Six Months Southern

It has officially been 6 months since Alex and I packed up our lives & moved across country with 3 animals in tow, 1,007 miles to be exact. To say that it hasn’t been an absolute whirlwind of emotions and events would be a drastic understatement.

But first, why move? Why pick up and leave everything and everyone we knew for the previous 4.5 years behind? Why move far enough away that the only realistic trip back to the parents house goes from being a car ride to expensive flights that may or may not get you there on time? We were comfortable, and we also felt stuck. We both had this urge to do something more, expand in our careers, to see new places. So when it came time to job hunt, we decided that it was more reasonable for Alex to be the one to hunt for jobs to move us. Being in the fitness industry, it is a lot easier to just “find a job”, Alex’s field however- not so much. Do I think that had I been the other one to look for the job to uproot us that we would have ended up in Greensboro, NC? No, definitely not, but I don’t think that was the way all of this was supposed to roll out.

So what has Six Months Southern been like?

Well it’s warmer, that’s for sure. And the rain and the sun are like jealous twin siblings that are fighting for the spotlight. Within a one mile stretch of driving I could drive 30 seconds in downpour, the next 30 seconds in brilliant sunshine, and then the next mile could see just a brief shower that is pretty much guranteed not to last long. No, we do not see any vicious thunderstorms with threatening tornados like we did in Iowa – and because of that it is infrequent to find houses with basements (a real bummer if you ask me).

The people? They’re the same. Iowans are definitely friendly and we were happy to find that Greensboro-ians are equally as friendly. No steps backwards there (insert thumbs up here)

Let’s talk about the size of this city. Now I am reminded by those who are from here, or from much bigger cities that Greensboro is not that big and rush hour is not that bad. Put it up against Cedar Falls, IA and it is! Holy moly planning time to hang out with friends is like a full detailed process. “Hey you wanna come over?” turns into well, you live 30 minutes away, so after my 30 minute commute home I’d already be home this late and factoring in the 60 minute round trip to hang would give us approx. 5 minutes of chill time. It’s crazy.

But what has life being Six Months Southern and six months away from family and friends been like?

Well if I said that I don’t think about and miss the midwest every single day, I’d be lying. Because I do. But stepping outside of comfort zones sometimes has a pretty hefty adjustment period attached to it. And the adjustment period is hard at times. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted being able to hop in the car to drive home for the weekend because I was just in need of a little home time. Or how much I would miss calling up Lauren to come over some night, only to drink too much wine and have her stay over, but hey that’s okay because she would keep the dogs company while we went to work early. Or how awesome our friends truly were. Not only do I miss the 4-some friendship we had with Chelsea and Clint, I am 110% sure that our dogs miss the friendship they had with Melvin and Wilson (their fur-babies).

However, I’m not sure if I miss Iowa and the Midwest or if I miss the relationships and memories we had there. Cedar Falls gave me the best 4.5 years of my life, but I feel that many people get that nostalgic feeling when they think about their college town. And when we sit down and think about it, did we want to live in our college town forever?

As we grow older, Sharky’s and Social House have turned into causal Friday wine nights. And those causal Friday wine nights will someday turn into chaotic Friday nights chasing kids around only to sneak out a bottle of wine when they’ve been put to sleep. We are aging, and I don’t think our college town is where we were supposed to age at. I’d much rather look back on it and always have that nostalgic feeling of the town that gave me the most memorable, crazy, spontaneous years of my life. Plus, it will always be the town where I can tell our future kids “this is where I met your dad at” and that would be a cool visit to have.

Maybe the hardest thing is realizing that adulthood has hit us full speed ahead, it crept up slowly but I chose to ignore it before now.

But hey, on the flip side I like looking at all of the GREAT things that the East Coast has given us. I mean pretty much the biggest milestones of our lives beside graduating college have happened out here.

In February Alex started an awesome, long-term full time job with Volvo.

In April we got engaged (eek!)

In May we went under contract for a house

In June we closed on that house

In July we moved into that house

And in August I started my first, legit full-time job with all the works.

Responsibility is here but I am actually really enjoying it now.

We have a house we are making a home. Our dogs have a fence that allows them 1000X more play time than they used to have. We both have secure jobs that will long-term give us financial freedom for numerous beach trips and more. And we are slowly making friends.

I have to remind myself that I miss Iowa because I miss all of the good memories about it. But those memories were 4.5 years in the making, I can’t expect to have those kind of memories in the first 6 months here. Although we have a pretty good start. Who knows what the future holds, who knows what tomorrow holds, but I’ve convinced myself to enjoy the ride. This state, this weather, this home is too beautiful to not enjoy every moment of it.

