[ Half Anniversary ]

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joshua and I have been eating almost every dinner at home since we moved. That is because we love our new home and cooking in our own kitchen is pretty much the best thing on planet earth right now. 

But after weeks of cooking at home, I begged hubby to take me out to dinner last Thursday night (no having to do the dishes, thank you). My mom got us an Entertainment Book as a moving gift (awesome idea). We ended up picking the San Ignacio Golf Course- not too far away and the coupon was buy-one, get-one-free. Score

We got to the restaurant and discovered they had weekly specials.  The specials rocked the boat more than the coupon deal. Burgers were $5 and beer on draft was $1. Not the healthiest... But come on. This girl needed a burger and a beer.

Didn't realize it... But at dinner Joshua mentioned that it was May 19th, our 4 1/2 year wedding anniversary. So cheesy, but what can I say? I married a fabulously sweet, thoughtful man! Cheers to unplanned celebrations. Blessed. 

[ First Visit to the Local Farmer's Market ]

I was really happy to discover that I did not have to let my love for farmer's markets die when I had to move out of California. They exist here, too, and there are quite a few of them. 

I walked to the Green Valley Farmer's Market last Wednesday morning and not only was it a sweet little find, but it was also a very nice 4.5 mile walk from home to get there.

My favorite vendor was Ausperitea, a local loose leaf tea company based out of Tucson. My mom has been hooked on loose leaf tea for awhile now and bought me my first cast iron tea pot this year. However, when I was working full-time, I just was not able to get into it because it seemed too time-consuming.  

Now that I have some more time, I'm looking forward to using my cast iron tea pot more and brewing fresh, flavorful tea. According to Teavana.com, "These are the best way to brew tea, since the cast iron distributes the heat evenly inside the pot to better extract the flavors and benefits of the tea."

The owner of Ausperitea impressed me with his knowledge, friendliness, and talked to me for over 10 minutes about his rapidly growing tea company and future tea shoppe... I just couldn't help but purchase something! I ended up going with the Morning Mist Chinese Green Tea for a steal at $4. 

I've also been impressed with the extensive veggie/fruit co-ops that are also offered here. In the near future, I'm planning on joining Bountiful Baskets, a local 100% organic, grass roots, all-volunteer food co-op. I can't wait to get my hands on that fresh produce. 

[ First Adventure in New City ]

We arrived back to our new home from our trip to San Diego late on Tuesday night, May 10th. Joshua had a few more days off until he started work that Friday, so we decided to forgo opening up moving boxes and attempting to organize our disaster zone and go on a little adventure instead.

One of the great things about Tucson is that it's surrounded by mountains. So even though you're stuck in the desert, you do have the opportunity to reach a higher elevation, experience a cooler temperature, see some greenery, and-- when the time of year allows-- play in some snow. Yes, snow. Thank you, God. 

We decided to take a drive up to Mt. Lemmon, on the north side of Tucson. The drive up the Catalina Highway was gorgeous. The roads were curvy, and some of the various rock formations were unlike anything I've seen before. Once we got a little higher in elevation, the smell of pine trees started to permeate through the car... lovely is an understatement!

At the top of Mt. Lemmon (elevation: 9,157 ft.) there are two quaint towns, Summerhaven and Ski Valley. There is an actual ski lodge and lift at Ski Valley. I am looking forward to winters up there... perhaps renting a cabin and skiing for the weekend? Sounds like a plan to me.

Another fun surprise was discovering Rose Canyon Lake and its surrounding campground. The lake wasn't that big, and although it's primary purpose is for fishing, it will still be a fun place to hang out. I am really looking forward to some camping trips in the near future. There were a ton of hiking trails, too. Who's comin' to visit?!

[ Last Trip to the Ocean... For Awhile ]

Sunday, May 22, 2011

While we were in San Diego, we did get one night away... just the two of us. My parent's gave us a night down at Paradise Point, on the bay, as a graduation gift to my hubby (yesssss!). Can I just say that after a week of not seeing the ocean, I was already homesick for it. So it was really awesome to be right near the water. Have I mentioned how much I miss the ocean?! Sigh.

 We took a trip to La Jolla before we took off... always one of our favorite places to go. We spent a LOT of time there when we were dating... just taking walks on the beach, having a picnic, or grabbing a cup of coffee and taking it down to catch the sunset. 

 We visited the top of Mt. Soledad, where we got engaged (8/19/06). It was definitely the most bittersweet trip yet.... but the beautiful thing is that we know that we will be back :) 

[ Mother's Day ]

My mom is the most amazing woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing. What's pretty cool is that she's MY mom! I feel pretty darn lucky, if I don't say so myself :) 
My mom made a ton of sacrifices for both me and my brother, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to repay her for everything she's done for me. It's one of the (few) things that scares me about having kids-- that I won't be able to be as cool as she was! LOL 

On top of being an amazing friend, wife, homemaker, cook, and woman of God, she was also my teacher! Yes, my teacher. She passed up what could have been a very successful career in nutrition in order to homeschool both me and my brother in junior high & high school. 

Our education was not ordinary, it was extra ordinary in my opinion. We were able to start taking college classes in high school, explore the great outdoors when other people were in school, have a hands-on approach to academics, learn things that are not necessarily taught in a classroom, and have hot lunches (woot woot). 

I wouldn't have traded it for the world. I took a lot of my childhood for granted, and when I moved out and got married and realized just how hard it is to be an "adult," I really started to appreciate my mom in a whole new way. Now that I've moved out-of-state, it's accelerated to a whole new level. I think that's one of the most beautiful things about living away from your family-- you really appreciate them more and don't take the little things for granted.
We were blessed to be in town for this Mother's Day 2011, as it aligned with our trip home for Joshua's graduation party/our going away party. We were able to spend the morning with his mom (who's a really fabulous mom herself, I should add) and his side of the family for breakfast at a quaint, adorable place for breakfast called Janet's in Alpine. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with us to capture any shots! :( 

After breakfast, we met up with my family for a lovely hike around Lake Poway. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. You're the best!