Here we are! One year later of living in Los Angeles. I remember it… well, like it was yesterday... when our 25 hour drive (half way across the country with a 5 week old baby who hated his carseat with a passion) was almost over. We drove through the grapevine, then dropped into the Valley that we would soon call home. A couple of first thoughts and feelings going through my mind were that I couldn't wait to shower for obvious reasons, I couldn't wait to touch the ocean and the excitement to explore all LA had to offer was in full swing. In a matter of months we found great friends and an amazing church. It's taken a bit, but I've been finding other moms to do mom life with which I am really thankful for. We've had some difficult times and some really good times. Some of the great things that LA has to offer starting with one of my favorites… IN - N - OUT!!! We have two within minutes of our house. I have had to really pace myself haha. Then there's the beautiful weather. It sure is a dream. Anything below 60 degrees is something I now consider chilly and maybe even cold. My favorite part of living here has been the beach, which is only 20 minutes away and we find ourselves there several times a week. I feel like I was made to live close to the ocean, maybe not forever, but it's a definite plus for now. Growing up in North Carolina, my parents took us at least once a year to the Outer Banks for a couple of weeks which instilled in us a love for sand, sun and waves. Maybe someone in the family will eventually pick up the whole surfing thing, crossing my fingers on that one. The opportunities in the Industry are competitive, but endless which makes LA one of the best places to be for that and there's so much to do here, really, we couldn't complete it all in a lifetime. There's the Science Center, lots of great museums, Lego Land, Disney and most beautiful beaches up and down highway one just to name a few. We've also been able to live a really healthy lifestyle here simply because of the accessibility of great foods foods, farmers markets, tons of local restaurants, lots of hiking and even being able to bike just about anywhere we want to go.
The difficult things have been realizing how much effort it takes to start over when calling a new place home. That's never been super easy for me to do, but it seemed to come a little more natural before this move. I think it has a little something (ok, maybe a lot) to do with my Swacy family being all over the place and not all living within a couple of miles of each other like we did in Kansas City. LA is busy with millions of people all going about their day in some form of organized chaos, so I love that we live outside of the hustle a bit. I sure do miss friends back East as they are starting and growing their sweet families. LA is outrageously expensive, so lifestyles look a little different around here. When looking for an apartment you have to make choices between wanting a parking space (which is a must), laundry in your unit or finding a way to smuggle in our 65lb golden retriever (yea right, she's huge, so that'll never happen). It's just different, a very different way of life. Sometimes I miss space, the slow southern way of life, bond fires, going to the shooting range with Aaron and enjoying a latte under $5… but hey it's all part of the experience.
I'm not sold (yet) on the fast paced city life for us forever, but I am learning to try and embrace seasons and new ways of life as they come. Some days I am way better at it than others. I am really thankful to have my parents and sister here with us. That's been the biggest blessing of all while adjusting to a new home and super big city. I feel content and excited for what's in store for my little family this next year in LA. There's a lot to look forward too and really good things ahead.