Sunday, August 30, 2009

Drives of a Lifetime

The morning we left to head back to Phoenix, it was 41 degrees. We drove 15 straight hours through some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen. Ironically, we happened to drive on two of the 50 "Drives of a Lifetime" listed in National Geographic Traveler magazine.
~ Southwest Four Corners
~ Navajo Lands, Arizona
I'm not kidding, at times we felt like we were driving on the moon or Mars or something. Strangely beautiful, bizarre landforms.

We also drove through the Arches National Park in Utah. WOW! Truly jaw-dropping! They call the above rock formation The Three Gossips.

Take a look at the photo that Nancy took of the Wilson Arch! (below) I took that same photo on our way home... but there wasn't anyone under the arch like in Nancy's photo. Really wanted to show you just how ginormous the Wilson Arch really is!

As I said, after 15 glorious hours on the road, we arrive in Tempe, AZ and it's 100 degrees at 10 PM. Ahh, yes, home sweet home. We question why in the heck we live here, but come January, we'll remember why :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

flora & fauna

This is a collection of my favorite nature pics that I took on vacation. Someday I will learn photo shop and maybe tweak em a tad bit. But till then, this is all she's got folks.

Ok, so this is the only fauna we found in CO. Rather disappointing... but at least the little critter wasn't camera shy. That helps.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fish Creek Falls

We had so much fun hiking around Fish Creek Falls while in CO. I'm a creek & river kind of gal. The ocean scares me. Very intimidating. Doesn't help that I can't swim. But I do love looking at it and walking its shores. But creeks allow me to experience it up close and personal... without having to know how to swim. And Fish Creek was perfect for just that. I could jump from rocks to boulders and not risk losing my life.

Even the wildlife allow me to get up close and personal. Umm, you don't see ocean sea creatures cooperating like this little critter.

Randy & Kevin decided to get as close to the falls as possible. Can you see them?

Hey, check back for my favorite flora & fauna fotos from our CO trip!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

30th Anniversary

While we were traveling back from CO last week, Randy & I would occasionally look at each other and say "No way! 30 years!" We could hardly believe that we would be celebrating 30 years of marriage today. No way! Not 30 years. That means we should be old or something. And we're not. Right?
Anyway, I love being married to this man. And we are more in love than ever before. I seriously don't know what I did to deserve such a loving, giving, kind and thoughtful husband. He's so patient with me and if you know me at all, you know that isn't always easy. I love that we can spend 15 straight hours on the road talking and dreaming and laughing and crying... and know that we could turn around and do it again in a week and have even more to talk and dream about.

We loved out wedding day. And this photo happens to be one of my favorites. It was not posed... just candid and natural. We sang at our reception along with some of our other musician friends. So as you can imagine, there was lots of love and laughter going on in that little church hall back in August of '79.

God truly gave me the man of my dreams. But to be honest, I never dreamed of someone like Randy. I didn't think someone like him existed. I also never dreamed about my wedding day. Ever. I never thought about my gown or the flowers or a reception. Never. But I did dream about being married. And these past 30 years have far surpassed anything I ever hoped or imagined. And I am forever grateful.

*** Thanks Nancy for taking our 30th Wedding Anniversary portrait at Fish Creek Falls, CO last week! (the top pic) Love it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

sunset & windmills

This was the very last picture I took from our trip to CO last week. And my very favorite. The sun was setting quickly as we traveled between Holbook and the Mogollon Rim. I saw a windmill up ahead and had an idea. But what were the chances that I could capture such an image as we traveled along at 60 MPH? I didn't even mention it to Randy... I just took a chance... and I got it. I was thrilled. You see I love windmills and I love sunsets. The perfect image to end an already full day of jaw-dropping scenery.
(be sure to clic the pic to enlarge)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gondola ride

The gondola ride up Mt. Werner was definitely one of the highlights of our Steamboat stay.

The scenery as we climbed 2000 ft. was breathtaking... and around 10 degrees cooler at the top.

We hiked a couple of the many trails and took a ton of pictures. How could we not when every time we turned a corner we saw the ultimate photo op.

Most of the photos I'm posting were taken by Nancy. Be sure to check out her blog posts.

And yes, that would be Randy on the phone. Um, you're on vacation honey.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Steamboat Springs, CO

We arrived in Steamboat Springs on Sunday after two glorious days on the road. Randy & I love traveling and always take advantage of the hours and hours we have to process life together. What a precious time we had sharing our hearts, our hurts... and our desire to trust God with ourselves and others. Anyway, we arrived at Terry & Nancy's condo and once we got everything unloaded from the van, we enjoyed a very satisfying thunderstorm. Talk about the perfect Colorado welcome!

