When Writing Doesn’t Go as Planned..

What is a new with me? Well, so much.

Firstly, I am very sad because I have not been able to complete NANOWRIMO. Unfortunately, last week I grabbed my laptop from the counter, while holding baby on the other arm, and it just slipped from my arms like silk and hit the floor.

Then there was the noise that made me cringe and I thought for sure, I broke it. It worked fine that evening, but the next day it would not turn on. I got this MacBook Air for Christmas last year, so it’s been less than a year. I’m hoping the next place I take it to will fix the problem (first place could not). Apple store wants to charge me pretty much what we paid for to fix it, so we are looking at alternatives.

Anyway, so when that happened I resorted to our home PC, whose screen also gave up on me. Perfect timing. So I had no computer. After days of not being able to write, I realized we had another laptop (a slow Lenovo laptop), it is what I am currently writing on and it hurts my fingers like no other.

So this is what has been going on with me. I have been focused on getting a lot of things done for work and home, as I begin a new journey this upcoming Monday. I will be going back to work full-time after forever, so I am quite nervous about it but am excited about the opportunity to write full-time for a great company.

I am also a bit sad about not being home with the kids anymore, worrying in the back of my mind about how they will cope with mommy being gone all day. I am at peace knowing that they will be home, in great hands, but still feel a bit sad. I will miss our walks and our adventures together. It is bittersweet, but I also know that working will make me a better mom. Pray for me!

This was an update on my “writing life”– although I have not been able to complete NANO, I’m shifting my attention on writing more non fiction and bringing awareness on Spiritual Abuse. I hope that one day, I will share my story in a published book, but for now I am focused on bringing awareness to this important matter.

Writing may not always go as planned, but don’t let it get you down or slow you down. Writing comes with obstacles and struggles, so keep typing.

Perhaps I was not meant to finish that story.

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!

I am Writing An Entire Novel in One Month.

It has been a very long time since I got excited about writing fiction. For a while it became like such a chore and just the thought of it made me anxious. I have had no desire  to write for more than a year now.

Then I started playing with the idea of doing National Novel Writing Month.

Am I crazy?

I had not even written a single word in forever and now I’m signing up to write an entire novel in one month?

Yes, clearly I’m nuts. But I had this story tugging at my heart, my fingers were aching to type and tell the story. So I decided, why not? I have a peaceful corner in my house that I created, dedicated for writing and reading. Might as well put it to use.

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I have had this hate and love relationship with writing the past year. I have been doubting myself and my talent, thinking that maybe I’m just not cut out to be a real “writer.” Maybe people just don’t want to tell me the truth, you know? But every time I doubt myself, someone somehow ends up encouraging me or praising me for something I wrote that they recently read.

Okay. Maybe I’m not so bad after all. I decided to go for it.

Write, Deb. You were born to tell stories!

Now that it is November 4th, how am I really doing with #nanowrimo?  It started off a bit rocky. Matter of fact, I did not start writing until day three (yesterday). I finally sat down to WRITE, and boy, did I write. It was as if all I needed was to sit down and just write. Words, characters, and ideas just came flying out. I couldn’t stop. I was excited and thinking non stop about the book and the characters. I still am.

I am writing an entire novel in one month.

no more excuses.

but really, my excuse was that I’ve been too busy reading instead. And at first, I started with a story that just wasn’t it. It felt like I was forcing it. It wasn’t the story I should write.

my heart wanted to tell a different story.

so here I am, writing.

let’s hit those 3k words. Daily.

 

 

Do You Still Write?

There are moments that I cherish with all my heart. Nap time. Quiet time. Me time. Mommy time. However you choose to call it–it’s that moment I get to be myself to write and read. Yesterday, everyone was taking a nap and it was a beautiful moment of silence. Just me, typing on my keyboard after a long, stressful week.  I like to escape in different corners of the house, and yesterday’s choice was the dining room.

