Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Arizona 2011

We recently got the opportunity to go to Arizona for a mini vacation. It was so nice to get away for a little while. We really didn't do much. If haven't heard, Arizona is stupid hot. It was way to hot to do much. All my energy leaked out of me with all the sweat. Crazy stupid hot!! How do people move and live in Arizona?!? Crazy! Anyway, we didn't go to Arizona for the weather. We went there to visit Chad's dad who was doing a convention there that week. Mimi and Pop Pop hadn't had the chance to meet Reece, and besides, we just love any excuse we can come up with to be able to see them again.

So off to Arizona we went. As with the last trip to Arizona, the best part of the drive out there and back. One of these days, we are going to have to camp somewhere along that stretch of high way. It really is awesome. We also got the chance to visit the Hover Dam. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of that.

You can see how hot it was there in Lauren and Evan's faces. I am sure that if we visited Arizona in October or December, we might just love it. But in July, it is just to hot. We did get a chance to visit with Doug and Debbie, which was kind of the whole point of going out there in the first place. We are grateful to them. Without them, we would have never gone to Purto Rico, Catalina, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Antonio, and so many other places, including Arizona. We love them. They were working while we were there, so we didn't get to spend the whole time with them, but we were able to go swimming with them one night and eat dinner with them an other.

Pop Pop meeting Reece for the first time. It was love at first sight.

In the end, whether your in super hot Arizona or some other place, it is always nice to get away from the real world, to take a pause on all your troubles and stresses, and just be. And no matter where I am at, as long as I have my family around me, then I am in Heaven.

Lauren's First day of First Grade

It happened once again. Where did the summer go? Where did my little girl go? I couldn't help but think just how mature Lauren is looking lately. I thought that this year, I wouldn't get all emotional because it is something that I have already been through last year. But I totally got all misty eyed watching her walk in all confident and excited. She is getting so big and I am completely in awe of her on a daily basis. I love my little girl who is rapidly becoming not so little anymore.

Here is Lauren looking oh so chic in her "Back to School" outfit.

I feel so lucky that we live in walking distance from Lauren's school. I am not sure how I would handle putting Lauren on a bus and watching that bus drive away every morning. This is a much better arrangement for me, anyway.

Lauren in front of her school. She won't let me do her hair anymore. She is all about the head band. I might get to talk her into letting me do her hair once in a while, and I think she lets me because she loves me, not because she wants her hair done all fancy.

Lining up with her class. This year, all her friends ended up in other classes. I am not worried though. Lauren has never had any trouble making friends. And it doesn't seem to bother her either. She loves school. Loves it!

I feel so blessed to be able to be a witness of Lauren's life. To watch her navigated all the peaks and valleys of childhood is such a gift to me. I am filled to the brim with bittersweet wonder and I can't help but remember a night not so long ago when I tucked in a two year old version of this amazing little girl of mine. That two year old incantation adamantly declared that she would always love and wear princess dresses everywhere. Now her collection of princess dresses hang in a dark corner of her closet. Every now and then, I catch glimpses of that same two year old princess. She has never left, she has just added layers of personality on top of previous layers. I hope she always hangs on to that little girl princess and I hope she never stops adding layers of beauty on top of layers of beauty to build the young women she will one day become. I love you my little Lauren, and I am so proud of all you are becoming.