Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FouR MoNTHS aGo ToDay

Today was a happy day.

And it also marked four months of living here in Arizona. I don’t know if that has any correlation but nonetheless, it was a good day for all of us, and for that, I’m thankful.

One-third of a year. We’ve made it that far. And for that, I’m thankful.

It’s still hot. Not hotter than hell, but still 102 degrees outside. But I will tell you that 102 degrees is A LOT cooler than 112 degrees.

I’m thinking back to when we first found out we were moving to Arizona and how I felt. The things I worried about, the things I wrote about, the things I feared, and I want to go back to that list.

Soooo, here is the whole post I wrote on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, and here is my commentary (in pink), now that I’ve been here four months:


It’s fucking hot there. I know I was born in Florida but I don’t want to live in a place where people describe it as living in a 400 degree oven. I don’t care if it’s a dry heat.

OK, this we can agree on. It is fucking hot here.

Brown desert. I like green. I like white. I like seasons and spring.

It’s still brown. But we have a house with green grass, and beautiful yellow, pink and red rose bushes, and mini-palm trees in the backyard, and some green plants with gorgeous pink sprouty things, and purple-y flowers in the front yard and some other red and orange things that I don’t have to water so that means I won’t have to kill them.

I will have to get a light beige or a white car. I hate white cars. My hands and ass will burn upon getting into a car every single time.

I didn’t get a new car yet, and I’d GLADLY take a beige or white car over the GREEN TURD I’ve been driving since before Tukey was born. And yes, I am still burning my ass every time I get into the car when I don’t remember to put up the tin-foil screen!

I am not attractive or thin enough to live in Arizona.

Yes, there are plenty of plastic people who live here, but I am plenty attractive and thin enough to live here. There are far more fat and ugly people around. I just have to go where they are to feel good about myself!

I do like air condition.

They have air condition EVERYWHERE here! And those cool misters you can walk under outside when it gets super-de-duper hot!

I never want the responsibilities of owning a swimming pool, but living there it would be a requirement.

I have no responsibilities of having a pool! We have a POOL BOY! His name is Nick, and he’s not bad looking at all!

I could become a recluse and write another book.

I have NOT become a recluse, and although I would like to complete my second book, I haven’t yet, but AM now doing a job I LOVE, that wouldn’t have happened had I not moved to AZ. (Thanks Crystal!)

I love the fact that here I can go to Starbucks and run into 4 or 5 people that I know in a matter of 5 minutes.

I ran into someone I knew at Michael’s the other day, and the people here at Starbucks are getting to know me! It all just takes TIME!

It’s exhausting making new friends.

It is still exhausting to make new friends, but I had lunch with a new neighbor Monday, and next week I’m going to see The Social Network with two new girlfriends. Also got a text from a new neighbor today that said, “I love having you as a neighbor and friend.” THAT meant the world to me at this stage in my life! So, while exhausting, it’s worth it to invest time to find worthwhile friendships!

This is a whole KID category:

I worry about my kids starting a new school.

They’ve started, and while it was a rough go, they all seem to be doing fine.

I worry about them getting on a bus for the first time.

Only Ajers takes the bus, and he can handle it. And he tells some pretty funny bus stories about Anna the bus driver saying, "Don't sue me, I need this job" when a kid falls down on the bus.

I worry about them having to sit by themselves the first day of school.

No one died sitting by themselves the first day of school. In fact, I don't think anyone sat by themselves the first day of school, hence no death.

I worry about them getting lost the first day of school.

No one got lost the first day of school.

I worry about them not liking it there.

Yes, at times each one of them has had reservations about not liking it here, me included, and there have been bouts of tears from all of us. But we are dealing with this journey like champs and making the best of what is in store for us and being thankful that we are able to be together as a family, and that we are stronger for this experience!

Here are more of my crazy things:

I can never leave a lipstick in my car.

So what? I hardly wear lipstick anyway!

I hate tumbleweeds and cacti and stone yards.

