Things I will miss:
- Our friends and our ward family. We didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye to many people but of those whom we did, I did okay for the most part (I think because it just didn't seem real yet) but saying goodbye to The Weeds the night before we left pushed me over the edge. Even though our stuff was all packed up before then, it wasn't until those tears fell in their front room that the reality of our move really set in.
|Aleisa, Me, and Mel|
|Katie, Me, and Ashlee|
|Hugh and Wendel|
|Oliver and Christine playing on the floor.|
|Crystal and Me|
|Me and Jenni|
|Carter, Amy, and Me|
|Cute little Oliver|
|Wendel and Jared|
|Karly and Oliver|
|Tracy and Me|
|Jared, Me, Wendel, and Oliver|
(The pictures above were taken at our going away party, hosted by the Faulkners and Broadbents. Of course we forgot our camera that night but the Faulkners were kind enough to let us borrow theirs.)
- Living close to my brother, Tyson. I have loved getting to know him better. That was one of my very favorite things about living in Washington and I will miss him a lot.
- Covington. I really liked our little community. Strangely this also includes shopping at Fred Meyers. You know how you get to know where everything is in your grocery store and that familiarity makes it very annoying to shop anywhere else? The thought of starting over at a new grocery store makes me sigh right now.
- I know it sounds a bit crazy, but I think I will miss school a little bit. Mostly for the people I met in my BASW and MSW programs (colleagues and teachers alike) but I will also miss learning. To be honest, I will also miss bettering myself in such a big way too.
- Our photography business. It isn't over for good but it will be on hold for a while. I've known for quite some time that I have just had too much on my plate. Something has to give. Even though school is out of the pictures now (hallelujah!), I will have a new job and a new house and a family to take care of. Hopefully we can come back to it at some point. I will miss it immensely.
- Washington's beauty. The trees, the green, the fall leaves, Mt. Rainer, the crisp weather, Seattle's skyline, the water so close to the city, the beautiful overcast light.
- The seafood. Before we moved to Washington, I didn't think I liked seafood. I had only really had frozen seafood at that point, and there's just not that much to like about that. When we moved here, I told Wendel I wanted to try fresh seafood. We were living right in downtown Seattle for our first few months in Washington and decided to walk over to Anthony's for Valentine's dinner in 2007. My mind was forever changed about seafood that night. But, it has to be fresh and I really prefer it at a nice restaurant (as opposed to making it myself or having it at a semi-okay restaurant). We are already looking forward to going back to Anthony's in June when we go back for my commencement.
- Metropolitan Market. Their salads are divine and I know I will crave them forever more.
- Along the same lines, the plethora of vegetarian options available. Pretty much every restaurant has a vegetarian section on the menu. Love that.
- 97.3 Kiro FM Newstalk radio.
- Our new house. I am pretty excited about it. I am also excited about the city / community it is in, and the fact that there are two pools, sports courts, and a fitness center in our neighborhood.
- Living near family and friends and getting to know them better. I am happy that Oliver will be able to grow up near some of his cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents.
- Seventy degree weather in the winter. Luckily, we are moving in the winter so we can acclimate a little before summer hits.
- La Grande Orange. As you can tell, I am a food person. I have missed this place over the past five years and have thought of the Sonoma Garden salad fondly.
- Pita Jungle. A similar story as the one above.
- There is a lot of good thrifting to be had. I have found some amazing treasures at the thrift stores near our old home in Arizona and look forward to many more.
- The sunsets in Arizona are spectacular. I love the silhouettes of palm trees and cacti in a deep orange sky. It is a different kind of beauty than the beauty found in Washington but it is pretty amazing.
- I love night time in Arizona. When I was in high school, I would sit on our driveway at night and lean against the garage door. I would write in my journal by the light of the street lamp and enjoy the quiet warmth surrounding me. I really missed that and I'm looking forward to many more beautiful, warm evenings on our back porch.
- Warm rain. I love that when it rains in Arizona, it's warm rather than cold.
- Having non-frizzy hair. My hair is so much more manageable without humidity.
- The Mesa Temple holds a special place in my heart. When I was in high school, I was a youth guide at this temple. This was a program for youth (I believe ages 17-19) to be involved missionary work. We gave tours around the temple grounds to visitors, telling them about the significance of the olive trees, the carvings at the top of the temple, Jesus Christ, eternal families, and the Book of Mormon. At the end of the tour, we would invite the visitors to fill out referral cards, which we would then give to the full time missionaries. This was an amazing experience for me and helped prepare me for my own full time mission to Australia when I turned 21. I love that this program required us to read from the scriptures for 1/2 hour every day and get together weekly to touch base and uplift each other. I feel so grateful for this experience and for the friends I met in the program. I also spent a lot of time on the temple grounds when I wasn't giving tours, sitting on the grass, writing in my journal. It will be nice to take Oliver there, especially to see the Christmas lights this year.
- Being inspired in different ways with photography.
- My new job / my first official job as a social worker. Actually, I am kind of nervous about it, but I am also kind of excited to learn something new. My new supervisor seems pretty great, which helps. It will definitely be a new adventure with a lot of new learning.
- Meeting new friends in our community, ward, and jobs.
I really don't think we would have been able to leave if we didn't feel so strongly about our decision to move back to Arizona. I am so thankful for answers to our prayers. It was such a difficult decision and one we could not have made on our own. Here's to many more wonderful experiences and adventures in our new home. To those who have blessed our lives in Washington, we love you and will forever be grateful for your friendship.