Monday, July 30, 2012

Mom & Dad R Visit!

We've had a busy couple of weeks around here and I haven't had time to blog in a while! Sean's parents, or Mason's Grandma and Granddad, visited us a couple weeks ago and it was so wonderful to see them. Mason is at such a fun age and we're happy they got to see him before he moves into full-on toddlerhood. We all had fun keeping up with him during the day, and enjoyed rewarding ourselves with socializing, eating and drinking once he was asleep.

Seattle is in a pretty constant state of dreary, so we didn't want to schedule too many activities other than to allow ample time for them to enjoy good ol' sunny and hot Dallas. We stayed just busy enough with a couple of lunches out, a visit to the 6th Floor Museum (where JFK was shot), and fun shopping (mostly for Mason) while they were here. A bulk of the time was spent hanging out as a family and playing with Mason at home. We enjoyed each others company every evening with a nice meal in, and had my parents over one night for a fun party that Sean and I were the first to retire from!

Seattle has become one of my favorite cities, especially since they are there, and we're already thinking about when we can visit them next. We had a great visit and I know Mason loved spending quality time with his Grandma and Granddad. We all love you and can't wait to see you again!

Mason and his grandparents

Running around the grassy knoll with Daddy while the rest of us finished the tour

Mason & Mommy in Dallas. Thought the shadows in the middle picture turned out cool. The far right has the 'x' in the road where JFK was shot.
Left picture is the angle the shooter had (this was taken from 7th floor - 6th floor spot is blocked off). Right picture is Old Red Museum in Dallas.

Lunch at El Fenix Downtown
Yay for popsicles! 

Reading his 1st year photo book with Granddad. He loves looking at his pictures and pointing out everything/everyone he recognizes.

Happy Hour!

Hazel loves Mom & Dad R. She's happy and smiling when they arrive (on left), and sad to see them go (on right).

Mason and I took a road trip last weekend to visit my brother in Oklahoma, and are leaving again tomorrow to meet up with my parents, my sister and her family, and my aunt at a house on Lake LBJ for a couple of days. We're staying busy and loving every second of it! I'll of course update the blog on all of this!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Splash of Color

A couple of weekends ago we decided to change the color of our front door and are really happy with how it turned out! When we finished our remodel/addition two years ago, we intentionally left the wooden door in its natural state. We like the natural look and thought it went well with our house. But after two years of getting the direct afternoon sun, it was starting to crack a bit and we realized that we'll need to paint it every couple years to keep it fresh. Sean worked on it over a weekend while I kept Mason at bay. We went with a geranium color (although it looks red in the photos), and are pleased with how it looks next to the grays of our house. Some before/after pics are below (I took the before pics at a bad time of day - excuse the shadows).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Arizona On My Mind

About two weeks ago we decided to take a little vacation to Arizona over the July 4th holiday. We aren't typically spur-of-the-moment type people, but Sean was taking some time off work, we had some family and friends we wanted to see, we could use miles to get there, and we found a great deal on a resort so we couldn't pass up the opportunity! We may be some of the only fools that leave one hot climate in the summer for an even hotter one, but we had a great time and are so glad we did it!

The first two nights we stayed with our friends Jason and Stefanie Swiergol (side note: Sean and Jason have known each other since they were kids in Tucson and I know Stefanie from work. They lived in Dallas for a while and we introduced them!). They have two boys and have another little boy on the way. Mason is close in age to their son Jack so it was an extra bonus for him having a buddy to play with!

Our flight arrived Tuesday morning and the Swiergol's were working so we amused ourselves by driving around some of the neighborhoods (while Mason caught a nap in the car), grabbing lunch at Sean's all-time favorite Mexican food restaurant, Tee Pee, and taking Mason to The Children's Museum of Phoenix. This was an awesome, completely hands-on museum and he had a blast. Stef had arranged for a sitter that evening, so after we settled in and got Mason acclimated to his new digs, we put him down and headed to dinner at an excellent restaurant called Rokerij. The food and conversation was amazing and it was great to catch up baby-free!

Children's Museum
The next morning was the 4th and we started the day with a long walk along the canal behind their home, and ended at a super cute and delicious breakfast place called La Grande Orange (or LGO if you're a local). On our way back we stopped at a playground to let the boys run around then headed back to their home for the remainder of the day. Stef had invited her family and one of Sean's childhood buddies (the original Mason) and his family over for a 4th of July cook-out. It was an excellent day and we appreciate all the Swiergol's did for us while we were there!
4th of July fun 

Stef and Jason Swiergol - thanks for hosting us!

