Aloha Here We Come!

A Moving Update

The news is out – as most of you probably know by now, we will be moving to Oahu, Hawaii early this fall. While they have never been to the state (or a real, non-PNW beach for that matter) Charlie and Zoe are pretty pumped about the move and wanted to share what they are most looking forward to – so we made a family list of what we each think our favorite parts of Hawaii will be:

Charlie says he will most like swimming at the beach, the waves, getting a shaved haircut just like Zoe, finding a new dog park, sniffing a new house, and more sandals to chew. He is not looking forward to the plane ride and is sad fewer socks will be worn and dirty for chewing.

Zoe thinks she will be afraid of the water and the waves but is excited to dig in the sand and go on new hikes with mom and dad. She is also looking forward to pottying on grass again (there is no grass in AZ).

Brian says BEACH. Then added Mojitos on the beach, a crossfit gym to go to again, possible crossfit on the beach and the beach again.

Liz – I’m looking forward to living in a house again (hopefully!), beach days, lots of yoga studios, hiking and LOTS of visitors.

Anyone have any exciting beach trips coming up this summer?

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Arizona Firsts – Our first AZ Hike; Charlie’s first hike

Back in Feb we had a beautiful saturday – 70, not too windy for AZ and SUNNY – it felt like a day in the middle of August in the PNW – we were psyched! We had originally had an 11 am training session for Charlie and Zoe, but it was cancelled due to double-booking so we were up, dressed, ready to go with a gorgeous day and lots of time – perfect scenario for a hike. We grabbed some breakfast, Brian did some planning and I grabbed some lunch fixings, we packed and were off.

Brian got some great hikes in over the summer but this was my first hike in AZ, Brian’s first hike with either dog and Charlie’s first hike EVER – it was awesome! Since we moved to AZ I have craved trees. I miss green. I miss lush rainforest walks. I miss water. Now, there wasn’t much green (almost none) but we were definitely in the woods – with plant life reaching towards the sky and underbrush and leaves – I can’t really explain how happy it made me.

We hiked the Lower Huachuca Canyon Trail – we started at an elevation of about 5,000 ft and got to an elevation of almost 7,500 ft – it was three miles out and three miles back but most of the elevation happened in a 1.9 mile stretch. We were aiming for Huachuca Peak but didn’t quite make it to the top because while we got an early start, our preparations kind of took a long time and I’m out of shape so I slowed us down 🙂 The view was breathtaking (the pictures don’t do it justice) and we even saw a prickly pear (but didn’t get a picture)

The dogs did great, the view was amazing and we were doing one of our favorite things together as a family – a perfect day.

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A Little Oly in Sierra Vista

A Little Oly in Sierra Vista

One of the best parts of living in Washington was being so close to Art & Sally and being able to visit them often (although not as often as we would have liked!) and by visiting I mean eating Sally’s cooking. Sally is an amazing cook and if you haven’t heard me gush before, she is kind of my cooking idol. She doesn’t fuss over her recipes but seems to effortlessly put her means together casually and without rush – the proportions are always just right. Meals at 1702 East 9th taste like you are eating at an amazing restaurant but they still leave you feeling healthy (although sometimes you may have gotten too many seconds because it was just SO GOOD). We miss Sally’s cooking. (Art & Sally – we miss you too – and Ms. B!).

This week, Sally was kind enough to send us the recipe for one of our favorite meals we have been craving – involtini. I was a little nervous that my version wouldn’t come out the same and it also takes a while to prepare, so I saved it for this weekend. On Saturday we got a little distracted by the nice weather, a trip to Tucson and some great time with the pups at the dog park – it was on the late side when we finally got home. I almost decided to scrap it and get take-out, but I stuck with the plan and was SO glad I did when the meal was finally complete. I have to say, I think it came out pretty on-par – Brian agreed, but he could have just been being nice.

Involtini is basically grilled slices of eggplant stuffed with a mixture of feta, lemon juice, pine nuts, parsley & raisins with crushed tomatoes and motzarealla on top & baked. Eggplant is more photo-worthy when raw, but I photo-documented anyways and our Oly-inspired Saturday night is below, for your viewing pleasure 🙂

If you have some time on your hands, I obviously HIGHLY recommend this meal. Thanks Sal!

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Happy New Year and Other Way Outdated News

Yes, Its pretty much Valentine’s Day and I’m still on New Years – catching our breath after a long trip home followed by getting sick, followed by lots of travel for work – as usual.

I hate New Years Eve (too much hype for one night – although this year we did get to rock out on a Boat with Rosie and Demas!) – but I always seem to love the idea of New Year’s and New Year’s resolutions – so much promise and excitement – a new slate like the start of a new school year.

