Iowans: Those who live in Iowa. Now, Jen & Dylan.
I never, not for a second, not even once in my life did I think “Oh, part of my journey will take me to living in Iowa”. Nope. Look at what Dylan’s done to me. Here we are, three weeks in, completely in love with this place. (in love may be a little bit of a stretch) Dylan and I have had many conversations about how we will be just fine here for the next few years. Home sweet home. So, for those of you curious about what’s been going on, Here is our little slice of “so far” in Iowa.
First, Five things I REALLY love about Iowa.
- The distance to home. In only 3.5 hours, I can be playing with the puppies, visiting friends, or finally seeing my family again. It’s brings me SO MUCH EASE knowing that if anything happens, I can be home in only a short amount of time.
- The weather. I mean, we got snow first, I’ll give both Minnesota and Nebraska that… And maybe it’s all just global warming. But there’s been few days where I’ve had to worry about breaking out the giant knee length puffy coat, and I’m A-Okay with that.
- The apartment. I really thought we hit it big in Lincoln. Then I moved to Ankeny. Guys, we are living in the apartment we dreamed about. Sure, the drive to work is near 30 minutes for the both of us, but we’re in a city that has EVERYTHING, and it’s super safe. (Look for an apartment post during the 12 blogs of Christmas!) Bonus: our cable and internet is included in the rent. (BUT BUT BUT we don’t have BravoTV and that’s something I’m still adjusting to)
- HOCKEY. I’m in a state that has hockey. ICE, SKATES, PUCKS. (The next sentence is not to offend my Nebraskans) AND I never have to hear “GO BIG RED” again, and I’m okay with that. I’m back in a state with a sport that I love, and the games are a blast.
- Lastly, there’s a city. It was VERY hard to move from a place with an iconic skyline to a place with no skyline. Sure, this is a lot smaller than Minneapolis, but this will do. It’s so fun to “drive into the city” again.
In Minneapolis, Dylan and Jen worked a combined 7 part time jobs. We always had Saturdays, always had Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and we made it work. That’s how our dating life was. In Lincoln, Dylan worked 11-7, every day. If Dylan had an event, I went along. We had all weekend, we had a lot of time to be together. In the last three weeks, Dylan has worked about 250 hours (based on quick calculations) and I’ve seen him for about 40. FORTY hours in three weeks. That’s around 2 hours a day. Dylan’s working crazy hours, getting up at 6:00am and getting home at 10:30pm. I know it’s hard for him, and I know I show much more stress than support. I know that’s not what he needs, but it’s an adjustment for me too. It’s hard to crave the presence of your best friend, and it not being an option. I also know that Dylan’s number one goal is to provide me with the things and the life I could only dream of. He tells me daily that these long hours are temporary, but they’re currently necessary so that someday we can spend a lot of time together enjoying life. (Side note: I often have to bring myself back down to earth about this. Dylan told me when he was 19 years old that he was in love with me. I got a diamond when he was only 21. Sure, I’m a little farther ahead of him in age, but this man has crazy long term goals about raising children together, building this life together, protecting me forever, and never ever letting me be alone. So if I have to stay up a little later to get my two hours of quality time in each day, and I don’t eat dinner until 10:30 at night, I will survive.)
I enjoy spending most of my time taking selfies in my bed, eating nachos (I’ve had nachos every single day since moving), and watching HGTV (about 8 hours a day on average)… I’m almost done with my last “work” semester of school. I graduate in the spring. Praise. Currently, I nanny for two families. I’ve been extremely lucky. Too lucky. Tuesdays-Thursdays. That’s it. The rest of the week is mine. I’ve gone from working around 50 hours a week in Minneapolis, to working 30 hours in Lincoln, to working 22 here. TWENTY TWO HOURS A WEEK and making more money than I ever have. Okay, life rocks. I look in the mirror and don’t hate my body anymore. I work out while I wait for Dylan to get home… My butt also shrank, but that’s coming during my 12 blogs of Christmas. I’m blessed, I’m surviving, life is good, and I can’t complain.