Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Meal Planning | A (little more than) One Month Review

For the week after we got back from San Francisco and our "mini-moon" in Flagstaff, I was going to the grocery store every day. And honestly, even before the wedding I was going to the grocery store far too frequently, and constantly struggling with "what should we have for dinner tonight?" Going to the grocery store this way had me ending up with extra packages of meat that I would stick in the freezer once they were about to go bad, and I was struggling with the fact that when I made something with a 1-pound package of meat (we tend toward chicken or ground turkey at home, though we do eat red meat when we're out), we had WAY too much leftover.

Then there's the leftover game: who is going to eat them!? Certainly not C, I can tell you that, and I was getting a little bored with it myself.

I decided it was time to start meal planning. Like a real adult and all that. Here's what I did:

  1. Make a list of recipes you already like, plus some that sound like fun. I included things that we liked that were frozen (these meal-in-a-bag dinners are nice and easy - we like the garlic chicken or cheesy ranch chicken) and things that require "actual" cooking. 
  2. Create a separate calendar in your Google Calendar and start adding dinners on each night of the week that you can/want to cook (we usually go out on Fridays and weekends, so I have four meals planned each week). Personally, I also have to include how we're getting our veggies/greens in because I'm the kind of person who will easily eat just cheese and bread all the time (ask anyone who I went to college with and they will confirm this information!). 
  3. Try to coordinate your weeks with the types of meat you need (for us, this means picking two meals with chicken and two with turkey each week, or two meals with no meat). I also tend to put taco and taco-esque meals on Tuesdays because "Taco Tuesday" is fun and cute (give me a theme and I will run with it). 
  4. Only go to the store once a week! 

I'm most certainly a meal planning newbie, but I also documented my thoughts each week to give you some feedback "from the trenches," so to speak: 

Week One (October 19th - 22nd)
This is the "Yummy Chicken" - I would eat this
all the time if someone let me! 
We started in October with four "stand by" meals: 'yummy chicken' with pasta (this is really called chicken lazone - I found this recipe right after we moved into the house and have fallen in ABSOLUTE LOVE with it. I would eat it every week if I didn't think C would get bored with it), enchilada casserole, montreal-seasonsed chicken and bacon-broccoli mac & cheese. All of these recipes are ones I've found since we moved in together, and we'd had them before and loved them.
My rookie mistake this week was cooking ALL the chicken on Monday night when I made the "yummy chicken" and then heating it up again on Wednesday night - my ineptitude with chicken to begin with leads to me usually erring on the side of over cooking, and then cooking it again meant that it was INCREDIBLY dry. Poor C ate most of it, but I felt incredibly guilty. Lesson learned: save the extra meat and cook it the day-of. I did, however, make all the pasta I needed for the "yummy chicken" and bacon-broccoli mac & cheese on Monday night, which was nice. I also found recipes this week for taco seasoning and enchilada sauce that I made ahead of time on Tuesday (I wanted to on Monday buuuuuut that didn't happen the way I intended. It all worked out in the end either way though). 

Week Two (October 26th - 29th)
Chicken tacos (mine with black olives)
This week included some new-to-us recipes plus a few oldies-but-goodies: honey garlic chicken, tacos, chicken piccata and spinach-tomato tortellini with ground turkey. The new recipes (honey garlic chicken and chicken piccata) both ended up being DELICIOUS. The honey garlic chicken recipe instructed me how long to cook the chicken for (it was coated so I'm very glad for this - see previous week's information about my chicken fail) and it came out perfect: tender and moist and just amazing. The sauce in this recipe was also fantastic. Per my lesson-to-myself last week, I set aside the rest of the chicken for Wednesday night, and it also came out yummy-in-our-tummies.

