10 Things We Learned on our Arizona Vacation

Almost 5 years.

That’s how long the hubby and I lived in Arizona. When we moved from Scottsdale to Raleigh when Noah was 15 months old, we hugged friends goodbye and declared, “We’ll be back to visit in a year or two!”

It took us nearly six.

10 Things We Learned on our Arizona Vacation

We had plenty of good and valid reasons. Nevertheless, we never thought it would take so long to pay Arizona a visit. So imagine how ecstatic we were to finally set foot in the desert and the surrounding area again. And better yet, introduce our kids to a place they never really knew (or remembered).

On our trip we discovered some surprises… and validated some hunches. Here are 10 things we learned on our trip to the 48th state:

1. I did a bad job of describing the desert.

Either they weren’t listening or I just didn’t describe it well enough, but when we landed at Sky Harbor and got outside the airport, I was curious to hear the kids’ reaction upon seeing a desert for the first time.

Their first words: “Where’s the sand?”

Not only is the Sonoran Desert NOT the Sahara (which is apparently what they envisioned), but there were amazing cacti could produce beautiful flowers like this.

desert-flower

2. You’ll always feel an overwhelming burst of nostalgia when you drive by your first house. Even if it looks run down.

The first house we ever owned together was on a little street near 101 and McDowell in south Scottsdale. It was just two bedrooms, but inside had a modern feel that we loved. And big windows. It was the house we brought Noah home to when he was born.

Of course you want to drive past your old digs when returning to a place you used to live, so we did. We were slightly disappointed that it looked a bit run down. But Noah didn’t seem to mind. He was thrilled to see his first home (the picture proves it).

our-old-house

3. Driving around in a place you used to live is kinda like riding a bike.

You know how everything feels fresh and new when you go to a new vacation spot or take a roadtrip to a new town? I honestly thought visiting Arizona after so many years would feel like that… at least somewhat. But once we got in our rental car, it felt like we were just driving around like a normal day of living there: except this time we had two kids in tow. Sure, there were new things and places that had shut down, but it felt like riding a bike. We felt comfortable and – dare I say it? – right at home. I miss that place.

4. If my family ever runs into a 17 foot python, my kids will go straight for its head… and pet it.

And they won’t even hesitate. We had a chance to visit the amazing Out of Africa park in Camp Verde. Lots of rescued animals and we loved that we could get so up close.

snake

And since I was so happy to get this shot, I’m sharing it even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the snake.

lion-out-of-africa

5. You will never run out of good places to eat tacos.

We didn’t get a chance to visit all our favorite foodie spots while we were there, but we made it to Salty Señorita in Old Town Scottsdale. The menu had changed a lot since we used to visit, but the shrimp tacos were still delicious.

salty-senorita

6. Boys always love cowboys who shoot things.

After a few days to Phoenix, we ventured north to one of our favorite spots… The Grand Canyon. It was hubby and my TENTH trip to the Canyon. We’ve pretty much done it all– hiked from South Rim to North, camping in the bottom (twice), hiked down and back in a day, and done the touristy stuff with non-hiking family. So much, except for taking The Grand Canyon Railway.

The Grand Canyon Railway runs from Williams to the Grand Canyon National Park. We started off with a Wild West shootout before boarding. And of course the kids were enamored. They insisted we get a picture of them with this particular cowboy.

cowboys-grand-canyon-railway

7. Your kids might not see the the Grand Canyon at first… Even if they are standing right in front of it.

When I was planning our trip to Arizona, I just knew one of the highlights of the trip would be taking them to the Grand Canyon. Noah was just 9 months old last time we had visited.

As we walked toward the rim, I had so much anticipation about the kids’ reaction. But we walked right to railing and I asked, “What do you think?”

Noah’s answer: “WHERE IS IT?”

What, you mean that GIGANTIC hole in the ground? You don’t SEE it?!

I think it was just so massive they just couldn’t comprehend its grandeur. As we saw more and more it, they grew more interested in the Canyon, asking us questions and pointing out different parts. But I’ll never forget that first reaction.

