Settling In

We have been in our rental home in Centralia for a little over a week and it’s amazing what has gotten done in such as short amount of time.

The road trip went well.  Kira loved the car rides, rest stops, and adapted quickly to the  routine. We found several pet friendly hotel chains including Super 8 and Quality Inn that made it easier with our pet.

We arrived Sunday afternoon the 13th after five full days on the road. We got keys to the home, and met up with my mother and in-laws who helped us unpack the moving truck.

With their help, mainly Luke and John, we got the truck completely unpacked before dark on Sunday. Monday was spent organizing the boxes and unpacking the essentials. By the end of that day we had the kitchen mostly unpacked and furniture arranged in our room and the living room/dining room.

Although this home is much smaller than our Wayland home, it is still larger then the home we had in Corning, and we have enough garage space and attic room for all of our boxes. The only things that will be missed are the dishwasher and microwave. But we’ve lived without both of them before.

We gave the in-laws a tour of the area on Tuesday then they returned home. My mother stayed the rest of the week to help me organize the house. Together we were able to get the house cleaned, organize the boxes that were left, and take care of a few “new address and state” related business items while Luke started his new job.

Even though I have lived most of my life in the suburbs, the past two years of quiet country life has definitely changed me.

We are only a block or two from the college, there is a day-care around the corner, and we are only a few streets away from old downtown Centralia. All of this makes for easy access to a lot of stores, but it also increases the street traffic and noises outside. Speaking of noise, since we are in “hub city” we also hear freight trains at all hours of the day.

Again these are only temporary adjustments. In the mean time it is hard to believe we are ten to fifteen minutes away from all that we could need: restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacy, gas stations, the freeway, the hospital, Luke’s work, and we are not far from entertainment like a movie theatre, a bowling alley, mini golf, and a roller rink. Plus we are now in the same time zone as family and friends, making it easier to find time to talk and Skype.

We are beyond grateful and blessed for the help we received getting here and getting settled in, and for our new home in Centralia WA.


Spring is coming

Cherry blossom tree at Easter in Seattle

It is still cold outside but there is hope as things are slowly thawing. We are not used to long winters with snowy temps. from October-March. We are told this was a normal to light winter-eek!

Fortunately spring is coming and we have finally moved out of the “settling-in” stage. Luke mentioned to me that he feels like we have finally arrived-things are beginning to feel well . . .  normal. We have been married for 5 months now and the newness of it all is starting to fade . . in a good way.

Our “settling-in” phase was such a scramble. Everything was new, scary, exciting, and anxiety producing. Any little task around the house, errand, or decision was a monumental “first” which involved talking, compromise, patience, and grace.

We are now ready for a new phase I call “branching out”;  it’s time to get involved in the community.

fall leaves on campus 010

Now that I have gotten a grasp of some of my wifely responsibilities I am ready to begin the job of finding a job. It is time for me to find my purpose and place here in New York.

As I make phone calls, email inquiries, send my CV to colleges and companies in the area; I have to stay focused on today and not worry about tomorrow as I wrote in The future is . . .

We have also recently been asked to lead a small group of young couples at our church once a week starting in April. We love to host events and build community. Plus I once again have a reason to bake goodies!!!

In addition, we are attending Financial Peace University at our church.  Luke has a good working knowledge of finances I   . . . do not. We thought this class would provide us with the framework/vocabulary for discussion on this stressful topic. This is us taking that desire to procrastinate talking about loans, debt, spending, saving, and shoving it out the door!

Last, we have been exercising. We got memberships at the Y in January. It took awhile to get into the routine. Fortunately the Y has a clean welcoming facility and everyone is polite. There is no judgment, no hogging the machines, no showing off, just genuine people taking care of their bodies whatever their shape, size, or age! It is a far cry from the LA gyms and fitness centers! Still we are looking forward to warmer weather so that we can exchange our indoor exercise for outdoor explorations.

Chinese garden Huntington Library this past May
Chinese garden Huntington Library this past May

Do you have any spring cleaning/changes or challenges ahead of you?

I’m a New Yorker?!

I am beginning to learn that there are stages of adjustment when you move. The first I would call “settling-in”. It’s in this time that basics are established.  And after four months of transition the “settling-in” process is finally over.

For us that required some simple things like adjusting to time differences, weather, food options, schedule, locations of needed resources etc. But then there were also more complicated items. Luke has done all this before and the second we got to our little rented home in Corning he was busy calling and emailing companies to get our : gas, electric, cable, water, trash, and washer and dryer installed etc.

Last but not least on our “settleing-in” list was the DMV.  I ended up going to the DMV three times! Once to get Luke a NY license, once to get me a NY license, and last of all to get my car registered.

When my new license came in the mail it felt strange to see a proper twenty-something face staring back at me on the blue ID . My yellow California license still had a 16-year-old tanned version of me with a red bar showing what year I would be turning 21. My new grown up NY driver’s license was reminder not only that my last name has changed but also that I have really moved to the opposite coast!

This isn’t the only reminder.  In the cloudy northwest I proudly represented the sunnier state of California with my cherry red car with red and white Hawaiian seat covers and floor mats. We got my CRV used but the owners before were Californians. So it really hit me strange when Luke replaced the California plates for yellow and blue New York ones. (In case your wondering the Hawaiian seat covers are long gone but the floor mats are still getting good use).


All of sudden I have a New York car!  It’s days of being beach bound filled with sand (CA) or covered in pine needles and cherry blossoms (WA) is over (for now). Instead my car has experienced its first real winter covered in snow, defrosted and frosted over again and again, covered in road salts, and icicles.


We spend a lot of our time in our cars; they are often our second home. My little CRV has been up and down the west coast I-5 several times on trips to and from college. And recently it crossed the country towed on the back of the Penske truck full of my belongings.

Who knows what type of travels/road trips will come next for my car? Or what other license plates or state driver’s license I may have in the future.  But for right now as far as anyone can tell: I am a New Yorker!