The Pregnancy & My Early Signs.

Pregnancy for me didn’t start the way we always see it begin in the movies. The woman suddenly waking up, rushing to the restroom and vomiting her life away or being at work or casual restaurant and suddenly vomiting projectile-style and sometimes violently all over the place. Vomiting , vomiting , vomiting. That’s pregnancy right?

For me, our planned pregnancy began in November just a bit before Thanksgiving. Granted, at this time I had no idea I was pregnant yet, it took about 5 weeks for us to finally say, “ok ok we are taking a test.”

First, it was our conception in which afterwards my husband nonchalantly said, ”Yeah, you’re not getting your period this month.” Followed by me, rolling my eyes surely knowing I wasn’t pregnant yet. No one gets pregnant on their first try anymore right? Especially not married couples in their early thirties when ”everything goes downhill” . These were the thoughts racing through my head as my first ovulation cycle came and went and we shared stories of our friends, some who had still births, some who had ectopic pregnancies that resulted in ruptures and loss of Fallopian tubes, and others – the majority of them- who had spent the last 1-3 years trying to get pregnant with no luck. We even came across a couple our age who had been trying their entire 8 year marriage and hadn’t conceived one time. And here we are, doing the do the marital way for the first time in our entire 8 year relationship. Surely I wasn’t pregnant yet.

I was hit by a sudden cramping and fatigue I usually get right before my cycle is due to start. The cramping was milder but the sleepiness lasted a few days before I got a spurt of energy back. Thanksgiving day came around. I made Baked mac and cheese, a rustic apple pie, Pot roast in the instant pot with Modelo, cabbage, corn bread, Mashed potatoes, and my husbands honey glazed chicken thighs. Somehow I was eating way more than him. I’m not into pot roast but I was into it that day although it was my first crack at making it. Four plates tucked away easily. Not sleepy, still hungry. Typically I have one full plate at thanksgiving and I’m down for a nap. Not that day. The next week I made my husbands favorite shredded chicken nachos complete with sour cream , pickled jalapenos, green onion, tomatoes etc. The next morning at 4am, he found me in the kitchen staring at the jar of jalapenos.

”I really want to eat these right now,” I say mesmerized by the thought of it.

”Go ahead.” He said. ”Do what you have to do.”

Not long after that moment, maybe a day or two later, I woke up with the biggest boobs ever. So sore and full of veins. A few days after that in the shower, something inspired me to look down if you know what I mean and there was a ton of discharge I had never seen in in my life. I’m sure I had a “yikes” look on my face. ”Yep I’m pregnant. Theres no denying it now- he was right.”

December 7, 2021 we went to Right Aid, grabbed a pack of 2 True Blues and it gave me a big plus sign before I was even done peeing on the stick. There was no letting it marinate and then asking ”is there a line? I think thats a line.” It was screaming “PREGNANT! PREGNANT!” Full and dark before my stream was even complete. The Husband was napping when I took the test so I tapped my stomach, smiled, told the baby hello. Asked them if they were doing ok in there, stuck the test in a zip loc bag and placed it in my closet until he woke up. After he woke up we were on the bed talking about something and I casually went into the closet and put the test in my pocket. And while we were talking I said, ”Well congratulations! You are gonna be a Papa Bear.”

From there we were so excited yet too nervous to be excited because of the miscarriage risks and how easy it hadn’t been for the people we know around us.

Because our primary care wasn’t getting back to us until the 2nd trimester, we found a free faith-based clinic that provides free limited ultrasounds to check viability and health of the growing embryo. And when I saw these images pop up on my screen during the transvaginal ultrasound, it was the most emotional moment of my life. The baby was so active already, kicking around and waving its little arms in my womb. I cried and screamed ”omg” and how worried I was about it. It was a healthy little being that we conceived quickly. The heart rate was close to 170 and measured exactly to the date I said. I just couldn’t believe it. Although everyone knows how babies are made and what happens, I don’t think It would have ever not felt miraculous seeing one growing inside of me.

And I hadn’t vomited once.

Sunday Homemaking: A Simple Way to All Butter Flaky Pie Crust.

