Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A little piece of heaven...AZ

Dakota and I had the opportunity at the end of May to go to AZ for 11 whole days!!! WOO HOO! Everyone asked me was your trip?? The best answer to describe it was HEAVEN!!!

I LOVE going to AZ and spending time with my AMAZING family and friends! I don't realize how much I am really missing them until I am there and get to spend so much time with them and THEN have to leave again!

Normally when we go it is for a week but it is never enough. I would love to go for at least 2 weeks or even a month but 11 days was pushing it for the husband, so we compromised!

We filled EVERY day with something to maximize every minute we were there. My sister said, "Every day is a party when you are here!" That's right!!
As you can tell from our family dance party/competition!! Even my parents got in on the action! ;)

We had SO much fun!! It truly was heaven!! I do love it here in UT and it has become my home! BUT there is something about AZ that still just makes it feel like home every time I go there! Even the sunshine there feels different and feels like home. One of my favorite feelings is being in a cold building and walking outside and feeling the sun warm you to the core. For some reason (I know this is so weird) but the AZ sun just feels better! Maybe because it was my sun for 20 years of my life! ;)

I love that my parents still live in the house I grew up in. I still get to sleep in my old room. I love my sisters  live close enough to my parents that it is so easy to see them when we are there.

I LOVE being an aunt!! I always have...because I am the youngest of 6, I was a senior in high school when my first 2 nieces were born. I just love all of them so much and hate being so far away from them. While we were there we went to as many of my nieces and nephews games and activities as we could and spent as much time with them as we could. I miss out on so much being so far away from them so when I was there I tried to hit everything I could to make up for all the lost time! They are also so cute and sweet with Dakota and always so concerned about him. My nephew Sutton who is 4 asked as soon as we saw him, "Is Dakota feeling better?" If only what was wrong was that easy that one day he would feel all better and be his old self again. Sutton was such a helper and even helped me give Dakota meds through his g-tube and take out his extension tube. I loved that he wasn't afraid!!
Dakota and funny!

Logan's game

The after party...with ALL the cousins except Lane who was sick and our new baby Tori who was just born!! They are a CRAZY bunch!!

We went and watched our little ballerina Trai

Watched Paige's game! They won the CHAMPIONSHIP just for us!! ;)

We even made it to Shea's talent show at school! Her and her little friend ROCKED it!! :)

Had a sleepover with Paige, Logan, and Shea on the TRAMP!! Yes...I am the FAVORITE aunt! ;) Too bad my mom who was over Dakota for the night came to get me at midnight because he was still awake and crying. The girls were already asleep so I just stayed inside so my mom didn't have to worry about Dakota. It was fun while it lasted! ;)

May was the perfect time to go because the weather was for sure warm but not in the 100 degree mark quite yet. Also, there was so much going on with my nieces and nephews we were able to hit up a lot of things.

The main reason we went was because my cute nephew Peyton was getting baptized! We were so happy and excited to be there for his big and exciting day! He is the handsomest little red head I know!!!
PEYTON!! Congrats buddy!!

Check out his sweet party...complete with an Italian Soda bar! My sister Annie is AMAZING and went ALL out as she always does!!
That girl knows how to throw a party!!!

Me and my sisters Katie and Dawn (& Dakota of course) relaxing and chatting at the party!

Dakota got to ride horses ALMOST every single day! My cute dad was always ready and willing to saddle up the horses even if we only had time for 10 minutes.
Dakota loved every minute of it. EVERY single time we rode. We got at least smiles and a lot of times some laughs. He is a cowboy to the core just like his Papa!!
Just waiting for Papa to do all the hard work of saddling for us! ;)

My 2 favorite cowboys!!!

Nana & Papa

The coolest part about riding at my parent's is their new view in their back yard of the Gilbert Temple!! It's getting closer and closer to being done!
Maybe they will just ride their horses to the temple! ;)

We got to go to 2 of my nephews birthday parties!!

Andrew had a Power Ranger party at a gymnastics place!
Wild bunch!

