Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hello...My Name is Janice Billings.

fyi - this picture has NOTHING to do with this post. i just love it. the end.

Since we moved, I've been going to a different grocery store. For my big shopping trips, I go to Fry's...but, if I'm just running up to grab a couple things that we need - I go to Safeway. I think the Safeway is a bit pricier, so I try not to go there too much. (because I'm cheap) When I shop at Safeway, I have yet to get myself a Safeway card.

Yes, I'm lazy.

So...instead - I enter a phone number. Our house number didn't, I tried my cell, then my sister's number, and finally my parents old house number. I figured they would have a Safeway card tied to their old number since they live close. Whew. It worked.

Funny thing is - when I pay, they read the receipt and say, Thank you Ms. Billings. Apparently, my parents old house number has been taken over by a Janice Billings. And instead of signing up for a new card...I've continued to just enter Janice's number. It's been 1 year. I'm still Janice.

Yep...definitely lazy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crafter Girls Night Out

A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to get one of the coveted 50-ish or so tickets to the AZ Crafter Girls Night Out. It was held at the Sweet Cakes Cafe in downtown Mesa. I have been there a few times before with the Cuties. Yum!

I was surrounded by some of the most crafty and artistic ladies around. Most (almost all) of them at least have an Etsy where they sell their homemade products. A-Mazing ladies. 

When I arrived, I suddenly panicked as I wondered what I would say when someone asked who I was and what business I had. Not 5 minutes in and I was faced with those very same questions. I was filling drinks for Julie and myself when a cute, peppy girl asked who I was. I explained that my name was Dawn (even though I was wearing a Julie name tag) and we laughed. She introduced herself and then asked me what I do. 


A million thoughts fly through my head. Lies. Exaggerations. I finally settled on the truth. I told her...I have a blog. Well...two of them. One is a family blog that the other is me learning my camera. 

What I got from her was the nicest smile and nod and then we left each other. 

What a nerd I am. Nice. Real nice.

From that point on - I made myself the blog stalker girl and she seemed to be pretty popular. Well, at least with my table :)

What a great night with so many inspirational ladies!!

Aren't these little cakes adorable??!!

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Laura Winslow from Laura Winslow Photography and Kim Stoegbauer from The TomKat Studio

Julie and Me in the cute photo area they had set up.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Holy Crap It's Hot!

This weekend was a very HOT weekend. I mean super hot. I mean extreme hot. I mean...pretty much hell hot. If that is even possible. 

Everyone knows that I love being an Arizonan. (p.s I'm a native.) 8-9 months of perfect weather. Tons of sunshine. Snow (if you want it) just a drive away and the ocean just a drive to the west. For me - it's the weather of happiness. So much sun you can't help but be happy. 

However...the summer is the absolute pits. I can't think of anything that would be worse (well, other than any type of natural disaster or blizzard.) 111 degrees feels like you're pretty much sitting on the sun. It's horrific. We live in our houses with the cool A/C or in the pool. 

The bad news is this...we no longer have a pool. Nope, the new-ish house is pool-less. It stinks. Don't get me wrong, the lower electric bill is great. But...we sure miss relaxing in the pool while the weather is stuck at 110. The hottie misses the pool more than any of us. 

So...we'll have to suck it up and stay indoors (boo!). I see lots of mall window shopping in our future. The hottie even suggested hanging out in the Costco Cooler as entertainment. He was only joking. Sort of. I'm starting to think that's a good idea. What could be better than walking around, snacking on free samples, and cooling off in the Costco Cooler?

Hmm....probably a refreshing dip in a pool. (To be fair - when pool water is 98's not as refreshing as you'd like.) sure as heck beats 110 degrees. In the sun. With no pool. YUCK!!

Tonight after we dined at Joe's BBQ with my family - the hottie and I reminisced back to just 1 month ago when we were able to take nightly family walks. Brady and Lily on their scooters. Me pushing Charlie in her new birthday pink car, and the hottie walking beside me. It was in the 70's. 

What the heck happened? 

It's 8:22pm and it is still 109 degrees. Holy crap. I've arrived in hell.

At least this will only last for a couple more months. I can't wait. I'm counting the days. 

In the meantime...this will be us....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Durango 2011

Boy oh boy - what a trip! Thank you to Marie and Glen for hosting such a FANTASTIC week in Durango!!

You see, my father in law turned the big 6-0 back in April and Marie booked a rental house in Durango for the week. They flew out from CT, we drove up from AZ, and the Osborn's drove west from Castle Rock.

