…we moved into our home in Rochester, MN!
Moving into the new house was like standing at the top of a summit after a long, hard climb and an even longer time of preparation, planning, waiting, and praying. After months of uncertainty, we had arrived at our destination – a new job in a new town in a new part of the country. Everything ahead of us was new and exciting, but also daunting. There was so much to do! Not just in the house, but there was the entire process of settling a family into a new area, which isn’t done easily or quickly!
After a full year, though, we feel almost completely entrenched. There are still a few lingering loose ends and to-dos, but overall, we are Minnesotans and are embracing it.
The obvious thing for me to focus on in this post is the transformation of the house. But, if you have been following my blog over the past year, you’ve seen a lot of that. I will share some before and after pictures, but I thought I would focus the text on how our family is doing, since many of you have asked.
Let’s start with Jeff. First of all, he finished his masters degree!! Oh man, it’s such a relief to have that behind us now. We were all ready for him to be done, so we could have more of his free time. He is also loving his new job. It is exactly what he wanted to do and he’s enjoying it as well as the people he’s working with. It’s been a great match all around.
He’s also really enjoying the area and has already taken a back-packing trip to the Black Hills, a place he’s wanted to see for a long time. He’s looking forward to getting even more involved in the outdoorsy way of life here with future camping, fishing, and hunting trips.
Living Room Before & After…
The boys are also doing great. Of course, there are times when they miss PA. It’s the only home they ever knew, but they’ve really warmed up to this area. The fact that they have so much freedom in this neighborhood and friends within walking and biking distance has helped a lot! They have made so many friends and have pretty full social calendars already. We regularly have their friends over to play or spend the night.
They’ve also been doing well in school, even with a different teaching style (classical), having to learn Latin, and essentially skipping ahead in math. School was more challenging for them, but they both rose to the occasion and are learning better study habits, etc.
One of the main concerns with a move was uninterrupted care for Calvin, who is a Type 1 Diabetic. After Jeff received the job offer, the first thing I did the next morning was call the Pediatric Endocrinology department at the Mayo Clinic, so we could get him set up with an appointment. Since Mayo is a popular destination hospital, the wait for an appointment can be long, so he wasn’t seen until October, but his team at Hershey Medical Center made sure we had the prescriptions he needed and all of his records were transferred and ready for his first appointment. It was stressful at times, as we were sorting out insurance, but we always had what he needed and he’s now under the care of a new team at Mayo.
One of the benefits of living in a “hospital town” is that you can spit and hit a doctor or nurse. There are so many people in our neighborhood, church, and circle of friends who are medical professionals who know all about T1D. It’s given him more freedom to go to friend’s houses to play, since there are adults that can keep an eye on him as he’s learning to manage it all on his own.
We even had a scare when Calvin lost the control for his insulin pump (which is how he gives his insulin doses and checks his blood sugar) and two of our friends (a pediatric endocrinologist and the school nurse) were over at our house to help. It’s been such a blessing.
He also now has two friends with T1D, so he doesn’t feel like he’s alone.
Marshall is going into middle school! Can you believe that?! This is the boy who used to streak in diapers across my blog photos. He’s very excited about this year in school (the sixth grade teacher has a great reputation) and he will be in the church youth group and can participate in the Lego Robotics club at school.
Home office before & after…
So, there is me. I love it here. Of course, I miss living close to my parents and there are people and places I miss, but I am so glad we moved. I love our church, our community, this house, and I have made some wonderful friends here already. I was concerned about moving away from the support of family, but our group of friends have been so supportive. We babysit each other’s kids for date nights and have gotten together with friends for holidays. I have a great antiquing buddy and a number of friends I can call at a moment’s notice for help or some girl time. I definitely have more of a life-outside-of-business here than I did in PA!
The two biggest challenges for me have been the changes to my business and finding my new routines.
With the changes to the business, I went from working outside of the home, in a studio, with employees, to working by myself (with remote employees) from home. I also dropped the retail side of my business and took a few other things off of my plate. These changes needed to happen, but they’ve been adjustments none-the-less. It’s especially tricky when you have an audience following you and some of them don’t want you to change! I went on a creative retreat in March of this year, though, and that really helped me gain focus and perspective.
I’ve also made some business connections in this area and see opportunities to put my toe back into retail when I’m ready.
New routines have been tough and I’m still working on that! I have yet to find my stride when it comes to family routines, working routines, exercise routines, eating routines, etc. Now that we’re moving into our second year here, I think a lot of that will start to take shape. So much of the first year is just getting acclimated and figuring out the basics like where to buy groceries and how to get to and from all of the regular spots without having to use a GPS.
Working on our house and organizing it is a part of what makes me feel at home and settled, so all of the work we’ve been doing, especially over the past few months, has really helped.
Kitchen before & after…
And, of course, there is one more member of our family – Sebastian (our dog). He is doing fantastic. He even has friends on our street. He loves a middle–school girl who lives across the road and thinks she’s here to see him every time she knocks on the door. A new puppy down the street has also befriended him and they play together in our yard.
Some seasoned dog owners said it can take a year or two for a dog’s personality to really come through and that was definitely true. We’re seeing him becoming more communicative and playful with us. He knows what he wants and how to let us know he wants it. He’s also becoming a bit of a lap dog, which if funny, because he’s really too big for that. He’ll climb up on my lap and sprawl out, though, licking my arm or hand or whatever he can get his tongue on. He spent the first year of his life on a cat farm (after he was rescued as a stray), so we think he imagines himself as a big cat.
We’ve also found a couple of families who love Sebastian as much as we do and they’ll keep him for us when we’re traveling.
Master bedroom before & after…
So, there you have it! A one year update on our Minnesota-versary.