Hi everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day! I honestly kept forgetting it was today until…well, today, since it keeps coming up.

R and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s really just another day to me. I don’t like flowers, and since we’re at my grandma’s, there’s more than enough sweets for all of us!

I was listening to the local news, and they were saying that people spend around $140 on their loved ones today. Yikes. No judgement if you celebrate, it’s just not for me.

So yes, I am grateful to be back in New York! And it’s snowing. What a surprise. It was actually flurrying when we landed, but I’m grateful we had a smooth flight.

We ended up landing earlier than expected, and we had to wait another half hour for our gate to clear, but that’s better than having a bumpy flight.

My first order of business was eating a bagel, and my second order of business was eating pizza. Sorry NC, you kinda fail on both of those fronts.

What else am I being grateful for this week?

What am I being grateful for this week? Being back home in NY, despite the snow!

My Uncle for Picking Us Up

Unfortunately, the only airport that offers decent fares and a direct flight back home is La Guardia. LGA is kind of far for my family, and no one else is available to pick us up except my uncle, as he’s retired. My grandma doesn’t feel safe navigating the airport parking (it’s huge, busy, and confusing).

So every time we come up to visit, we have to make sure he can pick us up. It’s not a fun drive, so I’m thankful he doesn’t mind coming to get us. My grandma came with him, and it was nice to catch up in the car.

My Grandma for Being Her

It feels like I haven’t been gone at all. We came back to my grandma’s house and immediately she was taking care of us as usual. She bought a ton of food and she’s been trying to stuff R as much as possible.

She also called my aunt and confirmed they’re definitely going to be visiting in April, so I have that to look forward to! We just have to figure out how we’re going to fit my grandma, my aunt, my cousin, and myself into 2 rooms. I volunteered to sleep in the closet on an air mattress…(It’s a big enough closet!)

In other news, when I got here I found out my grandma had gone ahead and leased a new Honda Civic, but it won’t be ready to pick it up until Thursday, which I am a bit sad about. I’m grateful she found a deal she’s happy with, though. Hopefully this means she’ll be safer!

Our Friends

We were able to see our friends last night, which I am grateful for as the snow is supposed to get worse tonight. We have plans to hang out, but safety first!

While it’s been 10 months since we’ve hung out with everyone, some things never change. =) One of our friends also made a delicious cake with caramel that we all got to enjoy.

After sitting around BSing for an hour or two, we had to decide what to do next. It came down to Cards Against Humanity or Super Smash Bros. That was a hard choice, but we ended up playing Smash. R decided to name his character “Meat” and many ridiculous jokes ensued.

My Parents

We ended up arriving at my parents house around midnight on Wednesday, and they were actually waiting up for us. I’m grateful they were happy to catsit, as I would have been worried otherwise.

My mom called Thursday night to tell us they spent the day lounging around on their coveted screen porch, and that they were sleeping peacefully after that. I’ll be Skyping with her later to check-in on them!

Since we’ve been back, I’ve been reflecting a bit on what “home” means.

Even though there’s a less than 10% chance I’d ever consider moving back to NY, it still feels like home. I still identify with being a New Yorker. It’s where most of my family and friends are.

Yet, the people and the food aren’t enough to keep me here. And while it’s been 7 months since my last visit, it doesn’t feel like much has changed. It feels like I’ve been gone for only a month. It’s strange.

I feel the same way when we visit my parents. I can make myself right at home relatively easily, and I always enjoy my time there. But, I don’t think I could ever live where they do for more than a year.

And then you have our actual apartment, which is just a place to live to me. It doesn’t feel like home in the truest sense. I suppose that’s because I always saw our move to Charlotte as a stepping stone, eventually leading to something else. There are still so many cities I want to explore, and while Charlotte has been nice, it hasn’t screamed “stay here!”.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but I am at least grateful I get to have two places to call home. “Home is where the heart is” sounds about right!

What are you being grateful for this week? Any of you getting hit with more snow? What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Where’s “home” for you?



