The Happiest of Hours

many hats of a mom phoenix blogger

many hats of a mom phoenix blogger

many hats of a mom phoenix blogger

Friday night I called my best friend for an emergency happy hour. I had a lot on my mind and needed some time away from it all. Postinos and conversation with Angie proved to be just what I needed. A great way to kick off the weekend and recharge with the one who knows me best. She’s been my best friend since we were in 10th grade and totally gets it. I hope you have friends like that. They truly make the world go round. And this amazing Arizona weather was the perfect complement.

Desert Camping for Spring Break

For Kelsey’s spring break we decided to go camping. Since we have a 6-month old baby we couldn’t go far. Instead, I had an idea (an idea that sounded good at the time) for Kelsey & Ryan to camp in the backyard. Fun, right? We got the tent out, I bought snacks and Ryan even brought down her mattress so she would be comfortable.

As I was kissing her goodnight inside of the tent, she turned to me and demanded, “Mom! I DO NOT want to wake up inside the mouth of a wolf. Got it?” I was dying laughing. Then we played the “what if” game for about 20 minutes. “What if the wolf gets over the fence? What if the wolf opens the tent zipper with his teeth. What if …” I reminded her that we live in the suburbs and wolves don’t hang out here. After that didn’t work, I finally said, wolves can’t get past daddy. You’re safe.

Colton wanted to spend the night with me inside the house so I gladly accepted his request. The reason this sounded like a good idea (but wasn’t actually a good one) was because of baby Nolan. He is teething and was awake every two hours. At about 2am, I came downstairs to get Tylenol and a bottle and I peeked outside to see my husband snoozing away … as I walked upstairs like a zombie I thought, “Great idea, Steph.”

phoenix mom blog


Topgolf and a night out with friends

Top Golf 2

Do you have Topgolf where you live? It’s this really cool concept. It reminds me of bowling; you rent a “bay” and take turns hitting the golf ball into a few different holes. Each ball has a chip inside so the scores are accurately calculated by how you hit it. No previous golf skills are required. Phew.

The Top Golf we went to is three stories high. I’m a little anxious around heights, but we made it work. The food was good (albeit bar food) and the service was excellent. But more importantly than that was the incredible company.

You see, these are six people very near and dear to our hearts. Between us, we have 9 kids. NINE! And we have watched each other go through so many ups, downs, highs and lows. We’re pretty much like family. When Ryan and I called them a few weeks ago and demanded we get babysitters and actually see each other outside of one of our kids birthday parties, they all eagerly made it happen.

Top Golf

Top Golf

Top Golf 4

Top Golf 5

Top golf 7



What a great night out with friends! Everyone needs nights like these to really re-charge and re-connect with the people who have your back through anything. Oh, I forgot to mention the best part … Ryan and I won the last game!

Life in a few Snapshots

Life has been amazing lately. Here are some pictures and stories on what’s been going on in the Cross household these past few days.

many hats of a mom blog

I volunteered at Kelsey’s school this morning. Her kindergarten class was having a “fall football party” and it was the perfect excuse for me to actually shower, curl my hair and put on a dress. When you’re on maternity leave, you don’t do much of that. At least I don’t.

many hats of a mom blog

The St. Regis Aspen Resort sent Nolan his very own tooth fairy box! It was the sweetest gesture. I had one just like it when I was young – only mine wasn’t nearly as fancy. It was a small wooden box and it wasn’t personalized. This one takes the cake.


Speaking cake (bad transition?), I baked! It was so easy to make, even Kelsey & Colton were able to help me. I saw the recipe on the Food Network (I watch a lot of TV lately). I highly recommend it – the pie, not a lot of TV.  Here is the recipe from The Pioneer Woman. She gives a great tip on her show: Once you’ve transferred the batter to your pie crust, take the extra leftovers and put it in the refrigerator – it makes a great pudding on its own!

many hats of a mom blog

I became a soccer mom! This beautiful (and oh-so serious) girl of mine had her first soccer game over the weekend. No, I don’t own a minivan. No, I’m not getting a minivan. Yes, I am officially a soccer mom and proud of it.