Enchilada Casserole before we served it up.
However, I did have leftovers of this, but I brought it to my coworker who lives by himself. Tacos are a favorite go-to meal, AND something that C will eat leftovers of! I made my own taco seasoning and we bought these taco "boats" which are not as messy as standard taco shells. Spinach-tomato tortellini is a recipe I found when I was trying to make something for my other coworker and his wife who had just had a baby - they are vegetarians and this recipe had no meat. It looked pretty good, so I made it for us too the next week, but included the package of ground turkey that I had on hand. It was very good and is now in the regular rotation.

Week Three (November 2nd - 5th)
Welcome to November! My big plan this week was to start off with a crockpot meal that involved some prep on Sunday. However, a little too much fun on Halloween meant that I was not interested in doing that prep (plus I struggled with the fact that the cashew chicken instructions were for it to cook for 3 hours, when I'm at work for 9 hours a day) on Sunday. So I swapped meals around for this week (the joys of an internet-based, drag-and-drop calendar!) and we started with taco pasta. I didn't follow the recipe I had in mind exactly, and it was more like "cheeseburger pasta with taco seasoning," but it was tasty. I hadn't realized it was that much different from a cheeseburger pasta meal I use to make for the kids I nannied, so I didn't quite have the right sauce ingredients on hand and didn't plan correctly for my grocery trip. Tuesday was a quick and easy frozen meal, after which I actually took the time to prep the crockpot meal. I made the sauce and did the "pre-cooking" of the chicken, and put it all in the crockpot on Wednesday morning. Overall the recipe was tasty, however, I did end up having to make another two batches of the sauce in order to actually cover the chicken in the crockpot. I doubt I'll make this again only because of the fact that there is more prep work involved for something that is supposed to be in a crockpot. On Thursday, dinner was "Hamburger Soup" which was pretty tasty but even trying to make a smaller batch left me with a bunch to freeze.

Week Four (November 9th - 12th)
"Pollack Dinner"
This week was an attempt to use up some excess things in our fridge/do as little grocery buying as possible: "pollack dinner" (kielbasa and pierogies), breakfast for dinner, pasta & sauce, and soup & salad. I was also babysitting one night, so that had to have a very easy dinner. The only thing I had to go to the store for were the soup we had on Thursday night, and I went the night-of on my way home from work. All-in-all this was a nice easy week of dinners and I think I'll come back to this set up if we ever have some really busy week days.

Week Five (November 16th - 19th) 
I realized as we approached this week how repetitive the meals were (both chicken nachos and chicken tacos) - whoops! Again I quickly dragged-and-dropped a meal from next week and moved the honey garlic chicken that we enjoyed so much from week two and put the tacos down to next week. So our meals ended up being: one-pan ranch chicken/green beans/potatoes, chicken nachos, DIY pizza and honey garlic chicken. Of course, when I got home Monday night and C wasn't back yet, I thought I had a bunch of time and decided to switch the nachos and one-pan oven meal around. Then as I was getting it ready, C walked in and we had to wait another hour for dinner. On Tuesday, thinking he was not far behind me, I cooked the chicken for our nachos and was completely done with it and turned it off for a while before he got home. If I hadn't switched them around in the first place that would have made more sense, but, you live and you learn. I bought a pre-made pizza crust a few weeks ago that I don't want to waste, so I made sure to get that in the menu sometime this month. We also got a pizza stone as a wedding gift and it was a good time to break that in ;) The pizza was pretty tasty and I think we'll do this on a regular basis. Then when it came time for honey garlic chicken..well...I backed out and we had soup and salad for dinner instead.

Week Six (November 23rd - 26th)
Thanksgiving fell on this week, so that definitely helped alleviate one meal planning day of the week. We also had "Friendsgiving" to say "thank you" to our new AZ friends on Sunday night which added a planning night. It ended up being a total "throw it all out the window" week in the end. Sunday was great at the time, but Monday was frantic and crazy because we stayed up too late on Sunday - we ended up eating frozen pizza bread for dinner. Tuesday night my mom arrived to help us get ready for Thanksgiving so we ended up getting wings on the way home instead of making anything. Wednesday my mom made a crockpot White Chicken Chili that I had made over the weekend for our "Friendsgiving" night (we had 5 overnight guests at our house for Thanksgiving). Then it was Thursday and time for ALL. THE. FOOD. All in all, not the best week for meal planning.