 

noah-grand-canyon ethan-grand-canyon

8. My kids love mountains.

We took a small hike up to the Hole in the Rock, a spot in Phoenix where you can walk through a hole in the rock, sit, and get a beautiful view of downtown Phoenix and the surrounding area. They thought the rock was the coolest thing ever.

hole-in-the-rock-arizona

Since Phoenix is so flat, you can so much that surrounds you. As we went around the city, we kept pointing out Camelback Mountain, because the view changes so much depending on what side of the mountain you’re on and how close you get to it. (That’s the mountain in the background here).

kids-hole-in-rock

9. When it comes to the closest of friends, nearly six years won’t feel like six years.

Phoenix is such a transient place that many of my “Arizona” friends ended up moving back to their home states. But one of my closest friends still lives there (well, in Gilbert, which is part of the area). We were pregnant together with our first kids– two pregnant co-workers reporting to check-in meetings with the boss holding a bag of Cheddar Bunnies.

We of course got together so we could hang out and let our kids play together (last time we were together our oldest boys were 15-months and a year old). After about an hour of hanging out, I said, “Man, I can’t believe it’s been almost six years since we last saw each other.”

My friend literally couldn’t believe it. Nooooo way. Yes way. Six years doesn’t feel like six years when you’ve got good friends.

10. My kids will fall in love with the desert… Just like I did.

After a long day of travel, we arrived back in North Carolina, where oak trees replace cacti. From the airport to our house, we travel on I-540, a loop highway lined with trees. As we drove home, Ethan stared at the window as if were studying the landscape. Finally, he shares his thoughts:

“I really want to be in the desert. I don’t like these trees.”

desert-sunset-point

A desert lover, like his parents.

Elevation Burger: Grass-fed, organic, and yum!

It’s like the burger trifecta.

A few bloggers were invited to head over to our local Elevation Burger and try out a few things from their menu.

They call it a “better-for-you burger.”

And it’s true. Their beef comes from 100% organic grass-fed cattle, giving the meat more vitamins and nutrients. One thing I didn’t know about this kind of meat is that it has less fat and fewer calories. BONUS!

Raleigh's Elevation Burger at Brier Creek

I KNOW you’ve been to a place with great, mouth-water burgers only to have it paired with limp, blah fries. Lucky for you, their fries are delicious. They’re hand0cut and cooked in olive oil. Can you name another place that cooks fries in olive oil?

I had a regular burger with cheese, lettuce, pickles, grilled onions, and their signature Elevation Sauce. Quite possibly the BEST burger in town, y’all. It’s juicy, cooked perfectly, and on a great-tasting bun. If you aren’t a carnivore, they also have vegetarian and vegan burger options. I  tried their vegan burger with carrots and corn and it was delish as well!

Not to mention, they list the calorie amounts beside each menu item. No surprises (and no denial “oh I bet that’s only 100 calories” either)!

No need to head elsewhere for dessert either. They serve shakes, malts and plain ole scoops of ice cream. That’s what my little guy opted for. That is, after I made him eat most of his burger and fries. You know what he told me? (look at the boy holding the ice cream cone in my picture above first.)

He said, “I bet the little boy in the picture didn’t have to each his burger and fries first.” What a rascal, that kid.

Elevation Burger has over 30 locations across the U.S. and 10 international locations. One thing I found interesting? Since there meat is also halal, you can find their locations in many Muslim countries like Kuwait and Qatar. They’re projecting to open 100 locations by the end of 2014.

If you wanna see if there’s an Elevation Burger in your area, check out their website. And if you’re local? Get yo’ self down to Brier Creek and try one of these burgers. Seriously good eats.

Disclaimer: No compensation was given for this post. Just food. Nom Nom. 

And Then They Were 7 and 4

I tucked them into bed as 6 and 3 year olds, then they woke up as 7 and 4 year olds.

