A while back someone asked, "One more question on an issue that intrigues me as a northeasterner. I remember you saying you were from New York. How did you end up in Wyoming? It doesn't sound like a typical move (although I have to say I envied you when I saw those gorgeous pics of your local mountains). Also, do you miss New York?"
So here you go... a non-running-related-post with the Reader's Digest version of how I ended up in Wyoming. :)
I was born and raised on Long Island, NY. Josh was born and raised in Wyoming. We met while he was in New York, serving a mission for our church. When his mission was done he went back to Wyoming, and we talked on the phone A LOT (sorry Dad about those phone bills). We both just knew we were meant to be together. I went out to Wyoming for a week to meet his family, and then he came back to New York with me. For a couple of months we officially "dated", and then we got married. Our first son, Nathan, was born just two and a half weeks after we were married. (I was pregnant when Josh and I met...yeah, it was complicated... but it all worked out beautifully!!)
We had a nice little apartment that we lived in for about six months, and then we bought a cute little house on Long Island. We lived in New York for about four years (and added two more sons to the family), while working and getting Josh through school. When he graduated from graphic design school we knew we were at a crossroads. We had an amazing support system in NY of my incredible family and wonderful, wonderful friends, and yet I had never wanted to raise my kids in NY and wanted to live somewhere less crowded, more affordable, and more country.
Upstate New York, Maine, Pennsylvania and a few other places were on our list of places we considered moving to, but in the end we focused our attention on the Wyoming/Idaho area. It is a beautiful area that we both love, and is close to Josh's family and lots of friends. Josh applied for several jobs, and the only one he was offered was in Jackson Hole Wyoming. (If you have never been to Jackson it is super crazy millionaire expensive). So we bought a house in Star Valley without having ever been here, and Josh made plans to commute to Jackson.
We loaded up a huge moving van (that Josh's Dad drove for us) and our minivan, and took about four days to drive from NY to WY with three boys under the age of five.
We fell in love with Star Valley instantly. A lot of people thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown moving from NY to such a small place, but I told Josh in our first week here that this was where my grandkids would be visiting me. I love the mountains (everywhere), I love the cool temps, I love the blue skies, I love the wide open spaces, I love the friendly people and the supportive communities. And people here love the great outdoors and are very active and "outdoorsy". LOVE IT. Josh now works here in the valley, and we have a home at the mouth of a gorgeous mountain canyon. This is home.
Do I miss New York? I miss my family terribly. I miss friends. I miss real pizza. I miss Chinese Food being delivered. I miss the huge variety of cultures. But do I miss living there? No. I believe with all my heart NY is the greatest city in the world... I just am not a city girl. But part of me will always be a New Yorker. I will cheer for the Giants, Rangers and Yankees until the day I die. I will always be a bagel and pizza snob. I still have a Long Island girl accent that finds it way out when I am REALLY angry (very rare!) And I will always be proud to say I am from New York. :)
I haven't been back to NY in several years now. My parents bring a couple of kids out there for a week of spoiling every summer and they come out to visit us every year, but I don't get to go back too often.
When I watched the ING NYC Marathon on TV last year, I looked at all of those runners on the bridge and listened to them playing the "New York, New York" song and I cried! (I am a total boob). I wanted to run that race so badly. I had not even finished my first marathon yet, but I knew I wanted to be on that bridge, to hear that song, to run that race, and to be a part of something so awesome.
Josh and I are SO excited about our trip to NY in November. It is our 15th anniversary next month, and this trip will be the perfect little getaway. We will have time with my parents and there are a bunch of family and friends I plan on seeing. AND, I will be running the race declared to the be the Sporting Event of the Year of 2011, in the greatest city on Earth, while raising money with each mile for an awesome cause.
Time for shameless plug...
Do you want to help me on my journey to NY by helping me raise $3000 for the MEB Foundation? U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi's Team MEB (which I am so excited to be a part of!) is raising money to help provide kids in need in the US and in Africa with opportunities for health, education and fitness.
A donation of any amount will help me reach my goal and it only takes a minute or two. :)