Our Disneyland Spring Break Vacation

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

 

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-spring-break-mom-blogger

DisneylandKids

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

DisneylandFamilyVacation

disneyland-mom-blogger

Disneyland-mom-blog

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-mom-blogger

disneylandvacation3

disneyland-spring-vacation

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

Disneyland_phoenix_momBlogger

Disneyland_phoenix_momBlogger

Disneyland_phoenix_momBlogger

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.

Disneyland-mom-blog

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!

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

*Colton is pointing to Cross street. 🙂

Disneyland-family-spring-vacation

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

Disneyland-family-spring-vacation

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneylandvacation

Disneyland-mom-blog

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.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

Disneyland-family-spring-vacation

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

*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.

disneyland-vacation-many-hats-of-a-mom-blog

*Spring was in full bloom at the park.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-funnel-cake

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

* What happens when Grandpa is in charge of getting breakfast

disneyland-vacation-many-hats-of-a-mom-blog

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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).

disneyland-many-hats-of-a-mom-blog

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-electric-light-parade-mom-blog

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

disneylandvacation2

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

*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.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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.

disneyland-phoenix-mom-blogger

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!

New Years Day!

We got breakfast burritos for the kids and took all of their bikes to the park. Sounds normal, but it was an important day because Kelsey started riding her new bike WITHOUT training wheels! Hallelujah! All it took was a bigger bike and a bit of confidence and she was sailing.

many hats of a mom

I was a nervous wreck (does that feeling ever go away?) trying to stay within feet of her so I could catch her when she fell. She didn’t need me or Ryan though, this girl was cruising. Colton is starting on his “strider” starter bike. We love it! Have you seen this thing? No pedals to help them glide and learn how to balance. I wish we got one for Kelsey when she was learning to ride.

These little monkeys bring so much joy (and stress, let’s be clear, there is a lot of stress!) to our lives, but the pure love that radiates around us when we are all together is magic. It’s going to be a great year, I can’t wait to discover what’s in store for us.

Happy 2017, friends!

DSC05856

many hats of a mom blogger phoenix

DSC05828

many hats of a mom blogger phoenix

DSC05773

MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Fall is my favorite time of year. The weather FINALLY cools down in the desert making the nights and mornings bearable. Not to mention, my birthday month is on the horizon and everything smells like pumpkin spice and cinnamon. What’s not to love?

We recently took the kids to the MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch – it was our first time at the ranch and honestly the best pumpkin patch we’ve visited. From the moment we arrived, I had a great feeling this would be great. There were so many activities for the kids to do! Pony rides, gold digging, lasso learning, horseshoe throwing, petting zoo and a huge hay maze that they had all to themselves!

The gates close at 5pm and the patch officially ends at 6pm. When we were there, I looked at the clock and realized it was 5:45 and we hadn’t even picked out pumpkins yet! We looked around and couldn’t figure out where they were until one of the ranchers told us we had to take a hay ride over to the patch. Had to? Yes, please!

We jumped on board a mule-drawn hayride and off we went. Our ‘driver’ Gary was so incredibly nice, patient and talked to us all about the ranch. I call him patient because 5 minutes into the hayride back to the main entrance, I realized I had left my purse down at the pumpkin patch and he had to take us aaaaaall the way back. Did I mention by this time it was well over 6pm, which was their closing time. What can I say, I’m a mom without a memory these days.

If you get the opportunity to go to a pumpkin patch this year TAKE YOUR KIDS TO MACDONALD’S RANCH. I’m literally shouting it because I loved this place so much. We’ll be back year after year, for sure.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

dsc08041

Nolan was the best this evening. He walked around with a huge smile on his face and pointed at everything he saw. When we got to the pumpkin patch part, he literally just sat down in the patch and watched his sister and brother pick out the perfect pumpkin. Dare I say, he was the cutest pumpkin in the entire patch? 🙂

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Watching the goats eat dinner.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

We had the hay maze to ourselves! It was so fun to watch them run through the maze and figure out how to get out. And if Ryan and I are being honest, it was a nice way to enjoy a moment of silence while your littles are contained by barrels of hay.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch
macdonalds pumpkin patch

Do you think they look alike? Nolan is a spitting image of my brothers but I think he’s got a lot of Ryan in him too.
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

If you’re wondering, no – we did not get the $9.00 pumpkins. If you know Ryan Cross, then you know we had to wait until the kids found pumpkins that fit in the smallest $4.00 hole.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

Thank you to MacDonald’s Ranch for hosting us this year. We are so thankful for the opportunity to come experience your ranch. If I could do it all over again, I would allow for more time to spend here – there is seriously so much for kids to do. We only had one hour, so I would recommend two at least. Enjoy!

