Rosé popsicles and 120 degree summers!

Arizona lifestyle blogger many hats of a mom

garage east Arizona blogger

Arizona food blogger many hats of a mom blog

It’s a gazillion degrees in Phoenix. I won’t sit here and give you that sob story, but once it reaches 120 degrees (like it did last Tuesday), I can’t help but wonder why I live here. It’s actually funny, I went to happy hour last week and it felt like a ghost town. No one was out. No one was walking around. But, there we were, two girls catching up over Rosé Popsicles at Garage East. Sometimes even a horrible heat wave can’t keep you away from good friends and cocktails.

A Night at the Phoenix Ballet

Phoenix Ballet Things to do in Phoenix Mom Blog

Phoenix Ballet Things to do in Phoenix Mom Blog

Phoenix Ballet Things to do in Phoenix Mom Blog
A girls night out at the Phoenix Ballet was just what I needed. What a performance! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was completely blown away by the Phoenix Ballet’s amazing grace, incredible choreography and remarkable show. We went to Ballet Moods in May. This was part traditional ballet followed by progressive, modern ballet choreographed by Albert Blaise Cattafi (who choreographed for John Legend and Cirque de Soleil).

The show was at The Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix so we decided Hanny’s for pre-show cocktails and dinner was a great choice (it’s within walking distance to the venue). Follow the Phoenix Ballet on Facebook or visit them online here to stay connected. You won’t want to miss an upcoming performance.

My first spin class at Flywheel Sports Scottsdale

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https://www.flywheelsports.com/

Flywheel Scottsdale Spin Classes

I took my first spin class! Where have I been hiding out? These classes are incredible. My friend Liz and I decided to forgo happy hour for a “FlyBeats” class at Flywheel Sports in Scottsdale. Let’s just say our instructor, Erin Campbell rocked our world!

I had no idea what to expect. I workout at Orange Theory regularly so I was pretty sure I could make it through the class, but I had no idea how challenging these 45-minute spin classes were going to be. The workout room is “stadium style” to ensure no riders are directly on top of each other. The room is dark, the music is loud, the atmosphere feels like a rock concert which makes the 45 minutes fly by. No pun intended.

Don’t worry about buying shoes that clip in, they provide those for you. And lockers, towels and fresh fruit to follow your workout. You can also reserve your bike in advance online. I’m super controlling, so I love that. Every instructor is different but I was so pleased with Erin. She had great energy and amazing music (I went home and downloaded some of her playlist).

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That’s Erin on the right. Jeremiah is in the middle and he is amazing – from my first visit I could tell that the staff here really cares about you and wants you to succeed in your workouts.

Flywheel Sports Scottsdale

flywheel sports - scottsdale spin classes

Flywheel Scottsdale Spin Classes

flywheel sports - scottsdale spin classes

I’m going to spare you the after photo of Liz and I. Let’s just say I didn’t think sweating that much was possible. According to their website, I rode 21 miles in 45 minutes. WHAT! That is incredible. Huge thanks to Flywheel Sports for having us and for giving me such a positive outlook on Spin classes. I’ll be back for more! If you are a first timer at Flywheel, your first ride is only $15. Check it out, I highly recommend it.

Date night at Mora Italian in Phoenix

mora Italian phoenix mom blog

mora Italian phoenix mom blog

Have you been to Mora Italian? If not, get yourself a reservation, grab a date and go! It’s remarkable. If you’re a foodie, this restaurant will not disappoint. Ryan and I went on Saturday for a pre-anniversary dinner (9 years!). As we were sitting at the bar waiting for our table, the server brought over a pizza with a poached egg (it wasn’t ours) but I wanted it so badly. Right behind us another server was preparing freshly baked bread as a side dish, table side, and the scent of fresh bread was heavenly.

Everything at this restaurant was amazing – from the atmosphere to the service to the cuisine. I can’t recommend this place enough. Plus, I had this handsome guy by my side. Between him and the salted caramel dessert, it was an amazing night out.

