The best (summer) day I ever had

During our week long vacation in Pinetop, Kelsey and I were out shopping at Eddie’s Country store (here). Directly across the street from Eddie’s is a popular steakhouse called, Charlie Clark’s. Someone once told me that Charlie Clark’s offers live music in their orchard and that we should try to go. So, I called them up. I was certain live music was only on offered on the weekends but to my surprise they do live music in the orchard on Wednesdays too. Perfect!

After the kids took their naps we loaded them up and drove down to Charlie Clark’s orchard (it’s right behind their restaurant). We found a small little table and sat down. I already knew this was going to be a fabulous night from the look of the place – old signage, rustic tables and chairs, a dance floor (I mean, come on!), country music, twinkle lights, perfect weather and huge trees all around.

There was this large grass area for the kids to run around in (and any parent knows waiting for your food to arrive is always a gamble so to be able to let your kids run around and play while you talk to your husband … well, that’s a dining out dream). Kelsey brought her baby doll and, together with Colton, they played “keep away” from one another. I got that on video, so I’ll have to share it with you. Seeing them play so well together was music to my ears. The table we were sitting at was off to the side and had a little itty bitty sign on it that said “no bar or food service”. But our waitress clearly saw that we were there to stay and served us anyway – score!



As the drinks started coming, the sun started to set and the musician started to play. It really was the perfect evening. Kelsey wanted to dance so she grabbed Ryan’s hand and led him to the dance floor. Then we all joined in; which wasn’t as embarrassing as it sounds, it was actually pretty special. When the musician asked the audience what they would like to hear next, Kelsey leaned over to me and said, “Mom, do you think he knows Let it Go.” I couldn’t help but laugh. We decided to ask … so, we put money in his tip jar, walked up to him and asked if he knew anything from the Frozen soundtrack (for the record, he doesn’t).



Then, Kelsey did something that really took me back. She found all of these green fruits (we’ll call them that because I have no clue what they were) and started collecting them. In a matter of seconds, Colton wanted in on the fun – only he started to eat the green fruits, which started to make her upset … so I needed to come up with a way to keep the peace. I had an idea. Kelsey and I would find a secret, secret hiding spot for our fruit so Colton couldn’t get them.

She thought I was the smartest person ever, so off we went to collect these green things. Then, it hit me. I had this blast from the past moment where I had done this before. Did I do this when I was little? Had I played this exact game before? I can’t remember much but I do remember being at a family reunion with my family, under large green trees, playing keep away with my cousins. The sun was setting, just like this evening was, and we were all running around giggling. That’s about as much as I recall but in this moment that rush and euphoric feeling of being with my family and being a kid came over me.

I looked up and realized that parenting is much more than being in the present. It’s about letting your inner kid come out and allowing yourself to relive the past. In that moment, I remembered my childhood so vividly .. and there I was playing this game of hide and seek and really influencing Kelsey’s childhood in such a positive way. Oh, I hope she remembers this moment forever. Or at the very least, when she is in her thirties and her children are running around laughing, playing, and having fun that it transports her back to a moment like this. A moment where mom was the smartest person in the world, dad was the strongest and her brother was the coolest.


If that wasn’t enough, the check presenters were mousetraps. I mean … that’s just darn cute. The next time you find yourself in Pinetop, Arizona, check out Charlie Clark’s for live music, dinner, and a really good time.

charlie clarks



Summer has been really good to us, lots of family memories are being made over here. Some of our favorite things about summer:

1. Pooltime!
2. Bright umbrellas, palm trees and blue skies
3. Nektar Juice bar every Saturday morning after swim class
4. Refreshing bowls of cherries
5. Sunday morning church (and trying to sneak in a photo)
6. Frozen (that one was for Kelsey)

We hope summer is treating you and your family well too. It’s hoooooot out here, but the kids are loving it.

Lunch Break at Chop Shop

Chop Shop Scottsdale Restaurant
Chop Shop
Chop Shop Drinks 2
Chop Shop Scottsdale Restaurant

On our lunch breaks, Teri and I played catch up over lunch at Chop Shop in Scottsdale. If you can hold out eating lunch until after 1pm, you’ll save yourself a few minutes in line. This place was packed! Mostly because it’s summer in Arizona, which means no one with sanity sits on a restaurant patio. See all of those empty seats behind us? Yep. It’s 115° so you’ll catch us Phoenicians indoors until November.

