The Last Rays of Summer

So, I have been slightly absent from this blog for the past several weeks for one reason: Jeremy and I have been soaking in every single bit of sun and fun during our first summer here in Boston. We certainly have filled up our days with traveling and adventuring and every time I sat down to write a new blog, I couldn’t write because I didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that summer is indeed ending. *insert sniffles and pouty faces here* But alas, here we are. The end of summer is near!

So, here’s a quick rundown on the best moments that we have had in August! (okay, they all were the best but I had to narrow it down to a somewhat comprehensive list in order to not write the longest blog post ever about the month of August)

1. Blueberry Picking!IMG_1353

As a Utah girl, I have never experienced the magic of fruit picking. Turns out, there’s a TON of fruit to pick here! And get this… you can go to an orchard and pick it all by yourself. *the crowd gasps in shock* Now, I did know about this but I never thought that I would be able to experience it for myself. It was the most magical experience ever! We went up to Crane Beach for the day but after realizing that we might not get into the beach for a lil’ bit because of the parking situation up there, we decided to stop in at Russell Orchards to kill some time. Turns out, we made a day of it and ate yummy food there and picked lots o’ blueberries. We didn’t even go to the beach! It was so wonderful to just walk around the beautiful grounds and look at all the fruit that could be picked and some spots that were growing fruit for the fall time! We will definitely be going back for apple picking!

2. Probably the Quickest Trip to Brooklyn, NY in History of Mankindfullsizeoutput_525

We woke up super duper early in the morning and made our way down to New York for the day! In our trip, we explored around SoHo district and DUMBO in Brooklyn. I would say our total visit would amount to about 5 hours and it was seriously so worth every minute spent there. I mean, now that we live over in the East Coast EVERYTHING IS SO CLOSE. IT BLOWS MY MIND. Anyway, I love it and it’s so great. We ate yummy food, did some wonderful shopping (which Jeremy loves so very much) and then left. A perfect day trip. I’m not afraid to say that I have a little crush on that city. Okay, fine. A big crush. The magic of New York is unlike anywhere else in this world and I plan on visiting often. You can feel creativity and passion pulsing through the streets and it is infectious.

3. RED SOX. WOO.IMG_1517

Now, for those of you who know me pretty well (or barely at all), you know that I do not do the sportsing. It has never been a specialty of mine BUT an old co-worker and friend of Jeremy’s in Utah came to visit us and took us out to the ballgame. I can now say for a certainty that the ballpark life is not the life for me. HOWEVER, there were things that I would return to Fenway Park for. 1. The hot dogs. I’m a sucker for hot dogs. 2. THE SINGING. I LOVE SINGING ALL THE SONGS. Singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the “Shipping Up to Boston” (as you may recall from a previous post that is my current life theme song) on the top of my lungs was possibly one of the greatest moments of my sportsing life history. and 3. It’s a great place to spend some time with friends yelling at the players who will probably never, ever hear what you’re going to say. The end of the game got super intense and I certainly was screaming on the top of my lungs in order to help the people do a great job out on the field. I did the sports ball doing! WOO! Oh, and we won. That’s an important part to mention. And by we, I mean the Red Sox. Duh.

4. Beaches, Beaches, Ponds?IMG_1592

It is no secret anymore that I’m basically a mermaid. So, in honor of this, Jeremy and I have taken every chance we can take to be by the water. We took a day trip up to Ogunquit, Maine and spent the afternoon at the beach. We also took a trip to Walden Pond which was also beautiful. The end of our beach trip season is certainly the hardest part to come to terms with but I will manage. I’m not sure how but I know I will somehow.

5. The City, Of Coursefullsizeoutput_527.jpeg

Jeremy and I are still amazed that we live in this city. We keep having moments where we are just in awe that Boston is our city now! We have spent so much time learning the ropes about this city, finding the best hidden secrets, making new friends and just enjoying the Boston life. This past weekend, we rented the Hubway bikes and biked around the Esplanade and Back Bay Area and it was quite possibly my favorite day in the city thus far. There’s just so many incredibly wonderful things to find here! So, of course we have to adventure in our new city and we certainly did a lot of it this month especially with a few friends we met in Utah stopping by to say hi to our city.

So, I’m sure it has now become very clear that Jeremy and I have done nothing with our past month and we really, really dislike adventuring. (hehe, I’m really good at sarcasm too, in case you haven’t noticed yet) But in all seriousness, August has been so wonderful and now that the air is starting to get a little chillier, I cannot wait to experience a new season in Boston!

With loves, Nicole

 

 

Making Time for Living.

