Times, They Are a-Changin’

What a day! You know those days when you have 5,000 hours of work that you somehow need to cram into one working day?

Fortunately I got a lot accomplished this morning, but I have some techy stuff I need to finish up on the blog this afternoon that will likely be time consuming but exciting at the same time. I’m crossing my fingers for a smooth transition!

I took a break around noon for lunch at Greens & Grill. I met up with one of my former bosses, Mark, to catch up and chat.

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I worked as an intern for Mark for about a year during my senior year in college. I applied for the internship when one of my favorite professors at UCF told me that her husband’s company was looking for an intern.

When I got the job, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my experience since I was mostly writing about power companies! It was a great experience and working under Mark was a great fit for me. He is the kind of boss you respect both personally and professionally. Plus, I thought the company was awesome. When I worked there, they had every employee take the Myers-Briggs personality test so everyone had a head’s up about their coworker’s personalities. It was really neat because the results were then posted outside your office and you knew before approaching a colleague how to better communicate with them.

Mark and I ended up chatting for nearly two hours. I hadn’t seen him a couple of years so we had a lot of conversation to cram into a quick lunchtime meet up!

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Greens & Grille makes some awesome salads! The highlights of my salad included tart apple slices, edamame and sautéed onions.

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What better way to wash down a salad than with a cup of fro yo?

On my way home from lunch, I swung by a frozen yogurt shop and enjoyed a cup of peanut butter and Nutella frozen yogurt, topped with brownie chunks, whipped cream and Butterfinger pieces.

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(Don’t you miss my in-the-car-on-the-way-to-work photos? Winking smile)

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A winning combination!

Now it’s time for the big announcement… which you probably skipped ahead to anyway.

For those of you who are actually reading these words, HI! I LOVE YOU THE MOST!

Also, the Fashion page was updated so have a field day and check it out if you’d like!

The Big Announcement

No, I’m not pregnant.

No, Sadie isn’t getting a boyfriend, brother or sister.

No, we’re not moving out of Florida.

***

But we are moving out of Orlando.

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Ryan and I will be moving to Ocala, a small town located about an hour north of Orlando.

A couple of weeks ago Ryan interviewed for a new job. Remember that one Tuesday when I blogged from Starbucks and Ryan and I went on a random mid-week date?

Well I kind of blog-lied.

I didn’t “just feel like getting out of the house” to work that day. I accompanied Ryan to Ocala where he had a long interview scheduled for a new position with a prominent company in the area. While I worked and blogged from Starbucks, he interviewed and then I picked him up and we ate dinner in Ocala before heading home.

And remember last weekend when we were searching for houses to rent all day long? It took so long because we had to drive the hour to Ocala and then we drove all around the town, trying to figure out which areas would be best for us to live.

And that fancy-schmancy dinner last weekend? That was a celebration dinner for Ryan! He officially accepted his new job last Friday and on Saturday I planned a surprise date for us to celebrate this exciting step in his career.

The Decision

Ryan’s decision to accept the position in Ocala was one we made together and one we made very carefully after many nights of long discussions about where we see ourselves in the future and Ryan’s career goals. We said over and over again how lucky we feel that my job can be done from anywhere, making the decision to move a bit easier since I won’t be out of work.

While the position itself seems like a good one and is one that aligns with the future goals of our family and Ryan’s career, we are obviously a bit nervous about moving to Ocala. Those of you who live in Florida likely understand our feelings, but for those of you who have never heard of Ocala, this little tidbit of information should help paint a picture about the new town we’ll be living in for you: More Kentucky Derby horses come out of Ocala than anywhere else in United States.

Let’s just say you would’ve thought Ryan and I saw Santa Claus when we drove past a Target last weekend! Open-mouthed smile

Though we’ve obviously heard a lot about the stereotypes of Ocala, as we explored the area, it definitely had more to offer than we expected. A mall, Best Buy, Joann’s, Ulta (!!!), Starbucks, Bonefish Grill, TJMaxx and many other stores we’ve become accustomed to in Orlando also have locations in Ocala. Ocala is also home to some amazing hiking trails, parks and camp grounds, which excites us a lot! Plus, it’s only an hour from our friends in Orlando and about two hours or so from our families in St. Pete and Sarasota.

