I feel like lately my constant message on here is "I'm busy and tired," which has such a snowball effect. Because of this, when I do post, I feel like it's become this impersonal sort of retell that just recaps life, rather than really talks about it, you know? Almost too many pictures and not enough content. I suppose I'm just going with the whole, "a picture's worth a thousand words" philosophy, but I would like that to change. After all, one of the reasons I have a blog is to write about my life, not to just post pictures. I can't promise that this post will be earth shattering change, but hopefully it's a little better. I just hope it doesn't take me two weeks to finish it!
In light of the stress of this new job and new location, Ed and I have both been making a concerted effort to find ways to relax, much more so than we ever did before, even though there was plenty of stress in our our life, too.
One of my favorite new routines is that Ed and I will carpool to work on Fridays (and usually another day besides). After work, we pretty much always go and hit up a happy hour. About half the time, it's with the other new ASU faculty (who are all really nice and around our age). If they aren't meeting, we just choose a place for the two of us.
Ed and I keep talking about this - we can't decide if we didn't do this in the bay area because we were just less adventurous, or if it was just harder to find good, cheap happy hours close to us. In any event, we've found a lot of great places, including this mexican place (above), an irish pub (downtown Tempe), a pizza/wine bar (downtown Tempe), and a brewery (downtown Chandler). It's a great way to let off steam and get the weekend started right.
Now that our living room/dining room is nearing completion, we're also enjoying relaxing in there. We actually made our first trip to Whole Foods last weekend (it's not even too far away!) to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner. We had Bison steaks, with fresh corn and a great tomato, cucumber and avocado salad with basil and a balsamic vinaigrette. It's so nice to eat at our big table and enjoy the room that took so much work to finish. I feel like I've not been cooking as much as I used to (see busy job), but I'm hoping to get back into that routine soon.
Probably my favorite (and most consistent) relaxation routine though, involves this view:
I've made it a goal after I get home from work to immediately fix myself a snack and go to the living room to read (thus channeling my mom perfectly, as that's what she always did when I was growing up). After the noisiness of the classroom all day, just 30 minutes or so of peace and quiet is amazing. I may ask Ed to not watch TV if it's been a particularly rough day, and he's usually wonderful enough that the he obliges.
This has been my go-to snack this past week - triscuits with cherry tomatoes, fresh parmesan, and fresh basil, along with a glass of sparkling water if we have it. It is probably my favorite part of the day and really helps refresh me for the evening. I am loving having a consistent reading time and watching less "mindless" tv (i.e. without a show in mind, just flipping channels). It's lovely.
And, while these guys aren't technically about stress relief, they certainly make us smile. Meet our resident front porch pest control service:
We have 4 of these super cute geckos and have seen first hand their awesomeness when it comes to crickets and moths. We're hoping they tell their friends about the great dining here.
This was by far our coolest resident, who sadly wasn't back today. A very cute, fuzzy bat! I'm still hoping he returns, as I know I could count on him to keep our bug count down, and he is quite cute looking (from a distance).
So, that's what's going on every day, without special events or big plans. Just life.