is the way the sunlight filters through the bright green of the tree leaves?

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The Rim Trail was really, really neat! It was also kind of terrifying- there were several spots along the 2 ½-mile trail with no railings where you could have easily fallen right over the edge of the cliff into the gorge. The views, though, were so worth any small bit of fear.

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The trees down in the gorge were so picturesque, they looked like something from a Pointillism painting.

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And the sky in the background behind the bright red leaves…I just can’t handle how big and beautiful this world is sometimes!   

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I didn’t think it was possible for the day to get any better, but it did! Josh ended up not having much schoolwork to do, so we were lucky enough to have the evening free to go see Bohemian Rhapsody. Josh happened to find the most quintessential local theater- Grandview Theater and Drafthouse.

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We really had no idea what to expect of this little one-screen theater, but it was so fun! They have the traditional candy and popcorn for sale, but they also offer a full menu from Grandad’s Pizza. They’re just down the street and deliver straight to the theater! They also have a full bar with fun specialty cocktails named after the movie, as well as 20-30 different beers/ciders on tap. There is no doubt that we will be going back to this theater as often as possible. Inside the theater, there are several rows of seats in the back that have big wood tables for your food and drinks.  

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The movie was very entertaining and had my attention the whole time. I couldn’t stop singing and bobbing my head along to all the songs. I always forget how much I love Queen’s music until I hear all their songs, then it hits me again what a spectacularly talented band they were.

We weren’t hungry when we went into the movie, but smelling pizza the whole time had us craving it by the end. We tried out a new (to us) restaurant named Harvest Tavern and Pizzeria. We shared the goat cheese pizza and it was just right. The pizza crust was bubbly and brown, covered in a fresh tomato sauce with dollops of goat cheese, pieces chopped basil, the yummiest thinly sliced salame toscano, and plump cherry tomatoes.

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Even though there was a down this weekend, there were so many more ups. I feel so incredibly blessed for the opportunities Josh and I have taken/been given and I hope to have lots more incredibly fun, full of adventures weekends just like this one!

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home is where the heart is

What a fun weekend we just had! Somehow everything lined up quite perfectly- Josh’s professors had a conference out of state resulting in his classes getting cancelled and him having a lighter load for schoolwork, some of our best friends were throwing their annual kick butt Halloween party, and our nephew had his baby dedication at church. It was a jam-packed weekend for sure!

The Halloween party is literally my favorite party of all time. This was our third year going and we wouldn’t have missed it for anything! Our friends have this great old barn that they’ve been fixing up the last few years and that’s where they host the party. They go allllll out, seriously it’s amazing! They hung up tons of lights all inside the barn, they had a black light, smoke machines, a disco ball, and decorated with skeletons and cobwebs and other Halloween-y things. They also had a campfire going and an awesome blow up dragon bounce house in front of the barn. My favorite part though was the two projector screens they hung on either side of the dance floor which showed the music videos to the songs the DJ was playing. We danced and danced and danced some more. Every once in awhile someone would shoot off a confetti cannon and everyone would cheer and dance even more. I’m not kidding, they kill it at the party throwing game! There was tons of food and even more alcohol for anyone at the party to enjoy. I loved seeing all our friends (it’s been a couple months since we’ve all been together) so much!

Sunday morning we got up bright and early…for real, why we can’t sleep in on a day that we didn’t set an alarm?! Our amazing friends let us crash at their house, even though they were out of town. I can’t tell you how lucky we are to have such an amazing group of friends in our lives. Seriously. Anyways, we were up earlier than we needed to be, so we had time to relax and enjoy a yummy breakfast at a local diner. After some yummy biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and a Greek omelette, we headed down to Seymour for Hudson’s baby dedication at church. It was really neat to see so many babies be dedicated into the church family. I hope that Josh and I can continue to be strong role models no matter how near or far away we are. We headed to Kena and Arron’s (my in-laws) house for lunch after church. I was so so happy to be able to spend time with Josh’s family and most especially to cuddle Hudson to pieces. Guys, he is just so dang cute! He has started crawling all over the place and can even walk with assistance! I tell you what, I can’t believe how fast he’s growing up and I can’t wait to see him continue to grow.

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Going home for the weekend was wonderful and filled my soul with so much love. But, let me tell you, it was so very hard to come back to Ohio after seeing so many friends and family. I would do it all again though. And no matter where we live, I know that home is where the heart is…with Josh and all our friends and all our family.  

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