The drive was perfect. The hottie and I were up late packing and getting everything ready - so of course, we overslept. But - we still made it on the road by 5am. We made it to the "vacation house" as we would soon call it by 1pm, Colorado time.

So...what did we do in Colorado?

Well, we...
  • Played baseball - the boys (and girls) played lots, and lots, of baseball.
  • Watched movies - Glen and Marie brought 2 Red Boxes and watched them late at night while the kiddos were sleeping laughing upstairs in the bunk room.
  • Read books - I got a good start into The Help and finished it on the way home. It is SO good!
  • Ate - we went to the grocery store like a million times and made nice dinners at home. Delish! Everyone (even me) was responsible for a dinner. It was SO perfect!
  • Went fishing. All minus April, Charlie, and Me...that's when we had our adventure.
  • Visited Honeyville - a Bee Farm. We tasted Honeyville Honey wine (super sweet) and learned a bit about bees. I also bought a bottle of wine, some honey, and some AWESOME lotion.
  • Silverton Train Ride. Rode a 4 hour train from Durango to Silverton. Silverton was the adorable old mining town that now thrives on tourists. So cute!! I wish we had a little bit more time before the train ride back. Surprisingly, the kids were very good on the train ride. Thank goodness!
  • Visted Mesa Verde. We drove around and saw several different lookout points and ruins. Amazing and beautiful. We even hiked down to one of the ruins. Loved it! But, whew - what a hike. I was a nervous wreck walking with the stroller as we went up and down the steep path. But - we made it!
  • Elk watching. The place we stayed was called Elk Hollow because of all the elk around. The elk came out the first night (we were not there yet) and then once during our stay. So awesome. We just don't get that out here in Gilbert :)
  • Shopped and browsed around downtown Durango. Such a cute little town. Seriously loved it.
  • Ate Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Chocolate. I think they pretty much knew us in the downtown Durango store!!
  • Went out to Dinner for tacos at this cute mexican restaurant where you order at the counter. I will say - it was DELICIOUS! And we KNOW our mexican food!!
  • Had a water balloon fight. OMG!! Justin and April brought water balloons and the kids had a fight one afternoon. It was one of the highlights for me - even if it only lasted for about 10 minutes. The kids were hilarious! Even when Lil got wet and freaked out!!
Mostly - we were able to relax. The house was amazing. We were so lucky to be able to spend the week with Bryan's family that we really do not get to see enough. It was so much fun. The kids absolutely loved it. And, so did we. Definitely a trip we will not forget.

Thank you Marie and Glen!!
And, happy birthday to both of you!!
Marie and Glen on the train to Silverton

The kids outside the train station

Brady looking for the queen bee at Honeyville...they put a red dot on the queen. We never saw her.

Charlie and Bryan on the train getting ready to take off.

A.J and Brady on the Silverton train before we left the station.

Beauty taken from the train as we choo-choo'd down the tracks.

More beauty from the train.

More beauty. Probably my favorite.

A view of the Animas River from the train. It was really moving!

A view of the train.

More Animas River.

More beauty with a little bit of train smoke.

So pretty...even snow up on the tips.

Snow capped mountains from Silverton.

Lily posing in Silverton.

The boys posing in front of an old taxi.

Our Master Brakeman.

Yep - there were people rafting in the Animas River.

Balloon Fight!!!


Bryan watching the balloon fight.


I LOOOOOVE this one. The boys had so much fun!

Lily before she got wet and cried.

Lily - trying to give it to the boys.

Seriously - she wanted pictures all the time.

The lone elk that came out one night.

The Osborn's

The CT Campbell's

The Gilbert Campbell's

From atop Mesa Verde.

Walking up to the highest point of Mesa Verde.

Marie and Charlotte at the top.

The Osborn's.

The Campbell's

The 5 kids looking out.

The hottie and the Cuties.

Proof of the 1996 fire in Mesa Verde.

AJ down in the "basement" of some ruins.

Brady exiting the "basement"

Hayden exiting the basement.

Lily and Bryan going down into the basement.

Lily exiting the basement.

More Colorado beauty.

The Campbell's in the ruins.

A view of one of the many ruins that have been discovered at Mesa Verde.

A view of the Elk Hollow Retreat. We stayed in the house on the left. The house/garage on the right is the owner's house. It is about 200 yards from the Elk Hollow Retreat. 17 acres. Sooooo beautiful!

I couldn't stop taking pictures of the trees.