Julia is the blogger (and amazing artist) behind Chris Loves Julia, finding herself saying goodbye to Spanish Fork, Utah. We first bonded over our shared love of a studio place to call our own, and now, we’ll both be starting from scratch – again. (But isn’t that a DIY lovers dream anyway?)

We live an hour south of Salt Lake City and have for just over 2 years. Our small town has… grown on me. The slower pace and family-friendly community and the “big city” just up the road – all very nice. With that said, I’m not sure I’m the person to campaign others to move here. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and hold it on a very high pedestal to this day – greatest city in the world! But do I like where I live now? Of course. Do I love it? Actually, yes. But not because I think my town has all there is to offer; I love it because of what we’ve made of it.

10 years ago, shortly after my parents uprooted me during my senior year in high school and plopped us in the middle of nowhere, I rebelled. I wasn’t going to make friends. I wasn’t going to talk to my parents. I was going to be miserable. And I was – miserable, that is – for about 6 months. And then, fortunately my stubborn self snapped out of it, and I started meeting people and exploring what that tiny college town had to offer. Mostly rodeos and doing donuts in snow-filled parking lots, FYI. But eventually, I was surprisingly happy there. To love where you live requires effort sometimes – unfortunately it isn’t always at first sight, smell, or pizza slice.

When we first moved to this city a couple years ago, our house was in rough shape and we knew no one. I remember that first night, as I was unpacking dishes in the ugly, dark kitchen, I started crying. It all felt so overwhelming. And then we started painting and making this outdated, stinky house our own.  And we threw a Halloween party – and people came! And we made friends. And now, just over two years later, I am crying again, but this time because we’re moving away. Moving from this place that captured our hearts. Not because of the great restaurants (there are only a few) or the great shops (we do a lot of online shopping). But we will miss the relationships we built. And we will miss our house that we poured a lot of hours into. That’s love.

As we move on to a new place, I already know I will love it – or maybe learn to. There is good in every place, right? And ultimately, I truly think the love you put in is what you get out.

Thank you, Julia! To follow their new home adventures, visit Chris Loves Julia.