Crab Cakes & Football

It’s official — we’re moving! Can you guess where?

Love that movie. And not just because Bradley Cooper is in it.

Yup. We’re starting a new adventure. In Maryland. Baltimore to be exact.

The purpose is mainly to eat every crab cake the state has to offer and spend the weekends on a sailboat wearing only Polo shirts. Just kidding. Well, not about the crab cakes. …or Shawn’s shirts (you should see his color coded Polo collection).

Shawn has been back and forth between Cedar Rapids and Baltimore quite a bit the last year and making the switch to being out there full-time is great for him. The company Shawn works for moved into the tallest building in Baltimore last year so he has a great view of the Inner Habor every day.

Last week we snuck away for neighborhood and house shopping . To make it a full swing shopping weekend we also hit up historic downtown Ellicott City and the Columbia Mall (where Shawn picked up some cologne – I’ll let him share that story with you in person). In between appointments we also tested out some of the restaurants because it is our duty to scope out the best spots to take each and every one of you when you come visit. We hit up Pure Wine Bar, Cocoa Lane, and Johnny’s Bistro in downtown Ellicotty City. We also tried Facci in Fulton, Victoria’s Gastro Pub in Columbia, and Alexandra’s at Turf Valley. All were amazing. We also scooted around to the local grocery stores which stock tons of seafood and health food options which is a total bonus. Have you ever been to the area? What places are your favorite??

My favorite find was Sweet Elizabeth Jane — it’s a lot like Anthro but local. They have endless eye candy.

That house in the bottom right picture is in a neighborhood with the Terra Maria Ruins smack dab in the middle. Though I can appreciate preservation, we did not pick that neighborhood — can you imagine staring out at empty windows of a vacant building every day? Yikes.

We saw many options for homes in Howard County including some with mob kitchens, sliding glass doors to death, and a few that our realtor steered us clear of in areas that he described as “cloudy with a chance of thug.” We have landed on calling this place home:

Doesn’t it look like the Cosby kids should live next door? I love the idea of having no lawn to mow or driveway to shovel! And don’t be fooled—it’s in a new suburban community 30 minutes from downtown Baltimore with a brand new grocery store, businesses and restaurants only a 5 minute walk or bike ride down the street. It also has enough space for our not-so-small family plus extra room for guests. That’s a win in my book. And with four floors, my bootay better be looking Ah-maaaazing!

In general, we’re thrilled about the opportunity and new experiences to be had in Maryland. I minored in history in college and can’t wait to learn more about the origins of just about everything PLUS Washington D.C. is only a short drive away. The endless things to see and do and, yes, shopping, have us pretty giddy.

As for me, I am taking a new job as a teacher. For our two kids. It’s a decision I went in circles with for many reasons that I won’t bore you with. Just know I value having a sense of self outside of my kids and Clickstop has set my expectations high in terms of company leadership and enjoying where you work. That said, I am planning to stay on with my company for a handful of hours each week for as long as they need me (insert happy dance!). This means I’ll still be able to keep up and stay relevant in digital marketing as well as see some new exciting projects through AND I get to keep up with the crazy crew.

Come August I may be pulling my hair out and itching to be full-time again but we will see!

This is the first time we’re moving with kids in tow. It’s a whole new ball game. I’m much more concerned with the quality of the schools and have become very familiar with the Maryland School Assessment Reports and parent reviews on GreatSchools.org. Howard County has some of the top public schools in the nation which makes this mama quite happy. It was our numero uno concern in finding a home and I think we did well.

At 6, Lindsay is very sad to leave her friends behind. At 30, so am I. I hear myself telling her just how awesome it’s going to be to be able to have friends here in Cedar Rapids AND make new friends out there. And I realize I’m telling myself the same thing. We have absolutely loved Iowa and we were so happy to have both of our children born here. I’m sure a sappy recap of our last 6.5 years in CR will follow soon.

So whatdoyasay? Will you join us for a few crab cakes and adventures??