Week Seven (November 30th - December 3rd)
After the holidays I was ready and raring to get back to planning out our meals. I had Soup and Salad, Bacon & Broccoli Mac & Cheese, Yummy Chicken and Ranch Chicken + Potatoes on the menu. All were repeats from the last six weeks, and we stuck to it pretty well with the exception of Thursday night. We were getting ready to go out of town for the weekend on Friday, and I just didn't have it in me to cook that night, so C had a pizza bread and I had a Hot Pocket. BUT! There were no leftovers in my fridge rotting over the weekend thanks to this switcharoo.

In Conclusion, I'm going to try to keep meal planning if only to save me grocery trips. Once I have our 4 meals for the week planned, it's easy enough to switch them around within the same week if something makes more sense one day than another. I'm hoping to expand our horizons with some more new meals in 2016 too.

Check out my "Tried & True" recipes on Pinterest: 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall in Arizona

This post is brought to you by the fact that I am wearing long sleeves today for the first time in many, many months. 

We made the brilliant life decision to move the the desert at the very beginning of summer (to be fair, the timing here was not totally in our control). It has been a very long summer of trying to stay inside of an air-conditioned area as much as possible, which has not really allowed us to get to know our new state too well.

Sure, we made a quick trip to Prescott over Memorial Day Weekend, and our "mini-moon" was in Flagstaff, but other than that, we haven't been spending too much free time away from the house.

On top of that, no one in our neighborhood comes outside in the summer. We met our neighbors to our right the day we moved in (coincidentally the first 100-degree weekend of the year), but they were also new Arizonians, and didn't yet realize that no one should be outside in that weather! A few weeks later our neighbors to the left came over to introduce themselves and their kids, and luckily passed on the words of wisdom to not write off the neighborhood quite yet: "you won't meet anybody here until about fall. The first summer we moved in we didn't meet any of our neighbors until it started cooling off and people came outside again."

Truer words had never been spoken. We've gone most of the time in our house without seeing anyone outside unless they were in a car.

Enter: Fall!

Last week a neighbor a few houses down stopped by to invite us to their block-wide chili party to get to know the new neighbors (they are pseudo snow birds and were gone most of the summer when a few houses on the block sold). We were very excited for a one-stop-shop to get introduced to everyone. There were too many people for us to remember all the names, but at least we know the faces now!

Then on Saturday, it was Halloween! We had plans to go out with some friends, but not until 7:30, which gave us plenty of time to hand out candy to the adorably-costumed kids of the neighborhood! We have an awesome tree-lined, center-median divided street, so our street seemed to be VERY popular for trick-or-treating. We had just about the perfect amount of candy which I am REALLY proud of.

Before we went over to our friend's, I made this cute brownie/cookie/candy corn graveyard, inspired by Pinterest. It didn't turn out perfectly (I should have used a smaller brownie sheet and a smaller icing tip), but I thought it was adorable.

And here we are as a doctor and a witch, or, if you will, a witch doctor (which was totally not planned, I deviated from my standard cat costume idea on Friday)

Happy fall to all, ESPECIALLY since it's hockey season and the Ducks are looking slightly better in November than they did in October!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My 3 Favorite Wedding Tips

I was about to start this post about our wedding being done with the word "hooray," but then I realized how bad that sounded that I was excited about it being over.

I'm feeling a lot of things about the wedding planning phase of my life being over, and excited is definitely one of them. "Relishing in all my newfound free time" is another one (does that count as a feeling? Well, it does now).

Since I'm now super duper experienced in the art of wedding planning (yes, laugh now), and I got a large number of compliments on my organization the weekend of the wedding (I'm so happy to have fooled all those people!), here are my 3 biggest tips for wedding planning.

