For months now I’ve wanted to consistently post recaps on here as a way to remember life a little better. Not only do I love writing and sharing my sometimes interesting, a-hint-of-crazy life with you all but I also love looking back on the memories I’ve shared, reading my thoughts on whatever I felt like writing about, how I felt about running whatever marathon I was training for at the time, etc. My point is, here is my first stab at monthly recaps. July was especially exciting for us so this is a perfect time to start. By the way… I know this post is coming half way through August. Shame on me, I know.
WHAT. A. MONTH! Stephen and I have basically decided that we’re going to do everything we can to soak up as much of Arizona as possible. We found out recently that we’re headed back to the east coast and of course we don’t know if we’ll ever be back in Phoenix so there is no better time to take advantage of all it has to offer. Now that we’re completely settled in to our house (removing thoughts from my mind about how we have to do this again in a few months…. now) we have been filling our schedule with adventure on the weekends. Stephen and I both work all week so we make do with any time off that we have.
This weekend deserves an entire post of its own so it is headed your way! We ate some of the best food we’ve ever had, laughed until it hurt, relaxed like it was our job, and we got burnt. Very burnt.
The best word to describe this trip is refreshing. Let’s face the pathetic, sad truth- we spend so much time using technology day in and day out. I know I’m not the only one that is looking/holding/using some sort of technology about 15 out of 24 hours every single day. I also know for a fact that some people see “No Service” on the top left of their phone and have a panic attack. To me, however, it’s one of the greatest things to do. It’s truly special nowadays (how pathetic) to get off the grid, soak up God’s creation, and truly see and listen to those around you (which is even better when you’re surrounded by great people). That is what I call refreshing.
We spent the weekend in the mountains which meant cool air for a chance. We even got to break out our long sleeves and pants for the evening! That is something that we definitely haven’t experienced in Phoenix since we moved here. For just a short period of time, It was so nice to feel like we weren’t living in a giant oven. Eight of us humans and two dogs ventured about three hours north of Phoenix to Bear Canyon Lake. The area was so beautiful, the lake looked as if it could be a desktop background on the computer. The Debbie Downer, however, was that because of the lack of rain in the area, we weren’t allowed to build a fire. What the heck do you do camping without a fire?! We definitely had to improvise- hotdogs and potatoes were cooked in a pan on a gas stove (thank goodness Alex brought it along!) and we played many, many rounds of Catch Phrase in the dark. We made the most of the situation and all laughed so gosh darn hard that night. It was a blast.
My camera/phone took part in the off the grid party so the photos are lacking but here are a few from that fun weekend-
We loved our mini moon but I think Stephen and I both agree that rescuing Adi was the most exciting part of July. Like any puppy, she is a lot of work but we’re so thankful for the joy that she adds to our lives and with the daily puppy kisses and love nudges we know that she is thankful too. We brought her home on July 11 (we decided that every year we’re going to celebrate by getting a free 7-11 Slurpy of course) when she was only 14 pounds and 7 weeks old. Five weeks later and she has nearly doubled in size but still manages to use the blanket basket as a bed. She’s pretty darn precious and we sure do love her.
The great thing about the pilot community is there are always people around to have a good time with. We frequently go out to dinner together, we’ve camped, gone on weekend excursions, completed big group workouts together, and more recently, we had a big pool party. I can’t even tell you the number of people that were there. It ended up being another one of those times when one of our friends invites a reservist friend who invites their significant other, their S/O invites their BFF… You get the picture. Anyway, it’s always a good time because not only do we get to be around our good friends but we also get to meet new people. There was grill smoke in the air, dogs chasing after each other, and happy sunscreen smothered babies all around. Despite the mini monsoon episode, it was a perfect picture of a summer Saturday in Phoenix. Some highlights of the party were watching Adi run around with 4 other (much larger) dogs and then proceeding to pass out, learning that she does not like the pool whatsoever, and the funniest, most entertaining part of it all… Reminiscing on our college years (as if they are SO FAR AWAY) and laughing together while our girlfriends demonstrated the “Pancake” dance.
This is definitely a place to add to the bucket list! The area is absolutely stunning from every angle and only about a two hour drive from Phoenix. We started out the adventure by brining Adi to a pet-friendly winery called Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery. Not only was the wine great (enough for us to leave with an entire box) but both the cheese platter and panini were as well. We spent hours and hours there talking with people and taking our time through the wine list. They run a special that includes a tasting of the entire wine menu (13 total) along with a cheese platter for $30 per couple. It was well worth the money! Adi even had a great time. She was definitely the life of the party!
After the winery we drove around Sedona to explore the area and find some excellent views. Like I said, it’s all beautiful so good views are really not hard to find. However, there are specific campgrounds/parks you can go to in order to see the best of the best. We drove around to multiple, however, they all require some sort of fee to drive in so we decided to try to find a good spot on our own. I’m sure they would’ve been fantastic and worth the money if we wanted to spend an entire day there but we knew that wasn’t the case. We ended up driving from campground to campground and found a beautiful overlook within the red rocks.
We had dinner at a little restaurant called the Secret Garden Cafe. It was great for the fact that they were dog friendly. However, we were not impressed with the food. Womp womp. The slice of cake the couple had next to us looked yummy though!
This was easily the most stressful part of July- finding out where we’ll be stationed next. Any sort of drop has the potential to be an emotional roller coaster but we did our best at every moment to let go, let God. Sure enough, He decided that we’re headed to South Carolina for the next few years! While we’re certainly having a blast in Phoenix, we’re so excited for this next adventure and we can’t wait to be closer to family for the next few years.
I hope you all have a really great Sunday and week ahead! Until next time…