Thursday, January 17, 2013

Catching up in 2012....

I need to play catch up.   With so many life changing events in 2012, I sort of just dropped the ball on the blog.  I know it doesn't matter to the rest of the world what the Valenzuela's are up to... but recording our lives matters to me. And that's why I'm back tracking a bit.  The next few posts are going to try and recap a few BIG moments from the last 6 or 7 months.... here we go...


I really cannot begin to put into words my feelings about our experience at Thunderbird or how proud I am of my husband for all the hard work he did at that school.  Our lives will forever be changed by that short year and a half we spent in Phoenix as T-Birds... (I say we because I truly believe all the wives get an honorary diploma when their husband graduates from grad school.)  We learned so much as T-Birds.  Not only did Gabe learn how to be an exemplary Business man, we learned how to truly rely on one another, we learned how to live and survive in a foreign country, we learned to rely on the support of genuine friends, we learned how to be parents and juggle life in church, school and at home. I would say we are far better people now because of our time at Thunderbird.  We walked into Thunderbird blindly, not knowing the real blessing it was to be there, but we know now how truly blessed we are.  We loved the friends that we made there, and they will be life long friends.  I am so so proud of my husband for all the hard work and the long hours he put in and the effort he made to find a job.  We were blessed with an awesome job that awaited us shortly after graduation.  Graduation day was a blur.  We shared the day with Gabe's parents and friends and our little thunder baby.  It was such a bitter sweet weekend.  I was relieved to say goodbye to the books, the finals, the long days and nights husbandless, but I was so sad to say goodbye to our cute home in Arizona and the amazing friends that we made there.  We often say now that there is no other time in life like grad school and we will never find friends like those that shared that experience with us.  Only they truly know the struggle and the sacrifice it takes to get to that diploma.  Only they know the long nights and the endless energy drinks.  Only they know the joy of that long awaited semester break or what the 14 hour drive to Utah is like.  Only they will know what our life was like living in Prague.  And only they will know what it was like to become parents as poor graduate students in Arizona.  We look back at those times and we smile and laugh and we miss the simple life.  Life as a T-bird was good. 

Some pictures celebrating Gabe's huge accomplishment.


Soon after Gabe graduated we were off to Texas.  Gabe was offered an awesome job with Liberty Mutual.  They have been so good to us right from the get go.  In the dead heat of an Arizona summer, they moved us from the desert to the plains of Dallas, Texas!  We were so excited to continue our little adventure and head east.  Gabe and I have always talked about how fun it would be to live in Texas.  If you know us, you know that we both have an unreasonable amount of Cowboy boots, and we were ecstatic to move to a place where they are ALWAYS in fashion.  Moving with a 6 month old was a little rough, but I seriously can't complain with a moving company coming in and doing EVERYTHING.  It was amazing. They loaded our entire life into the huge truck and left us in Arizona to clean our little house and spend the week playing in the pool at a hotel.  It was hard to say goodbye to our darling first home (which we sold by the way... yay!) But we were excited to get to our beautiful new town home in Dallas.  I do miss Arizona.  I miss our little ward, my young women, the people that we loved.  I miss the palm trees and the hot cement.  I miss the beautiful warm winter. I miss that smell of heat. The smell of hot sand.  And I miss the desert sunrises. But we have moved right into our Dallas life and loving it here.  The people in Texas are the nicest by far.  Total strangers will stop me in the grocery store and chat like we've been friends for years.  It's been fun to make this new house our home and experience all the "TEXAS" that Texas has to offer.  

A few pics from our move:
The huge truck all loaded up

The last night in our house.  We celebrated by a candle lit dinner, pizza and sparkling cider.

She wasn't the biggest help in the move, but she looked cute.

Just how I will always remember our darling house in Arizona, with the sun shining down on it, making us happy. This is where we brought Londyn Belle home to be a part of our family.  I will forever cherish the memories made within these walls. 

And of course, we walked into Texas... wearing our boots.