Sunday, October 2, 2016

Falling in Love with Utah {Ensign Peak}

I had a big full circle moment recently.  One of those big eye opening, thought provoking moments.  And it all happened while looking down on the city that I have been calling home for 3.5 years.  Well actually, that's a lie.  Because it has only been a year or so since I would actually admit that Utah was home.  So, back to the full circle...



When Liam was 5 weeks old, Conor got the call about a job opportunity in Salt Lake City.  When Liam was 4 months old, we came to SLC for a house hunting trip.  I was so emotional and not happy to be moving.  I had a picture in my mind of what SLC would look like & be like, and after arriving here I was underwhelmed to say the least.  Our realtor took us on a little drive our first day to really take in the city.  She drove us up above the capital building to an overlook where you could see it all. The city.  The mountains.  The Great Salt Lake.  And again, I was somewhat unimpressed.  I just didn't see the beauty in it. Perhaps part of it was due to the thick layer of smog that blankets the valley from one of those dreaded winter inversions.  All I could think of was how someone told me the early Mormon settlers chose this place because they thought that no one else would want to live here; they would not be bothered.  So yeah... I was up for giving it a try, but there was no love for this new and seemingly uninviting place early on.

I'm not quite sure when I started liking it here.  It crept in slowly.  I was reluctant to even admit that I liked it to many people.  And then of course, like grew to love (and I'm still super hesitant to even say that!).  Our proximity to the mountains is incredible.  Each day, I look outside our stairwell window and have this amazing view.  Right from my house.  In 25 minutes, I can be at Snowbird.  We put Liam on skis at age 2, and Finn will probably start even earlier!  We hike nearly weekly & camp as often as we can in the summer.  It quickly turned into this incredibly family-friendly city with so much to offer me and my boys!


And of course, there's the people!  We got super lucky on our neighborhood.  Our neighbors have become some of our closest friends & even feel like family here.  I love that my kids can run outside each day to play with friends & still be under the watchful eye of other parents who care for them just as we would and vice versa.  And if that group of people isn't wonderful enough, I have developed this tight-knit group of mom friends who I play date with nearly every single day during the week.  They keep me busy, active and sane!  I cannot imagine going through motherhood without them!  Initially I was terrified to move to Utah as a non-mormon; so worried that it would be impossible to make friends (or get a stiff drink!).  Well, Utah has this amazing sense of community.  And while some of that may be attributed to the Mormon culture, I have found my niche without having to convert! ;-)

So all this to say, a few week ago we hiked Ensign Peak.  It's a steep but rather short hike above the capitol building that presents just an amazing view of the city and valley.  The peak is just above the overlook our realtor once took us too on our "area tour".  We reached the top just before sunset, and it was one of the most stunning views I have ever seen.  It was a perfectly clear night, with the sun setting right over the Great Salt Lake.  I was suddenly in awe of this place we live.  In awe of the mountains, the bustling city, the vastness and beauty of it all.  And I reflected on the person I was when we first arrived here.  The person who saw nearly this same view, yet really saw nothing.  Oh how far I have come!



Now that I have professed my love for Utah, you must be thinking that we plan to stay here.  And we might.  But truly, we have no idea what we want.  Conor is at a place with work where he may be presented with some new opportunities within the next year.  Possibly here, possibly elsewhere.  Initially, we always wanted to end up back in the Seattle area.  I'd also love to move back closer to our hometowns where our families live, but that's not currently an option.  We also may want to just stay; but that's an interesting feeling too.  We had never planned to stay here for more than 2-3 years.  I hate change, and I hate uncertainty.  I'm a planner.  So not knowing where we may live in 1, 5, or even 10 years is so so hard for me.  But not knowing what I actually want, for me and for my boys, even if I could choose... well that is even harder.

I just keep reminding myself that the best is yet to come.  Trying to be patient and live in the moment for now.  And we'll keep on enjoying Utah and ALL that is has to offer our family as long as we have it to call home.

14 comments :

  1. These pictures are incredible - especially the ones at the end! So glad you're loving where you live! Although I am pretty sure I want to take up permanent residency at your lake house...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loooove these pictures and that you love it so much now!!!! I'm with you, such a planner and the unknown always scares me .... But there is so much beauty in it, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I resonate so much with this post!!
    Whatever comes your way, I know you will make the very most of it, live life to the fullest, and show those boys how beautiful their world is!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a special reflection to come full circle like that. And, good for you for able to change your perspective and begin to love a place you never thought you would. Where are your parents again? Hoping you get some clarity as you make decisions for next moves, and so happy you had such a great experience!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a wonderful place to be, a place of contentment with where you are.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So first of all, I love the photos in this post. And second, I love hearing how you came to love Utah. And finally, we have been there with trying to make decisions about where to move and what is best for us, our families, and our future kids. It can be a lot to deal with to make decisions like that. I hope you have clarity and wisdom in making the best decisions!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I definitely understand this. I cried the entire drive home from Joplin the first time Jim brought me down to give me the "grand tour". And we fully expected to move back to Kansas City after a year and a half....but then it turned to three years...then five years...and now I've been here for ten years. Who knows if we will ever leave! And I think I'm good with that?!

    But, like you said, I'm a totally different person than I was when I first moved here. So, yay for personal growth!

    ReplyDelete
  8. YES! I can totally relate to all of this. When we left Chicago and moved back to Michigan, I was not happy at alllll about what city we were moving back to (we went to college here). But somehow over the last 2 years I have fallen in love with living here and I honestly think we'll stay long term. Life is a crazy ride!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your change of heart! It does seem like a place that is great for your family with your neighborhood and opportunities to get outdoors. Even if you won't be there forever, or maybe you will, it's good that you enjoy it.
    I was always good with living in FL, we moved to CO for university and then moved back to FL after four years. Now I kind of know what I am missing in terms of seasons and it bums me out where it never did before. That and having great places to go hiking and walk the trails. Not too much of that at all in our area. I'm like man I wish I didn't realize what I was missing out on!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Those silhouette photos are amazing! And isn't it crazy how your attitude can change how you see things! I'm so glad you have grown to love Utah! My SIL moved to Rhode Island with the same feelings and now she loves it and considers it home!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh goodness! I love love love these photos. Those silhouette pics are incredible. I'm so ready for another visit to Utah so we can see more! You guys really are lucky to live in such an amazing place!

    ReplyDelete
  12. These photos are GORGEOUS!!! I've never been to Utah but you truly make it sound amazing. I mean, your neighbors, neighborhood, seasons, beautiful scenery, proximity to the mountains. It truly sounds like the perfect place for you at this stage of your life. No matter where life takes you, I know you will make the most of it and explore it to the fullest!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a beautiful post. I am so glad you have grown to love the place that you live. Every time I see your posts I think about how awesome it would live somewhere with mountains and awesome places to hike and camp. But then moving from Texas, the place I have called home for 35 years, gives me major anxiety. Those silhouette photos are stunning!

    ReplyDelete

I love reading all your comments!

Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright 2016