Friday, May 25, 2012

Phoenix Trip

Holy cow has it been a MONTH since my last post?  For a while there I was actually on track doing a few posts a week, then life happens and well I stop posting.

Anyhow I've been busy doing Paleo, working out, camping and going to Phoenix...I got back this week and my kids are now all out of school and I'm just busy trying to get into some kind of summertime routine.  You know, swim lessons, VBS, summer camps etc...

Anyhow I had a WONDERFUL time in Phoenix, so I thought I'd post a little about my trip there and my time with my family.  Oh how I miss them so much, Phoenix, eh, I can leave it.  I miss those mountains but I'll take my green grass and rolling hills any day over the dry desert.  Oklahoma is really home now, and I realize that more than ever, but it's so healing to be able to go back and see my family.  Either way, it's sacrifice, when I'm here, I miss them terribly, when I'm there I miss my home.

My dad and I drove it STRAIGHT THROUGH.  15 hours was the drive.  It was great.  Yes, I had to listen to quite a bit of country gospel and Alan Jackson, but dad also had to listen to some Florence and the Machine, Civil War's and Mumford and Son's, so it all worked out.  Had a great time with my dad and I'm so thankful I got to take this trip with him.

Me and my dad.  Love him.  Best dad EVER.

My first day there started out with a run.  Yes, I ran.  On vacation.  Jamin said that I wouldn't run, then he corrected himself and said "oh, you will run ONCE only so you can prove me wrong."  Well I ran TWICE so poo on you Jamin....anyhow the run was ok.  Since it was like 5:30 Phoenix time it was only like 80 degrees out, but the air felt thick.  Hard to breathe.  Turns out there was an ozone advisory that day.  Duh.  That's something I'm not used to.

After my run, I got ready and headed over to my brothers house where they were (and still are) in the middle of a massive remodel.  Hung around with them for a good portion of the day, then of course headed to Chino Bandito's for lunch.

For those of you who have never heard of it, Chino's is a Chinese/Mexican fusion restaurant.  There are two, one in Phoenix and one in Chandler.  It's amazingly yum.  Featured on Diners, Drive In's and Dives even.  SO effing good.

I promise it tastes better than it looks.  YUM.
After that I headed over to my best friends house.  Got to hang with my friends Tammy and Amy all night.  I probably talked too much about Paleo, myself and my kids and I am certain they will never look at the word "smoothie" the same ever again.  We ate, we laughed, drank sangria and had a good time.  God I miss those girls.  Haven't giggled that much in a long long time.

The next morning I got to visit with my step mother in law (is that even a real word?) at their restaurant that they own down near the zoo.    This meal (unlike Chino's) was actually Paleo.  I had a chorizo omelet and it was fantastic.   God I love food.

Good thing I ate Paleo that morning, because I pretty much blew it the rest of the day, including getting TWO Venti Caramel Vanilla Latte's from Starbucks.

That afternoon I spent the day running around with my sister in law getting all the decorations and such for my nephews family party and open house.  That night, I got to take my nephew shopping for his clothes to wear under his gown.  That was a fun experience that ended with him getting a bow tie.  Glad I got to spend the time with him.  He is too funny.

Came home and spent some time gathering photos and starting to make the "shrine" as my nephew would call it.

He is one talented young man.  I'm one proud aunt.
The next day I finished up the photo collages, then we got ready and headed to the Cardinals stadium for the graduation.  They were still building the stadium when we moved six years ago (wow, has it been THAT long????).  Tears started flowing when I was putting together his photos and didn't stop until long after the graduation.

I don't think he can take a serious photo
Oh, and the bow tie looked much better the next day.  He pulled it off.  That night after the graduation we took a BUNCH of family photos.

Me, Gwen, my SIL, Chris, Jon (brother) and Dad
my nephew and me

That night we all sat around and my nephew busted out his guitar.  Not only is he athletic, funny and handsome, but he has such a heart for God and an anointing on his life.  I was so glad to hear him sing a bit of worship.  I'll cherish this memory forever.

The next day I spent time shopping at the mall with some of the kids there, then afterwards went out to dinner with my besties.  SO.  MUCH.  FUN.  I always drink talk to much when I'm with them, but it's tons of fun and we laugh and joke and reminisce about old times.  This time I got to meet their significant others which was nice, even though they are both pretty shy (the guys, not the gals us ladies have NEVER been shy) they seemed nice, especially after putting up with listening to us chatter away and giggle for hours.

The next day was spent with lunch at the in law's house, then a huge open house party for my nephew. Got to see a lot of old friends that I haven't seen in years.  Got pretty freaked out by a large tortoise also while I was at the party.  The thing was HUGE.  By now though I was really starting to miss my husband and kids and I was getting pretty homesick.  A week is a LONG time to be away from all of them.

Sunday I got to go to church and hear my brother preach, ate lunch at Macayo's.  Got a baja burrito (worth every calorie).  By now I was starting to really dread the long drive back (not because it was with my dad, he is awesome but just because it's SO long of a drive.)

The drive WAS long.  We got to OKC around ten pm.  My husband had the house clean and it smelled good.  Laundry was done.  The kids were all alive without a scratch on them.  I have one dang good man (oh, and mother in law,  I have to give her a TON OF CREDIT).  I don't think things would have gone near as smoothly without here here.  She is one amazing lady.

I had a great trip, but it was good to be home.  Next year my niece graduates.  She is number TWO out of his five kids, I have four and my husbands sister in Austin has three more that will graduate.  I think we know what our spring plans will be for quite some time.  That's ok though, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.
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