Tuesday, August 27, 2019

{coffee date no. 9 | key west}

Hi from my new home, Key West! 

I thought that I would have some really epic post telling you guys on the blog but things just got so out of hand. At least I had a chance to film a cute video to tell IG? So here we are - back for another coffee date post :) I say this every time I write one of these but... it's been awhile! I always use these posts as a way to get a bit more personal, fill y'all in, and just have a chat. It also continues to amuse me that I call them coffee dates when I don't actually drink coffee. So you grab a coffee this morning, I'll grab a cup of tea, and let's catch up, okay?

Wanna hear something crazy? This post was technically "started" March 2018... That's when I found out that Kyle's next assignment was going to be in Key West. But everything I wrote was sappy and so unaware of what was to come haha. We had ranked our list the previous Fall (September 2017) and then waited for what felt like forever. For everyone who doesn't understand how this process works (cough I'm still figuring it out), Kyle basically ranks all of the ships available for his officer level, we wait until everybody gets sorted into their assignment in March, and four months later they move and start on a new ship (each assignment is 2-3 years for him). It's almost like sorority recruitment haha you rank your top houses and then they pair people up based on different evaluations. When we first met (December 2016) we talked about moving together for his next assignment. We were together for over a year before that would become a reality but we knew that his career was going to have a big impact on our relationship early on. The fact that he was so open about our future way down the line was really attractive to me - he was thinking about us and not just himself. So now you're probably looking at that timeline and thinking... "wait it took you a year to move to Key West?" The short answer is YEP!

Here's something else that's crazy... the cost of living down here is INSANE. I'm talking more than those ridiculous NYC apartment stories you hear. There is nowhere to build up or out here since it's an island. So we actually began the crazy process of looking to buy a house! Yep, we're now homeowners!! Kyle moved into our cute little house in January :) so when I came to visit a bunch of times this year I was actually staying in my new home!! Sorry to everyone who asked if I could share the airbnb hehe. He had all of his stuff in storage for 6 months since he had no home base while looking for a place (something that was really hard to do when he was out at sea on patrol too)! So he was overjoyed when he could move his stuff in [sans a sofa lol]. We've been purchasing things for the house since January: bar stools, dining room, light fixtures, etc. If you follow my stories you may remember that Kyle and I were fixing up a wood table over Christmas... that's our backyard furniture!

This was probably THE biggest secret I've ever had to keep. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops every morning because I was so excited for this chapter of my life to begin - I was ready for a change and wasn't ready for the long distance that we had coming our way. But things needed to be figured out: my job, Kyle getting time off to help me move, ending my apt lease, etc. There are a lot of moving pieces when you're trying to combine two people's lives. Kyle worked day and night getting so much done at the house before I moved in (painting the whole interior, installing blinds, hanging curtains) - it made my move in process so much easier.

I only had 2 weeks to pack up once the pieces fell into place. Everything truly happened so quickly I can't believe it. Because of traveling for work I didn't start packing until a week and a half before Kyle was going to show up at my apartment with a moving truck. I ordered boxes, bubble wrap, tape, etc. and began purging (aka donating) all of my belongings the second I got back from work travels. To say I worked non-stop would be an understatement. I woke up at 5:30 am every morning and went to bed past 11:00 pm every night. I lived in my (adorable) studio apartment for over 3 years so I fit into it pretty well and I had 3 closets... as a blogger you can only imagine that I filled those up hehe. 

My last day in my office was August 2nd (I'm still with the same architecture firm) and everything after that felt like a whirlwind. I wish I had had more time to say goodbye to all of my friends (and have a going away party) but life truly happened. I underestimated how much work it was going to be to pack up everything, sell all my furniture, scrub my entire apartment, and get things ready to be carried out Monday, August 5th by MYSELF. Part of me knows that I will be back to visit soon so that helped my heart. [Fun fact: I am atrocious at goodbyes... I cry instantly so I do the awkward quick hug and avert my eyes and try to get out otherwise I'm a sobbing puddle. When I said goodbye to two of my best friends the Sunday before I left I had to call my mom to have her calm me down.]

Kyle and I got the moving truck packed up on Monday, we drove to Baltimore that night (where my momma and Mimi live), had one last meal and goodbye with them, and then Tuesday morning we hit the open road. Oh my gosh y'all... we drove 13 hours the first day and roughly 8 on Wednesday. Then you'll never guess what we did Wednesday night... WE UNPACKED. It was a marathon I swear. But, by Friday night, the last box was unpacked and I took even more stuff to Goodwill. No joke, I gave away 3/4 of my belongings. I don't consider myself to be materialistic but I'm also NOT a minimalist. I'm a self proclaimed accessories girl! To be completely candid, I think I cried 5 times every day while unpacking... can you believe it took me that long (March 2018 - August 2019) to have it finally sink in that I moved and left my family and friends on the East coast? I had a major reality check.

