The Bright Side

We often talk about moving.

Somewhere cooler. Somewhere greener. Somewhere with parks and mom + pop ice cream shops and places for kids (imagine that!).

The Bright Side 1 The Bright Side 2

But then again - Southern Arizona DOES have its own charm.

On the bright side...

  • We have sunsets that are world-renowned. Spectacular.
  • We have sunshine - 350+ days of it.
  • We have mountains (and, really, I am SUCH a Mountain Girl).
  • We have mild winters (no snow shoveling or scraping ice off of windshields or driving on frozen siree).
  • We have the smell of the desert before and after it rains.
  • We have the ability to get to the ocean or the snow in about 4-6 hours.
  • We have beauty. Waterfalls. Mountaintops. The extraordinary colors of the desert.
  • We have extended family around us (that's a BIG bonus...even if they do sometimes drive us crazy). ;)
  • We have friends (there are lots of nice people here).

We also have tarantulas (there was one in our backyard tonight!) and scorching hot summers. Oh, wait. I'm still supposed to be focused on the bright side...

The Bright Side 3Okay.

The best thing about living here (or anywhere)?

We have each other. Tim, me, our girls. We are wildly, ridiculously happy.

And the whole truth is that it doesn't really matter where we are as long as we're together.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose (and why)?

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49 comments on “The Bright Side”

  1. Rats - here I was hoping you were headed in a north westerly direction. ;-) I love where we live and, sine my parents and sister are just 5 minutes away, I can't imagine moving anytime particularly until the tinies are raised. But we've always wanted to live in western Europe for a time, perhaps London, someday? And I love your outlook.

  2. I can completely relate to your lists; Tucson has its plusses and minuses. As you well know, we've recently considered a move and if circumstances were right I'd jump at the chance. That said, circumstances aren't right just yet, but we're holding out hope that one day everything will fall right into place.

    If I could live would be Florida. It feels like home to me for so many reasons.

  3. I'm with you--the plus side of my list is much longer than the negative side. We love NYC--can't imagine being anywhere else. That said, backyards are amazing and something we'll never have in NYC.

  4. We would love to move west - although not all the way to California. We both love the mountains and don't mind the snowy winters and would like to live out there somewhere - that said... I LOVE living here because of the family that is close - Hubby's family. I miss my family tremendously, but none of my sisters have families of their own yet, because they are so much younger than me, so it is nice to be close to family that has cousins just a bit older than them for my kids to play with.

  5. I will never move from AZ again. Tucson, specifically. Heck I'd be ok in this old-ish, small-ish house for the rest of my life.

    Other places are great, and I LOVE to visit. My husband and I actually daydream about visiting totally random cities one day - like wherever we find the cheapest flights or something. There is so much I want to see!

    Still, I HATE living in cold, and forget about it if it snows (I'll visit, and love it... WON'T live there), plus my fam is here... I also HATE humidity (even the relatively low humidity we've been having here kills me), which knocks out a lot of places.
    And my family is here. Have I mentioned that?
    And, I have the best job ever.

    Visits - sign me up. Moving - nuh uh no way not gonna happen.


  6. I've lived in upstate New York, Louisiana, Japan, Mississippi, and Tucson.

    My husband and I often talk about moving... he would love California (too expensive), I would love the East Coast (too humid), so I think we'll stay here for a bit. We have made amazing friends (including you!) and are living by the old saying, "if it's not broke, don't fix it."


  7. I can't say for certain, since I've never been there, but Washington state has always appealed to me. I have family up there, too. I like the idea of the west coast. The south is too hot, the east too expensive (I know, the west coast is too), the midwest is 'been there done that'...


  8. If I could live anywhere in the world. I would want to live in Hawaii....because I love the beach, sunset and all. I lived in Florida for 5 years, and that was lovely too. We are moving to West Virginia, and will be living in the Mid-Ohio Valley which is all mountains, I am so excited for mountain-climbing trips.

    Your girls look more and more beautiful everyday, you are such an awesome mother, and i'm sure your husband tells you that everyday!

