Like A Fine Wine, He Just Keeps Getting Better With Time

For our anniversary this year we agreed to not get anything for each other because of all the traveling we are doing this summer.  We agreed a dinner date would be great.  However, someone didn't keep his end of the deal...
It started with roses, then a tennis racket so we can start playing once its no longer 110 outside. 
Then out of nowhere the coolest cowgirl boots ever!  Max use to be the guy that couldn't manage to get a card for Valentine's Day.  He has become quite the romantic and I certainly won't be complaining!  He is like a fine wine and just keeps getting better with time. :)  Thank you babe for completely surprising me and making 16 so sweet.

Sweet 16

Happy Anniversary Max!
 Today marks 16 sweet years we have been married.  Funny part is I still feel like I am 16 when I am with you.  Life with you is full of love, joy and happiness no matter what is going on around us.  We seem to make a party together, even on Wednesday night. :)
Thinking back through all we have done and all the changes that have led us to this day, it amazes me that one thing that has never changed over 23 years, our intense love.
You are still the one I would rather spend any hour of any day with. 
You are still the one that makes my heart skip a beat when you walk through the door.
You are still the one I day dream about when we are apart.
You are still the one that makes me smile.
You are still the one who owns my heart.
You are still the one that I dream big dreams with.
You are still the one that makes me a better person.
You are still the calm waters to my rapids.
You are still amazing with your talents and hard work, there is nothing you can't do.
You are still my best friend.
You are still my love.
You are still my better half.
You are still the one that makes my dreams come true.
You are still a better father than I could have hoped for.
You are still my forever after.
You are still the one.
I still do.

Crushing Colorado

This has been one fun packed summer thus far!  A week and half after we got back from our states trip, we were taking off for Colorado!
 This time we had a 7 am flight there, which suited everyone much better.
 The day we got there happen to be my oldest sister Chrysti and her family's last night in Colorado.  The next day they were moving to Redding, California.
With us in AZ and now them in CA, it was likely going to be the last time we were all together for a very long time.  It makes me sad to see our families only get together once in awhile.  For a few years we were all so close and big gatherings like these were the norm rather than a rare celebration. 
 Hopefully we can all try to commit to getting together once a year.
 The cousin love is so great.  They had a blast riding bikes, playing, and having water balloon fights.  It was really special, just by chance, to get this one last family night together where all the cousins could hang out and have a big old sleep over at Grammy and Gramps' house.
 One of the kids' favorite places in Colorado is the Museum of Nature and Science.  Hailey was thrilled when it worked out for us to all go.
The animal habitats are a must.  We thought it was fun to take a picture in Colorado with our new home state background. :)
 The space station is a favorite with the moon sand and astronaut play station.  
We have just about out grown the play zone.
Since we had been there last, they created a new kids play zone.  The water stations were meant for smaller children and when the water sprayed overhead, Hailey was so tall, it his her square in the head and drenched her!!  Still a kid at heart.
 Max and Hank had fun in the human body section where Hank completed his first autopsy.
   Max was beaming with pride.  :)
 We have grown a bit since this visit.
The kids loved visiting the museum.
That night we visited our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Sabor!  We still haven't found anything close to as good as Elsa.
 The next day it was time to see our good family friends.  They were kind enough to host us for two nights.  They lived just 3 houses up from our old house, so the kids got to run around our old neighborhood for two nights.  The first night Karlie and Kaitlin went to a sleep over at Karlie's best friend Marley's house.  Those two girls have a special bond that seems unbreakable.
 It is the quintessential suburban neighborhood.  Everyone hangs out on their front porch.  Everyone watches out for each other's kids.  In fact when Hank crashed his scooter, a neighbor we did not know came to check on him.  It is the neighborhood where kids run in and out of each other's house and where laughing and kids playing is the constant hum in the background.
 On Friday we went to Water World with a big group from the hood and had so much fun.  That is until Hank tried to dive under a wave in the wave pool and took off a few layers of his nose.  Poor guy just has to hurt himself somehow!  But a visit to the first aid station with the fireman and little ice cream cheered him right up.
 That night the kids played kick the can, hide and seek, and roasted S'mores.
 It was so idealic, it hurt.
We so miss our friends in our neighborhood and the kids being able to run around together.
 Scotty had a special place in his heart for Hank when Hank was a toddler.  He wanted a picture with Hank, but Hank fell asleep before we got to it.  So sweet.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.   On Saturday morning it was time to go visit Brad, Max's college roommate and our long time friend.  He invited their other college roommate Eric and we got to visit with the boys and Brad's wife over lunch.  It was great to see Brad and we hope they will come for spring training next year.
Then it was time to head downtown for my cousin Abby's wedding!
 I am so bummed I forgot to get a family picture.  We were dressed to the nines and this was all I got.
I guess I was too wrapped up in the moment.
Abby was gorgeous and it was a lovely wedding.  It was great for us to see all of my extended family for such a important celebration.  Max and I managed to squeeze in a few dances and close down the bar.  We are always down for a good time!
 Sunday morning we had Father's Day breakfast with my parents, my sisters Mel and Kerrie and their families.  Then we were off for our next visit with Cathy and kids!
 Cathy and I were pregnant with Addie and Kaitlin at the same time and have maintained our friendship over the last 9 years.  The kids clicked just like we had never left.  I think Hank adores Jack, who is the master Nerf Gun warrior!  It was a great afternoon relaxing outside, eating delicious food and being in the company of great friends.
 Nearly every meal was scheduled and everyday we tried to visit all our friends and family.  It was both exhausting and wonderful.  Over 5 days we visited over 60 family and friends.  We felt bad we couldn't spend enough time with each family, but were happy to at least share a meal or a hug.
Our last 5 am flight home.  Poor Max had to work all day Monday.  The rest of us were crashed out for the day recovering from all the fun days and late nights.  I am not sure if we crushed Colorado or if Colorado crushed us.