  1. Use the Google Docs Spreadsheet template "All-in-One Wedding Planner" - this thing was amazing. It had tabs for every aspect you could imagine (aside: as a non-math person, WHO KNEW that spreadsheets could have tabs, and the joy of those tabs at that! My now-husband is shaking his head at me.), and it was the single most helpful tool for me. Wedding binders be damned. 
  2. Create a separate email account for signing up for sites like The Knot, which you can forward to your personal email through your wedding planning time, then disconnect after. This way, you don't keep getting bombarded by emails from all those websites and vendors for the rest of your life. However, honestly, I haven't disconnected mine yet just in case, but I'm also not yet getting emails from those sites (maybe they all think I'm on a honeymoon? who knows). I'm sure they'll pick up again soon. 
  3. Shortly after we got engaged, a friend of my mom's gave her advice for me to not leave for our honeymoon until a day or two after the actual wedding. Well, C didn't have a lot of PTO since he just started a new job, so we didn't plan one yet anyway, but we did spend one night in Flagstaff after we got back to Arizona before we went back to work. That wasn't until 3 days after the wedding, however, we were STILL exhausted - mostly because we had basically had a "destination" wedding, so we spent the entire weekend running into aunt so and so, uncle such and such, cousins, etc. in the lobby of the hotel every day until we left Monday evening. So my revised version of this advice is to not leave until all your wedding guests/family have vacated the location of your wedding. Alternately, wait a few months like we're doing! 

So there you have it - straight from a recent bride's mouth (or fingers, rather). Hope these help someone out there! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

If you give a bride-to-be a cookie...

I got to bring home my wedding dress last night (I paid for it in December; so I think this is the longest I've ever had to wait to get something in my physical possession that I paid for), and as I got in bed I realized just how "real" having the dress in the house with me made me feel. And then I remembered how many things I feel like I still "have" to finish for the wedding (spoiler: there are really not many but I feel like there are). And how excited I am for the wedding being so soon. But how nervous I am about the wedding being so soon.

It dawned on me that I feel like someone gave me one of these emotions magnets - but I need more than one of the squares to go around how I'm feeling right now (ok, maybe I need a LOT of square magnets). Here's a break down:

Exhausted: I just got back late Sunday night from my bachelorette party (woo, Ensenada!) with only minor injuries (one leg bruise for me, and one for a MOH).
Confused: Wait, what do you mean there's only 17 days until the wedding!?!?!
Ecstatic: I can't wait to enter this next stage of our lives together.
Guilty: Sure, it sounded great over Labor Day Weekend to spend the time relaxing and basically doing nothing, then suddenly on my way to work that Tuesday morning it hit me that I probably should have been using that time more productively.
Suspicious: I'm still not convinced everything will happen that needs to happen in the next 16 days.
Angry: I left my ring here in AZ when I went on the cruise, and was so excited to get it back on Sunday night. Then I went to the jeweler on Monday afternoon and he needed to keep it for a few days to finish up my wedding band. I just want it back where it belongs for good!
Hysterical: See "Confused"
Frustrated: Picking a first dance song for me and C is complicated! I don't want it to be: too sappy, too long, or too modern. I'm a lyrics-leaning person when it comes to music so it's hard for me to get past any part of lyrics in a song that I don't think "fit." 
Sad: One of my uncles just started having some scary health problems which means he probably won't be able to attend the wedding. I've also known for years now that my grandmother wouldn't be able to come to my wedding due to her health, but it's much more real now. C's paternal grandparents won't be able to travel from Florida either.
Confident: I got to pick up my dress yesterday, and it fits exactly right and I feel pretty amazing in it.
Embarrassed: I don't do well with a lot of "all eyes on me" attention, so I'm anticipating embarrassment at the wedding itself.
Happy: See "Ecstatic"
Mischievous: There are few things that I enjoy more than picking gifts for people. I have a few up my sleeve for our parents and am feeling very sneaky about them.
Disgusted: Not really this one.
Frightened: There are so many things that could go wrong the day of, it's scary.
Enraged: At
Ashamed: Ok, not so much this one.
Cautious: Cautiously optimistic that things will be ready in time for the big day.
Smug: Honestly, I don't think I've ever felt smug in my life. Especially not now.
Depressed: Definitely not.
Overwhelmed: Ohhhhhhh yes. I feel overwhelmed, and then that leads to me feeling overwhelmed about feelings. This is a vicious cycle.
Hopeful: I have high hopes about everything being "perfect" (or perfect for us) on the day-of.
Lonely: I was "lonely" on the cruise - I missed C (and he missed me so much he went on Facebook!). But I had some of my very best friends there with me so that offset the loneliness.
Lovestruck: Hearing C describe how he was so lonely and missed me while I was gone was a very lovey-dovey moment for us.
Jealous: Only of people who are getting to sleep faster than me at night :-p
Bored: Definitely not. Wait, scratch that. Bored out of my mind when it's midnight and I can't fall asleep.
Surprised: To find that I couldn't fall asleep again last night (are we sensing a theme here???).
Anxious: Anxiety is very contradictory for me; I'm anxious for the big day but also wanting time to stretch out just a little bit more.
Shocked: I know a lot of these overlap, but I'm also shocked about how fast time has gone (lump this in with Anxious, Suspicious and more).
Shy: I'm shy about the idea of everyone watching me dance - twice!

