I just realized that I haven’t really updated you on how we’re settling in to our new life here in Nashville. We moved about six months ago now, and I have so much to share with you!
The first few months were definitely a blur. We were in the midst of a major renovation, which stretched us thin mentally and caused me to take a lot of things slowly. I wasn’t ready to go out a lot; I wasn’t ready to make new friends. I just needed to get my home life normalized first. So for a few months, I was pretty quiet and stayed mostly focused on creating a good household situation for us while trying to stay caught up with work. I was working a lot of extra hours last season in preparation for the A Color Story launch and I felt very much like I was just trying to keep my head above water.
These past few months have felt different. We’ve started going out a lot more, making friends and feeling a LOT more social. We’re trying new restaurants like it’s our job and making new routines in our new town. It feels like the beginning of a really really good season!
The pups are doing amazing! We noticed a positive change immediately (which has nothing to do with Nashville, but more with the layout of our new home). Since our new home is one-level to them (they never go downstairs ever), it’s much more conducive to snuggle time and hanging out together. Our last home had stairs, which Suki couldn’t do on her own, and she was often stuck at the top or the bottom waiting for “a lift”. This house layout is a lot more practical for them, and we could tell an instant boost in their happiness!
Having both of us working at home has also been amazing for them. Jeremy works downstairs, so he’s not with them as much during the day, but they pretty much hang out with me all day, every day, while I work. And it feels really good to see how happy that makes them!
It’s a small thing and it might seem silly, but we’re extreme dog people and it’s so good to see them SO HAPPY.
This has been fun. In Springfield we went to all the places we liked anywhere from once a week to once a month. We were extreme “regulars” at several places, and we worried we would really miss that lifestyle and comfort once moving here. I mean, it’s cool to be able to try a new place every day, but we also want to have our spots where we go all the time.
So far we’re still trying a lot of new places. We have one breakfast spot where we go every week and they know us now (which feels good!), but other than that, we’re still strangers everywhere we go. I think it will take a while before we find our regular places, and it’s definitely more important to us at this phase to keep trying things we haven’t tried. We’re still finding new favorites almost every weekend, so it doesn’t make sense to settle into a routine quite yet!
Nashville has incredible restaurants and coffee shops. The health food game is very strong. It’s VERY easy to find a good salad. It’s very easy to find good coffee. These are important things… so we’re feeling pretty #BLESSED.
Even though we are very happy here, we do miss Springfield a lot. I lived there my whole life and Jeremy had been there since high school. Our whole world was there, and we had no desire to move EVER… until we did. Springfield, Missouri is a great place to live.
We’re both living far away from our family for the first time, and to be honest, we’re missing things and it’s hard. Our nieces and nephews are at really cute ages, and it’s hard not being able to go to breakfast with our parents whenever we want.
On some nights when we see all our friends doing something together or going to our favorite dive bar, it’s been hard. A couple weeks ago my sister’s bar opened, and we didn’t get to go home for that because I was really behind on work. I won’t lie – it’s been sad at times. I hope Nashville/Springfield will get a direct flight in the future because that would make it easier to go home for a quick trip. But for now… we’re going once every few months.
On a positive note, I do feel like when we’ve been in town, it’s really good quality time. So that’s good. And I am seeing Emma A LOT for work trips, so that’s good. Emma and I are in a REALLY good place with our new workflow, and I’m thankful that our many work trips and cookbook photoshoots are keeping us seeing each other about once a month.
Our family and friends have been visiting us A LOT, and it’s made the transition 1 million times easier. It really helps to have that next visit to look forward to!
We pretty much moved to Nashville for Jeremy’s career. Even though he could technically do all the same work in Missouri, there were just some intangible advantages to being close and making connections in person that we felt like we were missing. And so far that’s proven to be true for us.
He has had some exciting opportunities and is getting some really beautiful music written here. His new studio is coming together, and it really feels like we made the right choice. I’m very thankful for that (I NEEDED that validation) and am excited to see where this year takes him.
