Monthly Archives: May 2012

daddy’s first time

with a horrified gasp, it was earlier this week that i learned dave had not yet been to freestone park in gilbert. we rectified that on saturday. our adventure began with a bigger breeze than anticipated (i was chilly in my shorts and tank top), the kids riding their bikes and alex sitting (excitedly) in her stroller.


we immediately went to the kids’ play ground (the one by the bathrooms) and let the kids play in the sand, on the swings and slides and whatever else it is that they did there. alex even played in the sand for awhile (with mommy right there). then we headed off on a walk/ride around the water. davey decided to ride his bike down a BIG hill. he did great! sam wanted to do it, too. she started off great but then at the bottom got too wobbly, didn’t put her feet down and ended up FLIPPING OVER HER HANDLEBARS. yes. she literally FLIPPED over her bike. dave was right there. she wasn’t injured – just scared. i carried the bikes up the hill and she ended up walking around the water instead of riding her bike.


i loaded the bikes and stroller into the car and we headed to the carnival area. we bought a batch of 20 tickets and we all rode the train (15 tickets) around the park.


then we had a few tickets left over so davey and sam climbed on the wave runners and went for a spin:

alex was acting like she wanted to ride with them… but we don’t think she’s quite ready for a parent-less ride yet.

davey and sam LOVED the ride and they both wanted to ride MORE rides but with only one ticket left, we hustled them out of the carnival area.


back to the car for the stroller and our lunches and back into the park we wandered.

after lunch, both D&S wanted to play on the hill (run down and up and down and up and down and up….) so we skipped the playground and shifted our “home base” to the grass to watch them, let alex crawl and play and just enjoy the nice weather.

(those TINY DOTS in the middle of that last photo are Sam on the left in a white skirt and Davey on the right).


it was about 1 o’clock when we left the park and headed to old navy so i could return some stuff and try on some shorts. and there was a kohls nearby, so we hit that store, too. before we knew it, it was a VERY LATE nap day (after 3) so we opted for EASY for dinner (burgers)!


all in all, it was a VERY successful day. and i no longer need to be horrified that dave hasn’t experienced freestone park. because he has. and he liked it.



[all photos in this post were taken with my iPhone. the square shaped photos were taken with the Hipstamatic app, which is why they look more vintage.]

wardrobe wonders…..

here’s a total random “DIFFERENT” about life in AZ vs. WA:


in WA, i hunted HIGH and LOW for bermuda shorts that were only an inch or two above my knee. i wanted those long shorts. i thought it was to hide my thighs. in retrospect, i think it was to hide my pasty white legs. as soon as we moved to AZ, i realized those shorts are too long. too hot. too… well, just “too.”


since moving to AZ, i’ve been on the hunt for modest but shorter shorts. you know, 5 inches long (from the crotch is how that’s measured, in case you’re worried that i’m turning into a hussy). i’m still struggling to find some that fit right, are a decent price (under $20) and are the right color(s). but that’s my quest. i recently ordered FOUR pairs from old navy. i like ONE pair. but i’m not convinced about the color (bright pink) so today i’ll head back to the store and cross my fingers that SOMETHING will work.


it’s amazing the havoc that can be let loose on one’s wardrobe because of a little bit of skin color.   :)


other wardrobe changes for me:

-am trying to wear more skirts (if only i could FIND more that aren’t scandalously short or tight – or both!)

-tank tops (with spaghetti straps) are my DAILY attire here (i hate those wide strap tan lines). i don’t even like to wear t-shirts (again, i hate funky tan lines)

-dresses – i want to wear them all the time. unfortunately, they seem to be too long or too short. where’s that happy medium?!

-bathing suits. instead of wearing one a few times a year, i wear one a few times a week. so i’ve purchased two new ones since moving here.

-jeans: my jeans have all been relegated to the back of the closet for the past 2 months. in fact, i think i tried to wear one pair in the past two months but it was too darn hot.



smiles all around

in no particular order, some more random photos for your viewing pleasure.


samantha looking as cute and sweet as ever:


davey wearing his new Avengers pjs/play clothing from nana:

(he INSISTED i include his feet in the photo b/c he wanted to “cross his legs” in the photo)


a few weeks ago, we had some REALLY stupid birds in our yard. this one flew INTO our downstairs windows (two of them) REPEATEDLY for TWO DAYS!

i even have it on video, but i just don’t know how to load it here.


after church one day, dave took davey to the bathroom and i entertained the girls (with samantha’s crown from childrens church)


alex LOVES to drink from straws. especially from my cups. so i’ve purchased her a few of her own. nope. wants nothing to do with them. only mommy’s cups. sheesh!


and there you have it. more randomness, b/c that and time at the YMCA pool and house hunting is all we do these days.

