Thursday, October 5, 2017


I can't believe it has been two months since I last posted about our move!  Soooo much has happened... As soon as we got back from Ukraine in July, we packed up our entire house, sold a bunch of our stuff, and moved back to California. As soon as we got to our apartment we knew we couldn't stay in it - it smelled like cigarettes! We realized that if we wouldn't stay one night in a hotel room that smelled that bad, why would we *live* in a place that smelled so gross? Luckily our apartment complex let us move to a different apartment in the same complex. So we had to pack up all our stuff *again* and move into a new apartment.

Meanwhile, my aunt, who I was very close to, passed away. It was such a sad time for my family. She actually lived very near to where I had moving to, and we had planned to meet up before school started so she could hear all about my new job.  She was also a very big supporter of our Ukraine trip, and I was looking forward to telling her all about it. She loves music and loves supporting mission trips, so I knew she would love to hear all about our trip. I still can't believe she is gone and I miss her so much.

But if the stress of moving across the country, having a close family member pass away, and then having to move again wasn't enough... I started a new job. Don't get me wrong, I was super excited about my new job. It's exactly what I was hoping and praying for! I'm teaching at an all-girls school, and I'm teaching only music! I love it!

BUT... of course, starting a new job is stressful - learning the ropes, learning a new system, meeting a ton of new people... And then on the second day of new-teacher orientation... I found out that I'm pregnant!

So... baby is due in April! Wow, that was unexpected! We actually were preparing ourselves for the fact that we might not ever be able to get pregnant.  We had been "trying" (not super duper trying, but not preventing) for four years. We actually went to our respective doctors last spring to find out if we had fertility issues. My doctor told me that, with my endometriosis and thyroid problems, it would be difficult to get pregnant. I would need surgery, and even then, it wouldn't be easy. We had decided to wait to do surgery, etc, until after we moved out to California. But I guess we got lucky, because baby is already at 13 weeks!

Let me tell you - starting a new job is hard. Starting a new job while in your first trimester is extremely hard. I haven't been taking well to pregnancy - been feeling very ill and exhausted. I just hope this baby is cute!!! ;)

So now you're all caught up! And now you understand why I haven't blogged in awhile!  Everyone keeps telling me, and I hope they're right, that I will start to feel better soon and have more energy soon.  I can't wait until the day when I can come home from work and not collapse in bed until the next day. But maybe this is just my life now. I'm destined for a life of exhaustion, aka motherhood...

I hope to blog some more and continue to share about our adventures in California. We plan to see the redwoods soon, and we I also want to take Peter to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (he hasn't been yet). I'll update here as often as I can!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

We Moved!

Let me just tell you, these last 6-7 months have been a roller coaster. So many big, life-decisions have been made. So much stress and worry and anticipation. But we made it through, and now we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So many things have happened since I last blogged that I'm getting a little overwhelmed with how to share it all. I think I will start with the biggest life-change - we moved!

After three years in Alabama, we decided it was time to move back to California (my home-state). Our jobs had transitioned to positions that we weren't excited about. We both had epiphanies about where we see our careers heading, so we decided to take some risks and hope they work out. And so far, they have! I was offered a full-time music-teacher position at a private, all girls high school. And I'm really looking forward to it! I enjoyed learning about theater and finding my way as a drama teacher these past three years, but I'm looking forward to being back in my element and expertise.  Peter decided to branch out and do web-design as a freelancer, and he already has clients! So far, so good. I also have big plans for my music blog, so look for updates regarding that!

So now we're back in California.  We had a long, long, long cross-country drive to get here. Our poor dog was confused and a little stressed, but overall he did great.  Alabama has a much lower cost of living, so we had to downsize from a 3-bedroom house in Alabama to a small, 2-bedroom apartment in California.  We had to move sight-unseen, which posed a huge problem when we got here. The apartment we had reserved smelled like a cheap motel - cigarette smoke-infested the walls, cupboards, carpet, everything. We requested to transfer to a different apartment, and luckily they allowed it! But that just delayed us from settling in, and now we're still sorting and unpacking... and work starts on Monday! But now we're here and that's what matters most!

We plan to explore California (there is so much that Peter hasn't seen yet! We need to go to the Redwoods, Yosemite, Big Bear, Lake Tahoe, the Northern Coast, Napa, and so much more!).  I plan on continuing to post on here, whether or not people actually read it. I've been back and forth about whether or not to even keep my blog, but in the end Peter convinced me to keep it. We are going to treat it more as a scrapbook of our lives, so we can look back at our memories.  I have a lot more to share from this summer - we spent two weeks in Ukraine! I have so many stories to share from that trip (for example, did you know that Ukrainians are obsessed with dill? They put it on/in EVERYTHING...)!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you need a web or graphic designer, contact Peter! He is an expert on design, layout, and user experience. (He designed and built this entire site from scratch: If you or anyone you know is in need of a web or graphic designer (front-end developer), contact Peter Arthur at peterdarthur (at) gmail (dot) com!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Exciting News!

This is what I posted on Facebook: "The last 3 years in Alabama have been good to us! We've enjoyed our jobs, made some wonderful friends, AND we got Little Bit (what more could we want?!). However, we have missed family and friends (and the weather) back home. So we are happy to announce that, when we get back from Ukraine this summer, we will be moving back to California! Julie was offered a job at a school in San Jose, and Peter is excited to move to a location that has plentiful options for his career."

But you guys know the truth. 

The last 3 years have been HARD. I've had ups and downs with my job. We've missed family. We've stressed about weather (TORNADOES ARE THE WORST). Overall, it wasn't quite what we were expecting. But that's ok. We've also learned a lot. We've grown as a couple. We've actually made some really incredible friendships. And, of course, we got our fur-baby. So it's a bittersweet time.

We are super excited to move closer to friends, and I'm thrilled about my new job. I think I'm going to love it! (More job-details to come soon... Don't worry, I'm still teaching music!) We think Peter will have some great opportunities for his career in Silicon Valley. We are a little stressed about the crazy cost of living in San Jose, but overall we're looking forward to returning to a city we already know and love. (And also looking forward to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's!).