1989 World Tour

 On Monday we went to Taylor Swifts' 1989 concert!!
 We went 4 years ago after we had just first moved here.  Hank was only three so he stayed home with a babysitter.  This year he got to go!  It was his first concert and the only concert we have all been to together!
Taylor swift has changed quite a bit in those 4 years from Country Queen to Pop Diva!  I can't believe how much my babies have changed too!
Once again we were blown away by her performance.  She is quite the star and deserves all of her successes.   As a mom of three girls I am so happy to have a her as a role model.  She is well spoken, grateful, generous, and dresses more modestly than most.  Her outfits were fabulous without being too risqué.
 I thought Hank would be able to make it but Taylor didn't even come on until almost 9.  Way past little buddies bedtime.  He managed to stay awake for the first 2 songs but was out like a light for the rest of the show.  We tried as hard as we could to wake him for the grand finale but nothing would wake him.
 Taylor had this raised platform that spun around so she could get close to everyone.  She was so close to us!  She really appreciates her fans and tries connect and get close to them as possible.
It was a fantastic show and the girls loved it!  
I only wish it were not on a school night and started earlier.  If we happen to go again in 4 years, Hailey will be in college, Karlie in high school, Kaitlin and Hank in middle school.  I guess it won't matter much then. :(  I can't wait to see what Taylor does in the next 4 years.

Celebrating 30 Years of Love

At the end of July my parents came out and we had a chance to celebrate their 30 years of love and marriage!
The 30th Anniversary is the year of the pearl, so we had a pearl themed celebration.
We had cupcakes with little pearls and pearl gumballs for the kids!
I ordered oysters with cultured pearls in them for the kids to dig out.
I ordered 10 to represent each one of their grandchildren.
Great Grandpa showed us how to dig out the pearl.  :)
While it was a pretty affair, it was also pretty stinky!
We found some pearl cages to make a necklace for Grammy.  Gramps got Janice Joplin's Pearl CD and we framed the most recent family picture we have of the whole gang in a Mother-of-Pearl frame.
On their last night in town my Uncle Larry and Aunt Ann also came over for dinner.  It was so nice to have a house full of family.
With cousins all you need to do is add water for a fun filled day.
 Kaitlin loved having two little girls to play mommy to and Rayah loved hanging out with Karlie.
Hank pretty much thinks RJ walks on water.  He is was a mini RJ the entire visit.
 Gramps trying to keep cool.  :)
 When the little kids get to do your make up it is a scary thing!!  There were many Caitlyn Jenner jokes. :)  But Gramps is a good sport for letting them practice on him.
 Hailey and Mrs. Rose stopped by on the horses one evening.  I heard a knock at the door and there was a giant horse head in the door!
 It is so amazing Hailey has the opportunity to play with horses whenever she wants.  It is just like a dream come true.
 One day we rented a pontoon boat to go tubing and floating on Saguaro Lake!
 We warned everyone about how burnt you can get with the reflection of the water.  RJ took sunscreening into his own hands!  He did not get burnt!
Max found a spot to take the daredevil kids cliff jumping.  That is all I am going to say about that.
 The water is so warm this time of year, it is almost like bath water.
 Buy Me a Boat!
 All the kids and Grammy tubed!!  Each of the kids took a turn driving the boat too.
 It is funny that Kerrie and I look more alike each year.  We laughed at our not planned black suit and state hats!
Our final outing was bowling.  Quite the Motley crew.  It was really special to be able to celebrate my parent's anniversary and see the fruits of all their effort and love that has flowed all the way down to their grandchildren.  I hope we get to celebrate 30 more!

Back To School

It was a bit of a shocking morning getting back into the routine of packing lunches.  I much prefer sipping my coffee in bed and planning up fun things to do with the kids.
 This year we have kids in all three school levels!  Getting the timing down right would make Mussolini green with envy.  It will be quite the juggling act to get everyone dropped off and picked up on time. 
Hank is in 2nd grade and Kaitlin is now the big girl from our family on campus as a 4th grader.  I know Hank is in good hands!
 Kaitlin had Mrs. M and we are thrilled to have Hank in her class this year.  Mrs. G is a new teacher for us but I have no doubt Kaitlin will win her over as she always does.  This was the first year Kaitlin did not beak down in sobs as I left.  She sure is growing up.
 Speaking of growing up!  Karlie is now a big 6th grader at the middle school.  She was very excited and cool as a cat until the drop off point when she didn't want to get out of the car.  It was like she froze.  I encouragingly kept telling her, "Okay you have to get out now."  Finally someone honked behind us and she went through the motions of getting out on her way.  I would of loved to park and hug her and walk her to the door, but there might not be enough therapy available to repair her psyche if I had done that.  So, I just bit my lip and watched her walk away.  She had a great day, has mastered her locker combo, and wasn't late for a single class.  Karlie's in charge for sure.
Now for the really sappy part.  Today, August 10th, marks the day Max asked me to homecoming and to be his girl.  We were 14.  Today we sent our baby girl off to HIGH SCHOOL!  How can she be the same age as when we met.  Time flies so fast! :(
 Our friends that own a restaurant hosted a boo-hoo breakfast for a big group of girls and moms.  The freshman had a late start, so it was nice to spend a few extra hours together.  Hailey is such a beautiful soul and young woman.  We are so excited for the beginning of some of the funnest years of her life.  But selfishly I am sad she is getting ever closer to leaving the nest.  I sure love my babies.
This is the first year that I am the only one that cried on the first day of school.  I have so much fun with them in the summer.  It is like getting to have a constant play date, but your the boss!  I will miss our adventures, lazy days by the pool, staying in our PJ's all day, and playing games.  But mostly I will miss their giggles and presence.  The house was so quiet today.  There is only one thing to do when feeling blue.  Bake cookies of course!
I am not exactly sure what happened.  The recipe makes nearly 2 dozen cookies and I ended up with 15.  I guess cookie dough is therapy for the stomach and soul.  At least there were some left when they got home from school.  Only 179 school days left. :)

