365 in the 605

We have officially been South Dakota residents for one year now.

Exactly 365 days ago, we rolled across the state line, two days after leaving the Pacific Northwest behind. I will never forget the feeling of elation when we finally arrived. I can’t ever forget it, because we have photographic evidence.

2018-06-24 12.49.20.jpg

This photo, by the way, ended up being our Christmas card last year.

It’s amazing to me how quickly the year went by. They do say the older you get, the faster time seems to fly. The months leading up to our move were unbearably long and we grew impatient. Desperate, almost: we wanted to get started on the next, exciting phase of our lives. A lot of people questioned our sanity when we told them we were moving to South Dakota, but one year later, nobody is second-guessing our decision. How could they? Everything has worked out so perfectly, it’s easy to forget what a huge gamble this was for us both. We quit our jobs without any solid prospects lined up, literally driving into the great unknown. I don’t know a lot of people who would do that (but I’m so thankful to have found a willing partner in this adventure).

We knew how we wanted things to unfold. Our hope was that, a year after our arrival, we’d have great jobs and a new house. It’s amazing how things have lined up so perfectly with that timeline. Tara and I both agree that this move to South Dakota didn’t only live up to expectations; it wildly exceeded them. One year later, neither of us has a single regret.

This makes two summers in a row where we’ve been in the midst of major life-changing events. Our last “normal” summer was 2017, and I have to say, not having something major to do seems like a novelty to me these days. Hopefully, 2020 will be far less hectic.

The house is coming along nicely, though. It was another busy (but productive) weekend. We finished painting the living room, started and finished painting both upstairs bathrooms, and started/finished painting the master bedroom. Tomorrow I plan to knock out the spare bedroom we’ll use as an office. And then there is only one to go: the guest bedroom, which Tara started today. This one required some heavy-duty wallpaper stripping and she has a vision for a mountain mural on one wall, so it’ll take a few days. But certainly by the weekend, all the painting should be finished. Just in time for the bamboo flooring to be installed a week from today!

Here are some before and after pics:

Want further proof that my job and I are soulmates? Last Wednesday, I got paid to go hiking. My company is putting together a feature series of local hikes, complete with video, and I’ve been tapped to do the exploring along with one of our summer interns.  Makes sense since I’m the one writing them. We had the benefit of enjoying a picture-perfect day while on the clock.


I mean, seriously? How is this my job?!

And this is why nobody thinks we’re crazy for moving out here anymore.

7 thoughts on “365 in the 605

  1. You are my Monday morning uplifter, Mark. I’m so happy that everything has turned out beyond your wildest expectations. And now, the excitement of a new home. I love some of your bold paint choices. The top popular paint colors at Sherwin Williams are off whites, light greys and beige colors. How boring is that?? We have really bright yellow and red clay colors in our foyer. And my laundry room is purple, if that tells you anything!

    Keep on enjoying life and spreading the love, Mark!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for saying that! My mission in life is to always spark joy.

      Wait…I might have “borrowed” that from somebody else…

      In any case, I have always been drawn to bolder colors. Anything else is boring. Ask me again in six months how I feel about that orange living room, though! Your colors sound great. They’d be right up my alley. I’ve long had a secret love affair with purple.


  2. Mark, first, I love the photo of you and Tara in front of the South Dakota sign with your moving van and car next to you. It’s such a GREAT image. “This photo, by the way, ended up being our Christmas card last year.” That’s BRILLIANT!

    Damn, I can’t believe it’s been a YEAR since you moved. That time FLEW by!

    “We quit our jobs without any solid prospects lined up, literally driving into the great unknown. I don’t know a lot of people who would do that (but I’m so thankful to have found a willing partner in this adventure).”

    AMEN! As you know, I too am a walker into the great unknown. That’s why I don’t share with others when I make a major change because most people fear change and are not willing to follow their intuition, like you and I. So, they can’t possible understand.

    I applaud you and Tara for having the courage to follow your hearts and just do it.

    GREAT before and after pics! You’re home is coming along well and fast!

    “I mean, seriously? How is this my job?!”

    Seriously, what a faaaaaaaaaaaabulous job!

    Cheers to you and Tara!


    1. Ron, I am so happy you are rolling the dice and making such a drastic change in your own life! Nobody gets ahead if they are content to tread water – sometimes you’ve gotta dive in head first, and you are doing exactly that. I applaud you and wish you as much luck as we have had, too!


      1. When we look at houses for fun, but sort of in the hunt for our dream house, I always check if there’s tile and grout in the kitchen and bathrooms. I know myself well enough to know I won’t be able to keep it clean.

        Liked by 1 person

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