Trilogy Part 2: Things You Didn’t Know You Needed To Know

If only there were a pamphlet to life’s big changes, I mean how helpful would that be? I’m going to share with you some pointers and must have items before you make that overwhelming cross-country move.  This is specific to our move to Utah, but also things to consider when you move anywhere!

  1. Where is the nearest liquor store and what are their hours? Hey, Welcome to Utah. Grocery stores don’t sell any beer or wine over 4% AC. So you’ll need to find you a liquor store so you can go get you that bottle of wine in order to be all in for Monday Night Bachelor/ette. Know the state laws on recreational things like this or prepare to be out of luck.
  2. What are the appropriate clothes for the drastically different weather?  Some good boots (I got L.L Bean Boots for every day wear and then my Merrell hiking waterproof boots), wool under layers (LAPSA Wool is pricey, but so worth it), an insulated jacket or parka, and LAYERS! Last week I wore ski pants to Wal-Mart and there were locals wearing shorts…I must have looked crazy. I tell just about everyone I encounter, “I’m from Florida.”
  3. Does your car need an emissions test? Do your animals need to be registered? Where do you get your state driver’s license…I had to take a driving test to get my Utah License. I was terrified I would fail and not be able to drive the streets of Salt Lake City. (If you’re wondering, yes I passed) FYI if your married and you’re going to get a new state license do not forget your marriage license! I did and I had to go home after waiting in that typical DMV line only to start over. UGH!
  4. As soon as you get to where you’re going locate the nearest hospital, emergency room and pharmacy. These types of things often get looked over, but the last thing you’ll want is to be in a situation and not know whether or not to turn left or right at the intersection in an emergency.
  5. If you are moving from humid weather to dry weather make sure you’re stocked on lotion and lots of it and also a humidifier! I overlooked the humidifier, but got one within 2 days of being here. Declan’s soft baby skin was so incredibly dry, we were lathering him up several times a day and finally we found some Baby Bum that worked wonders for him.
  6. We moved in the thick of winter, if you’re in the same situation make sure you have a snow shovel AND snow scraper BEFORE you get there and are snowed in. hehe.
  7. Social media is such a huge part of our lives now a days, I found out a lot about the area we moved to by following the local news, police and sheriff, and fire departments, as well as a our neighborhood community Facebook page.
  8. Sunglasses. This may sound silly to some, but the snow reflects the sun so intensely that driving anywhere was blinding.

What were some obstacles you encountered when moving? How did you pull through and what did you learn?

Yes, Our Front Door Is Green

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The first month of being “Utahians” has been what has seemed a really long vacation. I’m sure that will subside now that we’re all finally in a routine.

Declan is now 5 months old and while I never in a million years planned on being home for 5 months with him, I am incredibly grateful for those 5 months. Needless to say, he is definitely a Momma’s Boy and basically my favorite little human.

When Eric and I came out to look for our home, we wanted our new house to have zero work we had to do to it to make it a home. We landed ourselves an outstanding, personable relator that reminded us of our forever-favorite realtor in Florida and we hit it off right away. We flew out in December and looked at 8 homes. We looked at some amazing homes but nothing was really feeling like “home” or “move in ready”. In fact everything that we looked at required some type of work or renovation. With a baby and new job, we just didn’t want that to be a burden.  We were in town for one more day and our Utah relator called us late that night and said she found a house that was just put back on the market the day prior and we had to go look at it.

We were a little hopeless by this point but little did we know we were about to walk into our dream home away from home. It could have been the charm, the cinnamon rolls that the owners left out for us, or the immense about of love this little family had displayed on the walls, but we left knowing that there was something special about this house!

We were sitting on our plane to fly back to Florida and our forever-favorite realtor from home called us. An offer was put in on our home in town, full asking price no ifs ands or buts. We just knew, it was meant to be. Moving across the country is definitely difficult especially when you plan to purchase property. We had to align closing dates, contingency plans and all the fun stuff that goes with it.  It is in fact nerve wracking.  All I can say is have faith that things will work out and whatever obstacles pop up, take them in stride and be prepared to walk away. I’d say that we weren’t fully relaxed about it until we closed on our house in Florida.

