Always On.

Your blessing is your curse, right? It’s very often said, and I very often see the truth in it. This weekend will mark one month of Funemployment…and some days are great, some days are okay, and some days are hard. I know what you’re thinking- that sounds a lot like life, right? It’s true. But I find it interesting that within one week I can feel a) thankful for the time off and hopeful it won’t end TOO quickly, b) depressed, bored and lonely, c) like the world is my oyster and I will continue to climb in my career and land a real gem (not a fake one) on my next job and d) that I have peaked and now will face the painful downhill. And today, I was thinking about this, and realized that actually my real damn problem is that I can’t stop thinking about it all. ACTUALLY, my curse in general in life, is that I simply can’t stop thinking EVER.

The older I get, the more I realize that people shut off. They can get lost in a song, or just look out the window and really SEE what’s right in front of them, or daydream for a while and not really even know what, if anything, they were thinking about. I have never experienced ANY of those things. My brain never turns off, I am ALWAYS ON. And that’s why- every job I have ever had- I’ve done the job I was asked to do- plus much more. And it’s why on every review I’ve ever had, people say “I’ve just never seen someone with so much capacity- and the ability to do it all SO WELL…” and it’s why all my friends and followers on Instagram say “How do you guys do it all? It just seems like you are always going.” It’s true. I almost never shut down. And the strength within that is- success, activity, experiences, capabilities…but man there is some curse in it too.

My mind never stops. It’s not racing. It’s not stressed. It’s just always thinking about something. Pondering this, pondering why I’m pondering that…putting myself in the shoes of the character of the book I just read, thinking about this friend, this family member, what I will do to make next Tuesday easier when there are overlapping kids events, wondering if I’m living my life to the fullest, assessing what could be different, more fun, more challenging, better, thinking about the next trip I will take, imagining what the songwriter was really meaning in that line that stands out to me…

Seriously. And I just thought that was how the human brain worked. As I’ve been married to Davis (now for almost 15 years- and this is NOT a dig on him or his brain- I promise) I have realized that it’s not how every human brain works. In fact, I think my brain is a freak. I wish she could just chill out.

And so, this downtime, in my funemployment…is actually pretty hard on me. Because there is nothing mentally taxing happening each day. And so- all I’m left to do is think, and plan, and hope, and sometimes stress, and re-consider, and ponder…and it’s somehow exhausting, lonely, AND boring.

I always tell my kids that “Only boring people get bored” and WOW I’m really challenged with that right now.

And I’m constantly trying to figure out why I’m in this situation, and what I need to learn, and how I need to grow, because of course I can’t just hang out…and I think all these things…openly with varying levels of excitement, patience, fear, and calmness:

1) I don’t know what life will bring- what if I am going to find out in one year that I have an illness? I will be SO incredibly grateful for this time…so I should just soak it up and enjoy every minute.

2) Chill out Sam. You’ve been out of a job for a month- you’re in New York, trying to network in Minneapolis, you have lots of job leads, they just haven’t been exactly what you want yet- you’ll be fine. You’ll look back on this one day when addressing a room of young people about how to move through challenges like this- and you’ll think “wow I was so myopic.”

3) I’m getting paid. I have nothing but time…what business can I start?

4) Maybe I’m actually about to find out that God has something greater for me than even what I imagined? Am I supposed to become a teacher? Am I supposed to get involved in politics or advocacy?

5) Get serious Sam. This is short- you’re here till your lease is up on February 1st, so just chill out and you can figure it out then.

6) This is amazing. I think I’ll take a nap, read another book, work out at the JCC…

Is that crazy? I’m kind of sure it is. So I’m struggling a bit. I don’t have friends here. I have nothing but time. My mind is never quiet, I have no work to distract it or wear it down, and I am not exactly ready to find a job here because I want to be THERE (Minneapolis)…so I’m kind of in limbo.

And don’t be sad for me. First of all- many days I feel very optimistic. Second of all- I just read a beautiful book called “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” about life in the slums of India. And it profiled the pain, the hunger, the grime, the lack of hope, and yet still the unbelievable resilience of the human spirit- and I know WELL that I don’t have real problems. I don’t.