For our part our resolutions were fairly mundane – less TV, earlier bedtimes, better dinners, etc. (I should probably add WRITE BLOG POSTS) – but I think we have done a fairly good job of sticking to them so far. With all of the transition we do, its sometimes hard to stick to a normal schedule and get the sleep we need to be a functioning household, so I’m pretty pleased with our schedule lately. I also have to say that the combination of going to bed early for Brian’s job, living in a time zone an hour ahead of my job’s and having 0 commute has resulted in me getting the most sleep I have ever gotten in my adult life. I may even try to give up caffeine – but probably not.

January and the first 1/2 of February have also brought us the following:

Charlie has lost almost all of his baby teeth and started puppy training at the Arizona Doggy Dude Ranch – if you are interested in what its like you can see the website here http://www.azdoggyduderanch.com/ – there is a picture of our trainer with Caesar Milan!

Brian has started his class and is back on a semi-normal schedule but still gets home at 5 or earlier every day

I have traveled to and from WA for work and am now on my way to Boston for our National conference – and staying a week longer to visit everyone!

70+ degree and sunny weather – tee-shirts in February? I may love New England and the PNW, but I’m not complaining! We also just did our first AZ hike – but more on that in a later post.

How has 2012 been for everyone so far? Pretty much the normal for us, but I wanted to bring everyone up to speed due to our lack of posts 🙂 Anyone want to share resolutions?

xoxo
Liz

We’re here!

And we’re pooped!  We arrived in Sierra Vista on Sunday at about 11:30 and by the time we unpacked the cars, set up our air mattress and got the pups settled in, we probably went to bed around 1:30.  Brian started the trip out with a cold, I ended it by catching it and Zoe was car sick the whole time, so by Monday morning we were all pretty exhausted.   But we made it here without major incident and we even got to visit our good friend Chris Winter (and the Winters’ pup Abby!) in Las Vegas on our last night of the road trip.  We had dinner at his house while the three pups played and we met for breakfast the next morning.  Chris had moved down to LA at the end of the summer for a new job after the Army and his wife Liz will be moving down there as well in the next few months so it was really great to be able to see him on our trip!  Other than that we are just settling in.  I actually really like the set-up of my home office and the air mattress isn’t that bad – just can’t wait to have our pots and pans back so we can do some cooking!  I promise the updates will be a little more exciting from here – just wanted to let everyone know we arrived 🙂 

Check out some of our pics from the trip (I warned you about the puppies!)    

lizflannery’s photostream on Flickr.

We’re Off!

We’re on our way! We left Olympia at about 1pm today (three hours later than we thought). The car was over-packed, Zoe and Charlie don’t like staying in the back and we were running late – but we are on the road! More updates to come!

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A Blog is Born

When Brian and I embarked on our move out to Washington in 2008 we were excited to experience a new state, be close to Arthur and Sally and to undertake a new challenge, but mostly we were sad to leave Boston – New England – Home.  We were 100% sure that in 3 short years we would be right back to Boston, the city we love, and surrounded by all of our friends and family.  Saying goodbye wasn’t quite as hard because we saw it as more of a “see you later” – we thought that before we knew it, we would be living within driving distance of all our nearest and dearest – close enough for get-togethers, weekly visits, dinner parties, etc. etc.

Well, 3½ years later we are still in Washington – soon to be in Arizona and hoping to be in Washington again in six months.  Along the way, we have grown to love it out here, career paths have changed and we decided to stay in the Army longer than planned.   New England is still in our long term plans, but for the next few years at least, we know we will be far away.  What we have also learned over the last several years is that when you can’t have impromptu get-togethers, quick cookouts or drop-in visits, it’s all the more important to keep in touch in other ways.  We also miss being able to share everything we love about it out here with all of you.  So, we decided to start this blog to document our time away from home – to capture for you all the home we are making away from home.  We hope it will be another way we can stay in more frequent touch.

And, I have to confess, there is another reason for blogging.  Through my job, I’m immersed in social media every day.  I write and edit blogs for other people.  I’ve had blog lust for a long time.  I’ve spent many moments (hours) daydreaming about what I could blog about, but I just couldn’t find that hook… So when this idea first came up, it seemed like a perfect excuse fit.  If you are interested enough in our everyday life to keep reading, thank you for indulging me.  I hope you like puppies and food – that is probably what you will mostly find here.

In just over a week, we will hit the road for Arizona and hopefully – wifi permitting – we will be able to track our progress here!  So we hope you join us and happy reading!