It has been such a long time since I’ve baked anything. Mainly because I’m great at baking but not the biggest consumer of baked goods. My husband, however, has a big sweet tooth and can devour an entire pie or cake by himself every single week and almost always comes home with on or the other from he store-bought section once he runs out.

Since it is Thanksgiving and also our first thanksgiving we were to share together miles and miles away from all of our family and friends, it was completely up to me to make our dinner. Usually I just pitch it one or two things to the spread but this year, it was just us and I am the chef here. I had to roll up my sleeves and get busy. The pie, for me, was the easiest most exciting part since I cook every night and bake only ever blue moon. I was excited to achieve the flakiest butteriest pie crust ever.

The way I know the mission has been accomplished is when rolling out the dough to fit into the pie pan, the layers can be seen even before it is baked. That is the most exciting part. And then, after baking for about 1 hour, seeing those layers come too life – All puffed up, separated and airy, I can’t help but squeal with excitement. Most times I have to have a slice just to test out my ideas and techniques althought I’m generally baking for others and not myself.

Pie crust is simple to make. I would even say it doesn’t even require too much measuring. It’s one of those doughs where as long as it comes together to the right texture and there’s enough butter its not going to fail. For this pie I used

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup of butter

1tsp of kosher salt

1 tbsp of raw cane sugar

a bit of cold water I put in the freezer as I was measuring out other ingredients

If you have made a pie crust or read a recipe anywhere, you know that the first step of a well formed crust is assuring that your butter is cold and thoroughly coated in the flour. I call my pie crust technique a “partially laminated” dough due to the sheets or slices of butter I use. I take one full stick of butter (or 1/2 a cup) and cut that into small cubes. With my fingers I break them up even further into the flour, making sure each peach stays coated and continue this method by hand until the flour looks more coars in texture. A pasty cutter can be used for this step as well.

I then take the other 1/2 cup of butter and slice it into this slices. This is where the “partially laminated” part comes in. These thin slices act like the sheets of butter you see in croissant-making or danishes that gives it that light and airy flakiness. I repeat the step of coating each piece of butter in flour and tearing each butter sheet into smaller pieces , and coating it again.

Next up is to bring the dough together! drizzling in a couple tablespoons at a time of the ice cold water to keep the butter cold. I use a spoon to get it to come together at first, and then my hands. I do not knead it at all as this can result in a tough and chewy dough and often times, warm and sticky butter from over working. To avoid this I allow it to just come together and if there are dry bits on the bottom of the bowl, I remove the dough and continue with the water on those bottom portions before adding it into the first dough ball.

I put this dough ball into a freezer bag and let it chill and rest for a couple hours while we ran errands and continued on once we returned , rolling it out and placing it in the pie dish.

you can see big chunks of butter in the dough! and upon rolling it out, these pieces flattin into sheets within the dough. These miniature sheets are what creaters the flakes.

From here, I fold the dough 3 times until it is triangular and proceed to roll it out one final time into a circle, flipping my pie dish upside down and cutting away the excess dough enough for it to fit comfortably inside the dish.

After fitting the dough into the pan, its time to cut any excess from the perimeter and put it back into the fridge to chill and rest before filling. This pie crust can be used for any tart, hand pie, fruit pie etc I used a quick apple pie filling because it’s my husbands favorite aside from peach. for the filling I used about 8 fresh apples peeled and sliced , 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp of nutmeg all rough measurements, and topped with small cubes of butter.

I then formed the lattice top over the pie, crimped the edges, & let chill over night for thanksgiving day. It can be baked right away but since I was the only one cooking, I used the night before as a prep day to set myself up for an easy cooking day for Thanksgiving where I could just pop things into the oven and focus on only the side dishes.

Before popping the pie into the oven thankgiving day, I preheated the over to 400 degrees, brushed the crust with a bit of egg wash for extra browning and sprinkled a bit more raw cane sugar over the lattice and let it bake for 1 hour.

You can see the puffiness and rise of the lattice itselfe and the many flakes throughout even before cutting. The pie, upon taking it out of the oven was bubbling creating a nice apple sauce with the butter topping, brown sugar, and spices melting together over the apples.