  1. Tonya@Budget and the Beach February 15, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    You have such a great family! It’s tough when there isn’t a place that quite feels like home, but I also think that really does take some time. It took a couple years both in Seattle and LA to find my groove. This week I’m grateful for my shower being fixed and lots of water pressure, amaze-balls weather, and the fact that I’m not crazy. I know that last one sounds weird, but I’ve been around some people/clients lately and they are insane and their lives are chaos. I’m grateful that I feel calm and steady even though things aren’t perfect in my world.

    1. Erin M. February 15, 2015 at 11:07 AM

      It’s good to know that someone else didn’t settle in as quickly once they moved! When I hear people say they fell in love with a place immediately, I always wonder how it feels. It hasn’t happened yet!

      Having more water pressure is always nice; ours is pretty lackluster (yay apartment living). And I definitely know what you mean! Not as similar, but my grandma loves watching judge shows, and I saw a few yesterday where the stories were outrageous. It makes my problems seem pretty small in comparison.

  2. Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 15, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Welcome back to NY!!! I wish I could see you while you are here, but we have had stuff for my son’s birthday and now we are headed to Florida to meet my nephew. I hear you on bagels and pizza! There is just nowhere better and someone once told me it’s because of the New York water that makes the dough for both of those taste better. Enjoy your trip and stay warm!!

    1. Erin M. February 15, 2015 at 6:14 PM

      Oh have fun in Florida! My aunt and uncle and cousins are actually down there in Orlando. I’m hoping to be back in NY sometime in May-June.

      Yep, I’ve been told it’s the water as well. Which is true…I can drink tap water here, but not anywhere else.

  3. kay ~ lifestylevoices.com February 15, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    I haven’t found home yet either. I know I’ll know it when I get there, but this doesn’t feel like “it”. I AM very grateful to be out of upstate New York, but south Florida just doesn’t feel right. You’re right, it’s just hard to explain. For now, though, I”m grateful for the weather and all of the “pretty”. Glad you had such a great time Erin! Sounds like you guys had a blast! :)

    1. Erin M. February 15, 2015 at 6:12 PM

      Glad to know I’m not crazy. =) I am thankful we got away from NY as well. I guess all we can do for now is enjoy the journey!

  4. Mrs. Frugalwoods February 15, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    It’s so nice to be able to feel at home with your family–that’s a wonderful gift. I feel the same way at my parents and my in-laws’ homes, which is really comforting. Mr. FW and I have moved so many times that we always say that our home is just wherever we are together.

    I understand what you mean about not feeling entirely landed–that’s kind of how we feel in Cambridge. We like it, but we know we’ll be leaving it for a homestead, which I think will really feel like home.

    P.S. Yes, we have a TON of snow up here (7.9 feet to be exact ;) )

    1. Erin M. February 15, 2015 at 8:06 PM

      I like that – “home is just wherever we are together”. It’s so important you and your significant other are a team when moving so much, as often, they’re the only other person you can rely on.

      I’m sure your homestead will feel like home – it has to, the word is in the name! =) And yeesh, 7.9 feet is insane! I hope you’ve all been doing well.

  5. Sarah February 15, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    Hope you are having a great time in NY with family and friends! We are heading back to AZ in May for the first time since we moved to Charlotte back in August. To say I’m excited is an understatement. My mom keeps saying she hopes I realize what I’m missing in AZ and move back, but like you – there’s less than a 10% chance of that happening. While right now I’m missing the sunshine (did you hear it’s supposed to snow in Charlotte tomorrow?!), I really enjoy having seasons and trees that AZ just doesn’t offer. While I do feel like Charlotte will be “home” to us for at least the next 18 years (raising our girls here), who knows where else we will live! I like the idea of moving a few times in life – it challenges you, it forces you to meet new people and explore new areas, it brings you closer to whoever you’re moving with and it allows you to grow. Next on my husband’s list is Boise, Idaho whereas I would love to live in Nashville, Portland, Seattle or upstate NY! (I know, I’m all over the map!)

    Also – have you and R explored South Charlotte yet? It has a totally different feel to it than the city. We LOVE Weddington! It’s beautiful and has a very secluded, private feel while still be close to “city” amenities!

    1. Erin M. February 15, 2015 at 8:03 PM

      Thanks! Glad to hear you’re going back to visit AZ – it’s nice to be able to go back and see everyone. Seasons are a must for me. As much as I don’t like winter, it actually feels a little weird not to have snow…though I didn’t know there was a winter storm warning in place! Yikes. R is flying back tomorrow, so I hope nothing happens.