So there you have it - my long-winded and often repetitive list of emotions of a soon-to-be bride. Check back in about 3-4 weeks for (maybe) the long-winded list of emotions of a recent bride. I promise I'm going to try to blog regularly-ish, if not just for me, but for the sake of C's ears so he doesn't have to listen to me ramble on all the time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Moved in, moving on and more

Hello from inside our new house! We got everything moved in the last weekend in May and have officially been in the house for about a week and a half! It's been a whirlwind but we're very happy to think about not moving again for a long long while.

Front door mat!

I was supposed to babysit that Saturday morning, but got called off, which was really a blessing in disguise. We spent Saturday moving some small loads of stuff and getting things like the internet installed at our new digs (obviously the internet was priority number 1 because we needed to stream the Ducks game that was on that night). We also brought over the mattress from my bed (a foam mattress so it fit in the car) and the two outdoor chairs we had been using as kitchen chairs, plus the TV and "camped" in our living room (see exhibit A). Unfortunately the Ducks game did not end well, but luckily the mattress was here so I had somewhere to sulk afterwards.

Afore mentioned "exhibit A" - don't worry there are couches and an actual TV stand in this room now!

We're trying now to find furniture we like for all the rooms we now have. We bought ourselves a new king sized bed (which is AMAZING), and we have the downstairs guest room all ready for our parents (my mom came last week, and C's mom is on her way here now actually!) thanks to C's old bedroom set from his apartment, but other than that, we've got bits and pieces of furniture in rooms throughout the house. I found a kitchen table that I love and ordered that but it won't be in for another week or so, unfortunately. We haven't had a chance to go furniture shopping yet for things like a dining room, living room, or family room set yet, but at the same time don't really want to rush into buying something until we find what we really want for those spaces.

New king-sized bed - major adult points for this one I think!
The reason I'm so excited for the new kitchen table...this current one is just a tad small for the room, dontcha think? 
Got some nice chairs and a table for out front at least!

All "my" stuff got moved from the apartment to the house that Sunday...and C's stuff (stored in U-Haul "u-boxes") was supposed to come that day as well. However, when the movers got to the storage facility to pick up the boxes, no one was there to let them in. After some back and forth and enough plan changes to give us all whiplash, C's stuff got here that Monday night. No real harm done, but it was annoying at the time.

Since we've been in we've also had a revolving door of different service people at the house - pool maintenance, yard maintenance, washer and dryer delivery, screen installers (we have a GIANT 5'x6' window that faces west and bakes our staircase in the afternoons), two plumbers...really a lot of people. It's been nice working from home so that we could get a lot of these things out of the way quick.

