One Year, NC <3

One year. 12 months. 365 days.

That’s how long I’ve had with you so far, North Carolina.

1 engagement.

10 months of wedding planning.

1 new house.

2 “buffer” jobs.

1 real job.

3 volunteer organizations.

1 fashion show.

1 photo shoot.

3 trips to the beach.

2 trips to the mountains.

Numerous new friends.

A whole family at Orangetheory.

And memories that are just the beginning.


That is what you’ve given me so far, North Carolina.


Moving is a big deal. It’s full of the unknowns. And when, not given a lot of time (3 weeks) to prepare yourself for the move, it becomes something that is hard & scary & frustrating & emotion draining. Sometimes I still feel like I’m dealing with the emotional strain of the move, of being so far away from family and friends. That might not ever go away. In fact, I hope it doesn’t. Because the moment I forget about those feelings, when I go weeks without missing my roots, becomes the moment that I have become complacent. Missing the Midwest and reflecting on the good times there keeps me grounded. It reminds me that life is an adventure, and it reminds me to be constantly looking for adventure where I am. I don’t need to search the country anymore to find new adventure, I don’t need to move again, I can branch out here with new opportunities. Because frankly, there are already too many people here that would give me the same heart breaking feelings of loss if I had to move away today.


If you were to look back at my post 6 months ago (“Six Months Southern”), I may have sounded confident. I may have sounded optimistic on our life here and everything that came with it. But if you read close enough you might be able to tell that I was still sad. Sad about missing my family, my friends, and everything that I knew. I was not comfortable yet. I was still figuring the city out. I was still feeling left out. Even with the friends I had made at that time, I still didn’t feel like I could call this place home.

In fact, that lasted 3 more months. I remember, lying in bed one night at about 10pm, when I finally realized that I like this place. I didn’t just uproot my life for a boy, I uprooted my life for adventure. It was then, on that night, where I said for the first time “I like it here”.


And I do.


The past 3 months have done something serious to my feelings towards this place. I like it. In fact, I love it.

I have a heavy hand in animal rescue organizations and am only looking for ways to help more animals. And that makes me happy.

I am THAT girl that is obsessed with her gym. Orangetheory has given me nearly all of my friends here (get your laughs in now Val), and there isn’t a day where I walk into that gym and don’t have a meaningful conversation with someone. Orangetheory has not only changed my physique, it has changed my life. It is one of the things that I contribute to finally being able to call North Carolina home, and for that, I am thankful.

I have gotten to walk in a fashion show & do a photo shoot. I have another fashion show coming up in 4 weeks. Someone go ahead and tell me where I could have been introduced to opportunities like that in Iowa. I’ll wait.

I’ve launched an online business. It is doing so well in fact that I have had to put a hold on taking new clients (except for my Pump It For Paws program. Hollaaaa for helping dogs in need). This business I am 110% confident wouldn’t exist if I were still in Iowa. It wouldn’t exist because the clients who inspired me to start it were my clients in Iowa (S/O Amber & Jeremiah). And if i were still training them in person, what purpose would an online platform serve?

Our dogs have had more experiences out here too. Dog dates, trips with us to the bar arcade, trips with us to Pig Pounder Brewery where they are now known by name 😉

We can travel 3.5 hours to the East and be on the beach. And we can travel 3.5 hours to the West and be in the mountains. That sure as hell beats 24 hour trips to the beach that we have taken in the past!


12 months with you North Carolina. And for the first time, I have a different response to people when they ask “How long do you think you’ll be here?”. 5 years used to be my optimistic view. I would tell myself that I could hold on for 5 years out here, and then pack up back to the midwest.

But now. Now when people ask i don’t have an answer. I tell them that I am happy. I am flourishing out here. How did you do it North Carolina? How did you convince me to stay in just 1 short year? Okay, maybe the trips home to 12 inches of snow only to return to NC in 70 degree weather helps. But my love for this state goes beyond the weather.

And to the Midwest & all of my family and friends there. I still love you, i’ll always miss you. But change is good. Trying new things is good. And if I’ve learned anything in this past year, i’ve learned that a year flies by way too quickly. If you don’t take chances, if you don’t make jumps now, then you never will. Branch out, try something new. I promise, you won’t regret it.

One year. 12 months. 365 days of the biggest emotional roller coaster of my life. The ups & the downs this year have been immeasurable to other years. The emotional year goes way beyond getting comfortable with the move. It goes with feelings of finding myself. Going through family issues from afar. Finding solace in friends here. Learning new things, about life, about friends, about me.

One year. 12 months. 365 days of the biggest emotional roller coaster of my life. But I feel that because of you, North Carolina and the people you brought to me, that I was able to tackle that year. Overcome. Rise above.

“& When I need something to remind me of who I am, Carolina Can”

-Chase Rice