Teri’s Gorgeous Arcadia Baby Shower

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

I joke that I have been trying to get my friend, Teri pregnant for years! The time has finally come, as she and Danny are expecting their first bundle of joy in November. They aren’t going to find out the gender so it’s been incredibly hard to contain myself from indulging in girl clothes (that’s my guess!) and tons of pink and purple shenanigans. And even though it’s killing me not to know, I’m super proud of them for sticking to their guns and doing this their way.

This past Saturday, our mutual friend Rachel, owner of Outstanding Occasions and event planner extraordinaire, hosted the most magical baby shower at her home. Rachel went over the top to ensure every little detail was as beautiful and as personal as the next. It was the perfect afternoon to celebrate one of the coolest couples we know. If you are fortunate enough to know Danny and Teri then you know their baby is going to be one lucky girl. Or, boy.

Below are a few photos I captured from Teri’s special day.

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

mom blogger phoenix baby shower

baby-shower

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

baby shower mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog


baby shower 3

baby shower mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

mom blog phoenix baby shower

One proud dad-to-be!

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

teri baby shower phoenix mom blogger
mom blog phoenix baby shower
arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

Meet Rachel. She put on such a wonderful event – I have no idea how she did it, while keeping up with her 10-month-old son at home, but that’s why we call moms like this, Super Moms.

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

mom blog phoenix baby shower

It was a One Hope Wine kind of day. I love One Hope (mostly because I’m drinking for a great cause – check out more here) but I had no idea they make Champagne too. Until this moment, that is. Thanks to Colby for making sure our glasses were always half full.

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

Can we pause and just look at how BEAUTIFUL this mama is? She is seriously glowing from the inside out. I was secretly hoping she’d be just like me … gain 60lbs, have stretch marks, horrible cravings and super swollen ankles so we could talk about how much pregnancy sucked together later … but, that’s not the case. Proof in the fact that her ankles are perfect and that’s not even a maternity dress. I sigh.

baby shower scottsdale mom blogger

baby shower phoenix mom blog

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

Once an Alpha Phi, always an Alpha Phi. Rosé all day for us.

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

baby shower many hats of a mom blog

teri baby shower phoenix mom blogger

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

T – I am so incredibly happy for you. You and Danny are going to be amazing parents! Ryan and I can’t wait to get our hands on your little one, we love you both so much. Congratulations, friend!

Taking our brainstorming session outdoors

We took our weekly brainstorming session outdoors today. Mostly because it was raining and (kinda) cold in Phoenix today. We tried Pomegranate Cafe and loved it! Whole 30 and Orange Theory have been good to me, so I gave their muffins the cold shoulder, but my business partner Heidi indulged in the Snickerdoodle muffin while I sadly at my salad next to her. One day I’ll be back for that muffin.

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Have you tried this place? It’s a great Vegan restaurant with a really cool vibe. Check it out here.

Summer in Sedona with our Kids

Sedona with kids - phoenix mom bloggers

What a great weekend! We visited Sedona for the very first time and had such a great experience. Ryan and I took our oldest kids (baby Nolan stayed home with the grandparents) to see this scenic place. It was my first time visiting Sedona (I know. I know!) and Ryan went when he was little, so we’ll call this his first time too.