Which brings me to the news that as of Friday, I'll no longer be working for the company I've been at for almost 4 years. I've been so lucky to have such a great job for so long, but I realized that working from home in a place where you don't know anyone really wasn't the situation for me, so I found something new and gave my notice. I told some of my co-workers today that leaving that job almost feels like I'm going away to college again. I'm excited for my new job (maybe not for the 7am start time, but I'll only be working half days on Fridays so that helps!) and the chance to get to know some local folks.

Today we had two sets of neighbors come over and introduce themselves, and we're excited for summer in a new house, in a new neighborhood, with new friends!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Holy Guacamole WE OWN A HOUSE

C and I knew moving out here that we wanted to buy a home, and relatively soon. With the wedding coming up in October, it would be easier all around to have the house situation settled down before that got too close.

We'd been looking online quite a bit, and went out with a realtor the first weekend we were in Gilbert. By that Monday, we were making an offer - the house was one of many of the same floor plan for sale in the neighborhood, but it was ABSOLUTELY the nicest inside and we didn't want to lose out on it.

Part of our goal in life is to never have to move again after this - both of us have pretty strong "anti-schlep" policies about our lives, and moving is definitely the biggest schlep of them all. So, we were looking at houses that could house future potential children (no, not yet, no one freak out yet), and in the mean time all the family and friends that we have basically at once.

Well, today, just about one month later, we closed on that house! It's ours! We own it! Who let us grow up so fast?!? Aren't we still the 17 & 18 year olds we were when we first met (ok I guess being older than 17 & 18 has it's benefits)???

Hi hello this is us and our house!

We're moving in this weekend - the truck and movers are booked and C's storage units will be delivered! Granted, we will need to still buy some (ok maybe a lot) of furniture to fill the many new rooms we now have (including, as I described it to C, the "Christmas Tree Room").  But, we have a decent start considering we used to both have our own places.

So, now, as of May 27, 2015, we are home owners. We have a lovely (large) home in Gilbert, Arizona and everyone is invited to visit us whenever they want. So really, come to Gilbert, we would love to have you :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Experience: Cooking Dinner for Two

Add this to the list of new experiences when you live with your significant other: dinner for two.

Part of the reason I never really cooked for just me is that anything I made for dinner, I then had to eat for approximately the next million lunches and dinners because of leftovers. Now that there's a second person to help with the first serving that leaves just enough for me to eat the next day, especially since I'm working from home.

Someday, I'll get the timing down of cooking dinner for two people. It's a transition, going from either cooking for yourself, not cooking at all and going out somewhere, or having someone cook for you (thanks, mom and dad!) to cooking for not only yourself most nights, but also someone else!

So far I've been trying to start cooking when C leaves work, but more often than not it's been turning into me trying to keep food warm while he 1. drives home; and 2. gets changed and showers for the night.

Since we're both new to living with each other too, I made C come with me the first time we went grocery shopping so I could know what kinds of things he wanted (pasta sauce, bread, etc), and then have been trying to build from there.

Here's what we've been eating so far:

Steak, Potatoes & Asparagus

  • I bought some steak strips (much less daunting to cook than a whole steak for someone not used to it) and some Montreal-style seasoning and grilled these on the stove
  • These cheesy potatoes are my absolute favorite - my mom usually buys them at Costco which is obviously way too many potatoes for two people, but I've found them in "normal people" sized packages at the grocery stores here. 
  • Roasted asparagus in the oven with some olive oil and garlic salt (ok maybe a lot of garlic salt). I had to get creative with this when I was cooking the asparagus and crescent rolls at the same time, but they came out pretty nice. 
  • Crescent rolls (yes, from a package, but these are hard to beat!), and I have plans for this week for some nice garlic bread sticks instead of the crescent rolls. 
Kung Pao Chicken
  • Last time C and I went to Panda Express I asked why he didn't want us to buy some stuff to make this like we had with the Orange Chicken (yet to be eaten since it's a frozen dish) and he said it was too complicated with all the veggies to make at home. Little did he know I could get pretty similar veggies as a frozen bag! I bought a bottle of Panda Express Kung Pao Sauce and after grilling up some chicken on the stove, poured that over it with the veggies and some brown rice. 
Bacon-Sourdough Grilled Cheese
  • Do I really need to say more here? Well, I will. We've been buying the "fully cooked microwaveable" bacon, so we heated up some of those and put them between two slices of sourdough (a personal favorite) with cheddar cheese for a tasty tasty grilled cheese. 

