Thursday, May 22, 2014

Take the Leap: Grow Your Heart. And We're Moving to Bend, Oregon!

With every place we call home,
there's a piece of ourselves to be found
a part of us to give.

 we stay long and set roots that last a lifetime,
we are only there but for days,
We always know when we've found
a place
[or person,
or possibility]
 that is like 
coming home...

We don't choose to make it part of our hearts
It just is.
Even when we have to leave
and say

  Better to have wandered
even when it leads to sadness in parting ways
than to have never ventured off at all.  

When we love,
we plant seeds of our hearts 
that will stay forever.

With this,

Endless are the
possibilities, people and places
that will make our hearts
wild and free.  
I hope to capture
as many of them as a lifetime will hold.  

Each one,
Grow our Heart.

Well, it's official.  In July we will be moving to Bend, Oregon!  My husband recently accepted a new job with an engineering company focusing in small hydro power where he will open a new office.  What a huge new step for us!  

Moving here to Asheville, NC from Portland, OR last spring was an adventure like no other.  We were at a point in our lives where we knew we wanted to travel and take a year to see another part of the country.  We were comfortable and content living in our small home in the suburbs of Portland.  Near family.  Nice back yard.  Culdesac for our three kids to run around in.  Great friends.  Short drive to trails.  Besides the rain that comes form living in Portland, we were very happy.  But we knew how easy it would be to get settled and end up never moving or going anywhere new once our family continued to grow.  We didn't necessarily want to stay right in the same place as we were but we were definitely getting more and more comfortable with that idea as time went on.  We'd talk of dreams of moving somewhere different or trying to go to another country for a year.  Then we remodeled the kitchen and built a deck.  Things became more comfortable.  Time passed.   

Then one day, while in bed quite sick, I had a friend mention to me that I should move to Asheville, NC.  He said I would thrive there.  My first reaction as a person that really knew very little of this side of the country was: "What?!!  Why would I ever leaver HERE (the beautiful Pacific Northwest) to move to the south?!"  Ha!  North Carolina sounded anything but MY style.  And then I did some research and realized that not only was Asheville not what I thought but it actually seemed to be a perfect fit!  Mountains, rivers, trails, trees, sunshine, fireflies, art, unique culture, good beer...a place very much like Portland or Bend but only on the other side of the country and with it's own flavor.  Here was our opportunity to travel and see the other side of the country and live in a really cool place!  

So, one thing led to another. We took the first step and things unfolded from there.  Energy started moving.  Before we knew it, my husband was transferring to an office here in Asheville to work with a different section of his work and they were actually moving us!  We put our house up for rent, packed our things, and moved our family of five to Asheville, North Carolina.  Then we found a perfect little craftsman style home in the downtown of a small town right outside of Asheville and the rest is history.  I fell in love.  

I love everything about living here except the fact that family and close friends are in Oregon. I'm pretty sure I've never loved living anywhere as much as I love here.  Colorado, Iowa, Oregon...I love them all but I've never felt quite the same as I do here.  I love the climate, our house, my porch swing, the seasons, community, fireflies, trails, schools, size of the town, and so much more.  I've loved our road trips up the east coast and all the friends we've met. So much to love.  It has truly been a year of growing our hearts.  

It hasn't all been easy but we made it happen! Moving three kids across the country made for an adjustment.  It was scary as all heck and thrilling all at once. But before we knew it, the kids were in soccer, gymnastics, math clubs, book clubs, community classes through the YMCA, preschool and so much more. We found community and love. We planted seeds of our heart. They grew. All our hearts grew. Especially mine.  Asheville...this experience...this side of the will all be a part of my heart for always and part of my heart will always be here.  

That brings us to Bend!  As sad as I am to say goodbye to my time here, I knew it was just that: a temporary adventure.  It was a chance to travel, grow and experience something new.  We did that and MORE.  Now my heart is fluttering with excitement over the next chapter in this wild and wonderful and glorious life!  A heart that's ready to grow. 

Yes yes yes!!  

A few things I'm most excited about when it comes to Bend:
  • A trail running mecca.  No I won't have my lush green forests that are quite the same as Portland and Asheville.  BUT, I can drive only 1-3 hours to be in that kind of forest!  (Raina, I plan on driving over to meet up with you for some of your trails when I'm craving lush green forests.) The trail systems in Bend look incredible!!  You can run on trail almost everywhere.  I may never run on a road again!  Ha!  
  • Mountains, outdoors activities galore: hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, running, rafting in the Deschutes River, swimming, fishing, camping...OMG no joke, the list goes on and on and on.  Now, I'm not much of an extreme sports girl and I actually like my bed over camping.  Oh, and I don't like skiing or snowboarding...way too out of my control zone...I don't like speeding down a mountain with my feet strapped in and I don't like paying money to be cold and awkward.  I do like the views though.  But put me in the lodge by a fire with my writing and coffee and I'm in heaven.  Although I don't like a lot of the outdoorsy adventures that will be at my fingertips,  I know I'll come to love them as I get used to the culture surrounding me.  Pretty sure I'll love the beauty and vibe that comes with living in a small mountain city like Bend.  Oh, and my husband loves all this stuff so he will definitely be in HEAVEN.  
  • Sunshine!!  Sunshine!  Did I say sunshine?!  Not as many trees as I fact, I'm pretty sure I will mourn my lush green forests.  Deciduous trees: I will miss you because there isn't enough of you in Bend for my tastes.  But sun? Blue skies more than rain and grey?  I can handle this.  
  • Fast runers to admire.  Some of the best runners around live in Bend.  It is an absolutely amazing place to train.  My days of AG wins just might be over unless all these fasties stick to the big time races.  :) 
  • Size.  Bend is only around 80,000 if that.  So many great and unique neighborhoods to choose from as I house hunt here.  Decisions decisions decisions.  Thankful for a few local runner connections and other friends that have given me advice here.  
  • Schools sound really good. Maybe I'll go back to teaching.  Or maybe not...I think there might be something new out there for me.  
  • Close enough to family to where my husband and I can still A. See the people we love the most and B. Get away on trips together and have someone who not only will watch our kids but craves the time with them!  Score!!  
  • Bend is a vacation destination and I know we will be able to have so many of our friends come visit...this will be so fun!  

