History of The Musings

In 2004, my boyfriend at the time and I did something a little crazy. We’d been living together in the Kansas City area for 4 years, an area where I’d spent my whole life. That summer our lives turned upside-down…James accepted a job in New York City, and I accepted his proposal of marriage. We planned a small wedding in six weeks, sold most of our possessions (including both our cars), found an apartment in Brooklyn the weekend before our wedding, packed everything we owned into a Uhaul, and drove from Kansas to New York on a two-day honeymoon extravaganza. We figured if we could survive that, our marriage was solid. And it turns out it was.

Life in Brooklyn was dirtier and more difficult than we’d ever imagined. But it was also an amazing experience…a part of my life I wouldn’t trade back, even during the worst of it. I discovered when life’s great, it’s also kind of boring. And when life’s hard, it brings out the writer in me…something that had been dormant since I’d abandoned my journalism editing career in favor of graphic design. And in the summer of 2005, at the peak of my NYC misery, I started Mandy’s Musings.

A lot has happened since then…we made it out of Brooklyn in the winter of 2005, landing in DC. James traveled the world — Asia, Africa, Europe — while I became a crazy, work-from-home shut-in. After squeezing in a couple of wonderful vacations to Vienna and Istanbul, we abandoned that situation in May of 2007 for a quieter life back in Kansas City. Surrounded by family and friends, I was content, but James was miserable. In an even crazier move than our decision to live in NYC, James accepted a job back in DC, and we moved there in November of 2008, while I was 7 months pregnant. That is an experience I would whole-heartedly trade back.

We spent more than two years in DC, where I worked from home for awhile before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom. I threw myself into my new role, exploring the city with infant son in tow, meeting other moms and kids on play dates, and making the most of my time there. Liam loved riding the Metro, and I took him all around the city every chance I got. I made some great friends along the way, too. But over time we came to realize that DC wasn’t the right place for us. And after two miserable winters we decided we needed a complete change of scenery. Florida or bust!

Our next stop was Orlando. We rented a great big house on the east side of town, an hour east to the beach and an hour west to Disney World. We frequented both places, among others. And I truly loved it there. The climate suited me, I loved the palm trees and the ocean and the seafood. And while Kansas City will always feel like home because I grew up there, I think Orlando is the place we’ll settle down. Eventually. Because…

Two years later we found ourselves in Wichita, KS! James landed a prestigious position heading up the office there, and being only three hours away from my family appealed to me. Liam started kindergarten in a great school district, we rented a lovely house on a quiet street with lots of kids and moms, and best of all, we added a daughter, Violet, to our growing family.

Two years — yes, another two years! — later, and we’re moving again. This one will be the most exciting yet. We’ve had our sights set on Europe all these years, and we’re finally realizing the dream!  Life is about to get much more interesting. James will be taking a post as Field Office Director in the Athens, Greece office. We’ll be arriving this October and staying for three or four years. From there we’re hoping to land back in Orlando to settle down for the rest of the kids’ education. Unless the winds from the East take us elsewhere…

No matter where life takes us, I’ll continue this blog, this lifeline to my family and friends. Good times, bad times, amusing times…it’s all here. Enjoy.


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