Chicken Nachos

  • On my most recent grocery trip I found "fajita style" cuts of chicken - already cut into nice strips for me. Since cutting raw chicken is currently one of my worst nightmares, this was perfect. 
  • I also found this Ortega Fajita Skillet Sauce and thought that would add some nice flavor to some ordinarily plain chicken. After I grilled the chicken, I let it simmer in this sauce, and it was delicious! 
  • Plus all the other nacho fixins: chips (I like the scoops kind), shredded cheese, refried beans, olive slices, jalapeƱos (for the more adventurous of us aka not me), and we also added corn to these. 
That concludes this episode of "things Amanda can cook for the two of them" - keep checking back for more! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Two Weeks Together

Well, we’re here! We’ve made it through two weeks of living together, and are both enjoying Arizona so far. Our apartment is about a mile away from “downtown” Gilbert which is FULL of delicious restaurants. We’ve hit up a few so far and already have some favorites (Zinburger, I’m looking at you).

This weekend we’re both going away - I’m going to Ohio with my dad to visit my grandma and C is heading back to EP for the weekend. Unfortunately when we both get back, he turns around and leaves again on Monday for a business trip. It will be my first night in AZ myself.

I’ve been working remotely from our new apartment for the same company I’ve been at for almost 4 years now. I was lucky enough for them to allow me to stay on full time after I moved. C started his new job and is catching up on what he needs to know to master his new gig.

Because I’m working from home, I obviously don’t get out much. As a very social person, this is taking some getting used to - that and the stir-crazy feeling. I try to make a point to go outside the apartment a few times a day (to get the mail earlier, then for a walk around the apartment complex around lunch), but I’m still trying to figure out how to meet new people.

I got some babysitting jobs already lined up out here, the first one was last night. Two little boys as cute as could be! I’m excited for the opportunity to spend more time with kids again, and the chance to get out and interact with real live people who aren’t my fiance, our apartment building managers or the mail lady - not that there's anything wrong with any of those people.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Onward to Arizona!

I thought about starting a blog for a while now, and a few weeks ago a friend told me I should too...and here we all are.

C and I are getting ready to move to Arizona together in about a week...which we just found out about at the beginning of this month. We’ve been doing the long-distance, back-and-forth, flights every other week thing for almost a year and a half (this time - plus another 6 months of that a few years ago), and I think I speak for both of us when I say we’re ready to be done with that (Southwest Airlines might not be as thrilled, but I think they’ll manage).

Since we found out about C’s new job, it’s been a frantic scramble to get everything in place in a very short amount of time. We are hoping to buy a house soon, so we wanted a short-term lease to get our feet on the ground while we looked and he started his new job. The search started with some online forms, and led us to finding the place we wanted with two weeks to go before we wanted to arrive in Arizona. It was a little weird leasing somewhere to live without ever having seen it, but we didn’t have the time to get out there to look with everything else going on.

Once that was in place it was time to figure out how to get two homes worth of stuff from El Paso and Orange County to Phoenix. After some plan changes, we decided to move all of my stuff (most of which is currently occupying my mom’s garage) into the apartment, and store C’s stuff while we’re there (his furniture is VERY heavy, while mine is mostly IKEA).

Well, wham, bam, thank you ma’am, we are ready to both head from our respective locations next week and get settled in at our new place just before C starts his new job!

It’s been a long time coming for us to be together in the same place. When we first met in 2005, I don’t think either one of us thought we would be doing this in 2015. Cheers to the future of togetherness!