    [email protected]

  9. Stephanie, I grew up in Phoenix, so your comments about AZ really took me back. I had completely forgotten about how the desert smells before and after a rain. And those AMAZING August thunderstorms!

    I've lived in Ohio, New Mexico, Arizona and California, and have found different charms in each place. (OK, I don't want to go back to Ohio winters.) :) I do truly believe it's who you are with. Like you, I feel that wherever my family is -- that's home for me.

  10. I love where we live and for all that we love to do, I can't imagine living somewhere else. My only complaint is the summer gets really hot (nothing like your heat, but hot) and I get migraines in extreme hot or cold weather.

    I so love Utah :)Plus it helps that both my family and Scott's family are near(ish) by.

  11. There have been so many posts where I open up your blog and just laugh aloud. Geesh, same wavelength or something. We talk about moving a lot, and especially lately. Being a southern ca gal by birth and having grandparents in new mexico, I totally agree with your list of positives. The desert is such a beautiful place. Unfortunately for me, I love it most early morning and evening and not enough during the middle of the day. :) P.S. Were tarantulas on your list of favorites or least? I know too many people who adore those guys to be able to tell.

    1. Tarantulas were on my *least* favorite list! That said, there are far worse things - centipedes, black widows, scorpions, snakes, etc. As you probably already know, tarantulas are pretty harmless and, on the plus side, they eat bugs!

  12. We're always talking about maybe moving some day, but we both hate the idea of being away from family. Mostly we come back to wanting to move to the southern east coast.

  13. Portland! It is a wonderful place where everyone is accepted for their quirks and passions. Its got a reputation for being pretty crunchy and hippie, but the truth is you'll find all kinds here. You never know....

    1. I have always wanted to go to Portland! It sounds like exactly my kind of city. I do wonder about the sunshine aspect though. Is it very gloomy/gray? Tell it to me straight. :)

      1. I always joke with people that I wish I would have moved here when I was older, because once you are here - you realize just how friendly people are here and not so much elsewhere. As for the weather, it really depends on the year. This year was really rainy so the nice, not sunny weather (70-85's) were not until May but that will last until late September/Early October. There are alot of rainy days, but when you enjoy so much "green" in the landscape, you understand why God has it working the way that it does. :)

  14. As crazy as it sounds, I would live in Venezuela. I left my heart there on a mission trip almost 10 years ago and I've never really been the same since then. Maybe one day...

  15. YIKES! Come to Cali! LOL! There are no tarantulas....lots of sun...plenty of ocean and mountains...and the occasional earthquake...just to keep you on your toes. Oh...and who could forget Disneyland???? : ) miss you! C

  16. We go through that every once in a while, too. I think I've only recently come to the realization that AZ is home, not just a temporary place to live. Some of that probably is due to my own nomadic lifestyle growing up, some of it has to do with the things I *don't* like about AZ. But as you said, there is much to love about this place. (And I'll add to your list of 'bright side' things: no mosquitoes!!) Still, I wish we were closer to family, and I am a winter girl. I miss winter.

  17. I would love to live in a Spanish speaking country for awhile. Preferably where I could also teach. But other than that, I'm perfectly happy with where I live! We have 4 seasons, friends, a big city not toooo far away, and family! It's awesome (and probably part of the reason it's the 2nd highest housing market in the whole US).

    1. Now, I'm curious. Where do you live?

      P.S. I'm not too sure what I think about having 4 distinct seasons...unless the winter season is mild. Perhaps I'd get used to it though - and, now that I think about it, it *would* be fun to wear boots and scarves, make snowmen, have snowball fights, go skiing, etc. :)

      1. Central Washington - east of the mountains. We have a ski area almost in our back yard and while we do get a few weeks a year that are brutally cold, I LOVE winter!

        1. Washington State is one of our "top picks" for places we'd possibly like to move. We have good friends in Camano Island and Mill Creek...and it's so beautiful every time we visit!

  18. Well you just made me smile. :)
    I'd live about 5 miles east and 2 miles north on 3-5 acres with a well, a big garden, lots of animals, and a nice mid-size house that has all the bedrooms at the same end.