Janelle’s Newborn Lifestyle Photoshoot

I had the privilege of photographing the sweetest (and coolest) family last month. Janelle, a friend from high school, reached out to see if I would be open to photographing her twin boys, baby boy and hubbie. I jumped at the opportunity! Here are a few photos from that day. We seriously had so many laughs. I loved hanging out with this awesome crew.

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newborn family photos phoenix blog

newborn family photos mom blog

newborn family photos mom blog

What Real Life Looks Like

I’m so over all of the perfect family photo floating around Instagram. That. is. not. real. This is what real mom life looks like. You know, just trying to get a photo of my family but Nolan refuses to wear pants (I have to sneak into his room at night and put pajama pants on him so he won’t freeze) and Colton has so much energy that I wish I could bottle it up and use it for myself. Kelsey loves giving me attitude, rolling her eyes and making me feel like I am a mother to a teenager. But, at the end of the day, I love them so incredibly much and sometimes (just sometimes) they look at me and smile. Other times, it goes a little something like this.

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Our Disneyland Spring Break Vacation

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We had the time of our lives on a three-day vacation to Disneyland! Last Sunday, we told the kids that we were going to a very early church service and as they were about to jump into the car we told them we were going to Disneyland instead. You should have seen their faces!

Along with my parents we arrived at the airport at 7am for an early flight to Orange County. It was Nolan’s first plane ride and besides being way too large to be a lap child, he was perfect! I’m telling you, this kid makes life with three so much fun (and actually not too difficult). When we landed, we persuaded my parents to give Uber a try for the first-time. It took a bit of convincing since my mom is certain that everyone is “out to steal her credit card” and Uber is no exception but after one ride, they are now believers.

We arrived at the hotel, dropped off our bags and boarded a shuttle to Disneyland! We were inside the Disneyland Park gates just in time to eat lunch with Darth Vader. Perfect timing! Below are some photos and stories from our Disneyland vacation. I had a hard time narrowing down photos for this post, so apologies for the photo overload.

 

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As I was waiting for Ryan and the kids to finish up a ride, Nolan and I were walking up and down Main Street. I was people watching and he was chasing anyone who had a balloon. About five minutes later, he decided to sit in the MIDDLE of Main Street. I apologized to about 50 people who had to walk around him, but then noticed that everyone smiled the minute they saw him. There is something about a cute pudgy baby that no one can resist.

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Disneyland_phoenix_momBlogger

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Our favorite California residents Aunt Lauren and Uncle Brian drove down from Los Angeles to meet us for dinner. About seven minutes into this plate of spaghetti I realized that I forgot to pack two important things: Nolan’s bib and my makeup bag. Looking back on this photo, the bib was missed the most.

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It took this picture just as we arrived at California Adventure Park. Since Kelsey “remembers more” from the last time she was here, she took Colton’s finger and started pointing at all of the sights – explaining to him, “this is this and that is that” – it was so incredibly cute! And, believe it or not, these two got along the ENTIRE trip. Not one fight between them. If you have two kids close in age you know how miraculous this is!

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*Colton is pointing to Cross street. 🙂

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Nolan woke up from his nap, jumped out of his stroller and strutted around Cars Land. This was the cutest moment … he looks like such a man on a mission.

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Talk about the thrill of the ride, these kids were obsessed with all of the exhilarating rides like Thunder Mountain. Which was so interesting to me because the last time we went to Disneyworld (seen here) they were more into the characters than the rides. It’s funny how quickly their interests change.

Ryan and I were riding Thunder Mountain with Kelsey and Colton – if you have been on this ride, then you know it’s a jerky rollercoaster with a lot of turns and dips – and, I don’t love rollercoasters, in fact, I’m pretty terrified of heights so I’m not the best one to partner up with. Anyway, as we were on our second dip my eyes began to water. This is new, I thought. Must be something that happens when you get old (ha!) but then Kelsey turned to me and I noticed her eyes were watering too. She and I busted out laughing and the boys just looked at us like we were insane. Guess that’s a genetic thing we do … we cry on rides.