Fast forward two months of inspections, appraisals, and packing and unpacking, we’ve been absolutely loving Utah.  I don’t think we will ever run out of things to do.  Being here makes me more excited for when Declan is tad older and ready to explore with us.


But for now, I wanted to share all the “touristy” things we’ve done since being here…so when you come visit you know exactly how you want to spend your time. Mind you- its obviously been really cold here, so outdoor activity has been limited and has me ITCHING!

 

  1. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah is an absolute must. No shame, we’ve been twice. Monday nights are family night and you get $5 off entrance fee. I’ve never been to an aquarium with better exhibits. It’s interactive and they replicate the animals’ natural environment. Even though Declan is still little, he loved tracking the fish, sharks, and jellyfish! It was really amazing to watch. 

  2. Grab brunch at Eva’s bakery to satisfy every sweet tooth you’ve ever had. I’m not a fan any other French toast, not even if its smothered in tart fruit and filling. But Eva’s has me hooked on their stuffed French toast; it’s to die forrrrrr.Their chocolate coffee is made in house and it is every ounce of deliciousness.IMG_1274
  3. Antelope Island is a place that I will absolutely be visiting again soon once it warms up. But if you’ve got a little one like us, this state park has paved roads that lead to their trails which made it nice because we could still explore and stay warm and get this…there are approachable herds of bison and antelope. My brother got up close and personal when he was visiting. 

  4. Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum is wonderful. There is a place for every age group 0-12. I say 12 because I think any 13 year old may feel a little too cool for this place. So many creative ideas to explore and they even do birthday parties. I didn’t get any pictures because we were so busy.
  5. Big Cottonwood Canyon Drive was breathtaking. We drove up to the top of the mountain to the ski lodge.  While there are plenty of trails to pull off and hike, we just drove because it was just too cold out for Declan.  We saw a baby moose, spots for sledding and tubing, hiking, and of course 2 ski lodges. I’ve never seen so much snow in my life and I can only imagine what it looks like in the fall. 

  6. The Morman Temple was amazing the second time around too. The architecture is unbelievable and the Temple really peeks an outsiders curiosity. This is a must see because after all it is the center of what Salt Lake City stands for.  There are several buildings that are open to tourists that give a history breakdown not only of the Morman Religion, but Jesus Christ too.IMG_2529
  7. Easton Salt Lake Archery Center is a must see! The director is so kind and welcoming and the staff and coaches are super friendly and helpful. They have a state of the art facility that attracts Olympians and archers from all over the world. There are classes and programs for all ages. If you leave there and are feeling the itch for taking up archery they offer private lessons too.  Lastly, they offer cosmic archery. I’ve not tried it yet, but definitely plan to when the time is right.

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Even though we’ve been staying busy that doesn’t mean there’s been rough days away from home. We miss everyone a lot especially our friends and family. I can’t just “swing by mom and dads,” we definitely miss Sunday Dinners, and I don’t run into familiar faces at the grocery store. Eric and I wonder a lot if Declan will attend the University of Florida or Utah and is he considered a Utah native or Florida native? Will he love the beach as much as us or is he a destined snowboarder? These are serious questions we talk about after putting this little guy down to bed. Day to day we open that green door (because of my Amazon packages…hahah) and love wondering what opportunity the day has in store for us here in Salt Lake City, Utah while patiently waiting for warmer weather to get out on the trails in less layers!

