I have a lot of things flying around in this head of mine.  So, as I begin this post I can only hope that one thing comes out at a time.

I bought the most amazing home two years ago.

And not because it was everything I’ve ever wanted in a home or that it was a great investment (ha!) or that it was the perfect location or so on.

More, because it was mine.  And I bought it by myself.  And it allowed me to bring Charley into my life.  And I bought it in the town I moved to for my first career.  A town where I made my first adult friends.  And it was exactly what I needed at the moment. It taught me so much.

Now, I’m moving out and moving on.  And I want to process this moment in the way that it deserves I feel I need to.

And I’ll just come out and say it early on – I processed this moment by making my incredibly talented friend Cesly come take “moving out” pictures for me.  I’m sure that’s all kinds of levels of strange, but if it wasn’t strange, it wouldn’t be genuinely me.

Moving out and moving on - and how to deal with that inevitable change | DayDreaminengineer.com

Rear view

I keep going back to something my dear friend Gina Beans said once after I first bought my house.  She said she had seen me grow a lot in the past year, and since I had really only known her for a year, I was a bit confused by the comment.  She clarified with examples, like buying my first home, and getting a dog; but most importantly, she emphasized that I had done all of that by myself – all without a husband or a family or whatever else women apparently need in order to reach certain milestones in their lives. 

That has stuck with me.  Especially thinking back to when I met my neighbors for the first time.  An older couple, I remember the woman asking over and over (as if I was lying the first time) if I “really bought this house just for me?”

I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around this, but I guess when I was younger I never thought that I would be buying a house by myself.  But looking in the rear view mirror (both literally driving away from my first home, and figuratively), I wish I had – because holy smokes, it was just the best.

Moving out and moving on - and how to deal with that inevitable change | DayDreaminengineer.com

The Sitcom

I stood in my empty house with two good friends and one said “shall we go around and each share one of our favorite memories in this house?”  (You know the moment, I’m thinking of Boy Meets World or some other 90’s show where everyone is getting ready to go off to college and part ways and they have flash backs of all their favorite memories.) We laughed, but really, my mind was reeling with memories.  Mainly of all the dear friends that graced my home with their presence.

I have amazing friends from high school and college and work and volleyball.  However, it’s a whole new world moving to a new town and making true and real and genuine adult friends when you don’t have a pool of other people like you wandering around in the same place doing the same thing where it’s easy easier to make friends.  Seriously, I could talk about this for hours, I already have.  But my point is when I think of The Sitcom of my house, I think of the truly amazing friends that helped me make that house my home.  I’m going to cry while I’m writing this, I already have.  New friends, old friends, friends of friends.  All of them.

Moving out and moving on - and how to deal with that inevitable change | DayDreaminengineer.com

The Nitty-Gritty Memories

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share some of the memories I just mentioned, although I’m not sure where to start.

  • Charley growing up.  Charley has her flaws (as my friends and family gladly remind me of whenever possible) but to me, she’s perfect.  She listens when she wants (as my bf would say “she takes after her mother” in that respect).  And even though I’ve upgraded to a King size bed, she will still take up the whole dang thing and steal all the blankets. Living alone in that house, I would have loved for my adorable little pup to let out a few warning barks when the doorbell rings, however she only barks at me when she wants me to play with her.  I’m sure the list could continue (especially if Cathy Collett was doing the writing) but I’m still a real crazy dog mom who is so proud of the weird and loving little pup I’ve raised.  [Gina Beans quote: “It’s telling what kind of kids you’ll raise after seeing what a strange dog Charley is turning into.” And by strange I know she meant the most perfectly unique and lovable pup she’s ever met.]
  • I went through my first (and I sure hope last) layoff in that house.  I was able to find time to pursue my creative side. I opened an Etsy shop, started selling wood burned magnets at WyoMade, worked on custom wedding invitations, scheduled photoshoots, filmed a few weddings and started this blog.
  • Halloween.  This is the best holiday.  Ever.  I started having Halloween parties three years ago at my apartment, and the funniest things occurred (that don’t need to be mentioned here).  But then the party continued into my home and it was the best of times.  The random people that would come and go and all the friends that were always there.  The stories, the food, the costumes (I mean, SHARK WEEK as a costume, Riley Sparling!), the drinks, the music, it was a blast.  Crockpot meatballs will forever remind me of all the times in the house for my halloween parties (or scales from 1-10, ha DBeans!).
    • Side memory.  Candice in her crazy cat lady outfit running, literally sprinting to the front door when the trick-or-treaters would show up.  That woman was made for Halloween.
  • Firemen.

The story begins at 1am when every single fire alarm in my house starts screaming.

