It’s officially been a YEAR since Keith and I packed up and headed north (hah. north) all the way to Clinton, MS to start his new job and our new life. It’s been such a fun year. Lots of up and some downs too. We learned a lot about ourselves and each other. Something about packing up and moving away – just the two of you – really makes things feel ‘real’! Today, I want to share a life update – a bit more about our last year and some of the things that we’ve learned, done, and some adorable photos of my puppies!
Before I talk about this stuff, you guys can shop my outfit as well. This top is the cutest peplum t-shirt that comes in 4 colors and it really fantastic quality!! I’m getting it in green next!
Shop My Look:
Before we left Louisiana, we were living on what we called ‘the compound’ next door to our best friend Elizabeth and just miles from LSU’s campus where the rest of our friends were always hanging out! All of our friends worked for LSU and I worked for Elizabeth’s parents. If you’ve ever seen New Girl, that was our life! It was fun, people were always at the house, and life was a sitcom. Not to mention that our families were only 30 min – 1 hr away so we were able to see them often. We loved Sunday lunch with my family and spending the day in Nola with Keith’s family.
So when we found out we were moving, it was exciting and totally sad. We were leaving this life with all of our friends and family where we had everything figured out to go to a new place where we knew no one (except my uncle) and nothing. When we look back now, we know those days on Nelson Drive in Baton Rouge were the ‘good old days’ but we’re moving forward and things are looking up.
Things to Know about Moving to a New State
Making friends is intimidating (if you’re like me).
Probably the scariest thing for me about moving was leaving my friends. I’m not super great in the friend making department. I hear that my first impressions are less than inviting and that’s probably because I think meeting new people is horribly uncomfortable. Knowing that I was going to have to open up to MORE people was sickening to me (I’m actually not exaggerating – ask Keith). The good news was that I have Keith. He encouraged me and literally dragged me to events (like our new small group) kicking and screaming all the way.
And guess what? I’m SOOOO thankful that he did. We now have a FANTASTIC group of friends that we love. They’ve been my saving grace since we moved here. Knowing we have people to call if we need anything (like watching our dogs… or wine!) is so awesome. Lesson here: Don’t be like me and lock yourself in your house – go out and meet people!
Finding a Church is much easier than making friends – Get Involved!
This may not be true for everyone (Like Keith – he makes friends so easily). But for me, finding a new church was a no-brainer. We already had some introduction to Pinelake Church through my sister (who is going to school in our town) and my uncle. But I was a bit wary. It’s a HUGE church. With 5 Campuses (Clinton campus is smaller) and thousands of people. I come from a small church background. It’s home grown, everybody knows everybody (and everybody’s business), and everyone knew me. So I was determined that this wasn’t the spot for us. But one Sunday in, I was convinced. The atmosphere was welcoming and bright, the music was OUT OF THIS WORLD, and the sermons were encouraging and at times, tough to hear (that’s how you know their good. LOL)!
After a bit of getting acquainted with the church, Keith dragged me (see above…) to the connecting point where we joined a small group and found ‘our people’! From there, we felt led to get even more involved so I volunteered for nursery (3 year olds once a month – PHEW) and we both volunteered for Kid’s Summer Sports Camp! Keith is looking for another ministry (he’s thinking college – because, duh) right now and I’m getting ready to start serving in the Music ministry. Getting involved has really made us feel like it’s OUR church home. I encourage you to get involved in your church so that you feel like more than just a seat on Sunday Mornings!
You have no idea where you’re going. EVER.
We’ve been here a full year and I still absently nod my head when people are describing where things are. Like ‘Oh yea, it’s just down toward south jackson by the walmart, you know that walmart’? I nod but I 100% do NOT know that walmart. I did make an effort when we first moved here to pay attention to where we were going so that I wouldn’t have to use my GPS for very long. Keith is a GPS guy – even if he knows where he’s going. I give him a hard time because I’ve never been good with directions but I’m better than HIM (although I still have trouble with left and right).
If you’re moving to a new place, pay attention. If there is somewhere that you know you’ll be going often, be sure to learn the route. Because if you don’t, both of your phones could die while your somewhere new and UH OH, KEITH – YOU’RE STUCK AND YOU HAVE TO RELY ON YOUR WIFE TO GET YOU HOME! Hah. I love Keith!
Where do you wanna eat becomes ‘Chick Fil A or Sonic’?
You know that age old marriage debate of where to eat dinner? No one knows what they want and so you just sit there. Well, if you move to another state, this argument will become much simpler. The number of places you know exist is extremely limited which means you’ll be having a lot of date nights and Chick Fil A until you take the time to find new spot. This is where awesome friends come in. Randal (Keith’s new bromance) is our go-to for food suggestions and he KNOWS where the good stuff is.
It’s been so fun trying out new spots with friends and even by ourselves. Although, once we’ve found a new spot, we pretty much go over and over again until we’re sick of it! If you’re ever in the Jackson area – let me know and I can tell you about one of the 3 spots that we frequent – HAH!
Dad’s not there to fix stuff – you’re going to have to get handy.
Keith is a professor, an academic, if you will. He, though many things, is not a handy man. He has zero, ZERO attention to detail and thinks a little tape and glue will fix anything. Thankfully, my daddy taught me a thing or two! So a few months ago, Keith went to Factory Tools Direct, my new favorite spot, and bought me a plethora of fancy lime green (yes. they all match) tools for my workshop. I got a table saw, a circular saw, a miter saw, a sander, a brad nailer, a compressor and the list goes on. And with those tools – I AM UNSTOPPABLE.
I’ve built a coffee table, cabinet doors (yes. from scratch), and I fixed stuff. I’m a machine. And I love it! It’s caused my creative mine to think outside of ‘this is pretty’ and try to figure out ‘how can I make that pretty thing.’ I’ve even taught Keith a thing or two. Plus having a house that you OWN is so great. You can seriously do whatever you want – within reason or without. Whatever. It’s your house. Just please, dear lord, do not paint every room in your house a different color.
WAIT – My green thumb isn’t working – our money tree died.
Budgeting. Seriously… the worst. I mean, how is it that before we got married I had way more money than I do now? I’m very thankful for my husband who keeps track of our finances because moving away from your family who feeds you for free pretty regularly is sad and expensive. And you have to learn how to cook. And bills… UGH bills. Our saving grace has been Keith’s strict but understanding budget.He gets that I have to shop at least a little and so he give me ‘fun money’ and he know I love to redecorate everything all the time so he’s worked that into the budget as well.
Pretty much the deal is if I work, then I get to have fun/home decor money. It’s a pretty sucky trade off. JK!!! It’s awesome and the more I work (on the blog and Havenly.com) the more I get! YAY. I’m just super glad we’re in a place where we can enjoy ourselves and our friends without having to stress over every dollar. Not because we have a lot of money – NO WAY! But because we have control over our money instead of letting it control us! This is great because moving away means LOTS of unexpected expenses. Like did you know you have to buy a water hose? Like WHAT! And they cost money. It’s stupid. Really stupid.
Overall, we’ve been loving out time in Mississippi. Louisiana will always be out home, but Mississippi is quickly becoming our favorite place to be. We love our little house in our little community of our awesome friends. I hope you enjoyed reading todays post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Leave me some LOVE below in the comments. I’d love to hear your experience with moving or any tips you’ve got!