I love cacti – they are beautiful! I have yet to see a tumbleweed! And we don't have a stone front yard-we have grass in our front yard!
PS, this is not our front yard!

I have NO family there.

We have had TONS of visitors already and welcome ANY and ALL friends and family!

I hate the idea of having to find new doctors, hair stylists, gyms, etc.

I’ve got a hair stylist; I’ve got a gym (got to get there more often), we have a doc for the kids, an orthodontist, we are finding our way!

I hate figuring out new grocery stores.

I STILL hate the grocery store. Even if I knew where EVERY SINGLE ITEM was located in the store, I STILL HATE GROCERY STORES! THAT’LL never change! But there are nice ones here. They just put a Cold Stone Creamery in the grocery store here. BUT … I will NEVER start the habit of buying my kids Cold Stone ice cream when we go to the grocery store. NO WAY!

What if our house doesn’t sell.

Our house DID sell. In three weeks. Thank you, thank you, thank you T & S!!

OK, wait, I guess I should put some good things in here too, right? … OK, here are some …

No more stupid boots.

Flip flops all the way.

Get to go house-hunting!

We love our house. It’s the perfect home for us, and great for entertaining!

No more stupid jackets (although I did just score that nice mink coat I won’t get to wear anymore, DRAT!).

I laughed so hard when I was in the store the other day and saw heavy jackets for sale and it was 110 degrees outside. Everyone says next year I will be wearing a jacket. I continue to laugh. NOT ME!

SHORTS! (I do like my legs, got that going for me)

I now wear SKIRTS!

The winters are better there than here.

We’re getting there.

Won’t ever really be able to enjoy a hot latte, cuz come on, how can you drink HOT coffee in Arizona? THAT just sounds STUPID!

I had a hot café vanilla latte JUST the other day!

Positive: Thank God the internet is UNIVERSAL!

LOVE that I can still connect with everyone out there! THIS MEANS YOU!

What if Mr. Manic has to travel all of the time and I am stuck there all alone and do not know anyone and we’re all lonely and it sucks and I’m in a place where I don’t know anyone?

Yeah, he travels still, but not crazy. And we’ve got neighbors and some of his co-workers we have become close to. I’m not in the middle of the Sahara yanno!

How am I going to meet people if people never go outside since it’s so G-damn hot all day long? Who’s going to be outside in order to meet me and find out I have such a fucking glowing personality in the first place?!? HUH?

The glowing personality still prevails.

There’s not even a fucking beach nearby? What’s the point of a place with beautiful fucking sunshine weather if there’s not even a beautiful fucking beach for me to lay my sad ass upon and mope? That’s ri-fucking-diculous isn’t it?

Yeah. The beach. Coronado, California. We were there two months after living here. BEE-U-TEE-FUL! And only a 4-5 hour car ride.

What if when it’s time for college and my kids want to come back to ILLINOIS and then I’M FREAKING STUCK IN ARIZONA and all my kids come back to the Midwest and I’m like all stuck out there twiddling my freaking thumbs thinking to myself, “WELL, isn’t this freaking grandiose?”

Diva just said today, “When I go to ASU …” So, there’s that!


So, am thanking God today, on the anniversary of our fourth month in Arizona that things are coming together and working out. Tukey is finding his way, busy with a basketball program, a tackle football team, and piano lessons. And today after school, I actually heard him say to a kid, “See you tomorrow Brice!”

Diva is busy with a new art class that she is really excited about; and has TWO sleepovers this weekend, and a fun concert to look forward to.

Ajers is on TWO basketball teams – one for school, one for whatever kind kids play on that is not for school. He’s got a girlfriend (yep, we think so anyway!) and there’s some school dance coming up. He’s busy with new friends and guitar lessons.

We’ve got lots going on, lots to be thankful for, and while we miss what we don’t have any more back home, we’re looking toward the future and are so blessed that things didn’t turn in a different direction.

I look back at my original list from seven months ago in February when I first found out we were moving and can really breathe a sigh of relief. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re not as horrible as I first thought they were going to be.

