(My apologizes for being a little slow on the uptake this year - I started the blog on October 10, and it's now October 13. Please forgive me those three days.)
Believe it or not, it's been three years since I started this blog.
I have a little tradition of recapping all the wonderful things that have happened to me in the past year - particularly, the things that wouldn't have happened without me moving to the Sioux Falls area.
After all, one of the major reasons I started this blog was to try to quell my anxiety about moving to Sioux Falls. (The other major reason was that I had enough bizarre stories that I thought it was about time to start recording them.) Nothing like voicing your thoughts into the great expanse of the internet to make you feel a little bit better about your particular situation.
If you recall, in 2011, I had just moved to Sioux Falls from Minneapolis. I had done it for two reasons: to be closer to my family, and to be closer to my then-boyfriend James. My job in Minneapolis was so very very strange, and I was ready for a change. I had been applying for jobs in the cities as well as in Sioux Falls, and it just so happened that the job offer I got was in Sioux Falls.
I loved Minneapolis - I loved all the places there were to go, the things to see, the food to eat... but that stuff just wasn't as fun without someone to go with me. While I had friends in the cities, they all had significant others and/or demanding careers. I had neither (as my significant other was located four hours away), so I had much more spare time. James would come to visit me from time to time, and we always had a blast doing cities things - but the time would inevitably come for James to drive back to Ellsworth and me to go back to being alone.
So when the job offer came from the Department of Labor in Sioux Falls, I accepted - and moved, which much trepidation, to Sioux Falls. A number of things had me nervous: I would be basically moving home, as I grew up going to Sioux Falls. I would be taking a significant pay cut. I feared that I'd be stuck living in Sioux Falls, while I wanted to live so many other places. Moving to Sioux Falls would bring me closer to James, but we'd still be living an hour away from each other. How were we going to work that out?
And you know what happened? Everything worked out. Just a few short months after I moved to Sioux Falls, I got a job at the library - a dream come true for a book lover like me. Less than a year after I moved, James proposed. Two years after I moved, James and I were married, had bought a house, and had gotten a cat.
In retrospect, I had nothing to worry about.
Traditionally, I like to talk about all the wonderful life events that have taken place since my last anniversary post. However, it's going to be awfully hard to top last year's update. In my last update, I had gotten promoted, gotten married, and closed on a house: all in the span of two weeks. We had also gotten a cat, which was very exciting. (We have since learned that cats - at least, our cat - aren't actually that great.)
This year has been good, but I have no major life events to report. After all, getting married, buying a house, and adopting your first pet are big ones, and we covered all that in 2013.
But I'm here to tell you about the good stuff that has happened while living here in southwestern Minnesota and working in Sioux Falls - good stuff that most certainly wouldn't have happened if I had stayed in my same job in Minneapolis.
Since my last update, I've been fortunate enough to go on a number of fun trips: New Orleans for New Year's, Phoenix in May, and Rapid City in July, not to mention little road trips to places like Lanesboro, New Ulm, and Morris - AND a great number of trips to Lake Poinsett this summer. At my job in Minneapolis, vacation time was a rare commodity, and I never would've been able to swing all those trips. Additionally, with the cost of living being pretty low here, it's easier to afford things like vacations and houses and furniture for said house.
But the LAKE. Lake Poinsett is one of my favorite places on this earth, and this was the summer that I FINALLY learned to waterski. I had been trying and trying and TRYING to ski since I was about seven years old, and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't manage to balance myself on skis while pulling myself out of the water, and every time I'd try, I'd just end up face-planting into the lake. Until this summer. After the traditional failed attempts, something just clicked, and I finally skiied! I was assured that it wasn't a fluke when I was able to get back up on skis again... and again. And that, my friends, is definitely not something I could've accomplished while living in Minneapolis.
I have also had the fantastic opportunity to volunteer in the Ellsworth Elementary School library. James teaches in Ellsworth, which is the smallest district in Minnesota. At the beginnning of the school year, Ellsworth found themselves short a person to help in the library (as the teacher who had been running the library had taken another job). I volunteered to help, and that was that. I have been working since August, and it's been wonderful. I've been able to help organize the library into a new digitized system, as well as help implement the Dewey Decimal system. I am also able to do story times, which is about the best thing ever.
While I don't have as much major news to report in this three-year blog update, things are going well here in Luverne. I do miss living in Minneapolis, but I must remind myself that all of this great stuff I have going for me - great job, cozy house, freedom for road trips, proximity to my family, happy husband who loves his small-town Minnesota job - would've been much harder to come by had I stayed in Minneapolis.
So here's to another wonderful year of living and blogging - as long as you're still willing to read them, I've got many years' worth of stories left to tell.