… in other news…


davey is a budding young artist. i think he learned how to draw a turtle from watching blues clues (alex’s new and all-time-favorite show):



it’s hot enough here for the sprinkler:

did you know it gets so hot here that the water from the hose/faucet is warm?! samantha spent more time looking at the sprinkler than actually running through it. davey, however, enjoyed it A LOT.



while not much of a sprinkler fan, my little girl IS a big fan of new tank tops from nana and her brother’s necktie and hat:

what a little sweetie.

bump bump

these two cuties:

were running, running, RUNNING through the house last week and they bonked heads. hard.


they insisted they needed band aids. we have a pretty standard rule that getting a band aid requires seeing blood. but dave and i weren’t up to “fighting” the band aid request this particular night. so these two looked JUST LIKE THIS when we went out for fro yo later that night.


what a pair.


i’m tired of looking at houses. i’m not trying to complain, i’m just stating a realistic fact. i’m ready at the drop of a hat to look at any new house that’s on the market. even if i see it within HOURS of it being on line, there are usually a few offers already placed. seriously. here in arizona it’s a SELLERS market. and we sold our home in Lynden in a BUYERS market. ugh. at least they’re a bit even.


last friday i went to look at three houses. liked the first one enough to call dave at work and have him come see it. turned out there were already FOUR offers on it and they were calling for “highest and best” by 5 that night. so we did it. we offered MORE than asking price (and the asking price is already over the estimated value of the house!). we made our earnest money HARD after 10 days. and we offered to pay closing costs. that’s a pretty major offer. and we STILL didn’t get the house. WOW!


in the end, it’s fine. we weren’t in LOVE with the house. but it met all our criteria and it was within our budget (even with those bonus “bumps” noted above) and it was move-in ready. it wasn’t the house for us. we’re fine with that. but now we will continue to look. i am getting frustrated. impatient. tired. discouraged.


but there’s a house out there for us. it’s all in God’s perfect timing. there’s a reason why we didn’t buy that house in Lynden a year ago. there’s a reason our home in Lynden took 9 months to sell. it’s all in HIS perfect timing. i KNOW that. i do. i KNOW it. in my head AND in my heart. but that doesn’t make this process less frustrating. i am, after all, human.


so today is monday and we’re back on the hunt. only there’s nothing new on the market over the weekend. NOTHING. weird.

can you find the differences?

remember those “games” where you’d have to spot the 7 differences between two almost identical pictures/drawing/photos? i loved those things. and now that you’ve read about some similarities of my life in Mesa vs Lynden, i think it’s time to share some differences. what do you think – are you interested?


- Costco is 2 miles from my house. that means i can run over there after dinner to pick up just ONE item and it’s still worth the gas used to make the trip!

- i have shopping options here. even though i shop some of the same stores, there are multiples of EVERY store to visit. i think i’ve already been to 10 different target stores in a 20-minute radius from my home.

- i check the weather forecast daily to determine if i’m going to wear a tank top or a t-shirt. no more long sleeves, jeans or capris for me!

- for unknown reasons, i make pancakes (from scratch) at least 3x a week for breakfast. plain for alex and chocolate chip for D&S and me.

- we don’t go to play group. we don’t have lots of play dates with lots of different friends.

- i don’t have multiple “would you please help me by babysitting my kids for me for an hour or three?” options.

- i don’t have someone who will do my hair (for a decent price)

- i don’t know where to find all the good deals (garage sales, discount stores, etc.)

- i don’t know where everything is located. so sad, i know.

- i miss having a family doctor who KNOWS us, knows our background and can easily fit us in on the same day

- i miss seeing people i know at the grocery store (or anywhere) even when i have on no make up and am wearing grubby clothing

- i miss feeling “familiar” at church. i miss seeing people i know across the room. i miss the knowing smiles and looks and hugs from friends.

