10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Arkansas

Top 10 Things Arkansas

Greetings from a very hot Moab, Utah! When I last wrote about our move to Arkansas I left you with ten reasons I am going to miss San Diego. But before you all worry too much about the culture shock I am about to experience, there is much to look forward to Arkansas. Here are ten things that will be pretty cool if I do say so myself:

1) Gas prices
When we left Coronado Island on June 28, 2015 gas was $4.79 a gallon. Here’s what it is where we’re going:

Gas Prices in Arkansas
Yeah, this won’t be so bad

2) Counterspace in the bathroom
It is no secret that you get more house for your money in Arkansas. And a bigger house means a bigger  master bathroom with a lot of counter space. And a vanity. This may not seem like such a big deal, but as much as I loved our last house it was not fun times getting ready in the morning with such a small amount of counter space. I like to spread things out then organize them. Now I get to do that. It’s the little things!

3) Autumn
I only get to see the fall when I travel. Now it’ll be in my backyard. This doesn’t look bad, really:

Autumn in Arkansas
I picture myself and the hubs on that rock (photo courtesy of www.smartertravel. com)

4) Exploring the nature of the Natural State
In addition to the beautiful autumns, Arkansas has a lot to offer in the way of nature. A hidden gem, if you will. On the topic of gems, did you see this? You know I’m going to digging for some rocks of my own! Between the Ozark mountains, the caves and caverns, diamond mines, lakes and streams I am in for some beautiful scenery and fun exploration for years to come!

5) Getting a dog
I know a lot of city dwellers have dogs. And that is awesome. But with our lifestyle, it just didn’t work. Add in the fact in our last house no dogs were allowed in the neighborhood (military housing) and there ya go. We’re ready to give a furball his forever home!

French bulldog
We NEED him in our lives (photo from Pinterest)

6) Picture perfect holiday décor
My house is going to look like a freakin’ Thomas Kinkade painting come Christmas-time (minus the stream and lamp post lol). It also wouldn’t be so bad if it only snowed one day so I can get my photos then it can stop. A girl can dream…

Kinkade Christmas 2005
We’ll have the snowman, too (picture from Wikiart)

7) I will be closer to home (Florida)
As much as I love San Diego, I definitely missed the warm waters and white powder sands of Florida. The hubs has never been and neither have the girls. I can’t wait to get them down there and to show them such a big part of my life – and where my love affair with the ocean began. I’ll be closer to my family and getting there will no longer be such a trek.

8) Starting the business
Before the hubs was in the military, he was a K-9 [police] officer. Where he’s from, small town police officers don’t necessarily make a high income. It’s common to have side jobs. To supplement, he started a successful tree business. Life and circumstances happened and while the business did well, it wasn’t the right time. Now is the time. We are aware of the challenges, and believe me, moving across the country, getting a new house, starting life, etc. doesn’t come cheap. Remember this is a separation, not a retirement so our expectations are realistic and we’ll start slow and steady. If you want to help out, buy a t-shirt! The hubs will get to do something he loves, run a veteran-owned business and be in nature. It’s a huge win all around. To be part of building something with my husband is going to be really meaningful.

9) Decorating the house together
When the girls would come to visit us in San Diego things were already how the hubs and I had them. I’m looking forward to all of us creating a space together – taking the girls shopping for their bedroom furniture, comforters, pillows…all of it. I think I know better than to have Brady Bunch expectations, but seeing them be a part of it all, I hope they know that what they think matters and will continue to matter in OUR home.

10) Being with the girls
They are the reason for this move. I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again – six years is too long to be without your dad, especially when you’re growing up. With the military you don’t get a choice and now, for us, a choice exists. I don’t know how anyone could actively choose not to be near their kids. I love my husband even more because he is the type of man who WANTS to be near his children. It is no secret I struggled with this decision,though, but as I came to terms and heard the excitement in their voices I know it is the right one. While this seems to be more about the hubs than me, believe me when I tell you I am extremely excited to get to be close to them and for them to get to know me (better), too. I am still learning and I know things won’t always be perfect, but I’m ready. And I know this is going to be a beautiful new chapter we write, together. There are many growing moments and adventures to come, and if you ask me, this doesn’t seem like such a bad place to have them.

Top 10 Things Arkansas
Not a bad place to get to write our next chapter TOGETHER