I have been job hunting (again) and it has been so draining and stressful. I applied to a minimum of fifty jobs  in my field and have been getting interviews, but so far I am still hoping and praying for a job offer. Long story short, I’m done being an adjunct. I will write another blog post detailing the struggles of #AdjunctLife next time.

Back to the subject at hand, I have not been living what I preach. You know? The whole write everyday thing that I preach to my creative writing students? Guilty.

Do You Still Write?

I get this question often. And the truth is, the past few weeks have been challenging, writing/career wise, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Trying to make time for the things you love can sometimes seem impossible but every time I sit down to write, I remember why I write.  No, I do not write fiction as much, but I do enjoy journaling a lot more. Moral of the story is:

You may fall out of love with a passion because you don’t do it enough, but once you reconnect, things will fall into place.

img_20181022_205012_3902143437309.jpgSo today it’s a late night writing. Matter of fact, I started with some fiction and here I am now writing a blog post after almost two months.  I  am preparing  for National Novel Writing Month. I haven’t done this challenge in seven years, so this shall be fun! I think. Writers, who else is doing #NaNoWriMo with me?

What are you writing this year?

I Became a Better Mom When I Went Back to Work.

It feels like yesterday that my daughter was just born. Now she is almost one-year-old.

It also just feels like yesterday, when we found out we were expecting a third baby, shock and emotion took over us. We were so surprised.

It feels like yesterday when I would wake up angry and frustrated every single morning, as I was home with three kids trying to balance this thing we call motherhood.  Looking back now, I can definitely see that I was dealing with some postpartum depression. I thought I was okay, but, really I was slowly sinking.

Every single morning, I woke up angry and I went to bed angrier. Nothing seemed to help. I sometimes envied my husband who could at least “flee” to work for some hours and did not have to be home all day with the kids and do all the other household chores that come with being a homemaker.

I was so angry. On the outside, I appeared to be fine but on the inside I was mad at the world. I did not want to admit it, though. What would people think of me? That I am ungrateful. Here I am, blessed to be home with my kids, and yet, I’m complaining while some other moms are forced to go back to work?

One thing I learned so far in my journey of being a mom is that, whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom, they are both challenging paths! You may not realize how tough the other role is until you spend at least a week in their shoes.

I love my children with all my heart, but I was exhausted.

20180612_093029Then I decided to wean my daughter earlier than planned–at 7 months. I am an advocate for breastfeeding and nursed both of my boys until they were 12 months old, but this third time around, it was different. It wore me out emotionally and physically, and the fact that I was not completely stable mentally, it was best to stop. That did wonders. Shortly after she started sleeping through the night, and I was able to get more sleep at night.

In all honesty, the thing that helped me heal from postpartum stress the most was working.  Right as I weaned baby girl at 7 months, a recruiter reached out to me for a remote position at Amazon. It seemed like a great opportunity and I happened not to be teaching anymore at the time. I figured “what the heck?” Actually, I was thrilled. My husband supported my decision and we found a mother’s helper/nanny to help me with the kids here at home while I worked upstairs in the office. I was still here at home with the kids and could stop in to check on them anytime.  With working, I made new acquaintances and felt like I gained a sense of “me” again.

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I was not just mommy.

Eventually, I realized that all my money was going towards the nanny and it did not make sense for me to keep working there, but I enjoyed my time there. Two months later, I had regained my normal state of mind.

A break from the kids allowed me to heal emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I became a better mom. Crazy but so true.

Anyway, the point of this post is that postpartum depression is real. If you are struggling with negative thoughts and emotions, anger, and resentment, talk to someone. Start with your significant other or a friend, but start somewhere.

Take a break from the kids–if possible, take a day to yourself or a few hours even, on a weekly basis. As for me, I realized that when I am working, I am a better mom and wife because I have that time to myself where I am pursuing my interests and utilizing my skills, writing + teaching. I am currently only working part-time, and it has definitely helped with my state of mind.