House shopping in a new area was SCARY. I had a full-on breakdown after we moved in, scared we had chosen the wrong neighborhood to live in. When you buy a home in a city you don’t know very well, it’s hard not to second guess your decision. During that time, Jeremy gave me a perfect balance of comfort and tough love and reassured me that it doesn’t matter anymore – WE’RE HERE. We’re committed. This is our home.
Laura went through a similar initial shock, so it was good to have a friend to talk me through those first few weeks.
What I do know now is that WE LOVE OUR HOUSE. It’s been so fun to work on and with every little update, I am bonding with it more and more. And lately, as I can see it really starting to come together, I can visualize us being happy here for a long time.
We’re putting so much love and energy into this home. It’s starting to feel really REALLY good here.
We were beyond lucky to move during the same season as two of our other couple friends. One of the couples is Todd and Laura. Todd is Jeremy’s best friend, so that is very good for him. Laura is also one of my bffs, but also my co-worker. And having someone to work on ABM stuff with immediately was really REALLY comforting.
Beyond that, Nashville is a very VERY friendly city. I have been blown away by the amount of love and support that has been shown to us. That friendliness made our transition feel effortless and very natural.
In Missouri we had routines we loved and traditions for every season. And while some of those things are still with us here, some of them aren’t. So we’re working on developing a new weekend routine and finding special seasonal things that are Nashville based.
It’s funny because we’ve actually found that a lot of our favorite traditions in Missouri are things we just want to do there. And we want to do different things here. So it’s more a matter of finding new things we love than finding replacements like I thought it would be.
In conclusion, we’re LOVING Nashville. We’re really happy we moved when we did. It hasn’t been easy or perfect, but it’s been really good for our careers, our marriage and hopefully our future. We’re looking forward to starting a family here and planting our roots.
I think in the back of our minds we hope to live in Missouri again, near our family, someday. That’s not off the table for “someday”. But in the immediate future, we’re just focused on making a life here. And it’s kind of cool starting from scratch!
If you’re Nashville based and have any suggestions of things you think we would enjoy, please throw them at me! I (literally) have a list in my purse of things I want to try to do every weekend. We’re really enjoying our experimental phase of trying anything and everything. Thank you to everyone who has given us tips, advice and support during this crazy year. We love you!
I haven’t lived in Nashville for several years now and it seems like everything has changed SO much, but you’ve got to try Rotier’s! It’s totally a hole in the wall, but it’s got such a cool old school vibe, and word on the street is that the song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was based on their burger. (Totally a legend, have no idea if it’s true, but it’d be cool if it was, right?)
Also, for some amazing family style soul food, check out Monell’s. 🙂
Hi Amanda! You can see our Nashville travel guide here: https://abeautifulmess.com/2015/07/a-beautiful-mess-guide-to-nashville-vol-1-.html We plan to do more in the future! 🙂 -Jacki
I’m wondering if you’d be willing to post a mini guide to some great spots sometime? I’m making a trip to Nashville this summer and I feel like our tastes will align on coffee and health food, if not more :-).
Moving away from family is hard. I hope your adjustment period is mercifully brief.
Well I’m sure you have all the restaurants on your list so far… have you done or heard of the first Saturday Art crawl downtown? Those are fantastic and lots of fun…great to do something different.
Steeplechase in May!
Porter Flea Market
Arrington Vineyard 🙂
What a wonderful post! Thanks Elsie 🙂
Like all adventures there are the good and bad bits to work through. My man and I are looking at moving to London from Australia in the next year or so and are alternating between loving the idea and being totally terrified by it.
Sometimes you just have to make the jump!
Best of luck with everything and believing in your decisions xx
Hi, I live in Bowling Green, an hour north of Nashville, but my bestie lives in East Nashville. So I’m there all the time. We just ate at Two Ten Jack for the first time, based partly on your recommendation from an earlier post. IT. WAS. AMAZING! So please keep the recommendations coming!
I don’t know if you’ve been yet, but the Nashville Flea (at the fairgrounds) is my favorite! Yes, you’ll find the occasional booths with diabetic socks and 10 year old Avon products, but they always have an amazing assortment of treasures as well!
seriously, yes to EVERY place on this list 🙂 and also calypso.
