Friday, March 6, 2015

Arizona, Take 2

We had so much fun on our Winter get-away to Phoenix last year that we decided to do it again.  It’s been a really mild winter in Colorado this year, but it was still fun to go kick back in the warm sunshine for a few days.  We made one fatal mistake this time.  Friday morning 6am flight out of Denver.  What could we have been thinking?  We were in Phoenix and at breakfast before 8:30 in the morning.  Needless to say, the kids were a wreck.  Tears, moping, anger…we had it all.  So note to self:  NEVER GET ON A PLANE BEFORE 9 AM WITH KIDS.  I’m not going to to lie, it was hard to recover from this mistake.  By Friday night I was ready to pack up and call it quits.  Saturday was better, but it felt like the tone of the trip had already been set.  We had to pull out all our best parenting tactics to get the kids motivated or excited about doing anything. 

Although attitudes were not ideal, we did manage to squeeze some fun moments into the crazy.  Saturday we had 4 perfect swimming hours. We stayed at the Arizona Grand and it was really amazing.  There were waterslides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. The sun was hot, the water warm, and the corndogs cost $11.  Yep, that’s right.  $11 for a corndog at the pool snack bar.  No fries or chips, no drink, just a corndog.  But, it might have been the highlight of Josh’s trip to order lunch from his lounge chair at the pool, so I guess it was worth it.

The resort had a very tall waterslide tower and I’d been coaxing the kids to try the slides all weekend.  Finally on our last day I said I’d pay them a few bucks if they did the slide. Halle said, “I knew you were going to bring that up again!”  I love that she knows that I am going to help push her out of her comfort zone any chance I get :) Josh sweet talked me all the way to $7.  I swear, that kid should charm snakes.  He did the slide, but his legs came uncrossed and he bounced around quite a bit so I encouraged him to try again.  $3 later, he was running back up the stairs to try again.  So, I paid Halle and Josh $10 each to have fun on the waterslides.  $11 corndogs and $10 waterslides….this trip is going to break the bank!

swimming phoenix

Another highlight was our hike.  We had fun counting all the wildlife we encountered, climbing hills, and stopping for snack breaks. Halle love to hike. She loves being outside, she love glimpsing animals and working her body.  Josh loves to count the minutes until it’s over. But he didn’t complain and even seemed to have a little fun, so I’ll take it.  Blake did great this time too—he hung back and yacked Rusty’s ear off the whole time. 

Phoenix hike Collage

Absolutely our favorite part of the trip was getting to go have dinner with Jeff and Carolyn.  We haven’t seen them in years and they were such a huge part of our dating/early married years in Logan.  It was so fun to catch up and the time flew by way too quickly. 


Sunday morning brought cooler temperatures and it brought Halle’s favorite part of the vacation.  Horseback riding in Scottsdale.  My horse was named Bandit, Blake rode Nowhere, Josh rode ET, Halle rode Mufasa, and I can’t remember Rusty’s horse.  I gave poor Josh some Benadryl before we started to try to get ahead of his allergies.  It didn’t work.  The poor little thing had hives all over his neck and face by the time we were done.  I felt like such a terrible parent.  Blake also had quite the adventure.  The guide was holding his lead rope and her horse spooked causing his horse to go a little crazy as well.  He was fine, but the guide fell off her horse.  My heart stopped for a few seconds as his horse started running. He was really brave through the whole thing.    Halle went along in total bliss.  She kept stroking Mufasa’s mane and gently guiding him with the reins. She was so happy and content up on his back. She loved it so much that she chose a white horse stuffed animal for her souvenir.  After the ride she informed us that she wanted to own 12 horses some day.  Josh said he’d never come to visit. 

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On Monday the kids wanted to go souvenir shopping so we headed over to Arizona Mills where again I was suckered into an unplanned purchase.  How can anyone resist these things?  They are hilarious!  Rusty had to take a call for work so he was outside.  He came in to find us and the first thing he saw was Blake and Josh gliding past on a pink cheetah.  He was laughing so hard. 

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And after dealing with ornery, tired kids for a majority of the vacation Rusty and I both enjoyed our trail runs in the morning.  Running in shorts and tank tops filled me with such joy.  Sunny run endorphins are the best things in the world.
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One last note to self. RETURN HOME AT A REASONABLE HOUR!  Our flight didn’t leave Phoenix until about 9, meaning by the time we tucked the kids into bed at home it was almost midnight.  Serious lack of judgment when planning these flights!   

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Family Valentines Day

Rusty and I put a romantic date night on hold so we could spend the day with the kiddos. The festivities actually began a few days earlier with our annual Valentine sugar cookies.  Yum! 

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Next up, the Daddy Daughter Dance.  Rusty and Halle look forward to this night every year.  They love their special time together and had fun rocking the night away.  Halle said the best part was dancing with her dad.  2015-02-13 18.47.43

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Valentine’s Day fell on a sunny Saturday this year, so after Josh’s basketball game we decided to take advantage of the weather and ride our bikes down to the new ice cream place in town, Sweets.  We made a deal with Blake.  If he rode his scooter on the way there, we’d pull him in the trailer on the way home.  Guess we wore him right out!

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Sweets had a cute little photo booth set up and we had a great time picking out our silly costumes. It took quite a bit of convincing to get Halle to participate with us :)

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Next on the docket was our favorite Valentine Tradition: Cupid’s Crazy Cafe.  The kids go crazy for this mixed up, funny dinner. I love decorating, and planning fun little details that make the night special. On the menu this year was Pizza, chips, cherry 7up, cupids arrow fruit kabobs and pazookies with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  Josh was thrilled when he ended up with both the Pazookie and ice cream for his appetizer.  The only problem…he didn’t get a spoon until dessert. 

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My absolute favorite part of the day was reading the sweet Valentines that our kids wrote for us.  They just make my heart melt with their sincere, and often funny insights into our daily life.  They seem to capture it all pretty perfectly.  These are the treasures I’ll hold dear for years to come.  I’d say this might be my favorite Valentine’s day ever.

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To Mom. From Josh. I love when you hug me goodbye. I love when you snuggle me in bed. I love you when you make me dinner.  It is so yummy. I love you when we watch movies together and snuggle. I love you when you buy such good food at the store. I love you when you tickle/eat me. I love you any way you are. I love you because you’re you!

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To Dad. From Josh. I love you when you hug me goodbye. I love you because you wrestle with me. I love you let me come in your office and play. I love you because you let me ride in the front of your truck.  I love you when you chase me. I love you because you drive me to basketball. I love you any way you are. I love you because you’re you!

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