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Celebrating my first year, but still adjusting to life in Iowa

As of July 18, I offically became a Crestonian again.

And I can’t believe how quickly my first year at the Creston News Advertiser has flown by.

Granted, I completed the first 11 months back in 2009-10 before taking a three-year hiatus in Texas to finish college at the University of Texas at Tyler.

While in the South, I developed an addiction to sweet tea and Chick-fil-A, and I did my best to avoid adopting y’all to my vocabulary.

I continued my running career and was blessed with a great team and coaching staff. I also worked for the game management department on campus, fine tuning my sports photography skills for the athletic website and Tyler Morning Telegraph.

In the classroom, I took on a double major in journalism and political science. I also joined the university newspaper, the Patriot Talon.

If it wasn’t for my advisors and editors there, I would have never persued working for a newspaper as a career.

Less than a year ago, returning to Creston wasn’t in my top 100 choices of where I wanted to go. Now that I am back, I believe it is one of the best options to help me further my career.

Despite reports from friends and family saying nothing has changed, readjusting to life in Creston has been more of a challenge than I expected.

First, everything in Texas may not be bigger, but it does move faster.

Excluding the hectic five minutes before deadline in the newsroom, life in Creston has forced me to slow down. Even the Iowa speed limits have forced me to consistently tap the brakes compared to a generous 70 to 75 mph on two-lane roads in Texas.

Second, Tyler, Texas, was a town of more than 100,000 and considered a “small town.” My college buddies and I made multiple weekend trips to Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Some friends would make the two-hour drive to Dallas just for dinner, considering it a short trip.

Now, I second guess the hour-long trip to Des Moines because it seems like a daunting drive.

Finally, the thing I missed most and the thing I could never replace in Texas was a home-cooked meal.

I have finally perfected the craft of making french toast, and I am getting better at the making mac’n’cheese without having to follow the instructions on the box each time.

But it is so much easier to make the short drive toward Macksburg and get a full supper from my parents and steal the leftovers to snack on for an extra day or two.

Hopefully coaching with Bill Huntington at Southwestern Community College will combat the increased intake of calories.

Maybe by my second year anniversary I will be settling back in to the Iowa routine.

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