The Story of How We Didn't Die

We made it to Phoenix! Time for a little re-cap of our crazy trip.

We hit the road a week ago yesterday. It is beyond admirable how Josh managed to fit EVERYTHING into our Budget truck. The fit was tight, but perfect. This photo KIND of shows how tight it was - there was even a spot for our little fiddle leaf fig in the back. (I was so worried about our plants making it safe and sound, especially our two large fiddle leaf figs that had to go in the moving truck, as the rest of our plants went in our car. But I'm happy to report both trees made it! I think they might both be in somewhat of a shock, and we're down two leaves, but so far we are trying to keep them happy. I know this sounds ridiculous but if you know anything about FLF trees, they are freakin' MOODY.)

And one last look at the Park house. If you missed it on Instagram, we sold our home the VERY LAST DAY we were there. Can you believe that!? Crazy timing!

For the first 4 hours of our trip, Josh drove the Budget truck and I drove the car. We were incredibly blessed to have our good friends John + Patty volunteer to fly down from WA and drive our moving truck to Phoenix for us! Can you believe that? So generous! It made the whole trip so much smoother to have them along, especially traveling with a toddler (we needed that extra hand on deck to keep her happy as the other one of us drove).

We picked them up in Oklahoma City and none of us knew the barrage of tornadic storms that we were about to hit on the road. We had planned on staying in OKC the night, but as we saw the storms coming, we decided to just try driving through it rather than hunkering down in case the storms got worse through the night. IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE MOST TERRIFYING MOMENT IN A CAR I HAVE EVER HAD not to be dramatic or anything.

We saw the storms coming first as we stopped to fill up.

We knew we were about to head into a storm, but we weren't listening to the radio or anything to clue us into the tornado warnings.

We got back on the road and then it all broke loose. Golf ball sized hail pelting our car at maximum horizontal force. Apparently at one point we definitely passed a tornado. Cars veering over to park under overpasses, and the most ominous sign of a tornado was at one point seeing hoards of tractor trailers pulled over to the road in a huddle. You know it's bad when the truckers all stop. It was terrifying because there really was no where for us to stop - we were in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, there were no exits, there was no shelter except for the already crowded overpasses, and we were just surrounded by fields. I was so sure all the glass of our car would shatter at any minute from the hail. Up ahead, John and Patty were driving in the Budget truck and the winds were SO hard that they were sure the truck would tip over. I've never seen winds so hard and scary before. It was terrifying, and then all of a sudden, it wasn't. We made it through! I think we definitely made the right decision passing through the storms at the right time, because after we made it through, the storms got much, much worse with more tornadoes (we only saw this after we crashed at the hotel that night, and the Oklahoma tornadoes were all over the Weather Channel).

The next day, we decided to make the short drive from Amarillo to Albuquerque and just rest for the afternoon there, and explore a little bit. We first went to grab coffee and head to old down ABQ, but then I got hit pretty badly with a horrible cold or flu and just had to head back to the hotel for the rest of the day. But oh how nice it was to feel the sunshine and perfect weather! We really love stopping in Albuquerque. It's such a cool town and I always wish we had more time to explore it.

My brother Mitch (who I actually only got Instagram photos of but I love you anyway!!) drove down from CO and we met up the next morning just outside of Albuquerque. Side note - as we were driving out of Albuquerque early in the morning, we counted 6-8 hot air balloons rising near the mountains! It was almost too perfect to be true. So beautiful. I love that ABQ is kind of known for people using hot air balloons.

We met up at this rest area that happened to have dinosaurs, as many rest areas do out west. Does anyone know why!? This rest area is weird and kind of set up like a mall, if you know the one I'm talking about. Anyway it was really nice to get out of the car and walk around for a bit.

And then we finally arrived in Phoenix. <3

I gotta tell you it feels so good to be home. HOME. This place feels like our home. We moved into a smaller apartment (just in case our house didn't sell - trying to carry two large payments felt a little scary) but it's been a good kind of difficult settling into a significantly smaller space! On the plus side, it's forced us to be intentional about organizing, it's less space to clean, and it's one story so Imogen can toddle around all the day long and I don't have to worry if she is climbing up the stairs... which she tended to do a lot (she could move the barriers!?!?!). Here's a few peeks as we get our apartment unpacked.

For those curious, we are living in central Phoenix. Loving the proximity to everything! The first place we went to was Vovomeena for breakfast, naturally, but it feels so good going back to our old favorites - Lux, Giant, and then last night we went to St. Francis for dinner where we found out that kids eat FREE, which is crazy coming from a delicious, locally owned restaurant with incredible food. It's so kid friendly it's ridiculous, and it still feels like a nicer, trendier place to go for food.

I plan on starting a little series here of all of our favorite spots because I do get asked on Instagram so often for recommendations in Phoenix! I'm really excited to share, plus it gives me a great excuse to go back and visit all of my favorites, right? In the meantime, I've started the hashtag #rhodesinphx on Instagram where you can see all of my favorites I've posted about in the past. And feel free to offer up suggestions if you're local! :) xo


Packing up Park House


So who knew that a mere 9 months after buying the Park House and moving into it that we would be once again packing everything up and headed to a new place? Notice the tab at the top of my site that says "Park House?" Yeah that never happened. We started rolling with our projects and once we made the decision to move 3-4 months ago, we had to make it kind of a rush job to finish everything we had started so we could move on. (But if you're curious as to what we did get done, you can see our living room tour here, and our nursery tour here, both on A Beautiful Mess.)


A couple of people have asked me if I'm going to really miss this house. It is, after all, an incredible home. It's almost 150 years old (next year!), the ceilings are tall, the character upstairs is really cool and has more of a modern feel. But it's kind of a yes / no thing. Yes, because I still see that this house has so much potential in areas we didn't even get to make over. And no, because it doesn't feel like we were here long enough to establish a solid relationship with this home yet. You can't just immediately make a house a home, or at least I don't feel like I can! It takes time, it takes memories, it takes moving things around and finding your favorite spots. Josh will probably miss it a lot more than I will, mostly for our huge garage that he used as his workshop!

I've also had a few people ask / assume that we probably regret moving to Springfield, which is not true at all. This has been a great year for us. We loved the chance to work with A Beautiful Mess, we both learned a lot about what we love doing and what direction we are headed, and I always think moving to a new place can never be a bad thing! We found a great church and have a great group of friends here that we will miss a lot. How could we regret any of that!? Even if we could go back in time and take back our decision to move here, we would have decided to move here every time.

We're excited for what is next. We are going to be living in a much smaller apartment until we can sell this home and buy another home in Phoenix. I'm so excited to have a smaller space, mostly just because it's a lot less to clean. Hah! And as we're expecting another baby around in August, it'll be nice to lose that extra 1000 square feet of sweeping / vacuuming off of my to-do list.

We are beginning to load up the moving van on Monday, and we head out on Wednesday. Pray for us if you think of it! Yay!