But I guess I just want to get a little preview of what’s to come. So I can chill out a bit. But that wouldn’t be faith would it. And that’s probably what I’m supposed to be learning right now. So BAH. Here we go.

Love to you all.

Sam

Visits and Visitors...

Despite not having a job, the end of September and beginning of October have been insanely busy. Let’s see…one weekend my friend Jackie was in town from Minneapolis…the next weekend my friend Ellie was in town from Minneapolis and Davis ran a triathlon that same weekend…then the next weekend the kids and I went to meet Honey in North Carolina to see Nikki and then the NEXT weekend, Holden and I had a girls trip to Minneapolis to see Elsa and Kelley…

So here are some pictures from all of that, and then I’ll tell you what we have coming up next.

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One of my favorite things about FUNemployment is picking the kids up from school. They are always so thrilled to see me- at least Holden is- and I love hearing about their day- from them and their teachers.

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I also forgot to mention that Holden went to her first protest. Well actually, Trump and Pence were having a fundraiser at a building across the street from ours- so when she heard what all the hub bub was about and saw all the people- she made a sign and got involved right away.

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The kids loved going to see Nikki- I did too. Perhaps my favorite thing was actually Saturday night. We went to this very cute outdoor brewery and pizza garden and then went to the Wake Forest soccer game where they won in overtime! I love soccer. Nikki’s house is so cute and she is so happy with her new job/life. :-)

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Also, they were introduced to Krispy Kreme…

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Ellie came to visit and we celebrated Davis’ 40th at this fabulous restaurant named “Don Angie” - seriously the best food ever.

Then this past weekend, Holden and I went to see Elsa and Kelley in Minneapolis. It was so much fun.

So this week, the kids don’t have school today because it is Yom Kippur…Bennett left today for a work trip to Dallas that he is going to extend into a weekend in Austin…and then Friday:

  • My friend Kristan, is coming with her son Maddox to stay over night, then they will go see their cousins on Saturday…

  • Then on Saturday afternoon, about an hour after they leave, Kirsten and Andy and Frances will be arriving for three days from San Antonio during their fall break…

  • Then they leave Tuesday, and on Friday, the Ohmes get here for four days and we are going to the Poconos with them because GOOD LORD 9 people in this apartment for four days simply won’t do…

  • Then that Friday Davis and I leave or Italy.

OH MY LORD I’m tired, just thinking about it. I might have overbooked a bit- so I’m trying to keep November slow…though we do have Davis’ 10th birthday, and

LOVE AND LIKE YA.

SAM

Adios B&N.

Well, September 13th was my last day at B&N. The new owner came in and decided to pull all of the marketing budget- and it was pretty clear pretty quickly that the things I came here to do wouldn’t be available for the doing. And everyone has asked how I feel. Well, I feel a lot of things. I feel mad that I moved all the way here and didn’t get to do the work I set out to do. I feel frustrated that I created so many solutions for them and we were soooo close to activating them and seeing change, and yet in the end, so far. I feel disheartened about what is next. My whole goal was to come up here, kill it, and then have so many options for my next career step…now I’m 9 months out and have nothing to show for it. But, all things considered, I also feel relieved that I never have to go back there again. It was the most depressing work environment I have ever been in…and there was so little infrastructure and support, everything, even the easiest things felt like an uphill battle.

This is my second week of not working. The first week was blissful and I felt on top of the world. I was glad to not go there again, glad to have free time, and excited about what would come next. This week, I feel bored. And I’m starting to feel lonely. The days are long when you have nothing to do but look for jobs. I have been working out every day, doing stuff around the house, working with the kids on their homework, etc…but they are still long days. And I really like to work. I like the mental stimulation. I like the people.

But I don’t really just want any job. I want a great job that I enjoy- that teaches me new things- preferably located in Minneapolis. So with those requirements, it might not come quickly. I just feel like all of this was for nothing. At least today I feel that way.

