Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Weekend and back to the kitchen

This weekend was just perfection.

Sunny and 80.

We stocked up Friday night with fresh eats for the weekend.

Saturday morning I made bacon and eggs and we ate on the roof deck. Chores and the gym then we laid out by the pool and grilled up some meat for lunch.

Sunday was a repeat for breakfast and the gym then I had an impromptu spa day first getting a mani/pedi and then a facial and I fit in a little more sun time before heading off to pick up our girl!!

So a perfect weekend with a perfect ending of the whole family getting their mb snuggles.

Hope everyone else found some gold at the end of their rainbow…now off to Monday!





One of the things I don’t really love about Arizona are the dust storms. Otherwise knows as haboobs when they get really big.

We had a few last year and while I hate them all the dust and the mess it makes they are incredibly cool to watch.

We were just driving back from an afternoon massage when I looked up and saw one rolling in. They come with tremendous winds so we rushed home and managed to get everything covered up and ready for the dust.

Fortunately this time it was followed by some pretty good monsoon rains so it washed most of the mess away.

But I do find it funny that we cleaned off the deck today and all the furniture from the everyday desert dust just in time for us to get hit with the big one tonight!

the dust is a comin’

they are pretty amazing to watch

the final shot before going inside.

I got him in the pool

I did it!

I finally got TB to come join me in the pool

He might have a 2012 triathlon in him.

I enjoy having a training partner…running, biking, and now I got him in the pool.

We took it easy for our first session….next time I am going to have to push him a little harder.

The one thing for sure is that swimming is getting to be the only exercise that is bearable with this Arizona summer heat.

I am glad I don’t have any races coming up cause this heat is really having an impact. If I don’t get out first thing in the morning I can forget about any workout. Getting in one or two runs a week seems to be a “success”.

I actually am missing getting in my 5-6 days of training- but I also am dreading August a little bit as I think it will be just as hot and I will have to get in at least 3 runs a week.

Here is to hot Arizona summers and a lot more workouts in the pool!

2010 meant Change

When I look back at 2010 and think of one word that would sum it up. That word would be CHANGE.

Sometimes change is a good thing, sometimes change is a bad thing. 2010 was full of good CHANGE.

Some of the good CHANGEs…

1) We moved to AZ from NY. This was a big change…not only the move, but it also meant that MB and I went from a family of 2 to a family of 3, by adding TB to the mix. It was a leap…a leap of faith. A leap that required me to trust again both someone else and myself…something that wasn’t that easy, but has turned out to be one of the best CHANGEs of my life.

2) I went from alternating 2 weeks of custody with my ex to having her full-time. A lot of back forth for MB…life decisions being controlled mostly by strangers in the courts. After 3 years of being unsettled, never quite getting into a steady routine, sad goodbyes, empty beds and lots of tears we are back to normal. I am happy. She is happy. She is thriving.  Another great CHANGE.

3) MB started elementary school. No more pre-school. Riding the bus. New teachers. New specials. Learning experiences. No more dependent care expenses :). An exciting CHANGE.

4) Buying a house with a pool and hot tub. We have never had a pool or a hot tub. Swimming in your backyard- it really doesn’t get any better. I grew up with the beach..and that was great, but a pool is even better. Never in the summer will MB be bored. She could spend hours in that pool. My aching legs love the hot tub. A heavenly CHANGE.

5) Lastly a physical CHANGE. Anyone following the blog knows that in early 2010 I ran my first 5K. After going from no running to training I was proud to finish my first 5K trail run. I did a few more 5Ks in 2010 and then later in the year decided to train for a half-marathon which I will run in less than 2 weeks. I can’t deny it anymore I have become a runner. I can run 12 miles. I believe in myself and my body…what a CHANGE.

Those are the big CHANGEs….probably about 20 little ones too. (like getting a puppy). What will 2011 have in store. I don’t think it will be a year of as many big CHANGEs, and I personally hope that it isn’t in some ways. Just want to enjoy all the CHANGEs that 2010 has brought. What I wish for in 2011 is peaceful year. A year of being content, happy, and a year full of laughter and smiles.

What are your words for 2010 and 2011?

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12 Mile Observations

12 miles. You heard that right. This was my longest run ever…and the big peak before I start to taper and prepare for my first half marathon in less than 2 weeks. Due to the holidays and looking at the calendar wrong I was a week off on the schedule so had to miss my 10 mile run and went from 8 to 12mile. I did it and I actually walked less than I did on my last 8 mile run.

