We sold our house in CT, signed a lease in Austin, and 2 hours later I found out I was pregnant...
As many of you know, about 1 year ago I started this crazy journey of being a full-time recipe developer/food instagramer after being in financial services for almost 10 years. It was one of the most exciting and terrifying things I've ever done, and I haven't looked back since.
It all started a year and a half ago when my doctor diagnosed me with a hormone imbalance (PCOS) and hypothyroidism and encouraged me to live a gluten-free, low glycemic index diet. I didn't want to feel restricted with my diet (who does?!), so I began creating different recipes so I can still eat delicious food, while adhering to this new lifestyle. I started posting the recipes on Instagram, and realized I enjoyed doing that more than my my actual day job. Within a month of my job asking me to relocate to Florida, my husband received a job offer in the northeast at the same time, so we had to make a choice. The choice wasn't hard at all. I didn't love my career, and I realized I had become so passionate about recipe developing and focusing on wellness, which is why I decided to make the leap to pursue this full-time.
As part of this life transformation, not only did I take a very substancial (and I mean VERY substancial) pay decrease, but I realized my priorities in life began to change. The large house we were living in began to seem unnecessary, time consuming and expensive. We wanted to have more freedom to be able to do what we wanted, and to have the ability to go ALL-in with this business without having to worry about major financial and time obligations. Instead of spending every weekend doing yard work, I wanted the ability to spend the weekends focusing on growing my business. Instead of spending money with constant house maintenance and a large mortgage, I wanted to spend my money towards gaining more knowledge, education, and amazing life experiences.
This is when Dan and I came to the quick conclusion that we should sell our house and downsize to something much smaller and more manageable. On top of that, we decided to sell our two (fairly costly) cars, and completely declutter our lives. We both donated about 3/4 of our wardrobes to charity, and gave away a TON of furniture and things we realized we didn't need. We completely cleaned out and staged our house within a week, and we had a contract on it two weeks later. Everything happened so quickly, and we realized, "uhh we need to figure out where we're going to live next STAT."
We originally were going to look for a condo in Connecticut, which is where we were currently living, when Dan brought up a good point. "I travel every week for work, you work from home. We realistically could live ANYWHERE....why are we limiting ourselves to just Connecticut?"
I took to my Instagram and asked people if they could live ANYWHERE in the country, where would they live. The responses were fascinating. The majority of responses were 1) Southern California and 2) Austin, TX. As much as I would have loved to move to California, it would have been challenging with Dan traveling to the east coast every week, so we knew that option didn't make the most sense. That left Austin. I had heard so many wonderful things about this rapidly growing city, not to mention the INSANE food scene (especially for someone gluten-free) so I was definitely intrigued. One week later we flew down to Austin for the weekend to check out the scene and see if we liked it.
Needless to say, we LOVED it. It was such a gorgeous city with so fun things to do. On top of that, the food scene was as amazing as I had heard, and it was clearly a city focused on health and wellness, which had clearly become such a huge part of my life. It was a no brainer. That same weekend we looked at apartments, found one downtown that we loved (conveniently located across the street from Whole Foods), and made the crazy decision that we were moving to Austin.
We quickly began negotiations with the apartment complex and packing up our lives to get ready for our 1800 mile move that was going to happening in only 3 weeks. We were also going from a 4 BR, 2700 square foot house to a 1 BR, 986 square foot apartment, so we begin downsizing our life even further. A few days after returning from Austin, we signed our 1 year lease at the apartment complex we were moving into. I was so excited -- my life was about to completely change! But for how excited I was, I did notice I was struggling with my energy levels. I was taking care of my body, eating organic, and had transitioned from coffee to matcha MONTHS ago, so why am I all of a sudden so sluggish now? It was very strange.
We were about to pop open a bottle of organic red wine to celebrate selling our house and signing a lease in Austin, when I randomly decided to take a pregnancy test, just to be on the safe side. I figured there was NO way I was actually pregnant....I had PCOS and my OBGYN and endocrinologist always told me that getting pregnant would likely be an uphill battle. I had always had major issues with my cycle on top of it all, but I figured taking the test couldn't hurt.
Well, you can imagine my surprise when the test came back POSITIVE. I just sold my house and signed a 1 year lease to move to Austin a couple HOURS prior, and was now finding out I was pregnant. Whaaaaaaat?!
When I told Dan, after asking me "are you messing with me?" a few times, he laughed. We both laughed for about a half hour. Let's face it, the timing was pretty hilarious. My doctors told me I'd have a hard time getting pregnant, we had literally JUST decided to uproot our life (away from our family and friends), and THAT was the day we found out I was pregnant. It was almost unbelievable. We talked about what our next step should be, but we decided to continue on the path we were going on, and still move to Austin. We both agreed it was going to be an amazing experience we'd never regret, and I'm SO glad we made the decision we did.
Fast forward about 5 months, and I'm now 25 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby boy, living in my high rise apartment, developing recipes, working out, teaching social media workshops, and hosting monthly wellness events in Austin. I've fallen in love with everything this fantastic city has to offer and have met so many incredible people.
I'm so grateful for starting this new lifestyle a year ago. If I hadn't, I may have never gotten my body to a state where it was able to accept a pregnancy, nor would I have had so many doors and opportunities open up for me. This past year has been such an amazing and exciting journey, and it's just getting started. I have a feeling the best is yet to come.