I hope tomorrow I feel back to optimistic.

But don’t worry about me. Honestly. I have enough stuff planned on the weekends, and I am excited to spend more time with the kids, and I know that God is working on something for me. Just ready to get through this phase of my life already. :-)

Cape Cod, my Number One Beach.

We planned a somewhat last minute trip to Cape Cod for Labor Day weekend…I’m so glad we went. It was one of my favorite weekends of the year so far. The weather was beautiful, the beach was serene, and everyone really relaxed and enjoyed themselves. I even read a book almost cover to cover. I can’t even tell you the last time that happened on vacation. We ate clam chowder, we had lobster rolls, and of course stopped for ice cream here and there. We explored an oyster farm, some of us caught crabs, and others helped neighboring groups build sand castles. Here are a few pictures!

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More to come tomorrow- it’s the first day of school in NYC and I’m getting back on my blogging game.

Well...

Things are still going to shit here in NYC. I won’t mire you down in the mud, but in addition to feeling assaulted by the city every day, it’s become clear that I’m not really going to be able to do the job and role I was hired for. Talk about being sold a bill of goods. My only hope is that the company sold, and the new CEO starts on the 19th so everything will likely change- and man I am so thankful for that. But the hard thing is- I’ve already seen the worst of this company and some of the individuals in it.

If I didn’t already have frustrations with insecure middle-aged white men, let’s just say I do now. But the real crux of it is- why did you recruit me? Why did you hire me? If you didn’t want me to change anything? There were about 4-5 clear things that needed help when I got here- okay that’s not even fair to myself….everything is broken- but there were about 4-5 things that needed to be prioritized. I’ve only been here five months and I have brought solutions for all of them, and then some, and a few key people have done everything but lay in my path to make sure I can’t get them taken care of. It’s really mind-blowing. I’ve never felt so duped or even bullied in my life. It’s infuriating to say the least. It feels just unbelievable to move your family across the country- bust your ass for something- see how good it could be and realize that you are actually just set up to fail.

It’s taken a toll on me to be quite honest. But I’m trying to play the long game. I’m trying to be me, do what’s right, and pray that things will sort themselves out. I guess we will see.

So maybe that’s why I haven’t blogged. It’s a shit show and I haven’t really wanted to talk about it- nor do I think anyone would want to hear about it.

But I do have some new pictures from recent trips this summer that I want to share:

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We’ve kept busy for sure…and I have a lot of updates to give. But I guess writing that first piece was the barrier to get to anything else. It’s hard to pretend things are all hunky dory when they’re not. But it’s alright. I’m tough. And I know God has me here for a reason. Can’t wait to see what it is.

Pity.

I have often said that loneliness is the worst feeling in the world…but tonight I was reminded how strong a contender pity is. Pity is the realization that a third party, complete with their own problems, sees your situation and believes it to be worth feeling sorry for.

13 hours.

I slept for 13 hours yesterday. I left work early and I slept for two hours before going to get the kids from school and then when they went to bed at 8:30, I got in bed and went to sleep too. I woke up at 11:17 and then again at 2:13 and felt like maybe I should wake up and do something, but I convinced myself to roll over and go back to sleep. I wasn’t sleeping because I was depressed, I was sleeping because I was tired. It was like my body thought maybe I could catch up on the last few months of sleep that I have lost in a single night. The funny thing is- when you sleep that much- you somehow wake up tired.

New York has worn on me in ways I didn't anticipate. I have been stressed, stretched and pressed in the four seemingly short months we’ve been here in a way that reminds me of the presidency. You go in bright eyed and ready to conquer the world, and you come out slight gaunt with gray hair and bags under your eyes. I wish the gaunt part was true for me, but I’m still chubby.

I haven’t written much here, mainly because it wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows and who wants to read that. But I also tend to get quiet and become more insular when I’m struggling. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written parts of this blog post while walking down a busy street in Manhattan, or riding packed in like a sardine in the subway. But I haven’t been able to come to terms with writing it until today.

