Moving, Mardi Gras, & Maui: a February 2020 Story

If you've talked to me lately, I've sworn I'm all about nesting, settling down, staying in one place and being content with it all during this phase of life. Howeverrrr, February was not like that at all.

So here's what happened: at the very start of the month, we welcomed Piper Alexandria Quanstrom- Pappu into our family! She's a one year old Pitbull (and we believe Boxer) mix. I should also share that in January, we lost Bailey, who I grew to adore like my own dog that I never had.

Bailey on the left, Piper on the right

I rarely blogged about Bailey (this trip to the pumpkin patch might be the only time) so, it hadn't felt right yet to share that news here. Honestly, it's been hard to talk about in real life. I don't have much experience with grief, and certainly not with a dog. I'm also naturally a very buoyant person and realized, going through this, how uncomfortable I feel and how hard it is for me to share sad, "downer" news with people. My inclination is to always be upbeat! I could talk forever about this but basically, it was a new, very sad, traumatic experience to start off the year.

One week after we got Piper, Art left for California for work. I spent the week moving into his house (!) and hanging with our new dog, who kept me very busy (who knew a one year old dog has a totally different energy than a 14 year old dog, lol.) She is very dopey, sweet, and extremely social by the way, and a TOTAL snuggler. Like, she cannot be close enough to you (as I write this she just put her head on my keyboard. Not gonna work, Pipey!)

Moving by myself wasn't ideal, but had to happen, because I had to be out of my apartment by the end of the month, and the last two weeks of February and into March were full!

A few days after Art returned, we headed to New Orleans for Mardi Gras!! Art's best friend & his wife have lived there for the past three years, which has been the perfect excuse to visit as much as possible. They're getting ready to move so this was a "last hurrah Mardi Gras" with a big group of friends.
It is impossible to be in New Orleans & not be in a celebratory, jubilant mood, & certainly not during Mardi Gras. We had a blast with old friends & a few new ones, watching parades, catching beads, eating all the NOLA specialties, & even doing a rum distillery tour! I especially had fun putting together my Mardi Gras looks, down to the makeup. I ended up packing a lot of the same things I included in my original Mardi Gras packing list from two years ago (like I was going to leave the house without my gold pants!!)

We returned to Nashville after our big weekend and I had one mega day to unpack, reset, & squeeze in any other to-dos before heading to California the next day! Galina had found super cheap flights from San Jose to Hawaii, so the deal was: I spend a couple days in the Bay helping her with her new apartment, & she would get my flight to Hawaii.

I was in the Bay Area for just under two days & spent one insane day trying to "earn my keep" and make the biggest difference possible in her apartment. I was a little worried, but I'm actually quite proud of how it turned out! We "moved towards jewel tones and wicker" :) I'm including a widget with some of my finds below (Target & World Market FTW!) I also got to have dinner with a group of family & show off our engagement photos and wedding website, which was so special. I never take that family time for granted.

Finally, on Thursday we headed to Maui!! Hawaii is absolutely the epitome of tropical paradise. And when I tell you we had an amazing trip - we really did. It was the perfect blend of much needed sister time & conversation and just hanging out, all with the stunning backdrop of the island. We adventured, we spent time getting ready (my fave!) we swam, we sat on the beach, we ate some delicious meals and drank some tropical drinks, it was lush. I'm kicking around an entire blog post with some "Maui hacks" so I won't talk too much about it now, but it was a pretty perfect trip.
In light of recent events, boy am I thankful I was able to do some traveling last month. Things have been upside down in Nashville since I returned, first with the tornado (we live in East Nashville but were unaffected - so grateful. Our neighborhood was not so lucky) and now with Covid-19. It's a surreal time.

I hope you all are staying safe and staying smart, and staying SANE. I'm thinking now is a great time to catch up on all this blogging I've been meaning to do. 

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