Well, duh. That’s what happens on birthdays.

But my kids share the same birthday, with a 3 year (and 4 hour) age difference. So all those birthday emotions hit me all at once. Maybe it’s a good thing because I knock out all the emotion all at once. So February 23rd is filled with lots of reminiscing, complete with marking their heights with tick marks in a door frame for proof of how much they really have grown.

The day before their birthday, we threw them a birthday party. Given they’re winter babies (and we’ve had a crappy winter), we thought we’d warm it up with an indoor pool party! This place is awesome, with slides, a lazy river, vortex (like a whirlpool to get the kids spinning around in the water) and some spray equipment in the little kid area.

pool-party

They’ve been really into Planes lately so it only made sense to do Planes theme. I’m sure I could find a connection to swimming in there somewhere (blue icing and water is also blue??). They each blew out their own side of the cake.

On their actual birthday, they opened their birthday presents from us, which consisted of Cars, Planes and some train tracks and 3DS games.Happy Birthday to the Roos!

We spent the first part of the day at his friend’s birthday party funny enough, which was a make-up party that had been postponed because of snow. Since it was family affair, we all went and enjoyed some paddle boating and stuff, before heading to a place called Adventure Landing for some arcade games and go-cart riding.

It was the kids’ first time on a go-cart (other than the go-cartish car at the Tomorrowland Speedway). Can you tell they were excited?
birthday-fun.jpgWe finished the day off with dinner at Cowfish (the awesome burger and sushi place). Yum!

I love that the boys don’t mind that their birthday is on the same day. One day I might laugh hysterically when reading that, but for now, we’re all good.

 

I Didn’t Need Valentine’s Day to Show Love. I Needed Snow.

Snow has never quite been my thing.

I grew up in the South, where snow doesn’t happen all too often.

I’ve never skied in my life.

I did spent a few days snowboarding in Colorado one year and my tailbone hurt for two weeks after.

While I love the look of snow, I’d much prefer hiking in the Arizona desert (though we did have fun sledding today).

You know what else isn’t really my thing? Valentine’s Day. While we’ve definitely celebrated Valentine’s, it’s not my favorite holiday of the year for sure. Too commercialized for my taste.

Yet today, two days shy of Valentine’s Day, I sat in my warm house with my heart-pounding at the thought of my husband of 13 years not making it home in the snow.

Yesterday morning he went to work per the usual. I work from home on Wednesdays, but had the kids with me since school was closed in anticipation of the crazy winter storm coming our way. Sure enough, shortly after lunch, the snow started coming down.

First the is-that-really-snow specks in the air.

Then BAM, snowing hard.

By the time my hubby Daniel left work, pretty much every other worker in the city was leaving work too. It didn’t take long to realize this was going to take a while. His normal drive is about 10 miles. With rush hour traffic, it takes maybe 20-25 minutes, which isn’t bad.

But with all the snow and traffic, he had only moved about a mile or two in an hour. To give you an idea, here’s what a major street in our city looked like yesterday:

As the snow came down harder and harder, I got more panicked. The Internet was my friend and my foe.

On one hand, I used the Find Friends app to watch his icon on the map. As I refreshed and refreshed, I painfully watched him move (or not move) maybe one street address every 5-10 minutes. He was pretty much stuck, but at least I knew where he was.

On the other hand, I kept hearing online about people I know abandoning their cars and walking home. We’re talking MILES in the snow with probably the wrong kinds of shoes on since they were coming straight from work. That only made me worry more.

In the meantime, I was trying to simultaneously work and take care of the kids, but like a kid in love, all I could think about was him.

I cried. I paced the house. I maniacally checked my phone. It was all-consuming because I didn’t know when the snow would end, nor if the road conditions would be any better if he kept pressing on.

Would he spend nine hours in the car like people did in Atlanta? Would his car slip and get stuck? Would he be forced to walk for hours in the snow do get home?

After about four hours, he wasn’t even halfway home with no end in site to the traffic.

