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So we’re leaving our home in Austin, TX in 26 days to make the trek out West. I’m not quite sure it has hit either of us yet that were are leaving all of those we love behind.  Not that we would be able to fit everyone in our suitcases (in the moving truck maybe) but I think we’ve been focusing on actually getting there and not realizing that everyone we know will not be there when we actually get there! Ha! Not to worry though, there are many many new friends to be made and new experiences to be had.

Things I’ve been working on organizing lately are our movers, somehow getting my car to PDX (we’re flying), selling Mr. Fancy Pant’s car, packing, securing our house in PDX, picking out paint for a house 2200 miles away, packing, getting rid of stuff we don’t need, packing, figuring out how to get our precious cat (who has heart disease) to Portland without putting more wear and tear on his heart, more packing, saying goodbye to friends and family, watching the number in our savings account get smaller and smaller, still packing, trying to cross off everything on our Austin “to do” list that we haven’t done yet…OH yeah.  And paying the IRS because due to an honest mistake we hadn’t paid our taxes yet– so please keep your fingers crossed they don’t come after us.  All of that on top of a full time job.  Again, moving is giving me grey hair.

The good news behind all of the money spending is we’re finally getting to invest in some furniture we’ve been saving for for a while.  First purchase for us was a set of 6 Danish modern dining room chairs from the 50s.  They are amazing. Danish modern design is one area William and I agree on almost every time.  I think I had mentioned before, Mr. Fancy Pants (with the help of some amazing guys at Austin Architectural Graphics) is building us a dining room table for the new house in Portland.  Our inspiration is a cross between the work table/desks at Public School and the two tables below:

Great industrial dining room table

Industrial Dining Table from West Elm

Here’s a look at the desks at Public School.  This picture is from the amazing people behind From your Desks.  Side note, they did an awesome two-part look into the space at Public School.  Check it out here!

Mr. Fancy Pants' desk at Public School

Like I said, we snagged these incredible chairs from the folks at Revolver Vintage. I knew these were meant to be when not only did they give me a great price, they offered to hold them for us until we get to Portland AND deliver them for free (their storefront is in SE PDX).

Chairs

Chair detail

Just lovely

Back detail

I think they’re going to look great with the rug that we have for the room.  Now if I could just decide on what color the walls should be I would be set with one room!  Here’s a glimpse of the dining room right now:

Dining Room

And if you don’t follow my irregular blog posts, here is the rug that we purchased to put in the dining room:

The best rug ever snagged from Overstock.com

Things are finally starting to come together.  We’re leaving here on Friday afternoon July 1st and the moving trucks will arrive in Portland with our truckload on Saturday morning to begin the unpacking!  To be honest, I’m pretty proud of us.  This really has been the craziest and most stressful last few months for us trying to make everything work out.  Not going to lie to you, we’ve had our arguments–followed by Mr. Fancy Pants’ stress relieving practice of Red Dead Redemption on the Xbox and me soaking/sobbing in the bath tub. Ha!  BUT at the end of the day, we’ve learned a lot about handling stress in a marriage (and what not to do) and I am excited.  Excited for what our last 26 days here have in store.  And even more excited for the next 2+ years in a whole new world.  Three cheers for new adventures!

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Johnson's Backyard Garden logo designed by Ryan Rhodes

One of these days, I WILL be a member of Johnson’s Backyard Garden.  It is not quite in our budget for the time being, however the minute it is…move out of my way, fresh produce grown locally here I come!

This is what they have to say about themselves on their site (can you say SIGN ME UP?!):

We’re a 70-acre organic Community Supported farm only five miles east of downtown Austin. Over 1,000 Austinites enjoy our homegrown, organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. We deliver boxes weekly or biweekly to convenient neighborhood locations. Our members receive produce harvested a few days, if not hours, from Austin’s own backyard.

Johnson's Backyard Garden

JBG-- volunteers cleaning and boxing the fresh produce

A few of Mr. Fancy Pants’ studio mates from Public School went to volunteer at JBG earlier in 2010. I really wish that my work schedule was conducive to doing this because it looks like great fun.  Check out the guys hard at work.

Johnson's Backyard Garden

Johnson's Backyard Garden

Here’s a sample of this past week’s box (list of what was included and photo of the amazing fresh produce):

In This Week’s Box


Week of Jan 3rd
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Carrots
Beets
Salad Turnips
Mustard Greens
Cabbage
Dill
Swiss Chard
Kohlrabi
Green Onions
Sweet Potatoes

 

CSA Share Box for the week of January 3rd

JBG-- photo from the annual potluck

Their branding was recently redone by the incredibly talented Ryan Rhodes.  I have included an amazing stop motion video of him painting the JBG farm truck below.  Check it out.  It’s pretty incredible.

JBG Farm Truck Painting from Bigger Than Giants on Vimeo.

JBG-- Farm Truck painted by Ryan Rhodes

All pictures courtesy of Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s website.  To see more about these amazing people and what they’re doing, click here.

