Sierra Vista Living

It’s almost September! Woah!

Time has really been hard to track lately. Sierra Vista has so much to offer, and the kids are just now old enough to jump into activities, so I’ve signed us up for practically everything.

I raced the Hummingbird Triathlon on August 19th, and did better than I thought I would. I hadn’t put in enough practice at the pool, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the swim portion of the race went. The distances were 800m swim, 13 mile bike ride, and a 5k run. It was fun, and I’m now tempted to sign up for the Lake Patagonia triathlon, but I still have other things on my agenda that are more pressing. And open water swims are a terrifying prospect to me right now, I just need to gain more experience.

Hummingbird Triathlon Sierra Vista AZ | Yea Yea Pueblo

We also bought a kayak! It’s a giant sit on top tandem that we can all fit on. We’ve only taken it out once in the two weeks that we’ve had it, but it will certainly get more use this fall.

Kayak | Yea Yea Pueblo  Apple Annie’s Orchard out in Willcox, AZ was a nice excursion. Peaches and apples now gracefully litter my countertops, waiting to be turned into crisps and snacks. Annie's Apple Orchard Willcox, AZ | Yea Yea Pueblo

While it was hot out, the generous scoops of ice cream atop our homemade apple pie slices provided a brief escape from the heat.

Annie's Apple Orchard Willcox, AZ | Yea Yea Pueblo

Annie's Apple Orchard Willcox, AZ | Yea Yea Pueblo

Annie's Apple Orchard Willcox AZ | Yea Yea Pueblo

Kids in the Kitchen | Yea Yea Pueblo

Margot started homeschool preschool this week, and has already enjoyed new forays into interesting subjects. Woody said he was sick and we decided to make him chicken noodle soup. We made the egg noodles from scratch. It was delicious, however the kids wouldn’t eat it, and spoiler alert: Woody wasn’t sick. Either way, we can mark that down as a Home-Economics lesson completed.

Kids in the Kitchen | Yea Yea Pueblo

I’m back into sewing. It’s been a love-hate relationship with the craft, but I think it’s mostly due to the machine I use. It’s got tension issues and I’m not sure if it’s worth servicing or just buying an upgraded machine. I’m still swimming in that conundrum, and my projects are piling up. But my new workspace is helping me stay organized, and it’s just so fun to sit at that I want to work on all the projects!

Craft Table Work Station Sewing Room | Yea Yea Pueblo

Previously, I said that I was not the Halloween-costume-making type, but I’ve had a change of heart (that seems to happen a lot, so take my sweeping proclamations with a grain of salt). I found some halloween costume patterns in my fabric stash and let Margot pick a view. She chose to be a Devil, so I’m like 1/8 done with that project (my machine eats everything, so I’m stuck).

I’m also trying to work on a mini quilt as my first foray into quilting.

My camera is getting a little dusty, but I try to pick it up once in a while when I see something worth documenting. Wildflowers are always worthy subjects and fortunately they’re growing across the street in the foothills.

Wildflowers | Yea Yea Pueblo

My kombucha has also been a continuous project for me. I’ve begun continuous brewing and I enjoy having a large glass or two of it daily. It’s such a fascinating process to watch my SCOBY grow and continue to ferment sweet tea into a bubbly, tangy, probiotic drink. Blueberry Ginger and Pineapple “booch” have definitely been my favorite second ferment flavors. I’m nerding out too much on booch, let’s move on.

I don’t have a lot of downtime outside of Marathon training (Tucson Marathon, Dec 9!) and my household/homeschool/parenting responsibilities. But I have a stack of books, and audiobooks, that I read and listen to piecemeal (I’m a chapter away from finishing In Cold Blood by Truman Capote) and I always seem to knock it out a book here and there. And I have a big crochet project that I’m chipping away at. If anyone knows how to keep 1 lb skeins from turning into a tangled mess halfway through their use, let me know. I’m at my wits end with these giant rats nests of yarn!

