two years ago today…

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, All Things Home, My House25 Comments

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.

two years ago today…

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25 Comments on “two years ago today…”

  1. Happy Anniversary! So many of your thoughts today are mine. We moved from CA to OH two years ago. I laughed at your “everything is a a 20 minute drive or less.” The joke in our family is that when we google directions anywhere, it will “probably be a 20 minute drive”. I pass by a Fazoli frequently but I haven’t eaten there. I can’t eat gluten anymore, so it’s bitter.

  2. I loved reading this….especially when you said about the ‘seasons in life’…it made me pause for a moment and think about my own new season in life (as a full time Artist) and how I am scurrying from one thing to another looking for a place to settle in my mind….I think I actually just had the ah-hah moment. Time to settle in. Thank you for always sending inspiration and encouraging ~ even when your not even thinking about it. 🙂 ….PS. Miss you in PA. But so happy I had the chance to meet you and play in your little corner a few times thru Lucketts and your beautiful Studio! I am so happy you love your new home, business and life…hugs!

  3. Happy Home-iversary! You’ve done so much in two years! I’ve loved following along as you’ve transitioned so gracefully into your new business model, and as you’ve put your own stamp onto your home.

  4. You certainly have accomplished a lot in two years. When you first moved in your home didn’t look like you at all, but now the transformation is amazing. Your little studio is incredible and so inspiring. Hope you never stop blogging. : )

  5. Following your journey has been a lot of fun. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years! Enjoy your Fazoli’s today!

  6. It has gone fast because you have done so much to your house to make it your home. It looks great!

  7. It sounds like you were unusually well-suited for Minnesota and its weather! So glad you are thriving here, and so surprised that two years have passed already! Your home is so beautiful now.

  8. Marian, So glad you have discovered all the wonderful reasons to love MN. Both winter and summer! Happy Anniversary!

  9. I am in awe of how much you have accomplished in two short years. You continue to be an inspiration. On July 29, we will celebrate the fifth anniversary of our move to the farm (cross-country in a Penske truck!). Happy Anniversary to you and yours.

  10. Happy Anniversary so glad you are enjoying your area and everything seems to be a happy place for your whole family.

  11. You are such an inspiration! I love all that you have done to make this your own home and that is what encourages me every day to seek out the homey-ness in my home. I moved 3 years ago and you are way ahead of me but I like that. Keeps me inspired & motivated!! Thanks for sharing your amazing talents with all of us!!

  12. What a sweet post today.

    Best wishes for good health and happiness for years more to come in your gorgeous home.

    And I love winter too – beats the heat and humidity of unbearable summers we have here.

    BUT usually I am over it in April. You win, haha.

  13. Whew!!! 2 years already!!! You’ve done an amazing job making this house a home. I have loved following along for the journey . Can’t wait to continue to see all the rest. EVERYTHING has turned out gorgeous!!!
    Trusting God and His timing and will for your future has paid off in multiple by multiple times!!!

  14. I loved reading about how you enjoy your MN winter. I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who grew up to be an adult that loves the winter. It’s such a beautiful, cozy season and too many adults wish it away as soon as it arrives. I too love a good snowfall… Even if it’s in April 🙂

  15. I enjoyed reading your update! Since I’m a fairly new subscriber it was very interesting! Thanks for the tip about dark hot chocolate at Caribu Coffee. I’ve never stopped in there because I don’t drink coffee. But I will have to check out their hot chocolate. That’s nice that you have enjoyed the winters so far. I dread the thought of another winter!!!! It seems to last forever! I sounds like you have adapted very well to your new state!

  16. I remember 2 years ago I so enjoyed reading every post about your move to Minnesota. You have worked very hard making your house into a home.
    Happy Anniversary!

  17. I’m with you on the winter months. This last one got just a wee bit long-even for me! I hate hot and humid so I’m glad that’s over. I also hate MOA, b u t if you ever decide you want to go, my daughter and I will take you. She knows the place like the back of her hand and they do have great restaurants!

  18. I can relate! I am coming up on two years since a major change (early retirement and a move) and just noticed in the last month that I’m finally getting into a productive routine. For the first year it felt like I was jumping around from project to project, task to task randomly. I still got things done but it didn’t feel like it at first. The mountain of projects (painting, shuffling furniture, culling our possessions down to fit our space, planning an addition) had me blind to my progress until I got it under control and looked back.
    Glad you have been able to reach out and make friends! I am still working on that, as my nearest neighbor is a mile away and I’m 10 min outside of the nearest town (pop. 1256). There’s a bar, a convenience store, a restaurant, a hardware store, a concrete company, a dollar store, a 9 lane bowling alley, a tiny post office….I love it and I’m grateful for my setting. But it hasn’t been easy to connect with people.
    In the meantime I’m kinda enjoying a season of solitude and self reflection. I’ve dealt with some old heartaches that go clear back to childhood and finally feel free of them. I credit long walks in the woods with no music, etc to distract me. Apparently bilateral brain stimulation (steady walking in my case) helps to bring up repressed emotion. With no distractions I was able to feel, acknowledge, validate and let go of all kinds of baggage. And the exercise just feels good! Lately I find myself more upbeat and hopeful even on tough days.
    Finding your blog has truly been a God-sent gift to me. It is your ministry and you should be proud of the community you have brought together. I always feel at home when I read your blog. And while I am staggered by your talents, I am also glad you think deeper thoughts than just about decorating and art. Your slice of life ones are always my favorite.
    I’m glad your family is happy and settling into your new community! Always wishing you the best!

    1. Stacey,
      I too, moved two years ago from “my Minnesota” to beautiful Colorado after retiring as a licensed counselor at the same time, and it turned me upside down and spun me around. I finally feel like I have two feet planted on the ground, most days 🙂 and I am believing the I deserve this and deserve to have time to breathe and contemplate my life and new opportunities ~ that always involve family, creative interests and giving back. Families are interesting, aren’t we… So while we are all different we are travels many of the same roads. I admire Marian and her speedy manner in getting to all things she loves. I admire you for taking the time to settle in and make it matter.
      Stay well and I believe one tiny step at a time makes all the difference.
      Cynthia

  19. Congratulations on the 2 year anniversary, and yes it seems like it just happened. Using this as an opportunity to echo what others have said. That this blog is a blessing to me. I’ve admired your creative, artistic talent. Happy to see your business grow, and your settling into a new state and church community. I’ve spent all this week at home and have had the time to get started on so many projects that have been making me anxious for far too long. Now being at home was due to an unexpected “lay off” at work, but after the initial panic, I”m leaning into my faith and asking for the path to be made clear. Looking at what I have been blessed with, and appreciating the love and support from The Husband is the important thing. I’ll continue to root for you and your family. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Thank you, Cynthia. It’s really nice to be heard. Why do we have such a hard time believing we deserve good things? Like you I’m starting to embrace my freedom and opportunities. Maybe now I can actually become the creative person I know myself to be!

    1. Stacey~
      The connection with you allows me to know that I am not alone and as a person who was in service to others my entire life and that included my family,l, that I now have the freedom to take care of myself. I long to do many things again, and anew and I’d best get moving. MMS surely gives me inspiration!
      Be good to yourself first and others reap the rewards.
      Cynthia 💕

  21. I’m so glad MN has been a good fit for you and your family! And it’s good to know you’ve become a true Minnesotan and love winter! It does make the spring ever more sweet;)

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