That is, if he turned the direction of our house. So after talking it out, he decided to go back to work, since traffic was just about dead going that way.

I knew it was right choice, but my heart sank knowing he’d be spending the night somewhere else. Especially since the weather wasn’t supposed to let up for another day or two. The kids were sad, but I assured them he’d be warm and safe so it was okay. He made it back to work with little trouble.

He had dinner with his boss, who lives next door to work, while I ate a somber dinner with the kids. During grace, my oldest asked to say a prayer for his dad and I saw him wipe his eyes. I gave him a reassuring hug and we finished dinner.

At this point, it seemed that all of the people I knew who were stuck earlier had made it home. Except Daniel. He decided it might be worth attempting to make it home now the roads were clearer. He has a Subaru, which is all wheel drive, so he didn’t have trouble earlier in the day. It was just the traffic and abandoned cars that were the barrier.

So… he made a second attempt.

As I watched his little icon on Find Friends, I immediately saw that this time would be different. In two minutes his icon leapt across the map. At a light, he texted that he was behind a snow plow and not slipping a bit with his car.

Ten minutes later, he had made it just about half way home. Twenty minutes later, he turned onto the main street by our neighborhood. Five minutes later, I saw his little icon on our street and I smiled like when he used to knock on my front door for our first dates.

He walked through the door and I wrapped my arms around him and just stood there, letting the side of my face just melt into his chest.

After 13 years of marriage, you just don’t really hug that much any more, ya know? In our normal day to day, coming home to work is usually met with a quick peck on the lips, not a long, drawn-out hug.

So a hug was just what we needed after a long day of uncertainty and snow. A perfect finish to a day when my husband consumed my mind all day, just like he did back in those beginning days of young love. Young love like a pristine blanket of fresh snow, before the footprints of routine and daily life leave their marks. A comforting reminder that love exists without a special day dedicated to displaying affection and buying gifts.

Take that Valentine’s. I don’t need roses, cheesy cards, or cheap teddy bears. I just needed snow.

My One Word for 2014

It’s not too late is it?

With all the hubba-ba-loo with changing Momcomm’s blog name, plus snow days and sick kids, it’s no wonder I haven’t blogged at all this month. It’s not that I haven’t CHOSEN a word for 2014…

It’s just that I haven’t blogged about it yet. So I’d better hop to it before February hits (yep, cutting it close, y’all).

My one for the year came pretty easily for me this year. And that word is…

My Word for 2014: Motion

Why, you ask?

As busy as I felt last year, I think most of that was due to writing Blog Design for Dummies. I had SO many other things I wanted to accomplish last year, but they fell to the wayside in order to meet deadlines and promote the book. Not just work or blogging things either. I want 2014 to be the year I put these “things” into motion. I don’t have delusions of being able to do everything all the time, but the key here is to keep moving. Here are the ways I want to stay in motion:

Keep moving with exercise

This is a biggie for me. I’ve always been an exerciser, but never a hard core, 7 days a week type of exerciser. In the recent past, I’ve been able to typically do Zumba twice a week and the rest of the week was a crapshoot. When Daddy Roo started working out regularly a few months ago, we started lifting weights together like we used to. But holidays and sickness got us off track a bit.

I want to work out consistently this year, 3-5 times a week, doing a mix of Zumba, running, kickboxing, and weights. Once the spring hits, we’ll add hiking into the mix too.

Keep moving with my Spanish skills

Again, I fell off the wagon last year. Not only do I want to improve my Spanish but I want to be talking daily to the kids in Spanish. I don’t know enough to ONLY talk with them in Spanish, but I can do my best to talk with them as much as possible. One of my Dad’s biggest regrets was that my sisters and I aren’t fluent. I’d like my kids to have a bigger knowledge of Spanish that I did growing up.

Keep moving with organizing my house

So far this year, I’ve given a boat load of things to my sister for her kids and donating bags full of stuff we didn’t need. I want to continue on that path. We have some rooms we aren’t using to their potential, not to mention piles of papers to sort through. Ugh. At least I know I’ll be happy with the end result.