Moms, let’s stop being judgmental of other mom’s choices. Let’s be supportive. You don’t know what that person may be going through. Instead of judging their decision to work or not, try to be a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. We all need that support system.

 

 

Summer Trip to Montreal

Our trip to Montreal was filled with adventures. I also Vlogged it here on my YouTube channel: Summer 2018 Montreal

Last week I blogged on how we made it work traveling with three little ones, so this week I just want to share a few pictures and details from the trip.

So, the main reason we went there was for my Nephew’s wedding!

We decided to make it a family trip and bring the entire family.

We spent about a week there, where we stayed at my brother-in-law’s home in Montreal (Pierrefond).

Montreal is very accessible without a car but we rented a car because it was much easier to get around with three kids. I surprisingly did a lot of driving and did not find it too intimidating driving there at all. I even drove all the way to St.Hyolite, which is about an hour from Pierrefond.

 

There, I got to see my nephew and niece, who I hadn’t seen in seven years!

The first few days, I didn’t go out that much because hubby didn’t join us until a few days later. The day I went to pick up hubby from the airport, I finally drove around Montreal and headed to Little Italy for a nice cup of espresso at Cafe Olympico.

 

A few days later we checked out a few other touristy spots such as Parc fontaine..

We ate poutine at la Banquaise…

I hiked Mont Royal with some family/friends…

 

And the day before we left, we all went to Le Vieux-Port.

 

We had such a good time with family. The great thing is that my hubby was able to see his brother and his family and I was able to see my nephews and niece!

The memories we make with our family is everything.

Who Am I?

This week, I assigned an assignment in class for students to write an essay with the topic “Who am I?” I’m realizing that if I was in their shoes, I would have no idea what to write.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know who I am. I am constantly changing my mind about things. Whether it’s a career change, where I want to live, or my Instagram username/bio. I feel pressured and anxious about the most random things. I question things I once believed in and people who I once trusted. One minute I’m happy and then the next I feel so overwhelmed with life.

Motherhood is a blessing, journey, and a rollercoaster. your children become priority and your dreams and aspirations take the back burner at times. As someone with so much ambition, this has been hard to accept. sacrifice. selfless love.

Who am I?

I think I’m trying to find myself. What is really my purpose? I’m thirty years old and still can’t figure it out. For some people it’s an easy answer. But who the heck am I? I should know by now. Why don’t I?
For some people it’s an easy answer. But who the heck am I? I should know by now. Why don’t I?

So that’s why I’m writing. Because writing is therapeutic and it’s like talking to someone, only problem is that words do not talk back.

I feel like I should be more. Doing more. Trying more. Like nothing is ever enough. I am constantly seeking change or adding on tasks to my already busy life. Then I hear God whisper,

“you are enough. where you are is where I want you to be.”

And then, everything falls into place….

Tips on Traveling with Small Children

It feels so great to blog again! I took a long break but I am back.

This summer (last week), I traveled ALONE one way internationally with my 3 kiddos who are all under the age of 5. I had one lap infant and the two toddlers had their owns seats. My hubby joined us midway through the trip, so going back home was better.

I will share a few tips on what/how I did it.

1. Ziploc bags are everything! It helps you stay organized.

I had one Ziploc bag for all the chargers (phones, tablets, kindle, booklight, fitbit) !

I had another one for the day of travel and in flight snacks.

And I had one more for all the liquids: soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, and vaseline.

2. I made sure we traveled on an overnight flight. From Phoenix there are no direct flights to Montreal unfortunately, so I made sure to choose one that made more sense since I would be on my own. So our first flight was about 4 hours and all kids slept right through it. I made sure I changed their diapers right before the flight!

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By the way,  I get this question often, I got this cute laptop bag for my MacBookPro on Amazon HERE!

My 4-year- old is potty trained but best believe he wore a pull up for the flights! I am so glad someone gave me that tip right before.