The truth is- it isn’t just New York that feels heavy. It’s the way the scale tips just a little bit further, a little bit too far, when you add the weight of New York to the things that already feel heavy.

I didn’t realize how much space I had. I didn’t realize how many opportunities for respite were at my daily disposal, and I didn’t truly understand the solace and the comforts I had created in Minneapolis. Not until they were gone. And New York has a way of yanking the carpet out from underneath you so fast, you don’t even see it coming. And she figures out a way to repeat this act every single morning.

For a while, I would wake up, in my arguably lovely, huge New York apartment, and as my eyes opened, I immediately got this sinking feeling in my stomach as I thought “Oh, I’m still here.” That feeling isn’t as prevalent anymore, so maybe I’m getting used to it.

I’ve started to try some things that might help me cope with New York. I’m reading a lot, I’ve started running, and of course I am trying to make the most of it every day with Bennett and the kids. I don’t want to look back on this time and feel like I didn’t do my best to make it good.

And I’m working to get Davis into a counselor and I am thinking about going to one myself. My topic of conversation won’t be New York, but all the things that got exponentially heavier when we moved here.

Anyway. Davis is having a meltdown and that’s where this post has to end. Even after 13 hours, I’m not sure I’ll never not be tired.

Almost June.

Well, it has taken me a while to get my bearings in New York. Honestly, I can’t even say I have them yet, but I guess I’m on my way. And I have a lot to say about New York so far, but first I wanted to post some pictures from this weekend. Holden’s best friend, Elsa, and her family came to visit and we had so much fun. I mainly got pictures of the kids but I think Bennett got a few of the four of us. I’ll try to get those. In the meantime- enjoy these. The kids had a BLAST together and everyone picked up right where we left off. I had a lot of fun and felt super thankful for the friendships I made in Minnesota. I miss Minne more than I thought I would. I guess it’s nice to have a thing that you miss so much. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

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Jack is such a character, he had us laughing all weekend. He has a really sensitive nose- so he smelled everything everywhere we went and it was HYSTERICAL. My favorite line was when he said to Davis “Get away from me, Davis. You smell like yogurt!”

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Elsa’s face here cracks me up. She is such a sweet little friend to Holden- always looking out for her.

It was a really really fun weekend.


Coast to Coast.

Hi there, it’s Saturday, and I’m writing this as I fly back to New York from Seattle. I flew out Thursday am for a meeting on Friday and then due to the time change, would have had to take a red eye home last night, so I chose to fly back today instead. I lose part of the weekend…but oh well. Tonight Jodie is in town from Texas, so Davis, Lovell, Mason, Jodie and I are going to go listen to our favorite Austin musician, Bob Schneider, in New York. I’m so excited. Davis’ brother and his family are also in town, so we will spend tomorrow with them and then they leave on Monday. Busy weekend.

I cannot believe this next weekend is Easter…I’m starting to think maybe we should take a weekend trip to get out of the city for a couple nights. It gets old.

Seattle was a nice reprieve- lots of fresh air and the only sound outside my window was the group of seagulls squawking about who knows what.

Lots of exciting things coming up, though! We will go to Texas the last week of April, to see friends and family during the kids spring break, and then in May I think Nikki has an overnight in NYC, my friend Maija is going to be in town for a couple nights for work, my friend Sofya is flying up for a weekend, and then my friend Kelley and her family (Elsa- Holden’s best friend) are coming for Memorial day Weekend. So that will make May really fun and fast, I think!

Okay just wanted to say hello. More pictures and things to come!

It's Been A While...

This might be the longest break I have taken from my blog…a month to be exact, but really I have only posted once over the past two months. So if you think that this is indicative of what this move has been like- you’re exactly right. Honestly, we still can’t even believe we are here. The past two months were a blur and everything things surreal. Though at the same time, some moments of living in New York, feel incredibly real.

