Downtown Austin Living (with a Dog)

This morning I walked downstairs to Joe’s Coffee for breakfast with my brothers, sister-in-law, mom and daughter. I’ll give them this, even though I kept waking up in the middle of the night to city sirens and people yelling (not to mention, trying to go to bed while the bar across the street played “Ice, Ice, Baby”), it has been nice being able to walk everywhere. My brother and sister-in-law’s downtown Austin apartment is directly across the street from the W Hotel and in the middle of it all. A huge change of pace for my suburbian crew.

Their apartment is surrounded by tons of great restaurants, boutiques and the new Austin city library (pictured here). It was nice, last night everyone went to a comedy show at Austin City Limits – and, as they got downstairs they realized the line to get into the concert was wrapped about two blocks. They were able to do a quick 180 and come back upstairs to wait as the line died down. That’s convenience that I would pay huge money for! You just don’t get that in the ‘burbs.

Anyway, when we got back from breakfast, I went onto their patio to try to snap a photo of their basset hound, Lucy. She is truly a city dog by every sense of the word. Shaun and Sabrina fly in a fresh patch of grass every two weeks (from Fresh Patch) so Lucy can “do her thing” outside in real grass – the sights and sounds of the streets below don’t even phase her.

Huge thanks to these guys for hosting us this weekend and giving us a peek into your lifestyle. I can’t wait for the next chapter in your lives and to see where this crazy journey takes you. xo

We’re all moved in!

We are all moved into our new home! Every box is unpacked. Every one. Everything is put away and we can now start to relax. It’s been an incredible few months … an entire year, actually, of packing, unpacking, re-packing, then packing again. I’m never moving again. Quote me on that. I’ll take post some photos of our new place soon, but for now … I’m going to put my feet up and relax. Who am I kidding, I’m going to help my husband hang ceiling fans. Jealous?

mom blog phoenix

mom blog phoenix

He turns into a monster when he has too much video games, so he just got his games back. He hasn’t played them since February. Mostly because we packed them in a box so he would forget all about them. ha! Wish us luck now that the games have been found.

mom blog phoenix

Kelsey’s best friend, Avery came over today for a play date. I took the girls to Skateland in the morning for a birthday party and now they are enjoying cookies that I made for them. I actually made them for me, but if I say I made them for them then I don’t feel so guilty about eating 10 cookies all by myself. Okay, one cookie more and then we’re off to hang ceiling fans. 🙂

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.

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.

Pre-Summer Fun at Wet n’ Wild Phoenix

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

There’s something about a water park that takes you back to your childhood. I have countless memories playing in wave pools and going down water slides as a child. The smell of sunscreen, the sounds of kids laughing and the awesome feeling of anticipation you got as you dragged your tube up flights of stairs to the biggest slide they had.

Imagine my surprise when Wet n Wild reached out inviting us to experience Wet n Wild Phoenix. As the perfect way to cool off in the Phoenix heat I was super excited to go. Albeit, a bit hesitant because my kids are young – 6 years, 3 years and 8 months. I didn’t know if there were many rides they could do.

To my surprise, they have Wet n Wild Junior! It’s this spot inside the water park created just for young kids and families. The slides were the perfect height for Colton, my 3-year-old (he’s 42″). Nolan (our 8 month old) loved running through the splash pads in his dads arms.

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

 

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

We arrived at 11am (right when they opened) and snagged lounge chairs in the Junior section. Not only was there plenty of shade (a Phoenix must) but the splash pads let out a cool mist that filled the entire lounge area. I constantly felt like I was getting misted by cool water at every turn. It made the 100 degree heat bearable for once. And can we just pause for a second and look at how cute Nolan is in that hat? I mean. Those cheeks!

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

Colton went on a few slides and then started to pout because … well, because he’s three but also because he was scared of the heights and the sounds. He got this trait from me. I’m a big chicken. When I was in eighth grade, I lied to my friends and told them that my dad wouldn’t allow me to ride roller coasters just so I could avoid the internal panic that I would feel if I boarded one. So, I totally get Colton.