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I love this photo. Colton’s face is so sweet, innocent and filled with joy. Ryan’s got our 18 month old on his own horse. And, if you look closely, you’ll noticed Ryan is strapped in. Yep. He is THE ONLY adult in history that uses a seatbelt on a merry-go-round horse. That’s my husband, folks. Mr. Safety First.

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I tried so hard to stay away from desserts on this trip, but when your son hands you his incredibly messy and melting Mickey Mouse ice cream and says he “is done” you kind of just devour the rest of it without thinking. And the churros … don’t even get me started on the churros.

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*That moment you realize you’re on a baby ride.

Bug’s Land was a trip. The kids loved the bumper cars but after Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, the Bug’s Land “rollercoaster” just didn’t cut it. However, if you get the chance, do the Bug’s Life 3D movie. It was incredible and the kids enjoyed every second of it.

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*Spring was in full bloom at the park.

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* What happens when Grandpa is in charge of getting breakfast

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The kids wanted to go on Space Mountain (whose kids are these?) and Ryan snapped this photo just before we boarded the ride. Colton’s face symbolizes how he felt going in … and coming out. He wasn’t a fan but Kelsey took about 30 seconds to regroup and then asked if she could ride it again. Little thrill seekers, I tell you.

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My dad bought the kids these Mickey bubble wands. They light up at night and put out a gazillion bubbles. It added to the magic. Thank you, dad. And thank you for buying three of these things (Colton lost his first one on our last evening so Grandpa replaced it).

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I have so many great memories from this trip, but the Electric Light Parade was particularly special. I remember seeing this same parade with parents when I was little, and here I am watching it with them and my husband and three children.

I twisted my ankle during a workout the day before we left for Disneyland (good timing, I know) and about 45 minutes before the parade started my ankle gave out on me. I told Ryan I would just sit alongside the street with Nolan to save our seats while he rode some rides with the kids. For awhile it was just Nolan and I in the center of Main Street watching the sun set over the Park. It was a special moment because Nolan just lit up my heart with his giggles as he danced in the middle of the street to the music. Moments later Ryan arrived with a churro in hand (he loves me so!) and we bundled up to watch the parade.

Disneyland has given me so many magical memories over my lifetime and this is another one I won’t forget.

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*No more pictures, mom!

There is something about Disneyland that gives parents freedom from judgement. Am I right? It’s like, if your child is throwing a tantrum or screaming in the middle of the restaurant … it doesn’t matter because everyone around you is in the same boat. At Disneyland, it’s like you’re in a safe zone because everyone around you “gets it”. I wish the world was more like that, don’t you? No judgement for parents. Just everyone living for the moment.

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I snapped this photo on our last night from the top of Tarzan’s tree house. We were climbing up the treehouse when I happened to glance back and see this gorgeous sight and it’s one I will never forget.

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And that’s a wrap! The kids (and my mom) have already started to plan for Disneyworld 2019. We have plans to go back to Florida with my brothers and sister-in-law. Maybe for Ryan’s 40th birthday? He wants to go to Europe, but maybe we’ll end up at Epcot instead. Or, maybe I can convince him to invest in both. Wish me luck on that!

Mornings with God and Family

phoenix mom blogger many hats of a mom

phoenix mom blogger many hats of a mom

phoenix mom blogger many hats of a mom

We made it to church this morning, besides the rain that tried to get in our way. Have you ever tried to get three kids, four umbrellas and yourself into a church building? It’s really difficult. Not to mention the fact that I was wearing heels. But, we made it and there is truly no better way to start the morning. My heart is full today. I would love to blog more and tell you all about what’s been going on in my crazy household, but Ryan’s out grilling in the rain and the fort I built my kids just caved in. Gotta run, but I promise I’ll be a better blogger soon.