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

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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? ūüôā

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!

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

Baby Boy Celebratory Breakfast

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We had a bright, baby boy brunch at Scottsdale’s¬†Morning Squeeze this morning! My co-workers and I gathered around for iced coffee, Eggs Benedict, omelets, strawberry crepes and double chocolate ganache¬†cake! Yes, cake at 9am.

You see, sometimes your co-workers turn into great friends and that’s the case with mine. My Starwood marketing family truly outdid themselves this morning as we celebrated the upcoming arrival of baby Nolan and my colleague, Nancy’s soon-to-be son.

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baby shower brunch
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Two cakes for two babies on the way! We have to give credit where credit is due. Andrea is our resident baker. Isn’t she amazing? She did Dayna’s baby shower cake too (seen here) and even came prepared with to-go boxes! Not joking. I literally took home half of this cake. I may have already dabbled in a second piece. Shh.

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baby shower
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They gifted us soft¬†swaddle blankets, the cutest honest diapers, and a little somethin’ somethin’ just for mom. Hello, Nordstrom. The most important part was we were all together. It’s actually pretty amazing that I’ve celebrated all three kids with this group. 7 years at a company and some of these ladies have seen me through all of these babies.

I have 13 days until my due date. The panic is starting to sink in a bit – are you ever ready? Even if this is my third child, there’s really no good way to prepare yourself for a new human to come into your life. However, I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. And moments like this one just make it feel more real.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Dayna, Melissa, Andrea(s), Allison, Brittany, Nancy, Dani, Kristina, Tania, Heidi, Meagan, Jill and Karla. You really know how to make a girl feel blessed. Nolan is a lucky little guy.

Kickstart the Weekend

diego pops scottsdale dining

A Friday lunch with a girlfriend is the best way to start the weekend! Add in the fact that Diego Pops has a ice cream bar right when you walk in, and I’m smitten. Miraculously, I walked out of this Scottsdale restaurant without a delicious dessert, and instead walked to Chopshop for a green juice (also see: not the same!) but I will be back for that cone soon.

Diego Pops Scottsdale Restaurant

Diego Pops Scottsdale Restaurant

Diego Pops Scottsdale Restaurant

*Three pics above are from Diego Pops.

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¬į 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.

My mother’s day surprise!

Rarely am I speechless, but last night I was. Ryan, the kids and I had a Scottsdale staycation at The Phoenician. We went to dinner at Relish (our favorite burger joint) where Colton was an angel baby. He sat in his chair the entire time, no screaming, no crying, and he ate all of his food (it was a Mother’s Day miracle).

Then we ran around on the putting green (shhh, probably not supposed to do that) before heading over to SURGE, their new splash pad. I told Ryan all about this splash pad, but I must not have explained it well because when he saw it he goes, “Wow. This is legit.” Just imagine how a Luxury Collection hotel would do a splash pad, and this was¬†that.

Kelsey ran right in! When I asked her what the new splash pad was like she said, “Mom, it’s like a splash pad but with thunder!” The “thunder” came in the form of these buckets overhead, they fill up with water and dump water on anyone underneath. It was about 5 minutes in and I ran through the splash pad with Colton only to be completely dumped on by one of those buckets. Doh!

After grabbing a glass of wine and draft beer at the pool bar, we walked over to the main pool where they were getting ready to show the Disney movie, Brave. It was dive-in movie night and Kelsey was over the moon. While Ryan and Kelsey lounged by the pool watching the movie, Colton and I went upstairs to the Thirsty Camel lounge and danced the night away to the sounds of Jack Johnson, played by a local guitarist.

The night could not have been more perfect. Not to mention my gift!!! Ryan and the kids bought me a new camera. A¬†new DSLR that is small (thank you!) and¬†can take HD video (hallelujah!). He also bought a case, straps and a new pancake lens “just like Teri’s.”

I can’t even begin to explain how excited and surprised I was. I have never, ever, ever, ever been able to take a picture in dim light or indoors. Ever. And if you know me I complain about this every chance that I get. Well, folks, get ready because the Sony NEX-7 does just that! Here are some pictures (in dim lighting, thank you very much) with my new camera. Keep in mind that I literally just took it out of the box and started shooting so I still have to figure¬†it out. Ryan even¬†charged the battery so I could start¬†shooting straight from the box (he knows me so well).

Happy Mother’s¬†Day, best day ever!!!!!

cross      golf course      kids6kids2 kids3 kids4 kids5 kids_thephoenicianpoolkids_thephoenician

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