No other words can more accurately fit how I feel as I write this post.
We have been in Austin officially for one year.
One year ago we were sleeping on our deflating air mattress in a new apartment, new city, new world that we didn't know, yet were wildly anxious to discover.
Leading up to our big move, we had heard so much about Texas. Among these things . . .
HEB - Texas' favorite grocery store
The People - you're going to LOVE them
The Heat - July and August feel like the equivalent to sticking your head in a hot oven
The BBQ - Nothing can compare
The Texas Pride - Texas people LOVE Texas and everything that comes with it
The Bugs - Prepare yourself.
The Football - Need I say more?
It felt surreal to think that we were moving to Texas - after all it was not even a year earlier that we had done a cross country move to Seattle from Florida and now here we were just weeks away from another cross country move and in less than two years.
Think we were crazy? Perhaps we were and still are.
This move, unlike Florida, was hard. We were leaving family and although we knew it was the right choice for us and our future, it was just plain tough.
But - we did it. We packed up our little apartment that we loved, packed a Uhaul full and stuffed our car until we couldn't anymore and then a couple of coffees, bagels and few tears later, we were on the road.
Fast forward to today, one year later and my goodness what a year it's been.
So in honor of this week being our 1 year anniversary of living in Austin, I thought I'd reflect on all that this year has been - the good's, the bad's and everything in between.
And to kick it off - here is our first picture ever taken in Austin.
We had no idea where to go or what to do, all we knew is that we were hungry and we had no food. So I recognized Sprouts, a grocery store from back home, just down the road from our new house and we snagged some sandwiches from there for lunch.
A peek at our new little apartment
Our first night in Austin we decided to go and check out The Domain and ended up having dinner there at a Restaurant called North Italia.
Day 2 in Austin sent this guy off to a job interview!
Day 3 in Austin brought my very sweet parents.
They stayed in our house with us when we had no couch, no table, no bed, no nothing . . . and they did it with the best attitude.
Along with doing all the moving things, we did all of the "Austin" things and experienced this new city together. It was fun, exhausting and not to mention hot ( FYI: August = NOT the time to move to Austin)
Our second weekend in Austin just so happened to be our 1st anniversary. We had heard a lot of good things about this restaurant downtown and so we decided to go for our anniversary, which was on a Monday (Labor Day). We didn't think it would be busy so we didn't make a reservation (oops!) and we when we got there they said it was a 1 hour wait. Yikes!
We were passed the point of starving and still didn't know really anything about this city and the only place we knew was the Domain, near our house, so we headed back up that way and literally found the first restaurant that we could find that looked decent.
That restaurant? Shake Shack.
For those who know what Shake Shack is know that this is not really an anniversary kind of place, however it was really yummy.
To read my whole 1st anniversary story, click here.
A definite highlight from this year was seeing one of my absolute favorite artists, Suzy Bogguss, in concert.
Taylor surprised me with tickets for our anniversary.
Her concert will easily go down as one of my all time favorites, ever.
As many of you know, we moved to Austin due to Taylor getting accepted into a Physical Therapy program down here. On one of our first weekends here we got to meet one of his classmates and his wife and they have since become some of our closest friends.
When I say that I don't know what I would do without this girl, especially those first few weeks, I mean it. To have had a couple in the same position as we were in was simply a massive blessing from God and still is today.
About a month or so after being in Austin, Taylor and I started this marriage class that I had bought for us. I blogged after each lesson every week, which you can see here!
In October, Taylor's mom and my parents, flew down here for the Silobration at Magnolia. We had the BEST time and we LOVED having these guys be our first visitors to Texas!
When we moved down here, one of the first things that we did was make a list of all the things that we wanted to do while living in Texas. One of the things on our list was "attend a Texas high school football game" and so in October we found a high school near our house and went to our first Texas high school football game. It was so fun and now we've sort of adopted this high school as our local spot to catch the Friday night lights.
This day was also the first time we realized that Texas actually does gets cold every now and again (hence the hat, scarves, and gloves)
November brought our first Texas thanksgiving and Taylor took the opportunity to cook his first ever Turkey, which I am happy to announce was a HIT.
We followed up our Thanksgiving dinner with one of our favorite traditions.
No makeup, tired eyes, full bellies, pajamas and staying up all night can only equal one thing . . . Black Friday Shopping.
And then before we knew it, it was our all time favorite season - CHRISTMAS!
