How do you really feel about moving away from where you were comfortable?!

I wasn’t as excited about the move as Ryan was. The closer we got to moving, the more excited I was, but I was always apprehensive about leaving. The first couple months we were here, it was fun; it still felt more like a vacation, though, so that makes sense. When the school year started and I was teaching the kids I’d been around for years, it sunk in and I got really homesick. We spent months 3 and 4 talking a lot about moving back home ASAP. There was even a point in September that I thought about moving home the next week, when a previous coworkers was in the final rounds of interviewing for a job in another state; I could’ve moved back home and taken over her students and been right back in my old life.

But after having been here 6 months… I’m glad we moved. It was time to do something new with our lives. It’s been a good experience; I think I’m more open-minded now than I was before (and it’s not like I was close-minded before!). I’m glad we did it, and if I had to make the decision again I think I’d make the same one. All that being said, I’m still not sure we’ll stay here very long. I don’t want to raise kids here. I don’t want to grow old here. I want to buy a house back “home,” near my family, where if I have kids (big if) I can let them go out and hang out with their friends and not give me an exact itinerary for their evening and I won’t be worried about them.

So to tl;dr this answer: I’m glad we did it, but I don’t think it’ll be permanent.

If your husband didn’t have that job would you prefer to stay around Lawrence?

If he didn’t have this job, we would’ve stayed. Probably… because without this job, I’m not sure where he’d be working! The job he left was at a local company that’s now out of business. So the fact that he has a job that doesn’t care where he lives is what got us thinking seriously about moving in the first place.

If you could choose any place in the world as the backdrop for one of your photo shoots, where would it be?

Somewhere really awesome just so I could go there! Really green and tropical. Or maybe on a beach plus an underwater camera. That’d be awesome.

What do you and Ryan eat in a typical day?

We eat like crap. For real. We eat out a lot because we’re super lazy. We live just a few blocks from a burger place; there’s a Thai place that delivers to us (and has pretty decent curry); there are two different food cart pods within walking distance from our house. Of course we get Chipotle every week or two; it was more frequent in Lawrence because we lived half a mile away from a Chipotle, but now we have to drive 20 minutes so we’ve cut down on it. When we eat in, it’s sandwiches, spaghetti, frozen pizza, burritos. Now that the weather is cooler, we make slow cooker pot roast and barbecue chicken, plus lasagna on occasion. Food is definitely one thing that we both know we could be better about, but we’re not good about keeping the kitchen stocked, and we’re not good at 3 or 4 ingredient recipes so the things we cook always take a lot of time.

What was your childhood like?

I grew up in the midwest and had a really typical childhood for the area. My parents are happily married and always have been. I had two older brothers who treated me like a little sister: teasing me almost always but looking out for me when I needed it. We had a dog, and she was “my” dog, and I cried when she died and Dad buried her in the back yard. We went to church every Sunday, and I joined the church choir at only 8. I started taking piano lessons as soon as my parents would let me (9 years old; I had to reach an octave before I could start). The town I grew up in is 6 streets, only one of which is paved, and there were about 10 kids growing up there at the same time, so we just ran around doing whatever and no one was watching us. I grew up climbing trees and making forts out of bushes and making up secret imaginary worlds under bridges. All of us kids had sleepovers all the time; we all knew and trusted all the other parents in town. I ate a lot of dinners at Ethan’s house, and painted my nails at Ashley’s, and went swimming at Candi’s, and played Barbie’s at Diedre’s, and listened to TLC at Kaeli’s, and jumped on the bed at Kristi’s. I was a good student, and I had great teachers; I rode Ed’s bus to school and tried to steal his hat every day (in 6 years, I think I succeeded twice). Kara and I were best friends on the playground, sometimes joined by Melanie, or Brittany, or Rachel & Alyssa; I ended up being a bridesmaid in Kara’s wedding years later. My mom took me to school, and my dad picked me up from school, and my grandma babysat me all the time.

Basically, think of the most stereotypical all-American childhood, and that’s what my childhood was like.

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