Iowa, I miss you. Illinois, I miss you. Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin, I miss you too even. But hey, North Carolina is holding it’s ground to you guys. So friends and family, come visit, we have 2 spare rooms and plenty of beer to share 😉

8 Things I Have Learned From Owning a Dog

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Get a dog they said, it will be fun they said.

But Otto, getting you 8 months ago has been more than fun, it has been life-changing ❤

Growing up I had always been an animal lover, we always had at least one dog in the house and 2-4 cats at any given time. Animals have been and always will be my sweet spot. I can remember multiple times where people would look at me and go “Oh my gosh you are just like your mom, you are both animal lovers”, or “You are going to be my crazy cat lady friend who has 27 cats in the future.”
So yeah, animals are my life. Which is why when my boyfriend pitched the idea of getting a dog to me, my heart melting. So in November of 2014 we began the process of researching breeders (well he did), picking the litter, getting all the nitty-gritty figured out. In May of 2015 we made the 6 hour trip from Northern Iowa to Hayward Wisconsin to pick out our little fella, Otto. He was the first pup I held and the one that won our hearts. 2 weeks later in early June, he was home to Iowa, and life was changed for good.

You see having a dog is more than warm cuddles and unconditional love, it comes with trial and error, stress followed by happiness, followed by frustration, followed by laughs. It is an endless cycle of emotions at times. But having a dog also comes with lessons, realizations, and blessings. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Otto, and it is because he has taught me so much in these first 8 months with him, has brought me tears of joy and tears of sadness, has weakened my soft spot for animals, and has been the greatest joy. Since day one, Otto, here are the things that I have learned from you.

How to care for another being There are some things that you just can’t do for yourself, and it is humbling and rewarding to know that we are the people that you have to rely on in your life. I am proud to be a parent, but even more proud to be your parent.

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 To stop and smell the roses or whatever is right in front of you on the ground, or whatever life throws at you. Smell it, grab it, go with it, don’t pass it up, and don’t miss any opportunity.

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 When in doubt, laugh it out Sometimes there is nothing else to do but to just laugh. When you do something you’re not supposed to do, but you do it in the cutest way ever, it’s hard to be mad, so instead we just laugh.

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like that one time we recorded you while we were gone to see what you really do while we are gone- like get on the forbidden couch, or when you got into one of your favorite toys- the toilet paper

How to be happy and sad at the same time On my weakest days when I feel sad and down, the ability of you to come up with that toy hanging from your mouth asking for some love and play can put a smile on my face. It is weird to feel so many emotions at once in one point of time: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, playfulness. It is weird but it is great.

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A little curiosity never hurt any one I love the natural curiosity that comes out of puppies, and I hope it never leaves you. You are so curious about the world, like you are experience something new every time you experience it, even if you have done it a million times. If everyone were as curious as a puppy I believe there would be a lot more smiles in this world, a lot less judgement, and a lot more free spirits.

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To appreciate the sun and the stars Waking up to your bathroom call at 5AM on a warm August morning, day after day, or bundling up to take you out at 9PM on a cold winter night has allowed me to appreciate the beauty of this earth. Sure I’d rather stay inside sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, but I have to thank you for dragging me out. Because when we go outside I get to be reminded of the beauty of this earth, and from where we are, we can see the greatest sunrise, or all of the stars. And as you do your thing, I’ll do mine and look up, appreciate the stars, and everything below them, including you.

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The ability to be patient and still oh boy before I got you, I was one of the most impatient people on the planet. My life was fast paced, I had a million things running through my head, I just didn’t slow down and I didn’t understand how other people could. But when having a puppy you learn the art of patience. Patience in training you, in taking you out to go to the bathroom, while going on walks, while greeting new people, while trying to snuggle when you just want to play. Puppies are like babies, except we never get to snow what you are thinking, or what you want to say, so we have to learn to be patient and read you body language and your facial expressions, and through that we connect, and through that I became: patient.

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To love unconditionally They say that dogs are a humans best friend, and the animal with the most loving nature. And I can honestly say that you will never know this to be true until you have a dog of your own. The ability to keep loving even after you have been scolded for eating a coaster is admirable. Just think if everyone in the world could love like dogs do, how much better a place it would be to live.

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Much love to you Otto boy ❤

 

A Resolution You Can Stick To

The other night I was reviewing my resolutions that I set for the 2015 year. There were some usual, common ones related to sustaining my health and fitness, etc. But one stood out to me.

I resolved to experience one new thing a month.

How awesome? Experiencing one new thing a month, that was something I could do, it was something I did! And by making it a goal to experience, in turn I was also present. Make a goal to have new experiences with those close with you, experiences small or big, it does not matter!

Here are the simple, or wild, experiences I had each month:

January: I rang in the new year, with new people, in a new place, and began a new year.

