Good, Long Distance Friendship is Hard But So Worth it

Woman getting into car

I cry every time she arrives, and I cry every time she leaves. Because each time I see her, I feel a little more like myself, and each time she leaves, I feel like a big piece of my heart drives away in her car.

Because one of my very dearest friends lives far away. And it’s just hard.

We can’t just hop in the car and meet for coffee.

We don’t make weekly shopping runs to Target when we both need to get out of the house, and I can’t run her over a plate of cookies when she has had a bad day.

I can’t show up on her front porch when I’ve gotten bad news or sit on her couch in tears when life gets hard. And she can’t drop by unannounced because she has something exciting that she can’t wait to tell me.

We can’t do everyday life together. And it kind of breaks my heart and I’ll always wonder what life would be like if we could live closer.

But you know what we can do?

We can FaceTime like the bosses we are. Even while we are feeding babies, folding clothes, changing diapers.

We can send each other cards and flowers, and when we do get to see each other, we usually show up with gifts and chocolate.

I can still call her and hear her reassuring voice, and she can call me when life gets hard. We give each other knowing looks over FaceTime, and they still translate when we are in person.

Because even in friendship, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the time together sweeter.

When we do get together, our hugs are long and precious. We don’t take for granted being able to look one another in the eyes and really listen. We laugh more in the few hours or days that we have than we do with anyone else, and the knowing of each other’s hearts is so evident, even though we have our differences. We brag about our husbands and giggle (and cry) about our kids and we STILL share life together like no time has passed.

Which is why it makes her driving away just hard. But friendship . . . good, long distance friendship is hard, but so worth it. Yes, every time she leaves, she takes away a piece of my heart. But she always brings it back the next time I see her.

Originally published on From Blacktop to Dirt Road.

The adventure of moving to Austin – Summer of 2020

Once Hubman accepted his new job, we started on what was next. The move. We came back to the Austin area a few times over the summer to look at homes. It wasn’t easy because I really didn’t want to be right in the middle of a big city and hubman didn’t want to be out in the sticks, (to be fair, I didn’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere either) so we searched and searched for something that was somewhere in the middle.

Living just a few miles from the ballpark in Arlington, the Cowboys Stadium, 3 huge malls and having I-20 quite literally in our backyard had taken it’s toll on me. I was sick of true city life, but I’m certainly no country bumpkin either. We both wanted to be close enough to the city to have fun and enjoy the conveniences that come with it, but also far enough away to not hear a highway when we stepped outside or sit in mall traffic when just running up to the grocery store. I wanted 5 bedrooms, (more on that later) a pool that I didn’t have to clean, and lots of trees. I didn’t want a back neighbor, because sitting on my back patio without being stared at over the fence is simply no longer an option for me. I wanted trees and a creek and nature, but people too, definitely people.

Hubman wanted the suburbs and a white picket fence neighborhood. He wanted a new community with room for growth, as close to the city as possible without actually being in the city. He wanted me to make friends with neighbors who had pools so he wouldn’t have to deal with one, (Okay, that’s fair.) We both wanted a big kitchen with lots of storage. We wanted lots of rooms, and an open floor plan. We knew for sure that two stories wasn’t an option, so at least we agreed on that. He wanted 4 bedrooms so he could have his office and I could keep the guest bedroom for our family and friends to feel welcome in our home.

So many requirements that we wanted and nothing was checking those boxes. How in the world would we ever find a compromise so that both of us could have some of the things we wanted?

We searched and searched for the perfect home and finally found the cutest neighborhood on the outskirts of Austin. There are many amazing things about this neighborhood: The location, low taxes, lots of beautiful trees and nature around, a community pool that we don’t have to clean or maintain, decent schools, an awesome hangout right down the road with live music, and a just a few empty lots for us to build upon…

Yep, you read that right! We are building!

My most favorite part about this whole thing so far is the lot that we chose. It’s right on a green belt at the top of a hill so we’ll have no back neighbors and a view with trees. We’ll still have neighbors right next door, (entirely too close for my comfort but – compromise) but we get the trees and the nature that I was so very adamant about. We fell in love with a certain model and from that moment on we’ve never really looked back. Even as we kept looking at other houses to be sure that this is really what we wanted, we kept coming back to the option of building.

A full view of our lot – pardon the construction mess.
Our future back yard – a close up of all the beautiful trees.

We met with our DFW realtor and got a solid game plan in order for our current home. It was then that we finally made the decision that we would move forward with building our own home. However, now we had to figure out where we would live while the house was being built. Luckily I was still working remote due to COVID-19 and hubman’s new job allowed him to stay put for a few months because they too are working remote due to the pandemic. This allowed us to gather our thoughts, and get our ducks *somewhat* in a row. We didn’t have to rush into anything crazy.

