Out of Place

It was my turn to pick out a dinner spot. I did my due diligence and yelped the heck out of our options. I picked a French restaurant that was very well reviewed and off we headed.

Chad and I have very different styles of making decisions. I spend about 2 minutes in total researching different options and then I go with my best educated guess. Chad spends weeks, months, if not YEARS, researching different options, reading extensive reviews, talking to people, and trying things out. We noticed this difference very quickly when we renovated our first home together, just months into our marriage. On the record, I will not say that one style is better than the other. But off the record, I would concede and say that Chad’s style always ends in better results. I’m just too lazy to do the full amount of work that he puts into decision making.

The first sign that my restaurant choice may not have been the best is when the host asked “Can I help you?” Well obviously, we came for dinner. My eyes darted around the restaurant. Oh no. White tablecloths. Candles. Wine glasses already on tables. The restaurant was full, but it was so….how do I best put this? QUIET. My gaze returned to our motley crew. Chad per usual was in golf attire, I was in my obnoxiously pink leggings and a running top, and best of all, Avery was wearing her T-shirt that has a puppy and kitty wearing sun glasses. (Alice actually looked decent).

The host sullenly led us to a table. After we were seated, Chad shot me “the look”. He had a crazy look in his eyes and his mouth twitched as he tried to suppress a smile. This is the same look he gave me when I set up an interview for a nanny potential at our home; shortly after she arrived we learned that she was homeless. My bad.

It was a stressful meal. Of course there was no kids menu at this classy place, and definitely no crayons and paper. Alice took off her diaper so casually that I didn’t figure it out until I saw a wet diaper sitting next to me. She contributed to conversation with, “ ‘Scuse me, I burped” and “WHY IS THERE A SPIDER IN HERE?” in her yelling voice. The waiter wondered if the (super nice) water glasses would be appropriate for the girls? I confirmed that unless he liked cleaning up broken glass, this would be a bad idea. The girls feasted on a caprese salad (the closest thing to a kid friendly meal they had). And by feasted, I mean, they ate all the tomatoes and decided they didn’t like the rest. I supplemented the rest of the meal with the orange tic tacs I keep in my bag for emergency situations such as these.

If you’ve ever moved, changed jobs, or experienced a first day at a new school, you have probably experienced a similar moment. It’s that feeling of, “I am so out of place here”. It is never a fun feeling to experience, but I’ve found that it usually means I am on the right track to adjusting. To feel “in place” or like “these are my people” we have to jump out of our comfort zones and try new things. It may not immediately lead us to a feeling of belonging, but it will bring us a step closer.

Here is to trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone, and finding your spot. May you find your people and your places. May you have the humor to laugh off the awkward moments and the grace to be kind to others when they might be experiencing such a moment.

And for now, we will be dining at McDonalds- the ones with a happy place.




Run, Forrest!

I went on my first run in Florida. My motivation to head out the door was the exact same as in our MN days. The girls were grumpy and I needed a break. I laced up my shoes and snuck out of the house, leaving Chad in charge of our children who I lovingly refer to as “the terrorists”.

Before I continue my story, I’d like to clarify that I did let Chad know that I would be going on a run. I didn’t sneak out without informing him. That would be unkind, although I have strongly considered it on many occasions.

I was expecting the heat to be unbearable and the run to feel miserable due to my lack of consistent exercise in the month leading up to our move. As I slowly but surely began the first leg of my run, my mind flashed back to my last Minnesota run. I remembered soaking up the views of pine trees and enjoying the characteristically cool weather that I knew I wouldn’t have in Florida. I remember the pit in my stomach as I wondered whether this (moving) was a really stupid idea. But as I finished that last Minnesota run, I remember feeling peace. Or maybe acceptance. Or maybe I was just too dang tired to feel anything else but okay with what we were doing.