There is nothing like mastering your favorite dish or bake to share with others. It gives your family a way to indulge without reading the back of an ingredients list, wondering about preservatives or if anything is organic and healthful. It is still desert, however it takes out the additives taste and cake-like questionable crusts that were factory made and in a hurry by unknown hands. Most will agree the crust is the best part!

It’s worth the time and study and if you adopt this technique I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday Homemaking : A Giant Healthy Pot of Vegan Potato Curry (Super Spicy)

One of many recipes I am known for among family and my few vegan friends is my Super Spicy Potato Curry. Outside of the restaurants, I am a very healthful and conscious chef and this, in my opinion, is one of the healthiest meals I have in my arsenal and it is so hearty, affordable, delicious and flavorful packed with proteins and vitamins and anti inflammatory spices served beside Basmati Riced also known as THE BEST RICE.

I was inspired to post this non recipe last week after my mother sent me a text requesting it. It’s a recipe I came up with on a whim or through a dream, made it with basmati and fried corn tortillas for something crunchy and it was such a hit, my now husband asked me to make it the few months we stayed with my mom and from there my mom constantly requested I make it and from there she told her vegan friends about it and I would sent containers to go for them to try.

The ingredients list for this spectacular curry is as follows :

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Half a white onion Chopped

5-6 Garlic Cloves Minced

Half a Red Bell Pepper diced

yukon gold potatoes quartered – skin on

Garbanzo Beans/ Chick Peas

Water or Vegetable stock to cover

Fresh Spinach




Black Pepper


Garlic Powder

Chili Powder.

To Begin Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your stock pot and over medium heat add in onion, garlic and red bell pepper and stir until all is coated with the oil. Season the bottom of the pot with about a tablespoon of turmeric, a dash of salt and pepper and paprika. This is all to taste and going by how much is being made. I simply do not have full blown recipes, however adding these particular group of seasonings to the bottom of the pot close to the oil will allow them to release all the goodness within them from the aromatics and flavors to the health benefits associated with each.

Once the onions are properly sweated and translucent, I add about 10 yukon Gold potatoes that are quartered and coat them in the spices and oils and veggies. Once they are coated, I add in the Garbanzo beans, salt, pepper, more paprika, and cayenne. Stir and cover with water and/or Veggie Stock.

The missing key that some forget when I share the recipe, is once the potatoes are soft and everything is well seasoned, You want to take the back of the spoon or whichever strategy you want to use to partially mash up some of the potatoes in the soup. This step is going to allow the starches in the potatoes to release and make the soup less soupy and more thick and stewy if that makes sense. It will not require slurping and the sauce will then cling to the rice easily instead of it being a more watery broth.

After the mashing and stirring is done, do a final stir and taste test and add in the fresh spinach. Stir until the greens are fully incorporated and cook for a few minutes more until they are wilted and tender.

This can be immediately served over fluffy Basmati Rice with corn tortillas, or if you are non-gluten free you can try it with some naan. This also tastes even better, in my opinion or imagination, when it is not served right away but allowed to sit and thicken even more. For some reason I feel as if the flavors meld together even more after sitting for a bit with no heat or bubbles pulsing through the pot and the mashed potatoes within it makes it thicker when it is just hanging out.

It’s been over a year since I made this recipe but after Sunday I’m sure I’ll end up making it again before the year is even out. It’s so warm and comforting, and yes spicy with the cayenne pepper. If you like less spice, add less or omit but if you like your nose to run like I do, add it in at your heart’s content!.

A Rainy Day Date in Seattle, Washington.

We woke up early Friday morning and began getting ready for a day in Seattle. We took a spontaneous trip to this city when we first starting dating 8 years ago so it is crazy to see how we’ve come full circle, now married, and spending our first year of marriage living here.

I knew my husband had quick business to handle in Seattle that morning but I didn’t anticipate it becoming a full on day date where we could explore and reminisce on the adventure we had way back then, retrack our steps and see how far we come together.

Yours Truly enjoying s Beer Flight at The Taproom at Pike Place.

