Looking Back: One Month in Western New York

It’s almost impossible to say whether the past month has been the fastest or slowest of our life together so for.  As of today, we have been NY residents for one month and have been living the country life. It’s not been glamorous; rather, we’ve found that sleeping on the living room floor in front of a live audience brings a certain air of humility.

Though it isn’t everything we expected, here are the truths to one month of living in our new home:

Family Comes First (but so does balance) – We have spent more time with our family over the last month than we have in the past two years. Proximity to family was a major reason we moved back, but we need to work on finding a balance between personal time together and balancing both our families.

We Think Your Tractor’s Sexy Slow – Traffic has a new meaning. No longer do we sit on 395 for an hour trying to get into DC for a dinner event, but rather we are caught behind farm vehicles almost every day.  The plus side to this is that we smell less exhaust and breathe in a little more country air as we wait.


Rats, Bats, and Snakes (Oh My!) – Last night – LITERALLY – we spent awake at 3AM trying to coerce a bat in the living room to go outside. We were not terrible successful. We are now living rural country life on 20 acres of barn and woods, so we need to assume we will run into unexpected critter situations. Doesn’t make it any easier to deal with bugs and unwanted rodents. Send help.

The Luxurious Life of a Squatter – It’s true. We currently reside on the living room floor and our clothes are neatly stacked strewn about the formal parlor (the biggest walk-in I’ve ever had!) while our adjacent room is being renovated. We have no privacy (no door on the living room) and therefore we can be seen at all hours of the day. So romantic. However, there are positives to this: we can’t be kicked out and our meals are made for us every night.


A New Routine – Our morning (and entire day, really…) has changed DRASTICALLY. So many more animals to take care of and things to do. Between renovating a room and Scott at work full time, we have a full plate. The cutest thing? Scott learning his way around my house and adjusting to farm life. He’s adorable about the horses, and his interest in understanding them warms my heart.

Home Renovations: Double the Time, Double the $$ – This is a law. Just like Murphy’s Law, The Law of Gravity, The Laws of Motion, The Law of Renovation.  What began a modest attack at redoing the guest bedroom and converting it into a comfortable bedroom oasis for the two of us has turned into a month-long headache. But I’m proud to say that other than a little electrical work, I’ve done the entire thing myself.


NY State of Mind – It was hard to comprehend a life that existed more than a quick 30 minute drive to downtown DC. We had everything at our fingertips, and enjoyed week-nights gallivanting all over that city. But here in WNY, we are still a mere 45 minutes from everything we could want: restaurants, museums, historical landmarks. Not only that, but there is more to experience now that we have a built-in babysitter for Ivan. We took off on a camping trip to the Adirondacks and escaped for a day to the NYS Fair.


2’s Company, 5’s a Crowd? – Honestly, living with your brother and his wife and your mother (and throw in everyone’s animals) could be an epic recipe for disaster. I braced myself for the worst, but have been pleasantly surprised at how much fun it can be with so much energy in this old house. Of course we will be glad when we get a door on our room, but until then, it isn’t so bad.

Reaping the Benefits of a Healthy Household – With the help of my step-mom and dad’s garden, our house is overflowing with fresh veggies, and everyone here is on a health kick. We joined a gym and have cut back on the eating out which is helping our 30-something metabolisms.

Mom’s HomeCooking – Speaking of those vegetables, my family believes that food is love and my mother’s cooking is some of the best food I’ve had in my life. Every night that we are in, she plays in the kitchen with new recipes and has found ways to serve home-grown veggies a million different ways – all delicious. There is truly  nothing like Mom’s cooking.

Small Town Charm –  Medina is a beautiful, quaint village on the Erie Canal and full of hidden gems. We’ve enjoyed the Farmer’s Market (twice!) and so many of the local restaurants and small shops on Main Street. Every night we take Ivan for a walk in town (yes, we now have to drive him to go walk…) we take a new route each day and discover old houses, historical markers, and reminisce about our life growing up in this town.


Prepare Move, for Ludicrous Speed! – If you know this reference, you owe it to yourself and to us to leave a comment naming that movie. When we moved north, we thought we were trading our hectic work/blogging life for a slightly slower and idyllic pace in the country. Turns out, there is no such thing. Our schedule is slammed, and looking ahead to the fall and early winter, it doesn’t appear it will slow down.

Daydream Believer – In DC, we daydreamed a lot about careers and a house. But mostly a house. Here, we daydream about our entire future. All of a sudden, we are part of a small community and our land of opportunity now extends to everyone’s opportunity. We want our home to thrive and to grow in a positive way, while remaining this beautiful historic village in rural Western New York. We fantasize about what to do with this big house and property, and how we might be able to contribute to the fabric of this county.

Instagram/Twitter – Seriously, where is everyone?? Our blog and social life in DC depended on active social media channels, and here it seems that unless you’re from a city (shout out: Buffalo, Rochester!) people are still primarily Facebook-friendly. We hope this evolves slightly, as we see it could be advantageous in spreading the love and the word on events in the area. If you’re a business and want to join, let us know, we’d love to help!

Stress Makes the Heart Grow Fonder – This is the most important change in our life. We vehemently believe that relationships are defined in times of difficulty and adversity. Perhaps most of our life is the good kind of stress, acclimating to working from home, sharing a house, and not having privacy together can definitely take its toll. We are juggling new responsibilities, complicated family dynamics (come on, every family has them) and a slight identity crisis. Who are we here? Who did we leave behind? How do we show our hometown and former friends how much we have changed? But honestly, these things have brought the two of us closer and we are more on a team than ever before. Communication is key, and we are each other’s strongest ally and most powerful advocate. I was head over heels for this man a month ago, but no words can do do this new love justice.

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1250 words later and there is a novel left to say about our new life. Hopefully this quick video will sum up the past month without adding to the word count.

One month in, a lifetime to go. Tell us: what should we make sure to do in month #2?


More about Al


    1. As someone who moved from DC to Buffalo three years ago (but not to a farm!), it’s entertaining to read about how your life has changed since your return. I don’t miss those long stretches of sitting in 395 (or 495, or 95) traffic either. But there are pros and cons to leaving DC, as I’m sure you’ve noticed in the past month you’ve been away. It’s great to see you embracing your new life!

      1. You absolutely speak the truth. As we flew through DCA last night, I was so homesick for DC I couldn’t stand it. But waking up this morning on the farm has reaffirmed that moving was the right decision. Still can’t wait to visit DC next week :) Always glad to meet people here who have spent time in DC! Thanks for reaching out!! -Al

    1. Your observations are making me laugh! I remember being amazed by a lot of the same things when we moved from the suburbs (with sidewalks and neighborhoods!) to the middle of the country in Niagara County when I was 10. We renovated our house as well, and it definitely took us twice as long as expected, but now my parents have a gorgeous house to show for it that we can all really be proud of.

      If you’re around this weekend, you should check out the Celtic Fest happening in Olcott – such a unique and well-put-on event, well worth the cost of admission! We may go tomorrow :)

      Good luck in month 2!

    1. YIKES, that is a crowd. Girl. You need a door.

      and spaceballs, duh.

      1. LOL. I love that movie, and I find a way to incorporate it on the regular. AND I get my door – TODAY!!!! Whooot whooooot!!!

    1. YIKES, that is a crowd. Girl. You need a door.

      and spaceballs, duh.

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