So Ricky and I have officially lived in “the Valley” for over a year now. We first moved out here over Memorial Day weekend in 2012. It’s weird, because a lot of times it still doesn’t feel like we live here. I guess if you’ve lived in pretty much one area for your whole life, moving somewhere else takes quite a long time to get used to. Honestly, I would have to say that we are really still settling in, even though it’s been over a year now.

We didn’t take the thought of moving out here lightly. Ricky’s cousin moved out here several years ago, and he had been to visit her a few times and fell in love with Scottsdale. As coincidence would have it, I also have family out here. My cousin lives in Mesa and my aunt and uncle live in Apache Junction. So both of us had visited out here and knew that we liked it. We also came out a few times together before moving here. Ultimately, for me, I knew that I wanted to live somewhere other than Indiana. I remember saying after I graduated with my bachelors degree that I planned on doing two things within 5 or so years – getting my MBA and moving out of Indiana. It’s not that I hate Indiana. I grew up there and it contains a lot of fond memories as well as family and friends. But it’s my home state. Where my home town is. Not where I want to live my whole life.

Ricky knew when we met that he wanted to eventually move to Scottsdale. I started school to get my MBA a few months after we started dating, so we decided together that once I finished my degree, we would move. I graduated in the middle of May 2012, so we figured that Memorial Day weekend would be as good a time as any, since we got a free day off work. And that’s exactly what we did. We packed up all our belongings in a 16-foot moving truck with a trailer on it to tow my car, and he drove the moving truck while I drove his car. (Originally the plan was to tow his car… but it was too small to fit on the trailer!)

And a year later, here we are. We live in north Scottsdale, in an area that we love. We live less than 2 miles away from our favorite Arizona brewery, walking distance from a park with trails, a 10-minute drive from a trailhead with some great mountain hikes, and right across the street from TPC Scottsdale, where the Phoenix Open is held every January. I’d say we have it pretty good.

We’ve had an interesting year, filled with some changes. Last year we both decided it would be a good idea to get part-time jobs to offset the cost of our move along with our trip to Europe last fall. Our trip to Europe was something big, something we’d kind of been planning since we moved. It was a wonderful experience that went relatively smoothly and will be something we’ll never forget. But for me, after only working at my part-time job (I worked nights and weekends at Barnes & Noble) a couple of months, I was ready to be done. I didn’t move to such a nice place to be busy working all the time and not enjoy it. Plus, it kept me from going anywhere or really enjoying the holidays, which was frustrating. We made the most of the time we did have off over Christmas and New Years, but it could have been a better first Christmas in Arizona if we hadn’t both been working so much, I think. So after the holidays, I decided I was done with working a second job. Now, months later, Ricky has decided he is too. His last day at his part-time job was last Thursday. We are looking forward to being able to enjoy our still-new-to-us location.

I also recently started a new full-time job. I’m excited about what the future holds with it. Honestly, working remotely for a company in Indiana like I was doing probably just wasn’t the best thing for me for very long. It was a good thing to do to help through the transition of moving, but I really didn’t have much growth potential there and was kind of wasting my MBA. It was easy to stay there since working from home was nice, but I think I will have a lot more opportunities at my new company.

Overall, we are very excited about our life and looking forward to what the future holds. We have enjoyed the new travel potential we have from here – we had pretty much exhausted every nearby weekend road trip available from Indianapolis. We’ve taken a few road trips from here as well as some bigger trips, and we have more planned that we are very excited about. Since we moved, we’ve been to Cabo San Lucas, Europe, San Diego, Tucson, Sedona, and Seattle. We’re now planning a trip to China in August and a trip to Maui in December for our five-year anniversary together. We’re really looking forward to visiting Hawaii again. We also have plans to hopefully do a California and Colorado brewery tour. Oh, and this weekend we are heading up to Flagstaff with some new friends to attend a beer festival. We’ve been to several of those out here so far… they are not hard to find with the good weather!

Oh! I almost forgot. We have a new addition to our family. In December, our holidays were made a bit more fun by the arrival of Charlie (aka mini ween), a mini dachshund that we adopted from a local dachshund rescue. I really think dachshund love runs in my family – I know several people in my family that have and love them. I wasn’t planning on getting another dog, but I follow this dachshund rescue on Facebook because I considered volunteering for them at one point. This little guy popped up in my feed one day and he just sounded so much like a mini version of Sophie that it made me think about getting a second dog. I asked Ricky about considering it, and he wasn’t opposed to the idea. So, after Sophie meeting him to determine if they got along, I decided to make him a part of our family. We are so glad we did. Charlie is so much fun, and the two of them together round out our little version of a family just perfectly.

So that’s the state of things. We’re pretty happy, things are going smoothly even though changes are happening, and we are definitely looking forward to the future and what it holds. I hope all of you can say the same!