Friday, August 1, 2014
We did not waste our two weeks in Phoenix idling away our time. Every spare minute was spent tracking down our dear ones and rekindling old friendships - that includes siblings who weren't able to attend the family reunion (namely Mark and Laura who were busy having a cute little baby named Connor). Not pictured here is my sushi excursion with Kimber and Darah, as well as our afternoon of swimming, pizza and cousins at Andy and Andrea's new house in Mesa. What I do have pictures of is our church friends in Buckeye, Kevin and DeDe for lunch at Fuddruckers, Mel and her kids at the trampoline place, and the Monjes in Verrado (almost every one of us has a best buddy in that family!). It made my heart so happy to spend precious time with the people we love.
I have to start by telling a story from a couple months ago when the kids were reminiscing (bragging) about all the fun themed birthday parties they've had (Barney, Blue's Clues, Hulk, Pirate, Princess, Fairy, Rainbow, etc.), and Liam asked me "Mom, what birthday parties have I had?" And I realized each summer for the last few years (around the time of Liam's birthday) we've been busy planning a move and making major life changes, and no, I had never thrown Liam a birthday party. And here we were about to take a vacation on his birthday, which would probably get glossed over once again. So I made a firm determination to keep that from happening. I asked Liam what theme he wanted (he said Lego Movie), and despite being away from home and my own kitchen and my usual resources, we pulled out all the stops. I even brought him up to Grandma Gordon's house in Camp Verde to make it extra special. We made a lego cake and did a lego craft and played a lego game and after Liam opened all his presents, he had legos coming out his ears! All the Gordon aunts, uncles and cousins came over the next day to eat pizza and play in the water and pretty much seal the deal. Birthday mission accomplished! I love my Liam...oh, how I love him :)
We kicked off our summer vacay with the Eastmans. We happened to arrive on Madix's birthday, which couldn't have been more fortunate. That meant that Hanna and I got to indulge in some of our favorite past-times (pedicures and ice cream) with some of our favorite girls (Kimber and Madix). Then, thanks to a full session of swim lessons, we all got to spend almost every morning for two weeks in the Eastman's pool. Liam totally learned to swim and Reed made great strides! We spent the last day of swim lessons at the Buckeye Pool and had fun goofing off on the slide and the high dive :)
This weekend away doubled as 4th of July holiday and Wellman Family Reunion. Boy, were we happy to see mountains again...not to mention my awesome mother, brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews. To sum up the activities, we went on multiple lovely hikes to scenic waterfalls, tubed down a river in the rain (which turned out to be quite the hair-raising adventure - Reed and I capsized a couple times and Eric and Michael had to save our lives), then we drowned our fears in some natural hot springs. On the 4th, we played volleyball and lit sparklers at the park. We also spent evenings eating, visiting and playing games. Need I say how much I loved it? I think not. And since Colorado is half-way to Arizona, we decided to head on down to Phoenix and make it an extended vacation (for me and the kids, anyway - Scott flew straight back to Kansas for work). So, on the drive down, we stopped in Durango for church and then in Tuba City to see the dinosaur fossils on the Navajo reservation; always a good time.