Keep moving with my blogging

I have a few big things happening on Momcomm (now Blog Clarity) and then I want to settle it down a little bit. By settle down, I mean NOT working on blogging pretty much every single night. I have many things coming this year on Blog Clarity, but don’t want to push as hard as I have to get my new course launched! I’d also like to post on here more, sharing stories about my kids and our little adventures. I miss doing that! So it’s still all about motion, but STEADY motion. Ha.

Keep moving with my memory keeping

And by “keep moving” I mean, start using all my scrapbooking supplies again. Last year I don’t think I scrapbooked one single thing. What a bummer since I really love the creative process of it all. I don’t think I’ll ever return to the scrapbooking pace I had when Big Roo was little, but I’d at least like to finish a few projects and make some scrapbook pages of Little Roo (he has so few of them)!

What about you?

What’s YOUR word for 2014? And since it’s the end of January, how’s it going so far?

Let There Be Chaos

The day before Christmas Eve, we were stuck inside all day. After a weekend of over 70 degree weather – in DECEMBER mind you – the rain started pouring and didn’t let up.

At all.

Big Roo had been up half the night with the fever but by the afternoon was back to his usual self. And so, we had to check one more thing off our Christmas to-do list: decorate the sugar cookies.

Let There Be Chaos

Before I had kids, I looked forward to craft projects, making messy art and squishing Play-Doh. But now with two boys I learned a few things:

  • Play-Doh colors being squished together makes me cringe
  • My kids don’t much like doing crafts (at least with me)
  • Cleaning up the mess is a massive undertaking, even if the kids help

For someone who considers herself relatively creative, letting my kids freely create is sometimes a mess I’d rather not even get into.

Despite all of that, I was actually looking forward to decorating cookies with them. I bought three new types of sprinkles and piping bags with decorating tips (something I’ve never really bought before).

Let There Be ChaosAnd boy was it messy. On the table, on the floor, on their clothes. Too much food coloring, too many sprinkles, icing overkill.

But you know what? I didn’t mind. I shed that “Play-Doh must not mix” mentality and let them be messy and create.

Let There Be Chaos

As I go into 2014, I want to remember this:

Let there be chaos in this house.

Let there be messes to clean up.

Let there be sprinkles to sweep and spills to mop.

Let there be icing under fingernails and sweet smudged faces.

Because life without all of that would be quite boring and quite… quiet.

And so I embrace it, bright pink frosting and all.

 

eMeals Review: Meal Planning Made Easy (Even If You Already Meal Plan)

I’ve been a meal planner for many, many years. While we don’t always stick to our plan every single day, I really don’t know how I’d get through the week (or the grocery store) without a solid plan of what we’re cooking on which days.

With my meal planning experience, I wasn’t sure how different using eMeals would be from what I was currently doing. Well, let me tell you this: it’s a sanity saver and the meals are delicious. I’m seriously impressed.

eMeals.com provided me one year subscription to try out their service, but all opinions in this review are mine all mine. 

eMeals Review: Meal Planning Made Easy (Even If You Already Meal Plan)Before I tell you why I like it so much, let me quickly tell you how eMeals works.

1. Select which meal plan you’d like. Some of the choices: Classic Meals, Clean Eating (what we use), Simple Gourmet, Natural & Organic, Gluten Free. You can even pick a plan based on your family size or favorite grocery store!

If you’re worried you’ll get bored of one particular meal type, you can switch plans once per month. However, we’ve had so much variety in our Clean Eating plan that we have no plans to switch it up anytime soon.

2. Get your week’s meals. Each week, you receive an email containing a complete meal plan in a PDF format. You can also see new plans from a phone app.

3. Pick the meals you want, then use the grocery list to make shopping easy.

4. Cook and eat!

I typically use 2-4 of the meals from eMeals, sometimes mixing in a meal from a past week too. We then fill in our week’s meal plan with some of our tried and true meals and sometimes a new meal I want to try thanks to Pinterest.