As we approached the city, we started to see some of the most gorgeous red rocks. They were all around! The kids thought Sedona looked like Disney’s Cars Land and we were blown away by the beauty of it all. For some reason we had envisioned a few rocks here and there, but nothing like what we saw. We felt like we were living inside of a postcard.

orchards inn sedona hotels

We were fortunate enough to be invited up by Orchards Inn, a super quaint 70-room Inn located in the middle of Uptown Sedona. Right when Colton walked into the lobby he immediately ran to the patio and said, “Whoa! Mom, come look at this!” He was staring at “Snoopy Rock” and it was truly a sight to be seen.

orchards inn family friendly sedona hotels

The view from Orchards Inn had to be one of the best views from any Sedona hotel. I can’t imagine a better one.

sedona many hats of a mom blog

Just look at the Red Rocks reflecting off of our patio window! I think Ryan could have sat in those chairs every morning and evening just taking it all in. These huge patios made our room feel so spacious.

orchards inn family friendly sedona hotels

orhcards inn family friendly sedona hotel

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

Every morning these two would overlook the pool and people watch. At night, we took blankets over to the hotel’s wedding lawn and watched the stars in the sky. The kids played with this constellation app on our iPhones and had so much fun pointing out Scorpio, Leo, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Ryan loved explaining what everything was. He’s such a science junkie. Mom on the other hand knew where the moon was and that’s about it.

orchards inn sedona hotels

I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to pose on the fly. “Kelsey, smile” somehow turns into a pointed toe, arms up in the air and a throw back of her head. I love her so much.

This picture was snapped on our way to dinner on Friday night. Directly across the street from our hotel is 89Agave – a super cute Mexican restaurant with – you guessed it – amazing views of the red rocks.

Agave89 Sedona Restaurants

I’m on the Whole 30 diet for the next 14 days so I got to watch as the kids devoured amazing cheesy dishes at this great Sedona restaurant and envied Ryan’s orange cinnamon margarita. The best part about the restaurant, for the kids, was this oversized chalkboard wall where Kelsey wrote her name and Colton drew a circle. Ha!

89agave sedona dining

89agave sedona restaurants for kids
89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids
After dinner we walked up and down the main street looking at all of the shops and touristy things. We listened to street music, grabbed ice cream at Black Cow Cafe and counted how many Pink Jeeps we could find.

phoenix mom blog sedona with kids

uptown sedona mom blog

sedona with kids mom blogger

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

 

 

Sedona Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Day 2 we woke up and went to West Fork Hiking Trail. It’s $10 to park (cash only!) and we recommend arriving early – as the parking lot was full when we left. West Fork hiking trail is 3.3 miles (one way) and if you hike the entire trail, you’ll cross the river 13 times. We made it across 5 times before the kids wanted to head back. Mostly because mom left the snacks sitting on our hotel room bed. Mom fail!

About three steps into our hike back to the car, the kids requested piggy back rides. We really didn’t mind because this trail was shaded, pretty tame and super scenic. If you’re in Sedona with kids, I would recommend this hike. Maybe not with a toddler on your back, but nonetheless, it was a fantastic hike for our little ones.

west fork sedona hike with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

Do you see Colton down there? He was yelling, “Echo! Echo!” at this little sparrow that was sitting on a rock. I told him he could hear is echo so apparently he kept saying “Echo” so he could hear it. Makes sense.

west fork sedona hiking trail with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

west fork sedona hiking trail with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

After the hike, we were starving! We randomly stopped at Indian Gardens because there was a sign on the front that said, “Deli”. To our surprise, this place was super charming and filled with healthy breakfast and lunch items. It reminds me of a restaurant back in Phoenix. There is indoor and outdoor seating and these amazing cupcakes that I just stared out while ordering my boring black coffee and egg whites.

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

sedona restaurants mom blogger

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

sedona restaurants mom blogger

After our hike, we took the kids swimming back at Orchards Inn and then Ryan, Kelsey and Colton took … ready for this … a three-hour nap! I couldn’t believe it. Apparently hiking + sun + chlorine is a recipe for a very peaceful afternoon for mom.

On Saturday night, we decided to celebrate Father’s Day a day early at the Orchard Inn’s sister hotel, L’Auberge de Sedona. We ate at Etch Kitchen & Wine Bar which was located along the creek. Besides the ‘tude I got from Kelsey on the walk down to the hotel (see below), it was a great way to cap off an already amazing weekend. I know I’m saying a lot of adjectives that sound the same in this blog post but I can’t stress enough how great this weekend was.

