HOW TO FALL IN LOVE WITH WHERE YOU LIVE

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This week marks one year since we moved. One year. I can not believe how fast that year has gone and all of the life changes it brought with it! I seriously feel like this last year was the most growing up I’ve done since getting married. We had a lot happen and it has been an incredible ride!

Our First PlaceWhat we left 1 year ago

Here’s the highlights of things that happened this year:
  1. We became parents and welcomed sweet Little W into our lives! This is myfavorite thing that has happened this year!
  2. We moved from our first apartment to another city 90 miles away from all of our family and friends
  3. Mr M started his job. A real  job with insurance and 401K. Hooray for no more college jobs!
  4. We went on some really fun vacations, Lake Powell and New York

So why am I celebrating with you one year since we moved? Well I have a few reasons. One of which is if you remember some of my posts from right after we moved it was a bit of an adjustment. And today, one year later, I can tell you that I love where I live and that you can fall in love with where you live too! 

How to Fall in Love With Where You Live:

Get Involved:

This one took a while for me but it has turned out to be the greatest blessing in my life. Get involved with something. For me it is a church group and a Friday morning play group. I needed friends in this new city. I needed women who I could talk to, people who had things in common with me, we needed ‘couple’ friends we could go to dinner with. All of these friends I found by getting involved with a group.

Our church group meets on Sundays obviously but we also meet once a month on Wednesdays. Being involved and trying to meet people has given me a tie to the community and the people I live by. I know people’s names, they know mine. When we see each other at the grocery store or the park we talk. I have found that people I thought we had nothing in common with, actually have turned out to be really good friends!

So whether you want to be a part of local government or just want to play cards with a few friends find something you can join. Something that you can meet people and become a part of your community.

Be A Tourist In Your City:

One of the things I did when we moved here was to look up what our area was known for.  I looked at the visitors bureau website and looked at all of the things they suggest doing here. I have heard of people who lived in New York for years and never saw the Statue of Liberty, I didn’t want that person to be me. So we are getting out and discovering. And so for the last year we have been tourists in our own city and I have loved it! 

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Little W discovering downtown

We have gone to local ski resorts, gone on some really cool hikes, looked at some really cool buildings, been on a few tours, and tried to discover what makes this place special. I read about historic landmarks and then we check them out. This has been one of my favorite things about living here.

One of my favorite things we did was a bike tour called Cycle the City. We rode our bikes to famous (and not so famous) places to help us orient ourselves in the city. It was fun to discover new places and to take things at a little slower pace than you do just driving by.

So take an evening, a weekend, a year, however long you want and discover the things that make your home special. Find out what people come to that city to do, and do it yourself. We have loved checking out the ‘recommended’ places to go or things to do. It has helped us appreciate more where we live. 

 

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Family trip to the local ski resort

Go Local:

Hanging on our fridge is a list of local things we want to try and check out.  On that list are a few restaurants, a few bakeries, and other places we have heard are worth checking out.  I love going through that list and trying a new place. I love going to one of the restaurants or bakeries on my list and asking for a recommendation, trying what they are known for. Most of these places are local with 1-2 locations. I’m not one who only shops local, but by going to these places I feel more connected to the community.

I’ve started another list and that is my list of local stores to go to. I always look for a new place I can go.  Some are local finds like a cute little Dutch shop down the street, or a little British shop by my favorite park. Others are big kitchen stores or my very first trip to Home Goods. By doing this I found a new grocery store to buy produce at. We went to World Market, and a bunch of other really neat places.

I think of it as if I was back on vacation. The parts I loved about Paris was the local parts. Eating at little restaurants, sitting at the park, staring down the yogurt isle at the grocery store, and walking the streets looking at buildings and architecture. The same for my trip to New York, I loved the little Deli we found to eat lunch, I loved reading our books in Central Park. So I’ve tried to apply that here, in my town, at home. Find joy in the simple and appreciate what makes this place special. 

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I’ve gone to little bookstores, quilt shops, or things that really I never had an interest in before but because I stopped by I really appreciate this little community of people that surround me. I would say that 90% of the time I look without buying but always looking for a new place to go helps me appreciate more where I live.

In addition to a list of restaurants and stores we try to go to a lot of local events. Last summer we went to a baseball game on the $2 lawn night. For my birthday we went to an NBA game for our local team. But the thing about local is it doesn’t have to be a paid event or a home team.  We have found plenty of things that are FREE.

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We have gone to a few car shows. We love walking around farmers markets, outdoor concerts, and a ton a way fun things.  Just last week they started having Monday Food Truck Night two blocks down.  The lines were so long that we didn’t order anything but we loved getting out and running into people we know.

So start your own list. Start a list of restaurants, stores, or little shops that you can quick pop in.  So get out and go to a parade, or an outdoor concert, go to the art show or the car show. You find a sense of community by being a part of an actual community.

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Get Out and Walk:

Get out and walk. I have fallen in love with where we live because I see the beauty that surrounds me. I have noticed the cute little houses, the trees that bloom the most beautiful purple flowers.

One of the most surprising things to me since moving is that we have become park people.  In our old area people don’t really go to the park. Kids and teenagers do, but I never saw adults just go to the park.  Here though we love it. Sundays after church we go for walks at the park. We love it.

Another thing that we really enjoy is getting out on hikes. We love discovering where we live. We love getting up the canyon and going for a walk or a hike. There is so much more to appreciate and be grateful for when you actually get out there and know what surrounds you. 

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I mean how can you not love living here when these hikes are 20 minutes from your house? IMG_4682.JPG

I love loading Little W up and heading out for a walk. Sometimes we just walk with no where to go and stop to look at houses and trees, other times we walk to stores or other close places just to get out and see what can’t be seen driving by in a car. You notice a lot more around you on your feet walking, than you do sitting in a car.

Get out and walk, walk in your local park, walk the sidewalks of your down town, walking helps you stop to appreciate where you live.  Go on hikes and discover the beauty that surrounds you.  See your town from another perspective, literally by walking.

I hope that these suggestions can help some of you fall in love with where you live. There is nothing worse than feeling alone and not at home.  Trying these suggestions and getting involved has really helped me come to love where we live. Yes there are still a few things that I don’t absolutely love, but it feels like home. I will be sad when the day comes for us to leave. So give these a shot and tell me what you have come to love about your city!

Good luck,

Larisa

Larisa

Here’s a little about me: I usually don’t buy things that I could make. I like to read and learn. I have dreams of being a mom, living in foreign countries, and trying new things. I take a ton of pictures. I collect rocks from the places I’ve been. I’m trying to learn French. I like to eat. I’m a Mormon.

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