So when we last left off [Part 3] I had some decisions to make about my future. As I neared the end of my first year teaching I realized two things: 1. I really liked teaching and wasn't ready to give that up and 2. I wanted to be closer to C. We had been dating for 2 years and were more than sick of the long distance thing. So we decided to move in together. We got an apartment in Virginia and I moved down after the school year was finished. It was a little stressful, leaving friends I had just made and quitting my job without having another one lined up yet, but it worked out. I got several job offers over the summer including one at a great school, teaching only Biology, and I was really excited about it.
A few months after moving in together we decided to add another dog to our family. Crazy? Yes. And so we brought Henry home 2 months later. Best decision we ever made. I love being a two dog family and it was definitely a bonding experience going through puppy training together. My mom joked at the time that it was like we had a baby, since we were getting up in the middle of the night to take Henry out.
I also applied to grad school in various states that fall. We didn't really discuss what would happen if I got in since I thought my chances were pretty slim in most places and there were so many options. I figured we'd cross that bridge when we came to it in the spring.
all dressed up for my sister's confirmation
I loved that first year of living together. It was hard at times but we had so many firsts. Our first big purchase (a bed), raising our first puppy, cutting down our first Christmas tree ... I loved how when we moved into that apartment it seemed so big and empty and over the months we filled it with animals, books, food, music. Our balcony overlooked beaver habitat and being the Animal Planet lovers that we are we spent a lot of time out there watching the beavers, listening to thunderstorms, and drinking coffee on Saturday mornings.
burry, imperfect but ours
Towards the end of the year we talked about moving. We knew if we stayed in Virginia we wanted to move somewhere to shorten both of our commutes and we knew if I got into grad school there was a possibility of us leaving the state. Which leads us to, [Part 5], when we make all of those decisions.