Spring Training in Arizona has been on Cortney’s and my Get Living List for as long as we’ve been married, so for over a decade! Every year has been something: a move, a baby, cancer treatment or living on a tight budget while we were paying off debt – all of which are not conducive to a fun family road trip! So when the Spring Training schedule was released this year’s training, we both looked at each other and said, “Let’s do it! This is the year!”
There was a little debating back and forth trying to convince one another that the money spent would be better saved. But in the end, true to our family’s mission, we decided not to chance it on tomorrow and seize the opportunity to tick it off our list and add yet another memory to our lives.
The decision was made, we were going! The next debate became which team to buy tickets to see, Angles or Dodgers. You see, we are a divided house, I grew up in a family of Dodger fanatics, a generation of season ticket holders. Cortney is a true O.C. purebred; Angles all the way! We got to looking closer at the schedules and quickly realized both teams played each other during a week in March that worked for us. There was no need for martial conflict or compromise – this had to be the game to see!
The kids have chosen their favorite teams. Nolan, a true mama’s boy in this season of life, is all Angles. Hadley, the peacemaker who we jokingly have renamed Hadley Anna Justice, is committed to both teams and will be sporting Dodger Blue and Angel Red. She claims this way she will win either way, no matter the outcome, now if that is not an internal sense of justice I don’t know what is!
An added bonus to this winter escape to the warmth of Arizona, was getting to spend time with our dear friends, who are as close as family, Rhoda & Randy. Rhoda and Cortney first met as housemates in Malawi, Africa 15 years ago and love each other like sisters. We often see them when they visit family in Colorado but we were overdue for a visit to them, not having seen them in Arizona since their wedding over a year ago.
Rhoda and Randy were quick to give us a list of local sights to get on our itinerary, Randy had suggested we head out to the Goldfield Ghost Town and Rhoda suggested McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Both were gems!
Goldfield Ghost Town is a town that existed because of the gold mine. The town has been restored to the period with live reenactments, shoot outs, mine and mystery shack tours and even a train to ride. Down in The Mine the kids learned about “The Honey Pot” and I don’t think they will ever complain about household chores again! Nolan is still trying to wrap his mind around the Mystery Shack and how the Sheriff and Bad Guys learned to play dead. It was a step back in time and an experience we all loved!
After having been to some really phenomenal train museums in Pennsylvania last summer Cortney and the kids really didn’t know what to expect at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. They ended up spending over three hours out there, between the free miniature train museum (that was 3 times the size of the one that they had visited in PA), 2 different parks, carousel and train rides, a picnic and ice creams from the sweet shop, they had a great day!
It is interesting to us the number of people we know in the Phoenix area, over the years we have had several friends move there. While there are always cool things to go, see and do – seeing the people who make us better for knowing them is always a highlight. We were able to visit with our friends and kid’s former piano teacher, Bradley & Morgan as well as Krista, a mentor Cortney became friends with through church when we first moved to Colorado 10 years ago. It was so encouraging to see how God is moving in their lives. Interestingly enough in both cases, how huge steps in faith are rewarded with great blessings!
It was a much needed break for all of us, from school for Cortney and the kids and the day to day of work for me. It is always nice to get out of the office for a bit and have the time to work on tasks that I don’t normally get to during a regular work week. (And some free time to work on this blog!)
Self-employment is tricky in that there are no true vacations, however I think we have found a great balance of finding adventure and making memories in spite of the tireless work that it is. We feel so grateful to have had this week together as a family, with friends and making memories we will still talk about for years to come!