We had our first experience cutting down a Texas Christmas Tree, which included an almost 85 degree day and hay bales. #werenotinseattleanymore
Cutting down our Christmas tree is one of my favorite things to do at Christmas time and even though I knew that it was going to be in the mid 80's when we went to the tree farm, I somehow told myself that 80 degrees isn't that hot and opted to wear jeans, a long sleeve shirt and boots . . . it was terrible and I looked ridiculous among everyone else strutting around in the shorts, tank tops and flip flops.
Oh well. It was HOT, yes, but FUN!
And most importantly, we got our tree.
We went back to Seattle for Christmas, but before we left we had to take our annual photo with Santa - Taylor and I started this tradition the year we began dating and now every year we take a photo with Santa.
This year we headed up to Magnolia in Waco and got our Santa picture there and I made my Christmas wish, which was to "get a job at Magnolia". Still dreaming about that one!
This last years Santa photo might be my favorite.
Soon after our little trip to Magnolia we were on our way to Seattle to celebrate Christmas with the fam! Christmas morning there we woke up to the most beautiful white Christmas. #werenotinTexasanymore
Once we got back to Austin after Christmas, our life slowed down a bit and nothing overly crazy happened - just simple, everyday life.
March soon rolled around and Taylor's mama flew down to go with me for a weekend trip I had in Waco!
And then immediately after that weekend (literally the day we got back to Austin) two of my best college girlfriends flew in to spend the week with me!
I actually ended up getting sick and was fighting whatever I had for the whole week that they were here - total bummer, but we tried to make the best of it and it was just so fun just being together, even if we didn't do anything.
April then rolled around and we headed back home to Colorado for my baby sisters wedding!
To read my sister's wedding week recap, click here! Seriously such a FUN week.
And then before we knew it, MAY was here and I was just plain nervous.
This was the month I had been anxiously awaiting for since we had signed up for the Silo District Half Marathon only 4 months earlier. WHAT.
But it came and went and I RAN MY FIRST HALF MARATHON EVER.
My parents, sister and her husband all came down to watch us run!
All 6 of us stayed TOGETHER in this dinky, small town motel the night of the marathon and it was an experience to say the least, but it may be one of my favorite memories.
To read my marathon recap, click here!
May also brought the engagement of our sweet friends!
AND we to the Kenny Chesney concert. Whew, May was busy, but so fun.
In June we took a little weekend trip and I think Taylor and I would agree and say that this trip is probably one of our favorite things we've done since being in Texas.
We went up to Mckinney (north of Dallas) and spent the weekend in a little airbnb and we LOVED it.
I follow some bloggers who live in Mckinney and they always talk about their cute little town and how much they love it and since moving here, it has been on my list to visit. We finally made it up there and totally fell in love with the city. It was just so us.
I kept taking photos of the city and forgot to get many photos of us. This is the only photo of us from that weekend, featuring our really cute airbnb.
All of the sudden it was July and it hit me that our first year in Texas was coming to an end - where did the time go?!
July is always one of my favorite months, mostly because I love the Fourth of July.
This year we hosted at our house and we made the Gaines Brothers Burgers from Joanna Gaines Cookbook - soooo delicious!
July went by in a flash and then it was August and time for our very much anticipated vacation. At the end of August Taylor + I headed up to my family's lake house in Minnesota for a week. We met my parents, sisters, their families, cousins + aunt and uncle there - it was a FULL house, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.
The lake, as we refer to it, is one of my very favorite places to go. I love it for so many reasons and it's a place that my family has gone to year after year, and to be able to bring Taylor there this year was super special.
After a lake filled week, we made it home just in time to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and the fact that we had made it one year living in this new place.
Whew! And that wraps up our first year in Austin. This year has been so special. I'm realizing as I close this post that this is the first time (for me) since graduating high school in 2010 that I will be living in the same place for more than a year. I can't wait to see what this next year holds! Feeling so blessed for all of our friends in Austin that have made us feel at "home" this past year - it would've been a much different year without you!
While there have been several times this past year that I have fallen deep into homesickness, I can say in all honestly that although moving and change is difficult, it is worth it. My parents have always reminded me that I can always come home, so go on the adventure. I love that advice and try to remind myself of it often. For those of you contemplating a big change, a move perhaps, new job or anything that seems too risky - do it. You can always go back home. Remember that.
Cheers to another year of adventures!
I'm Emilee. 26. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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