I (and my princess dog) wake up to the sound of a fire alarm but no signs of smoke. The lack of smoke made me comfortable that there wasn’t a house leveling fire so I start pushing all the buttons on the fire alarm. I have a habit of not replacing batteries when I hear that whimpering beep, so I figure I must have upset the queen of fire detectors somehow.  She was not pleased.  Panicked, I did what any young adult does in this scenario, I called my mom (we never have to grow out of that, right?!). She thought perhaps it was a carbon monoxide leak and instructed me to call the authorities. Reluctantly, I called 911.  I explained the situation to the operator and asked that he tell the kind firemen not to turn their sirens on because I really don’t want to explain to my neighbors that I woke them up because I couldn’t figure out how to change the batteries in my smoke detector.

A few moments later the soundless (thank goodness) fire truck rolls up. I’m not sure why, but I’m meandering outside with Miss Charley, looking lost and probably trying to distance myself from the midnight beeping screaming emanating from my house. They rush into my home. Two go upstairs, one heads down to the basement and suddenly I’m back in reality.  I’m wearing my sister’s Christmas reindeer sweater (it’s March), and my 70lb pitbull is trying to play with the fireman running through my house at 1am. Perfect.

Basement fireman (I later learned he was the captain) emerges holding one small, whimpering detector, he turns it off and everything is silent again.  He turns over the detector to show me that the back side is completely soaked.  “Well ma’am, the bad news is you have a leak.  Where is your kitchen sink?” Shocked, I take him over to the sink, while the other two firemen come down the stairs, he opens the cabinet and what do you know. 

The pipe isn’t connected and water is leaking everywhere. 

These three men spring into action as I stand by uselessly in my reindeer sweater. They reconnect the pipe and start moving out my cleaning supplies from below my sink. The captain takes me downstairs to show me the leak and when I come back upstairs my newest discovered worst nightmare is unfolding right in front of my eyes. 

Both sides of the sink are overflowing with grocery bags.  Like hundreds of Russian nesting dolls one inside the other.

WHY. Oh why do I have to save all those bags?! Hundreds of them! All soaking wet!

One of the fireman asks if I need to keep all the bags (the nicest way of asking if I needed the remaining hundred of them that are still under the sink) or if he can put them in the trashcan, which he had already moved over to the sink and began filling it with grocery bags (he knew the answer).  I watched in horror, and a few moments later my trash can is full, both sides of the sink are full and there are still more bags under my dang sink.  I get another trash bag and we fill that sucker all the way to the top with grocery bags and finally, it comes to an end.  Then they get paper towels and start soaking up the leak as I try over and over to convince them to just let me handle this mess under my sink that I haven’t even looked at since I moved in.  They didn’t make me feel as utterly embarrassed as I felt.

Fast forward: a million phone calls, contractor visits and insurance pictures later, I have a brand new hardwood floor and it sure is beautiful.  Just in time for me to move out and move on. *sigh*

  • Dinner parties.  We had a lot of those at my house.  Before all the “oilfield” girls split up (Kaelyn, Mindy, Gina, Grace & Kirstie) we would make dinner together quite often.  I’d say most Friday nights we were at my place cooking up something and talking about everything.  We would also have “crafting” dinner party nights, that basically gave me an excuse to bombard Cesly with design and photography questions.  Riley and Jessica would join in too, and occasionally Dan or Darren or Gavin would grace us with their presence.  Making meals in my home with whoever of my friends were in town – that’s something I’ll cherish forever about that house.
  • Hangover days.  Grace and I had a lot of those.  We loved eating Pho in front of the TV on a lazy Sunday, mustering through our hangovers. Sometimes Kaelyn would run (like literally run 10 miles) over from her house, just to rub in her lack of hangover (and her ability to still workout like a champ).  And sometimes Darren and Gina would show up with Chinese food.  And all the times Charley would join in with the lazy couch cuddle like she was hungover with us.
  • Home crafts.  When you live in apartments you can’t just do whatever you want, but in that house I could.  Craft FREEDOM! Tons of shelves, tons of pictures hung all over the walls.  I crafted new furniture, I bought new furniture, and I got to adult craft without anyone threatening to take away my security deposit.

Conclusion

This post took me a solid 2-3 weeks to get through. (You think I rambled through this you should have seen draft one!)  It’s hard trying to figure out everything that’s going on in my head, and in my heart, when I’m moving out of my first home to a new state for a new job.  I went through so many different emotions and memories but writing this post (even if only my mom and Grandma read it) helped me appreciate what I went through in that house and how it helped shape me for my next adventure.

I miss that house, but really, I’m going to miss the people that helped me make memories in that house – my first group of adult friends.  So, as I process leaving my first home, I’m really trying to process leaving my Casper family, and that’s what I wanted to give justice to.