If you know my sister Becca, you know she’s all about dogs. She always has been; her first word was “woof-woof.” In addition to running a dog rescue (whence came Foxy!), she has three dogs of her own – and they’re like her kids. So when she and my brother-in-law decided to go to Seattle, they called in only the best.

Annie the Dog Nanny.

Foxy and I moved into Becca and Michael’s house on Saturday night, and it’s been the Wild West ever since. I’m playing defense against a collective 200 pounds of canine. Things I will need to replace before they get home: Bulleit and a lot of chocolate chips.

In the midst of it all, I am wrapping up my job, selling my house, and looking for a new place to live – because I forgot to tell you:

I’m moving to Minnesota.

Two weeks ago, I gave my notice at work. I am leaving what has been a gift of a job for what is sure to be a challenging, soulful adventure of a next chapter: I’m moving to Minneapolis to work for my favorite public radio show, On Being with Krista Tippett.

For over eight years, this has been a blog mostly about my feelings – so don’t think I’m going to stop now.

What can I say about my 5 ½ years in Denver? They have been the toughest years of my life, minus 6th grade when all of the girls turned mean. Cancer brought me here, divorce made me stay. I watched my family disintegrate, and a few relationships of my own. I’ve said such horrible things to God, it’s a wonder he still loves me. I’ve lost hope, battled depression, and numbed the pain with all sorts of soul novocain.

Denver made me write this song. (And as always, forgive the guitar.)

[UPDATE: Song has been taken down. Maybe you’ll hear it again someday.]

But it’s not lost on me that the hardest years were spent in the most beautiful place. It’s like someone knew I would need the beauty.

I’ve walked thousands and thousands of miles. I’ve climbed mountains – I’m up to 35 14ers, with 19 to go. I spent 11 days on a solo backpacking trip, digging deeper than I knew I could dig. I’ve learned to own my finances, my career, a dog, and a house. If Seattle is where I became Annie and Nashville is where I became a woman (gross, sorry for saying that), Denver is where I became an adult – a reluctant transition, but true nonetheless. I’ve made a handful of incredible girlfriends, the kind that make it hard to leave. I’ve been to counseling – gracious, have I been to counseling. I’ve stopped blaming my parents for everything that’s wrong in my life.

As it turns out, I am sad to leave Denver – but not as excited as I am for a new adventure.

I will miss my perfect tiny house and my friends and the weather and the mountains. But I know that there’s something for me in Minnesota – lakes and forests and people and meaningful work. And mosquitos. And snow. But I’m choosing to believe that richness awaits. I can’t wait to tell you about it. I can’t wait to learn it for myself. I might even start going to church again.

Until then, I am frantically wrapping up my time with LÄRABAR/General Mills. Yesterday I wrote a “manual” for how to do my job. So far it’s 17 pages long. I’m getting my ducks in a row to sell my house, and looking for another in Minneapolis (tell me, is 40% of my income too much to spend on a mortgage?).

And I’m dog-sitting for my sister. Maybe these dogs will come visit me in Minnesota.

My roots are up, and I’m headed north. There is so much to be nervous about, and so much to be grateful for. Thanks for sticking with me, no matter the gap between posts, no matter the city in which I live.

See you soon, Minneapolis!




  1. Sara Montour on May 19, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    Minneapolis can’t wait! If you need any help with anything at all, give me a call or let me know!

  2. Hi I on May 19, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Annie, you’re living large, facing the joy, sweat and tears with gusto. Not shying back from big changes and choices. A true inspiration to us all. Wishing you love and happiness.

  3. Paul on May 19, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    I am sure you had no intention for this to be an inspirational post, but for someone who is feeling a bit lost at work, it is. Thank you Annie. I’m looking forward to following your next big adventure remotely!!

  4. Lan | morestomach on May 19, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    to new adventures!

  5. Erin on May 19, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    Yes, yes, and yes!!!! Too soon to start a hang-out list?

