Welcome to Arizona

Last summer, after Bart’s internship was over and he got a job offer, we decided we would move to California once he graduated.

But then, after Star was born and graduation was only a few months away, we started getting serious about preparing for our move and we eventually decided that Arizona was a much better fit for our family. Not only was the group he is most interested in based in Arizona, but the cost of living is so (so!) much better and it’s closer to all our family members.

Bart and I have said for years that the three things we want most from a place to live are warm weather, decent cost of living, and close to family (it’s still a mystery why we moved to Boston in 2009 when it is zero for three on our requirements). Arizona hit all three of those.

At the end of May, I called my mom and asked if she could come stay with the big girls while Bart and I flew to Arizona to look at houses. She said, “Probably. When would you want me to come?” I replied, “How about tomorrow?” Thank heaven for mamas.

Over the course of 38 hours, Bart and I (along with our poor baby who was so tired of getting in and out of the car) saw nearly three dozen houses and made an offer on one.

Three days ago, we closed on that house and we’ve spent the last few days madly unpacking boxes and arranging the rooms. The “we” in the latter part of the last sentence was my mom and me – Bart’s first week of training was in California, so my mom drove down with me from Las Vegas and helped in ten thousand ways to make this a smooth move.

The move-in is definitely not complete, but we made big progress in the two days she was here and once Bart gets home today, I plan to force him to hang a bunch of pictures, reassemble the crib and toddler bed and guest bed, and probably forty seven other tasks. Welcome home!

Ella’s fifth birthday was yesterday and we opted to push off most of the celebrating until tomorrow, when Bart will be home and we can really party it up.

Ella is the queen of delayed gratification, so she didn’t seem to mind at all that the much (in fact, when I suggested a few small things to do on her actual birthday, she strongly resisted, telling me that we were going to celebrate on SATURDAY).

But, I just couldn’t quite let the actual day pass without some sort of notice, so after we went to Meet the Teacher night, we went to dinner at the very upscale location of Chick-fil-A and then stopped at Safeway to grab some of TCBY’s new frozen yogurt.

Ella’s first pick was mint chocolate chip, but I convinced her to go for the cookie dough instead (you’d think it was my birthday – no nice mom points for me).

We came home, grabbed a candle, the ice cream scoop and some bowls, and walked to the neighborhood park (are we already real Arizonians if 95 degrees seemed plenty cool to go to the park? Growing up in Las Vegas appears to have been excellent training for moving here).

We sang to Ella, she blew out her candle, and we ate our ice cream before it all melted.

Then fourteen thousand underdogs on the swing and we packed it up to come home to bed.

Arizona, I think we’re going to like it just fine here.

(P.S. I have coupons for three months worth of free TCBY Frozen Yogurt. Leave a comment telling me which flavor you’d most like to try and I’ll choose a winner at random next week! Also the TCBY truck is visiting various cities and you can stop by for free samples and coupons. If there’s anything better than ice cream when it’s 108 outside, it’s free ice cream when it’s 108 outside).

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  • Reply Becca July 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Cookie dough would be my automatic choice but hubby would love the chocolate moose tracks.

  • Reply Kate Unger July 24, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I'm glad your move went well!

  • Reply Paige Flamm July 24, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Congrats on buying a house! I feel like everyone is buying right now accept us, and then I have to tell myself, one more year until that MBA is done, one more year! This makes me feel more sad for your orange master bedroom though… at least you can freely paint now!

  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country July 24, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Welcome to my former home state. I spent most of my formative years in Arizona–Tucson, Flagstaff, and Phoenix. I wouldn't choose to live there again, since I am most definitely not a hot-weather kind of person, but I do still miss the desert and the mountains. My parents are still in Tucson, and my brother and his family live in Gilbert, so I still have family there to visit. Though with three children, our means for buying five plane tickets from NY to AZ are getting slimmer by the year.

  • Reply Elaine July 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    First, Happy Birthday, Miss Ella!
    I'm glad have successfully purchased and moved into your new home. It's wonderful that your mom was able to come down to help with the move, especially with Bart unable to help temporarily. Have fun with the decorating! I hope you all will be very happy in Arizona.
    On a personal note, I am happy that you spent a year in the Boston area.

  • Reply Betsy July 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I'm with Ella. Mint chocolate chip is my go-to!

    Happy birthday to Ella and congrats on the move!

  • Reply Emily Slater July 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    English toffee crunch or the sea salt caramel swirl.

    Or any of the other flavors. Because ICE CREAM.

  • Reply Patrick&Selena Pallas July 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Welcome to my home state. I love living in Arizona. I agree the nights this week have been "dreamy" at 95 degrees. Now to real business I'd love to try the double chocolate chunk! Hope you enjoy your time here.

    Selena Pallas

  • Reply heather July 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I would definitely choose the double chocolate chunk since if there is a chocolate option, I ALWAYS choose the chocolate.

  • Reply Kara K July 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    The only thing that keeps me from melting into a puddle of mommy tears (I have a strong-willed 4 year old son and a 7 month old baby girl who I just started staying at home with) is bedtime and evening ice cream.
    Needless to say, I would love to try some Extreme Cookies and Cream!

  • Reply Ever Emma July 24, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Congrats on the house! I would probably melt if I lived in AZ. I visited Mesa for a week a few years ago and couldn't stand the heat. I almost dislike that heat more than the heat with humidity back east. I bet I would love it in the winter though! I'm thinking that the Chocolate Moose Tracks is calling my name.

  • Reply Kristin July 24, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Can I answer "all of the above?!" I like it all. I guess I would choose cookies 'n cream, but I'm also tempted by sea salt caramel and cookie dough.

    Congrats on the move and happy birthday to Ella. My youngest will be 5 in a few weeks. (Well, she is my youngest until Baby arrives in January!)

