The places we have been

Monsoons in Arizona

Posted on October 27, 2010. Filed under: The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , |

So we have plenty of sun filled days in Arizona. Lots and lots.

However when the rain comes it comes in like a Lion.

Monsoons.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I have to say I was really impressed.

After months of months of the same beautiful sunny weather.

TB and I were mesmerized with the first big monsoon headed our way.

Yes we sat outside for over an hour watching the storm approach and the rain come down.

I laughed at us going I can understand why their our storm chasers.

We had seen our share of the lightning storms.

We had heard the stories of the monsoons.

But this was our first experience.

Huge pieces of hail falling from the sky. Causing thousands and thousands of damage to cars all around. Fortunately ours were in the garage.

Just crazy intense rain.

TB thought ahead and moved out our grill so it could get cleaned. Worked wonders.

 

I always love a good rainstorm, but this was just spectacular.

Monsoon season is done for the year, but looking forward to a more active season next year!

For now bring on more sun and the wonderful fall and winter weather!

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When it’s hot…go where it is hotter

Posted on August 16, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, Circle of Friends, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , |

So we had planned a weekend getaway to visit friends. Something we were all looking forward to. MB to make new friends, TB and I to get away from work and home projects and just enjoy the weekend.

It was a hot week for us in Scottsdale 110 degrees most days so in my mind I was looking forward to going to Lake Havasu for some cooler weather. Right, cause Lake means cool doesn’t it? Well in my warped mind it did. That was too Thursday night when TB and I looked at the temps and I saw that it was 10 degrees hotter in Havasu. WHAT??????

Turns out its more in the desert than we are. Whoops.

Oh well…even turning up the heat won’t get this girl down.

We had a great time…bowling, playing in the pool, visiting, and just being. It felt so good not to have anything to do, nowhere to be, and just let the weekend happen.

Now refreshed and ready for the week ahead…well sorta 🙂

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Family fun and humidity

Posted on July 22, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, Circle of Friends, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A long weekend with family in Indy. 4 little ones ages 5 and under. Lots of giggles, a little whining, and tons of fun. Splash in HIGH humidity and bugs, which in the words of MB: “I know why people move to AZ, so they don’t have bug bites” reminded us that 110 degrees isn’t that bad if the humidity is low.

We spent majority of the weekend poolside at TB’s parents house. Unlike our pool they have a slide and a diving board. MB with her running splits & long jumps and TB doing flips. The favorite was the slide. For the first day it was just normal sliding. The 2nd day brought all different kind of combos. Forwards, backwards, on your stomach, on your back. Then the “big trick” was coming off the slide onto the boogie board and staying up. After lots of lots of practice and being told that I didn’t hold the board right (TB needed to hold the board) she had it mastered and could come down the slide, right to the boogie board and glide across the pool. What fun memories. I  know we are going to hear begging for a slide at our house soon. (wish I could post the video!)

We also had some of TB’s old friends join us with their kids at the pool for a BBQ and more pool time. Water guns were the toy of choice, for the big kids and the little kids!

Outside of the pool the kids played non-stop. I caught the girls practicing cheers in the gym. MB teaching lil Sis “up-up, down-down” with the pom-pom’s. The boys took MB for a ride around the yard in their Caddy. Enjoying summer nights…seeing fireflies. Setting off some pretty impressive fireworks.

We had a family dinner which was full of really good eats. TB’s sister-in-law makes some really good coney sauce. I say this as someone who doesn’t like coney’s but loved her sauce!!! I am waiting for the artichoke dip recipe too- another WOW. Bellies stuffed and the kids are quiet. I go upstairs to check on them and MB says “Mommy, we have been playing a really long time with no arguing, isn’t that great?”. Yes it is and I am running back downstairs quickly so as not to ruin the quiet :).

The visit was short…but one of those that fills your heart and soul with happiness and recharges you for life ahead! Even if I still feel sticky thinking about the humidity!

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Prelude to our weekend in Indy

Posted on July 21, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Our last vacation of the summer. We headed to Indy to see family and friends….it was a much-needed break after spending some time in the Franklin Courthouse.

Before we could begin our family fun my ex was determined to have MB dance in what he called a “recital”. Now MB has missed 3 recitals over the past couple years due to my ex. Recitals with costumes, dance classes that she has attended for years….this was a 4 day camp with a 15min show at the end. Of course he worked up MB to be so excited about it that we couldn’t disappoint. TB and I spent the afternoon in Cbus playing games, getting a special hair-do, and having dinner before the big show. With nothing else to do TB and I attended the whole class. The whole 2 hours of babysitting. There was a little leaping, a little dancing, snack time, arts and crafts, and the best was coloring!