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids mom blogger

Thanks Kelsey for snapping this picture of us. She even said, “Wait” and climbed up a few stairs so she would be tall enough to shoot the camera directly at us. Well done, sister.sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

Celebrating one of the best dad’s there is!

sedona family vacation mom blogger

sedona family vacation mom blogger

After dinner, our GPS took us to “Chapel Cross Trail” which we thought would make for a great evening hike. Turns out, it’s actually a chapel and dead ends you into a residential neighborhood. As we were getting out of the car to watch the sunset, Colton stepped on a cactus. In true Stephanie fashion, I left the first-aid kit (which I literally packed for every type of situation) in the hotel room. This was starting to be a theme on this trip.

Ryan quickly pulled out the cactus and wrapped my jacket around his leg to stop the bleeding. He was so brave and said, “It’s okay mom. I feel so much better now.” We promised him any kind of ice cream he wanted for being so brave – to which he picked mint chocolate chip. We ended the night at Baskin Robins with a bloody jacket and super happy kids. Truly a Father’s Day for the books!

 

sedona red rocks - phoenix mom blogger

sedona red rocks - phoenix mom blogger

sedona red rocks - phoenix mom blogger

Ryan shot this photo from our car window! I love it because it really sums up the weekend. On the car ride back, we stopped by the famous Rock Springs Cafe and picked up a few slices of pie (courtesy of our hotel) and two pies for Father’s day. If you’re making the drive to Sedona, this is a great pit stop along the way.

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

Thank you to Orchads Inn and 89Agave for hosting us for two nights and one lovely dinner! It’s a summer family vacation we’ll treasure forever.

July Book Club: What we’re reading

I recently joined a Book Club with a few mommy friends of mine. It’s basically our excuse to leave the kids with our husbands for a few hours and indulge in cocktails and some much-needed girl time. We meet once a month and take turns hosting a discussion. It’s so much fun and I encourage you to follow along. I’m hosting July’s book club and this is what I picked: The Vacationers by Emma Straub.

July-Book-Club-Discussion-The-Vacationers

I’m about half way through the book and it’s just want I needed for summer: a light, easy to read, engaging book that allows you to escape reality and enthrall yourself in another family’s drama. It’s a great story to read poolside or on your own vacation. Enjoy!

Photo by Fruetcake

School’s Out for Summer!

It’s official. Kelsey is on her way to first grade and I’m left wondering where the time goes. We were holding hands today and I kept thinking back to the first time I put her little fingers in the palm of my hand. Back to the first time I touched her cheek. The first time I combed her hair. And now look at her!

And Colton … wasn’t he just born? Now he’s less than a head shorter than Kelsey and has more personality than all three of my kids combined. His smile lights up the room, and my heart. Then there’s our little nugget, Nolan. Seven teeth and counting and only eight months young. I was rocking him to sleep tonight and I told him to stay small for just a short while longer. I’m really not ready to let these kids grow up. Mostly because it feels like with each passing year they get more and more independent from me. And while I know that’s life, and that’s what they are supposed to do, a HUGE part of my heart wants to keep them in my arms forever.

Well, we’ve been doing so much in the first few days of summer. I took Friday off of work to take Kelsey and her best friend, Colin to an indoor amusement park. We did bumper cars, mini bowling and arcade games. And then I went into the laser tag arena and came out with a migraine. Seriously. The lights! And then Saturday we took the kids to Encanto Park. I’ve been living in Phoenix forever and never knew this park existed. We were there to take family photos of one of my friends’ kids – and decided to hang out until sundown at the amusement park, Enchanted Island (located inside the park).

I’d say the first few days of summer have been good to us. Here’s to another season of more memories with these three.

mom blog

Lazy weekend mornings with my boys, and Nolan’s thighs.

DSC01915

Almost as delicious as Nolan’s legs are these In-n-Out burgers.

family mom blog

Kelsey and her buddy, Colin. I think he’s trying to eat her face. You know … kids.

mom blogger

Who do you think is the dominate one in the relationship?

phoenix mom blogger

Bumper cars with my little lady.

many hats of a mom blog

At the park, Kelsey had met Scarlet just five minutes prior and yet they were inseparable. Can we just take a moment to talk about their hair for a second. I mean … is this real life?

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

The two cuties on the left are twins. And who doesn’t love Colton’s little Alfalfa hairstyle in this picture. See it?

many hats of a mom blog

Summer nights are the best. And yes, I realize it’s not officially summer but we’re in Phoenix and we’re hitting triple digits already, so to us … it’s summah.