Holly Gauper »



To start this blog, allow me to recap our living situation over the past 5 1/2 years.

2008, got married, moved to kalamazoo to live happily ever after with Ryan.
2009, moved across the street to a bigger apartment because we were going nuts in the small space were living and working from.
2010, moved to my parents house to save some money up and because we were going on a 3 month long trip
2011, moved back to kalamazoo into a rental house.
2012, our life fell completely apart – ryan moved to texas and I moved in with my parents.
2013, Miracle! life got back on track, I moved to Texas
2013, Moved to Ohio for work
….and that brings us to the present, 2014.

It’s been non stop moving and craziness since we got married. I’m turning 29 this year and Ryan is turning 32. It’s time to settle down. After a lot of thought and weighing our options, opportunities and whats actually important in life, we came to the decision to make one final move and it’s never where we expected to settle down.

You see, during those years when we kept moving, we were also taking trips and researching better, more amazing places to live. We had all these “ideas”. In reality, we had our priorities totally in the wrong place. After all the searching and dreaming of the best place to live, we have decided to make our final move to good ol’ Muskegon Michigan. Oh, you’ve never heard of Muskegon? Well…that doesn’t surprise me. It’s not an exciting city. However, there are some pretty great benefits that make it the greatest place we could possibly ever choose to move to and their names are Mom and Dad. 🙂

We are hoping to find a nice place in Twin Lake area since thats where my family is. So it’s a little further out there which I like. It’s also only about 55 minutes from Downtown Grand Rapids which really isn’t bad.


As we are finally to a place where we are ready to settle down, I’m thinking about kids and how I can’t even fathom going through a pregnancy or having a new baby without having my mom nearby. My mom and I have always been extremely close and she is my best friend (outside of Ryan, of course). I’m just lost without her so going through something so huge all alone would be the worst. It’s also really lonely in general without her around. I never have anyone to go to JCPenney with! Also, I know they will make the best grandparents and I’d hate to rob them of that experience by living so far away.


[Mom and I at lake Michigan fishing with Dad – summer 2012]

They say it takes a village and I think thats a great saying. There are so many amazing things I know my parents could teach to my children that would enrich their lives. I remember spending so much of my time when I was a kid at my grandparents house. My grandma taught me how to cook and got me interested in painting and art. Those are really huge things in my life now.

Additionally, I had my first (and hopefully last!) kidney stone this past fall and that made me quickly realize we need family around to help when we are in need which was a big part of this decision. I was a big burden on Ryan and I know it’s sometimes just too much for him to handle on his own.

Out in Ohio, we are completely alone. This isn’t home. Since we got here, I have felt unsettled and have had a ceaseless urge to get out of here. Although things are a bit up in the air moving back home and restarting GAUPERphoto again, I am going to choose to have faith it will all work out. I feel excited about moving back. We have moved and started over a couple times now but none of them really felt like a true new beginning. It just felt like continuing on in a new place. This feels like a real second chance, I can actually see and imagine a realistic future there. Having family around just changes everything.

There are some other lovely things about Muskegon other than being close to family. I grew up there so it feels like home to me, we are about 15 minutes from lake Michigan and have some really beautiful beaches, we are sorta known for our wide selection of lighthouses and housing is much more reasonable there than around a big city.

[Lake Michigan - Who WOULDN

[Lake Michigan – Who WOULDN’T want to live here?!]

We will have to travel more for work which is unfortunate but half of the year it’s freezing and we are home most of the time. So I want to have that time and my day to day life to be close to family – not close to work.

With each move I say that it’s killing a little part of me and at some point, it’s going to fully kill me. I hope this isn’t the one because I’m excited for this one. The next hurdle is to get a mortgage and find a house.  A house means stability to me because the odds of moving in 1 year are almost nothing because your in it for the long haul, unlike a lease.

For now, we are unfortunately trapped in Ohio still. We couldn’t get out of our lease so we have to stay here until we find a new renter. It’s winter…so the odds are not great. So I’m praying for a miracle on that front. Until then, we are enjoying our condo we are renting since it’s the nicest place we have ever lived and maybe by the time this rents, we will have found a home. Wouldn’t that be something!? I think my heart would just explode. I’ve had hope and lost hope regarding buying a house many times now so if it happened for real I don’t know what I would do.


This year is all about rebuilding. We are rebuilding GAUPERphoto, rebuilding my health, and rebuilding almost all our teeth.  Those are very big things.

I just want to be happy where I am this year. With the prospect of settling down on the horizon it makes feeling at peace a little easier. I’m so excited to go home. It involves a bit of risk but I guess this as good of a time as any to challenge our faith.

Although there is a lot of work and uncertainty ahead of us, as long and Ryan and I are together, we will be just fine. 🙂

[Ryan and I May 2013 in Galveston Texas right before moving to Cleveland]

[Ryan and I May 2013 in Galveston Texas right before moving to Cleveland]

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