We spent the beginning of our time at the waterfront near the Ferris Wheel talking about how we almost rode it together 8 years ago, how we almost took the ferry to wherever it went but we ran out of money by the time we decided. All of the things we ALMOST did back then we are going to try to do now since we are living here for a few years and have plenty of time and better money.

My favorite part of this date was hands down spontaneously heading into The Taproom at Pike Place mid-day . One of our favorite things to do together are beer tastings and pairings and when we saw various couples in the outdoor seating and inside sharing bar food and flights of beer together we decided to splurge it up and walk on in.

Because neither of us drink like we used to way back then (and since I also have a gluten sensitivity I’m working on managing) we decided to split a flight of ales, ciders and stouts.

Seattle , Like most big cities, is all ambiance. Everything is cozy, lit, open and welcome. Any food from any country and culture can be found right beside each other. Bolivian, South American, Indian, Mediterranean shawarmas and falafels, beer tastings, cannabis stores, Oaxacan and other Mexican restaurants. But one of the things I can never leave Seattle without, and I see this is true about New York as well, is the Pizza. I absolutely cannot leave Seattle without grabbing a slice from any of the mom and pop hole in the wall spots.

Slices from Ians.

Neither of us could remember where we bought our first slice of Seattle pizza 8 years ago or where the Mexican restaurant was that I fell in love with their tortilla soup so we decided to look for them on another day, pray they made it through the pandemic, and try something new.

This time we stopped by a pizza place called Ian’s Pizza on the Hill before heading onto the highway back home. We grabbed a couple slices fo $6, smothered them in Parmesan (and crushed red peppers for me) and left the city to sit in traffic all the way home.

Absolutely delicious. Next time I’m buying a whole pie on the way out.

Sunday Homemaking : A big pot of Homemade Chili and Apple Cider from Scratch.

This past Sunday was our first Sunday living in our new place. Although I spent 7 years of my adult life as a classically trained ‘culinary artist’’, these days I feel like a fraud telling people that I AM a chef still especially since my favorite job I ever had was when I was 15 in a gourmet pizza joint and not any of the fancy schmancy places I worked in after my training. In my opinion once you become a chef, it never leaves but still when I think about my life as a chef, its not something I want to ever go back to. I abhorred cooking professionally and I used to dread when my family would brag about my profession to others or worse, on dates when men would try to get to know me and ask what I did for a living and the word “chef” at whichever restaurant would escape my lips the next thing they would say without fail was

“wow! a chef! So when are you going to cook for me?”

It would take everything I had to not mouth those words as they said it because I knew it was coming and to also not roll my eyes and take a deep sigh afterwards because I knew I would never cook for them in this lifetime unless they casually strolled into the restaurant to place an order. Cooking professionally truly made me never want to cook at home. It drained me and took the light out of my eyes and the interest to study and strive for more in that field out of my heart.

And to this day, my now husband is the only man I have ever cooked for.

I woke at about 4:30 am to make scratch made Apple Cider. It was my first time making it. My husband is a very cozy style man who loves the fall season and Christmas music; Apple pies and Apple cider. Every Autumn when we were dating he would take me to a place called Apple Hill in the mountains of Northern California for the different apple treats the people there would make and sell like jams, and candies, juices and pies (but after having my apple pie he concluded that the pies sold at Apple Hill were not worth the drive.) To make his favorite cozy drink I snagged this recipe from Delish and modified it slightly to fit my smaller pots and apple selection (granny smith and pink) and allowed the spicy fall aroma to fill the house in the morning hours.

I followed the instructions and mashed all of the fruit after 2 hours of a low simmer and let it continue to cook for one more hour before straining it through a cheese cloth. The cider was so delicious and fresh tasting and cozy. Perfectly spiced and surprisingly easy to make.

After breakfast, we headed out into the town to explore our new area a bit more. There was a thrift store near by so I popped in and came across some great quality cookware. Unfortunately I only bought what I had an immediate need for and left the rest but trust me when I say I will be back for everything else. I walked out with a large stock pot and a pan for over sized muffins. I used these to make a huge pot of home made chili and corn muffins for dinner that night

I don’t have much of a recipe for this chili. Although I’ve never made one before, I have a general Idea of what gives chili its flavor so I eye balled it.

