Into the light!

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Pikes sunrise

…I see the light! In a good way. I haven’t had time to blog (isn’t that always the excuse?). Or I should say, “my life has been so crazy and stressful and changing, I had to set anything that wasn’t essential, aside.” So, blogging was one of those things.

What has happened since the last time I blogged? Gosh, when was that? Let me check…Jan 28. Bwahahahahahaha! Well, exactly a month after that blog, I was standing on a street in Colorado with full list of rental houses to check out. How did I get there?

Well, the last blog I wrote I as close to having peace and I could see the light. My husband had one offer in Virginia (at Quantico, DoD). An excellent job and offer, doing what he has studied and trained to do. An area we know well, were comfortable with, but not ideal (expensive, too far from the mountains/active lifestyle, but we’d make it work). He was thrilled about it…until Jan. when he progressed though the interview process with an opportunity in Colorado. We just didn’t think it would ever work out. Over 150 applicants, not gov’t related (what he had been focusing on), and when it seemed like he was a top contender, we didn’t think the offer would come close to the VA offer. Well, it did. And then some. The benefits were better, more stable work hours (not at the mercy of when units want to train), and COLORADO. All along I’ve told him that I would move wherever his job took him (within reason NEVER THE MIDWEST, my opinion did matter), as we moved to the New Orleans area for me. So, it’s his turn. I told him we could be happy at either location, but I have no shame in saying now that I pushed for CO. It’s more “us”. Way more us.

So, a week after he got an offer, he left Lake Placid, went to Ohio, came back to Nola. Less than a week after that we were on the road to CO.

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Cadillac Ranch. Finest TX has to offer.

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Found an old friend on our first day!

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Girl Scouts at the library. He couldn’t resist.

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Hotel takeout and House of Cards binge watching

I spent his first week of working desperately searching for a place to live…the rental market is insanely competitive! For instance, we found a charming little house and looked at it at 9:15am one morning. When we arrived, another couple was there (9am showing). We left that house to STAND IN LINE for an open house (for a rental!). Interviewed with the landlord. Put in application. Left there and went to the library and put in an application for first house. The next day we got a call that the 9am couple put in an application LESS THAN AN HOUR before us and they were approved. I did another interview with house 2, and we were one of the “top 3,” but didn’t get it. WTF.
Some highlights of our stressful week:

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Cozy mountain house: not bad for our first local dinner with friends.

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When there isn’t room in the freezer, apparently the porch is an acceptable option.

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Cute!

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Pickle bar?! Be still my heart.

We can pickle that!

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Neighborhood view.

On my last scheduled day there, I had all but given up and accepted the fact that we’d rent an apt for 3-6mo and buy a house. We had originally planned to live there for a year, then buy next spring/summer. I was leaving worried, not knowing when I’d be back. See, I didn’t want to move all our things and the children dogs until I knew we had a place to live!
I looked at the house, had a long interview with the landlord hanging out by the wood burning stove in the living room…paid her all the money, and immediately drove back to Denver since my flight was the next morning. Stopped at Whole Foods, rudely texted Bridget asking to celebrate that evening on no notice, picked up some fun things, picked up K from his conference, and went to her house. Oh, did I mention how awesome it is to have people I know that I can text and see within a couple hours?! FRIENDS! I’ve missed them!
In the end, everything worked out. I found something and I think it’s going to be great. It’s an old cottage (100 years) last remodeled in the 70’s-80’s. Haha. But the neighborhood seems great and our landlord is the bomb. Super cool and laid back, big time cyclist. She didn’t flinch when I said the 3rd bedroom would be the “bike room”. She replied “oh, any bike person is good in my book!” (I’m not the bike person, he is) We got along great and we both think we’re a ‘good fit’ and she felt that was important.

Some points I sent out in an email to my family (with some edits for privacy):

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IVYWILD. How will I not walk here every day for coffee? First world probs.

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The rest of the house may be outdated, but the working stove sealed the deal.

“We’re in the revitalizing Ivywild neighborhood. Ivywild is a huge, old school.  They have: a coffee shop, a bakery, a charcuterie, a farmers market, a bike shop (K is excited about that) and a brewery…all in the school. The old gym of the school is still used as a gym with workouts and movie nights.
The house is about 15min from Pikes Peak. That’s just one of the many hiking areas. So many mountains and trails are close and all the ski resorts are about 2 hours (with lesser known ones closer).

It’s less than 10min (about 7, parking to parking) to Garden of the Gods, a huge free park with 15miles of trails for walking and hiking. Great rock formations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_the_Gods

2.8 miles from 7 Falls, a waterfall park. It has some trails, but has tons of stairs to climb to the top of the falls.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33364-d276141-Reviews-Seven_Falls-Colorado_Springs_El_Paso_County_Colorado.html

Finally, Red Rocks is a park and amphitheater. It’s 4mi west near the Gods and Pikes peak. It’s open for hiking, climbing rocks, running in the amphitheater, when there aren’t concerts. Also free. ”

What I found out while browsing the web at the airport* to fly back to Nola, was that the best CrossFit & Weightlifting Club gym in the city is really close. REALLY close. Walkable, ride-able, maybe 5min in the car depending on stop lights? CLOSE.
* I do not recommend Googling something that has the potential to be VERY EXCITING, or you may end up not stepping on the airport escalator correctly, and falling down. In front of many people. I was that person.

SUCH a far cry from our life the past 2.5 years. Our gym was an hour away. Great restaurants and farmers markets and Whole Foods was 45min-1hr. All this stuff…just about walking distance now…AND running, riding or a short car ride to all the outdoor activities that were our priority (why we wanted to live on the West Side of town).

There you have it! We are THRILLED. I think I’ve found my place. And already, some people. (I’ve missed having friends close!) Or, at least my state. I’ve loved CO since I was a kid. I told K that he will have to drag me out, kicking and screaming. I’m ready to settle. I told him that I really don’t think I’ll want to leave CO, unless it was another western state like UT. Maybe.

imageNow, I’m back in the Dirrrty South, packing up our house. We’re I’m doing a POD move. Expensive, but we don’t have enough household goods to justify a moving company 18-wheeler (and more expensive), and a U-Haul is ridiculous, not reliable, and takes forever. Not to mention, I’m probably driving back to CO alone, and I wasn’t driving a U-Haul across TX and pull the car on a trailer. So stressful. Anyway, so far I’m a fan of the POD situation.

I’ll be back in CO soon, once the POD is picked up and I finalize my travel plans (can’t drive across TX and not see friends and sightsee!). I should be settled in the new house well before April 1, which has been my mental “life will be different and settled by then” date that I gave myself in Dec. So, it’s been a long several months, but totally happy with the way it’s all worked out.

Don’t expect another update for several weeks. I’ll just be realistic about that this time.

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Shouldn’t have gone to REI on our first day, and 3rd day, and 4th day…

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