Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Summer 2012

Upon returning from the promising vacation to New York full of interviews and opportunities, we realized that with the sale of our Bountiful home we'd quickly be homeless. While the interviews went well, but we had not received any job offers yet. Micah's heart was set on the NFL position, and it seemed it was down to the final two candidates.

On Sunday we had my parents come up to have dinner with us. They were living in their home in Higland, Utah at that time. Without letting them know our situation and soon to be homelessness, they told us some news of their own. They had received a mission call to serve in the Atlanta Temple. They would be leaving soon and needed someone to look after their Highland home.

It was another answer to prayers. It couldn't have been planned better. They were eager to have us move in for a season while we were eager to have a home. While it was definitely a longer commute to work for Micah, nothing could be more timely than a place to live while we were in this transitioning state. We moved in with them at the end of July after we had a yard sale and sold everything we possibly could. It was nice to simplify our lives, especially considering what was to come. This video below was taken after the yard sale. It was almost bedtime and we were trying to keep Bridger awake.

After a few weeks of being home Micah learned that the NFL had gone with the other candidate. Our spirits were a bit dampened but we did not lose hope. In the meantime we had not heard back from the NBA. We were enjoying the summer months with Grandma and Grandpa Clegg, Bridger especially. I think it was a real blessing for him to bond with them.  They really loved entertaining him, taking him for walks, and watching Words World (PBS kids) with him. I enjoyed making meals for the whole family, It was nice to share these moments with my parents while they were in good health. Pretty soon, Grandma and Grandpa Clegg realized their date to leave would be the end of October. We still didn't know when we would leave.

At the end of September, almost three months after the in person interview, Micah received a phone call from the NBA. They offered him the position in their events department. We accepted and put in two weeks notice with the church. During the next week we sold any remaining furniture and packed the car for NYC. We took only what would fit in our Passat Wagon. We had a furnished apartment in NYC, so we didn't need much. Bridger and I flew to NYC to save space in the car, while Micah made the 32 hour drive with a stuffed bear and loaded car as his companions. The transition to moving there was especially simple because we had the vacant studio to move into, and no home in Utah to sell.
 Bridger watching the Highland, UT parade!

Watching Signing Time, my favorite show!

 Bridger 1st Haircut (at Grandma and Grandpa Cleggs' home)

Helping mom and dad pack for the move to NYC, with shoes and cell phone I'm ready to go!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My New York City Story

Everyone who has called New York City home for a period of time usually has a story to go along with it. It may be filled with love, magical moments, adversity, dedication and every other kind of emotion. I have two stories. 

Story #1, I moved to the city April 2006.  While employed at UBS, I came out for a four month work assignment to cover another employee that was on maternity leave. I didn't initially have much of a desire to be in NYC. Having grown up close by in NJ, my recollection of the city lingered in the 80's when urine, trash, drug needles, and crime combed the streets. Upon arriving in 2006 I realized my 20 year old memories were outdated and drastic change had taken place. I lived in corporate housing next to Columbus Circle on 58th and 8th, a wonderful area next to Central Park and Columbus shops. I went running in Central Park everyday and let Whole Foods serve me dinner each night. I enjoyed rent free living in a costly area while work covered most living expenses. I had a 10 minute walk to work in the nice weather. The staff at the UBS branch where friendly, diverse, and fun. I met some great, refreshing single members of the church who where avidly working towards their goals, living their lives to its fullest in spite of their marital status. It turned out to be a happy place rich in culture, diversity, opportunity, and excitement that I hadn't before contemplated.

By the end of the four month assignment I'd been offered a full time position at the UBS international branch, which I eagerly accepted. I returned in October to establish NYC as my new home. Costs where still minimal as I moved in with two roommates on the north end of Central Park (110th and 8th), and the increase in salary helped. About a year later I had sold my Utah condo and purchased a very affordable studio apartment around the corner on 112th and 8th.  I had also made a career change from lending/banking to working at YogaWorks as a workshop coordinator and teacher after having completed a 500 hour training.

Life was good, and NYC was my home.

In June of 2008 I met Micah while he was visiting NYC. We met in New York and we fell in love in New York. By the end of the year we were planning a wedding and it seemed only suiting we move back to Utah where he had a home and a more permanent career at the church. I was teaching yoga, so I took to finding teaching classes in Utah after we married. The first year of marriage, the sacrifice of leaving behind my NYC life, and transitioning to free lance and teaching was challenging. But I made it. 

Story #2, About a year after Micah and I had been married, we decided we needed to explore other career and education options for Micah. He was interested in completing a Masters and the Church employer wouldn't guarantee reimbursement nor did Utah have the specific program we were seeking. Micah's church employment had many benefits and blessings but didn't seem like the end all in his career. So we searched high and low. He applied all over the US for jobs, but focused primarily on Northwest and East Coast region (confession, I was eager to return to the city). For a while little to no call backs came. We tried running for political office (Micah for City Council) to see if perhaps we should stick around Bountiful. Well that loss (while a great experience) helped us realize even more it was time to move on (whatever that meant). 

