Simple City Life: southwest by midwest.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

southwest by midwest.

I am currently knee deep in camping gear. Us and the rest of America will be heading out into the wilderness to enjoy a break from it all. Seriously, I think every camp site in this state was booked after several searched I found a site at a KOA. I'm not one for the commercialized camping experience, but the thought of telling the boys we were not going camping was too much to handle! This is after all one of the very reasons we are here in Arizona, to enjoy the mountains, desert landscape, and all this great state has to offer. After 9 years of plotting and planning and trying and begging, we are finally here, in Phoenix, in the west, the great Southwest. How did we get here and why? Let me share a little about our quest that started many years ago when I truly fell in love with the Southwest.

The Midwest was never really part of my plan. At the age of 21, I packed my bags and headed west. I was on the quest for adventure and new found places...and let's be honest a husband. After spending my whole life in the Midwest, I was ready for a change.  Breaking the news to my friends was the hardest part. With the help of my mom's van and my little Dodge Neon, I set out to conquer the West. Not really knowing what my plan was, I was excited to start a new chapter of my very young adult life. No job, no friends, and in reality no money, I took a leap and found a life I never dreamed of. In time I wrangled my friends from back home to join in on my adventure,. Eventually, I managed to find myself a very nice groom who happened to be moving to California. We were young and stupid at best, but we found ourselves in California, newly married and soaking up every ray of sunshine we could. As a very young married and poor couple, you can imagine that California wasn't very nice to us. Once the money short, we started our journey back to Colorado, tails between our legs. Shortly after arriving back, we found ourselves expecting our first born. Exciting, yes. Terrifying, very.
The Flatirons. Boulder, CO

That first born little nugget is now 13, bright hazel eyes, and exactly as tall as myself.  Shortly after her birth, I longed to be near my family. I was young, and in all honesty, I just wanted my mom there to help me out. As if I was hitting the rewind button, I ventured down that long boring road back to the Midwest. It wasn't exactly our plan, but we quickly learned that life isn't always going to go according to plan. Life has a way of sending you in places you never imagined, and typically for the better. Small town life grew on us. We thrived on family gatherings and worked hard on our marriage and raising our little girl. Our family grew once more, we now had a baby boy in the mix. My parents owned a home in Arizona during this time, I had my first taste of the desert one winter after spending a month with my little girl in the beautiful Southwest. This was the first time in a long time I began dreaming again. However, we were feeling comfortable that this, the Midwest, was our forever home. So confident, we purchased our first house. Life laughed at us. Within a few months, we were offered a job in Milwaukee, WI. The big city had called us back.

Milwaukee became home. Although we had moved away from our family our lives were enriched with friends that turned into family. We reached a new level of maturity in our adult life. We grew our family once more, I poured over school choices and found a perfect fit for us. The children grew up with the best neighbors and friends. Our lives were filled daily by those who poured themselves into us for years. Even though the longing for the West was still there, I felt content to stay in our city. I daydreamed about better weather, but after countless years, we finally settled in and bought our dream house. After only being in our house, a company reached out to us about a job opening in Phoenix. In the end, the offer fell through and we laughed about the luck we have with buying houses, only to have to sell them. However, that job interview sparked something in us and it wasn't going away.  It was time to move on. We started to apply for jobs, we talked about being reckless and moving without a job, and then we decided to go out on a limb and just ask if we could relocate. The wait for our answer was long, three long months to be exact! To our shock and delight, we were granted permission to move!

We will have our Midwest Roots! Shirts via +Danielle Lussier. Check out her shop today! 
Why Phoenix you ask? Well, it boiled down to two factors- family and finances. We both have snow bird parents (parents who winter in Arizona) and we wanted to continue to raise our children in a diverse urban environment. We settled on Phoenix due to its similar cost of living to Milwaukee, our parent's locations and the abundance of nature. I want my kids to grow up surrounded by mountains, hiking through deserts terrain and mountain trails. We wanted more school choices and a larger city to allow more opportunities for our kids.  The move has had several trying moments for sure. Our teenager has spent the last 5 months hating our guts for making this move, we had to switch our kids from a Montessori education to public schools, we went from a 2100sf home to a 1200sf apartment, but we have also gained so much. We have grown closer as a family, we found schools that cater to our kid's interest, I have hiked countless miles just blocks from our home, and we have found a beautiful art community here in a city that is growing and blossoming.  We really couldn't be happier...well, perhaps if some of our friends joined us here-that would be the icing on the cake!
Phoenix Mountain Preserve

I'm excited to start blogging again. There is a lot of reasons I practically fell off the face of the earth for the past year. But that is for another post because if you made it this far, you are awesome. *fist bump*

~Courtney