How do I say this nicely…there are some nice things about New York, but I don’t really like living in New York. Okay that’s putting it mildly…while I’m trying to make the best of it, some days I hate that I live in New York. It’s such a grind…just a racket…and honestly some of the interactions I’ve seen of people on the subway have made me lose a little faith in humanity. People are animals. There is honestly nothing I like less than starting and finishing my day on the subway. BLECH.

And man I miss my house. And the peace and quiet of Minneapolis. I miss it so much. I can’t wait to move back there. Some days I feel like it will go quickly and I need to enjoy it…other days I feel like I am trapped for at least the next year.

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.

There is some good stuff…for example the kids seem happy and their school is good. Holden really misses Minneapolis- she is just like me- but I give us both a pep talk by saying “It’s okay- we will move back. So we just need to get the most out of this time that we’re here…”

The weather is getting really nice. We have to buy window units before it gets too hot, but I’m supposed to be focusing on the positive.

I guess the way I’m really looking at it is that I know we will all grow from this. And I’ll never wonder what it would have been like had we moved to New York. And maybe that is all worth more than it feels like right now.

I guess we’ll see.

I'm BAAACCCKKK!

Yes! I finally got access to my blog again. I have had so many things to write, feelings to express, it has been hard not to have a place to write them down. Now that I do, where do I begin?

We’ve been in New York three weeks this Monday. We spent the first week in a hotel, exploring the upper west side (our neighborhood) and I began work. The jury is still out on my job - I always say to give it three months when you start something new- so I have some time, but for now, here are a few observations.

1) There is no shortage of opportunity. Everything needs to be fixed. That can be exciting, and it can also feel overwhelming and even exhausting.

2) The culture is incredibly different and unique. Most people here are introverts and either don’t want to speak with you, or don’t know how to. They are all incredibly smart and kind, which is great, but I have only found a few people that I can shoot the breeze and laugh with. That is hard for me. My favorite part of working is shooting the breeze and laughing.

3) It’s hard to read sales reports every day showing that you are down. The majority of the time I was at Best Buy- we were killing it. I didn’t realize how fun that was.

4) The space is incredibly dated and dismal. I knew that going into this job, but I didn’t realize that my office would be in a corner away from my whole team, with a bunch of IT people, who like silence. One guy shuts my door every time I start talking.

5) People take me very seriously here. And I mean that in a good way and a bad way. Good in that, they respect my career, they are thrilled to have me here, and they will take my recommendations without question (most of the time). On the flip side, the bad side, is that again, they see me almost as “other” not someone you try to make friends with or act silly in front of. It’s lonely at the top, I guess is how the saying goes.

So we’ll see. I’m definitely going to learn a lot. And there are some really kind, smart people here, so I’m excited about that.

As far as New York goes…there are a lot of amazing, spectacular, once in a lifetime things about New York. And there are also a lot of pain-in-the-ass are you kidding me things in New York. It’s great to have 10 of my favorite stores and some of the world’s best design shops within a block or two of my office. The food is amazing. There is never a shortage of things to do. It’s not snowing all the time and I don’t have to shovel each day.

But, it’s hard to start each day shoving your way into the subway. It’s hard to get hit up for money and see all the homeless people living on their suitcases in the streets. All of that food- is damn expensive. And also- it might feel just as cold as Minneapolis, maybe colder, because you walk around in it all day.

So I don’t know. Still feeling my way through. Having some great days and some bad ones, some good hours and some shitty ones. I guess that is part of it.

Anyway- I’m glad to be back on the blog! Love to you all.

Moving Quickly...

Things are starting to move quickly now. We had a polar vortex this week, which kept the kids home from school for THREE days on my pretty much LAST week of work at Best Buy. That was less than ideal because I couldn’t really do all the work things I needed to do and I also couldn’t really do a lot of life things…it was -40 one day. The air hurt when it touched your skin.

Bennett was in Phoenix (can’t even expand on that without feeling resentful) but finally got home last night. I have been working my ass off in every spare moment that I have and it still feels like the list just continues to grow. Today a pipe burst at our house so now we need to deal with that. It appears as though it only impacted the garage- but you know how water is. Sneaky.