I'm sure you've heard it throughout your life and maybe you've even said it once or twice. "There's just not enough time in a day!" Well, I've definitely said that before because at times, it feels just so true. In just a mere 12 hours, you work for 8 or 9 of them and are left with just enough time to eat and go to bed. Right? I think not! Jeremy and I are in the middle of the coolest parts of life, where we get to play in the sandbox (okay, not so much a metaphor for me because I teach preschool) and figure out what we want our lives to be like. Doing this while working a full-time job, leaves you with almost no time for the simple things like sitting down for dinner or catching up on your favorite Netflix tv show. Something I've learned in this process is that you aren't just given time, you need to make time. If you want to work on your gardening skills, then go buy some plants and a book of how to keep them alive (and then tell me how to do it because apparently I can't keep plants alive) If you want to go on a hiking trip, take some of that vacation time that you haven't used and go. There are so many ways that we can grow if we just make the time and decide we're going to do it. So, I figured I'd share some things that I have learned to make time for and if you are going through a big moment of change, maybe it'll give you an idea of what you want to make time for. The small moments are grounding and have ultimately provided me with a sense of making this home. Basically what I'm getting at is making time is important, mmkay?

  1. Make time for a morning routine. Morning routines are essential because the routine can help center your whole self and become more in tune with your mind, body and spirit throughout the day. My routine includes time for self-growth or reflection (i.e. journaling and stuff like that) and time to relax before work. I've also been throwing in some exercise into that routine but more on that for a different post on a different day.
  2.  Make time for creativity. Finding time to channel my emotions about this big change into a creative outlet (mine is songwriting and just dinking around on my guitar and ukelele) has been vital to not only surviving here, but thriving. This can come in many different forms though. If you used to paint in college but life has just started to get in your way, go pick up some paints and get goin'. If you used to throw some pottery (okay, I know that is DEFINITELY not the term you use but it sounds cool, I think.) then find a local pottery making place and join. Do something for YOU and a hobby or passion that you're well-versed in or something new that you've always wanted to try but never had the time. Make the time. (Wow, well don't I sound like lil' miss bossy pants? But it's just so true!)
  3. Make time to be in the present. Sitting out on our little patio and just enjoying the sounds of the neighborhood is one of my favorite things about this apartment. Jeremy and I love to have dinner out there and leave all distractions inside the house. This gives us the chance to talk about not only our days but things that we're struggling with and things that we want to celebrate. These moments help build our relationship amidst the whole 'we're super busy millenials who both have such big goals and there's not enough time in the day to pursue them' thing.
  4. Make time for self care. Okay, I can say this isn't my strongest suit BUT I am learning and it is a process. Just yesterday I got sent home from work because I was still so sick but felt like I needed to be there. Ultimately, my stubborness to be a good employee rather than taking the time to get better didn't help anyone. And now, since I was able to get that extra rest, I am feeling better and am able to be more present for the day at work today. Make time to curl up with the book you've been meaning to read but just haven't gotten around to it or take a nice bubble bath with a Lush bath bomb (shameless advertising because I love Lush so much) but just do something for yourself.
  5. Make time for family and friends. I can admit that I haven't been the best at staying in touch with all my friends when we all moved onto our new adventures but I can say that when I take the time to reach out and hear about their lives, I feel closer and we're able to cultivate those friendships from afar. Talking to my parents has been my lifeline during this move. I call my Mom and Dad every chance I get and whenever I do, I hang up the phone missing them terribly but also knowing that they're happy and so am I.
  6. Make time to make new friends. This one has been something that I need to do because Jeremy and I knew NO ONE when moving here and apparently it's kind of hard to make friends out of college and in a new city. BUT we have already made some friends here which has been so much fun! Basically, what I'm saying is take the time to reach out to someone new in your community. It goes a long way, I promise.
  7. Make time for adventures. Adventures are literally the best thing in the whole wide world and I love them so much. I don't even need to explain this one because who doesn't like to adventure? Our most favorite part about living in a new city is that every single day is filled with some kind of new adventure, whether big or small. And there are so many places to visit! Adventures are just fun and filled with no stress and they're just SO COOL.

So, get out there and make some time. I promise it'll be worth it.

AYYO! One Month Down! *insert happy dance*

I woke up this morning and went about my new usual routine. Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, check social media (trying to get out of that habit) when suddenly I looked at the date of my phone. Turns out, it has been exactly one month since we left Salt Lake City. When I saw this, I immediately smiled and thought how proud of myself I am for making this big change. Then I thought about how much I miss everyone back in Utah and Idaho. Then I thought a whole spew of emotions (which is basically my life right now) but ultimately, I am happy. I am SO SO happy here. It’s lonely at times, but then I realize it’s only been a month and there’s so much time to grow and build a community here. Somehow this month has seemed so long  yet has flown by at the same time. I didn’t post a blog post last week because I haven’t known what to write about. There’s just been so much going on that I don’t even know where to start! But now, I know what I want to say. I want to say, BOSTON IS THE BEST AND I GET WHY EVERYONE LIVES HERE.

