Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Holiday

When I was first divorced, the thought of spending Christmas by ourselves (Mal, Nick & Me) in Phoenix was absolutely a bummer, so we made every possible effort to get back 'home'. But, as time went on and I took on increased resposibility at my company, it became a bit harder and harder to always get back to Philly. So, this is how and when a lot of our Christmas traditions were started here at home - Phoenix.

This year - for lots of reasons - we are headed back to celebrate the holidays, and meet my new nephew in Jan, so put our 'Phoenix Christmas Plan' into action. We introduced Craig to the things we like to do as well. Thank goodness he agrees that one of our coolest traditions is a road trip North to find the snow. This year, we trekked to Flagstaff on Christmas Eve to find at least 3-5 ft of snow! It was beautiful white powder that reminded both of us of home! The kids loved it and Craig and Nick had a blast pelting each other with snowballs. We walked around the downtown area, had some hot cocoa and then decided to hit the famous 89A just as the sun was setting. Lots of you know that road as the best way to get to Sedona. It was cool to see all the trees and red rocks in Oak Creek Canyon with snow on them. In Sedona we had dinner at a great restaurant, sitting right next to the fireplace and after seeing the annual Festival of Lights at Los Abrigados, we headed home.

This trip always reminds us that Arizona is truly a beautiful state. Where else can you live 5 hrs from one of the World Wonders, 4 hours to snow, 3hrs to stunning redrocks and sunset and back to 60deg weather in one day. It's truly the best of many worlds. We'll be back up to Flagstaff pretty soon to hit the slopes! You can see all of our photos here. (Santa brought me a new really cool camera that I'm still learning to use. I'll get it eventually, but that could be why some of the photos are blurry or whatever. Better ones will come with time...)

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nick, The Golfer

Ah finally, the post regarding Nick's golf outings. He's been in two tournaments since the last post and has done fairly well, playing his game - no real mis-hits, just a bit of putting nerves. We found out that there are 3 other 9 year olds who have been in these tournaments for awhile now. They usually score well enough to take the top 3, alternating the winner for each tournament and usually seperated only by a stroke each.

It will be our goal to help Nick break into the top 3 somehow next year. He can do it, he just needs to stabalize that putter. All of this will come with more time and experience. We're really proud of him, he's shown himself to be a great sportsman, introducing himself and shaking hands with competitors at each event. That's what it's really all about and he seems to have a great time out there. And I say, keep the plaid shorts coming Nick. Gotta spice it up out there somehow.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Annual Christmas Party!

Last Saturday night was Shana & Carlos' Annual Christmas party. Everything was wonderful, Shana went all out with the yummy warm appetizers and the homemade desserts were fabulous! This is a fun party for me for lots of reasons. Seeing special friends as much as possible around the holidays is not always easy and we get to do that (!)and equally important, it's a very thoughtful party because Shana and Carlos ask all of their guests to bring a toy for kids who wouldn't otherwise get anything for Christmas. I'm sure they brought smiles to many this year.

We always have a fabulously loud(ish) time! We played Partini, the game I've been hearing about from others. It was fun, there was even a certain time where you model clay and try to have your teammate guess what you've made. My modeling skills leave a bit to be desired perhaps, they got Gumby, but not my Kermit the Frog? If I had more time, Kermit would have been better. The boys usually manage to sneak into the living room, rearrange the furniture and begin the intense poker game. Craig looks very serious, almost smug, as he plays his hand, doesn't he? ~ Checking things to his right and his left.. very serious stuff!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Long and Busy Weekend..

Even though Craig lobbed me a softball with the post he made below, we'll start posting everything in chronological order from the weekend. We really had a lot of things going on this weekend - all of us - so lots of juggling. Many photos! It started on Friday night, I had tickets to a really incredible show that's put on in the Valley every year, proceeds go to a charity called Christmas Wish. Jill and I attended Phooson, where no less than 5 acts were performing. It's not normally a concert I would attend - I'd wish to go - but in the end would decide that the place was sure to be swarming with shouting teens and not go. But, the tickets were free, and they were in what we found out was the 5th row?! Pretty Sweet!~ Who wouldn't check that out?