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Utah Trilogy

Yesterday I was talking to my other half who’s million miles away, back home in Florida.  We were diagnosing my Cabin Fever that had developed over the course of two weeks which, for the record was also a combination of homesickness. Moving across the country has definitely been an adjustment. From getting my 4 month old on a plane, setting up our new home, learning my surroundings, and a million trips to Wal-Mart to get things that nobody told me I would need I’ve been shell shocked. We were discussing how to bring down my fever, haha. While Krista and I’s typical conversations are about how we plan to be super teachers, execute and save the world and all the little children in it, our failed attempts at dinner plans and life through and through…  this conversation started off with me writing a story about my dogs. While that would have been super entertaining for a second grader (love you, Krista) we concluded that a trilogy on the move would be more appropriate. SO, I’m going to share with you a three-part adventure of moving out west and all that it entailed (so far).  Like every good teacher does, I’ll break it down into three categories.

Part One: Flying With A (very busy) Infant
Part Two: Moving Out West (The Things You Need But Didn’t Know You Needed)

Part Three: Unfamiliar Places and Faces

Let’s get rolling.

 Part One:Flying With A (very busy) Infant

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Declan was just shy of 4 months old when we flew from Florida to Utah, a 4 hour and 30 minute direct flight from Orlando. This flight had me stressing from the moment I booked it two months ago. Don’t be like me, because you have me! I’m going to help you not be stressed!

  1. Book a flight that is the best time of day for your babe. Declan has been a morning person since the day he was born. In fact, we don’t set alarms because we wake up to the sweet coos of Declan Bear. He’s most happy and chill after a good night’s rest.Also, book an aisle seat incase you have to get up and walk the aisles with your little bear.
  2. But also be prepared to throw your schedule that you worked so incredibly hard on (trust me, I know) out the window for the day and possibly the next day because you will be playing catch up, or adjusting to a new time zone.
  3. Take your car seat to the gate. This was something I had my mind set on from the get go because I’ve witnessed carseats getting tossed under a plane or just falling off the luggage cart in the middle of boarding. While I appreciate the people getting our luggage from point a to b, my carseat is also an investment. So, treat it like Fine China people. Also, how horrible would it be to arrive at your destination and your carseat be back where you left it?
  4. Wear your baby in a comfy carrier. This keeps them close to you, you limit their germs and people touching them, its secure and if your baby is anything like mine, people watching is a must. Number 3 and 4 might seem excessive and you’re probably saying “yeah, right I wasn’t born with 8 arms.” BUT here’s how we managed.  We used the handle on the carry on luggage and flipped the carseat over the handle.
  5. Formula prep! I mentioned before my formula dispenser has been a life changer (see original post in baby registry must haves). I use it every day from day to day to the night shift. I prepped bottles with the idea in mind that our flight MAY get delayed. I made a bottle for each hour that we would be in the air and I labeled them with small sticky notes. I made some full servings for Declan’s big meals, then I also prepped a few 2 ouncers for when his ears pop with elevation change.  I then went through security with two baby bottles with water in them. When you get to security just tell them you have formula and it’s not a hassle at all. We ending up using all 5 feedings that I had prepped. I will share a little secret … go through security with an empty water bottle (or two if you wish) and when you get on the other side of security you can use your empty water bottle to fill up at a water fountain. This saves you money because you won’t have to buy water to use for bottles on the plane.
  6. Entertainment for your baby. I read some blogs before I went that suggested hiding some of your kid’s favorite toys a week a head of time. This way when you reintroduce them on the plane, they’re excited. Well I tried this and Declan really could have cared less about them. So, my advice would be to just go to the dollar store and get you some new toys that light up.
  7. Head to Burlington or any home goods store and get a kids travel pillow. I used this thinking my arms would need some cushion while holding Declan during naps, which it worked great for. Declan also used it for Tummy Time on the plane and thought it was the most hilarious thing he’s ever seen. This may as well been his new toy.
  8. The last bit of guidance I have is, be patient and calm. I found myself getting super anxious during the descend and Declan was totally feeding off me. I also felt like every time Declan squealed or even started to cry everyone was judging me, like they were never a baby or something. I got up and walked Declan a couple times and luckily we had no turbulence so the seat belt sign was off most the time.