It’s the fear of the unknown that is most scary, and now we know.

Now we know.

And thank you for coming along on this journey with me!

PeaCe uP!

~MaNiC MoMMy  .... PS. I've made it even easier to comment, so please leave one if you so desire! Thanks!


Patti said...

What a great post. Loved seeing the list and having you compare each one. You've come a long way, baby. So happy for you all!

Andrea said...

This post made me laugh! It's all about persepctive!

Christine in NJ said...

WOW!... Great Post! You are an amazing writer... What a roller coaster of a journey it's been for you... handled with grace, humor, tears and love!

~L0SERM0M~ said...

I wish there was a FREAKIN like button. Cause girl, I LIKE THIS!! You are sooo getting there!!! ((hugs))

Monnik said...

I have been so captivated by your journey, Manic. This is a great post, and I'm so glad you are making your way in your new home.

And when we're freezing our asses off here in the Midwest this winter, you'll be laughing all the way.

Anonymous said...

"Tears streaming down my face" Happy Tears! 1-4-3

shopgirl said...

So glad things are going well for you - your post was a treat because I'm considering a move in the near future that will take me over 1000 miles away from my best friends and my life long home -I've NEVER lived ANYWHERE else but here- so it's scary to think about a move.

Your post from February is exactly what's going through my mind right now - and your update offers me hope that I'll be ok.

So glad that it's working out for you!! And hey - you can always use your hubs frequent flyer miles for travel back east right? :~)

March2theSea said...

Great read..glad things are getting better each day.

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Love to hear your retrospective of the last four months...awesome post! Way to keep your chin up :)

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Thanks everyone! Today Diva was saying she wished there wasn't anything scary in the world, and I reminded her about how we were so scared about moving and really what we were scared about was the stuff we didn't know about. It's so true--that was the scariest part--the stuff we didn't know about. Isn't that what's really all that's scary in life? I really appreciate all the support and kind words from all of you! xo

Shelley said...

I remember that list, and I'm so glad you guys are getting better and better. Can I tell you that you've made way more friends in AZ in four months than I've made in 15months in CO? I think you're amazing Steph.

Of course Diva wants to go to ASU. That's where all the cool kids go. ;)

Michelle said...

I'm so glad you're liking it down there - at least more than you were, right? :) I could use some AZ weather in another month or so. It's already in the 40s here.

So are you getting the Coronado house next August? ;)

I'm glad mostly though that your children are adjusting to life in AZ. I love that AJers has a girlfriend. And WOW does Diva look like you in one of those photos!

Unknown said...

I am so glad you guys are doing so well! I know when I was getting divorced, I was scared to death, of the UNKNOWN. Everything has turned out fine for the most part, I just don't like NOT being married! LOL

Love your commentary!

Dawn from CA said...

Love this post! So happy for you and I just might need to come to AZ to meet you in real life! I have a wonderful friend that lives in close is that to you? She is super cool and fun and you guys would totally hit it off, I just know it.

Thanks for making me laugh today...I really needed it! :)

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Shelley-- I would be YOUR friend in AZ, OR COLORADO!!!

Michelle-I don't know about Coronado, but we definitely have to go to Chicago for at least a month!

Bina -- Looking back doesn't everything THEN seem much scarier than life is NOW? I hope you are doing well now. xo

Dawn--TEMPE is SOOOO CLOSE! And seriously, if you come here, you can stay with ME!!!

Grace Matthews said...

I understand completely. I grew up in New York and we moved to North Carolina two year ago. I had the same fears, but I must say that I like it here.

Grace Matthews said...

By the way....picture of the pool?Where is the pool boy?

Stephanie said...

Grace--the pool boy was inside making us DRINKS!!! As every good pool boy should!

sweet southern inspiration said...

Love that things are good for you now. Like I said the other day, the weather will make ALL the difference! and of course your glowing personality is a huge plus!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to read your updated post! We all fear the unknown and you are a shining example of making it work! Love it!