3. Baby girl had a bottle as soon as we got on the plane so that she would easily fall asleep.

4. By the way, if you travel with kids you automatically qualify for pre-boarding! All this travel I’ve done in the past, and I just realized that this time around. Ha!

5. As far as the quantity of luggage. I had two checked suitcases and 3 carseats. As carry-ons, the boys had their backpacks with change clothes, snacks, underwear or pullups, and their pillows inside.

In my backpack, I had my own stuff and baby’s clothes, diapers, and wipes. I also had my laptop case and pushed a double stroller.

6. This brings me to my next point, a stroller or baby carrier is a must! My 4-year-old mostly walked but at one point he was sleepy so I put him in the stroller with my 2-year old and baby girl in the carrier/sling. That didn’t last long though. Lol.

Traveling with three, it was easier for my oldest to walk and have the two little ones in the double stroller. Everyone is different. Just my preference.

One thing I wouldn’t do next time is bring our carseats. We rented a car so we could’ve just rented one with carseats!

When we arrived to Canada, I had an employee help me carry them to the other side.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was grateful that someone offerred to help me fold the stroller before we got on the plane because I was struggling.

8. Don’t trust strangers alone with your kids. If you gotta go to the bathroom before the flight, take all kids with you! And in the flight, ask a flight attendant for help.

Overall flying into Canada was really not bad because they slept the whole time. Coming back, even though hubby was there to help, was more stressful. I think because it was in the afternoon and the kids were awake, cranky, hungry blah blah blah!

Anyway, thanks for reading. Next, I will share details of our trip to Montreal!

Making Mom Friends Is Like Dating, But I Finally Have Some!

TRUE STORY…

So, a little bit over a year ago, I discussed how I was having a hard time making friends and that the only mom friend I had did not even live in the same state as me!

Oh, how so much has changed since then! Thank God! But before I continue,  it’s important you understand why we even need mom friends/girlfriends.

Rachael Boley couldn’t have said it any better!

There’s nothing quite like another mom friend who just gets it. It’s bigger than needing each other for tips and tricks and help. We need each other for the friendship and support that comes from our people — the moms walking in the trenches beside us.

We need those friends that just get it. When you want to vent, laugh, or cry because your kids can’t seem to get it together.  Or simply when you feel like you’re falling apart, those friends can be there to remind you that, yes, it’s hard but you are not alone and you can make it through those potty training days or those sleepless nights.

Making mom friends is truly like dating. Ha. I read that somewhere and can’t agree more on this. You just don’t click with another mom simply because she also has kids. It takes more than that: personality,  interests etc.

I have learned not to judge another mom because of her parenting style/choices. We are all different but can definitely learn so much from one another.

I never knew that becoming a mother would somehow be so competitive. I thought the cliques and comparisons stopped in high school, but you would be surprised at some of the stuff I witnessed at mommy groups!

Last year we moved to a different  neighborhood.  Since then, I have met some truly awesome mamas: some neighbors, some from mom groups, and others through mutual friends.

As a work-at-home-mom, my challenge was that I didn’t fit into just one category. I’m a stay-at-home mom and working mom at the same time. Yes, I could meet up for playdates but not as often as other SAHMs could.  There are some SAHMs I met who I just could not relate to and others who we clicked instantly.

Anyway,  I made the best of the situation and can say today that I have MOM FRIENDS! Woot woot.

I actually have friends that I can meet up with or without the kiddos for a walk, coffee or storytime at the library. God heard my prayer! Hah. And now my husband is happy I no longer complain about this, I’m sure.

If you are struggling to make mom friends, don’t give up. Here are a few things that worked for me during this long, lonely journey!

1. Mommy groups. For me, personally,  it worked but then it also did not work. The first few groups I joined were not as successful.  There was one particular group where it seemed as if the moms there were simply not interested in meeting anyone new. What’s the point of this group then!? It was very “clicky”. I also felt judged because I was probably the only mom there who put her kids in daycare part-time.  Mind me, I was still working full-time (from home) so this just didn’t make sense to them. What they don’t realize is that you can’t really work from home full-time if you have toddlers around. Anyway… that group was not for me.

