Friday, March 25, 2011

Road trip: Arizona

This post is very February (while Paul was doing his surgery rotation, waking up at 3:30 am and getting home at 8:30 pm) I drove 12 hours to Mesa, AZ to visit my oldest sister Sharee. Gratefully, my friend Whitney was willing to make the drive with me, otherwise it would have never happened. Her family is in Mesa, so we loaded her son and my two girls up in the van and left Lubbock during the coldest week in years. I drove the entire time...which is amazing considering that I usually make it about 3 hours before needing a break. Whitney sat in the back and took care of the kiddos, making it a rather stress-free drive for me. By the time we reached Mesa, the girls were certainly glad to be out of the car.

We were there about a week. I stopped to see a couple of old friends:The Nelson Family...I befriended Nicole during our first year in Lubbock, which was their last year in law school. She was an instant who I could share anything with. She would come over for a play date and stay for hours without us even noticing the passing of time. They now live in Tucson, so we met up at the Mesa Temple while they were in town.
Hattie and Danielle used to play together almost 2 years ago! I don't think they remembered each other, but they sure had fun running around and playing!
My mission president and his wife live in the Mesa area. It was so good to see them...I think I had only seen them once since I had been home, so it was nice to reminisce and catch up.
The Moulton Family...remember back 3 years ago when we lived at/managed storage units? Well, the Moultons lived upstairs and Robyn was my constant buddy for a year. Her daughter Rebekah is just 5 weeks younger than Hattie, so we went through that first year of parenthood together. Her husband is now in med school too :)
Sharee took us to the Children's Museum in downtown Phoenix. It was amazing. Everything is designed for creative play...and my girls were in heaven.
This is a magnetic wall where you can attach different tubes and such to roll balls down. It was fun to watch Hattie figure out how it worked and create something that actually worked.
They also had a play kitchen where she made her own pizza.
And Anna enjoyed playing house.
She could have stayed there forever looking at Sharee, figuring out how it worked.
The girls also put on smocks and painted a castle...apparently they pick a different color every day. Hattie was thrilled it was pink. You can see how the paint is thicker in some places than others.They also had an amazing indoor 3-story climber, which Hattie and Sophie loved. I tried to take a picture of the whole thing, but it doesn't do it justice. The girls could have played in there for hours.
And they loved the scarf vacuum. Hattie still talks about going to the children's museum.

Then of course there was just the time spent around Sharee's home with her family.
Travel and time zone changes apparently made her a little too tired!
These three girls became partners in crime. Hattie still talks about Sophie all the time. While they played, Sharee taught me to make hair bows :)

I love Sharee's kids, Paul, Sophie, Claire (the photographer), and Holly (not in photo). They are so well behaved and such good friends to my girls. Anna created a special attachment to Claire, who was like a big sister to her.
And the weather was SO nice, we played outside a lot. My mom even came to visit for a few days, but somehow I got no pictures with her!
Finally we had to make the grueling trip home. We stopped in Las Cruces, New Mexico for about 30 minutes to stretch our legs and let the kids run around.

All told, a marvelous vacation. I loved watching Sharee parent her children. I learned so much from her and have tried to implement some of what she does in my home, so far with good success.


LadyCarma said...

Awesome post. You are a brave woman to make that trek, but so worth it. I still remember trips we made so I could spend time with my sisters. They are priceless memories. I still can't get enough of my sisters. Of course, you understand how much I love your mom! She is the best.

LanaBanana said...

Next time you come through here, let me know and I'll meet up with you girls somewhere. :) I hate to admit it, but I haven't actually taken my kids to the children's museum in PHX. I definitely will now after seeing your post. It looks like tons of fun.

Your mission pres. and his wife are the parents of one of Porter's best friends and fellow 259 buddy. How funny. Small world! :)

Erin and Spencer said...

Now you need a road trip to UTAH!

Jared, Miranda and Max said...

What a fun road trip! Jared and Max and I are driving 12 hours to Kansas City next Monday, only I have to drive alone with Max.... I'm a little nervous. Wish you could come entertain my kiddo :). Now that he graduates next week we'll be moving to Texas (Houston) after he studies for the bar and we spend a couple months with his parents. We'll still be far but at least in the same state as you! And how fun that you got to see the Andersons!