Why I’m Hooked on eMeals

Yummy Food

My hubby and I both like to cook. Before kids (and Pinterest), we used to scour cooking magazines and websites looking for new things to try. After kids, we try new things probably more than most people but meal planning gets to be more and more of a chore. I’m stoked we have great-tasting meals come right to us.

Meals from eMealsSome of the eMeals dishes we’ve made:

  • Spicy Mexican Chicken with Steamed Broccoli and Brown Rice
  • Roasted Vegetable Orecchiette
  • Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Sage (one of my absolute faves that I wasn’t sure I’d like)
  • Asian Baby Back Ribs (we used short ribs and it was uh-mazing)
  • Taco Salad
  • Sweet and Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
  • Slow-Simmered Bolognese Ragu

I’m told that some of their chefs worked at places like Real Simple and Cooking Light, so these are GOOD, well-balanced meals.

Easy to Make

I was actually surprised how simple the meals were to make. While some of the meals sound complicated, they’re totally doable for a weeknight.

In the phone app, certain meals are labeled things like Slow Cooker, Marinate Ahead, Super Fast, Vegetarian, Kid-Friendly. I can scan the list and click on each menu item to see how long each meal takes to prep and cook. That way, I can plan the meals around our week’s activities.

Awesomely Helpful Phone App

Having the phone app is like the icing on the cake. Actually, it’s like the flour in the cake. You can make a cake without it, but it wouldn’t be the same!

The app lists meals by week. Within each week, all your meals are laid out. If you don’t want to make a meal, just skip it. They are still saved, but they won’t show up in your grocery list. Everything you need is pulled into a list for easy shopping. You can get the app for iPhone and Android.

eMeal phone app

Kid-Friendly

If you have kids, I found that most of the meals on our Clean Eating plan were kid friendly. For example, the kids were skeptical about the pumpkin pasta but devoured it (even my most-picky-kid-on-Earth eater). For the Roasted Vegetable Orecchiette, they didn’t like the butternut squash or onions but ate the broccoli and carrots. So far we’ve been pleased with how many of the meals they like.

Affordable

eMeals costs $58 a year if you purchase a one year subscription (making it not even $5 a month). With working part-time, kids in sports, and blogging, I just don’t have time to search out meals. It’s worth the $5 a month to have the meals come to me, then fill in with our family’s tried-and-true recipes.

Final Thoughts

Even though I’ve been meal planning for years, I find using eMeals is so much easier than doing it all myself. We’re actually looking forward to dinners instead of only sticking with the same old, same old. Once my subscription expires, I’ll definitely be renewing!

Question: Do you currently meal plan at all?

eMeals.com provided me one year subscription to try out their service, but all opinions in this review are mine all mine. This post also contains affiliate links.

 

 

Week In My Life- Sunday

Welcome to the final link-up for Week in My Life 2013! The linky is below- just link to your post! 

Adventuroo WIML sun 13

 

Can you believe it’s the last day? Whoa- what a week! I have some parting words at the end so keep on reading!

Today started off nicely. I actually got eight hours of glorious sleep. The kids woke up a little before eight and our plan today was to go to Sunday School at 9:50 then church at 11 am.

The kids sprawled out blankets, stuffed animals and pillows onto the couch. Noah opened my computer to watch a Rainbow Loom video. When he went to the bathroom, Ethan got the loom and I asked what he was doing. He said, “I’m making a lightning bracelet for Noah.” He just made that up. LOL.