This city is beautiful. As I watched the fireworks on the Charles a few days ago, I looked at the skyline and thought for the first time since being here how exciting it is that the skyline I was looking at is my home. Although I’m not technically a part of the skyline because I live on the outskirts of the city, it is a really cool feeling to know that you are a part of such a diverse, intruiging and amazing city.

In Salt Lake City, I always felt at home. Everything was familiar and I knew what to expect day to day. Being here now, every day is new. I’m constantly learning the ins and outs of this city. I’m slowly learning where the yummy food is, where to grocery shop vs. where not to, how to get around on the T… Basically everything I had mentioned concerns about a month ago. I recall that one of my other concerns was making friends. Well, I’m still working on that. Apparently making friends after college AND in a new state is fairly difficult. I’m just being patient and open to any opportunities that come my way. *insert internal pep-talk here* Actually, not even my own pep-talk… what’s running through my head on a daily basis is this video right here!  Please watch that video. It gives me joy daily. “I CAN DO ANYTHING!”

I also realized the other day that Boston isn’t actually that big. When comparing it to New York City, it’s a walk in the park… Literally, it’s like walking the span of Central Park. Upon this realization, the city became a lot more accessible and even more so, it became less frightening. I feel safe here. In downtown Salt Lake City, there were many times when I was working down there that I actually feared for my life due to the homeless community there. Walking around downtown Boston (while acknowleding that it is important to have street smarts and that danger is a thing) I have felt relatively safe AND the only thing scary ’round those parts are the tourists (please laugh, that joke is funny.)

Now, I won’t say that it’s been easy but I will say that in this past month, I have grown more than I ever thought could be possible. Plus, I’ve gone to the beach two weeks in a row now, which is almost more than my beach attendance for the past 22 years (almost 23! Yay birthdays!) From now on, my blog posts are going to be more frequent (hopefully!) and more about this city and the things that make it special to me as a new resident. I’ve already began to fall in love with this city and I can’t wait to share all the wonderful things that I find along the way.

With Loves, Nicole

I’m a City Girl Now!

In my very first blog post entitled Home is here, I mentioned sitting at the dining room table with a snoring dog in the background in Salt Lake City. I also mentioned how ready I was to call Brighton, MA my new home. I can now officially say that I do call it home. I am writing this post from my new dining room table in my adorable and cozy apartment. And this time, there isn’t a snoring dog as my soundtrack but a whole city of sounds (and Gemma’s bell on her collar jingling as she walks around.) My new home is here. The beginning of this journey has been terrifying and filled with tears of missing home and tears of just being scared but mostly I have been filled with a sense of peace. This is my home and so far, I think I like it here.

Now, there are a few things that I immediately learned upon moving to the city. So, because I love lists so much, here goes it!

