we like it here

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Just yesterday I shocked both Bradley and myself with the words that came out of my mouth. “This is the first place I can really see us living forever.”

Brad smirked.. because.. I was skeptical to move here. I didn’t grow up loving ND like he did (as all the Harringtons do), but the past month here I’ve come to love South Bend and ND. Maybe I’m too confident in my sentiments. I mean, we haven’t even experienced our first Midwest winter. Plus, I just really love Summer. Pluuuus, some of our family is here (which really is the main reason that- I think- we love it so much). But there’s just something about it here that you can’t help but love.

We’re living in our first home. We’re only renting, yet somehow being in a home (as opposed to the apartments we lived in during our first two years of marriage) feels like a milestone.

Bradley traded in his 30+ min commute to work for a .8 mile bike ride. And maybe it’s the Phoenix-girl in me speaking, but beautiful oh beautiful, it is so green here! We love it. As I put Evey down, I look outside to a green yard, with trees with ivy crawling up their trunks. It’s gorgeous.

Tomorrow our things finally arrive from Phoenix. Maybe I will stop hearing things like, “You really like that sweater. You wear it a lot!” because I will finally have more than six outfits. We’ve been living out of a suitcase for two months, since before our trip to California. What vagabonds.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of Evey in her favorite high chair position.

new home! next chapter!

So, South Bend, Indiana. Chapter One is titled: Godmother and Godfather Are Awesome

But first, let’s backtrack to how we got here.

The Wedding

My sweet, little, and living-saint of a sister-in-law (and former roomie- woot, woot!) got married on June 11, which sent us West to San Diego for the first two weeks of June.

I’ve repeated to Bradley probably twenty times since that it was the most fun I’ve had in my entire life. It really was!

We stayed up until 2:30 AM dancing, singing, and jumping all over. (It was a backyard reception, and meanwhile Evey slept soundly in our room.) When the DJ finally left we heated up the hot tub and went swimming. IT WAS AWESOME.

Then it was back home for us. Bradley was working 14-hour days and for me it was…

Packing Madness

We got back to Phoenix with three days to pack up. I’d already done a large part of the work before our California trip, but there was still a lot to accomplish in a short period (which was made shorter with a baby occupying my hip 90% of the time).

Come move-out day, not everything was organized to my (borderline OCD) standards, but everything was eventually boxed. And that night, in our empty apartment, we celebrated with friends and pizza on the floor.

The Drive

As soon as our friends left -around 9:30 PM- we locked the place up and jumped in the car.

Before beginning the 1,800 mile drive, we stopped at Dutch Bros, the coffee shop I’d grown to love –deeply–, for one final time. Never before did an E>E>E>iced coffee with sugar free vanilla and cream<3<3<3 taste so bittersweet.

That first night we drove right through- stopping just twice for gas. We made it to Amarillo by morning, where feasted at Cracker Barrel. MMm. Evey stretched out her legs as she toddled around the Adirondack chairs and jumbo-sized checker boards.

By the time we were back in the car it was nap time. ZZzzZ. Miles and miles, a couple states later, and before we knew it, it was dinnertime. Subway sandwiches. Bathroom/gas stop. Miles and miles. And we were debating whether or not to even stop for the night or to push through the next eight hours to SB. Bradley got us through. He drove through the night while Eve and I dozed off in the backseat. (Good man.) And the whole 32-hours she only cried once.

Around 7AM- hardly more than one day after we left- we arrived!

New Home

Our first day in South Bend was awesome. First we unpacked a bit from the car, showered, and napped. Around 1PM we got up.

Bradley spent time with Evey, while I got out to explore the area. I picked up Starbucks (not a Dutch Bros, but it’ll have to do- Thrifting brings me genuine joy!

And I struck gold with so many awesome baby clothes. I never really look at furniture, but for some reason on this day I did. I found the most gorgeous vintage, solid wood dresser and detailed mirror. (I’m going to restore them a bit, and I’ll post photos on here later.) Totally our style too. Did I mention it was 50% OFF day? I was so excited! SO EXCITED.

That night,  when I got back to the house, we walked over to the stadium with our cousins to watch a ND football camp (I know, I’m using the wrong football terminology here… but I don’t know what it was called). We got to walk through the tunnel, see Brian Kelly, play around on the field (Evey toddled in the end zone!), and it was seriously awesome.

It was still daylight around 9PM when we got out. We walked over to Five Guys for a second dinner. YUM.

Since Day 1 we’ve just been spending a ton of time with Chris, Katrina, and the kids. Brad is in heaven with his new baseball team, pick-up basketball, and then right this second they are fixing up bikes. He’s happy. Really happy. I mean, he loves doing anything with his big brothers, but a South Bend summer with family is his favorite. Plus, I’m in Heaven too. THERE’S A BEACH HERE. It’s so great. It reminds me of summers in Maryland and swimming in the Bay.