Unfortunately, we realized that our dog Trajan didn’t have enough insulin to get through the morning (thought we had one more dose). He developed diabetes about 3 years ago and went blind after that. Since the pharmacy didn’t open until nine, we couldn’t make it to Sunday School. Daddy Roo went to get the medicine and I stayed home and made Pumpkin muffins (from a Trader Joe’s mix).
morning

We did make it to the service at least. For some reason I didn’t think to get pictures of church! But after church we changed clothes and headed outside to work in the yard. I always say our backyard has great bones. It’s a good size and fenced in, but it needs work. The kids picked up sticks and Trajan even joined in. He can’t see but he grabbed a twig anyway and started trying to pull it out of the wheelbarrow. So funny.

outdoors

After that, Ethan and I ran errands while Daniel and Noah worked on their necklaces for Y Guides. Luckily, Daniel can draw! His Y Guide name is Laughing Crow and Noah’s is Mighty Phoenix (since he was born in Arizona). Ethan and I went to Ulta, Target (again, I forgot to get pictures) then came home to drop off the groceries. I had forgotten to stop by the Y to see if Ethan’s cup was there (he left it at Noah’s basketball practice). He was quite excited that it was! We then went to Harris Teeter to get a few things that I didn’t get at Target. For dinner we had lasagna- yum!evening

After dinner, we got the kids to bed. Each of us takes a kid and tonight I was with Noah. He loves to do make-up stories where we take turns stringing along a story. He wanted it to be about he and his friend at the basketball court. I ran with that and said the lights mysteriously went out so the boys were alone in the dark. Then they heard a ball bouncing in the dark. I tried to make the story spooky– Noah seemed to like it and started added to it.

Then Ethan came in and photobombed. The “wrestling” picture below is after Ethan wanted to give Noah and hug and kiss. Noah chasing him, then tackles him and starts to kiss him but inevitably turns it into a zerbert (you may call it a raspberry). Ethan giggles the whole time then we (parents) get fed up with it taking so long and pry them off one another. Good times. Heh.

nighttimeFinal Thoughts

Wait, does that sound like something Jerry Springer would do?

Seriously though, thanks for following along and participating this week. Whether you participated but didn’t post, just did a couple of days or did every single day, I’m proud of you! You will cherish these memories so much. I learned new things about myself (namely I need to be more organized) and day after day saw proof as to how blessed I am. We have a messy, hectic, wonderful life. I looked back as to what I said last year on this day and found something that made me think, “yeah! that’s exactly it!”

Here’s what I said: “Each day becomes not a day, but a memory. I do this to give those memories color. So I can see them as they were, not just remember them as I think they were.”

Isn’t that the truth?

Week In My Life- Saturday

Welcome to today’s link-up for Week in My Life 2013! The linky is below- just link to your post! 

Adventuroo WIML sat 13Whew! Just one more post for this year’s Week In My Life. Today I’m going to ke

Kids were up earlier than they had been all week at 7:15. This sucked considering I went to bed at 1:30 (dumb move!)

We slept until 8:45 am with many interruptions. The kids wanting this and that, arguing over shows, etc. so it was broken sleep. Since we have a downstairs master they pretty much right outside our door.

We got ready then got ready for Noah’s first basketball practice. Go team Thunder! Noah did really well at practice, though he was goofing off a little with his friend. Ethan was a handful though- trying to play with Noah and rolling on the floor. He will be so excited to play next year!

 basketball

Each year we head to the NC State Fair. It seems like everyone in the state converges to this place during it eleven days it’s open (I read over a million people go). I’d love to go during the week but Noah just got back into school after his break so we can really only go on the weekend. To call it packed is an understatement. I went to Disney in May and this felt more crowded. The lines weren’t as long but there isn’t as much space to weave through so you basically shuffle through the crowd.

Nevertheless, the kids had a blast and we ate some yummy food. Our favorite stop is always the Wisconsin Cheese place. This year we opted for their mozzarella sticks. The kids enjoyed riding most everything, though Ethan was too small to do some kid rides without an adult. On the rides the kids did alone, Noah was so sweet helping his little brother.