    1. It sounds like you've already scoped out the property, no? ;)

      I hope all of your wildest dreams come true...and then some.

  19. My husband is actually interviewing for a job that would take us down to Tucson (so I might need to chat with you!). We have been talking a lot lately about our ideal place to live and what it comes down to is having our little family together. I could be happy anywhere!

    Although I have to say it's taken me 8 years of living in Mesa to get used to the idea of scorpions. Now that I know there are tarantulas in Tucson also - I'm really reconsidering that route!

    1. How fun, Lachelle! We've lived in Tucson, Phoenix, El Mirage, Vail, and we can definitely answer questions if you have them. I guess you could say that we're "Arizona experts." ;)

      P.S. Tarantulas are way better than scorpions and centipedes. They actually eat other bugs and they are relatively harmless. (They're still creepy though).

  20. St. George, UT - Reasons: Proximity to family, hot (but we'll take hot over snow as we are used to it now), beautiful desert yet surprisingly green, and it just feels so safe there! But our number 1 reason - family - even though grandparents would still be 7 hours away. There is so much other family there, AND the grandparents grew up and plan to retire there. Plus - great grandparents love our little visitors AND have a fabulous pool we love to use! Great Grandpa also always has Blue Bunny Pistachio Almond ice cream in the freezer, and he loves to share :).

    It's ALL wonderful there, but we know that the grass is always greener on the other side until you get there! For now, we choose to be happy here, though this is DEFINITELY NOT where we EVER wanted to live. However, we are together and are employed, so we choose to find happiness here between our grumblings!

  21. My husband and I always have the same conversation in the dead of our Milwaukee winters. However, I do like the spring and fall seasons, and I LOVE our summers. There's also a great sense of community here. And our entire extended family is around here which is great. We did seriously think about moving to Florida for the weather, ocean, and Disney World, but we decided to stay for our family. Who knows where God will lead us in the future though! :)

  22. Given that we just traded a great place to live for a so-so one in order to be near family, I'd have to say I'd choose here :) Having experienced both, being near family trumps all other location amenities in my opinion.

    But can I ask, WHY would you want to move somewhere cooler?! Being born and raised in the midwest, if I could change anything about our location it would be the banishment of winter.

    1. By "cooler" I mean...less than 90 degrees! Arizona summers are hot! ;)

      That said, the rest of the year is spectacular here. It's pretty nice when you can go out biking or January.

  23. I KNOW you would love it here. Seriously. Altho, it is hot... But the farmer's markets? The parks? The green? The mountain biking (Tim)? It's all fantastic. And our church is amazing.

    1. It DOES sound enticing. Are you content there then? Can you picture yourself living there long-term? Also: Do you ever miss Arizona or are you a bona fide Virginian now? ;)

  24. We are totally happy were we live. But, I have recently had thoughts of other places.
    Yahoo just put together the best places to live for 2010. All the classic small town america towns looked so attractive. I was almost wishing we lived in Texas.
    I live in the central coast of California. Why am wishing for something better? Geez!
    But, really. I know I would be happy with my Husby & kiddos anywhere.

    1. We'd love to live in California, but...the cost of living deters us. One of our top goals/dreams is getting to the point where both Tim and I can work from home FT so cost of living is a huge factor for us right now.

      That said, CA is still on our "list." The weather is beautiful. The landscape is beautiful. The winters are mild. Plus, California has the ocean and Yosemite!

  25. My husband and I talk about where we would like to "end up" often (hubby's in the military right now so the location decision is pretty much being made for us). But I think you hit the nail on the head... sometimes we focus on the grass being greener everywhere else that we miss the beauty that currently surrounds us... whether that is landscape or weather or family or whatever. There will always be pros and cons to every place you live. You might as well enjoy what you have, in the season that you are in. :) Love your positive outlook... it's contagious and inspiring. ;)

  26. Can I just say that you have THE BEST outlook on life? I love coming to your blog when I am feeling a little down...I always leave happy...truly!

    Happy Friday!


    1. Thank you so much, Kris! Your comment just made me really happy I guess the "sunshine" extends both ways. :)

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