And just like then, I felt okay now. I soaked in the tropical beauty of Florida. I enjoyed the sunny weather. The sweat. The endorphins. And the knowledge that I could eat double dessert tonight without feeling guilty. I warily eyed the ponds I ran next to, expecting an alligator to jump out at any minute. I thought about what I would do if I was attacked by an alligator. If he got one leg, should I tourniquet it and hop off on my remaining leg? Nah, I was too tired. I would just let the gator win and finally rest in peace for the first time since having kids.

Our time in Florida is off to a good start! The girls are needing some time to adjust- they’ve been pretty grumpy and are requiring more sleep since getting here. We have made it to either the beach or pool every day (minus one when Avery had a fever) and are starting to meet the people in our gated community. We are by far the youngest people- but everyone is very sweet and seem to be enjoying having some cute (terrorist) kids around.

Hurricane Dorian hasn’t really impacted where we are living. A few businesses boarded up, but the only thing we’ve noticed is a bit more rain. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Bahamas who got pummeled by the storm.

Sending love to all back home,



Week 1: Highlights, Lowlights


  • Key lime pie from Sweet Melissa’s. Easily the best key lime pie that exists
  • Ice cream- a lot of it
  • Getting hit on by an 80 year old in a speedo- Chad better watch out
  • Manatee spotting
  • Simply being able to spend a lot of our time out in the sun every day
  • Beach swim on Sunday night when the water was uncharacteristically wavy. It reminded me of a childhood trip to the Outer Banks, NC where we spent our days swimming in the big waves.


  • Grumpy kids
  • Discovering Avery has an extreme fear of seagulls. SEAGULLS. Our visit to the beach was rather traumatic for her and everyone trying to relax near us.
  • Too many old men wearing speedo’s


Blog Post #1

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

I’d like to preface this post with a huge thank you to all the family and friends who pitched in to help us make this move a reality. We could not have done it without you. You reminded us just how loved we are (and how sad we are to be moving away).

It simultaneously feels like just a few weeks ago and years ago that we made the decision to move. We packed a lot of things into a short space of time- prepping the house for sale, listing, packing and moving. In retrospect, what we did was slightly crazy. But at the same time, maybe we are moving at the same pace we always have. 

I smile when I think of the memory of agreeing to marry almost forcing strongly encouraging Chad to propose after a little over a year of dating.  Planning a wedding in 7 months. Finding out we were pregnant a week after returning from our honeymoon, on the same day we finalized an offer on our first home. Welcoming Alice Jane less than 2 years after welcoming Avery Marie.  Maybe this is just our pace. 

I’d like to report that we safely made it to our new home in Estero, FL. Chad and I drove our cars from MN to FL over 3 days while Chad’s parents graciously watched Avery and Alice. I was surprised to learn that I love road trips (without children). The drive had a very calming effect, especially after our harried last days of cleaning the MN house and preparing for closing. 

Florida greeted us with its heat and humidity (felt like 101 degrees with 71% humidity on day of arrival) and my hair responded appropriately.  Endless frizz. After arriving in FL on Monday, I boarded a plane back to Iowa on Tuesday to pick up the girls. I was tired, but at least I wasn’t driving. I spent a quick night in Iowa and then flew back to Florida with girls in tow on Wednesday morning (imagine, 6am flight with 2 and 4 year old). 

I expected that the flight with the girls would be painful. 1) They’ve had a boatload of change over the last month, but especially within the last week. 2) We had to get up at 3:30am. 3) I was traveling solo with them (no Chad backup).  The flight involved some bribery with gummies and tablets. We experienced a few tantrums, with one per usual being on the airport bathroom floor (by the regular culprit). Alice developed a fever while on the plane. But all in all, it was much smoother than expected. 

We made it to the beach on Wednesday night after a seafood dinner. As the sun began to set we watched the girls splash around & our hearts felt full. We brought two sandy, sleepy girls home and tucked them into their new beds. 

More to come soon,


PS. Yes, we’ve filled our gas tanks, stocked up on water and canned food.  Crossing our fingers that hurricane Dorian disappears. Or something like that.  


A Brief Introduction

I wanted a platform to provide updates to our family and friends as we embark on this adventure in our lives. I hope to put out a post on a weekly basis. Thanks for stopping by!