For those of you that don't know much about Bend, Oregon, here's a video:

Here's to new adventures!  Here's to finding LOVE, following our passions, taking risks, and growing our hearts in the process! Even when it scares the crap out of us.  Here's to doing it anyway. Oh, and having people who not only encourage us to live like this but to do it with us!



  1. Congrats! That's so exciting to be moving close to family. The exact reason we moved to Alabama. Family! I have an awesome buddy in the trail running scene in Asheville. Phil Croley -- just in case meet him in your last few weeks there. He's the best!

    1. Thanks girl! I'll have to keep that name in min. Family is important!

  2. Wow! Have a wonderful time in your new place. Sounds wonderful.

  3. Bend sounds like a wonderful place. Sunshine and some wide open spaces to run! Hope your move goes smoothly!

  4. We will have to meet up when I head home one summer!!! Oh, how I miss Oregon!

  5. Congrats! My husband and I moved our family to Bend 2 years ago and absolutely love it! The running trails are endless. Maybe we can connect one day and go for a run. :)

    1. Awesome! You should email me so we can connect. That would be great. So glad you love it...I know we will too!

  6. I love your sense of adventure and willingness to try new places! Bend sounds wonderful. I wish you all the best for a smooth move and fun new adventure!

    1. Thank you Michelle. I like smooth...hopefully it all goes that way. HOpe you are well.

  7. Congrats, Amanda! I love that you have embraced new adventures--that truly does lead to growth. And I hear such amazing things about Bend (I need to check it out sometime). FYI, the best PT in the whole country is located there if you ever need it--Jay Dicharry!

    1. Good to know! I might have to look him up! Thanks Amanda!

  8. Yet another AWESOME place for you guys to live! Can I come visit and run with you? Some of the coolest runners live there. Maybe you'll become buds. I'm kind of jealous. ;)

    1. Yes, come visit! You'd love Bend! Hope to meet lots of new runners...there are a ton out there.

  9. It sounds exciting. I hope you fall in love with it as much as you did Asheville.

    1. It will be hard to beat my love for Asheville but I'm sure there's a place in my heart in Bend...I know!

  10. So cool! Good luck with your move. I'm definitely envious of your ability to pick up and move places. Well, ability might be the wrong word...the fact that you and your husband are both on the same page about it. ;) Anyway, can't wait to see all your Bend adventures.

    1. Thank you Kate. Yes, definitely couldn't do this without my other half being on the same page!

  11. I'm glad that you are excited and looking forward to the move back to Oregon - it sounds like y'all are going to a great place!

    1. Thank you Kim. Yes, a great place indeed. What a process in getting there!

  12. I've been in Bend and yes it's pretty nice indeed! Lots of great trail running. It is drier than Portland...because all the rain got dumped on Portland ;)

    Enjoy exploring the new area!

    1. Thank you Paul. Yes yes, definitely a price to pay for the sunshine and limited rain. As long as I can find as many trees as possible. Bend is a little dry and desert like for my tastes but I guess I'll take the drier climate over the constant rain. That was really hard for me.

  13. So happy for you!!! Bend is one of the locations we are visiting while in OR this summer - it is home to a great running clinic and I have an appt to see the PT! He is the author of Anatomy for Runners!
    How's your training going for Grandmas?

    1. Hey girl. Thanks! Oh, that's awesome about the running clinic. Training for Grandma's is kind of low key. This house hunting and moving stuff is taking most of my focus. I'm coming over to your blog to check to see what's up with you!

  14. We spent the last 4 days there and visit often, even dream of moving there some day. You'll love it!

    1. I did the same and I must say I couldn't agree more! It's absolutely lovely there! I'm even planning a job change and moving for good in that state!

  15. I'm glad I found your blog, I'll have to keep up on it now! I say this because: my fiancé and I are from the west coast and moved to Asheville over a year ago for my work. All our family is on the west coast and we want to move back and be closer (although not in the same state). As of right now our plan is to go to Portland but I've been looking into Bend some. It seems like it would be very similar to Asheville which brings me to one down side...being 2hrs away from any major cities! I grew up 40 minutes from two big cities and it's been really strange going so far esp for airports. Anyways, best of luck with the move!

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