Sometimes its strange for me to look at all of those in my life and see how different all of our lives have become and at how many different places we are in. People from my hometown, high school, college, people at work–those who are important and dear to me seem increasingly spread out all over the place.  Maybe it was because I was raised in a relatively small hometown or that I went to the same school from kindergarten until I left for college, but I was always under the impression that friends were easy to make and plentiful.  Then, I chose to go to college at the University of Alabama where I knew only two people on campus (my cousins) and made the move 9 hours away from little Texarkana, TX and said goodbye to my comfort zone. I was lucky here too and God looked out for me.  I joined a sorority, got involved with the Honors college and various other organizations and before I knew it I had more friends than I knew what to do with.  And, I love each of them dearly.  I will say I have always been one to be on the outside of groups though.  I can say this is not by conscious choice, though I have to believe that subconsciously this must be the way I like it…though I don’t understand it. What I mean by that is my friends have always been spread between many groups of people.  I get uncomfortable if I get too settled with one, narrowly set group of people–like I’m being close-minded or turning my back to others that I could meet or befriend.  So I guess that’s why I’ve always felt that I never had a set “group” to call my own.  Oddly enough, whenever I start over in a new place, that is always what I look for. Inevitably, I either do not find it or if I do I at some point distance myself.  I don’t know any other way to explain it.  Maybe I’m a wonderer…I think there is a song with those words in it somewhere…ha.

After William and I got married and moved to Austin, the most difficult reality of “growing up” that hit me was making new friends.  I’m not sure what changed, whether it be that I got married at a young age, maybe I changed in some way…I don’t know but I have decided in the past few months that being a grown up and making new friends do not always come hand in hand.  I would consider myself an outgoing person so I can guarantee you, it’s not because I’m shy.  My life went from college, when I had a lot of time for socializing, to 8+ hour work days in a big city with a new job and a new husband and I’ve decided that growing up is tough stuff.

Luckily since we’re from Texas, we knew people here in Austin when we moved (these people were life savors in the beginning, so thank you!!).  After a while though, like I said, I become restless.  I get this need to meet new people–expand my horizons.  William is involved with an awesome studio here in Austin, the Public School which has given us some great friends and so many opportunities to meet new people.  I have gotten to know several people that I work with fairly well, though, at my age most people are not married so this has posed a problem in a few situations.  Not that I am opposed at all to having single friends–a girl needs her girlfriends–however, I have found that a lot of people don’t want to go out on Friday or Saturday night with “the married girl”.  William and I also are still searching for a church home.  He and I are very strong in our faith and are hoping that a church home will provide a stable group of friends for us. However, we haven’t found a place that we feel is where God wants us which is frustrating, but I am being patient that we will find it in God’s timing.

So that’s it!  After you take those things into account, you’ve wrapped up about 90% of our week days which seems to leave such limited time for meeting new people.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying about this and have come to two realizations.  First, it’s not just me.  Meeting new friends when you’re an adult is hard and I would say especially hard when you’re married.  That includes the added complications of single friends vs. couple friends, if both spouses like/get along with the other husband and wife, etc. etc. This has provided a little comfort to me as I went through a few weeks there that I was afraid I was going to have to become a hermit. Ha!  Secondly, making friends is no longer a ‘reactive sport’.  Time is limited and meeting new people and building new relationships is 100% PROactive.  I need to make a conscious effort to continue the relationships with those I already know and love, and we have to try very hard to find ourselves in situations to ‘put ourselves out there’ to meet new people.  The way I look at it, William and I are “dating” for new friends.

We have come up with several ideas for the two of us individually and us together to make efforts to continue to bring new people in our lives.  Here’s what we’ve come up with!

  • Make it our priority to find a church home here in Austin where we can meet friends and find accountability for our faith.
  • I joined a book club (again…the reading obsession) at a local book store Book People .
  • I also joined the local alumnae club for my college sorority–yay for new girlfriends!
  • Volunteering.  Both of us want to give back to our community–this is something we will do together most likely.
  • Joining various organizations (i.e. Slow Food Austin–read about that on Thursday’s post).
  • Make an effort to have people over/go out with friends we don’t spend much time with–it is important to continue to build existing friendships as they are our support system.

I think this will be a priority and struggle for us for the rest of our lives.  William and I both feel a burden to continually expand our group of friends.  Not only to be accountable for others but to learn from them as well.  I think maybe some people come to a point in their lives where they feel there are just too many people to juggle and it becomes overwhelming.  William and I are the opposite which is why we feel so strongly about continuing to make new friends.  I know I’ll never feel like I have enough friends…I think it’s impossible.

So, I think that’s it for the day…no pictures, no images, nothing very exciting.  Just an honest view into my life–my desire to not become settled in my comfort zone, to not be closed to meeting new people and learning from them.  If you’ve struggled with this and have words of wisdom, they are more than welcome–leave me a comment, I am always in need of wisdom.  In the meantime, for all of those who are my friends who are reading this, you are wonderful and precious to me and I am thankful for you.  And for those who I don’t know or haven’t had the chance to meet, I hope this is not always the case, I hope we meet someday.