This summer has been such a period of growth for us as a family. Margot is developing so many new skill sets and interests, it’s a rewarding experience to oversee. Woody is growing like a weed, and I’ve suddenly got a million new interests on my to-do list (sculpting, cheese making, and so on).  We’ve strengthened friendships and found a church to call home. We are so happy to call Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca our home.

Lifestyle Photography | Yea Yea Pueblo


Halloween 2016 + Ardoin Family Update

095a6731095a6738095a6727When I got an email today, from google, notifying me that my website had crawl errors, it occurred to me that I am seriously overdue for a blog post. This year has been full of struggles and hardships (which I might feel open to talking about at a later time) that have taken me places that I never wanted to go. I’m here today, with a new understanding of the reservoir of strength we all have within us. Hopefully life will remain on the upswing, despite a delay in our Alaska departure and an uncertainty for where and when we’ll land in the lower 48.

095a6747095a6743095a6772It’s now November, and in the last few months, Isaac has returned from Officer Candidate School where he graduated with honors and I ran my first official Half Marathon at the inaugural HooDoo Half Marathon here in Fairbanks. We’re trying to remember what it’s like to work as a team, after our three months apart this summer. The kids are happy to have their Ukulele player back, and I’m relieved to have the help around the house, especially since the snow is already flying and the dark days are again upon us for a fourth time. I really thought that we’d be out of Alaska by September, but I keep forgetting that God’s plan is just that: his plan. So here I am, waiting on the Army to tell us what to do, wondering if I’ll have a chance to XC ski this year, or be rushed off to Arizona before the solstice. I’m done worrying about it, and I’m just going to presume that everything will work out in the way it’s supposed to. Stealing the Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups out of my kids’ halloween basket has certainly helped me to feel relaxed, but I can probably attribute that to my go-to glass of Yellow Tail. Man alive, their Cab Sav is the best! 095a6783095a6777 Surely you’ll hear from me/us again – most likely when our moving plans have solidified. I’m rather looking forward to traveling the Alcan again, even if it’s a cold, dark drive. I’m more so looking forward to re-entering civilization via Vancouver (a top 10 favorite city of mine, for sure), Seattle, Portland and good ole California. The west coast really is the best coast.



Patterns and Predictability

Growing up in Bakersfield, CA means I’m well conditioned to brutally hot summers and cool foggy winters: those are pretty much the only two seasons we saw down there, and they were painfully redundant.

Two hour fog delays were common anytime visibility dropped in the valley from the phenomena, which made it a welcome happenstance for city kids, and probably a nuisance for adults who didn’t get to share in the weather delay. This was our weather ‘thing’ and we were all used to it.

Nowadays, I realize that I can no longer be comfortable in weather patterns like I was in California. And gone are the days where I could mark the passage of time by distinct periods of fall, winter, spring and summer like I did while living in Oklahoma.

My one surety is knowing I’ll be nomadic for the foreseeable future while my husband serves our country. Did I mention we’re heading to Alaska next October?  We are, and that assignment has me both excited and terrified at the prospect of extreme Alaskan weather patterns as we build a life for our young family on the Last Frontier.

Those thoughts have been heavy on my mind lately, so to be greeted by that old familiar Bakersfield-type fog over our new neighborhood was comforting. After filling out my absentee ballot and handing it off to my diligent husband to fax off, I took a stroll on the William B. Ives trail just a few hundred yards from our front door.

I wanted to walk in the foggy woods because I wasn’t sure when I’d have the chance to do so again. Bakersfield fog hangs around awhile, but Puget Sound Fog? I have no idea. During my stroll, low fog hugged the tall evergreens as I walked slowly below. I caught glimpses of mushroom clusters and thick hanging moss that made me wonder what life will bring in Alaska, and beyond.

No matter what, one more year in Washington means I’ll have plenty of time to travel to the nooks and crannies that I’ve yet to visit around here, and I’ll have ample time to plan and dream about our future three year stint in Alaska with our upcoming bundle of joy, Margot.