I browned 1lb of ground beef

half of a chopped white onion and

1/4 of a red bell pepper (diced) seasoned with salt & pepper and drained the fat.

Added a 10oz can of diced tomatoes

15 oz can of kidney beans

16 oz red beans

covered with water

added garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin all to taste and let simmer and come together over low heat for about 30 minutes more before serving. Always be sure to drain and rinse any canned beans you may use.

To serve, I started our our chili bowls with a scoop of jasmine rice on the bottom, ladeled the chili generously over the scoop of rice and and topped them with cheese and a dollop of sour cream then paired it with the buttery corn muffins. Judging by my husband cussing and muttering under his breath with every bite it was definitely a success. I could not stop laughing that evening with all of the ”Sh*t!” and “F**k That’s so GOOD!” He kept whispering and then shouting. He is such a joy to cook for and it was such a successful cozy meal to have as it was pouring down rain outside. We ate together and watched a bunch of horror films as he prepped his things for work the following day.

Housewifery : Preparing to leave one Life to Enter the Next.

Before I got married I had questions that were never answered by anyone when I asked. Questions of what’s the point of marriage? What is there to gain that cannot be gained without officially being married? What changes after marriage that makes marriage a marriage? These endless questions without answers that swirled in my head for the majority of my life. No one gave me answers, many people simply were not married and if they were married they were often tight lipped and had a look on their face that they couldn’t believe I would ask such a thing.

It was one of those things I had to discover for myself since I grew up with no examples and here I am in the very beginning of an official lawful marriage to a man I love and respect and feeling incredibly lucky to experience it. I had no emotional reaction leading up to us eloping and it wasn’t until we exchanged vows and all of our memories and struggles flashed before my eyes that I realized how much I would do for this man. How much he does and would do for me. The emotional flood gates opened and it was the closest thing I’ve seen to him shedding tears and crying. And from then on what I can say that changed for us after an official lawful marriage is that we both felt an intense sense of responsibility for each other. Something we didn’t feel during the years we spent unmarried.

We both felt nervous, more committed, more aware, and selfless.

Now, entering a new way of life, there is so much to learn. How to depend on my husband. How to stand by him, how to push aside my own selfish desires for this life. In my mind, it all sounds very easy to do since I’ve already lived my own selfish life for years, but we never know what is in store and what’s ahead of us.

Since living in Texas, I’ve been jokingly referring to myself as a housewife with no husband since I was self employed and spending most of my time happily at home. But since being married and the months leading up to it and discussing our roles if we were to make the decision, I found myself having to wrap my mind around truly becoming a woman whose sole role was purely domestic.

“Will I get bored?”

”Will I need to seek adventure?”

Or worse ”Will I become lazy?”

I think as a woman, especially the woman I’ve been in my life so far, I’ve found it hard to stay still. Always wanting to explore new things, wanting to learn, wanting to discover, wanting to move on and feeling a certain level of anxiety when things weren’t going my particular way. It took awhile to become less of a complainer and more of a person who enjoys the ride. To not dwell on the rough patches and to find the joy in it and focus on growth. Never did I think I’d become a person who laughed unflinchingly in the face of adversity but thats who I’ve grown into. My past panic attacks were simply a byproduct of burnout and overwhelm, overworking, my youth, uncertainty and not prioritizing my mental health.

Knowing I have a husband who fully knows what he has signed up for, knowing of these traits, and who encourages me to continue to be me in every form is a blessing. He puts no restrictions on my life and reminds me that the girl I was before our marriage is the girl he fell in love with. Just because I am now married doesn’t mean I now have to halt every part of who I was to stay home barefoot and pregnant if that’s not what I want.

If I desire adventure, have those adventures. If I get curious about jobs outside the home or want to further my education then pursue those things. The gift is I never have to feel trapped or feel like I NEED to work outside of the home if I don’t want to. I can continue to work in my business and have things for myself as outlets and passion projects. Life for me can continue, it will just be different and if we are blessed with a child we can design our lives accordingly.

