Friday, August 30, 2013


Today is one of those days.

One of the days that I feel panicky, and my heart beats fast and my head starts to swim (although that just might be my head-cold talking).
The months are slipping by. September starts on Sunday, and graduation is a mere 8 months and a week or two away.

My first blog post was one day short of 25 months ago.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with this blog, how I wanted to write, or what kind of pictures I wanted to post. I debated whether or not to include the names of my loved ones, like some blogs who always call their husband "Charming," "Handsome" or simply "Husband".
I didn't post many specifics for a long time, until I realized that was stupid and the only people reading this are my family and friends.

That first post included this summary of my blog:

This is a diary of adventures. Having just graduated from college, my new husband and I are now taking on the grand challenge of moving to the East Coast. To Virginia. We are both life-long Arizonans, yet we are encouraged by our new state's slogan, "Virginia is for Lovers!"

I was cheesy (ok, I still am) and excited and expectant, as well as insecure and shaky and overwhelmed.

The first picture in front of our apartment - dad and Dusty unloading.
We still hadn't even stepped inside!
Empty - so much potential there. 
Mom and I working on thrifted furniture. 
My "Arizona window", which lasted maybe a few weeks before I killed them all.
One of the things that makes me laugh the most is trying to go back and embody that person I was, remembering all of my thoughts and expectations when we arrived. This place is going to be clean all the time (HA). I'm going to garden. I will have a window with thriving plants (now dead and buried). I'm going to learn to cook. I'm going to be fresh and fit and fancy. 
I remember feeling like creating that "Arizona window" embodied all of those wifely things, this tiny clean kitchen and this new blog. A new me was beginning.

Which was actually true - Dusty and I were talking the other day about how much we've changed.
I asked him what he thought was different about me, from then to now, and he said that I am confident and funny, that I make him laugh all the time. I've become a stronger person, despite not checking off all of those "good wife" checklists. And in the long run, I don't think Dusty cared all that much that I killed the Arizona window, because he didn't marry me because of my (lack of) gardening skills.
I can point to many things we've done well, and many things we've fallen short of, in our expectations of moving out here. We still have to work hard to keep things clean in our little place, we rescued two kittens, which wasn't in the (Dusty's) plan. It took me about two years to "finish" the guest room, and it's still a work in progress. That first year we ate out way too much, probably a manifestation of our homesickness that culminated into culinary laziness. We gained weight and stopped cooking as much, and I lost that sense of creativity in the kitchen. Taco Bell was the salve to my wounds, some of which I didn't even realize I had.
It was a mechanism for comfort, I suppose.

Some of the things we did right?

Luna Lovegood. Evangeline. Making each other laugh, being silly. Not taking law school too seriously. Intentionally becoming a part of the law wives. Making friends. Trying new restaurants. Traveling. Winter Wonderland. Summer 12. Embracing our cluttered, fort-like home. Loving each other. Starting my blogs. Putting each other first. Being adventurous. Falling in love with Virginia.

During the first month of my blogging, I wrote another post on the day my mom and grandma left.
I said,

Tonight will be the beginning of a long and wonderful three years of togetherness for Dusty and I, wherein we will be changed and strengthened and blessed by all that we encounter.
During one of my bouts of tears and sadness this afternoon, I simply said, "Well, this is the price of going on an adventure."

What no one told me was that there would be a second price.
Another time to pay up...saying goodbye to that adventure.
I know some of you may be thinking that this is way too early to be sad, way too early to start the process of preparing myself to move.
But honestly, I'm going to need every single day to prepare. I already get teary-eyed thinking about it. I suppose I never spent much time thinking about these three years coming to an end - because we had no idea what that would look like, and we still don't. There's a lot of unknowns and a lot of apprehension, coupled with the excitement of moving back to our beloved Arizona.
The problem is... I'm not wholly Arizonan any longer. I fell in love with this place and the people and the memories it holds. Our silly little apartment and our favorite haunts. I'm going to be leaving part of my heart here when we leave.
But...that, my friends, is the price of going on an adventure.
One I'd be happy to pay again and again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the peachy queen

My mom is in town!

It's always lovely to have people visiting. My mom has been able to visit quite a few times since we moved here, and every time has been an adventure. Pedicures and shopping are almost always a must, as well as restaurant hopping and days of reading and rest.
She arrived on Friday, and so far we've hung out with some of our friends, eaten her specialty chicken enchiladas for dinner, caught up on So You Think You Can Dance, and Sunday we went peach picking!

We managed to find an orchard that was open on Sundays, and jumped into the car so that we could make it in time. It was over an hour away, and closed at 5.
The drive there was stunning, and as we started to approach the orchard we started to get excited about all of the fresh fruit we'd be getting! So we started to sing (made-up lyrics to "What a Wonderful World):

Mom: "And I think to myself, what a wonderful thing!"
Me: "And I think to myself, I'm the peachy king."

The whole trip was inspired by our accidental peach adventure from last summer, when my mom, aunt and cousin were in town. We followed a trail up by Monticello after seeing a sign that said "fresh peaches", and ended up living on peaches and peach things (salsa, vinaigrette, cider, etc.) for months.

If there really is a peachy king, then mom would most definitely be the peachy queen. 
Long live the queen!

Peach orchards are a kind of dark, magical place.

After we filled our bag to the brim with peaches (oh, the peachy possibilities), we decided to head back before the shop closed to pay for them and pick out a few more peach delicacies.

We got peach cider donuts, a jug of peach cider, and of course, a fresh peach milkshake. Which was ohmygawd. 

After it was finished...
Mom: I kind of want to lick the inside of the cup.
Yes, that. Exactly that.

Once we wandered out of the store and into the car, we made the short trek back to Blue Mountain Brewery, which we had seen on our way there. 
It was happenstance that this orchard was in the same direction of the magical place called Afton, where we stayed for Dusty's birthday two years ago. 
We had stayed in a bed and breakfast and had gone to this brewery, where the views are unparallelled and the food is delightful. 
We also happened (again, unwittingly) upon Blue Mountain on our way back from Cleveland in June. We caught a gorgeous sunset and I ate their baked beans because they're amazing. 

We got there around 5:30pm, and the place was booming!
The sun was a bit too intense still to sit outside in it for too long, so we decided to sit inside. We had pizza and soda and I had their baked beans, because they're amazing. 

I finally just asked the waitress what was in them, and she furrowed her brow and said, "Um...beans."
Thanks, chica. 

A great day, and another great week is waiting in the wings!