  1. HUMIDITY IS REAL, PEOPLE. Okay, so I guess no one thinks that it isn’t real, but I bet a lot of people (like me) didn’t believe other people (like anyone who has lived in the East Coast) that it is real. We came back from Quebec and suddenly, it was like you were just a walking puddle. I would literally be walking outside for two measly minutes and I became STICKY. BEING STICKY IS SUCH A STRANGE FEELING AND I DON’T LIKE IT. Luckily, the humidity streak has broken today and I actually feel like a normal human being again!
  2. Everyone warned me about the driving in Boston so naturally I was terrified when I first got behind the wheel and y’know what? It’s not that bad! If anything, driving here is easier than in Utah (because NO ONE CAN DRIVE IN UTAH.) If anything, I feel safer driving here… Everyone is aware of their surroundings so it’s perfectly normal to wedge into a new lane on the highway with no room for you because the car behind will (usually) just let you in. The agressiveness could be toned down a little bit and I’ve been getting honked at a lot for just going the speed limit but overall, not too shabby. So, I’m learning to be more assertive and I’ve done a handful of Boston Wedges! *self high-five* I’m not going to talk about the parallel parking because I’ve been avoiding it. *thumbs up*
  3. Okay, now Jeremy would argue that this is the most important discovery that we’ve made (and I think I agree.) DELIVERY. It’s a thing here and so many restaraunts do it!!! We’ve only utilized this option once since being here but it’s so great to know that there’s more than just Dominos available! Being foodies, Jeremy and I downloaded Grubhub and we were SO EXCITED to see about 50 options that deliver to the apartment on the list! Our one delivery experience was from Fast Eddies in Brighton. We ordered online and soon enough, the food was at our apartment. We then realized that the pizza place was 0.2 miles away from us and the delivery guy just walked from the store. So, next time we’ll probably walk to get the pizza (unless we’re feeling ULTRA MEGA LAZY.)
  4. My commute to work is really, really hard. I have to walk for TWO WHOLE MINUTES. I’m actually not kidding though. I can see work from my lil’ balcony. So, it’s not hard. IT’S FANTASTIC. My first day is on Friday and I think with enough time and effort, I’ll make it on time. Speaking of commutes, Jeremy has to commute on the T for 45 minutes. So, he actually has the rough commute but he’s a tough cookie. *big smile*
  5. ADVENTURES. ADVENTURES. ADVENTURES. If you know Jeremy and I well, you know that we LOVE going on adventures. Farmer’s Markets, festivals, etc… you name it in Salt Lake and we’ve probably gone. There is so much to do here! I knew that big cities are supposed to be filled with events and activities but I didn’t realize how many options there are here! I am so excited to explore what this city has to offer and hopefully make friends during this process! We went to the Tall Ships Festival last weekend and this weekend we’re going sailing and sea kayaking!! Needless to say, we are going to be worried about not having anything to do on the weekends.
  6. I’m nervous about it, but I’m going to dip my toes into the music scene here and soon thereafter, I will dive in. More updates as I figure out my plan and I would love any leads if you know the music culture here. So, this learning point isn’t much more than just committing to myself in writing that I’m going to do this even though it terrifies me.

I can’t wait to learn more about this city and to have so many new experiences while settling into being a city girl. I miss Utah and my family and friends SO much though. I definitely left a big chunk of my heart out there and I notice that it’s missing every single day (*disclaimer: I actually have my whole physical heart. It’s just an expression. No need to call a doctor for me.) Though this whole process is bittersweet, I’m just filled with an excitment that I haven’t ever felt before. There’s so much to explore here and I plan to embrace being a city girl!

With Loves, Nicole

P.S. I made a lil’ video about our trip to Canada. Check it out here! If anything, listen to it for the song that plays during the video because it’s an AWESOME song.

Je parle francais, eh?

Well, we did it. We moved across the country. And now, I’m writing this blog post whilst in Quebec, Canada. Yep, you read that right. I’m not in Boston as of this moment. Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “why in the world would Nicole go to Canada right after moving all the way across the country??” Turns out that this is the only time that a family vacation with Jeremy’s family would work out. But man, let me tell you… This past week has been an absolute whirlwind.

To begin our moving process, we did the whole plane with a cat thing. I have only one piece of solid advice for my readers regarding this… 1. JUST DON’T DO IT. SAVE YOURSELF. Travelling with little Gemma Lemma was filled with her singing the song of her people (or more like screaming) to all the surrounding audience members (uh, I mean passengers) in the plane. Whatever ‘sedative’ that the vet gave us did not work. I mean, maybe she was complaining a little bit less on the car ride to the airport but nothing could prevent Gemma from speaking her mind about her misery and suffering in the aiport and on the airplane. What I’m saying is just don’t do it. Ship your cat through UPS if you need to (not actually advocating for that but I definitely thought about doing that around 4am on the flight).

So, we got off the plane with a total of one hour of sleep (not even sure about that) between the two of us and went to see our apartment!! It’s absolutely amazing and I love it so much. It’s the perfect size and Gemma seems to love it as well. Minus the whole part of not being allowed outside because she wouldn’t survive a night in the big bad streets of Boston (not so big and bad but more just the fact that Gemma doesn’t fully understand cars can squish her). Then came all the errands associated with moving over the next few days…. getting a new license, transferring car titles, buying kitchen supplies, picking up furniture.. The list goes on and on. But we did it! All while staying sane (partially) and having just enough time to watch OITNB in our new cozy living room.

And now, we’re finishing out our adventures in Canada and heading home this afternoon.  Speaking of which, CANADIAN FRENCH DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. I’ve  been trying to interact with almost everyone I encounter but I still have no idea what they are saying back to me. Well, lesson learned I suppose. What is the lesson? Uh… learn to speak French the Canadian way before going to Quebec, I think. BUT Canada is absolutely gorgeous. It feels like I stepped back into France (minus the quirky accents) and I love it so much.

More photos and info about the trip in my new post once I get home. Home is Boston. Not Salt Lake… Still trying to get used to that but I think I like the sound of home in Boston. Plus, I have a really cozy couch to get back to at home. That helps.

