(OUTFIT: LA Dodgers hat | Mules (similar) | Black denim | LV Neverfull (buy it used HERE) | Sweater)
So, a lot of exciting things have been going on lately… If you saw on Snapchat on Sunday, I shared that John, (Fitz), and I decided to buy a house (bc let’s be real – Fitz runs the show in the Gemma household!). I know this is my space for style & beauty, but I wanted to kind of give a little life update.. Mainly because I love following other bloggers and YouTubers and I love when I get to know them a little better! Anyway, I thought it would be fun to just update you all on what is going on with us as well as what our journey through medicine has been like! You may want to grab an iced coffee or something because we all know I can not make a long story short…
So if you are new here, you may not know that John and I moved to Tulsa, OK June of 2014 for John to start residency. He went to medical school in Virginia so that’s where were were in the beginning (I’ll explain more of that in a second!). My family is in Arkansas (scattered throughout the more northwestern part) so we chose Tulsa for residency because that would mean we were only a couple of hours from them. Tulsa is also much larger than the largest cities in Arkansas and I really liked that it was 4 hours from Dallas.
Here’s a little backstory on where all we’ve lived.. and just how many times we have moved since we have been married! When I finished grad school, I moved to Virginia to be with John. He was just finishing his first year of medical school. Looking back, I do NOT know how I did it, I know the Lord was guiding me, though (and I was in love, lol!) because I am such a homebody and I definitely am not one to move far from my family (Virginia was 14 hours away). My family is very close knit (I have a brother who is married with 4 kids and a sister who is married with 2 kids and I love both of their families very much). My family really liked John and knew we were serious and my dad (whose opinion I value like no other) told me that if John and I wanted for our relationship to work out with the distance + John’s studies, I would probably need to make the move. The town John lived in was a huge college town so I knew it would be tough for me to find a ‘dream’ job there since I wanted to work for a marketing company. BUT, I moved and I’m so glad I did. I lived totally out of my comfort zone but it was good for me and changed me for the better. That is actually why I started a blog – I wanted my parents to see what we were doing and how wedding planning was going (John proposed during his second year of medical school.) I never started this space thinking it would be a fashion blog or people who weren’t family/friends would ever read it.
When I moved to that town in Virginia, I lived with two girls who were medical students with John. They both are good friends of mine now and we love them so much! They lived in a pretty big house and needed a third roommate and it just happened to work out. The photo below is of John proposing in that house, he had my two roommates hiding on the balcony to snap photos. Moving on… after his second year of medical school we had to move for his 3rd year rotations. His school has a system like the Match process sort of, where you rank where you want to go (its complicated). We ended up on the Virginia/Tennessee state line. We got married right after 2nd year and moved to this new town and lived in a loft downtown which was incredible! The loft was on top of a store on the Main Street (photos below of the inside) and we loved living there during our first year of marriage. There were pretty much no doors in our loft, it was wide open and had gorgeous exposed brick throughout. Anyway, after third year of medical school, we moved because John was doing his audition rotations during his 4th year as well as interviewing for residencies and doing elective rotations. SO, my dad flew in and helped us pack up our loft and drove us back to Arkansas. We left our belongings in a storage unit in my parents town and had to live with them for a couple of months. (Not sure why I say had because we loved it! I’m so grateful to have parents that I am close with!) Then John’s rotations started and that’s when life got even more crazy! He was in Fort Smith, AR one month, Broken Arrow, OK for two months, Little Rock, AR for one month, Lawton, OK for one month.. needless to say it was stressful looking for living arrangements each month, there were times where I felt so down because of this. However, we were blessed to have friends & family friends who literally came to our rescue. For example, when we moved to Broken Arrow for two months – my sister’s best friend from college’s parents (lol), had a house on the market that was empty and they opened it up to us to live in since they were living in a new house. Really though, things always worked out – and again, I was living completely out of my comfort zone! The tough part was that last semester of medical school when we had to move back to Virginia for two rotations and then to Charlotte, NC for a rotation. Again, we were fortunate because a couple from the medical school who knew John’s family had a basement and let us live there for two of the months. And then, for the Charlotte rotation we had to live in an extended stay. What is really funny about Charlotte is — you know how @cmcoving and I are good friends?! Well we followed each other on IG throughout all of this and the first day John started his rotation in Charlotte, I had lunch with Caitlin and then we spent the rest of the month together! I didn’t have an address and I was blogging full time by then, so she let me use her address to get my packages. We grew pretty close that month and have been friends ever since. (We’ve traveled together to Mexico, Vermont, NY, LA, London, Paris, Bermuda, Jamaica, and Dallas.) It’s crazy to look back on all of this and just see how God was working in our lives. It is humbling and reminds me of Proverbs 10:21.. ‘many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails’. I never in a million years dreamt I’d have to move that many times, live far from my family, OR have a blog! haha. And, who would have thought that a simple one month long medical school rotation would bring a friendship along like I have with Caitlin.. AND, this is funny too, but I doubt John ever imagined he’d be moonlighting as a blogger photographer. (Seriously I am so grateful to have him as my photographer, I realize how fortunate I am to have him help me in what little free time he has.)
John graduated medical school in May of 2014 and then we moved to Tulsa. Our plan was to stay here for 3 years and then we would move on… so we rented a home here. It was not until about 6 mos. ago that we both realized we love Tulsa, we love the hospitals, John’s co-workers, our church, our friends, etc. and we didn’t think we would be ready to leave in 3 years. At this point we realized it would be wise to invest in a home (as opposed to renting each month and paying someone else’s mortgage!). When we first started looking for a home to buy, it was a lot of fun — and after so many weeks of not seeing what we wanted
we I kind of gave up! The same night that I gave up and said ‘let’s wait a month and start looking again’, John found the house that we bought. He said ‘come on, lets just go look at it’ and I was reluctant. But! So glad I did because it was exactly what we wanted. The timing was perfect on everything because there were a couple of other serious buyers and we got our offer in, in the nick of time.
Today is our big day… we are moving. Okay, wait, John is at work (lucky dog!!) But, the movers are coming and my parents as well. John and I spent his vacation time last week moving most of the stuff (minus furniture). SO, you’ll probably see my content change up a bit as we start re-doing stuff, decorating, and COOKING. lol! If you know me at all, you know I am a terrible cook!! But really, the kitchen is big so I told myself and my family that I am going to become a cook and make use out of the kitchen! WE will see how it goes, but thanks to all of you who gave me recipes in the comments last week! I am printing those and using them!!
So that’s the story – and I am sorry it’s so long but I thought it may be a good way to explain why we are so excited about settling down for more than a year. This will be the first time pretty much.
^These are just throwbacks from places we lived our first years together.^
I’m going to link some of our furniture/decor that we purchased in the widget below.