Hailey's Big Surf Birthday Party

 When it is 108 degrees outside, there is really only one thing to do... Be in the water!
For Hailey's 13th birthday party we took her and her best friends to Big Surf waterpark.
 Their goodie bags were beach totes, flip flops, sunscreen, sunglasses and a lei for the Hawian theme.
 The girls took of and we hit the slides with the littles.
 The girls had fun being swag and posting on Instagram that they went to Hawaii for Hailey's birthday.  They were so delighted when people believed them. :)
 We managed to wear Hank out!
 For dinner Hailey wanted to go everyone's favorite burger joint.  The girls sat outside in the 108 degree heat.  I guess that is how badly that wanted to be alone.  LOL
 Then it was back to our place for cake and a slumber party.
 Two things Hailey loves are bread and chocolate ganache cake.  She is big enough to light her own candles now.  Sniff, sniff.
Hailey's birthday party was special and sad.  It was the last time all the girls would be together for the for seeable future.  On Tuesday Syliva was heading back to Iceland after visiting for 2 weeks.  On Wednesday Ana would moved to Chicago, and on Thursday Nicole would move to California.  Half of there group will be gone.  They are such a tight bunch of sweet girls.  They have had so much fun growing from kids to young ladies together.  That night they giggled into the wee hours.  The goodbyes in the morning were so sad they had the moms crying with them by the end of it.  It is so hard to watch your kids go through stuff that hurts.   A part of you wants to do everything possible to insulate them from it and to try to figure out a way to fix it.  To make it all better.  But life is full of wonderful and good times and also many sad and hard times.  It seemed poignant to me that Hailey would experience this dichotomy of life on her 13th birthday.  A bitter sweet birthday full of the joys and sorrows of growing up.

How Hailey Spent Her 13th Birthday

We had one last hurrah of childhood and danced the night away before she turned 13.

It is both lucky and unlucky to have a birthday in the summer.  You miss the pomp and circumstance of everyone at school celebrating your special day but you get to do more because you are not at school.
Then as if to underline and bold that she is a teen, she ditched us for the day to hang out with her friends and go to the movies. :)  She also requested a birthday menu worthy of an adult.
Creamed Eggs for breakfast.
 Sushi for a late lunch!
 We had an all out feast to welcome Hailey to her teens.
King crab legs, artichokes, salad, and her favorite rolls.
 Hailey has grown into such a beautiful young lady. 
 We love her so much and can't wait to see all she will accomplish in this next chapter of her life.
Praying all your wishes come true Jo-Jo.