Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Update

So technically it's changed seasons since our last update, but here in Arizona it definately feels like summer with temps in the 100°s over the weekend still. It's cooling off in the morning and evenings which makes it a perfect time in the desert. (Welcome offer stands open to anyone who wants to visit, especially as we move into the winter time - we have a crib!)

The kids have been really busy with school activities, Mallory has joined her Theatre Speech and Debate club at Desert Vista and it basically consumes all of her time. I didn't have any idea what this was all about until I got to see first hand at a practice tournament this weekend. There are about 5 categories of competion, from traditional debate, to poetry performances, to comedic interactions. Some of these kids prepare debate on serious topics within 30 minutes before presenting. The fact that they can gather key reference facts in such a short window of time is amazing to me. Also, the prepared features they did were really eye-opening. Mallory competes with a partner for a staged bit that is mostly comedy. She cannot look at her partner when performing and the event is timed. It becomes clear that you have to go 'all in' with these performances or you won't score very high, that's for sure. The ability to not care what anyone thinks is a hard thing for a high school kid, but they manage to pull it off. Her performance also includes a charactor with a Russian accent. One of the parents came up to her afterwards to let her know that her accent was great! I had no idea she had a Russian accent in her repertoire, but she does have a flair for the dramatic.
Nick is still doing golf, it's his number 1 activity. He's biding his time really until he can join the high school golf team. In the meantime we need to hook him up with some more tournaments now that the weather is nicer. In the Spring he'll sign up for track so he keeps telling me that he needs to be conditioning now. There is nothing stopping him from taking some laps outside and around the neighborhood. I'll time him, that can be my job. :)

Over the last few weekends, I've been able to take a few trips, one to see my family in PA over the labor day weekend and then a weekend to Austin, Texas for a bacherlorette party. It was fun seeing Kriste and the other girls, we had a great time. Austin is a fun city, we managed to hit Dirty 6th and West 6th for some fun! I'm very glad I got to be a part of the celebration and we can't wait for the wedding in San Diego this coming March!

Mal's also gone to her first homecoming dance. We had made arrangements to be out of town when at the last minute she decided she wanted to go, typical Mal. So, we ran around to find a dress, shoes and since she would be with her dad that weekend, make arrangements to have her hair and makeup done. As it turned out, I had to work so we cancelled plans to go North to the cabin and I got to take her instead. She went with a group of girls and met lots more there. She's thinking next year it would be fun to go with a date. Oh my. A date.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ah, the Beach...

This weekend we took off with a group to Rocky Point, Mexico. We stayed in a huge 4bdr, 4bthrm condo that was owned by a couple that one of the girls knew, and they let us rent out for the weekend. It was an amazing place to stay with awesome views of the Sea. We had gorgeous weather, heat and humidity made bearable by a huge, crazy wind. It was awesome to be in the sand and surf! It's been awhile since we took the kids to the beach anywhere and they enjoyed themselves immensly. They are totally pooped today though (day after) and they slept in fairly late which is uncommon for these two early risers.

We had a very relaxing, yet fun time; playing in the waves, having some drinks by the pools, negotiating some good deals with the vendors and Craig even got stung by a jelly fish on the arm. We went with friends who clearly knew all the good places to eat now, which helps a lot since we've only been there a handful of times and places can be hit or miss. Anyway, good times and fun memories.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Growing Up

Nick and his dudes
Is Craig pushing them down somehow?

My boys, dressed as twins and didn't even plan it!

Mallory and her friends and teachers

Mallory and her closest friends.

So late in posting these photos, the kids have been done with their school year for at least 2 weeks already. They both had really good years, Mallory won the President's Award for having a 3.9 GPA and Nick finished out the year with awesome grades. It's been a transition year for them being in a new school and meeting new people, but we're so proud of how they've handled themselves this year and done so well.
As much as Mallory tries to deny it, I think she looks a lot like me!! Sorry, little one! heehee...

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Home Stuff

A post just to update on some things we've been up to since our last post around valentine's day. We've been doing some little things around the house, found the inspiration for some other improvements, and we've been making plans for some cool things to come.

My closet is a never ending project, I only get to work on it when nothing else is going on, so it's slow goings. The latest addition is the chandelier Craig bought me. I have a chandelier in my closet? - someone has to. The walls are gray, the floors are the same tile installation we did in the main bathroom and there are some furry faux sheep rugs on the carpet. Finally all of my hangers are the same color wood too! It's coming along. Instead of the long poles I'm thinking about some shoe racks and drawer system, but that will probably take another year.