In early 2012 Micah applied for a few jobs with NFL and NBA, both of which were located in NY. We figured since we still owned my studio apartment we could use that on resumes and appear local. We didn't hear back from either but in the meantime we felt the increased pressure of paying two mortgages and having the feeling we needed to move on. It felt due time to place both our properties on the market (Bountiful home & NYC studio) and have a fresh start even if we didn't yet know where we were going. In June we had an accepted offer on the apartment in NYC. We realized our time was limited to come visit while we still owned the studio, so we booked a flight. We also decided to place the Bountiful home on the market the day we flew out (in hopes to avoid neighbor questions while we were gone for a few weeks).

Well from the moment we stepped on the airplane to NYC in June 2012, something magical seemed to happen. And I'm speaking of more than this view of Central Park!
On our flight we had a layover. When Micah turned on his phone while waiting for the next leg, he had several messages. One was from his mother (our realtor on Bountiful home). She said we had an almost full price offer from the first person that went through our home! Keep in mind it had been on the market less than one full day. Another message was from NFL, they wanted to meet with Micah for an interview. How convenient we were flying into the city that DAY!  He also had another employer(can't remember which) ask for a phone interview. We were amazed. When we had left on our flight just a few hours earlier we had no idea what we were doing. After just a few hours we had an opportunity to sell our home and be in town for several in person interviews. 

It was a miracle. An answer to prayers.

While we were in NYC we accepted the offer on our Bountiful home, which meant our time in Bountiful was just a few weeks after returning home. While in NYC, we spent several days in the apartment cleaning and scrubbing. We had to scrub all the flicked buggars off the wall from our previous renter (thanks) and srub the moldy bathroom. We did some of our favorite activities; visit Central Park, eat at Crepes on Columbus and wear out our little Bridger.
After we were there a few days another miracle happened. We received another call for an interview, this time from the NBA. 
Oh, and something else happened. The offer on our apartment fell through. The guy who wanted it could not secure financing, so it was back on the market?
A lot was up in the air, but one thing was for sure. This trip to NYC had more impact on the future of our lives than any vacation I've ever taken!
Stroller/backpack combo? Yup

Dad & I could get anywhere together in the city in this thing.

Bridger introduced to the Mecca of chaos...
 Mom and dad finally figured out how to support poor his head while sleeping.

Sleeping through most of the trip.

This is for Grandpa Clegg. I'm certain it was made for him!

Belvedere Castle in Central Park

Staten Island Ferry

In Jersey City after an interview with NBA. Hmmm, what's next?

We visited Rachelle and Aaron in Jersey City.

After the trip to NYC we had some bumps and turns, read Summer 2012 to find out what happened.

Water & Growing Up May/June 2012

I love water!
Nothing like bath time, do you think I'm getting a little big for this tub?

At least the NYC apartment has a real tub. And not to mention super cool green glasses.
My very first pool, the easter bunny brought it for me!
With my friend Geneva in the pool!
This was my super cool backpack, stroller combo. Dad loved it for our trip to NYC, I loved it because I could fit in the basket on the bottom!
 Check out my cell phone, I'm growing up fast!
 Auntie Diann and cousin Tomina came to visit.
Just the Bear necessities.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Easter & Learning to Walk 2012

I love filling Dad's shoes!
Not sure if this little puppy is making me laugh or cry!

Easter Bunny came!
Just taking a walk with my Dad!

And now with Grandpa Clegg!

I adore yogurt if you can't tell.
And hiding in inconspicuous places.

First Road Trip to California - March 2012

This was officially Bridger's first long distance road trip. We had done shorter trips to go camping and St. George, but this was officially 26 hours in the car. Bridger enjoyed every minute of his time with cousins, although I wouldn't say he loved every minute of the car ride. Before we left, sneaky Bridger nabbed some cookies at 7am! Makes for a fine breakfast eh!

On our trip to California, we stopped in Las Vegas. We stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Clegg, and visited Sherlene and her family.

 Cousin Emily, Nicole, Conner and Trevor.

Trevor really loved Baby Bridger.
The whole family, Emily, Conner, Mom, Bridger, Aunt Sherlene, Trevor, and Nicole.
At Grandma and Grandpa Clegg's house.
 Once we arrived in California, heading straight to the water.

 Newport Beach with Dad.
 This is the rooftop of the little quaint Inn we stayed at that. The staff found Mom's wedding ring when it had fallen in the bathroom trash can.
 With Stori and Sixti
 Stori, Sixti, Bridger and Jaxx
Lennox, Bridger, and Axel. I love my cousins!
And just lucky enough to see Elyse Peterson again!