Quick weekend getaway!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I thought I would start out with the beautiful beach picture because of course who doesn't want to get away to relax at the beach...even if for only an hour or two. We decided to go visit my Grandpa and Grandma in Fallbrook a few weekends ago. It was a quick drive to their house and surprisingly a bit warmer than AZ! We saw lots of places where the wildfires had come through town and how random the fire had been. When we first arrived, we went and saw an old friend of mine from BYU, Kimber and her twin boys. It was lots of fun catching up (or at least starting on the catching up part, because girls can talk for hours when they haven't seen each other in awhile). Then we drove back to Fallbrook so Sydney could run around outside and play. Her favorite part is picking oranges and lemons and grapefruits off Grandpa's trees. On Saturday morning, Mark went out and picked lots of ripe oranges and made fresh OJ to go with Grandpa's traditional hot cakes, bacon and eggs breakfast! Yummy...and of course he made Sydney a hot cake in the shape of an S. Then after breakfast we headed over to the beach to let Sydney collect about a million seashells.
When we first got there, a seal was lurking under the pier and we had fun watching it play.
Sydney and I thought the seal was cute and wanted to take it home for a pet! I know it is really common for seals and sea lions to swim onto the beach...but we were all so excited to see a wild seal up close. The only wildlife that roam around Phoenix are pigeons, an occasional lizard and LOTS of crickets.
Saturday night most of my aunts and uncles and some of my cousins came down for dinner. It was lots of fun to see them and Sydney had fun chasing my cousin Conner all over the house! Then next day we went to church with my Grandparents and then drove back to Phoenix. We had a great trip! Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for letting us come stay!

I should probably leave things at that but these past two weeks (since California) have been interesting. It all started Monday night...Sophie got sick with an awful cold/flu. She spent the rest of the week fussing and NOT SLEEPING, of course, because she was not feeling well. In fact she didn't go to bed until about 5:45 am in the morning. Then she would sleep until about 8:00 (I crashed as well) and then things would begin all over again. Later in the week we discovered that she had cut two teeth so not only was she sick but she was also crabby about that. Sydney came down with flu on Friday morning and then Mark got it by about Friday night. And of course that meant that they were also up most of the night. It is now Wednesday and Sophie and Mark are starting to feel better. I am hoping Sydney will be done with this by tomorrow! And guess who didn't get sick at all...yup...me! I hope it is due to the large quantities of raspberries, blackberries, and vegetables I have been eating, probably not, but I would like to think so. I have been thinking that once everyone is well, I may skip out of town by myself to some remote island and lay under a tiki hut and sleep in the nice warm sun! Sounds like a vacation to me. Did I mention I have several days worth of sleep I still need to catch up on!


Sophie Laughing

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sophie is always laughing at Sydney. Although this is over a month old...I still wanted to share Sophie's contagious laugh!



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We have been in our house for almost two years and FINALLY we have some grass in the backyard. It has definitely been a process. When we first moved in Mark noticed some guys doing some patio work for one of the neighbors and contracted them to extend our patio (according to my design...of course!). So that was the first step. Then pretty much nothing happened until last July when I decided to just have someone install our sprinkler system, drip, and curbing.
This is right after they put in the curbing so the cement isn't even dry yet. That's why it looks so dark.
Then at the beginning of December we (including Mark's Dad, myself, Mark, and his brother Jim) laid the sod. It was very labor intensive but it looks great now. Plus we saved lots of money by installing the sod ourselves.
I just took this picture the other night and it has really grown together nicely. Actually the part right up by the patio and house is still a little lighter and hasn't completely rooted due to the fact that it has not received any sun for about a month. But now that the days are getting longer it is getting more sun so I'm sure it will be just as beautiful as the back half of the lawn soon. In fact, we are going to have to mow it pretty soon because the back part is getting pretty long and thick.
I have huge plans to put in trees and lots of plants and shrubs around the outside of the curbing. I think this is the fun part. It is so nice to have something green to look at everyday. Once I get all the plants in I'll have to post an update. Also we have been working on the front yard and it is coming along quite nicely! Ok...I guess this is sort of a boring post but I just love having some grass and I am excited about the transformation in our backyard!


Christmas...New Years!

Monday, January 7, 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas season...Here are some of the highlights...Sydney went with some friends of ours to go see the abbreviated version of the Nutcracker Suite and ever since then she loves listening to the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy". We managed to do our advent calendar each night which is another family tradition. This year I decided to make home-made cinnamon rolls with yummy frosting for all our friends (I would have made them for family too, if they lived a little closer!). On Christmas Eve, we went to Mark's brother's house for a yummy dinner and some Christmas Eve classic traditions. My sister-in-law has this adorable puppet set of the nativity so Sydney and her cousins helped tell the Christmas story. Then we read some scriptures and sang Christmas carols.

Here is Sydney and Sophie in their matching pajamas! This is the first time I have bought them anything matching and it was so much fun to dress them up.
See how happy Mark looks Christmas Eve...well, our neighbors decided to have a party complete with loud mariachi music until 5:00 am Christmas morning...and Mark (and me) was not so cheerful on Christmas morning because of it. We did try calling the police on the party but around here, most of the police force is busy with more important things so we just had to endure to the end!
Sophie actually liked playing with the wrapping paper and bows more on Christmas morning...which I expected!
This was the second year we attended the Fiesta Bowl Parade. Mark got up early and went into downtown area Phoenix to save us the best seats! Then I stopped at Dominos on the way to the parade with the kids and bought pizza and cheese breadsticks for all of us. It was lots of fun...and we really did end up with the best seats. Mark got front row on the street and we happened to be close to the judges stand so all the bands played and all the performers did their stunts and tricks right when they passed us. Right when we sat down...Sydney immediately wanted some cotton candy. We let her have two bags! (I know...but she loved it and we don't really go to parades much so I guess it's ok once in awhile!)

The new year is here and we are all working hard on our New Year's Resolutions! Happy New Year!


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