Even better none of the girls were dressed in leotards except MB. Did I mention there were 3 girls? The glass started with 2 and then a friend of the teacher came in…so we had 3. In their everyday clothes and flip-flop. Even the teacher laughed when we asked when the recital was.

So after 2 hours my ex showed up with his entourage…he brought 6 other family members including himself. The other 2 girls just had a parent for pick up and I think a sibling was in tow. Yes we looked like a nutty family. They did their dance steps following the teacher who held her notebook the whole time so she could remember the steps. All this so we couldn’t leave till 9pm for a 3 hour drive home. Another poor move by my ex.

Fortunately at the end the teacher just put on the disco ball and let the kids dance. Well MB is a dancing queen…she loves our dance parties and she pulled out all her moves. Even grabbing TB for a flip mid-dance. She was in her groove. Not surprising the ex and his family were in shock, they had never seen her dance– this was all new to them???? I don’t even know how that is possible- dance parties happen weekly in our house and I have caught MB many a night turning up the radio and just busting a move. That was enough to make me smile…MB and her moves and confirming how clueless my ex is about MB.

To celebrate MB’s dance off we found a DQ and enjoyed small blizzards. Once again I had mine to myself while TB and MB swapped out their’s each trying to find the biggest piece of cookie.

With full bellies and full hearts we started out 3 hour drive and landed in Indy safe and sound at 1am.

Proof is in the pictures 🙂

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Dolphins and Sea Turtles…oh My

Posted on July 8, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been, What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I am almost all caught up from vacation. Just 2 more days to go.

I think Thursday was my favorite day of the vacation. Todd arranged a catamaran boat cruise down the Nepali coast…he promised us dolphins 🙂 and snorkeling. Maddie was so excited…as soon as we got on board she headed out front to the trampoline (after I got happy and put on her life jacket!) and was ready for the boat to go. She loved riding the waves and enjoyed being on the water as much as I did.

It wasn’t long before they spotted some dolphins…but that was just the start. We then found some spinner dolphins that road right along side the boat. With the water so clear we could see them dive under the boat and got to watch themspin around in the air. It was so great and it is fair to say both Maddie and I were quite excited as we hung our heads over the boat.

Next stop was snorkeling. We got Maddie geared up with fins, mask, and  snorkel. Todd was waiting in the water for her as she jumped in. Now the captain had thrown out some muffins to the fish that were used to the boats coming for snorkeling trips, so we had tons of fish around the boat. Maddie jumped in put her head down and then grabbed Todd and started swimming back to the ladder. She held tight till I got in and we calmed her down…she thought the fish were going to bite her. After a few minutes Maddie got the feel of snorkeling down and yelled to us to look at her she was snorkeling. Now every-time she went to breathe she still lifted her head just a gut reaction. Then she saw it…a sea turtle. The excitement was too much. This was Nana’s favorite animal…she was off chasing the turtle down!

After the turtle she was done. We headed back to the boat for some lunch. On the way back the captain did some wave surfing. Where you hold on tight and he drives fast into the waves and you bounce on the trampoline. Maddie wanted in on the fun…so down we went but her little body took those waves in full force and after a couple she was done. We sat and watched the others and you could tell she was so conflicted. To be scared to go back down. Finally we went back down. This time on our backs and holding my hand and another woman from the boat. We latest for about 10min when a really big wave came and Maddie decided she wanted to go back in with Todd. The little daredevil had met her match with the waves.

What a fun trip…and we all got just a little bit too much sun. Perfect recipe for a lazy afternoon nap.

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I slept in my flower– WAAHHH!

Posted on July 7, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been, What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Well I should be reviewing the depositions and making my notes but instead going to get another vacation post done before I start. Much happier thoughts.

Mid-way through the vacation we opted for a more leisurely day. First stop was to Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of Hawaii) which had some incredible views. At a couple of the stops we found more chickens so again Maddieattempted with no luck to catch one. Our first plan had been for a hike, but due to late start of the day and a sleepy little one we decided to just check the views out and move on.

On the drive back to the Lihue, Maddie was out and we enjoyed the beach views and a quick drive through some rugged road to see what was left of  a Russian Fort. One of those see the signs pull off to check it out and all you see is a rugged road, a wonderful beach, and what could either be a pile of rocks or a rubble of some old fort.

