Moving On Up

March 3, 2016

Nearly a year ago, my husband (Mr. rUnladylike) and I packed up our worldly possessions and moved from Georgia to Florida to start the next chapter of our lives. I said goodbye to Atlanta, a city that truly shaped the person I’ve become and changed my life in ways I never imagined. I said farewell to friends that will last a lifetime. To a place that holds memories, like my wedding day, our first house together and the roads where I fell in love with long distance running. Little did we know that it would be nearly a year until we found the place where we would finally settle down in our new surroundings. At long last, the day we’ve been waiting for has arrived.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Florida was never the place I saw my life playing out. I grew up here and spent the first 23 years of my life in Florida. I always said I was never coming back. I dreamed of the west coast, mountains and cooler temperatures. But when it really comes down to it, where you live is about who you get to spend your life with, and our entire family and many of our dear friends are here. If I’ve learned anything during the past 10 months, it’s that you love anywhere you live where you get to see your closest friends and family every day.

Those of you who are regular readers of know that Mr. rUnladylike and I have been building a house for the past eight months. We lived in a condo on the beach for the first three months while we decided where to live. Once we made the decision to build, things I never thought would be that important to me hijacked my brain: paint colors, tile sizes, grout shades, light fixtures, marble slabs …. trust me, you do not want me to go on. For the past seven months as we’ve designed our house, we’ve been living with my parents. Most people gasp in horror when we tell them that. But, if you knew my parents, you’d want to live with them for a while too. There is no amount of gratitude that could possibly convey my appreciation to my parents. I’m not sure how I became so lucky to have them as my mom and dad, but I’m so grateful life gave me them.

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I ran one final run with my dad before packing some things up to move out on Tuesday.

Yesterday, we got the keys to our dream home. Today, starts the next chapter.

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Here’s a sneak peek of the inside (our kitchen). I’ll share more pictures soon.


As you can imagine, I learned many valuable lessons during the past year of living as a nomad with all my stuff in a storage facility and seven months under the same roof with my parents where I grew up. Here are a few of those lessons…

  • Family and friends are everything. Being able to see your family and the people you care about most on any given day is a true blessing.
  • I got to see the power of unconditional love in new and profound ways. My parents are truly selfless, but living with them for seven months amplified that times a million. If it’s possible to love two people more than you did before, I do.
15 Mom, dad and Jes at the finish
  • Running is there for you wherever you go. It was hard for me to leave my Atlanta running community and all my favorite routes and trails. But you find new routes, new roads and new friends. It’s the one thing that stays the same when everything else around you is changing.
  • The quickest way to meet new people is to find runners and running groups. They treat you as if you’ve been friends forever and take you under their wing. I would have been lost without my dear pal Beth when I first moved here. I’m so grateful this blog and Twitter first introduced us four years ago and connected us as close friends in real life now.
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Beth and me after a sunrise run last month
  • Running in Florida is hard. Honestly, it flat out sucks most of the time. I was built for cold weather running. The majority of the year is hot and very humid. I’ve learned (again) that running requires patience. It doesn’t come easy but it will make me stronger. I have to accept the conditions I’m in and learn to adapt. I’m working on it.
  • You can survive winter running in Florida with all your winter running gear packed away in storage. There were literally only two days that required a long-sleeve running top.
  • It has been really special to get to run with my dad. He was an elite track athlete and former collegiate cross country coach. Now, he runs for fun and runs at least four times a week (he’s got a 5K coming up this month). It has been really fun to get to run with him the past few months as well as cheer my mom on in person at her local races.
  • Living in a place where you can both watch the sun rise and set (typically while running) is a pretty special thing.
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  • All the places you love and people you care about from past chapters of your life are just a car ride or plane ride away. Since we’ve moved, I’ve already gone on road trips with two of my dear running friends and gone to the mountains for the weekend. We’re never far away from our next adventure.

Stay tuned for pictures and a sneak peak of our new space in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can follow my daily Florida adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

What has moving or living in a new place taught you? What are your running plans for the upcoming weekend?


Sarah @ SarahRuns26

We are building a house right now, hopefully will be done in about 8 weeks. I totally understand what you mean about the million little decisions that go into building a house. It will be so worth it in the end, but I have to say I’m so ready to be done! We are currently living with my parents too and everyone thinks we’re crazy, but it has worked out great! I’m so thankful for them! Good luck with the move! I can’t wait to see more photos – the kitchen is BEAUTIFUL!


Yay! Good luck Sarah! You and I need to do some post-move therapy together when your house is done. LOL! Wishing you the very best with the last few weeks of your process and hoping for a small punch list for you at walk-through. xoxoxoxoxo

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

Congrats on your house being ready! Your kitchen is gorgeous – love the white! – and I can’t wait to see more photos and hear how you’re setting in. Life events like moving definitely demonstrate how selfless parents are. When Ryan and I moved to Seattle our parents did so much, including putting a house over our heads for the week between moving out of Indiana and heading west.
And wow – that Florida sunrise is beautiful!


