Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spoiled Rotten

I have been spoiled rotten this last month as I have had family and friends come down to play. I am just now getting back to real life (and blogging I suppose). Over Easter weekend two of my former roommates came to play! Kirsten has been in Texas teaching middle school this year and Katie is working in finance in Washington. It was so fun to catch up, stay up late talking and of course enjoy a little (or a lot) of Cafe Rio!
They indulged us in participating in our favorite activities while they were here. Mike took us on a little hike to experience some real desert landscape, we worked on a craft together and played 'Pretty Pretty Princess' with Annabelle. We were able to head over to the Easter Pageant at the Mesa temple and enjoy what must have been the last chilly evening Arizona will have for quite a while.

Annabelle LOVES the dress the girls brought for her. She wore it for Easter Sunday, and the day after. This morning she even wanted to wear it on our walk around the neighborhood. 

After the girls headed home my Italian grandma (Nona to those of you who have met her), came for a week. Several times during the week I found myself reminding her to stop working so hard because she was here to relax, to which she would reply that she was here so that I could relax! As it turns out I think we both had a great week relaxing :)
Nona and Annabelle get along so so well, there isn't an hour of the day that goes by that the two of them weren't erupting into laughter. I practically had to separate them so that I could have Nona help me with a project for the baby (and by help me I mean do it for me - I have no real sewing ability).

A week later Annabelle's doll is still wearing one of them - I'll get it back and into the wash someday. For you crafters out there, if you are interested in making one the instructions are here.
Another great moment of Nona's trip was Annabelle learning Italian. Usually the Italian lessons would end in laughter, but Annabelle still uses words like "Perfecto" and "Mangia" on a daily basis. Here is a little peek at one such lesson:
video
And all the while my belly seems to be growing and constantly shifting shapes! This kid is going to be born with some seriously strong leg muscles :)
A week late, but here he is at 33 weeks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Browns Peak

So, another post from Mike.  I went climbing this week up at Browns peak, which is part of Four Peaks not to far from Phoenix.  We climbed most the way to the top, it is the tall one on the left. AZ is really diverse, our turn off from the highway was in the valley with huge cacti and not much else.  by the time we got to our campsite we were in the pine trees high on the ridge. Snow was even visible high in the shaded areas of the mountain.  All in all it was a great trip. 
 
Our campsite.

 
The first pitch.


My buddy Mike on top. 


Our campfire.


Me, part way up. 

The rock was cold in the shade, but I shouldn't complain about that I guess since it is really starting to get hot here.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Blog

My brother Adam and his wife Trudy have a blog! It is private so if you want access you'll have to write Trudy at radioflier4@gmail.com and make your plea :) The reward? You can check out pictures of my cute nephew Jeremiah AND the crafty projects Trudy is working on. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sedona


To celebrate Mike's birthday last month we decided to go explore Sedona, Arizona. I had recently made a comment to Mike that I wouldn't mind going camping but the sooner we planned a trip the better. He realized that with a growing belly and rising temperatures that now was the time!

Sedona is a beautiful town about 2 hours north of Phoenix. The main street section of town reminded me a lot of mountain towns in Colorado and Utah. Like Breckenridge or Park City there were galleries, jewelry shops, spas and upscale restaurants. A small section of town is a historic replica called Talaquepaque. There were fancy shops and all of that but the architecture and outdoor art was what we really enjoyed the most. Another attraction is "Chapel of the Holy Cross". We visited this chapel that was built up on the rocks on the edge of town. It was so beautiful. 
Surrounding Sedona are large red cliffs and rock structures much like southern Utah. The ponderosa pine smell reminded me of when I was Annabelle's age and my family lived not too far away in Prescott, Arizona. We camped up in a winding canyon near Oak Creek. The temperatures dropped pretty low but we stayed warm and managed to suck down some of the corn chowder that I had burnt. 
 
Annabelle's favorite part of the trip, hands down, was sitting by the creek and throwing rocks in. We spent several hours there, throwing rocks, watching hikers and fisherman. I told her stories about my Papa that was an avid fisherman and she was quickly hooked on the idea. In fact, after we got in the tent she kept asking for more and more stories. Around the time I had exhausted my repertoire of Papa fishing and camping stories she looked at me with excited eyes and said "Let's stay up all night long and tell fishing stories, until the sun comes up!" 
It was so fun and relaxing to spend time together away from our usual distractions. I highly recommend it!