When I did find the right group, I became good friends with one gal who told me about a fit mama’s group (walking group). There, I met a few more mamas who I became really cool with.

2. Storytime: I have met a few moms there but none that I can actually call “friends”. However, it is a great place to meet other moms.

3. Church: I have become friends with a few mamas from my church. Although it did take some time and we do not see each other as much outside of church,  the support has been a tremendous blessing.

4. Mutual Friends:  Now, this is what really worked for me actually! For example, one of my husband’s college pals moved closer to us and the wife and I became good friends. Then I introduced her to my neighbor, and the three of us have created this Mom Tribe I prayed for.  What is even more of a blessing is that before we all met each other, we had each been praying for mom friends.

Another good friend of mine, I met through a mutual acquaintance.  She and I are both writers and so we are just grateful to be in each other’s lives. Having that support from a fellow mother and writer is truly a blessing.

5. Neighbors: depending on where you live, but for me I created a Facebook Mom’s Group for my neighborhood/community. Through this group, some of my neighbors have become my friends. The reason I created the group is because we didn’t have one. Some communities may already have a Mom’s group. Just look into it.

Just don’t give up! Be open and non-judgmental . Know that you are not the only one going through this.

Motherhood can be lonely and having those mom friends to do this #MomLife with is crucial for your sanity.

I’m in My 30s. What Now?

I finally hit my 30s in JUNE

For the longest, I heard that the “30s are the best years!” And so on, so here we go!  Hubby took me to Vegas and we had a blast just the two of us  (will write another blog post).

It took a while to settle in, so I took my time writing this blog post. But after hearing my 4-year-old tell everyone and anyone, “My mom is thirty!” I think it finally sunk in.  Haha

 

 I would like to believe I have done quite well for myself. As a reminder of how grateful I am to be here and to remind myself that 30 is just a number, I’m going to try and list 30 things I am proud of or grateful for. Some are siilly. Some are funny. Some are serious. Read on!

1. I am blessed to be married to my best friend and love of my life.

2. I am a mother of three. Before you ask, yes, I’m done! I finished having kids before 30 now I am freeeee. Ha!

3. I am healthy. No illness. No disease. No high blood pressure.

4. Both of my parents are still ALIVE!

5.  I am educated.  B.A. and Master’s!

6. I’m a college professor.

7. I live in my dream house.

8. I have an awesome, spacious Mom Car. Go Durango!

9. I am a published author! Author of Chasing Freedom (get it on Amazon).

10. I am still doin’ this blog thing after eight years! Wow!  Many breaks and interruptions, but I’m still here!

11. This is getting tough…hum..oh yes, I have amazing friends here in AZ, something I cried about and prayed for for years!  #MomTribe

12. I have an amazing bestie, since high school. Hi Ayo!

13. My brother and I are close again!

14. Geez…what else. Hum, okay, financially God has been providing and we are not lacking.

15. My 401k looks pretty good so far.

16.   Hubby and I have a rental property. THE first of many.

17. I am getting over the spirit of fear.

18. I am still reading BOOKS!

19. My children are bilingual. French and English.

20. I am making the effort to learn spanish fluently.

21. I forgive easily. No grudges.

22. I somehow manage to work, clean, cook, and take care of my family.

23. Hummm….. I have been exploring more. Adventures with my family.  Seeing the world.

24. I lost 9lbs the past month. I exercise frequently and eat healthy!

25. I have never been arrested.

26. My faith is still important to me so Christ is at the center!

27. I try to read to my kids daily.

28. I am quite a CHEF!

29.  I have visited more coffee shops than I can remember. Lol

30.  Last but not least,  I have never done drugs or gotten drunk! Such a goodie goodie. 🙂

 

Here is a video of how I celebrated with my friends! Birthday fun

 

The Perfect Life

“EVERY MINUTE YOU SPEND WISHING YOU HAD SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE IS A MINUTE SPENT WASTING YOURS.”

