I grew up being very similar to my dad. We both love to read, analyze things, think deeply, learn new things, and establish deep connections with people. The older I get though, I am realizing how much more I am becoming like my mom. From her I get my free spirit, desire to travel and see the world, strength, confidence, and tough spirit. Because of this I am always dreaming and making plans of the next thing, and embrace change like the seasons come and go.
Since starting college, I have moved every year. That is why these past few months have been so...odd. After having moved all over and around the country and back, it's been settling in that we aren't going to move anywhere for awhile. While at first I looked forward to finally staying in one place for awhile and putting down roots, the free spirit in me is itching for the next thing. Because, while it is extremely difficult to move, it is also - in a different way - harder to stay. It's weird for me to see the same scenery, repeat the same things, knowing that my surroundings will not change (for awhile, at least).
I was inspired by Melissa's (@thefauxmartha) post about something similar. When I read that I immediately identified what it was that I had been feeling the past few months since we moved in. I hadn't yet been able to put it in words, but I knew I hadn't been feeling myself. I also thought to Kate's (Wood and Spoon) post I read a few months ago about moving to a small town and how she learned to bloom where she was planted. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
See, when I left home and went to college, I was so ready to get out and move on. Not that I wanted to get away from my family, but because I craved adventure. Then, when Kyle and I married and we both longed for that adventure together, we jumped on the chance when he got a job promotion to New York. NYC was a complete dream. One of the most exciting things about living there was that everything was new and there was constant change. It is fast-paced, filled with new people, new restaurants, new events, new apartments, new neighborhoods, new jobs...it is a city that does not settle down. And it was exactly what I was looking for.
After awhile though we both realized that, while exciting and packed of non-stop adventures, it was also lonely. We didn't have the same community, friends, or family that our life in Texas offered. And as I get older, I realize how much more important that is to me than where I live.
I know what my values are and what Kyle and I prioritize for our life together. But that still doesn't mean I don't feel misplaced or discontent or question everything at times. But every time I feel this way, I count my blessings. I list out all the things I am thankful for, and it sounds cliche, but it really helps. Because I have so much to be thankful for, including the people and community that our new living situation brings, and for that I am more than happy to stay awhile.
Spiced Cider Poached Pears
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves (or 3 whole cloves)
- 1 tbl. vanilla (or 1 vanilla bean)
- 6 small bosc pears, peeled
In a dutch oven or other large pot, combine all ingredients except for the pears. Bring to a simmer, and cook over medium to medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Add in the pears, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until pears are tender. Cook time will vary depending on the size of the pears.
Once pears are tender, remove from the pot and set aside. Continue to simmer liquid for another 20 minutes, or until mixture is reduced by half. Turn off heat, and let liquid cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon stick, cloves, and vanilla bean.
Serve each pear with a drizzle of the spiced cider syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.