The lineup started with a band that I now know to be Secondhand Serenade. I think I did know one of their songs. Jill was convinced that the guitar player looked like someone she knew, that's the only reason we paid attention to them.

I can't even remember the second group that's how memorable they were? Is that harsh?- but I really can't remember. Gosh, am I so old I can't remember the band names? - It's possible I had no business being there. The third band was Tokio Hotel. They are blowing up apparently, but they were kind of strange. The lead singer wants to be an honorary member of KISS I think, but his guitar player could be just average Joe. He had a white face and all black duds, and moved like a cat. It was strange. And no one could determine if it was a dude or a chic. See video clip. Their song is on the radio all the time and is actually catchy.

Katy Perry was next up and she was crazy cute. She wore a Christmas tree skirt dress and described herself as looking ridiculous. I love that she also made her band dress as Elves with white suits and hats with the Elf ears. Loved it! Very cute I thought, but I'm sort of corney like that? I saw her on the Today show this morning where they announced that she's been nominated for a Grammy. Really? ok.

One of our favorite acts was the Pussycat Dolls. They have songs that you find yourself humming, but you'd never admit it! The whole concert was full of acts like that. They were great, full of energy and delightful on stage. Did I say delightful? Ugh, so square.

We waited what seemed like forever to see Fall Out Boy, but they were worth the wait. I didn't realize that Pete Wentz is not actually the lead singer. Some dude in yellow pants is. So, why then is Pete the popular one? He's certainly the crazy one. At the end of the set, he jumped into the crowd beside us and fans went crazy!!

Finally, finally Rhianna came on around 11:45. What was she doing back there? Why so long to wait? She was actually the one I went to see. I just dig her songs. Upbeat. Who hasn't found themselves singing "um-brella, ella, ella, eh, eh..." She was cool, but by then I was kind of tired of it. So, there you have it. Crazy concert lineup.

Thanks to Craig for sort of postponing his Vegas departure to Sat morning at 6am so that I could attend. It was pretty cool all in all,I wish I'd had more than one extra ticket! I took so many videos of everyone, really close up, it was amazing, but they're in the wrong format I guess cause Blogger won't upload them. Boo!

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Nick's Golf Tournament

Nick is in his first golf tournament tomorrow at Western Skies Golf Course in Gilbert. He's excited for his 11:58 tee time:

Name Rnd 1 Date Rnd 1 Time Rnd 1 Starting Hole

Gresco, J. J. 12/06/2008 11:50 1

Mayer, Cade 12/06/2008 11:50 1

Velarde, Gabriel 12/06/2008 11:50 1

Schulz, Chase 12/06/2008 11:58 1

Johnston, Nicholas 12/06/2008 11:58 1

I think Chase Schulz is in trouble...Good luck Nick!

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving & Weekend

Last Thursday we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at our friends, Shel and Mike's house. This is the second year we've been invited to celebrate with them and Craig and I are so happy for the invitation. Mallory and Nicholas are with their dad and paternal grandparents every year, so we would be Turkey orphans otherwise I guess. We are truly blessed to have Shel & Mike as wonderful friends.

Friday, we left the house a little later in the afternoon to start some shopping. It was not as crowded as we expected, which was probably for the best. Craig was able to last a little longer at the mall and we got everything on our list for that day. Plenty more gifts to buy, but we got started. And we're done shopping for the kids - that's a huge accomplishment.

We also started decorating the house for Christmas. Craig and I picked out our first tree together and I was happy to break out some of the ornaments I bought last year after the holiday. The tree we chose smells lovely - a nice addition to the house. And, the most important ornament is now on the tree. This will be our first Christmas without B-Dizzle - She loved opening her presents, it will be a little sad without her this year.

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Alexander David

So, the last post was maybe a little confusing. I posted early in the evening that baby had not come and then got the call that he had arrived and updated. Not a lot of details available at the time, but everything's all good now. Here's the first photo of my nephew, Alexander David. I think he looks very wise in this photo! ..and he seriously looks like his mama.

I am dying to see more photos of him and see how he's changed even in the last 2 weeks. I wait anxiously for Papa or Gamma to upload photos from the camera to their desktop and then email them to me.
:o) It would be great if they started a blog?! - yea, let's hope for that!