But now that we are sill young and childfree, we need to continue soaking it up while the time is here. Enjoying things how they are, designing our own lives and making our own rules. There is no need for a box. We need to just live our lives happily and trust in God to guide us.

Becoming a housewife is not the oppressed doomed role people make it out to be. It can also be the ultimate freedom of time, creativity, mental space and entrepreneurship.

Life in The WetLands… So Far.

There is an active volcano in our backyard.

Photo captured from my husbands plane ride.

Mt. Rainier, a lady volcano by popular opinion, is right outside of our house. It’s a strangely beautiful thing to experience waking up everyday and seeing an active volcano right in our backyard. It hasn’t erupted in about 1,000 years but if it does, the sleepy suburban towns around the Seattle area will be severely destroyed. Let’s hope it stays calm while I’m here.

The residents of this part of Washington state, I’m sure, are just as unamazed and underwhelmed by this majestic beauty as I was of California’s perpetual sunshine and overhyped beach life. However, my husband and I have plans to visit the Mt. Rainier National Park sometime before our departure to be tourists and explore as part of our pact to enjoy every single place we end up in life as much as we can. This pact of ours is very important and at the forefront of both of our minds and hearts since everything in my life (and his since meeting me) has been so transient and short lived. We have to make the most of everything.

One thing about the Pacific Northwest that is taking some time to get used to is the weather. I don’t exactly hate it, but it is a new experience. My husbands job is destined to move him around quite frequently to new locations every few years and being a person who has moved way more often than the average person throughout her life, I was down for wherever this new adventure would take us. My mother advised me to be proactive about depression symptoms because this new place I am due to live for the next few years is known for it’s constant rain, doom, and gloom.

It has been less than a week of living here and though I have yet to experience any depression symptoms , I see what she meant. While I was mentally ready for the constant rain and cold, what I didn’t consider was how long night time would last here. Instead of waking up to sunshine at 6am in Texas and still having sun at 8pm, the sky here remains dark and doesn’t even begin to lighten up until close to 9am and even then, there is no sun. The sky just turns to a pale gray for a few hours before darkening again and it rains all day every single day.

I fully prepared my wardrobe for this new lifestyle months ahead of time and so far the best purchase I’ve made were my tall Hunter Boots. I got them on sale at Nordstrom this past spring for about $90 and they are worth every penny and maybe even more with the cost per wear I will get out of them during couple of years I will be living in this area.

These babies are sleek and stylish and allow me to look fancy and put together while still keeping me warm and comfortable in rain and puddles, mud and snow without slipping or having freezing toes. I feel prepared for everything in these rubber boots! Ive been wearing them every single day since moving to The Wetlands. Although fall is my favorite season for clothing and fashion, I’ve never had the privilege of being able to shop and wear fall/winter style clothes being a California native so this part of the journey is very exciting for me. I can wear all of my boots, long coats, leather gloves, hats scarves etc without peeling off the layers as soon as the morning chill wears off. Here in the pacific northwest, it is constant chill, constant rain and eventually snow so I hear.

While I’m prepared and ready to experience it all, I wonder if my attitude will change by the time it’s due for us to move elsewhere . Will I grow to hate this place? Or will a new fondness for this area grow for us? Will we be sad to leave or will we be effing ecstatic?

Only time will tell.

Roadtrip : North Texas to The Pacific Northwest

We made it! After a long 3 months of being apart , My husband and I were reunited in late October and prepared for the long trip up to the Washington state. We took the long way. The quickest way from North Texas to Washington is up through Denver, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Through Utah, Eastern oregon and finally Washington. Instead, We drove through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and finally Washington in efforts to visit all of our family in various states as a newly married couple , celebrate a little and tie up any loose ends we could.

We’ve been officially married since July so to have already been through 7 states since then is pretty cool but we both were exhausted from the long drive.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Botanical Gardens at The Bellagio

We crash landed in Las Vegas where my immediate family now lives. Fresh off the road and feeling tired and raggedy, they took us to the Vegas Strip and Fremont street, and out to breakfast at a place called Blueberry Hill who had THE BEST PANCAKES WE’VE EVER HAD! That will be the breakfast spot we go to every time we are in town visiting my family. We truly had a great time and it was the highlight of the long journey. It is Vegas After all .