With loves, Nicole

I’m Shipping Up to Boston. WOOAAAHH.

I’M SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON, WOOOOOOAHHH. SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON WOOAAH.

For those of you who do not know the song I am referencing (aka you didn’t immediately sing it on the top of your lungs upon reading the above), please see the video below. Also, if the video is representative of life in Boston I’m thinking I might just stick around in Small Lake City.

 

Now, I am not shipping out to Boston to find my wooden leg that I lost whilst climbing the top sails (as the lyrics state in the song, which you might need to look up because understanding any of the words is nearly impossible in the verses) but I suppose one could say I’m finding my theoretical wooden leg there? I’m about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life and I know that I will find many hidden treasures (and maybe even a real wooden leg at sea?) I know that this adventure is going to change me and I am so excited to see the woman that I’m going to become. I’ve had the nervous jitters all morning but I can’t even begin to explain the butterflies of excitment that I have. Today is my last day in Utah and I’m going to miss everyone SO MUCH but I am ready for this change.

So, this post is merely a statement that I’m shipping up to Boston in 12 HOURS. Which means that this marks my last blog post in Utah and next time I’m writing, I’ll be in my new home as a Boston blogger. I’m so excited for the experiences that I’ll have, the people I’ll meet, and creating a home across the country.

And in that spirit, I challenge you to get out and do something that scares you a little today or tomorrow because then you know you’re growing. With that, I say goodbye to Utah and SEE YOU TOMORROW BOSTON.

With all my loves, Nicole

Finding the Gratitude.

6 days. Six days. Six jours. 6 tage. T-minus 6 days. Six. Six. Six.

No matter how I write it, 6 days means the same thing. Ooh, now if I try changing that to hours…. That makes 144 hours. THAT’S NOT ENOUGH HOURS. In 6 days, I will be going through airport security with Jeremy by my side, Gemma in her kitty carrier (sleeping peacefully and heavily sedated *thumbs up*) and a one way ticket in my hand. After attempting to sleep on a red-eye flight, we will arrive in the Boston.

In exactly one week, we will be unpacking the U-box in Brighton, Massachusetts, the place I will be calling home. Everything is set up… the internet, electricity, jobs, packing, Gemma’s health certificate, etc. etc. and it’s been easy and exciting. It wasn’t until last night when I was just relaxing and enjoying my evening that it hit me. I have made the decision to pack up my life and start fresh and new across the country. If you would have told me five years ago that I would be doing this now, college freshman Nicole would have laughed, a lot. BUT SO MANY ADVENTURES ARE ON THEIR WAY and that’s what keeps me going when I get a little scared or sad.

I was told once in a Sheva meeting (basically education for JCC educators) that the best way to become more grateful in your daily life is to make a list of 7 new things each day. After writing down the seven things, read the list out loud and say “thank you” as many times that you need to TRULY feel gratitude. As each day passes, add seven items to the list and read the full list that you have so far. If this is of interest of you, I would definitely recommend doing this. After 7 days, you have a whopping 49 things to read out loud and I promise that you feel exponentially grateful for everything in your life. It’s also amazing how hard it is to think of 7 things each day. When I did this challenge, on the worst days I was able to write things like “I’m grateful to have a beating heart” or “I’m grateful for my cereal this morning. It was yummy.” We live in a society where complaining is the norm and focusing on the negative in the world around us is too easy… switching your mindset to having gratitude for the small things truly reminds you the meaning of this life (whatever that may be to you).

So, I figured while I’m feeling all nostalgic and excited for the future in a big and messy ball of emotions, I would write a list of seven things that I’m grateful for here in Salt Lake that I will miss so very much…

  1. Having my incredible family close enough where I can hop on a bus and be there in 4 hours.
  2. The friendships (new and old) that I will cherish forever.
  3. All the memories that were created here.
  4. My home with beautiful and loving roommates who are like sisters to me.
  5. Being able to drive 10-20 minutes and suddenly you are in the mountains (BONUS: Looking around in Salt Lake City and seeing mountains no matter which direction you’re looking)
  6. The neighborhood of Sugarhouse and how unique of a place it is.
  7. Jeremy (okay, well that part is coming with me but still! This is where we met and fell in love and all those mushy gushy feelings)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

These past few weeks, I have said ‘thank you’ in my head so many times that I can’t keep track anymore. I am filled with eternal gratitude and love for this place and all the experiences I have had here. I’ve always known what the word ‘bittersweet’ means but I have NEVER felt it like this.

So, for anyone who needs a lil’ pick-me-up activity, some inspiration, or anything like that, try this gratitude list. You’d be surprised about what you come up with and how it changes your perspective on things.

Much loves, Nicole