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

Colton, Kelsey and I play cards every morning before school. It’s becoming “our thing”. The other day, Colton was tatted with all of these super hero stickers. I bought him stickers to give to each of his friends at school and I think he went a little overboard on his fair share of the goods.

nolan 20 days

Nolan and I are enjoying every waking moment together. Here’s an iPhone pic I snapped of him this morning. I seriously can’t get enough of those cheeks. Next week, we have our one month doctor’s appointment. I can’t wait to see how much he has grown.

Ryan and I aren’t too experienced but so far this three-kid-thing is more than we ever hoped for. We are so incredibly happy. I hope your week is off to a great start.

Dayna’s (work) Baby Shower + Baby Bump

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

My co-worker, Dayna, is due in two weeks (two weeks!) so we celebrated on Friday afternoon with brunch at Zinc Bistro. All of the girls got together to celebrate Dayna’s new bundle of joy. This is Dayna & Mike’s first baby and you can tell how excited they are just by talking to her – the nursery is decorated, the car seat is in and now everyone is on baby watch eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

zinc bistro baby shower scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

When Andrea is around (center, red dress) there is no reason you would order dessert off the menu – she brings it! She bakes the most delicious treats and this day was no exception. She baked a Bundt Cake with cream cheese frosting topped with fresh fruit. If you live in Arizona and want custom cakes for your parties, let me know. Her cakes are really something else.

Baby Shower Bundt Cake

Dayna looks amazing (can you believe she looks this good at 38 weeks? I was a house) and couldn’t be happier that her little one will debut into the world soon. We couldn’t have asked for better Arizona weather for an afternoon spent with good friends, good food and lots of baby talk. Dayna, next time we see you, you’ll be a mom! We are so happy for you!!!

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

We took over the mall for a few hours



Family night out

It was an indulge-in-a-vanilla-shake-from-IN-and-Out-Burger, mixed with shopping at the Disney store kind of night. We took the mall by storm. No really, we kind of did. Have you seen how fast Colton can run? And for whatever reason, if there is a lot of people nearby and many breakable things around, he runs even faster.



Taking a spin

Before we left for the store, Kelsey emptied her piggy bank and picked out all of the quarters. She stuffed them into her purse so she could pay for things at the mall. It was the sweetest thing. We rode this merry-go-round with her quarters. She even paid for her little brother to ride it twice. I don’t know who was more proud in that moment …me, or her.




We found relief in Pottery Barn

Well, mostly I did. I love Pottery Barn so much and the fact that it’s all decked out in fall colors makes this mama one happy lady. While Ryan was trying to wrangle Colton from running into every shelf, corner and taking out every aisle, I was busy drooling over their new stuff. We made it through the entire store without any child knocking over anything and then I go and run right into a sign and nearly knock it over to the floor. Seriously, sometimes we worry so much about our kids and we are actually the clumsy ones.

many hats of a mom | Family night out

coltonMy people

There is nothing (nothing!) I love more than being around these people. It’s the silly things Kelsey will say, the crazy things Colton will do and the most special moments Ryan gives me just by allowing me into his heart every day. I don’t have enough lucky stars to thank for the blessings that I’ve been given. To know these three people has given me more fulfillment and joy than I could have ever asked for (I have God to thank for that).

Kelsey Rocks (pun intended)

Since we took Kelsey out of pre-school for 5 days for our vacation, I was worried that she would digress. I know, I know. It’s a mom thing. You take them out of school for a few days and then suddenly, on day 3 you start freaking out over all of the learning she is missing out on.

Lucky for me, my aunt came to visit us on the 5th day of vacation and brought me relief in the form of a kids craft project. We painted rocks into lady bugs, monsters, a moose (her choice) and even one with her initials. It was messy. Fun. Creative. And the perfect blend of hands on learning to put this anxiety driven mom at ease.

Kelsey Rocks Kid Craft Ideas

Kelsey Rocks Kid Craft IdeasKelsey Rocks Kid Craft IdeasKelsey Rocks Kid Craft Ideas

How Weekends Should Always Start

I’m pretty sure that every weekend should kick off with a summer pool party with your best pal. Teri is finally back in the United States and I couldn’t be more excited! I think we freaked everyone out at the restaurant when we screamed like … well, girls … when we reunited for the first time in 2014! Naturally, our 3 hour lunch date ended with drinks at my house, poolside. The perfect summer Friday if you ask me.

summer summer summer summer