Two years ago today, we moved from Biglerville, PA to our current home in Rochester, MN. Can you believe it’s been two years?! In some ways, it feels like we’ve been here longer than that and, in other ways, it seems like we just got here.
There are certainly things I miss about PA. I miss living close to my parents and an easy 6-7 hours away from Jeff’s family. There are, of course, people that I miss. And, I miss my favorite antique stores. I had some pretty sweet honey holes and some great business connections who consistently helped me find good stuff. (If you’re in the PA/MD/VA area, you can check out my list of favorite places HERE and HERE.)
Even with those things that I miss, I’m so glad we moved. This is the right place for us in this season of life.
Jeff loves his job and I’m finding my new normal working out of an in-home studio. The boys attend a great school that has provided them lots of support, encouragement, and challenge when they need it. We have outstanding medical care at the Mayo Clinic, specifically for Calvin who is a type 1 diabetic. We have made good friends and I feel like there are multiple people I could call to hang out or help out at any given time. Since we’re not close to family, we’ve needed that extra support and we’ve received it. People have brought us meals, house-sat, dog-sat, and kid-sat. We’ve plugged into different communities – our church, small groups, various ministries, our neighborhood, the boy’s school, the local climbing gym (the boys are on a team now), and I’ve made some local business connections. We’re weaving ourselves into an interconnected web of mutual friends.
After two years, I still have to use my GPS when I’m outside of my normal routes, but the area feels like home. I’m getting used to the rhythm of the seasons and the tempo of life. My work routine has taken shape and settled into a somewhat predictable pattern.
I have the spots I like to visit to browse and gather inspiration. I’m building up a mental file of roads holding pretty views, fields, farms, or cows to paint. I love the option of Saturday night church services and sleeping in on Sunday. I am so happy to be in the land of Caribou Coffee where I can get a dark hot chocolate regularly during the winter months. And I love those winter months…even when we’re in a polar vortex and get record snows in February. I like wearing layers and hats and turning on the fireplaces. I’m always rooting for one more snowstorm in April (my apologies to everyone else). I have noticed that the long winter makes me appreciate the warm weather more than I ever have.
I like that everything is within a 20-minute drive or less. We have a Trader Joe’s and a Barnes & Nobel and pretty much every retail shopping opportunity imaginable in Minneapolis, just a little over an hour away. (We somehow haven’t made it to the Mall of America, yet, but I have visited Ikea a couple of times. We’re just not big “mall people”.)
When we moved into our home in PA, I was pregnant with Marshall, so the anniversary of our move-in day wasn’t something we celebrated as a family. We knew October meant the passing of another year in our 1948 cape cod, but it was just a side note.
Our first evening in this house, after unloading our vehicles and blowing up air mattresses for the night, we got dinner from Fazoli’s and ate it out on our deck. I was excited that Rochester had a Fazoli’s because it was a restaurant I loved when I was a teenager and I hadn’t eaten at one for years. (I thought they had all closed.) As a pasta-lover, I thought fast food noodles was the most brilliant thing ever. My boys now share that sentiment. We got it to go because we wanted to eat it in our new house. It wasn’t until we got the food home that we realized we didn’t have a table or chairs to eat at. This wouldn’t be a big problem except that we also have a dog and sitting on the floor to eat meant everything was in Sebastian’s territory. So, we sat in a circle, cross-legged, on the deck and ate our first dinner in our new home.
That Fazoli’s picnic on our deck has become the tradition for July 24th.
Only now, we have a table and chairs!
If you’d like to read my one-year recap including before & after pictures of our house, you can check that out HERE.