Anyway- the movers come on the 14th to pack, they load on the 15th, and we leave for New York on the 18th. Here is a little of what the next 15 days will look like:

  • 5th: Sam’s last day at work / Sam at happy hour with Edina girlfriends

  • 7th-11th: Sam and Ellie go to Mexico (going to leave Davis with a long list of things to do and hope for the best)

  • 13th: Sam at another happy hour with work friends

  • 14th/15th: Packers and Loaders at our house

  • 15th: Sam and Ellie at Indigo Girls concert (we bought these in July- same for the trip to Mexico- we planned it in October- it’s almost like we sensed we would need a couple final hurrahs)

  • 15th-18th: Family staying at a hotel in Edina

  • 16th: Store, sell or get rid of anything left in the house

  • 16th pm: Big going away party at Ellie’s brewery- we invited all of our friends from MN

  • 17th: recover at hotel in MN

  • 18th: cleaning people come, renters move in, Bennetts fly to New York

I know. It sounds exhausting. Then we are in New York for a week in a hotel until our stuff arrives, and then Bennett will bring the kids with him to Texas for a week while he is at a conference in Austin. I’m hoping I can get the apartment set up kind of nice while they are in Texas, and then they will start school on March 4th.

Our renter situation is a little different than planned- we had a few lookers but it has mainly been slow due to the time of year and the fact that it was -40 for a few days…but someone reached out asking if they could do a 5 month lease if they paid all cash upfront…and after investigating, it seems like a great deal to get us to the summer where we can either lease it for another year or sell it. It’s guy that just got traded to the Minnesota Wild hockey team. They plan to live there until June and then move back to their home for the off season. They wrote a really nice letter about how they are both renters and have also been landlords and they appreciate tidyness and upkeep. So that seems like a good deal.

Anyway- a lot to do and very little time. So more later! In the meantime, here are some pictures from the last few days. They are mainly of Holden. Davis is a lot harder to pin down. :-)

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I don't say this very often...

The other day Holden said “Mom, am I going to look like you when I grow up?” To which I responded, “Well, yes you’ll look a little bit like me, a little bit like your dad, and a lot like YOU!” And she was quiet, so I knew she had something on her mind and I said, knowing the inherent risk of asking an honest little kid this, “Do you WANT to look like me when you grow up?” She paused, looked down at her feet and said “I don’t really say this very often, but…I think you’re beautiful.”

I. NEARLY. DIED.

Cheerleader Party.

Not sure if I wrote about this, but leading up to Holden’s birthday, I tried to get her excited about having a birthday party. She has never had one, and her brother has had many. Each year I have asked her, she has opted to do something with just Elsa, instead of having a party. This year was just the same- until about 6 days before her birthday when she announced that she would like to have a “cheerleader party”. SIX DAYS BEFORE HER BIRTHDAY.

So, we went ahead with the family birthday on the actual day, but behind the scenes I was seeing what I could work out for a cheerleader party…and if I do say so myself, the result was pretty magical. On Saturday, Holden invited her three best girlfriends over, we did makeup, we did glitter, I bought them matching uniforms and pom poms, they had little cheerleader cookies with their names on the megaphones, AND we had TWO REAL EDINA HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS COME OVER TO TEACH THEM CHEERS AND DANCES. They thought they had died and gone to heaven. It was everything.

They shrieked as the girls walked up to the door and one of the little girls said “I’ve never met a cheerleader before. I mean, I’ve seen them, but I’ve never actually MET one!!!”

It was just as much fun for me, just watching. Here are a few pictures.

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Holden has been friends with Elsa since she was one. They were both in the first class at Primrose with Rachel Murphy, who became my friend, and Holden’s nanny, and later, Holden was her flower girl. NOW Rachel works for Kelley, Elsa’s mom.

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So much makeup. So much glitter. I said YES to all the things.

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Today on the way to school she told me “It was the best day of my life, mom.”

Nothing feels better than that.

Holden Eloise is Seven.

