Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear Phoenix, You Are So Beautiful!

Patrick and I just returned from a much needed vacation to Phoenix, where most of my family lives. It was almost 5 days of beautiful sunny weather and fun times spent with family (and quality do-nothing time).

We flew in on Thursday and did a whole bunch of nothing. We watched movies and spent the day with my mom, Philip, and my dad when he got home from work.

On Friday, we went shopping with my mom and Philip and got the ingredients for the amazing feast that Patrick and I prepared with the help of the fam. We made shrimp summer rolls as an appetizer, and Patrick made a pork dumpling soup that was absolutely delicious. We ate entirely too much that night! :)

Saturday, we went to the open house for the new water treatment plant where Jeremiah is the Superintendent. It's a really nice facility. We went with my dad and my grandparents, Grandpa Jones and Verla. It's so strange to see my grandpa aging. He's 90 years old now, but when I think of Grandpa Jones, I think of an ornery old fart who is a gruff teddy bear, full of life. In my mind, my grandpas will always be around, since they always have been. I've had 7 grandmas, so it really is strange to see my grandpas getting oooolllldddd.

After the open house, we went on a double-date with my brother, Jonathan, and his wife, Ashlee. We went bowling and ate pizza. I was bowling left-handed quite a bit to be nice to my right arm (old injury from July), and still bowled mostly over 100. Not too shabby! Patrick and Jonathan were the star bowlers of the night, and Ashlee consistently kicked my butt, too.

That night, we hung out with Jeremiah and his kids, then stayed up way too late talking with Jeremiah and Christy. They were sweet enough to stay up past their normal bedtime to hang out with us. Unfortunately, their daughter got sick that night, so they didn't get much sleep.

Sunday was more family time. Jonathan's family came over to my parents' house for dinner, and it is always fun to spend time with them. Grandpa Mecham came over, too. I'm glad we got to see him on this trip. My mom's friend, Susan, came over for dinner, too, and she let Patrick take her Harley for a ride. I loved the grin on his face when he came back in the house. I could tell he needed and appreciated that little bit of therapy.

Today, we spent the morning hanging out at my parents' house. We spent some good time sitting on the porch swing soaking in the sun. It felt so amazing to have some warmth, knowing we'd be coming back to nasty freezing temperatures in a matter of hours. We also had sushi for lunch. My dad met us at the restaurant, and we ate again, entirely too much. It was so good!

My friend, Jenny, picked us up and took us to the airport. I try to visit her when we go down to Phoenix, so even though it was a short visit, it was entertaining and quite nice. That girl can talk!

And it was 28˚ when we arrived in Salt Lake City. Yuck.

We're contemplating moving down to Phoenix. Year round motorcycle and softball weather is very appealing.

Thanks for the great visit, my wonderful family!!! I love you all, and I love seeing how much your kids have grown.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back to my roots

Ah, the new year...

Weight to lose, debt to eliminate, trips to go on, money to make, etc., etc. It is a little bit overwhelming to think about all that I would like to do this year. And all that Patrick would like to do. And of course there is also the list of things we want to do together.

So, I will return to my roots and find comfort in food. :) I found some great lists of recipes that are healthy (a lot of them, anyway), and quite affordable.

Did you know baking was so sexy? :)

I really like the idea of getting a meal going in my crock pot before I go to work and voila!, dinner is ready when I get home. And I love the idea of making great recipes, freezing servings, and having meals ready to be heated up and devoured at any given time. Do you know how many unnecessary trips to Taco Bell, McDonalds, the grocery store, and the number of frozen pizzas we eat will be vastly reduced?!?!

This would be a great transition to make in our kitchen at home. It will save us time and money, and help us trim our waistlines too! Apparently one of our Christmas gifts was an extra inch or so in the belly-area. I'm not so happy about that, and would love to exchange it for a better gift...