Nancy made hamburgers and a fruit salad using the sweetest peaches I have ever had. They bought them at a roadside stand in Meeker. Truly the best. We also opened up a bottle of wine that I had brought and we relaxed while waiting for Kevin to arrive from Omaha, NE. Kevin is Terry & Nancy's son and he just finished his 4 1/2 years of active duty in the Air Force. Such a fun reunion celebration! Btw, it was 53 degrees when he arrived.

This morning we headed out for a lovely walk along the river. The air was so crisp and clean.

We are so incredibly blessed that Terry & Nancy have been our dear friends for almost 30 years! We have vacationed with them many times over the years and well, we couldn't imagine doing life without them.

We've known Kevin since he was born. Get this, his actual training expertise in the Air Force was Mandarin Chinese. I know! Can you imagine learning such a difficult language? But, Kevin's cool like that.

Downtown Steamboat is so charming. Lots of cool shops. Peculiar people. Adorable dogs. And yummy ice cream.

I know we're on vacation, but we gotta make time for blogging and facebook.

Little did I know... but Nancy was taking pics of ME taking pics of my wine & peaches shoot. Be sure to check out Nancy's blog. She has been posting about their trip to CO and her photos of the Arches National Park are simply stunning! Oh and she just posted pics of the beautiful condo we are staying at.
OK, gotta go... the guys are cooking steaks on the grill. And we're talking charcoal grilled steaks! Yum!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

things that bug me

~ new easy open caps that are NOT easy to open. This happens every time I'm wanting me some mayo. (click the pic to read the label)

~ small fonts. What would possess someone to even think that we enjoy reading their small font emails or blogs or web sites or ads or other such mailers. And yes, I can enlarge the font or put on my +200 readers... but still.

~ when the Fry's I have been shopping at for 15+ years remodels and the milk is the only item that is still in its rightful place.

~ the fact that companies still sew on tags with wired thread. OK, but it feels like wires poking into my back. Thank God for tagless clothes. I love you.

~ check writers. It wouldn't be so bad if you started writing the check WHILE your items are being rung up... but geez, get with the 21st century and use debit!

~ emptying the dishwasher. What's up with that? I actually like filling the dishwasher... but hate emptying it. I am seriously waiting for Tyler to wake up so he can empty the dishwasher so I can fill it.

~ that I still get nauseous after taking a multi-vitamin... even after I have eaten a ton.

~ gum snappers. My biggest pet peeve. GUM SNAPPERS drive me CRAZY! I have actually walked out of establishments because of an incessant gum snapper.

OK, now it's your turn. What's bugging you today?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Phoenix Light Rail

We did it. We took a trip on the Light Rail. To The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Phoenix. It's always a miracle to get the whole family together and this proved well worth the wait.

We drove to downtown Tempe, parked and walked to the light rail depot. And while we waited a few minutes I had a little photo op with Miss Emolyn.

The light rail travels over Tempe Town Lake. Love our town lake.

When Emolyn wasn't waving to all the passengers on board she was looking out the window with her Popop.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to have us all together. For those of you new to my blog, Tyler is 20 and going into the Marine Corp in January, Emolyn Kate is almost 18 months and our precious grandbaby, Shawn is 27, Emolyn's Daddy and designs web sites and stuff, Miranda is 24 and starting her last year at ASU this month, Nicole is 27, Emolyn's Mommy and a full-time nurse. I am so proud of who they are, not what they do. Of course I am proud of what they do... but they love Jesus. And they love their friends and family. What more could a mama ask for.

Anyway, we arrive at The Old Spaghetti Factory and let me tell you, we had the best food, the best service and the best family time! I always ask for a round table, because then no one feels left out, we can all see and hear each other real good. So they put us in this partitioned room with a round table. So private and cozy. I ordered the chicken marsala and spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese and it was simply divine!! Seriously, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since! It was THAT good!

Did you know that whatever you order at the Spaghetti Factory comes with a salad (THE best homemade ranch dressing on the planet), fresh hot baked bread, unlimited beverage and spumoni ice cream!! Yes, you heard that right. All of that AND spumoni ice cream!

I loved that when we stepped out of the Spaghetti Factory it was dark. Getting back on the tube, I mean the light rail, felt so, well, European. Yes, it reminded me of London.

By the time we got off the rail, Emolyn was so excited to walk. We were glad we had parked a ways from the depot so she could do just that.

All in all, such a fun, memorable family outing. As the reality of Tyler leaving in January draws near, these times become all the more special. But let's not go there yet... January will come soon enough. Till then, I am savoring every moment we have together as a family.