Saturday, May 28, 2011

That's Life

We had such a great trip I was so sad to leave. I know we can't live with our parents forever but if we could I would definitely do it. I loved having people around all the time to talk with, watch movies with, or even run errands with. I miss having family close by and I miss all our friends.

We are back in New Mexico and things have been busy. I have to admit...I am not too fond of ABQ. Maybe you have gotten the vibe before but now I am admitting it. I know I just need to give it some time. I know it was the right decision to move here I am just having trouble adjusting to a new place. I don't like the woods. It is lonely, and there are tons of bugs. Plus we have 3 lizards living in the water fall in our backyard. Kind of creepy, don't worry they are harmless, but the kids love them. I still haven't really met any mom friends so that is hard too. We did join a playgroup so hopefully something good will come from that.

We are looking for a new house to rent but the housing market here is awful. The realtor of our current house is being ridiculous. She came into my house while we were gone and changed all my furniture, made Brandon take down our family pictures, and even made him scrub and clean parts of the house that weren't even clean when we moved in. I hate feeling like I am living in a prison. I feel like we can't live here. We can't decorate, we can't make messes, we can't even have a picture of Christ in our house. Plus we live at least 30 min away from everything. It is getting old having drive an hour every day if we want to do something. The houses we have looked at are all tiny and ones that we like are way overpriced (like $2000/month in rent). It is ridiculous and frustrating. I feel like I have looked at 100 houses in the last week and none of them seem to be working out. I guess I just need to keep at it. I just wish our house in Mesa would sell so we would have some money to put down on another house here. Unfortunately there hasn't been much interest. I loved that house. It was so nice compared to what I have seen here, I can't imagine why no one is interested in it.

We are also looking for a new car. After our road trip we have realized that our car is small and cramped and we are in need of an upgrade. Plus when it snows here we are going to need something to handle the weather. I feel like there are so many changes going on I am not myself and I feel crabby and unhappy which is not good for our family. I know this is a somber post, I think I just needed to get my feelings out so I can move forward.

On a happier note here are some fun pictures from our last week in AZ. Hopefully we will be able to make some great memories here soon.

Jackson pretending to be Harry Potter.

Playing in the sprinklers

Lounging by the pool
Jackson sporting his Schwab hat and eating a smoothie pop.
climbing on the waterfall, thanks for the cute outfit Grandma Miller

Lots of swimming

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

OH SNAP the Contest has begun

Everyone, please please please go and vote for me for the Oh Snap contest to win tickets to the conference. The voting ends on Wed at midnight so go and vote now. I am #8.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Our Week in AZ

We have been having a blast this week in AZ. I love AZ so much and really miss it. I miss the people, I miss the sunshine, I miss the clean roads. I am getting used to ABQ but I really do miss AZ. We have been hanging by the pool, shopping and watching movies with my SIL and MIL and going to the zoo. Ashley was visiting this week from DC so it was really nice to hang with her as well. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Mid 80s to early 90s which is unherd of at this time of the year, not too hot ...just right.

Here are some pictures from our trip so far.

Real pioneer women chopping wood in dresses, lol.

Bon fires by the pool.

Happy 17th birthday Cam.

Liz sporting Grandpa's glasses.
Look at the giraffes mommy.
Jackson acting grumpy. Being 3 sure is tough.

Getting their shoes shined with Aunt Ashley.

A ride on a dragon.

Playing on the splash pad.

The only downfall is Brandon is all alone at home and we are really missing him. The kids only got to see him for a day and they keep asking "where is daddy"? Then they say, "he's at work". They are so cute. They are really going to miss Grandma and Grandpa who they love hugging, kissing, and getting tickled by. It is just so nice to be around family.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chairman's in Hawaii

Who would ever turn down a free trip to Hawaii? Well not us that is for sure. Brandon was so amazing at his job last year that his company invited him to a conference on The Big Island. Chairman's is held every year at Schwab to honor those employees who performed in the top 1% in their area. Isn't that awesome? I am so proud. Honestly he mentioned it to me a few months ago but said he probably wouldn't get it and then to my surprise one afternoon he calls me and tells me that he got it and we have a fully paid trip to Hawaii in April. So we packed up our cramped car and drove to AZ to drop the kids off at Brandon's parent's house before heading to the Big Island for 5 days of paid for fun in the sun. And since we haven't taken a vacation in like 4 years we decided to extend our stay for an extra 4 days.

Schwab set everyone up in an incredible hotel, The Fairmount Orchid in Kona. It was beautiful. Right on the beach with a great cove for snorkeling, fully stocked and paid for mini bar, and a stipend for any food that wasn't covered during our stay. Brandon had to work on Sat morning, and all day Sun but the rest of the time he was free to hang with me. We met some great people and there was a party every night with live bands, drinks, food, and the smell of the ocean. I even did yoga by the seashore, talk about relaxing.
We laid on the beach, played volleyball, and even went on a catamaran boat for some snorkeling and sailing.
Brandon even bought me a oceanside message for mother's day while we were there.
We also got to hear from the creators of Planet Earth on how they made the movie and what they enjoyed most about it. It was incredible to hear their stories and see the behind the scenes of such a great documentary. Seriously, best vacation ever.

Then after the conference we switched hotels (the first one was a little pricey for us) but the beach was even better at the second hotel (Waikoloa Beach Resort and Spa).
We took the next 4 days to explore the island. We went to downtown Kona for some shopping and sight seeing, and even attended a luau. Then on Thur we took a tour around the island and hit all the great sights. We saw Rainbow falls which was really flowing with water because it had been raining the previous days.
Then we went to the zen gardens for lunch and the Volcanos National Park where we walked through a lava tub, saw a giant smoking crater, and enjoyed the beautiful rainforest.
Next we went to a macademian nut farm for dinner where I tried about 12 kinds of mac nuts and got to crack a nut. We also tried apple bananas and strawberry guavas. They were so fresh and tasty.

We finished our tour at the lava fields. We stopped in this great local town with shacks for a bar and ice cream stand. It was awesome to be around so many of the locals and talk about life on the island. I even tried their local drink Kava which is suppose to be a natural healing drink made from the roots of the awa plant. Honestly it tastes like muddy water and didn't feel any effects. Then we made the treck out on the lava fields in search of some lava flowing action. Unfortunately no lava was flowing but about a month ago there was spiting lava everywhere so I guess we missed it by a few weeks. We did collect some really neat lava rocks on fresh lava (only about 3 months old) with gold and blue speckles in it. We left on our tour at 10am and didn't get back to the hotel until 11pm so it was a long day but full of interesting places. The only annoying thing was this tour guide from another group that kept making us move for our pictures. He was terrified of us falling into the water. Seriously we weren't even close to touching the water and I didn't know that the tour provided a babysitter for people in their 20s.
Friday was the relax day, we got some sun on the beach and bought gifts for our family before catching the red eye home to get back to AZ at 7:30am.
It was a great trip and kind of an early honeymoon gift. It was so nice to spend time alone with Brandon knowing the babies were well taken care of by Grandma and Grandpa. I don't think we will be attending Chairman's again next year with Brandon's new position but I told him he has about 5 years before he has to take me back (we were in Hawaii 5 years ago for our honeymoon).

I think Jackson is ready to join us next time.