The second little transformation was our powder room in the main area of the house. When we moved in it was painted a faux finish; made to look Tuscan or Spanish, not sure which. Craig loved it, I didn't. I'm not a faux finish gal. And of course it had one of the big wrought iron light fixtures that were throughout the house. So, over a weekend, I totally changed it around. We installed new silver towel racks, where previously they were gold, installed a new light fixture (found at a consignment store for $20) and took off the no edge round mirror, in favor of a dark wood framed mirror with a ledge shelf. I don't think I took a before picture, but here's a 'during' and an 'after'. Still not sure about the pedastal sink, we'd like to update that and include an open console with some storage underneath. The room isn't huge, but we could pull something off maybe?

Our next group of projects will be the back yard, since the nice weather is here and maybe we'll get some visitors. The outside is looking a bit tired and we'll need to spruce it up. We've had a patch of grass that refuses to grow since we've moved in. It might be time to stop spending money trying to bring it back and just put the putting green that Craig wants back there. He'll love it, Nick will love it and most of our friends golf and could putt around there when not in the pool anyway. Could be useful and will always be green and nice looking. We're going to have some major trimming back on some trees that come over into our yard from the neighbors. I think they are blocking sun and are crowding the trees that we do have. So some tired rocks and scrubs will go in favor of plants that are more lush. I would love, love to have all of the deck area back there resurfaced too - that will be a big job. I'd better start saving some cash! (Right after I get back from my trip to New York City!)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Early Valentine's Day

We took advantage of this weekend to head up to Sedona to celebrate Valentine's day early (my favorite holiday!!) and get some relaxation after a stressful couple of weeks. We had an amazing time, there's no way you can't be in Sedona and be happy. It's entirely too beautiful to feel stressed. We got there Sat afternoon in enough time to get settled in and head over to the spa for a couple's massage. Heaven. I think from now on the key is to get a lady to do it. She used just the right amount of pressure on my sensative shoulders and didn't try to be the hero who worked out all the knots that took years to build. It was wonderful. From there we went back to our cottage - yep cottage! - the folks at the resort were nice enough to upgrade us out of a lodge room, which would have been really nice anyway, and into our own cottage, which was super nice and unexpected! Our room was wonderful, awesome bed, living area, flat-screen, jet tub, outdoor shower, heated floor in the bathroom and the list goes on.... Even though the photo on the right is a stock photo, it is of our room - it was exacly like this only now there a big rug under the bed and chairs.

Because it was pouring rain by this time, we had dinner inside the dining room at the famous L'auberge restaurant, where previously we had dinner creekside. The creek was raging with water from the snow melting in Flagstaff and we saw some white caps from our table by the windows. Our dinner was fabulous, as always and I think the creative caesar done as a wedge salad and the amazing lobster bisque was the best part even before the entrees came.

Sunday came too fast and before we knew it it was time to check out. It was very cloudy but nothing too weird when we were walking around the shops, then as we sat down at our favorite scenic bar, Canyon Breeze, the clouds came in across the red rocks and it started to hail, then snow. After some soup and drinks, we hopped in the car and headed back to Phoenix where it was 65deg and sunny. It's so amazing that in an hour and a half you can go from snow and hail to perfectly nice weather. The best of both worlds. I'm sorry I forgot my camera, I could have gotten some amazing photos of the red rocks with the cloudy cover that brought the snow. (These photos were taken from Craig's camera phone)

What a fabulous husband I have to plan this outing as a surprise the weekend of the Superbowl. I know that if he cared one bit about either team, we'd be at home or somewhere watching the game and a Valentine's celebration would escape us. Much needed R&R this weekend, thanks to Craig for booking it and still wanting to go even with the cold I gave him from last week! Love...

Here's a link to the few photos we took with the blackberry camera..Sedona.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fam Picts & other stuff...

Geez Nick, can Marcel be in the picture too? :o)

Aah, my doggie digs me...

The one we finally chose! yea...

Since I've been busy switching jobs and learning a new position over the last 5 weeks or so, I didn't have time to schedule a session with the official family photographer, so we set up the tripod and took some shots in the backyard for the greetings this year. It probably worked out for the best anyway, we wanted Marcel in the photo and he's sometimes not the greatest with new environments. So, above you can see the outtakes and then finally the one we chose. Marcel looks very.. professional.

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