I am so, so, so pumped about finding a nicer place to live. I become elated at the thought of living in a mouse-free apartment!

It seems like you can get more for your money in terms of housing in Ocala, so Ryan and I are hopeful that we’ll find a nice house to rent with a beautiful kitchen (my dream!), an office for me (our kitchen table isn’t cutting it), a fenced-in backyard for Sadie and possibly a pool. We finally heard back from the landlord of the dream house we found online last week and have plans to go see it on Monday. Yay!

Ryan will officially begin his new job on July 25, so we’re in quite a time crunch to pack up, find a place and move. Since we’ll be in Chicago all weekend for a wedding, the pressure will be on when we return!

I really am looking forward to this next chapter in our lives. I think we’re ready for something new.

I’m also really grateful that we’ll still be close to Orlando because we have great connections with friends, colleagues and other bloggers in the area, and it’s only an hour drive to see everyone.

Also, if any of you live in Ocala, please speak up because I’m going to do my best to coerce you into being my friend. This will be us:  Smile Red heart Smile Deep in love like. Great, now you already think I’m totally creepy. Seriously though, I need a friend… that’s a human and not a horse.

Comments

  1. Jamie says

    I’ve lived in Ocala all of my 27 years. It’s definitely interesting. The people watching is fab! Avoid Marion Oaks, and the end of the Shores area, unless you enjoy crime. Compass is probably going to be your only choice for a gym. There are a ton of natural springs around. There is a dog park by Jervey Gant, which is a park/sports complex area. Most of any decent nightlife/restaurants will be downtown. The Villages, a retirement community about 30 min south, is actually a fun place to go. They have a town square called Lake Sumter Landing that has a lot of good restaurants/bars. Ocala will be an experience, but I have seen Kelly Preston at Target. Good Luck!

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  2. says

    Congrats on Ryan’s new job! It’s too bad that it’s in Ocala though and not Tampa-I moved here within the last year with my Fiance (also named Ryan) and I’m getting seriously desperate for new friends! lol =o)

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  3. Mary says

    That’s so exciting! Although we live in TN, my family has a house in Tavares, FL, which is very near Ocala. We always drive through on our way there. It seems like a nice place to live!

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  4. says

    Ah, that is so great Julie! I am sure you two will totally take Ocala by the .. peanut butter balls and will be very happy there! My boyfriend and I are actually making the big move from Boston to Fort Lauderdale in about 2 years and we are already scoping out different areas in So Florida! Moving is fun.. scary…but fun!

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  5. AshleyC says

    congratulations! I know this is a late post, but I just got back from vacation and I’m catching up on my feeds. I feel ya on the moving and finding new friends thing. We’re moving to Gainesville, FL, from PA, because my husband was transferred, and I have no idea what we’re getting ourselves into! We’ve never been there before!

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  6. Christy says

    Congrats on the move! I am about 45min E of Ocala in Ormond Beach. They have one of the best gymnastics place there called the Balcony. My daughter competed there and it was beautiful. Don’t know much else other than Silver Springs.

    But if you need a beach buddy let me know! :)

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  7. says

    You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read through anything like this
    before. So wonderful to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This web site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a little
    originality!

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  8. says

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming
    having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

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  9. Kaley says

    Hi Julie,
    I know this blog post was published in 2011 but my husband and I might be moving to Ocala from Michigan and I was wondering what area you lived in exactly…we’ve been searching online through Zillow.com trying to get a good deal on houses but trying to avoid the sketchier areas is proving to be a little tough. Zip code 34474 Ocala, Fl seems pretty sweet though. Any input would be much appreciated! (Love your blog btw!)

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