So here are some of my observations…some about my running, most about the crazy things I learned watching people drive around.

  1. I can run 12 miles. I can run for 2 hours and 20 min. And when that is done I can come home and cook dinner and survive. I am so proud of me!!!! Love the example I am setting for my daughter, I can’t wait till we are out running together.
  2. It is impossible to find any run in Scottsdale that doesn’t have hills. When I looked at my running profile when I was done…it was 6 miles down and 6 miles up…I managed to keep the elevation change to within 200 ft, better than average, but still climbing hills at 10miles. Tough.
  3. Drivers really shouldn’t text even when stopped. I don’t know how many times people took their foot off the brake while their head was still facing down at their phone. Look up, then release the break.
  4. At about 8 miles I felt like I could run forever, either I was dull to the pain, numb from the outside in, or having a runners high. Even at the times when I had told myself mentally I could walk and get some water I didn’t need to…I just kept running.
  5. Ladies (and gentlemen) should not drive cars with dogs sitting on their lap. I saw one lady driving holding her dog….not sure what kind of reaction time she would of had…not to mention the safety of the dog.
  6. When you run for 2 hours on major streets you are bound to see some crazy stuff. I swear…some girl was running down the sidewalk and then went to sit on the curb then jumped up and got in a car with someone stopping traffic….and then I saw other girl get dropped off on the side of the road and she was in tears, the car drove off. Seriously…it was like watching a soap opera and running– good mind diversions.
  7. Justin Bieber has his purpose in my life. For whatever reason on the toughest hills during my run he comes on and actually motivates me up them.
  8. See point 7…I need to update my shuffle play-list…I find a lot of  my favorite running beats are coming from MB’s play-list. I should add back more Dave…I got one song that I swear lasted a mile, nothing like finishing a song and looking at your GPS and seeing another mile accomplished.
  9. I have a fear of falling into a cactus. They line the sidewalks here. Once in awhile they are poking out over the sidewalk, but many times I see them I think, what if I fall, what if I just collapse right now into that cactus.
  10. Tomorrow I am going to be sore. Sore. Sore. Sore.

If anyone has any play-list suggestions, comment away! Need to revamp before the half.

You can vote everyday!

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2011 has arrived

Just like that.

No bells or whistles. A couple of nice bottles of red. Hanging out with my love and his family, watching Tin Cup.

Then the ball dropped….and it was 1/1/11.

We spent 1/1/11 heading home. We picked up MB from her dad’s and caught our flight back to AZ. Back to the sun…and surprisingly cold.  TB and I had managed to get a friend to pick up Indy and I had begged the kennel to open for us even though they were closed…so we came home to our littlest one, which made us all happy.

A late night run to In-n-Out for the 3 of us and I had to smile. Sitting in In-n-Out, eating, talking, laughing. I could tell that MB and TB felt the same way that I did…we were HOME, and it was good to be HOME.

So now what to do with 2011.

I really don’t know….I am still focused on my goal carry-over from 2010. My first half-marathon is in 2 weeks. 2 weeks! TB hasn’t gone further than 5 miles and I am starting to get worried about him….not that he won’t get it done, but the recovery with so little training. Me, on the other hand, am feeling pretty good. I know it is going to be tough. I know I am going to a walk a little bit here and there…but I am excited for the challenge and I can honestly say I love running. Today as I did 5 miles and conquered the hill that brought me to tears in 2010 I thought…when I am done with my training this will probably be my regular run. A massive mountain climb, 5 miles total, 60 min or so out running. My regular workout- who would of thought.

So while my head is totally focused on that….I know there are some things I want to do better in 2011.

  • I want to do more with photography. I want do play around more and get creative, both in the images and the post processing.
  • I want to continue to cook more, from scratch. Try more new recipes. Continue to put more fruits and veggies on the plates.
  • I want to find a new job. Time for a change. Time for more growth. Time to get energized. (I leave that side of my life off the blog, but those in my real life know that is time for a change)
  • I want to get out and explore AZ more. Try new restaurants. Do more hiking. Explore.
  • Continue to make amazing memories with my lovebugs, strength the bond that has filled my heart in 2010.

