Tuesday, October 29, 2013

so, since june, a few things have happened.

remember that one time about 5 months ago when i said that i would be better about blogging regularly? psyche. so now we have been married for almost a year and a half and i have to say- i am a firm believer in the old adage "it only gets better with time".  especially because these past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind of activity and we are happier than ever.

rewind to july in la.  jared loved his job with merrill but had a career opportunity presented to him that would accelerate the path to his goals and give him more experience.  after a lot of prayer, temple visits, and my trusty pro/con lists, we decided that it was a move that we should take.  it was quite the flurry of interview activity in LA and in NYC.  thankfully our waiting game was not too long and they called almost immediately to offer him the position.  jared is now an operations specialist/analyst for Virtu Financial. similar to his duties at merrill lynch, he deals with the markets and money. and also similarly to his past job- i don't really know what that means... but it is an impressive company and has stretched his brain, patience and sleep patterns to record high limits.  
basically a bunch of nerds with a bunch of monitors that are in charge of a bunch of stuff
 we are really grateful that  merrill lynch was such a great employer and first stepping stone for jared's career and our family.  obviously they were sad to see him leave earlier than expected, but were supportive and understanding of his reasons.  and amidst my complaining- jared literally stayed working for them up until 20 minutes before our move out of LA.

which brings us to our next point... we left CA! one of the reasons that the hiring process was expeditied at Virtu was because they were planning on closing their Santa Monica office and moving it to Austin, TX.  texas is a much more business friendly state, especially when you compare CA taxes to TX taxes...no state income tax.
i was thrilled to be moving out of LA, even though i swore i would never live in TX. LA had its perks and niceties, but it really just wasn't my ideal place to live. it was so crowded and cramped. the weather was fantastic but in tx we actually have seasons and right now i am getting a REAL autumn and i love it.  our transtition happened pretty quickly.  luckily many things divinely fell into place for us.  so within 4 weeks we got a new job and were on the road to a new one. thankfully, jared's parents were also extremely helpful.  they flew into LA a couple days before our move and helped with the final packing and cleaning.  they then drove our moving van with sally in tow, while we followed in jared's car.  
just the beginnings of my packing...
i almost had a heart attack driving sally up onto that tow ramp.
goodbye to our first little baby apartment that we loved.
did you know that even if you move yourself, it literally costs thousands of dollars?!?! well it does. virtu was financing our move but in reimbursement form... so thankfully the bank of dave and peggy (best interest rates in town) were also able to help us avoid maxing out our credit card and accepted our reimbursement check instead. phew.  i cannot tell you how grateful i am that they were able to come and help.  not just for the financial support or packing help, but the entire thing was just such a huge process and in so little time, it was nice to have the support and motivators i needed to get me through it (like i said, jared was working up at merrill up until 20 mins before we left). the ride went smoothly and we were able to get everything to austin in one piece- yes, even sally. we also saw quite the array of animal life along the way. porcupines, armadillos, deer, steers, and hitchhikers.

i love it here. everything is so green and we live right next to the river/lake (they section off pieces of the colorado river to make them "lakes").  when we arrived i thought that i would surely melt from the heat and humidity- and i have been told that we haven't even experienced real tx heat yet!
this is our backyard! kind of hard to tell but it's miles of hills and trees!
i love having a deck, pools, gym, and game room.
no one does state pride like tx. the most impressive capital building that i have ever seen.
 now are here in austin and who would've thought- i love it. the lower cost of living is a huge perk. our new apartment is a little bit bigger, yet we have been able to save more money. the first time we went grocery shopping here, jared couldn't believe how much cheaper everything was and was putting everything he could ever possibly want to eat in the cart. people here worship their TX Longhorns, never seen so much orange in my life, it's awful. i have invested in some pretty heavy duty bug control, have a new respect for ceiling fans, and i love that there are churches everywhere. i have never seen so many churches in my life. in LA, i cannot think of a single person i knew that ever went to church. here, everyone goes to church. and they are huge... on our way to our meetinghouse we pass 3 large churches, 2 of which have such large congregations, they have policemen to man the lights at the intersections for them!  our ward is so nice. so genuinely nice. there were 4 other families that came from LA to Austin, so they were expecting us upon our arrival.  it has been such a blessing to be part of a strong ward, especially in classes, we have the best discussions and i am always so inspired by the things that are said and felt every week.  the members genuine friendliness has made it so much easier to feel to home already.
people here are pretty friendly and polite. and surprisingly, there was a A TON more spanish speaking in LA then there is here. i have been told that Austin is very different than any other part of tx because it is so much more liberal- which leads me to believe that the rest of the state must be very conservative! we do a lot more driving here (even though it takes the same amount of time as LA traffic) because everything is so far spread out. just to do errands i will dive over 30 miles in a day, but i don't even notice. whereas when we were in LA, i wouldn't dare go more than 5 miles to anywhere.  and we have never paid for parking here, or had to work to find parking, it's fantastic.
there are so many things to do and see. it is difficult because jared started work the day after we moved here and works 7AM-8PM+ everyday, so we don't get to do much during the week.  but we make our weekends pretty productive and more than anything, it is just nice to spend a little time with each other. everyone told us that austin would have so many food options for us, but since LA didn't have any chain restaurants and we gross, we are a bit behind on our palate adventures, as we have been getting our fill of chick fi let, wendys and panera bread. but the first BBQ place we did go to was an austin classic and it had a dock outside to sit on while you waited for your table. we sat in old lawn chairs on a dirty dock off the river and threw bread to the fish. i felt like i was 9 years old on summer vacation. i loved it. but will have to make more of an effort to explore our foodie options.
i stay busy with my online business (details later) and getting us situated in this new area and doing what i can to make jared's weekday life a little less stressful.  but sometimes a good long hug is the best thing to offer. good thing those are my favorite.

anyway... there have been a few other adventures that are blog worthy and will add those later this week as i catch up. but now you know we left LA, said goodbye to Merrill, hello to Virtu, are embracing fall weather and happier than ever here in Austin, TX.

stay tuned.