Settling In to Arizona

Last November, I wrote a review of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick and I mentioned that moving to Arizona had been my hardest move yet.

Nine months later, I’m finally feeling like I really like living here.

Part of my trouble with Arizona, I think, was that I had more than my fair share of summers – we came here in the summer of 2014 when Bart did his internship and then moved back in July of 2015, so we had only the horrors of a Phoenix summer.

And then I was pregnant all last summer, which just made me so unbelievably crabby about the heat.

This summer, I feel like I’ve finally been able to embrace the summer, spending as much time as possible at the pools and splash pads, going on trips to escape the heat, and enjoying the indoor things that Arizona offers.

Unlike last year, where I felt like I might actually die before fall arrived, this year I’m in no hurry for the summer to end.

Other things that have made me feel more at home here?

  • A book club of women I really really like.
  • Schools for both of the older girls that I’m happy with
  • Finding a few go-to restaurants nearby that I love (pizza, sushi, Thai, and Greek)
  • Periodic birthday lunches with friends
  • A great group of babysitters to choose from so Bart and I can go out
  • Blogging friends to talk shop with
  • Knowing enough people in the neighborhood that when we go to the pool, the park, or for a walk, we run into people we know
  • Being familiar with the grocery stores and regular shopping (Target, Walmart, Old Navy, etc) around here
  • Starting to have traditions like Bart’s sister and parents coming for Thanksgiving, Pi Day parties, the Train Park at Christmas, etc.
  • Friends that I feel really comfortable with and enjoy getting together with, especially ones with kids around the same ages as my kids
  • Neighbors I can text when I’m out of almond extract or need an onion

What makes you feel like you belong where you live?

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Photos by Christie Knight

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  1. Even though I’ve lived in the same city my whole life (other than college) and already liked it enough to choose to live here as an adult, I LOVED that book.

  2. I agree with your list!! Having just moved to the other side of the valley when I got married, a big part of settling in for me was not feeling hopelessly lost each time I left my house to run my basic errands. It was a good feeling when I could navigate between the library, Walmart, and my grocery store, without feeling lost or like I had to pull out Google Maps. Also, being able to stop and chat with my neighbors who I already know is pretty great!

  3. I feel like my moving demands have gotten more elborate over the years. Before it was, “good ward, good move”, now there is schools, neighborhoods, friends, doctors, therapists, etc… I’ll let you know in a year when my head is on straight again 😉

  4. Teach me your ways! We just moved to the Phoenix valley in may and I mostly want to die ? ??? Its beautiful in its deserty way but seriously, will it ever cool down?! I guess I need to read the book:)

  5. Omg knowing where things are in the grocery store is so clutch. Our neighborhood Shaw’s rearranged every. single. shelf (why, oh why) right while I was having a baby last summer. It took me months to recover.

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