      I like your thoughts on how moving challenges you. Definitely agree. At least Nashville isn’t too far away – you guys should take a weekend trip there at some point! Portland and Seattle are on my “I’d like to visit” list as well. Upstate NY is beautiful. It’s certainly more affordable than LI, and you do get all the seasons, along with gorgeous mountain views depending on where you are. Both my cousins love it up there.

      We actually haven’t been around South Charlotte. Our goal was to live within 5-10 minutes of R’s job, so we stuck to North Charlotte. I do want to explore a bit more before leaving!

  6. How to Save Money February 16, 2015 at 6:23 AM

    Love reading your post :) Your grandma seems such a nice lady – made me miss mine so badly!

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:46 PM

      Thanks! Grandma’s are pretty awesome, aren’t they?

  7. Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life February 16, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    Oh that snow! There is too much of it everywhere! As for home, the bf and I have been working on making the house a home because there are certain elements that are missing that make it a cozy place. However much I miss my family, I feel like New York is now my place and I’m lucky to live close to my family.

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:45 PM

      Yay New York! You know, I do think part of the problem is that we haven’t been able to decorate our apartment. I’m too scared to put nails in the wall since our lease doesn’t seem to allow excessive use of them. I’d rather err on the side of caution. Good luck on decorating!

  8. Brian @ Luke1428 February 16, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    I’m grateful to have some extra time with the kids this week. They are on their Winter Break from school so I’m going to be doing some fun stuff with them this week.

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:44 PM

      Aw, I hope you guys have a blast!

  9. Melanie @ Dear Debt February 16, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    Welcome back! Mmmm bagels and pizza. I totally hear ya on the home front. I don’t feel like Portland is my home and I know I feel more at home in LA or NYC, but can’t imagine myself being somewhere “forever”. I don’t know, it’s tough to think about.

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:44 PM

      Me neither! It’s kind of overwhelming to think about committing to one place forever. I really like having the freedom to move around and explore. I have absolutely no desire to “settle down”/put roots down somewhere right now.

  10. Done by Forty February 16, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    I think that there are some places that we’ll always identify with, no matter where we go or for how long we’re away. I’ll always be a Pittsburgher, even though I’ve lost the yinzer accent and haven’t been home in a couple years.

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      Hah, yes, the accent…I never thought I had a heavy NY accent, but people down south can identify my mom in five seconds by hers. It’s rather amusing.

  11. HappinessSavouredHot February 16, 2015 at 8:45 PM

    This “home” discussion talks to me! I spent part of my childhood in Africa, have friends all over the world, and live 1500 km from my family AND love the place I am at right now. As a consequence, I feel that I have many homes.

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:42 PM

      Oh wow, I can’t blame you! But I think having many homes is a better place to be. =) I’m always a little jealous of people who have friends to stay with wherever they go.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply February 17, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Welcome back to NY and our almost record breaking cold weather! More snow today and bitter cold. I’m grateful for the long weekend, I really needed it. I had some family visit as well and it was nice to see them. Luckily for me, I live pretty close to both airports in Queens so the drop off/pick up wasn’t bad. Unfortunately for me, I drive far out into LI for work!

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:41 PM

      Sheesh, I know! When I heard the “record lows” I had to laugh. Thankfully the snow doesn’t seem to be too bad…yet. I hope your commute hasn’t been horrible! We were out and about every day except Sunday and we were okay for the most part.

  13. Even Steven February 17, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    This year ended up being a family vacation for Valentine’s Day, but we did end up doing the painting thing with everyone and had a blast. Since it was part of our vacation budget, I feel like we had a Big V-Day Win!

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:40 PM

      That sounds like fun and definitely like a win!

  14. Alexis February 17, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    Having a small family makes me more thankful for everyone in my life. I was bitter about it for awhile since all of my friends were surrounded by huge families, but I started to become thankful for what I had, which is a lot in my mind now!

    1. Erin M. February 17, 2015 at 5:39 PM

      I know what you mean! My fiances family is huge, whereas mine is pretty small. They make up for it by being crazy (in a good way)!


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