My husband has a fascination with Koi fish and after taking a peak at the newly constructed Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Hotel, I took him to The Flamingo, a place I go to every time I am in Las Vegas to hang out with the flamingos and see all of the Koi Fish and other things swimming around in the ponds near the margarita stand. Whether Im in Las Vegas with family or just there on a solo trip I always seem to find myself at the Flamingo mostly in the mornings to start the day. It’s probably the most peaceful areas on the strip.

I wasn’t able to capture as much of the road trip scenery as I planned to because of my husbands preference to drive at night when there is less traffic. My favorite part of this drive which is Arizona got lost in the sauce. We found ourselves driving through the AZ mountains and into Vegas well after nightfall so the majestic red rocks and cacti and canyons I love to see just went unnoticed; covered in pitch black and 43 degree weather. I cant wait for the day I finally get to fully explore Arizona and hike through it. It is absolutely beautiful.

I was able to get a few quick pics from the drive through New Mexico. This state is My least favorite part of this route but there are a few gems. This time around, My husband and I decided to stop a few times through New Mexico mainly to look for some authentic moccasins for me which I never found there, and cowboy hats for him which I ended up buying for him in Vegas. The shops in New Mexico were a cool sight to see, there just wasn’t anything in our sizes or tastes available unfortunately.

But at last, we made it. Now living very close to the Canadian border. A place I never imagined I would live out of all the adventurous years I’ve spent traveling and exploring, This place was the furthest thing from my mind. We will be calling it home for the next few years before we move on elsewhere and we made a pact to enjoy, explore and get the most out of every place we end up. It’s so important to just enjoy the ride and soak up life’s experiences wherever the journey takes us so that is what we’ve been doing during the 8 years of knowing each other and what we plan to do moving forward.

When we first began dating in 2013, we took a spontaneous trip to the Pacific Northwest to Seattle so Its sort of amazing that we are now married and starting our married lives very close to that city.

Always intriguing to see life come full circle.

Texas: A Love Story. How Moving to Texas Allowed me to Fully Embrace my Conservative WorldView.

I made the trip halfway across the country from Sacramento, California to Dallas, Texas in February of 2021 with my 8 year old dog & grandmother in tow for good company and driving help. Along the way we stopped in Las Vegas to help my family move into their new home and a week later we were back on the open road enjoying the beautiful views of the Las Vegas Sunrise and red rocky desserts, cacti, and snowy plains of Arizona. Passing through New Mexico, for me, was the worst part of the drive but an…. interesting place to get an up close view of marking the home stretch of finally making it to good ol’ Texas where friends of mine were waiting to greet me and house me just a week before the big snowstorm suddenly hit.

I moved here for a job I thought I wanted. I visited here months before for a friendsgiving and just wanted to be close to female friends. California left a lot to be desired and although I was a native Californian, it did not feel like home and to this day I don’t miss that place at all.

Little did I know, I would ultimately get married, turn down this “dream job” and learn how to fully embrace my more conservative beliefs that I struggled my entire life to resist due to the pressures of where I was living, friends and dating experiences I was having during my adolescent and adult years.

During this time, California residents were leaving the state in droves going to places in the midwest, Arizona, Las Vegas and Texas to name a few. The pandemic and resulting economic downfall of families was the last straw for a lot of people and spontaneous moves ensued. My move was always planned, but the job I was pursuing pre-pandemic sent all of the trainees home before the job was secured leaving hundreds of people stranded, homeless, and jobless. Although I knew it was a pandemic and a rare occurrence for a company to do this, 100% of trainees were required to leave their jobs and relocate for this opportunity and in the end all we were left with was an email stating ”per contract we are not responsible for you” and sent us on our way.

Being self employed for the past 3 years prior to going for this job, cut and dry ghosting approach left a solid bad taste in my mouth and reminded me of all of the reasons why I could not get with the idea of working for corporations. Sacrifice and dedication is required of a persons time and energy and, in this case, previous employment and place of residence we also to be sacrifice just to ultimately be abandoned when things when things went wrong.