But this chapter is called Godmother and Godfather Are Awesome, so some of that before I log off… They are letting us crash with them for a couple weeks before we are able to move into our sweet, little home (that is just 2 miles, and a beautiful walk through campus, away). To welcome us to SB they gifted us bikes and a baby bike seat for Evelyn. How awesome! I really don’t know how I got so lucky with in-laws. These past few years Katrina has become one of my dearest friends, and she’s a mother and woman who I truly look up to. Evey is blessed to have them as godparents to help get her to Heaven. AND NOW WE ARE NEIGHBORS. This is a good life.

There are many good things happening now and many great things to look forward to this year. Cheers! Cheers! Cheers! to this next venture.

Evelyn’s First Year, a video

On Saturday I was checking out at the Nordstrom Rack- Evey was up on the counter as I rummaged through my purse, searching for my wallet. Evey and the cashier were exchanging silly faces when she asked how old she was. It was the first time I said, “one!” Not four-months, nine-months, or eleven-months… She’s one! Just one! I’m not used to saying or hearing that.

She turns one this week!

I pulled together our favorite clips from Evey’s first year. Many of the recordings I didn’t even realize we’d taken. The moments seemed so ordinary at the time- so silly, unworthy even, of recording. In a few clips you can even hear a background voice ask, “why are you recording that?” And I’d reply, “one day we will love this.” Well, they are so special now… even just those two seconds… because in twelve short months much has changed.

It was the fastest year. It was the best year. It was the best… yet!

At first I had this song as the background. Then we decided a joyful and upbeat song was more our giggling, wild Evey’s style, anyways.

Press play… :)

next stop: Notre Dame

We found out very recently that Bradley’s career is taking us to South Bend in just a few weeks.

I envision:
…hosting family dinner nights
…walking to campus to bring Brad lunch
…having a home full of Cooley and Harrington visitors
…watching Evey running around the quad with her cousins
…visiting my favorite people in Chicago
…walking to the Basilica for mass
…getting snowed-in, with the fire crackling and hot cocoa in our mugs
…making new friends and strengthening old friendships
…leaving the kids with the boys and going for mani/pedi dates with my big sis-in-law
…running around the lakes and campus
…teaching Evey more about our faith
…doing the Stations of the Cross together in the woods
…growing as a family

[This is our super classy moving announcement!!]

We don’t know where we will live, how we (and all our stuff) will get there, or anything really. But as Brad, the movie quoting king, would say, “there’s a big difference between winging it and seeing what happens.” We’re seeing what happens.

Living near family will be a huge blessing. (Evey will have cousins to play with!) Plus, we will be only a half-day drive from Maryland, which is pretty amazing. Plus-plus, if you know us, you know how much we love Chicago! Plus-plus-plus, this is a dream come true for Bradley, who loves Notre Dame almost as much as he loves me. At least, I think he loves me more. :)

This month has turned out to be pretty exciting. We have a couple weeks to pack, we’re about to celebrate Evey’s first birthday, and we have an upcoming trip to San Diego for my sweet sister-in-law’s wedding.

[Photo by my sweet friend Natalie.]

We knew we wouldn’t be here forever, but I still didn’t know it would be so hard to leave. The community here is absolute gold, and you can’t beat the Phoenix winter. We have so many memories here from our first years of marriage and Evey’s first year of life. It’s going to be a sad goodbye.

Onward to the next venture!

heading home | wedding + trip recap

We’re heading back to Arizona today.


At the same time, it’s sad to leave the Cooleys. Eve really opened up to her little aunts and uncles. She loves the commotion! (Last night she started the usual wrestling/hair-pulling match. Everyone was screaming -happy screaming- and cracking up. It didn’t even go too far and end in tears! Fancy that.) But now we’re headed to our quiet little apartment with no other kids. Sad.

This trip, like usual, was a good one!

Last night, my mama invited a handful of family and friends over to celebrate Evey’s birthday (a little bit early) and Jake’s Confirmation. We grilled burgers and overloaded on cookie cake and ice-cream. Mm!

Cullen’s wedding was dreamy! It felt like we were a living, breathing Pinterest board or post on Style Me Pretty. Truly. My parents and three of my siblings (Molly, Jorgi, and Noah) were there to help with Evey while I was up on the alter.

I’ll admit- I was pretty anxious going into the weekend, thinking: How will I get ready with Evey? Will she be able to nap? Will she cry all through the ceremony? Will there be an earthquake and will the whole world end when I’m not with her?

What happen was AMAZING. I felt like God was giving me a little kiss on the cheek, like “G, I’ve got this.” She fell asleep at the house where the bride, maids, and family were all prepping and primping. We put her in her stroller out on the back porch and I had 1.5 hours to do my hair and makeup (while I could see her, just on the other side of the window, napping). It was perfect! Later, between the ceremony and reception, she napped again in the car with her Uncle Noah. Things couldn’t of gone smoother. Thanks Mama, and Noah! And baby whisperer little sisters, Jorgi and Molly!

Gotta go now. Time to last minute pack… and freak out.. because I’ve waited till the last minute… again!

I wrote this post a week ago, before we came back to Arizona. I was so sad to leave family, especially for Evey. Then we found out on Friday that Bradley’s company is moving him and we will be close to family! We’re so excited!! :)