The Pre-Road to Rhode Island

I remember my third date with Shane. I lived in Fairhope, Alabama at the time and he had recently moved to Pensacola, Florida so we met in the middle at a Mellow Mushroom in Foley, Alabama to continue the budding romance we found after the dining, piano bar-going, and kayaking we did on our first two dates.

We knew we liked each other. We knew this was different than anything we had previously experienced and we found ourselves talking about things most probably wouldn't on a third date.

We talked about traveling together and where we hoped to end up living one day. We shared our love for North Carolina, the epic road trips we could take together, and then he mentioned having me spend Thanksgiving with him in New England (this was in May). "There's nothing like a New England Thanksgiving," he said. He grew up in Massachusetts and always talked of home with stars in his eyes.

Fast forward six months and I was able to experience that Thanksgiving; he was right- I had never experienced anything like it and I fell in love. We paraded through Boston, went ice skating, and had a traditional spread of a meal surrounded by the lovely people I would grow to call family.

Our dreamy destination wedding
 in Leicester, Massachusetts
In May 2014, Shane and I got married in Massachusetts and settled into newlywed life in Lillian, Alabama. We knew we weren't meant to stay there forever and couldn't picture raising a family in the South, away from family and void of a tight-knit support system nearby. Nevertheless, life there was great and we made wonderful memories with friends and visitors. We owned a beautiful home that we took great pride in. We grew our careers. We grew together in our marriage. We celebrated two anniversaries. We dreamed of the next chapter and where we would be led.

We never really imagined living in New England. We talked of North Carolina, a little more north than that, but living in New England didn't seem to be directly on our radar. Good thing God doesn't use our radar to make decisions for what is best for us.

A few weeks ago, Shane and I got word that he had been selected for a wonderful career opportunity and we would be relocating to Rhode Island. We were ecstatic and anxious to see this process unfold!

(I'll be honest, I immediately started Googling places, Yelping restaurants, mapping out all the Trader Joe's in the areas, and mentally signing up for some Rhode Island yoga classes!)

A painting I had made of us in front of our Alabama
home and our moving announcement
We put our beloved home on the market, began looking for rental homes in Rhode Island, and held a yard sale.

Shane had moved across the country before but I had not. The farthest I had ever moved was from my home in Lakeland, Florida north to the Deep South of Alabama (you didn't know that was possible, did you? Trust me, it's possible.)

Now we were moving eight states and 1500 miles away. But we were doing it together.

This Southern Belle was in for a treat! I could handle the North, right? Why, of course! My y'all saying, pie baking, stranger-smiling self was ready for a new adventure, ready to settle into New England life and see what God had in store for our future.

Now, we just had to get there.