My emotions have always been a bit of a rollercoaster but nothing prepared me for the last two weeks. Thank goodness the biggest pro of this month has been being with Kyle. It has completely solidified that I've made the right choice moving here to be with him. I don't think we've had many problems becoming roomies - except he is a LOT cleaner than I am. I thought I was type A and OCD but he may have me beat! We both agree that everything has its place but I'm used to getting creative with storage and he isn't. After talking through some things he pointed out that the USCG sets aside 30 min at the end of every day for everyone to tidy up their space and the ship.... what?! Can you imagine if every office set aside time that we could bill just to clean the space we worked in. What a freaking awesome habit that is instilled in them!! 

I'm very grateful to have him around because the experiences I've had on social media have been very unique and different. I knew I was going to lose followers - my content will be changing (hi, big city scene to a small island lifestyle) and there aren't big name brand companies or gyms down here. But what I wasn't expecting was all of the negativity and straight up mean, rude, hurtful comments. I don't want to dwell on this... but I didn't expect it. at. all. I had so many people giving me unsolicited advice that was actually helpful that when I received a backhanded comment I focused on it and it blacked out all of the positivity I was working on. Having someone tell you that "you've lost your sparkle since the move. It seems like you are struggling for content instead of it being so natural" suckssss. But don't worry... then they added "starting over is hard, you'll get there!" OH OKAY, THANKS. For the record, the only reason I'm not posting as often is because I'm living my life and just simply figuring things out. The content that's posted isn't forced because it's the true natural moments in my life! Or fun memories from DC I want to share!

Working remotely has been getting better! Do y'all remember what happened during the first two days of me working from home?! Hahah it's honestly funny now. The first day Comcast went down so I went to a coffee shop and then the second day it happened again and THEN the whole island lost power after I relocated to Starbucks hahahaha I mean whatttt are the chances?! I've tried to create a routine for myself in the morning that includes waking up and actually getting dressed and putting on makeup. That way I feel more like a human in the working world ;)

But this cute little island sure makes the phrase "working for the weekend" take on a whole new level. There's nothing more incredible than having the ocean in your backyard!!! Entire Saturdays spent out on the boat, catching dinner, biking home from happy hour with the rest of your cocktail, waking up to roosters crowing, hearing the rain on palm trees... *pinch me*. I get to do it all with my best friend too! No mean comment can ever take that away from me!!

We also got a moped scooter!!! Truly living the KW lifestyle with this one - I'll have to take a photo with it soon to share. It's made it easy to bop around and it will eventually be how I get to the gym (I still have to be more comfortable driving it lolz).

I may not have it all together yet but every day is sure an adventure! I don't want to think about what it will be like when Kyle leaves for his next patrol soon... but I have a game plan :) I'm going to visit that gym I keep talking about finally, I have a club that I want to join, and I'm going to look into service opportunities! Where there's a will, there's a way! I hope to make some new friends that have the same interests and hobbies as me outside of the partying that Key West is so known for.

I'd love to know what y'all want to see more of? Workouts, recipes, fashion, home design, DIY, travel guides, a specific Key West post? My DM's and email are always open! In the past when I've visited, all my photos were taken with my tripod and remote so those are going to get broken back out! The blog has been set aside as I try to gather my new normal but it's my favorite hobby... I can never let Southern Anchors go! Especially because I have a new hashtag... #southernmostanchors ;)

Cheers to the next chapter and learning <3

Love Always,


  1. omg you guys bought! How exciting!! I'd love to learn more about the home buying process (because I always hear it's such a process!) and obvi love all of your outfits, bathing suits (wore the red top this weekend) and interiors.

  2. Thank you for keeping it so honest and authentic. As someone who has worked to move to be closer to her S.O. for the past year I understand the struggles. Moving from a huge college town in the South to a small town in the mountains is going to be quite the change and took forever to get in place. I've followed you on IG for about a year but this is my first time reading your actual blog, I appreciate how open you are. I love the content that you post and wouldn't mind seeing more posts like this, how you transitioned into your move, found new spots (aka gym- I'm losing my gym family too), etc. I think there are so many young professional women who are in the same position as you and it's just not something that gets talked about often.

  3. I couldn't be more happy for you, my friend! This post is so beautifully written and honest! I am so proud of you for believing in yourself and your relationship and making this move. Moving anywhere is a total adjustment period as you're trying to figure things out, especially a move this big! But it's HOME & it will slowly start feeling that way! You'll find your spots and your go-tos, promise! Most importantly I CAN'T WAIT TO VISIT!!!!! I love you (and Kyle!) and so excited for y'all!


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