It’s Been a Good Year…

As my Facebook kindly reminded me this morning, I officially said goodbye to Arizona and moved back to California one year ago today. I know I seem to say it a lot in my posts, but this last year has probably been one of the best.

I was not happy in Arizona. I had a couple good friends (hi Tricia and Jolene!) but aside from that, I had no roots there.  I was there for six years and never really let myself establish anything because I knew I didn’t want to be there forever. My life there was really lonely– my family was in California, my boyfriend was across the country in Connecticut, and my best friends were either back home or in other states (this I am used to though!) I told my mom, time and time again, that I felt like life was just passing me by. I saw everyone moving forward in jobs, relationships, and just life in general, and I was still not even living where I wanted to. Everyone’s life seemed to be in this straight, easy path and mine had zigzagged all over, leaving me still somewhere I wasn’t happy to be.

 

I’ve spent the last year exactly where I want to be and with the people I longed to be with the most (minus some people are still in other states 😉 ). That zigzagging road finally took me right to where I wanted it to! Enjoy the picture overload of some of my favorite things from the past year.

IMG_0700

IMG_0935

IMG_1042

IMG_1183

IMG_1225

IMG_1318

IMG_1438

IMG_1461

IMG_1482

IMG_1562

FullSizeRender-11

IMG_2126

IMG_3460

IMG_3298

IMG_3587

IMG_2990

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend was whoa. A whirlwind! Thank goodness for spring break in a few days because I need some rest and relaxation time! Sit back and get comfy, this post is a long one.

Friday: Work, of course! I also had my follow-up doctor’s appointment. I shared about getting some results back last week. I had to have a thyroid biopsy after they found a pretty large cyst a few weeks ago. It’s benign (still so relieved) and the endocrinologist wants me to get another ultrasound in six months to monitor. Easy! I can do that. Nice to finally be able to put that in the way back on my mind. After my appointment, I needed to get out to Corona to leave for Phoenix the next morning but I also needed my car in LA because that’s where I was flying back into… my bestie was the best ever and picked me up and we drove to Corona. Traffic wasn’t too horrendous but it was made a ton easier to have someone to chat with. Whit, I still owe you dinner!

Saturday: Dad and I headed to the airport in the morning for our flight to Phoenix. We got in about 11:30 and despite the craziness at the airport and getting into the stadium, we arrived with plenty of time to watch our Zags! Steph and I were able to visit for a few minutes before Dad and I hiked up to our seats. Considering how huge the stadium is, and how high up our seats were, they actually weren’t too bad! There were two students from Arizona sitting behind us who bought tickets at the start of the tournament hoping their team would be there. I told them they were now Zag fans! I texted Michael, Whitney, and my mom the same thing several times during the game: I CANNOT HANDLE THIS! I get stressed out watching at home, but let me tell you, it is about 100x more stressful in person. That last minute of the game dragged on but when that final buzzer went off? SO HAPPY!!! ON TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP!

IMG_3001

IMG_3002

IMG_3008

IMG_3007

Sunday: Dad’s flight was super early so I hung out at the hotel until Jolene picked me up. We headed over to Tricia’s house and caught up for a few hours— it’s always fun hearing how things are at my old school (and being thankful I’m not there) and then just laughing with those two. I’m glad it worked out to get to see both of them! Tricia and I relaxed some more once Jolene headed home and we met one of our other teacher friends for dinner. Tricia is the best for letting me crash at the Igwe house and I know I’ll be seeing her again in California soon! 😉

IMG_3018

Monday: GAME DAY! I woke up so incredibly nervous. Throughout the day, I would remember the game and think to myself, we are playing in the CHAMPIONSHIP! How on earth did we ever get here?! I met up with Steph and her parents at the Biltmore where we walked around (lots of GO ZAGS! when people saw us in our shirts) and then we headed to the arena around noon. McFadden’s was the Gonzaga “bar” so we ate there and mingled with tons of Zags before the game. Adam Morrison even led us in a cheer. I had a single ticket to the game because my dad had to head back home and most people already had tickets or were trying to find them but I had a budget (I still paid a lot…) and it was just too hard to coordinate. I ended up sitting with tons of alumni and a few people that got tickets just because a championship was on their “bucket list.” The poor guy next to me, who also had a single ticket, had to deal with my anxiety during the whole game. He was rooting for the Zags and it was much less stressful to have someone to talk to (kind of like when there is turbulence on an airplane… I need to distract myself). The last 100 seconds of the game was heartbreaking. I’ve never liked UNC and losing to them, in the last 100 seconds, was tough. But I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of my team. No one expected them to be there… basketball people said they were a championship contender but the skeptics wrote them off and said nope, they play in an easy conference, they don’t have any good wins, they beat an 11 seed and a 7 seed to get to the championship… all of that. We were right there the ENTIRE game. Bad calls (go away, refs) and off nights (it’s okay, Karnowski) got us in the end. I think we proved to the basketball world that we are a true contender. And if they still don’t believe it, they weren’t watching this season.

I am now back home, exhausted from my 7am flight, with a full day of teaching ahead of me. It was a weekend I’ll remember forever though– watching the Zags win in the Final Four with my dad, seeing them take the court for the final game of the season, and hanging out with Zags fan who came from all over to cheer on their team.

FullSizeRender-8

IMG_3036

IMG_3037

What’s Up Wednesday

whatsupwednesday1

I haven’t posted in awhile so today is a good time to link up again this month with Mix and Match Mama for What’s Up Wednesday. Here are all the things that I’ve been up to this month.

whatsupwednesday

What I’m eating this week:

I LOVE pizza (hence the blog title!) and am always looking for healthier ways to eat my favorite food. I’ve been getting naan and putting homemade sauce on it with fat-free cheese. Yummy! The homemade sauce is super easy to make and has way less sugar than any of the sauces you find in the store. My grandpa also sent me back with some homemade sauce a few weeks ago which I will also use on some pizza!