State-fair-1

They begged and begged for candy apples and somehow we ended up with the blue ones instead of the classic red ones. state-fair-3

One of our favorite things was one of the ferris wheels. Don’t ask me why but this one was decorated like an Easy Mac container and was called the Cheese Wheel. Guess advertising has found its way into everything!state-fair-2

The only thing that disappointed us was our dinner. We ended up at a place that had Philly Cheese Steaks for us and hot dogs for the kids but it was all pretty gross. We’ve never really had horrible food there before (I mean it’s all bad-for-you food but usually it takes good) so Daniel and I left feeling pretty unsatisfied. When we got home and got the kids in bed we had popcorn and hot cider. That helped but man I wish I had some ribbon fries!

Week In My Life- Friday

Welcome to today’s link-up for Week in My Life 2013! The linky is below- just link to your post! 

Adventuroo WIML fri 13 Today isn’t quite our typical Friday, but I got some great pictures and the day was extra fun.

This morning Ethan’s preschool field trip. I don’t quite understand field trips for this age since the parents have to go. I work part-time and my work time is in the morning, so I either have to make it up or not get paid (I’m contract). I’ll be doing a couple of things tonight after bedtime to at least get a couple of hours in total.
Regardless, we had a blast. We went to a nearby place called Hill Ridge Farms. The have all sorts of fall fun for kids- hay maze, train ride, bounce houses, a corn box (don’t know the name but it’s filled with corn kernels and the kids play in it like you would a sandbox). At the end, you take a hayride, then pick out a pumpkin.

It’s about a 20 minute drive and the entire drive Ethan was asking when we’d get there.
“Are we there yet?”
“I’m in the middle of the road; we are not there.”
“Are we there yet?
“I’m at a red light so that’s why we are stopped. When we turn into the farm, I will tell you and then we’ll be there.”
“Drive slooowwwer.”
“Why would you want me to drive slower? Don’t you want to get there faster?”
“Drive slower right now!”
Um, no.
“How much longer?”
“We have four miles left.”
“That’s too lonnng!”
I don’t think he stopped talking the entire ride.
We had a blast. Ethan got to hang with his best friend (the same boy who’s mom takes him home after school twice a week), play, ride a train, go down a giant slide and pick out some pumpkins. Only in the last 10 minutes did he stop listening to me.

trip-to-hill-ridge-farms

On the way home he fell asleep. As I pulled in, I saw our cleaning lady was still at the house. She usually comes on Thursdays when I’m at the office so today. It’s the best money I spend all month. In fact, we don’t have cable and I don’t care if I can keep her. :) I decided to drive to get gas and have the car washed. Ethan slept the whole time.

I came home and she was still there so I just came in and said hi. Ethan was on my shoulder and of course he woke up (that’s why I didn’t go in earlier). From there, he had a CRANK FEST. He laid on the landing of the stairs and asked for a snack but wouldn’t tell me what he wanted nor come with me to look in the pantry. After a while, I decided I’m plop him back in the car and drive to Starbucks so he could chill the EFF out. He of course screamed and cried the entire way there. You guys, he was demonic! He rarely gets like this but wake up abruptly from a nap and he’s insane.

Once he snapped out of it he was happy as a clam.

After we picked up Noah and they had a snack, we took Trajan our dog for a walk. He’s blind from diabetes (been blind a little over 2 years now) so taking him and two kids for a walk is no small feat. But he needed it and we had fun.

afternoon-walk

After that, I decided to meet the hubs at the gym. My goal is 4-5 times a week but lately it’s been 2 and occasionally 3. Since dinner was already cooked, the routine after the gym would be easy. I ran for about 20 minutes then we did weights. That’s me trying to look like I’m NOT taking a picture. LOL.

At-the-gym After dinner, we broke out a game I got at the Type A Parent Conference from Time to Play Magazine. It’s called Headbandz and you put a card on your band and one person or everyone tries to guess it. We played the game LOOSELY but man, did the kids have fun! I love seeing them get excited about getting answers right.

headbandz

Tonight, I’m curled up on the couch with a glass of wine and my trusty Mac. Only 2 days left of the challenge! Can’t wait for tomorrow- we’re going to the NC State Fair!

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