Sometimes people take instagram to the next level–as if it is literally real life.

What people do not know is that behind every perfect square, there is a story or a set up, should I say. That’s right. Those perfect feeds don’t happen naturally. They take effort, time and dedication! Most of those photos you see on perfect IGs are staged. People may take several shots of the same thing, and then go through a tedious editing process to only choose ONE picture to post. All this just for instagram! Not long ago, I was really obsessed with Instagram, but after taking a break for a while, I realized I had to make some changes.

One of the reasons I recently decided to make my Instagram less about my kids and home, and focus on my interests instead, such as my appreciation for the desert life, adventure, and travel, is because I really got tired of people thinking my life is perfect and I felt like I was attracting envy and jealousy. I understand that some people really mean well when they they:

“You are mom goals”, “You handle it so well!”, “I wish I could be strong like you.”, “Your house is always perfect.”

Haha. Well, thank you, but..

The truth is, I am just as human as you. Instagram is just Instagram. People post pretty pictures because people want to see pretty pictures. I am not perfect. Matter of fact, I am going through one of the most difficult stages of my life. I have been struggling with anger and bitterness and just like most of us, I’m just trying to survive! Day by day, I am leaning on God to strengthen me.

Just because I do not post about these negative emotions and difficult moments, it doesn’t mean I don’t have them or that they don’t exist. Just the other day, I broke down out of nowhere because I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to what you see on Instagram because there is much more to those squares. Every picture has a story. I guess you could say that’s the downfall of social media; it creates envy and the comparison game.

“So and so has this, so I’m gonna go get it too.”

I love Instagram because I get to follow amazing people with beautiful feeds I love so much. I get to share what I love with the use of photos and connect with people, but it’s so easy to get sucked into the comparison game, y’all.

Sometimes people take instagram to the next level–as if it is literally real life.

What people do not know is that behind every perfect square, there is a story or a set up, should I say. That’s right. Those perfect feeds don’t happen naturally. They take effort, time and dedication! Most of those photos you see on perfect IGs are staged. People may take several shots of the same thing, and then go through a tedious editing process to only choose ONE picture to post. All this just for instagram! Not long ago, I was really obsessed with Instagram, but after taking a break for a while, I realized I had to make some changes.

One of the reasons I recently decided to make my Instagram less about my kids and home, and focus on my interests instead, such as my appreciation for the desert life, adventure, and travel, is because I really got tired of people thinking my life is perfect and I felt like I was attracting envy and jealousy. I understand that some people really mean well when they they:

“You are mom goals”, “You handle it so well!”, “I wish I could be strong like you.”, “Your house is always perfect.”

Haha. Well, thank you, but..

The truth is, I am just as human as you. Instagram is just Instagram. People post pretty pictures because people want to see pretty pictures. I am not perfect. Matter of fact, I am going through one of the most difficult stages of my life. I have been struggling with anger and bitterness and just like most of us, I’m just trying to survive! Day by day, I am leaning on God to strengthen me.

Just because I do not post about these negative emotions and difficult moments, it doesn’t mean I don’t have them or that they don’t exist. Just the other day, I broke down out of nowhere because I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to what you see on Instagram because there is much more to those squares. Every picture has a story. I guess you could say that’s the downfall of social media; it creates envy and the comparison game.

“So and so has this, so I’m gonna go get it too.”

I love Instagram because I get to follow amazing people with beautiful feeds I love so much. I get to share what I love with the use of photos and connect with people, but it’s so easy to get sucked into the comparison game, y’all.

