Thursday, December 2, 2021

Jude Turns Seven

Lucky Number 7 for our Judy cutie! He’s smart and witty and has turned into a mama’s boy (I’m not complaining). He loves games, books, hoodies, leisure wear and our Corgi, Zoey. He also loves animals in general, so we hired an exotic petting zoo to come to our house! They brought a sloth, an armadillo, a coatimundi, a spider monkey, a lemur, and a kinkajou. It was an awesome experience! The spider monkey was the most mind-blowing. It really behaved like a small child and was 3 feet tall!

My friend Rachel made themed cake balls for the party and they were a hit!

Jude is such a special boy and I love being his mom. I read to/with him almost every night and he gets upset if I have to skip a night due to work or being out of town. He absolutely does not need me to read to him, because he reads at a high level, but he enjoys our time together. I must say, I do too!

Other nicknames we have for him are: Judy, Judy Booty, Judy Moody, Judith Tanner.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Weekend in AZ

Meezy and I took a quick trip to Arizona to see the sights and attend an NFL game. His favorite team is the 49ers, so this is our third time traveling around the country to see them in action. We started the trip with a visit to the Grand Canyon. We stayed at Yavapai Lodge East on the South Rim. It's no Four Seasons, but the location can't be beat. When we checked in, we were the only dummies wearing short sleeves and flip flops. We did not anticipate the temperature change! After putting on more appropriate attire, we were able to walk a trail along the South Rim just after sunset and enjoy the incredible views. After getting our exercise in, we drove a little ways to the Grand Canyon Village to get dinner at Plaza Bonita. The next morning, we were up by 6:30 and headed to the South Rim again to see the sun rising over the canyon. I walked a couple miles and Meezy ran a few in sub 40 degrees.

After that, we left the Grand Canyon and headed toward Sedona, stopping along the way at Foodie Club for breakfast. Since it was Saturday, the trails and shops were packed when we arrived in Sedona. We had originally planned to hike, but since it was so crowded, we decided to just check out the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It's built atop the red rocks and has great views. While you're up there, you can't miss the incredible estate owned by the person who invented the laser scalpel used during LASIK procedures.

The weather was fantastic, with clear skies and comfortable temps. If we hadn't come on a holiday weekend, I definitely would have wanted to spend more time in Sedona. From there we headed south to Phoenix. Our home for the next two nights was Renaissance Phoenix/Glendale Hotel & Spa. We chose this hotel because it was right across the street from the stadium. While in the lobby, I mentioned to Meezy that it looked like people were asking to take pictures with someone. We walked a little closer and he goes, "That's Frank Gore!" Being a life-long fan, Meezy had no problem recognizing a former 49ers player. That was a fun sighting! After getting settled in and eating, I headed over to the nearby outlet mall to look for some souvenirs for the kids. Can't come home empty-handed!

The next morning, we met up with our friends, Tory and Sam, who live in the Phoenix area. They had tickets to the game as well, so we grabbed brunch and then headed to the stadium. Our seats were fantastic! They were lower level on the 49ers side and we were surrounded by a bunch of other 49ers fans. Sam wore her Cardinals shirt though, so we had a friendly rivalry going. 

The game ended up being pretty exciting, even though the 49ers lost. It's always fun to watch a game in person and feel the excitement around you. It was also cool to visit a stadium we hadn't been to before. After the game we had dinner and drinks with our friends and told stories and laughed for a couple hours. That was our last night in AZ and it was a good way to end the trip!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Colorado Vacation 2021

 We were supposed to be in Europe on a huge family trip this June, but due to the restrictions still in place because of COVID, we cancelled that trip and instead chose something closer to home. We booked a flight into Denver and rented a car to drive to our ultimate destination, Breckenridge. Our flight departed super early on a Saturday morning, or should I say it was supposed to depart super early. We ended up sitting on the plane for about 3.5 hours while they waited for a fueler to arrive to "balance the fuel". It was such a beatdown. Thank goodness our kids are old enough to be entertained by Ipads, so they weren't bothered by the delay. The adults on the other hand were going mad (myself included). We were going to take the kids to a museum before starting our drive to Breckenridge, but the delay took that activity off the schedule. When we got to Denver, we took a shuttle to the rental car area and OMG the line was crazy. 