Upon moving to Dallas was entering a period of my life where I was still self employed, financially stable and figuring out what it was I wanted out of life from that point on. I spent a ton of time during the solitude of the snowstorm contemplating what was important to me. Family, Relationships, freedom of my time were important. Work, in my mind, became less important unless it was for my relationships and family.

I began to think back on my late teenage years when I had first contemplated marriage. I remember wanting to be a stay at home mom if I ever went that route of family creation. Growing up with a single mother and watching her balance trying to make a living with also trying to be a present, loving and protective mother I knew that I would not be able to do it all on my own. Bringing a child into the world is a huge responsibility and it lasts a life time and the parental impact on a child’s life is not something to take lightly. I wanted to be there for every first step, every diaper change, every study session, every performance. I wanted my child to come home from school knowing their mother was there to greet them joyfully or outside to pick them up and safely drive them back home and hear about their day. Coparenting without a marriage was never an option to me, single motherhood was never an option for me. I never wanted to divorce, I wanted to take my time and fully be mentally and emotionally ready and confident on my entry into marriage to make sure it was as stable as could be for the possible creation and raising of children and playing the long game.

These ideas were shunned as I began to date seriously in early adulthood. A woman’s value were in her revenue. A woman’s demise was in her financial dependence on the men in her life. What will happen when he leaves you and you are left with nothing? There’s so much more to life. So much to do and experience. And because I could not find a man who could or wanted to fulfill the traditional male duties, something in my brain switched. I took a one way flight out to New York City on my own where I lived and worked for three months and in those three months I discovered everyone was right. There is so much more to life. So much to experience and live for and discover and explore. I could do it all by myself and achieve everything my heart desired. Playing that traditional wife role was playing small.

The truth was, I was giving in to the new world view. The underpinning of my thought processes was still I will not get married unless I could live my life in that traditional role. It was completely unchanging. If I could not be the wife and mother I wanted to be, I would not do it at all. In my heart, my true super power in a family structure was to raise my own children instead of relying on day care, homeschool my children effectively if I saw fit, cook for and be there for my children & husband everyday without fail. “Work” and “Career” in society, the realm in which I was shown over and over would not care about me at all if I was sick, dying, injured, couldn’t find daycare etc became less and less important in my life yet it was what made me a desirable woman in the eyes of men I was dating. It was up to me to stay true, follow my gut, and date differently.

Over breakfast one day in September, I opened up to my mother about how much my mind and mental health has changed since being in Texas. I spoke of how much resistance and anger I was feeling in California without even knowing it. She came down to visit for our annual joint birthday and we spent a few days together reuniting after 7 months and exploring various restaurants in the Dallas Area and going to the top of the Reunion Tower.

I explained to her that since being here I’ve been so happy. My inner happiness and values were finally reflected in what I saw in my surrounding society and with that, my faith in God began to strengthen. Living in Texas opened my heart and mind to the concept of marriage again, what I can do as a woman and embracing the type of woman I truly was. I no longer found shame in my values and started to feel powerful. It was here that I took a deep dive into the influence I had been under, why I went through so many phases of anger and depression and internal resistance with trying to conform my inner values with what I was being TOLD and SOLD I should want from life and from relationships.

I felt so refreshed living here. I felt incredible, in tune with God and life again and so distant from everything in my life that came before this time of traveling through and living in this state. It led me to let go of those past relationships and friendships and solidly move forward into who I really was. It was not something I had to scream from the roof tops at all , but instead it became something I had to accept within myself. Realize what I needed, what I believed for my life to be true, and to stop resisting.

I am always amazed at how things come together in our lives. When I thought I was in control, coming here for a job, preparing to buy my first house as a single woman to finding out so much more about myself and my true desires of this life and unpacking all of the ways I had been settling for things I did not want and did not want to be. Here I am, not a single woman, not buying my first house (yet), rejecting the job I moved for, married & preparing to leave Texas (unfortunately) to join and support my husband as he pursues his own career path. Suddenly, everything felt right.

Mysterious Ways.