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Kansas City, Power & Light District; January 1, 2015 12:00AM 

February: I had sushi for the first time while celebrating my cousin/roommate/sushi lover’s 21st birthday

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SOHO Sushi Bar & Deli; February 16, 2015

March: Like any other year, I turned a year older, but in a new PLACE! We took on South Padre Island for my last college spring break

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South Padre Island Coca Cola Beach; March 17, 2015

April: Again, just like every other year we got to celebrate my boyfriend, Alex’s birthday, but our soon to be puppy was BORN on the same exact day!

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Born in Hayward, WI; April 8, 2015

Oh and I was able to attend the Iowa Governor’s Conference of Public Health

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Cedar Rapids, IA; April 14, 2015

May: The biggest month of them all! Let’s see to start, I graduated college

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University of Northern Iowa; May 9, 2015

And then I went with my mom to New Jersey & New York to see my cousin

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Hopped off the plane and met former MLB player and current television analyst for MLB netowrk, Harold Reynolds; New Jersey, May 15, 2015

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And then we saw Darius Rucker for the first time

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We then woke up bright and early to go see the Today Show (GAH DREAMING!) and then checked into our hotel in the heart of Times Square

June: Our precious puppy, Otto, met his forever home in Iowa

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Meet 13 lb English Golden Retriever, Otto; June 5, 2015

June: Along with my boyfriend and my best friend, I went to my first Collegiate Summer baseball league game

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Waterloo Bucks Stadium; July 3, 2015

OH AND I CANT FORGET MY FIRST EVER (AND HOPEFULLY NOT LAST) TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT!!

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Taylor Swift @ Soldier Field; July 18, 2015

August: The month that I started my 5 month internship with Covenant Medical Center at their Wellness Center

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September: I attended my first wedding with my man, and the first wedding I can actually remember going to, since all of my other wedding attendances I was under 3 feet tall and too young to remember

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Lansing, Kansas; September 18, 2015

October: Otto’s first UNI tailgate (and by experience as his mother, this was new for me too!)

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November: We saw Mockingjay Part 2 for the first time, and I was able to bring Alex home for Thanksgiving for the first time

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My family’s annual Black Wednesday party bus; now featuring Alex

December: the month that I ended my internship and started a full time Salary position job at Kosama as the General Manager (which I had kind of been for the past 3-5 months due to some management instability/issues)

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Kosama Complete Body Transformation, Cedar Falls staff

 

Resolutions don’t have to be hard, the best ones are the ones that grow you as a person and grow your relationships with others. So I challenge you; try one (or more!) new thing each month this year, and every year! You won’t regret it!

Where has The Girl Behind the Keyboard been?

Hey followers!

Wow am I sorry for my absence! Life and work have taken a crazy hectic turn and as I have been working 50 hours a week I have chosen to use my spare time to be with friends, family, and my dog. I am happy to say that I will be down to 40 hours a week on Monday and will be back to blogging, I miss it!

Next week you can look forward to 2 new blogs! One about EPOC: Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, and one related to an article ACE Fitness ran about 7 food factors that influence mood.

 

Happy blogging and I’ll see you next week!

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Meeting the Fluffball

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Our household just got a little more exhilarating, unpredictable, and a lot more fluffier! Everyone meet OTTO, our white golden retriever who was welcomed to Iowa yesterday! At 8 weeks old he is 13.2 pounds and very very lovable, and did I mention fluffy?! Make yourself acquainted with his face now, he will be famous on this site in no time 🙂

About the Girl Behind the Keyboard

Greetings! My name is Carly Wolf and one thing you will learn quickly is that i LOVE what I do! Health,fitness, nutrition, and just being a kind hearted, people friendly, hard working gal is just who I am.

So what makes my site different from the rest? Unlike some sites you may come across, I do have some experience in the related topics. No, I am NO expert, I could probably learn from YOU just as much as you can learn from me, but here’s what I know:

I just graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with two degrees: Movement and Exercise Science, and Health Promotion. I have 2 years of experience as a personal trainer at my college and have been certified through ACE as a personal trainer for 6 months. I have also taught group fitness classes at a gym called Kosama. I have done crossfit for 4 months, but enjoy working out on my own and kicking not only my butt, but those around me too! Working out and eating right is important to me, and who knows maybe I’ll compete in a bikini competition soon? I am VERY interested in all the nitty gritty stuff with nutrition and plan on pursing some sort of certification in that very soon. I am no expert in mental, emotional, or social wellness, but I think that some of the resources I have and the education I’ve received in classes is a good jump start to further research on all topics.

Got questions? Just ask!

Want to see a little deeper into my life? ask for my instagram account 🙂