A Year as a Washingtonian

A Year as a Washingtonian

Today marks the anniversary of our big move to the Seattle area! A year ago, we said goodbye to our friends and family in Sparks, Nevada, piled into a U-Haul, and hit the road very early in the morning.

Now, so much has happened this year, and I just wanted to reflect on all of the experiences (good & bad). Here goes!

1. First Lesson: We moved at the WRONG time. In the winter of 2016-2017, Seattle broke its 122 year-old record for most rain according to the Seattle Times (44.67 inches of rain to be exact).

2. Became an Aunt: Not long after we moved, really, not long AT ALL, my sister gave birth to my niece! I flew home to Reno shortly after little Aubree’s birth so that I could meet my new niece and help my sister in any ways I could.

3. We Picked the Right Apartment: In terms of neighbors, we had the best ones! We became great friends with Janelle & Beau. Over the year, we enjoyed many game nights, doggy dates, and dinners with each other.

4. We Picked the Wrong Apartment: There was absolutely no natural light in there… our lights were on 24/7. Because of combination of bad lighting and horrible weather, it took me three months to get on a normal sleeping schedule. (I was sleeping 10-12 hours a day!)

5. Got a Pet from the Seattle Human Society: We waited in line before the humane society even opened, so that we could get our first kitten! The kittens were swapped up fast, and we got the last one left – a black and white tuxedo cat, with a characteristic black lip, and a broken tail. I named him Talisker after Cody’s favorite Scotch and reminiscent memories we have for Scotland.

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6. Second Lesson: Finding a job is hard – even with a master’s degree. While Cody worked at his new job, I fired off endless job applications in my primary fields – conservation and photography. As the rejections came in, my scope became wider to make ends meet.

7. Hiked a Rigorous Trail (And Got Sick): I joined in on a hike to Lake Serene which was 8.2 miles roundtrip and a gain of 2,000 ft. We had started the hike in the early afternoon, so by the time we were headed down the mountain, darkness was starting to fall. In a panic to get out in time, we did some shoe-sledding (using our shoes and butts to slide down the trails). From this quick descent, I got elevation sickness for a few days… nothing is worse than feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus! To see the video blog, click here, and to visit the photo gallery, click here.

8. Unemployed Becomes Employed: After 5 months of applying, I finally got a job! Woohoo health insurance benefits and a steady paycheck! I work full-time for OraHealth Corporation, where I am multiple jobs in one: administrative assistant, consumer & professional orders, customer service, receptionist, and on a frequent basis, just a listener for some seniors who are just very lonely.

9. Got a New Car: With the new job, I needed some wheels to get there (and unfortunately, wheels to sit on in heavy Seattle traffic). First, we bought a used Hyundai Sonata. Turned out it was a lemon so we ended up returning it… In the end, the hubby convinced me to get the new Hyundai Ioniq (I would NEVER get a new car, but this car salesman pointed out some good things that I couldn’t turn down). The Ioniq is an awesome car – making me feel like an environmentally-friendly SUPERSTAR. On a 12-gallon tank, I can drive 600 miles! And if I feel like I need a bit more power, I just put it into sport mode to pass everyone on the freeway – I mean, follow the speed limit with other cars.

10. Went to Olympic National Park: One of the most beautiful places of Washington that I have seen thus far! It was a short trip with neighbor-friend, Janelle, but the drive was worth it. We saw stunning sights in the park, and just outside of it. For the video blog, click here, and for the photo gallery, click here.

11. Added Another Animal to the Family: After some time, I realized how much a dog would really help my husband in everyday life. As a surprise, I brought Cody to meet a bulldog pup (which of course he loved right away). I said, “Ok, we are taking her home!”. Rogue has been a complete love and cuddlebug! But, with puppies as I am sure you know, there are lots of struggles (and newly chewed items) that come with this new responsibility. Rogue is not even a year old yet and is a hefty 51 pounds! She helps Cody every day and he is considering making her an official emotional support animal or service dog.

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12. Flew in a Jetplane: As an anniversary surprise, I booked us a trip to the skies! Our pilot was a science teacher who is also a pilot in the summer. For our date, we took off from the Boeing airfield, flew above downtown Seattle, the Puget Sound, and even Bill Gate’s house. Cody was even given a turn at the steering the plane!

13. Bought a House: We are now first-time home owners! We purchased a mid-century home in Burien which is where we are living now. Although this home needs some updates and elbow-grease, it is perfect for us in many ways. We have a stunning view of Mt. Rainier that is rare to find. And, our house has so much character – in the fireplace, the appliances, and even the converted garage which is our bedroom.

14. REALLY, We Became Home-Owners: The night before our house-warming party, our toilet broke and started to overflow… at this moment, we really felt like homeowners. In a panicked frenzy, we managed to stop the water from spewing out and Cody managed to fix the tank before our guests came over the next day.

15. Opened an In-Home Photography Studio: When we were looking for a house, I knew exactly what I wanted: a large space with lots of windows and natural light for my growing photography business!

This list is a compilation of the biggest events that have happened to me this year, but there are many things that you can’t list as one event. Over this past year, I have made new friends that I want to thank for being in my life!

The first people that entered the friendship circle, were Janelle and Beau (or Jeau if you use their couple name), which you should know most about already. We’ve had some great times as apartment neighbors which I already miss! I miss saying hi on the back porch when someone takes out the dog. I miss just knocking on the door and asking, “Hey, wanna share this bottle of wine?”. And, I miss Beau accidentally connecting to our TV while we are watching Netflix. Even though we aren’t neighbors anymore, we try to make time to continue to see each other (although sometimes it is tough with all of our busy schedules).

The next friend I made was at the Car Pros Christmas party. I met Lacey on the dance floor (of course). We were getting along quite well so I just asked – “Want to be friends?”. Sometimes, it is just as easy as that! She has been a huge help in a number of ways – modeling for me, providing advice, and helping me watch the Harry Potter movies again. She is now expecting a little boy and I couldn’t be happier for her and her fiancé!

When I joined the Renton Meetup group, I came to get to know regular attenders, Shayna and Nicole. Shayna is down-to-Earth and makes everyone in the room laugh. We have had some great times together – drinking wine and cracking jokes while drilling holes into my backdrop in the dark. She is also super talented with hair and can do some crazy-awesome braids! Shayna is a one-of-a-kind, youthful spirit that is hard to come by.

Nicole is enlisted in the Air Force and has been recently assigned to Oklahoma City. For the time she was here, she was my motivation to hike! When I was unemployed and carless, she would pick me up in her Kia Sportage with her bear-dog Schoko so that we could go on excursions. Rain or shine, she was dedicated to seeing the outdoors! Now that she is gone, I haven’t been able to hike much… but we keep in touch and I hope she moves back to Seattle when she retires from the Air Force.

Janelle & Beau



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Other people who have made our year in Washington an easier one are Karie & Gavin (a great example of how to have a successful marriage and family in the car business), Eva (who I met through Lacey and just had an adorable baby boy), Ted (a local DJ and photographer who I just hit off with right away), Cal (a co-worker at OraHealth that makes work more bearable), and Crystal (someone I met at a Murder Mystery dinner, who has a bubbly and sweet personality).

So, There it is Folks!

One year summed up into a page of words and pictures. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as I have enjoyed the ride. Cody and I don’t regret our move to Washington (although it can be difficult at times with family and friends still in Nevada).  We look forward to making more memories in this beautiful state with our little furry family that we have made.