Tag Archives: Arizona

swim lessons

22 Jun

We decided to put Cruz into swim lessons this year. I found a FANTASTIC instructor who is just simply awesome with the kids. Cruz started on Monday and it’s Wednesday today and he’s already making HUGE strides. No pun intended.

Except that he HATES it. And he screams the entire time. Poor kid.

And while it is kind of painful for me to watch him scream and kick and cry and BEG for MAMMA!!!!!, I do realize that this is not about me in any way shape of form. He HAS to know how to swim and he’s GOT to be comfortable in the water. More importantly, he needs to know how to get to the edge and to climb out should he ever fall in. Accidents happen way to often during these Arizona summers, and while I realize that we aren’t off the hook just because he can (or will) swim, it IS something that all of my kids will know how to do.

Scary stuff.

Anyways. He hates it. And he BEGS to sit by the towels the whole time. And he runs from his teacher when she announces it’s his turn. But it’s a two week class and I’m told that he will be swimming by the end of it! We will see!

I included a little video of it here if you want to check it out. I film him every time he’s in the water because I want to be able to see his progress. And I’d pretty much die if he accomplished something big and I missed getting it on film. AND the movie maker in me would LOVE to put all the clips together to document his first time having an activitiy in which I wasn’t really a part of.

Even though there is NO movie maker in me. That’s just wishful thinking. But maybe I’ll try it? No?

Anyways.

Check it out. Certainly don’t feel like you need to watch the whole thing. It’s two minutes long. But he screams the whole time and says some pretty funny stuff. Little does he know, he’s got SEVEN more days of swim lessons. Ha. Poor kid. But I don’t care. He’s gotta know how to swim.

It’s not an option.

Oh and don’t mind the ‘mom chatting’ that goes on. I mean, it’s what women do, you know?

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bisbee trip 2011

14 Jun

This past weekend we were able to travel South to Bisbee, AZ for a rad photo shoot that we can’t wait to reveal. We went with some clients/friends of ours who were busting at the seams to do a 50’s inspired photo shoot at The Shady Dell. Have you ever been there?? Oh my gosh. It’s the coolest place ever. We stayed in a trailer that looked like this:

Rad. Seriously rad. They have a wide assortment of trailers, all of which are authentically decked out to the max to fit the 50’s perfectly. It’s seriously like a time warp as soon as you get there. I had NO IDEA this place was there until our friends asked us if we’d be open to traveling for the shoot.

UM YES.

So we ventured down there for a night and snapped our little cameras away! It was a blast. It was my first night EVER away from Rider AND the first time Jay and I have gone on a mini vacation/getaway with NO KIDS since we HAD kids.

Sad moment, huh? We’ve totally made a mental note to do that every once in awhile because it was great for us to have a break together. And while we were working the whole time we were there, it didn’t really feel like work. So that was nice. Up until now I’ve been spending 8-10+ hours a day behind my computer and can’t complain because I love what I do. But it was nice to leave the computers behind for at least 24 hours.

It was weird to have been away from Rider since he’s only 9 months old. I think Cruz was over one the first time I ever left him over night. But it wasn’t as hard as I thought since we had a blast! It’s always refreshing to get a break as a mom and to allow yourself to sleep in until 8:30 am once in awhile, uninterrupted. Yes, 8:30 is BIG TIME sleeping in for me. But it rocked.

Bisbee is SUCH a cool place! Have you ever been there?? I had NO IDEA the gem it was until we got there. The downtown area is kind of to die for and we ran into ALL SORTS of interesting things. To say the least.

Cool place that I never really paid much attention to. It was great to get away for work and I CAN’T WAIT to go back. You should take a road trip and stay at The Shady Dell and eat at Cafe Roka. OMG Amazing.

We’ll be revealing the two photo shoots we did with The Blackwell’s soon! I’m so excited to share them. We all had such a great time!

whoa.

12 Apr

Moving is kind of intense. But we made it and we are getting settled as we speak! We love our new place and I’m pretty happy that we won’t have to move again for awhile. At least that’s the hope! Internet is hit or miss because we are still waiting for ours to be reconnected. But once it is, I’ll be posting Tip #6 on my series for the Working/Stay-at-Home Mammas. So, stay tuned for that.

