Three months in, and I've really loved living in Arizona.
My one complaint has been the library nearest us is. . . well, pretty lame.
I didn't realize how spoiled I'd gotten with the good libraries everywhere we've lived.
Durham, especially, had a killer library close to us with tons of programming (preschooler science projects, Lego club, music time, story time, craft time, etc), two librarians that Ella and Ani absolutely worshipped (shout out to Ali and Margaret!), a train table, unlimited coloring sheets and crayons, and pretty much every book I wanted with plenty of holds and checkouts.
When we went to the library here for the first time, Ella looked around and said, "Where is the children's desk?"
Turns out there wasn't one.
Programming? One story time a week. That you had to register in advance for.
Instead of begging to go to the library as they had in the past, my girls complained when I said we needed to stop by to pick up my (enormous) stack of holds.
Finally, one afternoon when I had only Ella with me, I decided to drop by the next closest library to me.
Frankly, neither library is particularly close to us, so this one was only a few extra minutes farther.
Ella was entranced. There was a huge children's section (with the computers tucked way off to the side instead of the main attraction, which was killing me at the other library and the cause of several "dragging-a-screaming-Ani-from-the-premises" incidents).
There were three or four times as many books, there was a dedicated children's programming room, and there was a big section with blocks and low bookshelves, plus rocking chairs for the grown-ups.
A week or so later, I took all my girls there and we spent more than two hours while they built block towers and I read them board books in between popping in and out of my own book.
The next time we went, the weather was beautiful and my girls spent an additional 45 minutes running around and playing made-up games on the large front lawn.
After a few visits, I discovered that right next to the library is a huge nature preserve with walkways, ducks, turtles, and beavers, plus a little playground. When Jessica and her girls came to visit a few weeks ago, we packed our two little bikes and two little scooters and the girls had a fantastic time riding all over the preserve.
I also discovered on that trip that there is a Bosa Donuts just around the corner where you can get a bag of very delicious donut holes at the whopping price of 99 cents a dozen. I'm not sure if this is a good discovery or a bad one, but it's made for a fun end to our library trips since then.
You can pretty much bet I'm never going to that other library again if I can possibly help it.
And now my girls are delighted at the prospect of going to the library again (although they always ask worriedly, "Are we going to the good library or the bad library?").
PHOTOS by JESSICA LAWLER