This has been the Stone catchphrase of late--our little "somewhere over the rainbow." I think the feeling of a fresh start isn't without some attention getting merit though. While I imagine that most areas of our life will remain the same when we get to our new destination, who's to say that a few things can't get better?
So, here's my list of what I hope does, if fact, get better:
1. My cooking. Life in the heartland should provide easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables--some of them perhaps even self-grown. I also plan on purchasing our first gas grill very soon after we arrive. We have gone FAR too long not to have one. The truth is, I guess, that it's just too darn hot to spend time outside grilling in AZ.
2. Exercise. Being at school everyday has one major health benefit for me: easy and free access to the University gym and pool. I swam almost every day that I was at school last year during my final coursework semester at ASU. I can do it again!
3. My guitar playing. I haven't written a new song in over two years. It's time to get cracking again. Being away from Jon Thwaits, my musical muse, will be tough. I will have to find new motivations for writing and also want to spend time adding popular music to my repertoire. How fun is it to have a guitar player in your midst if he doesn't know any familiar songs?
4. Being outdoors, in general. The AZ heat really sentences us, as mentioned above, to our houses. Tina and I have big plans for family walks and trips to the nearby parks.
5. Disciplined study of both intellectual pursuits and new hobbies. (This one speaks for itself--though "new hobbies" is fairly nebulous, I realize. Let's just say I bought a bird watching book last week. Who knows if that will stick, but I find within the birding hobby a great metaphor for all knowledge inquiry: the more we pay attention to, and seek to become familiar with the details that are already right before our eyes, the better accustomed we will be to knowledge acquisition in general. Midwest = pretty birds, am I right?).
As I think of anymore, I'll keep adding them. I should mention also that we use this phase to keep our kids excited as well. As far as Seth is concerned, Illinois is the land of milk and honey.