“Be careful what you envy; everything is not always as it seems. ”

I honestly got so tired of all the comments about my life, kids, and home being perfect, so when my Chez Debz Blog went down the drain, I decided to focus on Desert Dweller Debz. I still post about my family + home every now and then but it is not the main focus. I wanted to share this with you all a while ago but I never got around to writing this blog post. My life is not perfect. My kids scream–all day. They fight. I yell. They yell. They make a big mess. Sometimes I go to sleep with a dirty kitchen. I still teach part time so some days, I don’t sleep until midnight, and wake up at 6am, while nursing baby all night. Some nights I get no sleep. Some days I don’t cook. my closet is currently a mess. Other days, everything is in order and I feel like super mom (Like today LOL)! Each day is a new day to do things differently and through my journey, I like to use Instagram to document my days like a lot of us do. Please don’t envy me or anyone else on on IG or Facebook. like this quote says:

“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that – Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody – or your soul. ”

— ANN VOSKAMP
I honestly got so tired of all the comments about my life, kids, and home being perfect, so when my Chez Debz Blog went down the drain, I decided to focus on Desert Dweller Debz. I still post about my family + home every now and then but it is not the main focus. I wanted to share this with you all a while ago but I never got around to writing this blog post. My life is not perfect. My kids scream–all day. They fight. I yell. They yell. They make a big mess. Sometimes I go to sleep with a dirty kitchen. I still teach part time so some days, I don’t sleep until midnight, and wake up at 6am, while nursing baby all night. Some nights I get no sleep. Some days I don’t cook. my closet is currently a mess. Other days, everything is in order and I feel like super mom (Like today LOL)! Each day is a new day to do things differently and through my journey, I like to use Instagram to document my days like a lot of us do. Please don’t envy me or anyone else on on IG or Facebook. like this quote says:

“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that – Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody – or your soul. ”

— ANN VOSKAMP
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How Did We End Up in Arizona, Anyway?

On this Valentine’s Day, I want to tell you an Arizona love story. A love story of how two people fell in love and settled down in Arizona.

Okay. Not really. I’m just going to tell you how my husband and I ended up in Arizona and why we decided to make Arizona our home long-term wise. I will then proceed to tell you some pros and cons about Arizona living. Let’s start with my husband, since technically he is the one who brought me here.

Arizona was the first state he arrived in when he moved from The Motherland (D.R. Congo) to the U.S. with his family.  His sister had already lived in AZ with her husband for some time. They first lived in Tucson, but later on moved to the Phoenix area. He went to college and grad school right here in the valley, and now he is a young professional with a striving career.Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 2.14.43 PMOK. My turn. I first came to Phoenix with my family on vacation in 2001. I was living in Dallas, TX at the time. We came and visited a friend of the family who lived in (what I thought was paradise) Scottsdale, Arizona.You know that quote that says:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…”

 

I say this because for some, when they see Arizona, all they see is brown, brown, and more brown. (a common comment on my Youtube videos). But for me, when we first arrived in Phoenix, I was in awe. All I saw was beauty.It was paradise. It was just so beautiful and peaceful, so since that day, it was on my “to live in one day” list.  I was impressed by the mountains, the desert life, the palm trees, the great outdoors, and the clean streets. It was just appealing to me. I even applied to Arizona State University, but decided to go elsewhere for college.”One day,” I thought to myself. And sure enough, that day came.I met my husband in Dallas when he came in town to visit a friend (now brother-in-law). He told me he lived in Phoenix and I was impressed. Fast forward years later, we started dating–long distance. I know. What were we thinking, right?Well, love and God brought us together because we made it through four years of long distance and Okay…I’m getting carried away here with the love story, aren’t I? I apologize, I suppose Valentine’s Day got to me, huh?

Back to the topic.

WHY ARIZONA?

So clearly love brought me here, but why did we decide to live here and call it home when we could have chosen to start our lives together anywhere else?

#1: DESIRE & COMFORT

The main reason would be simply because my husband was pretty much already settled here and I was willing (more like READY) to leave Dallas. I had the desire to leave Dallas and he was comfortable here in PHX.  He already had a nice job after graduating, while I was still in grad school without a stable job. It made more sense for me to move to Phoenix and I was glad to do so!

