Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Arizona Style

Our school took the week before Halloween off for their term break.  Jon couldn't get away from work so the kids and I hit the road to Phoenix!  We crashed at Brad and Jules house and livened up their house a bit :)  "Livened up their house" is a nice way of saying we were loud and messy and only occasionally destructive.  Thank goodness they love us.

Jules did a ton of research of fun Halloween activities going on this week and we had an awesome place to visit every day.  Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides, we did it all and it was all a ton of fun.  We even had a fun morning at the park.

How great is Kylie's Halloween teacher vest?

Owen is the cutest ever.

Scarlet and Rhode both loved being in charge of their baby cousin Owen... he occasionally loved it back :)

Fun story.  We carted down a couch for Kylie and Stephen for their brand new apartment but we didn't see Kylie right away so the couch sat happily in the bed of the truck for a day or two.  Finally, we were headed to Kylie right after a quick trip to pumpkin patch/corn maze.  This corn maze was legit.  It was huge and very easy to get lost.  Jules and Owen took the short path but my kids wanted to do the big one. We were almost through when the wind started picking up and the corn stalks started swaying.  I looked up and for sure a monsoon was just minutes from hitting us.  The corn maze was our last part of the adventure so we booked it out of the maze just as the clouds let loose.  We were soaked on the way to the car.  I just kept thinking the couch is getting wet!

We said goodbye to Jules with a quick text message and drove as fast as we could to get out of the rain as soon as possible.  We only had to drive for about 10 minutes to get out of the storm, monsoons are nice like that, but the couch was pretty wet.

We made it to Kylie's apartment and loaded the kids inside with a show.  Then the two of us stared at the large, wet couch trying to decide if we could truly lug it up the stairs to her apartment.  I think we could have done it, but right then the missionaries stopped by.  And not just one set, three sets of missionaries.  They offered to carry our couch up for them.  Who could deny them an opportunity to serve?!  So the couch was safely brought upstairs, the cushions were laid on the patio to dry and the adventure was overall very successful.

Brad and Jules hosted a very fun and very well attended Halloween party.  They have a great group of people in their area.  So we got everyone dressed up, enjoyed some great food and then went trick or treating around their neighborhood.  Here's our costumes for the year.  The kids weren't up for a theme this year so everyone chose their own getup.

Scarlet as Sofia the First

Rhode as Abraham Lincoln

Asher as the Red Power Ranger

I went as Liv from iZombie

And then there was the cutest chipmunk of all time, our Jude

Kylie and Stephen went back a few decades and came as Zach and Kelly from Saved by the Bell

But the true winners were the Brad Earl family, the Three Amigos

The trip was so perfect we are hoping to reenact it next year!

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Girlcation

This was a great vacation year for me.  Just a month after getting back from Peru, I got to jet set again but this time I was all by myself.  I love vacationing with my husband but when traveling to places where you want to spend the majority of your time wandering and eating, it's best to leave the adventurer at home!

My trip started with a flight to Seattle to celebrate my Aunt Julie's wedding.  It was a fantastic party, Julie looked knockout beautiful, and I got to see my sister's new house as well.  Such a great side trip.

I cut my hair again right before my trip.  This was the cut I was going for the first time.  It was a lot of fun having really short hair.  Oh, and Julie had a photo booth.

From Seattle, I hopped on a flight straight for NYC!  My mom goes every year to a dance costume show and I haven't been back since my internship days so it was a ton of fun to go back.

I got in a day before my mom and the rest of the crew so I crashed at a friend's apartment for two nights.  Marie Davies Howick is one of my favorite people.  We met at BYU and went from journalism acquaintances to two crazy chicks hopping a plane to Ghana and spending six weeks straight in each other's company.  We haven't had a good chat in years and it was fantastic to get some catch up time.

The next day Marie headed to work like the responsible adult she is and I literally spent the day wandering New York by myself.  I felt 19 again.  I even got off on my old subway stop from my Letterman day and walked all the way down to the Donut Plant on 23rd.

I got a chance to check out the Letterman studios on my way by.  Other than the obvious host name change, everything looked just about the same.  I made a note on when they were doing standby tickets and kept on walking.

My day included fantastic donuts, delicious ramen, and a few other snacks in between.  I also scored those standby tickets and got to sit in the audience for the filming of the Stephen Colbair show.  During his pre-show Q & A, Colbair chose me to ask a question.  I told him I used to be an intern for Letterman and asked what it was like to be an intern for him.  He said it was great to be an intern for him but then told me a story about hanging out while his girlfriend interviewed to be an intern for Letterman.  He ended up getting an interview and they offered the position to him instead of his girlfriend.  Senator McCain and Misty Copeland were the guests.  Such a great day.

I got to spend more time with the Howicks that night.  I could have spent the whole week just chatting with them and it would have been worth the trip.  I really hope we can get our families together sometime soon, plans are in the works!

And then the rest of our crew arrived.  My mom, Lori Baker and Valaree Roylance.  I was the youngest in the group by about two decades but with a combo of short hair and being surrounded by ridiculously young looking women, I am pretty sure we all looked about the same generation.

We hit up Broadway with Matilda, An American in Paris, & Finding Neverland.  We caught a filming of the Meredith Vieira Show.  We had an amazing 5  course prefixe lunch at Bouley.  We caught chocolate tour and an Italian tour, both were delicious.  We ate a lot and ate well.  So many good moments.

Grandpa Bert and Grandma Charla spent the week with my kids during my absence so I could have this amazing adventure.  I am one lucky lady!