Construction Progress

Having just returned from a trip to our new home state, I can honestly tell you that I’m in love with a place. That place, oddly enough, is Alabama. I don’t mean to diss on Alabama. It’s just that my affinity for it comes as quite a surprise to me.

Jeff and I have lived in Tucson for over eleven years now. Tucson has its perks. Take for instance the sunsets here. I’ve never seen more splendor in a twilight sky. And monsoon season; it sweeps in just when we desert-dwellers can’t take a minute more of the sweltering Arizona heat and brings with it the sweet relief of summer rain. Tucson also has the best fresh Sonoran Mexican food you’ll find anywhere, period dot. There is unexpected beauty here, too, from its towering saguaros in the valley to the majestic mountain surround–I’ve often admired this landscape in awe.  Still, in spite of its unique beauty and warm climate, Tucson never nestled into my heart the way one’s hometown should. That is not to say I won’t miss it when we go. I suspect I will remember with fondness the setting of this chapter in my life’s story. But because it never truly felt like home to us, Jeff and I have long been planning to pack up and go the moment an opportunity presented. We set our eyes on The West–on Austin or Seattle or Sonoma or Phoenix. We are born and bred westerners, at home where the pace and the dress code and the lifestyle can all be described as comfort casual.

Huntsville, Alabama popped up on our radar a few years ago when first Jeff’s company mentioned relocation. We quickly dismissed the idea, lumping Huntsville in with southeastern cities on our avoid list. Alabama made another appearance when we started attending a church pastored by Alabama transplants. Quickly we grew to love those people. Alabama, it suddenly seemed, must have something to it. The tipping point came last September while we were vacationing in Hawaii. There came a call from Jeff’s work that presented the opportunity we’d been holding out for. Huntsville, like it or not, had to be at least considered.

We flew there in February, arriving just before a rare snowfall that crippled the city and left everything completely shut down. Our first impressions were dismal at best. I couldn’t wait to hightail it out of there as fast as a good pair of snowboots would carry me. The snow slowly melted, though, and we tiptoed into a city that would both surprise and delight.

Continue reading

Newborn photography Darcie Maranich

Wild and Precious

A few months ago I stood in a room and watched my granddaughter make her way into the world. It was the single most stunning event I’ve ever witnessed. In the days that followed, I picked up my camera in an effort to freeze-frame a few of the wild and precious moments of new life.  I’m sharing them today because, well, because she’s absolutely beautiful and I want the world to see.

Disney on Ice Frozen Tucson Giveaway

Disney on Ice presents Frozen in Tucson :: giveaway

This post is sponsored. I was compensated for publishing this post and hosting this giveaway. When we visit a Disney destination, a certain member of our household {ahem, Cassidy} goes nuts for any and all things related to Frozen. Given her fandom, I suspect she’d be insanely excited to know that Disney on Ice is bringing Frozen to life in nine performances that will take place here in Tucson in just a few weeks. Such … Continue reading Disney on Ice presents Frozen in Tucson :: giveaway

The Simmering Year

The simmering year

Dear husbandry, As I sit down to write this letter to you it is the day before our eleventh anniversary. It’s a Thursday, my least favorite day of the week. Already this morning I’ve followed behind Cassidy to clean messes both toothpaste-y and littered with glass shards. And then there was the black bean soup incident. You don’t know it yet but I mistakenly grabbed cayenne in place of paprika and rendered this evening’s slow-cooked … Continue reading The simmering year

The Rock

The Rock

If we’re Facebook friends, you may remember having seen this update I posted back in June. If you read the text, you’ll see that the first picture was taken just after the boys and I had finished walking prayer circles around the lot. When I say we walked prayer circles, I mean to say that we quite literally joined hands and walked round and round in circles around our lot, taking turns speaking aloud our … Continue reading The Rock

Just shy of home

Just shy of home

Every once in awhile I’ll browse the archives of this blog in search not of anything in particular but rather a snapshot of what life was like in a given month. It always makes me want to go back and tell my then self thank you for writing that down. I would have forgotten otherwise. Future self is on my mind today as I write this one. She’ll thank me for it someday. We moved. … Continue reading Just shy of home

How to choose coordinating light fixtures for a custom home

Let’s talk lighting

There is exciting news on the home building front, my friends. That is: our lighting choices have been officially recorded! Admittedly that news isn’t as exciting as, say, the house has been framed (it hasn’t) or the sheetrock is up (it’s not), but exciting nonetheless. Exciting because I kid you not when I tell you that it took me no less than two full weeks to nail down my choices. It’s not that I’m indecisive–okay, … Continue reading Let’s talk lighting

Birthday cake margaritas? Um, yes please.

Birthday cake margaritas

In honor of my firstborn daughter’s 21st birthday, I’m sharing a very special cocktail that you are definitely going to want to make the next time someone you love adds another candle to the birthday cake. This, my friends, is the ultimate in celebratory margaritas. Made using boxed cake mix, our birthday cake margarita is not too sweet but definitely allows a cake-y flavor to take center stage. Rimmed with powdered sugar icing and sprinkles, … Continue reading Birthday cake margaritas

Tucson mom blog | food, family travel & inspired living