- i hide from the sun more than run into it here. it gets hot.

- i carry a LARGE tumbler of ice water EVERYWHERE i go. EVERYWHERE. it’s pretty much a national travesty if i forget it.



rewind a few MONTHS ago. shortly after we moved here dave and davey began to watch super hero movies together. Thor. Iron Man. Iron Man 2. The Hulk. Captain America.


about a month ago the boys finished that last movie, Captain America. a few days later, as a family, we were in walmart (we’re almost NEVER in walmart and DEFINITELY not all together as a family of 5) and we saw a special display: 4 DIFFERENT t-shirts (all in davey’s size) all of the Avengers. we convinced davey to tell us which one was his favorite and then, without his knowledge, we purchased the shirt THAT DAY to give to him on the day he and dave would go see the new movie, THE AVENGERS, in the movie theater.


it was all in preparation for something. for the BIG EVENT that happened about 10 days ago. a new movie, The Avengers, came out in the theaters. so just a week ago (last Wednesday, in fact), davey was down for his nap/rest time. dave came home from work early and we “woke up” davey to give him a present.


he was quite excited about the shirt. but you know what? he’s only 4 and a half years old…. he didn’t know what it meant.


so we told him he was going to see the movie The Avengers in the theater with Daddy THAT DAY.


really? THANK YOU:


he had to change his outfit, which meant he wanted to lay out his clothing to see what it would look like:


and then the boys had to pose for some photos before they could take off for the theater:


it was davey’s FIRST movie in a theater. dave said he did REALLY well and he loved it. he got the ROYAL treatment – pop, popcorn AND whoppers!


and i’m happy to say this kid wears that t-shirt the day after i hang it back in his closet after washing it. he’s owned it for a week and has worn it 3 or 4 time already. he LOVES it and it reminds him of his extra special date with his Daddy at the theater. and i LOVE that.


so much the same and so much different

wanna know something? so much of my life – OUR LIVES – is the same here in arizona as it was in washington. and yet, so much is different. which should we talk about today? the same? yeah. that’s what i think, too. b/c that way, if you live in Lynden you’ll know that my life, while filled with much more sunshine, is pretty much the same as it was when i lived a few doors down from you. or across the alley. or up the street. or across town. so here goes:


- i still try to wake, shower and dress (this includes hair, make-up and jewelry) before the kids do each day. it’s not always easy but it’s ALWAYS worth it.

- my kids are still required to stay in their room until 8am. well, alex doesn’t understand that yet, so she gets a “pass” but the other two know the rules AND how to read the number “8″ on the clock.

- i still have to get out of the house regularly. a whole day at home, no matter how large the house, is difficult for me.

- Davey still eats a PB&J sandwich [almost]  EVERY. DAY. for lunch.

- Ironing is still a rarity for me. Once a month is about all i manage. i have great intentions but intentions don’t get the ironing done.

- i still have Robby the Robot (aka: Roomba) to do my vacuuming. i love Robby. He makes my life easier.

- i still run the dishwasher almost every single night before bed and empty it in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast.

- i still shop at costco, target and safeway regularly (almost weekly) even though i have a ridiculous amount of OTHER shopping options.

- i’m still not very good, faithful or reliable about meal planning. i still make the same meals over and over and over again. some of them i don’t even like.

- i still INSIST on rest time FOR ALL in the house after lunch. even if davey doesn’t sleep he has to play QUIETLY in his room so i can have some time to myself to regroup. or craft. or watch tv. or sit and do nothing.

- i still get frustrated with my children.

- i still love to shop – in stores. on line. anywhere.

- i still have curly hair.

- i still wear the same make-up look that i’ve had for the past 3 or 5 or 10 years. some day i really WILL address this issue.

- i still like to think up crafty things to make/do. then i buy what i need to do them. then the project sits, unfinished (sometimes un-started) for ages. i’m trying to be better about that. lots better.

- i still hate to work out but i like what it does for me. hence, the reason Zumba! is part of my routine.

- checking the mail is still one of the highlights of my day. i REALLY get excited for “real” mail or packages.

- i still don’t paint my fingernails.

- i still like to wear different clothing to church than i wear in my daily life. i’m “old school” about “dressing up” for church, i guess.

