Monday, August 22, 2011

Thank you Utah!!! (From Tennessee...)

It seems that every time I start a blog post here on my beloved FitMePink, I start with an excuse as to why it's been so long since I last posted. This post will be no different. Last time we "spoke," I still lived in the-happy-little-bubble of West Jordan, Utah. A few months, a job offer, and a lot of prayers later, my family now resides in the far-away-somewhat-foreign-to-us land of Tennessee. I'm mentally and emotionally trying to accept the fact that we are here. It is beautiful. And my parents live here...yay! But I REALLY loved where we were. My life was busy and happy...just the way I like it! Life for me has come to a sort of screeching halt. I know it's time for me to find myself in this new place, but first things first...a thank-you note.

Dearest Utah,

I was taught at a young age the importance of sending a "thank you" note when someone gives me a gift. In keeping with this important
lesson in etiquette, I just want to thank you for the lovely life you
provided for me and my family over the course of the last five years.
In fact, I actually owe my life to you. You were the place of my
birth. My growing-up years were spent elsewhere, but to you I
returned for a college degree, and even found myself a husband in your
lovely, happy valley.

In fact, apart from a short time in another (warmer, sunnier) state,
to this point in our married lives, we've pretty much called Utah
"home." Thank you for feeling like home. Thank you for all
the "firsts" you provided us with. Our first date, our first kiss,
our engagement, our first married apartment, and even our first home.
Thank you for allowing our family to grow from a family of 3 in this
Utah-home to a family of 5. The walls were busting at the
seams with the pitter patter of tiny feet. These were years of
"musical beds" when little ones were to scared to stay in their own.
These were the years I got to spend every waking hour with my
beautiful children before sending the first off to school. These were
years of family walks, family bike rides, family dinners, family story
time, and family prayer. Thank you for blessing my oldest son, born
while we lived away, with two little sisters. Thank you for helping
them be best friends.

And speaking of friends, thank you for putting some of the best
friends I could ever hope for directly in my path. Thank you for
taking them from different parts of the state, country and world, and
landing them right where I needed them right when I
needed Utah. Thank you for play dates, friends who loved my
kids as their own, dinner swaps, singing groups, running buddies,
trusted babysitters, and so much more.

Thank you for your beautiful roads, trails, mountains, and scenery.
In your beautiful landscape, I not only developed a greater
appreciation for God's creations, but also developed a love and
passion for fitness. Many miles were logged onto my personal odometer
as I watched the sun peak over the mountains to the east in the quiet
hours of the morning.

Thank you for also placing in my path group fitness instructors who
taught me that there's more to fitness than running! Because of these
inspiring women, I developed a new attitude, outlook, and lifelong
fitness addiction! As I attended classes week after week, exercise
became something I couldn't live without. It was no longer an option,
but a scheduled part of my EVERY day. These women showed me by their
example that the human body is capable of amazing things. As a
result, I've raced, I've pushed my limits, I've fulfilled
a dream, and I've never looked back.

Thank you for inspiring me to start a fitness blog which has blessed
my life more than it's blessed anyone else's. How could I not
be dedicated to fitness when I was busy writing about it? Thank
you for giving me inspiring friends through this blog...most of whom
I've never met, and a few that
I have.

Thank you also, dear Utah, for the gift of in-laws. In a place where
my immediate family did NOT reside, you forced me to see my husband's
family for the amazing people they are. If I'd chosen a husband based
on HIS family alone, I'd still be married to the same person. I now
have relationships with his family I never would have hoped for had I
not experienced life with them in the same Utah. Besides
just being my mother-father-sisters-brothers-in-law, I have
friends. I have another set of "parents" I can comfortably
call "mom" and "dad," and the closest thing to
having another sister.

And speaking of sisters, thank you for mine. Almost a year ago, I
finally got to live close to her again...after nearly 10 years of
living apart. Thank you for reminding me of how nice it is to have
someone around who has loved me since the day I was born...who knows
every detail about me and my life, and loves me anyway. Someone who
can walk into my house piled high with toys, laundry, dirty dishes,
and clutter, and truly not even notice. Someone who can knock on the
door when my house is in shambles without sending me into a
picking-up, panicked frenzy.

Thank you for cousins my kids love as their own siblings. Thank you for Baby Jack who's birth-in-Utah changed my life.

Thank you for Zumba. Thank you for making my current friendships
stronger as we-as-friends danced and laughed together. Thank
you for helping me go out of my own comfort zone to learn dances, let
go of all inhibitions, and teach them to an audience of participants.
Thank you for giving me one more thing I can share with my
sister...Zumba. And thank you for giving me new friends through Zumba
I wouldn't have made any other way.

