We did it. We made it. We are finally out of the Deep South.
And I know the way I’ve been talking about this move makes it sound like I really despised my time in Louisiana and I should probably alter that because I didn’t totally hate it down there. I actually have very complicated feelings about our time spent there and I’m still trying to sort through all of them.
When Dustin decided that he wanted to leave his full-time job with benefits in Arizona to go back to summer sales with ADT, I really struggled. I knew that Dustin was miserable at his job, that he was way overqualified for the kind of work he was doing and not getting paid nearly enough, but wasn’t that how life was supposed to do? Wasn’t he supposed to get a job that never paid enough and work 9-5 every day and we would just live our lives and try to pay down student loans and save up for a new car? It was terrifying to pack up again (after doing 2 moves the year before) and leave a consistent paycheck for a state I had never been to and a job that would only provide for us if Dustin made sales.
It was terrifying. It was a lot to risk. It was a lot to sacrifice.
And yes, it was worth it. It was so, beyond worth it.
In the five months that Dustin and I lived in Louisiana and he worked for ADT, he made his yearly salary and a half from his old job. He worked so hard. He worked so hard. And even though we were able to finally upgrade our car and take an amazing trip to Universal Studios Orlando to celebrate my 10-Year Remission anniversary, life as an ADT wife is not a walk in the park. Dustin was gone sometimes 10 hours a day, wouldn’t get home until 11:00 at night (sometimes later.) I ate dinner alone every night and was often in bed, almost asleep by the time he got home. He worked 6 days a week, so I didn’t get to really see him until Sunday. On days that he didn’t sell, we both struggled to stay positive and optimistic. And when a few days would go by and he didn’t sell, we both stressed out. He would question his abilities and I would worry about finances. And although he always, always got back into the swing of things, the constant rollercoaster of selling and not selling was so emotionally draining.
Life in Louisiana is not a walk in the park, either. The weather is so unbearable in the summer and the humidity is on another level. My skin was not a fan of it. And it rained every. single. day. As someone who suffers from chronic joint pain, the weather made is miserable for me to even exist. Life seems to be slower there, too. I swear that the red lights at intersections last 10x as long and going out to eat took twice as long as it should have. And did I mention how yucky the humidity is?
But at the same time, the people are kind and generous. It was heartbreaking to witness the historic flooding. It was heartening to watch them pick each other up (and to be a part of it.) And even though I’m not chomping at the bit to go back to Louisiana, that week when the rain came and flooded out our town, I realized that a little piece of it had my heart.
So yeah. My feelings towards this summer are a bit complex. I’m grateful for my husband’s hard work and the amazing friends we made within our ADT family. I’m grateful for the way his job challenged and stretched us. But I was so, so happy to leave it all behind this week. I am so excited to move forward.
And so, on Monday, we hitched up a little uHaul trailer to our car, packed Rosie into her puppy bed in the back seat and left Louisiana.
Our trip went as smoothly as it possibly could have gone, with only a couple of minor snags.
On Monday we left Lafayette, Louisiana and drove 8 hours to Witchita Falls, Texas. Even though driving through Texas makes me so mad (because their on/off ramps are about 2 inches long and make it really hard to get onto the freeway when towing a trailer) it was smooth sailing. We ended the night eating candied Pecans and I had my last Whataburger of the summer. I’ll be 100% honest: Whataburger is probably the only thing I’ll miss about the South.
Rosie was so excited to get out of the car that night and zoomed around our hotel room. She was pretty much convinced that the king bed was for her!
On Tuesday we drove from Witchita Falls, Texas to Farmington, New Mexico. This drive was about 12 hours and poor Roo started getting a little tired of being in the car. Every time we stopped for gas and took her out to stretch her legs, she straight out refused to get back into the car. Dustin had to pick her up and put her back in her puppy bed several times that day.
New Mexico is quite an interesting place. Everyone and their dogs seem to LIVE in the suicide/turning lane. It was really confusing to see so many people and cars just stopped in the middle of the road, hanging out.
Rosie and I also narrowly missed being sprayed by a skunk that night at our hotel, so that was terrifying. The hotel we stayed at had a little dog park in the back and while Rosie was poking around, I started to smell a skunk. I started thinking about what we would do if Rosie got sprayed by a skunk in the middle of the road trip when all of a sudden she perked up and immediately went to go sniff at the fence. I heard some rustling, saw a black and white tail and started calling Rosie immediately and using the vibrate feature on her training collar to break her concentration. Thank goodness she was wearing it because the bird dog in her would have gone right after that skunk. Instead, she turned right around and came right to me just as I heard the skunk spray. We both took off towards our hotel room and thankfully were unscathed.
On Wednesday we drove 7 more hours from Farmington, New Mexico to Orem, Utah. This was the best day of our trip because we got to see several sites along the way!
We first drove by Shiprock, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a giant rock in the middle of the nowhere that supposedly looks like a ship. I thought it looked more like a camel, personally.
We were only 1.5 hours away from the Four Corners Monument, so we definitely wanted to stop there. Four Corners is where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all meet! The monument is cool, it has 4 lines dividing the ground, showing you where each state is. Dustin stood in Utah while I stood in Arizona and we could see each other. It was super cool to be able to stand on the exact spot where all 4 states connected and be in four places at the same time!
After stopping in four corners, we drove another 2.5 hours to Moab, Utah. Moab is the home to the Arches national park and we got to stop at the Wilson Arch on our way in and hike up to it! It was so cool and unique and Rosie was finally able to get some much-needed energy out and loved zooming up to the top!
The last part of our drive took us through the most stunning mountain canyon where all of the trees have started to turn. The weather was cool and breezy and smelled like fall and I’ve never felt happier than when we were driving through there, knowing we were finally away from the heat and humidity!
We made it into Orem at 7:15 at night and celebrated with my long lost love: Cafe Rio. We stayed with my sister and brother-in-law that night and then drove up to Sandy, Utah (about 25 minutes North) to get the keys to our apartment on Thursday morning. Shannon (from Shanndelier) and her husband came to help us move the things from our uHaul in because blogging friends are amazing real life friends when we hit our first minor snag: the lock on our trailer had been put on backward and we couldn’t get the key in. Thankfully, this was fixed by purchasing a pair of bolt cutters, so at least Dustin got to add that to his tool collection.
On Friday, Dustin and our brother-in-law flew out of Provo to Mesa to pick up a moving truck and to get all of our furniture from our storage unit in Arizona. About 20 minutes before they were set to board the plane, I realized that Dustin had left the keys to our storage unit in our car! So, in a panic, I drove to the airport as fast as I possibly could without being reckless and was able to get the keys to him about 5 minutes before they boarded the plane. PHEW! Crisis adverted.
Dustin and Ryan stayed the night there and then drove the 10 hours back to Utah on Saturday with all of our things. We had several of our friends in Utah come out at 10:30 at night and unload the truck and get all our furniture in. We are just so grateful to be surrounded by some amazing friends and family here in Utah and know that coming here was the right choice.
This weekend has been spent unpacking and getting everything settled. I’ll be doing a little tour of our new apartment later this week on Snapchat so if you’re like me and like to be nosey, you can follow me there (cwhit145.)
Anyway. Sorry for the long and rambling update. Thanks for listening to all of my complicated feelings about the South. And thanks for sticking around through all my crazy life transitions. You guys are the best.