- i still love sweets. i still significantly restrict the quantity of sweets my children consume on a daily basis.

- i’m still an east coast driver (with some west-coast mellowness thrown in there after almost 13 years of living in the NW)

- i still hate to talk on the phone

- i still drink a mug of earl grey tea almost every morning

- stauffer’s animal crackers are still a staple in our pantry (found at Walmart, Dollar Tree or sometimes in the dollar spot at Target)

- i still store my laptop next to the couch. and i open it multiple times a day.

- i still walk around barefoot most of the time. so yes, my feet are almost always filthy. many nights i’ll wash my feet in the bathroom sink before bed b/c they’re THAT dirty.

- alex is still crawling around. she has NO DESIRE to walk. she does walk along furniture but she has not yet taken a step on her own.

- i still make random piles of STUFF everywhere. i hate it. some day perhaps i’ll be better about putting things away?

- i still love sweets and junk food. i can sometimes be found “hiding” somewhere in the house so i can scarf down something sweet and tasty without my kids knowing what’s going on (b/c i don’t want to share)!




i apologize, in advance, for the randomness of this post. but there are thoughts i need to jot down and this is the best place for me to not lose them. so here goes.


-cinco de mayo party was AWESOME.

-dave makes some MEAN carnitas. who knew that yummy, delicious, salty and TASTY carnitas was pork FRIED IN LARD?! so gross. but so good!

-hitting a piñata is FUN!

-house hunting is exhausting. and exhilarating. and frustrating. and exciting. so many emotions – it’s definitely draining!

-alex with an ear infection is NOT fun. alex recovered from an ear infection is sweet, lovable, chatty (with babbling), smiley and more.

-retraining alex to fall asleep on her own, in her own crib is NOT fun. but it might be getting better. i sure hope so.

-davey and samantha with head colds/allergies are not fun. especially the whining. but they are troopers and they let almost nothing slow them down.

-going to bed a few nights in a row before 9 and being sound asleep before 9:30 is a sure-fired way to get “back on track” with waking up before the rest of the family!

-going to bed ridiculously early does NOT help me accomplish anything “extra” around the house or with my own projects

-meal planning is a good thing. i’m pretty much a wreck without it (like i have been this past week)

-i do NOT want to be “that mom” that is known for yelling at her kids.

-it’s hard to make myself go BACK to the gym for Zumba! after missing a few classes due to sick kiddos

-seeing the house hunt come “full circle” from how it started over a year ago in Lynden is pretty crazy. God has a good sense of humor.

-shopping is an addiction. but i’m keeping the TWO pairs of shoes i bought this week. ‘cuz they’re so fun and perfect for life here in AZ!

-my husband works hard – really hard – at his job. and i admire him for his work ethic (about as much as i am frustrated by it). and i love him for providing for us.

-it feels good to have officially “quit” my grown up job for the second time since having kids. now if i would just pack up the laptop and return it to them….

-vintage shopping is SO. MUCH. FUN.

-i’m going through garage sale shopping WITHDRAWAL – it’s been about a month since i’ve done any!

-sawing alphabet blocks in half can make a girl pretty sweaty.

-fun mail is when (Great) Uncle Jon sends pictures of Dave/Daddy from 1989

-105* isn’t as hot as you would think. but i reserve the right to change my mind later this summer!

-i miss my friends

-being “homesick” isn’t fun

-it’s SO CUTE how much Alex LOVES the show Blues Clues (she MUCH prefers the original episodes with Steve… Joe’s not a good “replacement” for her)

-i LOVE to watch Alex scoot backwards on the couch or at the top of the steps so she can get/go down.

-Davey is getting to be a REALLY good artist.

-Sam is so easily frustrated when trying to draw or write. i’m afraid she’s so much like her mother….


and that, my friends, is enough for today.


unrelated: i LOVE the kids in the above photo. my three plus two of Jenni’s kids: Lacey and Jada. i had the privilege of watching the girls for an hour or two one morning while Jenni worked in Blake’s Kindergarten class. Alex is OBSESSED with Jada (and Jada’s pretty impressed with Alex) and Lacey is the PERFECT child to play with D&S – she’s 8months younger than Davey and 7 months older than Sam. she loves to play princess dress up AND marvel super heroes. could God have provided any more perfect match for us here?