We then made it to a waterfall that we had heard about from other hikers Monday…it was one where you could jump off it so desired. We woke up Maddie who was über excited to put on her bathing suit and follow the jungle trail to the waterfall. The waterfall was a little higher than expected so after Todd and I exchanged a few glances and watched some adults jump we decided it was too much for Maddie. She disagreed and was more than a little disappointed that she couldn’t go in. We took some photos, listened to endless whining…even tried to take her to the edge so she would chicken out…but no luck – she wanted to jump.

Todd quickly distracted with the enticement of going back to the hotel pool and swimming. It worked, we took off and dashed to the pool. At the pool we made some friends and so did Maddie and enjoyed a few hours of splashing in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub.

Then it was time for “date night”. Maddie’s idea. We were both so happy with ourtour guides first couple days that we wanted to say thanks…so Maddie came up with the idea on taking him on Date night. Remembering our first “family date night” of going to see Shrek 4. So we go dressed…Maddie found a flower for her hair and we were off to enjoy some good Italian food and each other.

Another exhausted crew we went right to sleep…Maddie with the flower in her hair. This made for some fun the next morning when Maddie woke up and when she saw a petal in the bed went from happy girl to “I slept on my flower…WAAAAAHHHH”. This made us all crack up (well first Todd and I, then Maddie followed when we repeated what she had done) and became a constant joke by all 3 of us for the rest of the trip!

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A lazy day

Posted on July 5, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, Good Eats, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Tuesday was our lazier day. We had to do a room move, which wasn’t so much fun and we lost our view in the process. A little complaining didn’t get us much and after we were just too busy to care.

We started off the morning with breakfast at a local joint. We went for the pancakes but that was just the beginning. First off the bacon was some of the best island bacon ever! Even better was Maddie, who doesn’t much care for eggs. Fell in love with the “hawaiian-style” eggs. Now they were just scrambled and folded over like an omelet..but for Madison is was a whole new egg. She devoured one and wanted more. Usually we have to make her eat a couple bites but no longer. I see many more Hawaiian style egg breakfasts in our future.

We then went back to the hotel and enjoyed a good couple hours of pool time. Lots of crazy throws by best buddy and just plain goofing around in the pool. No complaints by anyone.

We made the room move and headed over to play 18 holes of golf. Maddie’s first time on the golf course (past the driving range) and she had a blast. She loved washing our golf balls, learned how to properly rake the sand, and driving the cart. The ranger told her before we took off she could have a chicken if she could catch one. Maddie took him seriously and tried her hardest to catch one…she wasn’t successful but it gave us a few laughs especially when she got a little freaked out that the momma chicken didn’t like her going after the little chicks. We ended up getting rained on a couple times..so skipped a few holes to get to the ocean front tees. The 16th hole was amazing and Todd hit a perfect tee shot as we looked past the ocean to themountains…we quickly then finished up before the heavy rain set in. What fun to all play golf together…now just need to find more time to work on my game.

We opted for a nice dinner out..Roy’s. Wow, amazing is all I can say. The food was incredible. Incredible. Great fish. Unbelievable Ahi Tuna. We were happy to see that there is one in Scottsdale. I expect us to be back to Roy’s within the next month or so. That good! We finished up the evening with Lava Cake. Taking turns going around the table for our bites and resisting the urge to lick the plate…Lava Cake and the 3 of us is quite an entertaining site.

Next to Roy’s was a great little art gallery…and while I think I have my days confused we did at Maddie’s request one night check out the gallery.  She loved all the sculptures and paintings. On the ride home she talked to us about why she appreciated art. It was such a great explanation. Saying that art has meaning and is made for people you love so they can enjoy it. How she enjoys making art to share with others and how she enjoys seeing what art people have made for her to enjoy. Sometimes I can not squeeze her hard enough…so precious!

Just another day in paradise with my lovebugs!

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Professional Hiker, Hulu girl, and Puka dog lover!

Posted on July 4, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , , |

What a day!

Maddie’s pick…feeding the koi fish. The hotel has this great koi fish pond and does a feeding for the kids at 9am. We were there and ready. First thing Maddie said before she went to bed and the first thing she asked for when she woke up…so we knew that was part of the daily agenda. It was pretty cool to get the feed the fish..they went nuts and splashed water and got so close to the edge you could pet them. Well actually you could pick which of the 15 you wanted to pet. Maddie managed to make her food outlast every other child. So we feed the fish with 50 other kids and then threw in the last pellet with only one or 2 people still around. Mission Accomplished.