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

https://www.wetnwildphoenix.com/

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

The wave pool was the highlight for the kids. Ryan took them out into the deep end (which terrified me) and they jumped over waves for what seemed like ever. Nolan and I kicked it in the back and just people watched. I have to say, I felt so safe at Wet n’ Wild. There were so many attentive lifeguards that I wasn’t worried one bit about the kids. And take it from me (the worry wart) this was a great feeling. They really did a fantastic job at this water park to put my mommy mind at ease.

wet n wild phoenix mom blogger

*She’s faking it.

All in all, it was a great experience at this water park Right before we left, Ryan and Kelsey ran off to do one of the “really big slides” as she put it. I think Ryan was more excited than our six-year-old. In fact, if we were to go again I would probably dedicate more time for Ryan to take her around. My little dare-devil couldn’t get enough of this place. Oh, and for those of you wondering, ALL THREE kids passed out in the car before we even left the parking lot. Success!

Thank you to Wet n’ Wild Phoenix for hosting us today. We will be back.

Our Blog Worthy Lunch

There’s really nothing “blog worthy” about lunch with my family – except for the fact that it’s lunch with my family. Isn’t that enough? Oh, and the fact that I totally pulled an “instagram husbands” cliche with this shot.

mom blog phoenix

I was annoyed that Ryan took a bite out of his sandwich before I got a photo. And then we both had a good laugh at the fact that I even take detailed shots like this. I’m such a dork. It’s a sandwich, Stephanie. But a really good one at that. Thanks Wildflower Bread Company!

mom blogger in phoenix

Ryan did her hair. I bet you couldn’t even tell. We’ll call this a “messy pony tail” with a clip hanging onto her bangs for dear life. And that little baby boy of mine. Can you believe he’s almost four months old?

mom blogger in phoenix

At first glance, it looks like I’m hugging Colton all cute-like, but really I’m tackling him and trying to pin him down because he kept crawling under the table, jumping up and down and trying to climb over the booth. That’s what’s really going down in this photo.

mom blog phoenix

So, I guess lunch with my family was blog-worthy after all. In fact, it’s days like this when I am reminded how kids can truly make ordinary things feels so extraordinary.

The Scottsdale Train Park

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

It was the perfect day for a perfect day. 2016 is looking like it will be a great one. Yesterday, we took the kids to the McCormick-Stillman Train Park and finally used the leftover tickets we had from our last visit, over a year ago!

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park mom blog

Nolan was super chill, per usual. I swear, this boy is always happy. He must know that it makes our lives so much easier. Or, this is just a glimpse into how his personality will be. Either way, we love his little attitude so much. I can’t even imagine life without him.

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

Ryan took one for the team and squeezed his little booty into one of these train cars. Last time we were here, Colton had the biggest tantrum and wouldn’t get on the train. This year he was all about it. They change so much in one year, don’t they?

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park mom blog

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

At the train park, they have a historic train car set up like a museum that you can walk through. The kids loved this! Kelsey got a kick out of how old the sleeping and dining rooms looked and how “little” the hallways were. When we signed the visitor guest book I asked her what she wanted to say. Let’s say, “We loved this train because it is so old” – and so we did.

scottsdale train park mom blog

Crazy Cross Kids + Giveaway Winner Announced

many hats of a mom blog

These two kids of mine are so crazy lately. One minute they are loving on each other and the other minute they are fighting over something so minuscule. Take this afternoon for example; they started out just sitting there hanging out on the bench. And then she went to kiss him – which prompted him to kiss her – which made her want to smash his face. Which then made him want to tackle her with more kisses.

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blogger

mom blogger phoenix

I hope you had a fun-filled weekend too! The winner of my Artifact Uprising giveaway is announced here and also called out below. I want to thank everyone who played along. I just loved reading each one of your favorite holiday traditions. If you didn’t read through all of the comments, I suggest you do – you may get some new ideas too.

The winner of this Artifact Uprising giveaway, as chosen randomly by Rafflecopter.com, is Madison L.! Congratulations! I will send you an email along with your prize. Enjoy your $150 online credit!