Yuma and Me are Like Peas and Carrots (A half crafting blog)

Title taken from one of my all time favorite movies. Second in line to Legends of the Fall. Why do I love a movie where EVERYONE dies (sorry if that spoils it for you)? Mr. Pitt of course. And if you want to know more about things I obsess about, check out my Pinterest board all about Me.  But anyhoo, back to the normally scheduled blog post. Yuma, Arizona. Not the first place I thought I would live. But boy am I happy to be here.

I grew up in southern California. When I was 19 I got married and moved to North Carolina. I had never been anywhere past El Paso, TX (except right before I got married but that’s a technicality). So I’m on the east coast. At first I was scared. I didn’t go outside too much. I was so happy to be with my husband and that was all that mattered. I met some people but it wasn’t until a couple years in that I met some really great friends and started to find out more about this east coast place. We lived there for 7 years and did so many things. We traveled all around the state. Sometimes we would drive 3 hours to Charlotte just to eat some tacos from Jack in the Box. Yes, they are THAT important. We saw the mountains, the beach, we drove to Virginia, my husband took me to D.C for the first time. We had a life there. We had a house. We became a family. We had “family” there.  So, when my husband got orders to move to Tampa, it was a bit tough. We assumed that we would love it there and then after his 3 years were up we would move back to NC and get right back into where we were before.

Boy were we wrong. At first, Tampa was awesome. But then maybe that was because my best friend (from NC) drove there with us and stayed with us for 2 weeks. I had brought a piece of “home” with me. We drove around and went to the beach and were having a blast. When she left, it all sunk in. Here I am, in a brand new place, no friends, starting all over again. Plus we are a one-car family so it’s not like I can go and explore. But, I made the best of it. I was cool with not having too many friends and being cooped up in the house all day with my daughter. Who am I kidding? It sucked. And how does a housewife make friends? She doesn’t. I am totally outgoing but I will not walk up to someone and ask them to be my friend. And it’s not like I can go out to a bar and meet people. That is just asking for trouble.  And I absolutely LOVE being a stay-at-home mom. But not having any sort of time alone is hard. Even my daughter would get sick of me. Sometimes you just need some space. One nervous breakdown later, I knew a few things had to change. I needed more ME time. I could bore you with even more details, but here’s the gist. I started making friends. I made some really good friends. And then I moved away.

We only stayed in Tampa for 2 years. But I’m not sad. I never felt a connection to Tampa. At first we thought, this is just like San Diego (where we are both from). There’s the beach, the big city, the weather is similar, this is awesome. But that faded quickly. Big city can get boring. And there wasn’t much to do that didn’t cost money. My daughter and I miss being able to go outside in the backyard to see dolphins and manatees. I truly miss the friends I made months before I left. But when people ask me if I miss Tampa, my answer is easy; No.

When people would hear we were moving to Yuma, they seriously thought my husband had done something wrong to get here. No one could believe that he asked to come here.  I would tell them, “We used to vacation in Yuma,” and they would start to laugh. No seriously. I totally know my way around. We moved here just a few weeks before my favorite car show, Midnight at the Oasis.


Even now when I meet people from around the base, the first thing they do is complain. “Welcome to Hell” was a sentence we heard more than enough times when we first got here. We just laugh and listen to them complain and then when they ask how we like it here, we always say the same thing, “We love it here!” And it’s true. We have done more things in the 3 months we have been here that we ever did while we were in Tampa. We explore. We go off-roading. Last week, my husband and I went hiking all day. And did I mention for that the first time in almost 10 years we live within driving distance of home? I’ve seen my parents almost every weekend. I used to see them every few months, maybe. We have seen our friends. One of our friends actually already came out here to visit us. And he’s already making plans to come back.

Being happy is all about finding the best in your situation. And I feel like crap saying that after I just bashed Tampa. But we really did make the best of it. It just took a little time for us to make the best of it. But, I am pretty damn happy here in Yuma. I feel like I am meant for desert living. I say that now before the temperatures are around 130 degrees, but really. Sometimes when we are out rock hounding my husband will be hammering rocks and I will just sit there and stare out into the desert. I listen to the wind, I feel the beating sun on my shoulders (super tan shoulders) and I am just happy. I’m happy to live here. I’m happy to live in such a tiny place that I can ride my pink beach cruiser around to get the mail or go to the grocery store. I am happy that my daughter gets to spend so much time with her grandparents. I am happy that my husband found new hobbies. I am happy that he’s happy. People look at photos I post of us and they say, “Arizona looks good on you.” Yes, I think it does.


So let’s get to the crafting part because you know that’s what makes me really happy. So I finally got settled and opened my shop again. I was getting a few people asking me to paint things, do the normal stuff. Then one day while we were checking out an old abandoned mine, I found a super cool shiny rock. My husband said, “Wow! That’s the find of the day.” Little did we know it would get better. We walked around to the other side of this hill and the ground was littered with these little guys.


These are rose quartz. It’s hard to tell but they have a purple or pink hue to them. When I saw these, the first thing I saw were a pair of earrings. Now, when we first got here we bought a rock tumbler. After I found these I told my husband we needed another one.


Out came these beauties. Can you believe that those are the rocks I found? How awesome is that? And with those i made…..


A super one of a kind pair of earrings. I found the rocks, I tumbled them, I wrapped them and made them into earrings. So super cool.


I made these with quartz that I found that hasn’t been tumbled. Just a couple of rocks I found turned into a beautiful pair of earrings.

Then of course we were in Quartzsite (a town you may have heard of) and we happened upon a gem/rock store and I bought a bag of rocks. These have already been tumbled but still, pretty one of a kind.


I was there for at least 30 minutes picking through the rocks trying to find “pairs”. So keep your eyes out on my Facebook page in case you want to buy a pair of earrings. Hoping to make a couple sets with a rock pendant necklace too.

The main idea of this post? I’m a pretty happy gal. I got my family and my rocks and “that’s all I need.” (The Jerk)


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Junebug Jewelry Designs
    May 21, 2013 @ 14:24:03

    Sounds like I need to make a trip to Yuma! Those are great!


  2. SG
    Jun 03, 2013 @ 18:07:41

    Yay! We miss you, but so happy you’re happy!


    • Gwenniesmom
      Jun 04, 2013 @ 12:30:36

      You know you guys are the ones I was talking about missing! 🙂


      • sarahpagan
        Jun 18, 2013 @ 09:24:50

        Yes, we def miss you! Though, I have to admit, I know EXACTLY what you mean. If it weren’t for the (very) few friends I have here….Tampa would blow. It’s not MY kind of city.

        PS…some friends of ours just moved to Yuma! They seem happy there too. 🙂

        PPS…I pinned a pic of some stone earrings that look like the stone is in netting/webbing. I think you pinned this as well….if you can figure out how to make them I want to buy them! 😀

  3. Gwenniesmom
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 18:43:36

    Sarah, yes ma’am, I totally re-pinned those earrings. I will def make a pair and let you know when I do. Miss you, girl.


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