The Space We Live In

Imagine if you limited yourself to just one place and experience because nothing beyond those borders could be as perfect as where you are. It is great to love your home, but if that is your only somewhere, then there's a whole lot of nowhere out there.

During the whole move process Evan and I took some time to decompress and think about the changes we were going through. One of our final nights in Apple Valley we happened upon a little park I am sad we discovered so late in our time there. But we enjoyed laying back, looking at the stars, and pondering the importance and meaning of change in our life, especially the role of space in our move and how our new space will impact who we are, how we feel, and how we will interact with it and each other.

We think we know what to expect in the move (more space, less annoyances due to cramped space, etc.) but we don't really know until we are there living in it. I think that is what is scary about a move, but also what can be exciting -- learning how we will interact and be in this new space. Where in this new house will we create new routines? Where will we greet each other when we come home in the evening? Where will we go when we want time to ourselves? When we move we leave the established space for the unknown; we must embrace this and not shy away.

Too often we tie our identity to the space we are in, binding ourselves and limiting the space we are 'allowed' to explore. I think as humans we have a tendency to cling to space we know and understand. That's why so many people settle in one area of the country, or town, and never move. We come to identify ourselves by the birds that fly nearby, by the restaurants we frequent, by the accents of the people. There is nothing wrong with that -- it is great to be proud of where you're from and enjoy all the qualities that place has to offer. And it's natural to place your identity in those things. I too feel most myself when in a space of comfort, like riding my bike under a canopy of trees on the East Coast, relaxing on the beach to the sound of seagulls and waves, or hiking in the Black Hills.

But imagine if you limited yourself to just one place because of fear or pride, never opening yourself up to change and new experiences and the chance to see how you will develop in a new space. There is a lot of space out there to explore, all with its pros and cons, benefits and limitations; our job is finding how we can enjoy being in that space. My mom once told me that my dad is good at being himself no matter where he is -- from hiking in South Dakota to walking home from work on the crowded streets of New York City (and picking some discarded furniture up along the way!), he is always comfortable and finds adventure and whatever he needs to be happy. I truly believe we can make any space our own, we can find what we need if we keep out eyes open. I may miss the quieter countryside runs I've enjoyed while living in Apple Valley, but in the cities I can run around the lakes and enjoy being a part of that energy. I may miss our big apartment window and the views it boasted of the stars, but in the cities I can enjoy our own backyard and sitting on the front steps welcoming the morning.

After our discussion in the field that night, Evan and I decided we are going to embrace the change ahead and get out there and explore! I don't want to find myself discovering a new hidden field at our new house days before our next move -- I want to find it right away. Instead of worrying about how a space isn't the way I'm used to, I am going to find where I fit in that space and how I best resonate.

... and we're back in the game!

Yes, we're alive! Just very very busy. I cannot believe it has been 2 months since my last post! Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you get tied up in moving and working on a new house. For a while it seemed like every weekend our main focus was on something house oriented, whether it was finishing big projects like our shower, or smaller things like hanging blinds, organizing, and tackling some yard work. Just recently we have started to feel a bit more settled and can start taking time to enjoy some of our favorite hobbies -- like blogging!

And now for a quick summary on our life since my last post in July. As you probably know or realized from my previous posts/photos, we bought our house beginning of July but were still living in our apartment for a while. We didn't actually move into the house until July 31st... then we were off to an out-of-town wedding for the weekend, the following weekend was another wedding, and then we flew to New Jersey for 2 weeks of fun with my (Pearson) family! Back to Minnesota for the final week of August, which was spent with college friends in town, at the State Fair, another wedding, and driving my sister Karrin up to her new job/school experience up North. So.... we were basically living out of suitcases and boxes through most of August, and worked on our house intermittently. Evan did a great job on the shower, but it took (much) longer than we first anticipated. Luckily we belong to a gym which we frequented to use their showers... come to think of it, I think that's all I did at the gym for a few weeks ; )

Now Evan is back in school (Lakeville North High School, Chemistry and Forensic Science teacher -- recent recipient of the Blue Ribbon award!) and I am enjoying getting into a routine. One of the biggest developments to my routine will be playing in an orchestra that starts later this week! The Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra is all the way down in Northfield, and I am a bit hesitant to commit to a long commute every Thursday evening, but I figure I'll try it out this first semester and just see how it goes. I know there are more community orchestras in the area, but I am kind of excited to tap back into my Northfield roots. I think I'll take advantage of my time down there this fall and hit up the old St. Olaf cross country trails a few times!

Before I head out on a run this afternoon to enjoy some of our first fall weather, I will post a few videos and photos to help recap the last couple months:

House Progress Interview #3: getting close to moving day! / Having fun getting some "yard work" done ; )
video video

From left to right you get the general progression of the shower in its last couple stages. Of course before the cement board went up (as seen in photo at left) we had to tear down the old wall, don our plumbing hats and run pipes up to the shower -- this included soldering!, and prep the studs for the new cement board (I'm probably forgetting a few steps too). I am happy to say the shower is now up and running! Of course the rest of the bathroom is still a bit of a project, but at least we can shower in our own house -- what a luxury!

The next montage shows just a few snippets from our summer. From left to right, top to bottom you see:

Saying goodbye to Hearthstone Apartments, our first home; Visiting South Street Seaport in NYC; Sunfish Pond, the destination point on our hike in NJ where Max (dog) chased a bear and her cubs - and survived!; Evan 'stealing' eggs from the chicken coop at Howell Living History Farm, where Karrin was working in NJ; My favorite photo from our Pearson photo shoot; Kirst, Karrin and I on the chilly shores of Lake Superior in August!; E and I on our two year anniversary; E and I sharing some corn on the cob at the State Fair; Getting some yard work done...; Kirst and I up at Wolf Ridge, Karrin's new home for the year.

Many more updates to come, so stay tuned! I promise I'll be back before another 2 months have passed!

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