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!