Our DFW realtor was super helpful and found us the perfect realtor in Austin. We’ve been so lucky in having 2 perfectly amazing realtors that have our best interest in mind and we get along with so well. We couldn’t have asked for better people to lead us on this journey and both of them have been there for us each step of the way. DFW and Austin friends – if you need a realtor, just let me know!

We met with our realtor in Austin and dare I say, I made a friend. She’s the coolest soul with an awesome personality! We immediately started the search for the perfect temporary rent house. After coming up short each time, and quite frankly feeling a bit defeated, we finally just took what we could get since we knew it would be super temporary. She knew what we were looking for and found us a cute 2 story house in the perfect location and all the paperwork was signed. We finally had a move date & this whole dream was starting to become very real.

Cute little rental right on the corner.
The shapes around here are so unique.
Never thought I’d love a green door.

Stay tuned to hear about the packing and moving experience. We aren’t done yet, friends. This story is only just beginning.

Until next time, my beautiful friends, sing loud in the shower and drink champagne from the bottle. Life is short and you deserve to be truly happy and free!

Promise yourself

I came across this poem a long while ago. It’s something that I read on the regular to keep my head space focused and clear.

I thought I would share it with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Promise yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Christian D. Larson

Until the next post, wander like you’re lost, you might just find yourself – and remember that I love your gorgeous soul!

2020 hasn’t been ALL bad

2020. It started off with me being in a “winter blues” kind of depression. I had just started a new job back in December and I was missing my old normal, my old coworkers, my old commute, and quite honestly pretty much everything. I had made a change that didn’t quite feel comfortable just yet. The holidays were hard enough last year, and the start of 2020 didn’t have anything good going for it either.

After I finished training at the new job, I was able to start making a few friends with my new team. That lasted all of a month or so before the entire world got knocked on our asses and locked up due to the pandemic. Oh COVID-19, how you’ve shaped so much this year. SO MUCH.

In mid March, I was sent home to work remotely for about 6 months. During this time I saw less than 10 people. I used video calls, Snapchat, and Zoom meetings to see people’s faces. Just like the rest of the world, I was locked in my home. Thankfully I at least had my music, my husband, our 2 cats and WIFI. (Thank goodness for the internet, am I right?) This did a lot of damage to my already not so great mental state, that’s for sure.

Fast forward to the 1st of May when my birthday rolled around, by this point I was just angry. I missed my family and friends. I missed going bowling and to the movies with my husband. I was ready to get out of that house. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was then that I decided, since I have to be home all the time, and there was no chance of us moving anytime soon, I might as well finally make the house that we had been living in for over 8 years feel like a home and start decorating and organizing. I spent all my free time either running outdoors to get some sort of endorphine release or in the house organizing ALL the things.

A quick little update for those of you following my weight loss journey – I’m still on the road to my ultimate goal. It’s been a hell of a time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Most of June was spent sitting on my ass due to some major knee injuries… And they said running is good for you. HA! After another month of not being able to move, I decided I needed to get to the river. I needed that cold river water, time with my family, some strong drinks and fireworks, but mostly to get out of that damn house. I was going insane. So the weekend of July 4th, the husband and I packed up for a long weekend and headed down south.

If you know me at all, you know that I’ve always hated living in north Texas. I’ve never really felt at home there, even as a child, I remember always telling my parents that I wanted to live down south. Each time we would go on vacation, the moment we would get to central Texas, I would stare out the window and just dream of living somewhere in that area. I have always fascinated by Austin or Kingsville and nobody could understand why. I’ve just always had this pull to be somewhere in central or south Texas.

As I was sitting in the river with my husband that hot July 4th weekend, I couldn’t shake the feeling coming over me of “WE NEED TO LIVE DOWN HERE” out of my soul. The pull was so strong at that moment. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. After 10 years of mentioning to my husband that I would pack up without hesitation and move down to central Texas in a heartbeat, I said it again. On the ride home, we talked about moving and how he would need to find a job in the area.

I’ll spare you all the details of how it happened, but by the end of July, it was pretty much set in stone that we would finally be moving to central Texas and the dream was finally coming true! Hubman found an amazing company to work for and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more happy.

There are tons of exciting things happening – but this post is long enough for now. I can’t wait to share more exciting things about our new adventure. I’ll be posting lots of updates here so be sure to check back often for all kinds of fun things happening in our lives.

Until next time, stay wild you beautiful soul, and remember NEVER to give up on your dreams!