Dakota was eating when we got there so I was just gonna let him lie on the mat to finish eating but he started crying right away. So I decided to unhook his food and jump with him for a bit and he was in heaven! He was SOOO happy his mom FINALLY understood what he wanted. What kid wants to eat when they get to a birthday party...he wanted to play!!!

I tried by myself with my foot to help him swing on the bars. Luckily my sister Shana stepped in to help me! ;) Such a fun party!!

 Dakota LOVES trampolines! We jumped our little hearts out a lot while we were there. I think I might know what he needs for his birthday! ;)
Jumping at Aunt Katie's

And doing a little relaxing! ;)

Nana jumped with him too on her tramp!

And then had to relax! ;)

Dakota and I also took Andrew to McDonald's for a special birthday dinner! ;)
He shared his fries with Dakota but not me!! ;)

For Noah's birthday we went to Smashburger and the ASU game!! He is an ASU die hard!!!

Enjoying every sip of this oreo shake with my sister Annie!

Me and my sister's with Sparky!!

He also loved the pool!! 3 out of my 4 sisters have pools so there is no shortage of opportunity to swim while we are down there. I was surprised at how much he enjoyed it! It is hard though because you have to be so careful so no water even gets near his trach...since that leads right to the lungs it could be VERY dangerous if something happened.
Swimming with Noah and Shea

I think he could get used to this could his mom! ;)

And this! ;)

I got to spend LOTS of time with my sisters and my mom and that is truly food for my soul!! I love them all so much and wish I could see them on a weekly basis. So I make up for lost time while I am there for sure and see them pretty much every day!

We took my mom out for Mother's Day lunch at the Breakfast Club. I got to see one of my besties there since she is the manager! My grandma even joined us and treated us all to lunch! So good to see her too!!
After lunch we took my mom to the Scottsdale mall so she could get a little makeover at the Mac store and use the gift card we bought her. I'm so mad at myself for not getting pictures of her getting her makeup done. I think we all walked out of that store with way more then we intended on! Love that store!! ;)
Our crew!

Me and my friend Laura

My sister Dawn didn't get to make it cuz her son was sick! :( We missed her but I got to go out one night and spend a night and day with her all to myself. My mom kept Dakota so we could have some alone time! ;) So fun. We woke up got a killer workout in, shopped a little, ate some lunch, and finished it off with pedicures and chatting. Couldn't have asked for a better day! (too bad I forgot to take even ONE picture!)

I also got to spend some much needed time with my bestie Abbey!! That is ALWAYS a must when I am there! We went to visit my sweet friend Stephanie and meet her new baby that is already 6 months!!!

Abbey and I had a little pool time ourselves! Miss the good ole days of lying by the pool talking about boys!! ;)

We also met up with our friend Lindsay for some lunch at my most favorite place OREGANOS!! YUM! Always so good to catch up!

Well, as you can see, there was A LOT of playing that gone done on our trip and not much work. It was such a relaxing break for me to just get away and not worry about life for a bit. When you are away from your home, your list of things "to do" is obsolete because your not home to do it. My mom was also so amazing at helping with Dakota. For once I didn't have to do ALL the blending and juicing for his food and even that is such a HUGE break!! And I LOVE that Dakota got to be with his cousins so much! He loves them and they sure love him!!

MUCH NEEDED trip!! Love AZ! LOVE my fam! But we did miss this cute guy!!

We made him cookies cuz he was still at work when we got home. Dakota was SO excited to give them to his daddy and to see him!!


  1. Looks so fun! I REALLY need to visit AZ one day...

    1. Oh yes you do!! You are welcome to go with me ANY time!! ;)

  2. Looks like an an amazing trip!! What a great advertisement for AZ. :)

    1. Thanks Jaimie!! I think you are due for a vacation too!!!

  3. FUN!! I adore the picture of Dakota looking up at his papa and the temple in the background (you are in the picture, too, looking beautiful, as ever!) ... so touching, it made me cry. Family is such a strength, and I love that you have such an amazing support system! {{hugs}}

    1. Thank you! I do have amazing family and friends like you!! I LOVE that picture too!