That last point is probably the most important and my biggest commitment to 2011. I do that all for my little one. Tonight as we enjoyed a little R&R time in the hot-tub I asked MB what her top 5 things were in 2010.

There was playing with friends, going sledding, playing hide-n-seek, and then she said goofing around with TB.

Really when you think about it, isn’t it really just that simple. Shouldn’t we all be able to review the year for us with similar things.

So my overall promise for the year is that when we sit in the hot tub next year and think about 2011 that MB, TB, and I will have a simple list of fun times with friends and family and US that will consider our best moments of 2011

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Just another day in the ‘hood

So we are just pulling in from picking up MB from camp and me from my run.

We see our neighbors out on the skateboard and so MB runs out to say hi.

Not more than 10 min later we had 3 more neighbors join us and were having a regular block party play-date.

There were skateboards, scooters, hula hoops, jump ropes, double dutch, chalk bubbles…and even some gingerbread cookie decorating.

9 kids in total, 1 dad, 2-4 mom’s depending on who was taking a shower…..and a full 2 hours outside running out the rest of the sugar that was in their system.

I never grew up in a neighborhood like this.

While I have no complaints about my childhood…we had the beach instead of neighbors…I have gotten used to the ‘burbs and am enjoying it. Kids playing in the streets…having so many friends around as easy play-dates, really doesn’t get much better than this.

Oh but wait it does….as I sat outside I realized that this time last year I was rotating inside a mini-van while the kids sled in -10 degree weather. We wouldn’t be outside chilling like this.

So 2 points for the neighborhood and 2 points for warmer weather.

Now off to enjoy the zoo-lights without freezing my butt!

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Monsoons in Arizona

So we have plenty of sun filled days in Arizona. Lots and lots.

However when the rain comes it comes in like a Lion.


I didn’t know what to expect, but I have to say I was really impressed.

After months of months of the same beautiful sunny weather.

TB and I were mesmerized with the first big monsoon headed our way.

Yes we sat outside for over an hour watching the storm approach and the rain come down.

I laughed at us going I can understand why their our storm chasers.

We had seen our share of the lightning storms.

We had heard the stories of the monsoons.

But this was our first experience.

Huge pieces of hail falling from the sky. Causing thousands and thousands of damage to cars all around. Fortunately ours were in the garage.

Just crazy intense rain.

TB thought ahead and moved out our grill so it could get cleaned. Worked wonders.


I always love a good rainstorm, but this was just spectacular.

Monsoon season is done for the year, but looking forward to a more active season next year!

For now bring on more sun and the wonderful fall and winter weather!

Soccer Saturday

MB is just loving her soccer team. I am really happy we decided to ease into it. Her team only meets one hour on Saturday. 40 min of practice and drills and then a 20min game. It is just what she needs to learn the basics, build confidence, and score a few little goals. It also is great for our schedule. With gymnastics, swimming, and girls scouts, I was ready for the full time commitment of 2 practices a week and Saturday games. We are going to have to drop one other sport when we go to that.

This week MB won the sportsmanship award for the week. She was so excited as you can tell from the photo!!!

TB and I were excited too…finally the temps were below 100 degrees. We didn’t get eaten by fire ants watching the practice and our new breathable REI chairs arrived…so when I got up to cheer I didn’t have what can only be summarized as soggy pants. Much to TB’s disappointment he will have to find something else to tease me about…these chairs rock! I am looking forward to the rest of the season which much cooler weather.

I just love this photo too….it took me a while at looking at it to realize what it was. It’s the blue skies. The skies in AZ are so bright and so blue and it is like this almost every day. I love it!!!!! Thinking about the doom and gloom about to hit Syracuse I am so excited to be where we are for the winter. I have already forgotten the miserable heat of August.

Preparing for the winter visitors

We prioritized our house project list and then it was time to start plugging away.

This week has been a whirlwind of multiple furniture shop stops…a little online browsing and I am happy to report 2 successes.

Tomorrow our patio viewing deck furniture arrives along with our new entertainment center. Yeah.

Just in time for our first guests of the season.

I am so happy to finally have moved someplace that everyone wants to come visit. I guess my shining personality wasn’t enough..but the wonderful winters in AZ are bringing people in full force and I am looking forward to another busy season.

Now the next question…do we do the grill install next or finish up the bathroom plumbing. Decisions, decisions.

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