How I Packed Our Diaper Bag For Travel

  1. Make sure you have enough diapers to match bottles plus an extra. If you have a boy you always run the risk of a water fountain before you even get the fresh diaper on…
  2. Spare outfit for baby and you. Just incase there some projectile vomiting you don’t want to be wearing it the entire flight.
  3. Pack a gallon sized zip lock bag to put those soiled clothes in. Chances are you won’t need it, rather safe than sorry.
  4. A receiving blanket just incase the temperature on the plane is a little chilly.
  5. Phone charger, wipes, changing pad, and toys are a given.

Over all our first flying experiences was really positive and I’m forever grateful for my momma who flew with us. She was such a huge, huge help and confidence booster. Maybe some day I’ll fill those shoes…

Am I missing out on any more tips or tricks to flying with a little one? I figured this would be the easiest time flying since he’s so young. When we fly home next he will be a bit older and I know it will be totally different. Share with me!

Oxygen Masks

My pregnancy was nearing its end and it wasn’t the easiest or most glorious. I was ready to meet my baby, but I also knew that once he was here, getting my hair done and feeling great was out the window.  I splurged on a day at the spa. Life as I knew it was about to be over. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be. You guys… I love my hair and sometimes when I’m in a rut my ultimate fix is a hair care. My hair stylist and I were talking about how damn good it is to get your hair done. She explained to me a metaphor that I seriously want to get tattooed on my forehead. You’re on a plane and the flight attendant is going through the series of unfortunate events that COULD happen. They state “…If anything were to happen please put on your oxygen mask first and then help others.” Have you EVER thought of the irony between the two before?  You can’t take care of another human unless you take care of yourself first.

5 Things That Make Me Feel Like A Million Bucks

  1. Hair done. Nails done. Everything did. There’s absolutely nothing more refreshing than simply the smell of leaving the salon. I have no buyers guilt when I leave my salon. Schedule a day just for you get some highlights, wax your eyebrows, pick a nail polish that looks just as good on your nails as it did on the wall and rock it.
  2. Wedges. I spend my days with tiny humans, I crawl on the floor during circle time, I walk in wet grass on the playground, and somedays I leave work with glitter in my hair. But one thing that makes me feel polished with confidence and I believe it makes me teach better too, is a good pair of wedges.  Get a good pair that feels comfy and will match with just about everything. My personal favorites are Steve Madden Survive Wedge.  Ironic name, right? I wear them just about every day except for field trip day and even if my lesson was an epic fail, I’ve still got my wedges. If I can splurge on a nice shoe I can teach these kiddos the way they deserve to be taught.
  3. Paid bills. I don’t like being late to dinner dates, movies, plans with friends and I most certainly don’t like being late on my bills. When my bills are paid, it’s one less thing to stress about and one less thing on my To Do List. To become organized on your bills and when they’re due set up auto drafts if you can. If you can’t, space them out so you don’t feel like it’s Friday Night Just Got Paid and then broke as a joke. Set up your bills to be due at different times of the month if you can. Plus, you can’t buy that super adorable birthday gift for your bff if your bills aren’t paid. Ya dig?
  4. New underwear. I have no explanation, it is just the real deal.
  5. A Good Workout. Let’s be honest, its expensive being fit.  Gym memberships can get pricey and buying healthy food is not only time consuming but expensive too.  However, I feel better when I eat better and I eat better when I’m working out (otherwise it’s all a waste). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked myself out of going to the gym. Especially now with babes. Prioritize those workouts during nap time, do your squats in the shower, and do your planks during tummy time. I’m telling you…if you want it bad enough you will make time for it and you’ll be a better caretaker because of it.

The bottom line is this: Take care of yourself. How can you or me take care of a family, a baby, or even your fur babies if you don’t feel 110%?

Okay, so I’m challenging you…make a list. What are 5 things that make you feel like a million bucks but you never do them because of all the imaginable excuses you make in your head? Share with me those 5 things and commit to doing them for yourself!

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Feeling this Bootcamp workout at Gator CrossFit