This weekend I took Ingrid to the Easter egg hunt at a local park. The whole morning made me realize how awesome it is to be a part of things wherever it is I live. We went to a little restaurant coffee shop to meet up with friends, and who should we see in the parking lot but other friends that were just leaving! We chatted a bit, then went inside to get some muffins before venturing to see the Easter bunny.
After coffee we went to the park and met some more friends, and as we were walking around I heard my name being called. It was someone from our apartment complex, the woman who helped us with our lease when we moved. She has always been super friendly and when she sees us she calls us by name. So sweet! And I saw a few moms I recognized from story time at the library.
When I got home, I was just feeling so good about how we moved here not knowing a single person a year or so ago, and now I can go out to a community event and run into people I know. It just makes me feel confident that once Brendan gets his job and we move, we'll be able to make our lives comfortable and meet new friends, no matter where we are.
My new daydream is small town living. Brendan applied to a job about an hour north of Milwaukee, so we'd be close to friends and family but not have to live in the city. I have realized since having Ingrid that I don't want to live in a city. I like the idea of museums and such, but I hate the noise and the traffic. So this small town is close to a city but far enough away that we would be able to have a house with a nice back yard and a small little downtown. The town is right on Lake Michigan, and the houses--oh my god! They are so inexpensive! Theoretically we could buy a house way sooner rather than later, and actually get a house we liked, rather than one we could just afford. And with a small mortgage payment we could travel, which is what we want to do. The town is also close to our favorite state park and other hiking areas. The more we talked about it the better it sounded!
But again, every time Brendan tells me a place he applied to, I look up where the town is, what the house prices are, go look on craigslist to see what kind of rentals they have. And I start thinking about how it would be to live there and I can find a list of positives. I have gone from Colorado and the mountains to Southern California and palm trees to small town Wisconsin and Lake Michigan and I can see us living in all the places and having a good time. So we'll see.
Wherever we end up, though, I am excited to meet new people and start to make our lives there. No more limbo, I want to know I'm going to live somewhere for more than a year...