Aw Elsie! I love this post, thank you so much for updating us on the more personal side of your world. This is such an exciting time for you. I’ve moved cross country before— from Vancouver to Hamilton… And know how tough it can be, but I’ve now been in Ontario for nearly 10 years (!!) and this city has become my city in every way. I am more at home here than I could ever imagine being elsewhere! That said, it’s is always fun to visit van city from time to time, because, like you, most of my family live there.
I really hope you get your routines down soon, and start to feel more settled! Nashville sounds like an amazing place to start a fam!
I enjoyed this post. I know the feeling – being an Australian who moved to the U.S to live with my American husband. Isn’t it great having the confidence to get out and explore and enjoy (and love) your new surroundings?! I found that it was truly what shaped me and made me feel like an adult – if that makes any sense. It’s heartbreaking being so far from family and home but at the same time very rewarding in learning and earning your independence.
We live a couple of hours north of Nashville & pop down from time to time for shopping and music. Welcome to the city though! 🙂
Nashville really does wake up a lot more when the warmer weather arrives. As for food we really love the 12 South neighborhood. Its got some really great little vintage & boutiquey shops too. (Whites Mercantile is great for little gifts.) Burger Up is awesome, and it’s packed in the mornings but Frothy Monkey is pretty great too. (They have yummy light breakfasts.)
Also, have you been over to The Row on Woodland? It’s the cutest little cluster of art shops all snuggles together. There’s a great local-writers only bookstore too. And up the block is a great antique shop with beautiful modern furniture in the loft/second story. If you’re on the East side it’s close to you!
I’m glad that you’re enjoying the new city! I myself have never thought about moving out of the city I’ve grown up in, but I can also see that changing in the future. Thanks for sharing your story with us! 🙂
I’m sure it’s are hard right such personal posts, but this was so great to read! I’m getting ready to move too. I’ll be in the same city, but there will still be a lot of changes. It’s great to be able to relate to other people going through similar feelings. I’m glad to hear ya’ll are adjusting well and enjoying your new home in Nashville!
It’s so cute!
I want to congratulate you on your app I just love it. My daughter move to East Nashville 3 yrs ago and love it. They are young couple such as yourself very talented song writers and entrepreneurs. Hopefully you two will run into each other. At the coffee shop or the pharmacy( best burgers) or the dog park which they frequent a lot. Her name is Alexa ( Lexie )Flynn and her husband is named Travis.
Oh, this is all so great to hear! I’ve been hoping the transition was smooth for you. Moving can be so hard. (Texas girl all my life, until we moved to AZ 8 years ago). It’s gotten better every year! I’m praying that you find meaningful friendships there!
Dude, I moved to East Nashville from the Seattle area in May and I am still trying to adjust. Maybe it’s because I lived on the west coast my whole life, but my transition has been really rough and I am just now finding places I like. I know what you mean about second guessing the neighborhood. My realtor was really optimistic about the East Nashville area, and I’m an idiot and trusted him. But when I got here and saw my neighborhood I legit had a breakdown and cried for like a week. Thank god for Five Points Pizza, it’s really seeing me through.
I got married last June and moved from San Diego
all the way to Eureka, 14 hour drive.
What I miss the most is our traditions that we had back home, like Christmas celebrations at the museums and “Upstart Crow” which is a book shop/coffee place with local bands.
My husband and I were regulars there and we are now trying to become regulars at another coffee shop!
This is a really honest post and I’m so glad you wrote it. I understand that feeling (and at the same time also not really). It must be bittersweet, both good and bad feelings flooding at once. Hope you guys get more used to it in time! Nashville sounds like such an awesome place anyway. Here’s to loads more adventure in the future!
Alive as Always
First, my bro owns Baja Burrito. I figured one of these days you’ll be taking a pic in front of their HOT PINK wall outside. (there are some amazing top secret wall murals of many of our local musicians in the Berry Hill neighborhood as well. Very top secret but fun.) Also, let me know if you want to go climbing at Climb Nashville. Welcome to town.