After lunch it was on to Todd’s pick…hiking the Nepali coast. We found parking…which was a bit of a walk since they had closed down other parking for a movie that was filming. The bonus on our walk to the trailhead we got to pass the movie crews and actually saw one of the pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Guess it should really be Pirates of Hawaii. We got to the trailhead and everyone was excited about our hiking adventure. The first part of the trail was slippery, muddy, a steady accent, and all rocks. Maddie climbed up like a real pro with us following behind. The views at the top were outstanding…and what a wonderful adventure. All along the hike peoplecouldn’t believe that Maddie was doing it..she got lots of that’s awesome, what a girl, you go girl. And then a few whispered wow can you believe that little girl is doing this. We were proud…but then again we never thought twice about the climb with her either.

After our hike we drove to the other side of the island..giving Maddie enough time for a good long nap in the car. We then stopped to see the sounding horn. Maddie loved the splash, I loved the sound. Todd then picked dinner..Puka Dogs. A polish sausage that fits into a bun that they fill with a special sauce or in Maddie’s case ketchup. Todd and Maddie were in hog heaven with their dogs.

As if that wasn’t enough for our first full day we ended a night with a luau. The show was pretty amazing. Maddie got to get up and learn the Hulu and the fire dancing at the end was just outstanding.  

For our first full day of vacation it was pretty outstanding…loving Kauai and loving the uninterrupted time together!

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Family Vacation, take 1

Posted on June 28, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , |

It is going to be downhill from here :).

We are off on our first family vacation together (Todd, Maddie, and I) and honestly from my previous life other than Mommy and me trips or family/friend/golf visits this is Maddie and my real first family vacation. Good stuff.

The first surprise was Todd and our airport driver surprised Maddie with a limo pick-up. She was so surprised she got all shy… until she got inside and then relaxed like a rock-star.

Limo Rockstar

We had an uneventful flight. I must vent a little it was amazing to me that in 6 hours they served no food. You could buy snacks if you wanted and they only came down twice with drinks. They didn’t even give you the can of soda and never once did a water run. Airplane travel is definitely no frills anymore. I was prepared with water bottles and we shared some lunch. They also showed Extraordinary Measures as the first movie..not sure I think that is happy plane pick but I did enjoy the movie. Maddie was a dream we started and ended the flight with naps and in between she and Todd snuggled up watching Scooby Doo and she then watched Princess Diaries by herself. There is no doubt she is a professional traveler. Others on the plane were amazed, they didn’t realize there was a child around till she got up for the restroom.

A great flight and we arrived…Kauai is beautiful. The green mountains, the beach. Love it. We got to our hotel equipped with a huge koi pond and truly a look of paradise. Our room wasn’t ready but we enjoyed lunch by the beach and then it was ready. Now they have a little snafu and are going to have to move us half way through, but offered us a late checkout Friday and $250 in hotel credit, so worth the moving hassle.  Travel fairies are looking on us again.

Working on our picture journal at lunch

Beach, pool, and catch up sleep the first day…Looking forward to the adventures ahead.

Pool with mommy, Ocean with Todd

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Hiking with Ranger Rick and Model Molly

Posted on June 20, 2010. Filed under: Circle of Friends, Me, Myself, and I, The places we have been | Tags: , , |

Hiking, Views, and Best Friends

So where have I been? Enjoying a long weekend with some of my best friends. We decided to split the weekend into 2 parts. One for Ranger Rick (hiking in the Grand Canyon) and one for Model Molly- this part includes, pool, pedicures, wine, and reality TV relaxing.

The first part of the weekend was hiking. After a fun 4 hour drive up to the Canyon where we covered about 1 year of catch up topics, had 2 bathroom breaks, and one good laugh after finding Molly had the seat warmer on in the backseat (making her a little uncomfortable in the car) we found ourselves ready to hit the trails.

We got a late afternoon start and had one mission…to see the Colorado River. Going down was a piece of cake and unlike most hiking odd experience to go down first. We had some amazing views and it was gorgeous. At times we got a little stressed as we hadn’t found the river view yet and wanted to make sure we got back before sunset. Around Skelton’s point we saw the river, and then began the hike back up.

The River- We made it

Oh boy, it was steep. Between some altitude making the air a little thin, the intense sun, and the steep incline we all kept ourselves going with the anticipation of knowing we could eat whatever we wanted when we got to the top. We made it out in a record 2 hours, well before sunset, and still with a little water left. Ranger Rick enjoying the hike up since we couldn’t yap as much.

We rounded out the evening having drinks and watching the sunset over the Canyon and then found some Mexican for dinner. Where thanks to Rick leaving the restaurant via the closet we had a few more laughs…a great day and while there was doubt our hotel room had A/C giving us a perfect night sleep!

Stay tuned for 2 more posts on our adventure. A) That’s my parking spot and B) Driving on Empty

Ranger Rick

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