Thank you Laura. I so wish we lived closer as we have so many similarities in our life and running journey 🙂 Glad you are also blessed with such a great family. Happy almost weekend. xoxo

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

Thank you, Jes! If I’m ever in Florida or you’re in Seattle we should definitely meet up for a run. You’d love the running trails in Redmond! Happy almost weekend to you as well! xoxo


Congrats on the new dream home being done and finally ready for you! I LOVE YOUR KITCHEN! I hope the move and settling in goes well!!

Angela @ happy fit mama

I’m glad you aren’t homeless anymore. Your kitchen is gorgeous – love the white! I always say I’ll never move back to Michigan but never say never. And I fully agree that running is a great way to find new friends. It worked for me!

Gabrielle from Austria

Congratulation on your new home! Be happy there!
Wow, your kitchen is amazing! (In Austria we usually have tiny american friends laughed when they saw my tiny, tiny fridge….)
But running is beautiful in Austria, lots of nature.


Congratulations on the new house! I love your kitchen….it looks just like mine (but I like your light fixtures better!). We built our house last year and moved in July 1. What is your countertop? We used Super White quartzite and from the pics it looks like yours.

I love the positive way you are embracing running in Florida. I am also a cold weather runner and can totally relate to your dislike for heat and humidity. I am lucky to live in VA, where we have all seasons, so I can avoid the worst heat and humidity and run inside for July and August.

Congrats again on the new house!


Thank you Leanne!!! Our countertops are marble. Wish I had your lower maintenance Quartz. We’ll see how long before I have to panic over water stains or red wine. 🙂 Virginia is perfect for weather! I need to come run a race there! xoxo


I really wanted marble, but with my daughter and husband who doesn’t clean, I just couldn’t do it! 🙂 It is so beautifu!

Yes, come to VA and we’ll go for a run!

Ashley D

These words are so so true! Congratulations on finding your place. We realized that it was so important to be back in the United States after living abroad for two years.


Hooray!! So happy you came back. It’s been wonderful to see you so often and I can’t wait to tear up Bayshore with you. xoxo & congrats!

Beth @ Paces and Places

My husband and I have lived in 4 different states (IL, TX, IN, and now NY) in the last 4 years. The lessons you’ve learned really resonated with me. My best and quickest friendships have always come through running. And wherever I go, I love that marathon training is always consistent and possible (and a major stress relief while dealing with the hassles of moving!).


First of all, CONGRATS on finally being able to move in! That kitchen is stunning (and yes, I will take partial credit for the backsplash 🙂 as I’m sure the rest of the house is as well.
Second, you hit the nail on the head with where you live! Mike and I would never chose to live in the small town that we basically both grew-up in but, whenever we consider moving (and there have been MANY times) it always comes back to family. You so get that and it’s just one more thing I love about you.


Congratulations!! Your kitchen is AMAZING! Aww, I love how you talk about your parents and your relationship with them. I sure hope my girls feel the same way about me when they are grown up!


CONGRATS! I love love love that kitchen!

Carly @ Fine Fit Day

Woo hoo!!! Congrats Jes!! So exciting to be moving into your new home finally. And in in love with your kitchen – those light fixtures are fabulous! What you wrote about running always being there for you really hit home for me. When we moved up here to VT it took me a long time to find some favorite routes and I spent a lot of time missing Prospect Park in Brooklyn like crazy. But now I have my places mapped out, it really has become my one constant again.

Oh and I don’t know how you handle Florida running!!! Oof! But you are so right that adapting to those conditions will make you a better, stronger runner.


OMG that is my dream kitchen, I love it, and congrats on the move finally! I love your comments about your parents. My mom has lived with me for several months when she moved to PA, and although we had some moments, it was amazing how selfless she was (and still is) and how her main goal in life is to be a mom and grandmother. I am so happy for you to start this new chapter!

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

That kitchen looks AMAZING!!! I totally agree that it makes such a difference to be some place surrounded by the people that you love (and love you).

I had such a time running in FL, but it made me so much faster. I am not sure if it was the weather or something else, but I did cut 30 minutes off my marathon time over the two years I lived there! 🙂

Brandy @beyondrecovery2016

Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful! What a great story too! I don’t know how you are able to run in FL either because i can barely walk there but I’m from the midwest (and also lived in Atlanta for a few years). Good luck and enjoy your dream home!


Congrats on the new house. Looks great!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish

Yes florida running sucks!!! 🙂 at least that’s generally how i felt, though I tried to be very positive about it. Wish I’d gotten to run more with Beth, I was just a little too far away!

Congrats on the house!! We are house hunting now to make Colorado official!

Nicole- "Life After Heels"

Congrats on your beautiful house. Your kitchen is AMAZING. I am so jealous (not to sure why since I don’t even like to cook) As far as the weather I would rather take the heat than snow and ice, living in NJ there is a lot of that, enjoy your now home


Jesica, your kitchen is gorgeous!!!! Just beautiful and I am so happy for you!!
I love how sweet and positive you are – I feel it in your writing and it is so refreshing. I love reading your blog!
I don’t think it’s crazy at all to live with your parents while your house was being built! I think it’s wonderful!! Your parents seem so amazing and how special that you got to spend that time with them.
Sending you best wishes on moving in and getting settled. You two are going to have such a fun life in your new home – enjoy every minute!!! xoxo