  • Reply Jessica July 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I don't think I could hack Arizona. Although I am always surprised how much the lack of humidity helps when I visit my grandparents there. And I do love some mint chocolate chip!

  • Reply ellen July 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I want to try chocolate moose tracks! Stay cool!!

  • Reply Sabra Nathanson July 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Extreme Cookies ‘n Cream! Yum!

  • Reply ccr in MA July 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    You had me at Sea Salt Caramel!

  • Reply Chaun July 24, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Seriously, any ice cream would be fab. It's all basically manna from heaven, isn't it?
    I hope you enjoy Arizona! All the cool people seem to be moving there. 🙂

  • Reply Courtney July 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    The double chocolate chunck looks great!

  • Reply Judit July 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Happy birthday Ella! My choice (it was a hard one 😀 ) is Chocolate Moose Tracks

  • Reply Loren July 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Well I'd definitely choose something with cheesecake, or the mint chocolate chip. But my husband would choose anything with loads of chocolate.

  • Reply Lori July 24, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Yum! Extreme cookies and cream looks good.

  • Reply Mikaela D July 24, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Cookie dough. Always cookie dough. 🙂

  • Reply Jessica July 24, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I'm with H'a first pick — Mint Chocolate Chip always!

  • Reply Jessica and Ryan July 24, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I think the Moose Tracks looks delicious. Looks like a fun way to celebrate a birthday!

  • Reply Kimberly Koss July 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I'm with the birthday girl! Mint chocolate chip is my ultimate go to!

  • Reply Steph July 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Mmmmm. Moose tracks.

  • Reply Jessica Pieper July 24, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Happy Birthday Miss Ella!
    Thanks for offering to share some ice cream lovin'. I would love a scoop of the sea salt caramel swirl.

  • Reply Shelly July 24, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    It's too bad that Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough would probably be gross, because I really like both flavors. Congratulations on your house, I wish that I could move somewhere warmer than Utah. My husband served his mission in the deserts of northern Mexico and so I am sadly stuck in cold climate forever because he now hates the heat.

  • Reply Sheila July 25, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Oooh, double chocolate chunk!

  • Reply Lindsey C July 25, 2015 at 4:46 am

    Always been a cookies and cream fan: I think extreme cookies and cream is right up my alley! So glad you have made it to your final destination! So excited for you to start your life in AZ.

  • Reply Lauren July 25, 2015 at 5:46 am

    I'm with Ella- mint choc chip is my jam.

  • Reply Heather July 25, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Sea salt caramel swirl. I love anything salted caramel. So glad your mom could help so much. Moms are the best

  • Reply Lena July 25, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Congrats on buying a house and happy birthday to Ella. It's great to live close to family, especially because your mom seems to be sooo awesome. I would love some
    Arizona weather because in Germany it's raining right now ;(

  • Reply Merry July 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I LOVE Mint Chocolate Chip, but the English Toffee Crunch looks amazing!

  • Reply Natalie July 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    The English Toffee Crunch sounds amazing!!

  • Reply Jeannie July 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I'm a sucker for sea salt caramel but the english toffee crunch sounds yum too!

  • Reply Miller family July 26, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Chocolate Moose Tracks! If regular moose tracks is good, chocolate moose tracks MUST be better!

  • Reply Helena Cluff July 26, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    English Toffee Crunch sounds amazing! Welcome to Arizona, we love it!

  • Reply The Apron Gal July 26, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    English toffee crunch for sure!! Yum!

  • Reply Lauren July 27, 2015 at 12:24 am

    mmmm chocolate moose tracks sounds A MAZE ING

  • Reply Allison July 27, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    English toffee crunch!

  • Reply Meghan July 27, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    English Toffee Crunch. That girl has had a lot of birthdays right after a move– way to be an easy going child.

  • Reply Meghan July 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Your mom is the best btw~

  • Reply Veronica July 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I love Mint Chocolate Chip, I'd love to see how TCBY measures out to my favorite.

  • Reply cait July 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    i would love to try mint chip or the cookie dough… nom nom nom!

  • Reply Unknown July 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Definitely cookie dough!

  • Reply Camille July 28, 2015 at 1:49 am

    I would try the cookies and cream or the chocolate chip cookie dough!

  • Reply tricia July 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I'm going to have to look for Moosetracks next time I shop–can't go wrong with chocolate and peanutbutter!

  • Reply Feisty Harriet July 28, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Yaaaaaay! I am so thrilled that you and I will be in the same general area! DAH!! WE CAN START AN AWESOME-PERSON BOOK CLUB!!!! THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!!!


  • Reply Dan and Nicole August 1, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    We love Arizona! Unfortunately we're stuck in Utah where it is not so pool friendly. Some ice cream might make us feel better 😉 Anything chocolate!

  • Reply Kristy Irvine August 7, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Double chocolate chunk

  • Reply Landen August 7, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Hmmm.. Maybe mint chocolate chip?

  • Reply Bobbles09 August 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    sea salt carmel looks like a win. I didn't even need to look at the others.

  • Reply craftyashley August 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Obviously sea salt caramel. I was so excited to see TCBY! We had a store right next to my grandparents house, so it was a tradition in my family to get waffle cones stuffed with yummy flavors of the month on the way to or from Grandma's & Grandpa's. Such sweet memories!

  • Reply Meg C August 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    YAY! You're in Arizona! I'm a sucker for mint chocolate chip when it's green. But they all look delicious!

  • Reply Sheyenne Alvarez August 7, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Glad you landed close to family, and that you had the luxury of choosing. That's awesome.
    And I want to eat a big scoop of Chocolate Moose Tracks topped with another scoop of Sea Salt Caramel. Toffee on the side please.

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