  6. Sarah on May 19, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    Love it. I love how brave you are, even if change might be a little terrifying (isn’t it always). Your posts are always so well timed, if few and far between – I so needed a little inspiration in the face of needing to make a drastic change of my own, very soon. Minnesota sounds cold, but I know you’ve spent time there – based on your blog posts – I hope you love it.

  7. Elle on May 19, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Lucky us here in Minneapolis! I’m a transplant from California and have been here 10 glorious years – love it. If you need any help or want coffee with an unknown potential friend, I’d love to be of service. Praying this will be a wonderful new season for you. And On Being?!?! Dream come true!! You lucky duck :)

  8. Michael on May 19, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Wow! You and 200 pounds of canine? That’s a challenge. Awwww…tears and smiles on my part, Annie! Our best to you, so long as the moon and stars chart their courses. North will be different, as you know, but how exciting! What a great show for which to work! Oh, and for the record, you had me at Bulleit and chocolate chips…

  9. Peg Achterman on May 19, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    Fabulous – and wow, working for On Being – the coolest! Congrats. And I might have to have you Skype in for a class again :)

  10. jodie on May 19, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    you are such an adventurer. such a brave soul. i love your moxie and everything you write that has teeth. in the raw. you’re very good at that. watch out boys, mama’s got skills.
    also: you know we’ll follow you wherever you go.

  11. jesse stuart on May 19, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Hi Annie! I miss hearing your voice. I do hope you find joy in Mineanapolis. I’m interested in what you are up to musically these days.

  12. Alison Ashmead on May 19, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    Annie. Congrats on the bold move. You are inspiring. In other news, I own a house in NE Minneapolis that id love to sell…connect with me if youre interested. Also, since my other half is from there…we are there a few times a year. I can picture you now biking your way through the chain of lakes!


  13. mrs. chesney on May 19, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    tears and cheers in the same post. can’t wait to see you… xoxo

  14. Rebecca Shaw on May 19, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Congrats on your new chapter, Annie! I have loved reading your blog, by the way. If you are ever in Salt Lake, please drop me a line!

  15. Leigh Kramer on May 20, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    I’m telling you: it’s uncanny how similar our paths are and have been. We will have to compare notes as we take our respective leaps!


  16. Brooke on May 22, 2015 at 5:52 AM

    Exciting and nerve wracking – but all good things! Congratulations:) Wishing you the best on this next step!!

  17. Kim on May 22, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    Excited for you and your new adventure! Definitely adding this radio show to my list of listens. Cheers to you!

  18. [not the] Best Blog Ever on May 22, 2015 at 7:56 PM


  19. Allison on May 26, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    I just showed my roommate your “holy mole” video, because that’s one of my favorite moments from your life. I was like, “and then she got a JOB with larabar, can you believe that…”


    really excited about this new job. you’re the most fabulous person i know. you’re so perfect for this. and that’s the kind of sentiment that’s really hard to believe when depression is a thing in your life. i’m just going to say it anyway.

    it’s okay to say horrible things to God. i saw a quote once from this perpetually cheerful person. i can’t handle cheer 24/7, but every now and then he says something that i like. it was, “i think God has more problems with the people who don’t ask questions, than the ones who do.” so do what you want with that. (Bob Goff – don’t google his picture if you’re feeling grumpy, he’s ALWAYS smiling, it’s kind of nauseating).

  20. […] in January, I applied for a job that I was eventually offered in May. This means that for the past six months, I have lived with the possibility (and now plan) […]

  21. […] can’t believe I live in Minnesota. Sure, it’s been over two months since I accepted this job (and thus, my northern fate) – but those first two months were spent in List Mode. I made said […]

  22. amy on August 4, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    i just heard your name in the On Being credits & my ears perked & my heart leapt. what an amazing thing! & this too: to know He loves us so gosh darn abundantly. thanks for sharing.

  23. […] This transition has been rough on my pup. We were separated for a month before she made the cross-country move, and then we stayed at a friend’s house for a week before moving into our new house. Since I had been working from home in Colorado (thus around all day long), she’s having a tough time adjusting to me being gone at an office during work hours. For the first few days, she would be anxiously excited when I would get home – now, she won’t even come downstairs when I open the door. […]

Leave a Comment