Before we checked in to the Arizona Biltmore on Thursday, we went to Taliesin West for a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home. Besides my father-in-law, he is our favorite architect and it was absolutely euphoric for me to get to see one of his homes from the outside in. It was important to us that Mason also experience this, so we came armed with snacks and were able to take turns moving him away from the tour group if he got too noisy. After checking in the hotel we rewarded Mason for his good behavior with a trip to the pool and the first of many rides down a 92 foot water slide. Then we cleaned up and headed to Sean's sister's house for dinner. This was the first time Mason met his cousins, Anna (8) and Ella (6), and his Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Dan. We were amping him up about meeting everyone and when we arrived he walked up to the door with confidence, knocked, walked in and went straight to playing with the girls as if he's seen them every day of his life. It was adorable and I'm so happy he finally got to meet them.
Taliesin West

Taliesin West (no cameras allowed inside)

Mason being a trooper at Taliesin. First in his stroller, photo with Mom at the end, then free to run!
At the Schnur's. Top: Ella, Anna, Mason. Middle: Jen and Sean. Bottom: Mason and Anna

Friday could probably go on my top 10 list of best days ever. Our room had a great little patio that opened up to an expansive garden and green lawn that Mason could play on. We ordered room service for breakfast and sat on the patio to eat, then Mason played with his toys and ran around on the lawn while we soaked in the refreshing morning air. After breakfast we put Mason in his stroller and went on a walk to explore the beautiful 40 acres of gardens, swimming pools and iconic architecture (Frank Lloyd Wright mentored the architect during his design of the resort). We stumbled upon a great playground that Mason played at for a while, then geared up for another round at the pool. We all played hard (between Sean and I we probably took Mason down the huge slide 15 times), then grabbed a drink at the swim up bar (water with lemon for Mason) before sitting at a pool side table for lunch. While Mason took a lengthy nap that afternoon, Sean played a round of golf and I relaxed on the patio before catching a little snooze myself. Mason was still napping when Sean returned, and I had a pedicure to get to at the amazing resort spa, so Sean also got to take a nap and then we all met up at the pool again once he woke. We hired a sitter for the evening so that Sean and I could have a date night and are so glad we made that choice. The sitter service the hotel recommended had a four hour minimum, which gave us plenty of time for drinks at the bar, a wonderful meal that ended with cotton candy (how fun is that?), and after-dinner drinks by a relaxing fountain. Mason's crib was next to the bed and my day wrapped up by sleeping between my two favorite people. Pure bliss.
Having fun on property

Our gorgeous resort. Top left is what our patio opened to. Middle left is from the golf course. Bottom left is the center of the resort. Right is date night!

Lunching, playing and resting by the pool
The next morning we grabbed a bite for breakfast at a casual spot on property, and then took a quick trip to the pool before packing up for the airport to head home. Our flight was not so great - 8 hours total due to wind at DFW - and we got home at 11:00 pm (as opposed to the scheduled 5:00), but it was all worth it and we're slowly getting back to a normal schedule now.

I already want to go back and highly recommend that resort and all of our restaurant choices to anyone who wants to check out the Phoenix area. Special thanks to my sister and her family for taking care of Hazel while we were gone!
Our desert baby

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sean

They say 40 is considered over the hill, but with people living to 100, I'd say Sean, at 35, is not even close to the top of the hill. He is so healthy, youthful, fun and full of life. He has achieved so much in his life, yet has so many more exciting places to go. I am so proud to be my husband's wife, and couldn't love him more. Mason is well on his way to being just like Sean and nothing makes me happier. Happy 35th Birthday, Sean. Mason and I love you so very much.

Gifts from Mason and me

"Here you go Daddy!"

He loves handing out gifts, can't you tell?!?

Girls out to dinner to celebrate: Shelly, Alice Dorrie and Jennifer

The boys after our yummy meal: Pete, Clay, Sean and Brandon

Picnic Table

As promised, here are pictures of the adorable picnic table Sean made for Mason. Stay tuned for pictures of Mason actually sitting at it. I still get a little nervous when he climbs in and need both hands ready so I never have a camera with me when he uses it! I think it looks fantastic and am loving all the cool things Sean has been making lately!