I grew up in the Arizona everybody imagines: the land of cacti and cowboys. Where grass is yellow and sticks to your socks, and you have to check for rattlesnakes before walking out a door.
But I forgot almost everything about it after 5 years in the mountains. Most people who aren’t from Arizona don’t know that the top 1/3 of our state is actually more like Colorado. There are evergreen forests, log cabins, and lots of fireplaces and wood stoves. The White House even got their Christmas tree a few years ago from a sister town of the one we used to live in.
I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been easy adjusting to our new life. It’s part of the reason I’ve had a hard time getting back into the rhythm of writing. We embraced the mountains so fully that it became home. Chopping firewood, shoveling snow, 80 degree summers and elk bugling in the fall – that was our life. The desert became just the hot and sticky place I went to when I visited my mom and dad.
Now that I’m back, I’m suddenly able to appreciate how amazing this weird and wild place is.
To steal my own Instagram caption: I miss living in the mountains but you can’t beat the view from the bottom.
I owe a little bit of an explanation for why I’ve spent so much time away. The truth is, I didn’t see this move coming and didn’t know how to prepare my blog for it. I had no idea we would spend nearly six months living with my parents while we shuffled houses. I’m not ashamed to say that my absence here is due largely to my wholehearted focus my family. There was a lot of adapting going on, and I zeroed in on making that happen as easily and quickly as possible.
It took awhile, but we’re there now.
We’re settled now in an amazing home that feels like it was built just for us. The truth is, I have a hard time not talking about how much I love this house. We’ve only been here since the beginning of August, but it feels more like “us” than anywhere we’ve lived before. The size is perfect, and the layout works hard for us. It’s open and bright and was made for house plants.
Not to mention it’s perfect for a girl who appreciates a view. We have incredible mountains on three sides of our home, and there are enormous windows in place to frame them (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen them).
I miss pine trees and soft earth, but these cloud and mountains make for a pretty even trade.
I’ll be talking about antlers on Monday, don’t miss it!