Thankfully, I've had some bright spots in the last month as we've gotten ready to move away from Flagstaff . Here's a little bit of what I've been thankful for:
An amazing hike to the highest point in Arizona, Mount Humphreys, in the San Francisco mountains that make the scenic backdrop to our town.
|I got to do the hike with my two besties--Christy and Mariah. Made my heart happy.|
|Our shirts say "Bears Don't Scare Me". I made them. We were known on the mountain as The Bears Don't Scare Us Girls. It's a good thing to be known for.|
|9.6 miles total--to an elevation of 12,637 feet above sea level.|
|At the saddle, where things started to get really fun. And really windy.|
|(Jack Black falsetto singing voice) Gorgeous!|
|The trick is to just keep reminding yourself (and your friends) that there are many false summits. Also, you should go to the bathroom below the treeline or else...it will be difficult up here.|
|We made it! Epic! Windy! Sandwich!|
|On the descent, the wind was so crazy it blew the snot out of us.|
|And we think the high elevation made us a little...happy. Things were sure funny up there!|
|The car is in sight, the bear is growling behind us, and my blisters are annoying. But what an amazing day with amazing people and amazing beauty and it was amazing.|
Bonus weekend: Both sets of grandparents were in town so we got to head off on a spontaneous motorcycle date with Jason and Mariah (they've been our friends since college). We rode to Mars Hill to look over the city and to not make out, we rode around downtown, and hung out on the balcony of the Zane Grey ballroom that overlooks downtown until the wee hours of the morning. And then Mariah and I, who were experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness from our hike the day before, stumbled down the stairs and struggled to get our legs over the motorcycles (me more than her, have you seen that girl's legs?)...it must have seemed like we had been partying a little too hard up there on the balcony, when in reality, we were talking about my dermatologist and fine china. And such.
We've had some sunny days with friends at the park...
|Chasing monarch butterflies--there have been so many this year! (Jack Black again) Gorgeous!|
|Also gorgeous, I must say :)|
Squeezing in as much time as possible with old friends...here we are at my old roommate, Amanda's home (she and her husband Danny are the ones who sang at our wedding). Danny is an avid hunter, can you tell? Funny story, we stayed in Danny and Amanda's house for 3 weeks when we first moved here and we invited our first friends, Bianca and Matt Fahy, over for dinner there and on the way, Bianca casually mentioned that Matt and their daughter Eden were vegetarians. And I had cooked a roast. And there are a lot of dead animals on the walls. And a sign that says, "Vegetarian: Old Indian word for Bad Hunter" on the wall by the table. Nice.
|The girls. I need to get me an older daughter to dote on Annie.|
|The boys. Evan was trying to impress them with some bodily function humor.|
|I've been feeling so sentimental...I take pictures of my friend's kid in cowboy boots...|
|...and also her door that is covered in handprints. I told her I would send her this picture in 20 years when her youngest is off at college and she'll finally appreciate it.|
|Egyptian Pharoah, Floozy Gypsie, Indiana Jones. Which one doesn't fit?|
|Amazing decor...the church is totally transformed, and mostly only using discarded or second hand treasures and lots of volunteer manpower.|
|Snake pit, complete with creepy snake sounds and rope swing over bridge.|
|The kids sang like crazy every night. I stood in the back and cried like a sap. Does that make me a tree?|
Simple pleasures around town...like riding the bus downtown for snow cones with friends, Zoe and Joseph.
Mural Joe, painting the NAU mural downtown.
I'm also thankful for silly things like the fact that the warm weather has made most of my flowers bloom early so I could see them one last time.
I love our life here. I am thankful for it. I don't want to leave. Then I remember that I loved Carlsbad and Shymkent, too...and that I have the capacity to love another town in the future. But Flagstaff will always be our special place--where we fell in love, where our kids were little, where our friendships were many and deep. I am thankful and sad and happy and thankful.