Last night, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. I laid in bed for a couple of hours and finally got up and started looking at house rentals on the computer. The babies weren't even stirring yet. Safe to say my mind is working overtime these days. In a month’s time we will be settled back in Austin. So crazy to think about.
Although it has been stressful at times, the past year and a half has been a huge learning experience. I learned never to buy a condo when the market is about to take a nose dive! Ha. Seriously, I learned a lot about real estate. Should I ever want to buy again, I will know what to look for -- and watch out for -- in a realtor and in a property. I also learned that the grass is not always greener and realized how lucky I was to live in a city like Austin, which has so much to offer in terms of nice weather, music and art scene, friendly people, vegan-friendly dining, and activities for kids. When I was attending college in Oklahoma, I always loved driving down to Austin to see bands play and hang out. I wanted to move there for a long time. It just took awhile to realize that dream. Once I got down there, I was so happy. But then we bought the condo and quickly discovered what a money pit it was (and how gross some of the other tenants were -- ugh, the stories I could tell!) Also, Tony and I were having a hard time, as I think a lot of couples do when they first become parents, and I wasn't loving my job, either. Put all that together and I was becoming quite the bitter little pill.
Who would have known that Tony losing his job was really a blessing? We went through several months of thinking we were going to be foreclosed and our finances would be screwed forever. And we had to move to upstate New York, an area I had never even thought about visiting. But in the end, it made me stronger. If I can pack up everything I own and move 2000 miles to a place where I have no family or friends, with a 1-year-old in tow, while extremely pregnant mind you, I can do just about anything and get through it. And that is a good thing to learn about yourself.
We were able to sell the condo and get back on our feet financially. As much as I bitch about certain aspects of the East Coast (seriously, winter, I give up, you have beaten me, it's okay to retreat now), I'm thrilled that I got to visit Boston and Montreal, and of course all our day trips to New York City. And now that this chapter of my life is coming to an end, I'm getting a second chance to appreciate all that is good about Texas, and raise my family there as I intended.
In less than three weeks, we're setting out on a road trip, stopping in Nashville and Memphis and I'm not sure where else along the way. We are going to find a place to live once we get there. I've never done anything like that, just packed up and hit the road with no forwarding address. I can't wait.
So, uh, I guess this is a food blog, yes? Where does food come in? Well, I'm trying to use up stuff I have in my freezer and fridge. Dry goods can be packed and shipped. I hate to toss anything. So my meals might be sort of...interesting...for the next several days.
Last night I made Moroccan Lentil Stew, from Vegan on the Cheap.
My slow cooker gave off a horrible burning smell as it started to heat up. You know when you turn on the heater in a motel room and you can tell it hasn't been used for awhile because it smells like burning dust? It was like that. I was pretty scared; I really didn't want to get electrocuted while making soup. But I turned it down to low for awhile and the smell went away. I'm not sure my 1970s crockpot will be making the move with me. Sorry, buddy.I also made a huge batch of kale chips, using Averie's recipe. Best snack ever. Here they are ready to go in the oven. I don't have a dehydrator but the oven works fine.
Even though Olivia just got her two front teeth, for a grand total of four, she wants to eat everything she sees us eating. She loves to gnaw on the kale leaves until there's nothing left but a few soggy strands.
If you've gotten this far, thank you for reading my thoughts on moving and everything. Writing helps me clear my head. Have a great day!