|Abbie helping in her Easter dress|
The long answer is: Are you kidding me?? We freaking LOVE it! So far, we love EVERYTHING about it! Granted it's not 120 degrees yet - our feelings might change a little bit mid-July, but then again, maybe not!
Living here is amazing! Everything just seems easier here. We know where everything is, and if we don't, we can easily look it up online. And everything is SO CLOSE! We've never lived this close to all this shopping and it is so convenient. Within a 5 mile radius is Kohl's, Joann's, Tuesday Morning, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, JC Penneys, Target, Michaels, Best Buy, Pier 1, Ross, Barnes and Noble, Old Navy, Babies R Us, Marshalls, TX Maxx. Homegoods, etc, and that's forgetting a few and not including any of the smaller stores. I could WALK to Target in about 10 mins. There are about 40 - 50 restaurants within 10 mins (and they're not all Italian!!!!!) and gas stations, grocery stores, banks, churches and Abbie's preschool (plus the other one we want to send her to). There are nice parks, SIDEWALKS (didn't have those in Italy near us) and even bike lanes throughout our neighborhood. We have a great yard for the kids to play in and we can just turn them out there and let them go and they have a great time.
I think the main reason we are loving AZ so much, and the reason we disliked Italy so much, was because of our houses. We hated our house in Italy. It was too small for the 4 of us and 2 dogs, to start with. It was always cluttered because there was no storage. It wasn't big enough to get away from the kids ever and with Abbie not being the best sleeper in the world, it made it difficult. This house in AZ is obviously a lot better. It's over twice as big, so we're not on top of each other. We can put the kids to bed upstairs and enjoy our "free time" downstairs, watching TV or studying or whatever. We can make popcorn after Abbie goes to bed without her being able to immediately smell it and start yelling, "Are you making some pa-corn??", "Will you save some for me?", etc. The kitchen is ginormous compared to the one we had in Italy and I don't have to keep my pots and pans on the stove because they don't fit in the cabinets. Our master closet is 2-3x bigger than our master bath in Italy and our master bath here is bigger than our bedroom was in Italy. We are a bit spoiled here with all this space, but it's another reason we are loving it.
The dogs don't drag as much stuff in because it's dry here, not wet 70% of the time. The dogs drug SO much stuff into the house in Italy. Dachshunds don't have much clearance, so they drag tons of stuff in on their bellies and paws. I had to sweep the floor every single time they came in in Italy since they brought half the yard in with them. And since it was muddy, they left paw prints everywhere also. Have you ever tried to clean up wet dog poop? Even cleaning up dog poop is about 300 times easier in AZ.
I miss my friends in Italy, and I miss living by the mountains and the travel opportunities we had there. But we are surrounded by pretty decent hills/ mountains here and we're excited to do some hiking around them. And we have some great travel opportunities here also that we're excited about. Not traveling around Europe exciting, but exciting none-the-less - and cheaper!
I loved having the experience of living overseas, and someday, I wouldn't mind living overseas again - when the kids are older and more independent. But for now, at this point in our lives, we are SO happy to be back in the States. Now if we could just get the house done so we're not in the constant state of renovations....
|I am so sick of painting!!! Three more bedrooms and a hallway to go!|
|Mark installing our new backsplash! We love the way it turned out!|