Thank you for making my home a gathering place for out-of-town
visitors, and a home-away-from home for my baby brother while
he was living life as a single college student in happy valley. Thank
you, also, for giving me a front row seat to watch his courtship with
the only girl good enough to marry our baby brother...Anne.

I can't say life was perfect while I was in your borders, Utah. There
were cold, long winters. There was heart-ache. There were lonely
days. There were "Monster-Mom" days. There was yelling.
There was crying. There was impatience and misunderstandings. But I
guess I can't thank you for the good without also thanking you for the
bad. Because the "bad" is what is sculpting me into the person I want
to become. At times I felt like I was thrown kicking and screaming
into the "refiner's fire." But through the tears, I got a little bit
stronger. Apparently, however, it wasn't enough. We've moved out of
your comforting borders into the unknown. Please tell your friend,
Tennessee to be nice to me and my family, because at the moment, I'm
sure missing you, Utah. Cold winters and all.

Saying good-bye felt like one of the hardest things I've ever done.
But saying good-bye also made me realize how blessed and loved we are!
Thank you for the good-bye parties. Thank you for the tears. Thank
you for showing me how it feels to have true friends who feel like
family. Thank you for reminding me of the importance and blessing of
real family. Thank you for good neighbors, and cherished memories
that will last a lifetime.

As I look back to my time in Utah, I feel blessed to have lived in a
place so rich in the culture of what makes me
ME. Really, there aren’t enough words of gratitude
that will do justice to how I feel.

As I move forward with the ones in my life that matter most, I'll try
to live by the words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile
because it happened."

All I can say is, thank you.


Robyn, wife, mother, southerner-in-training,


Riverside said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

Robyn, that was so fun to read! It was sweet and sad and made me want to laugh and cry and smile. You have such a gift for writing. Thanks for sharing it with us! I miss you, my friend, and send my love and a big hug!

PS Alex was asking me the other day about getting married and having kids when he grows up and he asked me if he could marry Avery. He's too young to understand or realize what it means that she's moved away, so I just said sure...I mean, you never know what could happen and where their paths could lead them, right? So cute.

Art and Evelyn said...

Beautiful letter! There's lots of good and bad here and it's the same wherever you go! You'll make your time there beautiful just like you did here! You'll do amazing things and you'll grow more than you thought possible! I love you and I miss you!

Vivian said...

(SIGH) Simply beautiful and simply inspirational. I was blessed to meet you. Thank you for this words and thank you for your friendship. I will never forget our meeting at the temple :) xoxoxo

Michael said...

I was starting to think you were going to leave me out of your letter--so I'm glad I made the cut.

And nice job, as always.


I saw a cardinal on the trail by my house this morning and it made me think of you.

GrandmaCathy said...

Loved your letter to Utah--you say things so well. Very Touching.

I miss you all terribly, I will appreciate the times together much more now--look so forward to seeing you soon!!

Brittany said...

Thank you for being such awesome friends! You guys were there for us through a lot and we definitely appreciate it. We love you all of you and miss you tons!

Nancy said...

Since I just moved up to Washington from UTAH, I was really excited to read this post. This is EXACTLY how I feel but I've felt so unable to put it down in words to share it with anyone. Thank you for this. I love how you phrased everything.

I know moving is tough. I'm so happy for you to be close to your parents! And I'm happy you got to have so many beautiful experiences in Utah with your little family. :)

You are a wonderful example to the world.

Cara said...

What a beautiful post this was! Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to hear about your new adventures!

grandmahand said...

Oh My ROBYN" you are so gifted with putting your thoughts into words. I do miss you even though we didn't see you we knew you were here. Life is an adventure and I love you very much. Thanks for your thoughts on our beautiful state "Utah". Keep on blogging.

Kandis Mortensen said...

This Utah friend misses you right back! Singing group will never be the same! Onward and upward my friend... onward and upward (with many visits to my house along the way:)

Jer + Lu said...

So excited for you in your new endeavor!! I can only imagine how hard it would be to leave a place you've called home for so long :( But what a great place for a new adventure!! Best wishes to you + your fam. Can't wait to hear about southern life!!

ps-thanks for the reference. it was neat to meet you :)

Mark and Adrienne said...

You moved to Tennessee?! That's exciting to be close to your parents! Moving is hard though, we moved to Pennsylvania in May and I'm still adjusting. It's such a process to get used to a different area, make new friends, figure out fun things to do with the kids. Good luck with everything! Can't wait to see some pictures!