As I make final preparations to launch my blog, Let’s Move To The Country, I find myself reflecting on the past year in a very sentimental manor. Last year brought great things, but not necessarily anything profound; life changing if you will. As my 30th birthday encroaches (okay, it’s not until September 26th, but 30 is BIG) I’m reminded how much life has changed in the past 11 plus years since I left my nest of home in Southern Iowa. I often think of the things I learned while living with my grandparents those 4 years in high school and all the things I failed to learn that I should have paid attention to, like how to make bread and the so called recipe my grandma used for meatloaf. I’m thankful for the time I spent bottle feeding a blind calf, scrapping my car of ice and snow for months out of the year at 5:30am before dance practice, for waiting tables at a diner where a cup of joe was $.75 and unlimited refills, and for no stop lights in town. Trust me, I have a list of things in my head of why I’m thankful I left the city and lived a more simple life with people willing to raise me in a steady household, but I know you’ll get your fill of that as the year goes on. The last 11 years have been a wild ride; I moved 9 times, lost all three of my remaining grandparents, went to college, got laid off (twice), started a photography business, adopted 4 animals, traveled a lot and mostly by myself, met amazing people, left a lot of the not so great people behind, started my own gardens, camped, rode horses, I laughed a lot and cried a lot, took a train, bus, and cab for the first time, got myself into debt and dug myself out with a passionate fire, I’ve been blessed with 11 nieces and nephews, watched my little sister and many friends get married, and was brave enough to switch jobs to make myself a happier person. The past year has not been quite as exciting, but it’s definitely had it’s upsides, including deciding to launch this very blog. With that being said, this is my first post & I’m very excited to get started with the things I’ve learned, the things I’ll try, my triumphs and failures, and all the new information so many people have graciously volunteered to share with me throughout the year. In conclusion to my very first post, I’ll add some photos of one of my most favorite places, the country.