Until then, aren’t you enjoying this gorgeous weather that is AZ this time of year??? It’s going to get hot so soon!

But actually, secretly, I really love the summers here. I know, I know. Most people hate it. I’m an odd bird. Monsoons are my favorite.

I can’t wait for summer. And all that it always brings!

pen pals

11 Nov

I am proud to be able to say that I have had the same pen pal since I was in the fifth grade. How awesome is that? I met my pen pal, Carissa, when I was ten years old. Our fifth grade teachers were good friends, but lived in separate states. I lived in Arizona while Carissa lived in Illinois. Our teachers thought it would be a fun idea to pair up their classes and assign a pen pal to each student. We had a couple of assignments to write to one another a couple times, had certain questions to ask etc. And I’m not sure what it was, but Carissa and I just totally hit it off! And believe it or not, we’ve been writing to one another ever since!!

Her sister has an old friend who actually lives in Arizona, so almost eight years ago Carissa and her sister were able to come out to Arizona for my wedding and I met her IN PERSON! We had been writing for years and years, since we were little girls, and we were actually able to meet face to face! What a special meeting it was. Here I was, meeting someone who knew SO much about me, but who I had never seen in person. We had swapped pictures of course, but I had never even had a phone conversation with her. It was so special that she was able to come to my wedding.

This past September, the week of my due date with Rider actually, she was in town again! I was so thrilled that we were able to meet up once again and catch up on life IN PERSON. It’s only happened twice in our lives, and it’s always so special when it does. This friend is such a special friend to me. We’ve seen each other through A LOT. We’ve been life long friends since we were little girls. Now we are both grown and each have two little boys of our own and we are still in touch. I love it because I just know that we will always be friends. It’s truly a special friendship- a unique friendship that I don’t have with anyone else.

I mean seriously. How cool is that?

Carissa, it was so great to see you in September, even though I was bigger than big! Ha! Your friendship means tons to me and I’m so happy we’ve kept writing all these years- 18 years to be exact! Crazy, right?!

And I promise, one of these days I’ll come to Illinois to visit you! I promise!!

number 9- check!

24 Feb

Jason and I made a list several months back- you might remember it. It’s our 101 Things in 1001 Days list. I need to update the list again, because there are several things I can check off. But our most recent one is #9- Visit the Strehles! I’m so thrilled to say we can check this one off, because I didn’t think we’d be checking it off any time soon. I hoped we would but didn’t see it happening for a little bit.

Jason and I met Zach and Amber Strehle through the church we used to go to. I was on staff with the 5th and 6th grade program there and Amber and Zach were volunteers. They have 4 kids (FOUR!), two of which (TWINS!) were in the 5th and 6th grade program. Amber and I became fast friends and we had a blast spending time together. Then we discovered that we lived in the same neighborhood! We got to know them even better while we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to get our spending habits and budgeting under control. I’d tell you what Amber used to call it but it’s not appropriate. HA! (Just kidding Amber… sort of.) They are the sort of people that you can be real with. And I’ve pretty much said it all to her and she still loves me! Ha!

Then they decided to move back to Washington, which is where they were from to begin with. Talk about a bummer! But ever since they’ve moved, Amber and I have actually kept in pretty good touch. We both started our photography businesses about the same time and we have a lot to celebrate together as friends and as artists. I so wish she lived closer.

Well, we DID have the chance to live closer since they live in Washington. So while we were visiting Seattle, we set aside a night to catch up with these two. It was nuts- they were getting ready to get on a plane to head to Arizona the very next day! I think they timed it. But whatever.

So we still haven’t been to their home or to check out the town that they live in yet, but that will have to be for another trip. A trip that we can take to Seattle and really get the chance to explore and do all the touristy things! But we can scratch it off the list since we did in fact visit them in their state. And Amber, we are both photographers- how did neither of us get a picture of us to document?? We were all just too excited to catch up and chat about life. And we were there interviewing and they were trying to leave town. So it was a little nuts.

But it’s always great to see good friends. And so we can successfully check off good ol’ #9!

endless energy & exhaustion

8 Feb

These are my thoughts exactly.

What an incredibly long day. What a long weekend.

