When G and I were first married, we both had a feeling we'd end up in Arizona someday. We really didn't put much weight into it, but I remember multiple conversations about possibly raising our family here. And then two days before Garrett received his acceptance letter into the BYU masters program, he got a job offer from an amazing office in Phoenix. I remember that he got the call on a Monday, and we needed to give them our answer by Friday. As we talked about it Monday night, we said, "There's NO way we'll take this job, but we might as well pray about it just to be sure." And then slowly, our hearts were changed. On Friday morning we woke up, looked at each other, and said, "We would be stupid not to take this job, huh? We HAVE to do it." So we packed up everything we owned, strapped Rae in her little carseat with her blanket and panda bear in hand, and moved to Arizona. For us, it was absolutely 100% the best decision.
If we were to move away tomorrow, and leave Arizona forever, four years would seem like such a small amount of time to have lived here. I can imagine, in 20 years, saying to someone, "Oh yeah, we lived in Arizona for a few years right out of college." And it wouldn't seem like much. Like, a blink. Because 4 years really isn't very long. But oh-my-lanta, so many formative things have happened here. This is where G and I learned how to be grown-ups. For real.
This is where Rae and John learned to walk.
Where I learned to cook (good food, not just "sorry, it's a little ____" food).
Where Johnny was born,
and Belle too!
I've potty trained 2 kids here.
And painted 29 walls.
I've held 4 church callings and worked with over a hundred youth.
Garrett has served as ward mission assistant, Elders Quorum president, and now bishopric. And we have learned so much from our sweet little ward.
We bought a house and made it ours.
We've spent countless days scootering and sliding and sprinkling and swimming and splashing in our backyard. And it has become one of my favorite places in the world.
We've visited museums, butterfly habitats, zoo's, funky restaurants, gorgeous hikes, and stunning lakes.
We've spent our time and money on cars, landscaping, broken A/C units, furniture, and hospital bills....and that made us feel like such adults.
We've laughed and grown and cried and struggled.
We've made some of our happiest memories here, and also some of our toughest.
And gratefully, we've met so many of the most wonderful people. I'm not sure you'll find a group of more genuine, kind, generous, fun, adventurous, hilarious people anywhere else.
I could go on and on, but I just love Arizona, and I'm so so glad we are here.
Every May, we go on a little lunch date to celebrate another year in sunshiney Arizona. Yesterday Garrett took us to the funnest little beachy restaurant near his work. He forgot that it was outdoor seating only, and it was nearing 104 outside. 4 years ago, we would have aborted, but yesterday, we proved ourselves as true Arizonains as we shrugged our shoulders and made sure to order an extra lemonade slushy.