What I’m reminiscing about:

 In sad news, we said goodbye to our pup, Maggie, last week. I wrote about her in a post last week. I was home over the weekend and the house just seemed empty without her. The picture below was her looking up at me on my way out the door one day a few years ago. She hated suitcases- I swear she knew that they meant you were leaving. I’ll miss this sweet little face looking up at me.

12400746_10100421663609823_4123195063325643763_n

What I’m loving:

I’m loving college basketball and am, of course, cheering for my Bulldogs! WE MADE IT TO THE FINAL FOUR! Dad and I got tickets to the game in Phoenix and will be flying in for a short 24 hour trip (I tried every which way to justify taking two days off of work to plan to go in for Mondays game but just couldn’t). It was super spontaneous and the high prices were justified by it being an early birthday present for my dad (his bday isn’t until June…).  And my wonderful grandparents offered to pay for flights so we wouldn’t have to drive. As you can see, the whole family is excited about the Zags!

What I’ve been up to:

I’ve just been busy. Conferences are this week so that’ll be two very late work days but  thankfully I’ve been able to decompress after work with a good book and I am still going out to Corona most weekends. Michael’s schedule changes in April so until then, I’ll be maximizing my Pippa time! He and I went to see Beauty and the Beast last Sunday. I didn’t love it but do recommend if you like the original. I thought some of the new songs they added were unnecessary but you can never go wrong with a book-loving princess. Michael looked over at me during the movie when Belle saw the castle’s crazy big library… he knows I would never leave that room.

Unknown-2

What I’m dreading:

I don’t think I’m really dreading anything at the moment!

What I’m working on:

While we’ve been in our new school for a few weeks, I am still working on getting everything organized and set up. The last of the bulletin boards arrived last week so time to get student work up! I took a picture in the process of getting this one up…

IMG_2955

What I’m excited about:

There’s a lot of wonderful things happening right now which is a 180 from several weeks ago when I just felt so much stress and anxiety and felt like everything was going wrong. I won’t go into very many details but I got some medical results last week that I am super excited about. I have a follow-up appointment on Friday so we will find out the next steps but, for now, a huge weight is off my shoulders. It’s been wonderful being close to home and being able to have my parents and Michael at all my doctor’s appointments. All this stuff was a whole new territory for me so I am thankful they made the time to make sure I wasn’t alone during any of it.

What I’m watching/reading:

I am watching lots of Reality TV as always. This is Us ended a couple weeks ago so Reality TV it is. I am finding myself wanting to read more in the evenings so I usually have shows stacked up when I am ready to watch. I did re-watch the first episode of Season 2 of Broadchurch with my mom over the weekend and will probably continue. It’s been awhile since I saw it so I got hooked back in. If you haven’t seen it, add it to you queue!

Unknown-1

And as far as what I’m reading, my March book review post will be here later this week! I started a ton of books this month but only finished about 5. There are too many good books and not enough time so why keep reading something you’re not enjoying? That was my mantra this month.

What I’m listening to:

I’m loving all of Ed Sheeran’s new stuff. I’ve been listening to his new album on repeat for weeks! I tried to get concert tickets for his show at the Staples Center and unfortunately, have no tickets in hand. My co-workers and I had everything set to get them during the pre-sale and couldn’t believe the cheapest were $99 (plus fees) for the seats wayyyyyy up there. We should have just bought them though because tickets on StubHub are way more than that now! Ugh. Sorry Ed, maybe next time.

Unknown

What I’m wearing:

 I am back to wearing sandals on most days because the weather is super nice but did want to share my favorite pair of flats with you. My feet are super sensitive (as in 99% of shoes give me blisters). My mom loves Sam Eldeman and has tried to get me to buy the flats for months. It’s hard to justify a pair of shoes that are over $100, but I did find some at Nordstrom Rack (animal print, too!) for under $60 so I snatched them up. THEY ARE LIKE WEARING SLIPPERS! You best believe that I will be buying more pairs in the future. And I definitely won’t be so hesitant about paying because I know how comfortable they are. If you have sensitive feet like me, be sure to try these ones on!

images-1

What I’m doing this weekend:

I’ll be in Phoenix to see Gonzaga take on South Carolina! And Tricia and Jolene were texted the second we got tickets so hopefully I will be able to see them on Saturday night!

IMG_2354

What I’m looking forward to next month:

I can’t wait for the cruise and me and Michael’s mini-vacay to SF! I plan to be in full tourist mode. We just made reservations for Alcatraz and Michael is checking out seats for a Giants game (what luck that his favorite team, the Diamondbacks, are playing when we are there). T-minus 7 school days until spring break!

What else is new: 

That’s about it. It’s been a busy few weeks to say the least.

Music to Quicken your Step

I have a love/hate relationship with exercising. Typically after a long day of work, exercising is the last thing I want to do. I’m tired! And yes, I realize that exercising will give me more energy, but still. I belong to a studio near my apartment that offers a bunch of fitness classes like barre, spin, and strength training. Barre class is my favorite. Who knew that tiny little movements could make you hurt so much! I also try to do a nice walk/run a couple days a week. The only way that this walk/run is bearable is because I am listening to some great tunes to quicken my step. Below are some of my faves. Check them out and add them to your work-out playlist!

Oceans Away by A R I Z O N A

Magic by Thomas Gold

All We Know by The Chainsmokers

Romantic-NOTD Remix by Stanaj

September Song by JP Cooper

Where I Want to Be by A R I Z O N A

Body Like a Back Road by Sam Hunt (because every good playlist needs some country!)

Happy cardio!