#2: COST OF LIVING HERE IS VERY AFFORDABLE.

This leads me to home prices. Here in AZ, you are able to purchase the home of your dreams for less than 300k for example. Whether you like McMansions, ranch with thousands of acres, or small cozy homes, you can have that here. Now, I am mostly speaking to those coming from Cali, Washington state, Portland, Bay area, or the East Coast. I would like to believe we bought our dream home–something that would have taken us years elsewhere.

#3: THE GREAT OUTDOORS

At least for me. I have always had quite an adventurous and spontaneous soul. I love the desert life. Some people don’t and could never ever imagine living here, but I love it. One misconception about AZ is that we are dying in heat all year long. Wrong. It is ONLY really hot about 4, 5 months out of the year, the other months are beautiful and feel like spring/fall weather. So, if you can survive the brutal summers, then you will enjoy the rest of the year. Lots of people escape up north (Flagstaff/Sedona) on the weekends during the unbearable months of summer.I love exploring the great outdoors. Now because I am in a special stage of life with very small children, I do not get to explore as much as I would like, but when I can I try to find something new to explore. Our children will grow up to love the great outdoors, which is important to me. 

I have so many places on my list here in AZ: Page, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu, etc.

#4: COFFEE CULTURE

Now you know I had to talk about this one here. I did not really become a huge coffee person until I lived in Phoenix, honestly. It is quite surprising to people that Phoenix is such a coffee town because it’s hot here. haha. No matter how you like your coffee, phoenix is the place. We are the Coffee Capital of the Southwest according to Vogue Magazine.I am now a huge coffee lover, connoisseur, enthusiast, or whatever you want to call it! If ever in town, check out all the cool coffee shops downtown near Roosevelt row.

#5: CLOSE TO OTHER MAJOR CITIES

That’s right. Within 4-5hours of driving, you could be in San Diego, LA, Orange Country, Vegas, Colorado, New Mexico, Mexico, or Utah.This is great if you have a big family and love to travel, like us. Instead of flying and purchasing multiple airline tickets, you could rent a big car, and have your family vacation within hours. Or you can simply get away for just the weekend or the day in Sedona or Flagstaff.

ALL THIS GOOD STUFF. WHAT ABOUT THE CONS? A FEW CONS ABOUT LIVING IN ARIZONA FOR ME WOULD BE:

#1: SUMMER HEAT

I will not lie. I will not sugarcoat it. Like I mentioned earlier, summers are brutal and very long. You must have a pool and AC to survive those months. Be ready for a high electricity bill.

#2: INSECTS & BUGS

Everywhere. All kinds. Pest-control is a must.

#3: LACK OF DIVERSITY

It is not uncommon to be the only person of color in certain areas.Well, there you have it. The Arizona Love Story. Haha. We may not live here forever obviously. Things change. 

“Opportunities come and go, but for now, Arizona is definitely home.”

Seek The Simplicity

Because sometimes just meeting up downtown with some friends is all you need to feel like yourself again. Or maybe just a spur of the moment photo shoot postpartum is enough to make you feel alive.

Motherhood is tough–probably the hardest job there is out there. And being home with babies or toddlers all day can drive you a bit nuts sometimes. Yesterday, I had some much-needed “me/mommy time” and it felt great.

This “me time” mostly consisted of me drinking coffee and listening to my colleagues complain about work while I grinned in silence because I’m on leave, but hey, stop judging. It was our fun.

For me, it was having time to myself, but for them, it was a way to finally interact with someone, given that our job is very isolating (teaching online).

The point of this blog post really is that, “me time” is important. OK, the real point of this blog post is to show you these awesome photos because what else am I supposed to do with them? Haha.

Whether you’re a SAHM, WAHM, Working mom, it’s important to have a moment to just do things by yourself or meet up with friends without the kiddos.

It’s been almost a month since I had our third child and I’m learning that there is a moment for everything.

Be content in the season you’re in and seek the simplicity in life.