Thank goodness there were lots of employees on hand, so it didn't take a ridiculously long time. But, after we got our car, we realized we forgot to bring a booster seat for Jude. DOH! That meant our first stop was to Walmart to buy one. After that, we ate at a good vegan restaurant, Watercourse Foods, and then headed to Breckenridge. The house we rented was pretty sweet. My sister and her kids joined us on the trip, so we wanted a place large enough for all of us and that included access to a pool and hot tub. The balcony and views were a bonus.

Within short walking distance of our house was a wooded area with a nice stream. We did some hiking and took pictures and paid tribute to our friend Brandon who passed away last year. It was so nice to get outside and exercise and not be miserable from the usual high temperature and humidity of Dallas! The altitude definitely made us winded more quickly though. 

Our scheduled activity for the second day in Breckenridge was a visit to the Country Boy Mine. We set up a treasure hunt and gold panning session. The treasure hunt was pretty cool. It worked well for the ages of kids we had in our group (6-12) and even had some things the parents could help with. The gold panning was a hit and the kids loved the challenge of trying to find gold. There was also a tall slide there, which is always going to be a crowd favorite. 

Our house was within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and other places to explore, so we took every chance we got to see what the city offered. We also made a couple trips to the pool, of course.

Our main activity for the third day of the trip was a visit to Epic Discovery. We were all looking forward to this! It started with a gondola ride to the adventure park, followed by unlimited mini golf, alpine slide, goldrunner coaster, and the kids zone activities (bungee trampoline, ropes course, zipline). Unfortunately a few of the other activities had not been placed back in service yet, and those were the ones the adults would have enjoyed. Whomp, whomp. So, we didn't get much for the cost of our tickets, but the kids had a great time. 

It was time to head home on the fourth day, but our flight wasn't until later in the day, so we stopped at a cool playground and then took the kids to Boondocks, which has an arcade and some other fun attractions. Dutch loved the ropes course and impressed us with his bravery on the zip line and spinning barrel. 

The weather was gorgeous while we were there and I loved how much time we were able to spend comfortably outdoors. I'd definitely make another visit to Colorado in the future and recommend Breckenridge for families. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Goodbye, My Riley Roo

Well, this was an extremely tough loss. 16 years. How do you put into words what a 16-year friendship means to you? I got Riley from a pet store in Lubbock when I was living alone and wanted a companion for my last year in grad school. He had a big head and a tiny body and I was intrigued by the sign that said "Beagle/Corgi mix." Over the years he grew into his big head (and then some) because he never passed up an opportunity to eat. Didn't matter if the item in question was really edible or not - he would give it a shot. He had a tank for a stomach because crayons, toys, dryer sheets, wet wipes, and even a King-sized Toblerone bar were no match for him. Our exchange student Kim learned of his insatiable appetite when she left her bag on the floor one time. (He smelled gum). Our friend Mike saw his skills first hand when Riley jumped waist high to snag a cookie from him. My mom lost a bag of bird seed because Riley got hungry one day. Meezy would occasionally taunt Riley by holding food out of his reach, but overall Riley had a pretty good record against him, including snagging a whole Taco Bell burrito when Meezy got too cocky. If you've known me over the past 16 years, then you've probably known Riley (and his signature one ear up/one ear down look). He's been my shadow. I joke that if we put a pedometer on each of us, we'd have the same number of steps at the end of the day. I originally got him so that I wouldn't feel lonely, but I never could have imagined he'd spend 16 years making sure I wasn't. He was a GOOD, smart, mischievous, hungry, and above all else - loyal - friend. Rest in peace Riley (Bubba, Riley Roo, Rooster Dooster, Biggies, Ri Ri). You were one of a kind. March 2005 - February 2021