LaRae Lobdell at home in MiamiMe at my new home in Miami.


A month ago I found myself moving across the country from Seattle to Miami and can tell you it was one amazing journey getting here (shameless plug: read the photo stories of the folks who helped us along the way over at

It’s been a month now, a month of family visiting, driving to Daytona for my partner, Jon’s, job, and flying to Seattle for my freelance job.

So now I’ve been back in Miami – my new home – for 12 consecutive days straight with very few interruptions, putting little things in their place, getting used to creepy crawlies (yes that’s an official term thanks to PBS), avoiding the boxes in the office, finally going out and meeting people for coffee, and letting it all finally sink in: I moved. I have a new chapter in my life. Now what?

Palm trees in the yard.


My new routine goes something like this: I wake up to tropical birds chirping out my window, I scratch new mosquito bites from the night before, and the cool terra-cotta tile meets my bare feet as I putter across the house and try not to trip over my new family member (Jon’s lab-mix) who is our 110-pound baby, my guardian and companion. Making my way to the back of the house, I open French doors to the back patio and am greeted with a glowing beam of sunshine on my face and am embraced by a comforting warmth wrapping my entire body as the sweet smell of gardenias, lavender, basil, a hint of mint, and other herbs fill my senses awake.

I am in my personal paradise.

My new daily ritual: coffee on the patio in Miami.


Opening a new chapter and finding new purpose utilizing your gifts to help others can be a scary and intimidating task to tackle. As an artist, I do find that my “artist’s cycle” is every 2 years. I’ll be sharing more on the “artist’s cycle” and how to identify your own, in an upcoming post, but for now, this is me letting go of the past experiences and accomplishments and starting to build off of them to embrace what my greater purpose is. It takes time and space to work that out in my mind, and while I do that, I get to express my art of photography+story-telling through wholehearted living and sharing new life experiences as art pieces here on my blog.

This new life in my personal paradise comes with modified lifestyles and household roles, career changes and growths, beautiful trust, and fun life experiences that are amazing rewards in this time and space we are grateful for.

Miami Patio Work in progress: the Miami patio.

Hayden, our lab-mix, my 110-pound baby, my guardian and companion.
Hayden, our lab-mix, my 110-pound baby, my guardian and companion.

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