I know what Teri will say when she sees this blog post. “Wait, Steph … weren’t we just there.” Yes, we were just there. But I get off work around 1pm every Friday during the summer (it’s the best job perk I have!) which means I get to come home, relax, blog a little bit and then hit the gym before I have to pick up my kids from school. If you ask me, this is the best way to kick off the weekend.

PS – Two thumps up for the Chop House. The BBQ chicken salad and the Power Green pressed juice were great.

Differences between him and her

Mom Blog
Notice how Colton is helping dad. He so badly wants to help him hang up the swing and to really take charge.

There he goes. What a big helper! He was all about the ladder and doing whatever dad is doing.

Now, do you see how much she cares about this. Not even a little bit of interest. Okay, maybe just a wee bit. As for helping with the swing … “Dad can do it,” she says.

Más fotos de la ciudad de México

J&G Grill Mexico City
In no particular order, be prepared to be overwhelmed with photos from our marketing trip to Mexico City. Between all of the drinks, sitting all day, and the amazing food (no seriously, check out the food), I think I gained 10 extra lbs. Our team organized “fun runs” in the morning (do those words go together?) and yoga but I clearly did not take advantage of those events. Enjoy the pics!

I love the black and white image of Lauren with the whiskey. Do you know how many tries it took us non-Spanish speaking individuals to ask for whiskey with no ice. Rather, how many tries it took our waiter to get this one right. We had to take a picture to commemorate the occasion when we finally figured it out. How pretty are those twinkly lights? The perfect setting to end a great day.

Stop being so perfect, J&G Grill. You had me at your avocado pizza. Then I fell in love with you over a plate of your sashimi. If that wasn’t enough, you went on to serve me octopus that looked like that! Not to mention your super cool interior design and beautiful city view … just stop it right now.

And then there were chair massages. Yes, the St. Regis provided chair massages in between meetings. I’m telling you … this working mom gig isn’t all bad. You get to listen to some really great speakers and then you get the stress beat out of you. Not bad.

mexico city
You want to know if I went outside of the hotel, don’t you? The answer is no. But I did look out the window (and went to this museum). Notice anything in the photo above? How about the fact that everyone seems to be driving a different way. No judgment passed, it’s just not a traffic jam I want to find myself in the middle of. That, and the fact that I was a little hesitant to travel to Mexico. “It’s safe, it’s safe, it’s safe!” everyone says. I believe it. I just stayed in and lived vicariously through my colleagues who did all the cool stuff – museums, temples, the Mercado.

Mexico City
This was our welcome amenity. Are you seeing a theme here? Really good food. Sweet desserts. I gratefully gained 10lbs.

Mexico City
I have no idea how John managed to make this look like a selfie because I was taking the photo. But, props to him for that.


See that photo of Heidi with the coffee? Heidi was drinking the best coffee each morning - it was sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and looked so good. As she walked by I literally asked her to stop so I could smell her cup. That’s not creepy or anything because we know each other really well. (I gave up coffee over a year ago and I’m clearly still missing it.)

If you’re in Mexico City go to the W Hotel. It is in one of the coolest parts of town (Polanco) and has some of the most amazing cocktails you have ever seen. I didn’t drink any but I watched in awe as the servers made these drinks. Again, I swear we worked on this trip. We worked hard. But who really wants to see pictures of notebooks, presentations, and breakout sessions. Anyway, hope you enjoyed scrolling through my recent work adventure. Now it’s back to the office and back to the grind.

Children Soothe the Soul

I’m convinced that no one can possibly be in a bad mood when swinging with children. The complete joy that comes from being around two of my favorite kids, while swinging outdoors in the summer sun … what could possibly beat it? Ryan and I are still trying to figure out a way to quit our jobs, still make money the same amount of money and do nothing all day except play with these two. So far, we can’t figure out how to swing that (bad pun alert). Meanwhile, these photos are from our summer vacation in the mountains.