Both Feet In: Living & Loving a Life in Arizona


Living in Arizona

For a long time I felt like I had one foot in the Arizona door and one foot out, ready to move at a moment’s notice to the nearest city that would get me back to my roots. My husband and I have been in the Phoenix area for 8 ½ years now. We came here young and adventurous, so ready to be in a real city, to soak up the sun, and go hiking every weekend. We established ourselves as official “Phoenicians” those first few years, but as time went on a lot changed. Close friends that were dear to my heart and my everyday companions moved. My husband and I officially tied the knot and just a year later I became a mother. It wasn’t long before I found myself wanting to move too. Like many new moms there were times when I was extremely lonely and overwhelmed by the demands of my children, and even though I was a mother myself, all I wanted was my own mother. I wanted her to come hold my children so I could shower and sit next to me on the couch to tell me that even though I felt like a mess, I was doing it right, that I was a good mother too. She couldn’t though, she lived 1500 miles away making visits few and far between. So I stepped one foot out the Arizona door and even though I was here physically, my mind was always dreaming of being back in the mid-west.

Then I found Scottsdale Moms Blog. I really enjoyed reading the articles and loved that they were written by local moms, I saw they had similar joys and struggles with parenthood but they also wrote about how great life with kids in Arizona was, sharing their favorite places to take the kids and tips for staying cool in the heat and they encouraged meeting and connecting with other moms. I stepped out of my comfort zone and started to reach out to the few “mom” friends I had instead of waiting for someone to reach out to me. I asked them to come to SMB Moms Night Out and playdates with me. We were able to mingle outside of work and away from children or at play groups in fun new places to build lasting friendships between ourselves and our childrenI realized that I had to re-grow my roots in AZ, so I continued to find ways to be thankful for what surrounded me and enjoy the place I lived. I became a barre3 fitness instructor, teaching classes that stirred my desire for a healthier life and introduced me to even more wonderful women. I started to get more involved with my church, volunteering in the nursery and joining the women’s group. I felt like it all came full circle when I had the chance to start writing for Scottsdale Moms Blog myself last Spring and have enjoyed sharing what I love and learn about Scottsdale/Phoenix and being a mom. 

Before I knew it, I had both feet back in, living and loving this beautiful life we have created in Arizona. I am so glad I did because there really is so much to love about life in AZ – hiking Camelback Mountain, year round swimming season, running the Rock ‘N’ Roll half marathon, Churn Ice Cream, Four Peaks Peach Ale, and of course the wonderful moms who are here to encourage and support each other. All of this has brought me to the most exciting adventure yet, I am now going to be co-owner of Scottsdale Moms Blog and get to live my passion for connecting moms around the valley and show others how great Arizona really is as we learn to laugh through the life of parenting together.

I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity and excited for the future of Scottsdale Moms Blog.

Now that you know my story, please share yours! I want to know what YOU love about Arizona and raising kids here. What would you like to see more of from SMB in the future? How can we help you better connect with moms around the valley and love Arizona with both feet in?


  1. SO true, and such a good reminder for us all. So excited for this next adventure- it’s fun and inspiring to watch you live life so fully!!

  2. Wow, I felt like I was reading my own story. We moved here 13 year ago, we married here and started a family here. We have no family and struggle everyday with being so far way. We miss the midwest (in the summer of course) but love AZ in the winter months. I do feel that my husband’s relationship is closer because we have to rely on each other to make our marriage work. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you Noelle and Monika! I am really looking forward to this new adventure. Laurie, I am glad others can relate! It is so hard to live away from family and some days I feel like I am loosing my mind without the help. I hope you can make it to one of our events this fall and we can meet and enjoy the fact that we aren’t digging ourselves out of three feet of snow 🙂

  4. This post was so nice to read and comes at the perfect time. I’m moving from Philadelphia to Scottsdale in November and leaving family/friends. I have two toddlers (3 and 1) so I’m definitely very apprehensive about this big move, but I love that I found this blog. I look forward to coming to one of your Barre classes. I have been a member of Lithe Method in Philadelphia for years. Thanks again for this article.

  5. Hi Marisa! The good news is you are moving at the best time, no snow here 🙂 My kids are 3 and 1 as well, I hope you can make it to one of our playgroups when you get here and meet some moms and friends for the little ones. And you will love barre3, I have met so many great women through teaching and taking classes.

  6. Such a great post and reminder! My husband and I talk about potentially going back to TX one day, even though he has family here, whom are wonderful and we get to see often! We do love our life here, but I think often about what our life would be like back in TX, and when that opportunity may come for us to move. In reality, I see our life here as more permanent every day, however, I do still hang on to hope of moving back, and it’s exactly as you described it – one foot in AZ and one foot out. We have our first child coming in October, and are excited for this new chapter in our lives, and new people we will meet along the way! Thank you for the great encouragement, and congrats to you on becoming a co-owner! I have really enjoyed reading the posts on this blog as I enter the “Mom” world – they are relatable and very real. Each post are spoken from the heart, and seem to be truly genuine! So, thank you! 🙂

  7. Congratulations Jess!!! So excited for you and this new adventure!!! I’m so glad and thankful to have you as a friend here in AZ, as most of our family also lives far away. You are a sweet and genuine person and the moms at SMB will benefit so much from having you! I love reading your articles!!!

  8. Love this post! This is how I felt when we lived in Ohio. Except, right when I felt like we finally got settled in for the long haul, we moved here to Arizona. We truly love it here and hope that we get to stay awhile. 🙂 I think it helped too that my parents ended up moving here, so now we have help. But I am acutely aware of what it is like not to have help, and I commend you and your husband for keeping on!

    Congrats again on your new role with the blog. So excited to see where you take us. 🙂


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