Cruz traveled home a little better. It was still rough, but the airplane ride was way more tolerating than it was the way there. We had two flights today- the first was from Seattle to Sacramento. The second was from Sacramento to Phoenix. I think it helped Cruz that it was a little more broken up and that he was able to stretch his legs between flights. But the last stretch was kinda rough.

We are exhausted. It was a great weekend (exhausting and long, but still great!) and we are feeling pretty positive that we’ve made some decisions. No, I’m not ready to share them yet. We need to tell a few people what we’re thinking first before we go announcing a decision. Sorry! It will be soon, I promise. It feels good that we are at the beginning of moving into our decisions. I’m ready to make something happen rather than to just wonder about it and hope and think. We finally did get some clarity this weekend and so that feels good too. But it’s been exhausting.

Speaking of exhaustion, this whole ‘extreme fatigue’ thing that happens in your first trimester is really hitting me hard. I think that was a huge factor as to why this weekend was super difficult for me- that on top of the normal stresses of a trip like that. It’s so hard that I can’t just lay down and sleep until I feel better. When I was pregnant with Cruz, I slept my first trimester away I’m pretty sure. But now that I have to take care of Cruz, I can’t just stop and sleep all day. I know everyone gets through it because everyone has more than one kid usually and everyone is working it out. But it’s just hard to feel completely exhausted but to have to run around with an almost 15 month old- who has more energy than any little kid I’ve ever known. I mean, seriously. Geez.

Before we left the bed and breakfast this morning to catch our flight, I looked out the window and saw this:

That is Cruz’s toy camera that he decided to throw out the window at some point during our stay. In case you weren’t aware, it rains a lot in Seattle. So after I spotted it, I had to bundle myself up and Cruz and head around the house to go retrieve the toy camera. Which was soaking wet and struggling to work. When I got there, I found three other toys that he had thrown outside the window when I wasn’t looking.

Endless energy. I’m laughing about it now, but there are times when his endless energy kinda drives me nuts! Ha!

weary day

7 Feb

I’m not really sure what’s going on. But it’s been a very, very difficult weekend for Cruz. I mean, he’s been really acting up and just extremely difficult this weekend. And if you know my kiddo at all, you know that he is anything but difficult. Even Jay, who characteristically gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, agrees that Cruz is just kind of being a terror this weekend.

And we can’t figure out why.

He had a difficult time on the airplane and never really recovered since we’ve gotten here. He’s still his happy self at times, but just being really naughty, moody, fussy and difficult. Way more than usual. I can’t tell what the deal is. He hasn’t been eating well at all. Grapes. The kid has been filling up on grapes. But he doesn’t really want much else- even his favorites! He’s drinking a lot of milk and water, so that’s good at least, because I know he’s hydrated. And at least he’s getting some nutrients from the milk. He’s not sleeping super well. We were up and down with him last night and couldn’t figure out why. He has a small diaper rash. Is it his teeth? I haven’t ruled it out, but he’s not drooling like he usually does when his teeth are bugging him.

*sigh*

I’ve almost had a breakdown a few times while we’re here, I’m not going to lie. Traveling with a kiddo is an entirely different ball game. I’m exhausted from the weekend and I’m 8 weeks pregnant. I’m worried about Cruz a little bit, simply because he’s been acting so weird. I don’t believe in signs really, but is it a sign that we aren’t supposed to be here? Ha! When we’re outside and when he can run around, he’s a happy camper. I just don’t know what to make of this.

I’m just really exhausted physically and mentally. I’m praying for some clarity tomorrow (Sunday) because until now we seriously don’t have an answer either way as to what we want to do. Or what we should do. Or what God’s telling us to do. I’m just feeling completely overwhelmed and have to trouble shoot with Cruz like I’ve never had to before. All while keeping a smile on my face since we are in fact, being interviewed.

All I really want to do is take a five hour nap and watch HGTV all day long. Especially Color Splash. It’s my favorite.

So we are tired and running on empty a little bit. Please say a prayer for us if you think of it. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been this tired and anxious about our situation and really need some strength. It was just a long, weary day. And I’m ready to come home, know the plan and get working on moving. To either city we decide. I just want a decision. And to go to bed. And for Cruz to sleep all night long.