Buy Me A Boat

In between our trips we were lucky enough to get to go out on our good friend's boat.  Max and I spent our anniversary on an adults day out on the lake.  We had so much fun surfing and floating.
Chris Janson's song "Buy Me a Boat"  is our theme song of the summer!
There is only one thing better than owning a boat, its having good friends that take you out on their boat! :)  All the fun and none of the responsibility.
We went out with them for a family day too and Hailey got really good at surfing!
The kids had so much fun tubing and hanging out with their buddies.  Max and I had so much fun living the boat life for a day!
Hailey took this slow motion video of me surfing.  Now this is how I remember surfing to be. :)
But this was 10 times better because the water was like bathwater, your favorite country mix is blaring off the back of the boat, and an ice cold beer in a cold can koozie is waiting for you. :)  #buymeaboat 


Our final vacation of the summer was to Telluride!  Max's parents flew out to join us!  Three cheers for a week of mountain fun!
 It wasn't until we moved to Arizona that we ever visited Telluride.  It is only 500 miles and an 8 hour drive from us.
Colorado has many beautiful mountain towns, however we feel like Telluride is the crown jewel.
 With it only being a day a way we can bring all our toys!  Monty and Jeanette drove the truck full of 8 bikes and gear.  We might be a little like the Beverly Hillbillies.  :)
Telluride has a free Gondola that you can ride down to the town and up to the top of the mountain.  We had to go for a ride first thing when we got there.
It looked a little like the circus had arrived as all of us loaded our bikes on and off the Gondola for a ride along the river.
The beauty of the bike paths are unlike any I have done.  Colorful Colorado indeed.
 Max and Monty went riding every morning before the rest of us loaded up.  One day they rode 4 times!
This year we had a chance to fish at Alta Lakes.  The beauty is breathtaking.
Hank snagged the first fish but he got away.  Then Kaitlin reeled one in.  Next Hailey brought one in.  Hank started to get pretty upset at this point, so I took him for a walk in the woods and told him to imagine really hard pulling in a big fish.  We did that for a little bit and then went and tried again.  Sure enough he got one!
  It had been most of the day and big rain clouds were threatening in the distance.  Karlie was getting discouraged but she was determined to catch one.  She ended up with the final catch of the day and we called him Moby Dick.  He was huge!!
Alta Lakes consists of 3 lakes in ascending elevations.  We decided to hike up to the third lake to see if the fishing was better.  It reminded us of Narnia.  This pristine landscape was disrupted by a red telephone booth sitting at the lake's edge.  We weren't sure if it was a time machine or gateway to other worlds. :)
The lake ended up being private property so our fishing was over for the day.  But we had enough for dinner!
I think the kids had more fun goofing around and cleaning the fish than catching them.  :)
Pops taught the three little ones how to clean the fish.  They were all for cutting the heads off, but gutting them was another story.  Hailey felt bad for the fish and had no interest in watching the preparation.
Karlie couldn't get enough.  I think she might be our doctor.  She wanted to identify the organs and loved playing with the fish heads. :)
Fishy Kiss.
Max found a Telluride brewed IPA to enjoy with the fish dinner.
 One day we took a drive to Bridal Veil Falls.  Max took Hailey, Karlie, and Hank to the base of the falls.   That little pink speck at the bottom left is Karlie's coat!
 The mist is at the car is enough to soak you so they were completely drenched.  Luckily everyone could get in the hot tub to warm up.
The next day we took Lost Dollar Road up to the top to do a little shooting.  Unfortunately the weather didn't agree with our plans and we got rained out.
We managed to fire off a few rounds before we frozen by the wind!  Hopefully next time we will have better luck.  You feel like you are on top of the world.
Our final day we took another family bike ride.  Two years ago we were riding along the same path when Kaitlin took a pretty bad fall.  She has been building up her confidence ever since.  With one successful ride under her belt we were looking forward to another great ride.  I always ride behind her to coach her.  We were riding along and out of no where a dog shot into Kaitlin's front tire T-boning her.  I watched helplessly as Kaitlin went flying off her bike!  
Telluride is over run by dog lovers that don't keep their dogs on a leash.  I was so bummed of all the people for the dog to crash into it was Kaitlin.  She is so tender and had just gotten her confidence up.  But she is a tough chick and after some love and kisses she was back on her bike ready to ride.
Three generations went 8 miles!  That is so cool!
Monty and Jeanette are in such great shape, its hard to keep up with those two.
Max dunked each of the kids for a refreshing cool down.  A lady standing near us said , "You've been baptized by Telluride!"

The views never disappoint.
We got all gussied up one night and headed into town for a little shopping and dinner.  This is the view on Main Street.
I think we are officially in love with Telluride.
Nothing like a warm welcome home.  We had a 55 degree change and at the rest stop all the signs pointed that we were back to reality.  Snakes, scorpions, brown all around and heat that feels like flames licking your feet.
Let the countdown to Telluride next summer begin.