Well I don’t know how this is possible- that my baby is seven and somehow I’m still 30 years old? Hmm…weird. HA! I wish. Anyway, we took a trip to New York last week and apartment hunted until we dropped…I got cold feet about the whole thing, then I got excited about it, it was just a real roller coaster of emotions. We got back Saturday night and Holden turned 7 on Sunday. We had a great day- especially since Honey was here. Here are some pictures of our happy girl.

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And she surprised us (and likely herself) and go her ears pierced. She was very nervous, but so brave. Little D had to walk away from the situation he was so nervous. :-) It was a great day- and she especially loved having Honey here for the festivities…


So There's News.

The Bennetts are moving to New York. Yes, New York City. Who moves to New York in their late 30s with a husband, two kids and a cat? Me, I guess. New York has never been in my plans. I was dying to move to New York right after college, but I feel like that is a pretty common collegiate fantasy. Since then, I’ve loved to visit, but I haven’t really thought of living there.

I won’t go into all the details, but a recruiter reached out to me in October, and simply because I make it a rule to always talk to recruiters so I will have contacts when I AM actively looking for a job, I talked to them. And then I talked to them again. And then they said they would like to fly me to NYC to meet with the executive team of the large bookseller I will be working for…but because I still wasn’t really interested or taking it seriously, I asked for a phone call with the hiring manager for the role before flying up there because, well, we’re all very busy and we should at least see if their is chemistry. So I had the call, and it was very casual and chatty and it turns out that hiring manager is the interim CEO, and also the long-time mentor of my current boss, whom I admire, Frank. ERGH. BLERGH. After about 45 minutes, he said “So I heard you needed to talk with me first before agreeing to come up here- are you going to come up here?” And so I did.

And then they told me they were going to offer me the job. And what they would pay. And because I still didn’t think I was going to leave Minneapolis and take a job in New York, unless it was an absolutely ridiculous deal, I told them how far off we were on the deal points. And because I was sincerely unattached to the idea- they could tell I wasn’t bluffing. So they created a deal I couldn’t walk away from- and so- we are moving to New York in the end of February where I will be the head of marketing for the aforementioned large bookseller.

I hemmed and hawed, and had many a sleepless night…but finally, I talked to my potential new boss again, and at one point he said to me “Sam. You are in the catbird seat. This is going to be a big move for you and it will also be FUN.” And that’s when he had me.

And really…the only reason I could think of NOT to do it was fear. What if I hated it? What if my kids aren’t happy? What if I miss everyone in Minneapolis so much and they move on without me? What if I get depressed? What if the schools aren’t good? Or we can’t find somewhere to live? What if I can’t find a good job when I want to move back? But you can’t make decisions based on fear. I mean- all of my greatest fears could be REALIZED, OR like Minneapolis, I could have the best experience of my life. My marriage could grow, my kids might thrive, I might make friends I never anticipated, and my career might be so fulfilling…right?

In the end, Minneapolis would be my reason to stay…but Minneapolis is also my reason to go. The Miracle of Minneapolis. Who would have guessed.

So, we haven’t really told anyone yet except our friends and family in Texas. And they were supportive and excited- because they are happy for us- and largely because it doesn’t really impact them. HA.

But I have only told one person in Minne. And I am dreading telling most everyone else. I didn’t expect to make such good friends here. We have REALLY good friends here. And to be honest…I love it here. I plan to come back. I don’t know if Bennett does- but I do. :-)

So we’re going to rent our house, move to New York, either the Upper West Side or the northwest part of Brooklyn…and we’ll give it a shot for a year or two. And who knows what will happen next? I have no idea- but I do know that God has a plan and it’s better than mine, so when I’m telling all my friends here, especially a few like Ellie, the Ohmes and Jackie, or when I’m feeling so cozy in my beautiful house next to a lovely fire, I’m going to remind myself of that.

That’s all for now.

Something's Been Bothering Me.

We had an amazing time in Texas. But there is one thing that just keeps bothering me.

