10 Things I Learned During My Time In Baltimore
What a summer this has been! I keep meaning to pop in here with a personal post to let you know more about what’s been going on. It has been an insanely busy summer because we just found out in June that we’re moving back to Colorado! As in, this coming weekend, we’ll all be there. Yowsers! There’s nothing like 7 weeks to execute a cross-country move amid an already planned and busy summer to really toss you on your keister. Let’s just say my life has been chock full of painting, packing, researching, selling, crying, renting, goodbye-hugging, lots of panic, and a little excitement, too.
Some of you know that three years ago, my husband accepted a job to be the Head of Football Analytics for the Baltimore Ravens. This began an incredible journey of change and adventure for my family. We left Boulder, CO where we had lived for over 13 years and landed in Baltimore to start anew. It was hard, really hard, to pick up and forge new connections and ties in a city we didn’t know.
But, we did it, and just when I felt like things were really starting to sing here in Baltimore for the kids, with friends, for my work, for our house . . . sigh . . . Can you tell I didn’t see it coming? Sandy got asked to be the Director of Sports Analytics for Kroenke Sports Enterprises. He will be building a team from Denver to run statistical analysis for the St. Louis Rams, the Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Rapids, and the Arsenal Soccer Club! Um, what?? I’m proud as punch for him, but it kinda knocked the wind out of me. Didn’t I just say that this moving across the country thing is hard? Hell yes! But, as I tell the kids and myself, we did it once already, so we know we can do it again!
So, Colorado bound we are! It felt like a good omen when I saw this sign all the way down in Costa Rica (I couldn’t cancel all our plans!). I’m more than a little sad to leave Baltimore. We all grew and changed a lot here. And, just because everyone LOVES a top 10 list, I wanted to share with you the Top 10 Things I Learned During My Time in Baltimore:
1. Baltimore is an amazing city. Baltimore is a very real city with serious challenges, but it is also charming and unique and filled with people that have a passion for it. The city is broken and decayed, but also beautiful and full of life and texture and grit. I loved looking and seeing and absorbing its history, energy and people. Don’t believe everything you hear on the television, it is a place worth exploring. I will miss it terribly.
2. I can get it done. Sandy worked really hard here, as in NFL Football team hard. I had to take on all the responsibilities of the house and the kids and, well, pretty much everything that didn’t have to do with football. Yes, this means I even emptied the mouse traps. In our old life, I was used to splitting household and kiddo work with Sandy. Single mama life was new to me. I didn’t always do it well, but I got it done! I’m proud of myself for that.
3. I adore old houses. The house we bought was built in 1900. It has a life and presence of its own, truly. I love the character and the detail. I love the crooked floors and quirky things. I love the patina and the sense of something lasting over time. I’d like to say definitively that I will never live in a new house again. But, I learned long ago to never say never.
4. Being part of a team that wins the Superbowl is fun. Like SERIOUS fun. The Ravens will always have a special place in my heart. Go Ravens! But really, I’d like to go to another one, so, Go Rams!
5. When making friends is hard, you cherish them all the more. It’s strange to me, but I value the friends I found here in Baltimore so much, in large part, because I feel they were hard-earned. My kids were older than the we’re-all-Kindergarten-parents-so-let’s-be-friends age. It took a lot of effort to find people I really connected with. I found friends of all types in Baltimore. They were creative, funny, forthright, heart-felt, hard-working, supportive, kind and generally a blast. I will miss you all!
6. Kids are uber adaptable and they grow fast! Look at what babies they were when we arrived! The kids adjusted much better than Sandy or I did. They took the changes in stride and just dug in, making great friends and sliding in to Baltimore life in a heart beat. This is how I know they can do it again.
7. When you pursue your dreams, sometimes you get what you want. When Sandy first decided to pursue a career in professional sports ten years ago, I wasn’t sure what would happen. Despite having three kids under three, I began working full time in a career that I didn’t have a passion for in order to support the family while Sandy reached for his dream. He did it. My efforts during that time makes each success he has in this arena feel like my success, too. So, a career in professional sports it is, and all that comes with it, including moving. I love too, that in true partnership, he supports me while I pursue my dreams. These dreams are coming more and more true and real with every passing day.
8. Writing a book takes incredible time, love and care. Speaking of dreams, Baltimore is the city my book was born in. I would love it just for that. Book-writing truly is a labor of love. Now that it’s in my hand, I’m glowing and proud and full of joy for my accomplishment! More on this later (available September 1)!
9. I don’t like moving backwards. When we found out about the move, everyone thought we’d go back to Boulder. It would be a 40 minute commute. You’d be near your friends. You’d know the place. But somehow, I couldn’t. It felt important that we be near Sandy’s work, together as a family. I needed somewhere new and different than before. I needed it to be a new adventure, not a return to where we began. I look forward to discovering Denver. This is our adorable rental house above. We’re off to a great start!
10. It will all be okay, as long as we’re together. I remember saying this to my kids when we found out we were moving to Baltimore, and I say it to them now as we embark on our Denver journey. Together we can deal with anything. Together, we will figure it out. Together, we will grow and change. Together.
So, it is with deep and reverent thanks that I say goodbye to Baltimore. The city holds a momentous position in our life, colored by exciting achievement and transition, enormous sadness and loss, and incredible joy, too. It will always hold a dear and cherished place in my heart. Thank you, Baltimore.