As I mentioned, we went out to dinner in Austin with some friends at a new Italian restaurant. It was a great time, and we giggled and joked and had a great time, mainly. But out of the corner of my eye, I was distracted by a couple sitting across the way from my table.

They were nicely dressed, she was very pretty and small, and yet what I noticed most was that she was so docile and sluggish, she kept her head down most of the meal. So of course I was curious and I continued to watch…and at one point, I saw the man lean over to her, and with a hard jaw and wrenched face, I could see that he was saying something horrible to her. Almost shouting in her ear. A quiet and steady attack that went on for at least 3-4 minutes.

And had she responded naturally, by jerking her shoulders up or looking surprised, I would maybe have thought that they were having a typical spat. Davis and I have been there before- I’m sure most have. But as he continued to lean in, with his face looking uglier and angrier by the moment, she dropped her head lower.

I watched and watched, and decided that if she got up to go to the restroom, I would follow her, and ask her if she was okay.

But she didn’t get up until they left.

And I watched her leave with him, and I have felt sick about it ever since.

I wish I had walked right over to their table and said “Excuse me. Is everything okay?” I chose not to, partially because I was uncomfortable, but moreso due to the fear that he would do something even worse to her after they left.

And here is what I have thought about ever since. Whatever he said to her, reduced her to a shadow of herself. She looked like a whipped dog. And this was in front of people. I could only imagine what he says to her when they are alone, and how it makes her feel. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that he has probably rationalized whatever it is he says to her- that maybe it’s her fault- or if she would act a certain way he would be different. Or maybe he lies to himself afterwards and convinces himself that he is not REALLY that horrible person. I imagine he says he loves her.

But words have power. And how you treat people, day in and day out, is who you are. And I wish I could see them again. I would tell her that she is amazing and deserving and there is no reason she should be treated in a way that clearly makes her want to disappear. And I would tell him that he is a coward. And he is mean. And that it is unacceptable to say things to make her feel the way she clearly did.

I imagine you think I’m overreacting, based on observation alone…but the truth is- some people do this. Some people prey on the weak, and treat people poorly. And I had a gut feeling then and I have a gut feeling now. And I wish I could do or say something to them. But since I can’t…I just want to remember to speak kindness. And encouragement. And to not forget that what I say and how I treat people is WHO I AM. And I want to be proud of who I am. And I want to make people happy, not sad. There is no joy in anything else.

Back to Reality.

We spent a lovely six days in Texas- we flew in on the 26th and back out on the 1st. It felt both relaxing and quick- so it must have been the perfect amount of time. Honestly, I didn’t take a ton of pictures, but I will share the ones I did take. For me, the highlights were seeing Davis enjoy his go-kart, spending time with my family in Fredericksburg, and then a night out in Austin with some friends.

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I have looked at this picture a few times- and I just think to myself “Holden is so pretty. I don’t even get it.”


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We ended up spending New Year’s Eve in Fredericksburg- I wanted to see my grandparents again before we left- and beyond seeing them, I am so glad we went back. There was the cutest little NYE celebration for kids at Marktplatz. The kids (and I) loved seeing the ball drop and counting down- they’ve never done that before and I’m sure it will be a request year after year.

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And then we came back to 3 degree weather, and it was so cold my car wouldn’t start. YIKES. But it’s easy to get right back in the swing of things- we’re adaptable I guess.

Happy New Year!


Christmas Cheer.

We have been prepping for Christmas this weekend- wrapping gifts and buying presents- making plans for our Christmas eve cookie delivery tradition. We are stepping up our game this year- going to more houses- making more types of cookies. It’s going to be fun. Enjoy some pictures from the last week or so!

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Holden loves setting up the nativity scene nanny and grandpa gave her. She still calls it “God’s Farm” which I love- and we very often sit and play with the characters. :-)


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Oh boy does she love that cat. And Davis does too. Really we all do. I even caught Bennett kissing him on the lips the other day. BUSTED!



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Some vintage christmas ornaments from nanny and the best smelling Rum candle my mom bought me over Thanksgiving. Makes for a very cozy sit by the fire.

Happy Holidays!