Sunday, May 25, 2014

Neighborhood: Family Farewell Dinner

We had our penultimate dinner in AZ with all the family tonight.

Today's PhotoADay theme is neighborhood; the grandparents on both sides, and two of my sisters in law all have houses in the same neighborhood, so this picture represents the theme pretty well.

And it's just nice to see all the grandkids together!

Saturday, May 24, 2014


We happened to be at beautiful Riverview Park as the sun was setting today and since it was gorgeous and I already had a picture of the day's sunrise, I thought I'd snap and share a pic of the sunset.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:
Sunrise, 5:23 a.m.

Now I'm going back to bed.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Botswana in Arizona

A group of us went out to the movies here in AZ for my brother in law's birthday. Before the movie started, we were seated, hanging out, eating our popcorn, talking and watching the pre-movie programming -- quizzes, Did You Knows?, behind the scenes, and a music video from a new Norwegian R&B duo, Nico and Vinz, for their hit single "Am I Wrong."

I nearly choked on my popcorn when images of pure, 100% Botswana unfolded on the big screen to the music. I really couldn't believe it!

I said incredulously to my sister in law, "That's Botswana!!" But I figured there was no way it was actually filmed in Botswana, so maybe it was neighboring South Africa?

Still, from the landscape, to the wire cars the boys are playing with (I have one, a souvenir), to the combi!!!! to the triangular red, white and blue pedestrian crossing sign -- featuring a silhouetted man wearing a wide-brimmed hat -- to the San bushmen!!! to the bus rank (station), to Victoria Falls, and the Delta ---- it was all so unmistakably Botswana!

I looked it up on my phone, and holy moly, it WAS filmed in Botswana!

So if you were ever wondering what the past three years of my life looked like, check out this video, it pretty well sums it up:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Waiting II

Today's PhotoADay theme is "Free."

Nothing is free, so I am going to take this as a free day to post a photo of my choosing :)

The dogs were big news, but the other pic I was tempted to post May 20, PhotoADay theme "Waiting":

Nile and I waiting for our food at my FAVORITE Mexican restaurant, Tia Rosa. Crab enchiladas all the way, baby!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Consider this your PhotoADay themed postcard from Arizona. "Wish you were here!"

A business trip brought my Dad to Arizona, so we were fortunate enough to visit with him one more time before we see him again in Switzerland!

We went to the exclusive Scottsdale restaurant, Chick-fil-A :) It was perfect for letting the girls play while we visited.

Thanks for the fun, love you Dad!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


The PhotoADay theme for May 20 is "Waiting."

Our dogs Boludo and Mr. Chips are waiting for us to join them in Switzerland. They made it there this morning and look to be in good hands! We changed our arrival date and can't wait to get there next week!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Something I Drew

The theme for May 18 is Something I Drew.

This picture was neither taken May 18 (it was taken on Thursday, May 15), nor is it something I drew, but nonetheless.

Nile drew our portraits on our respective hands. I particularly like how she captured our hair. Pretty accurate.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Spy

The PhotoADay theme for May 13 is "I Spy." And this is a pic I did take on May 13.

I Spy .......... something not available anywhere but in the U.S. .......... And Mexico.

A good Mexican restaurant!!!!!

Tacos Jalisco of Scottsdale came highly recommended by a classmate of Neil's in his New Mexico workshop upon said classmate hearing that Neil is from AZ.

It wasn't quite what I expected (I pictured something not next to a laundromat and "The Closing Soon Saloon"), but it was good!

I'm filling up on all the Mexican food I can before heading out, because funny enough, the rest of the world just does not do Mexican food like we do! ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Nile made this in Primary with the help of her teacher, but signed it herself.

Cute, sad, funny, all in one!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

In The Garden

In the Garden (yard) or not -- a tea party warrants a post!

My sister in law Becky hosted a tea party for 12 ladies in my honor on Saturday, May 10.

The front entry.

Becky on the right

My sister in law Kristin! The wife of my husband's identical twin.

The whole group! I need this pic in color, everyone looked gorgeous and colorful, like a bouquet of flowers.

Cucumber sandwiches, egg salad, macarons -- we had it all.

Becky's house is the perfect setting for a tea party!

My BYU-H roommate, Krystal, is seated to my right! Beside her is my sister in law, Lisa, and to my other side is my mother in law, Fran, and my friend Kastle, the wife of Neil's former roommate, and our friend Leann!

Yes, another pic of me :) A rare moment when I am on this side of the camera!

Friday, May 9, 2014


Today's PhotoADay theme is "Favorite."

Enough said!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

T-Minus 7 Days

We are one week out from boarding a plane to our new home in Switzerland. Lots to do before then!

The biggest thing weighing on me is shipping our pets. It is becoming complicated and very stressful as it always seems to. Not to mention costly. So trying to iron out all of the logistics in a race against time. Nightmare is an understatement. Why is it always like this? Next time (?) I will let a professional pet shipper handle all of this, just tell me where to sign!

Today's PhotoADay theme is "Blue" which is appropriate because I've been blue all day. I wish an international move meant just showing up, but there are so many details, and then the realization that you are LEAVING your home and family, and all the good times to be had here in the States. Ups and downs.

I thought about "Blue" all day and really came up with nothing, but I do have a favorite little item right now, a little jewelry dish I bought at the beginning of home leave. I have subsequently taken it in my carryon for each leg of this trip, because it is so handy to have a place to drop my earrings and accessories at the end of the day. Or the odd button that's popped off the girls' clothes.

I think Neil will appreciate me using it. Sure, it's not putting things away right away, but it still has a bit of the "a place for everything ..." spirit to it. I love it. And it's blue (and white)!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Catch Up

Come on, we knew every day was a bit ambitious! But I DID at least take pics every day, so I back-posted the past four days.

Today's PhotoADay theme is "Taken From Above."

At this moment I'm sitting outside at my in-laws' house in Mesa, AZ, the setting sun warming my back, hanging out with my two dogs -- yes, my dogs, shipped here from Botswana -- just enjoying life!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Nile found an egg in the backyard, laid in the grass by one of Grandma and Papa G's eight chickens.

She decided we needed to use it to bake a cake!

So we put on our aprons and she donned her toque (I came across that word for the very first time in one of my first weeks copy editing at Gannett and had to look it up! I can see it is not a very useful word to know.) and we went into the kitchen.

We ended up making two individual-size apple crumbles (sorry Nile, no eggs) from one apple, a bunch of oats, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla, and a lot of butter!

Today's PhotoADay theme is "From Down Low." We'll, that didn't happen.

But this is Nile in her chef gear, blowing kisses to her other Grandma in VA!

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's 4PM, Do You Know Where Your Baby Is?

Today's PhotoADay May theme is "4PM."

I missed that exact time, but got this pic of Pilar watching TV, chillaxing, at 6:05 p.m. Too funny!

Not sure what exactly we were doing at 4:00 p.m., but I think I was at an appointment with my sister-in-law, Becky.

The girls and I are filling our days with appointments before we head off; this morning Nile had her very first dentist appointment and I'm happy to report she has no cavities, her front tooth where she hit it in a fall from her scooter a few months ago was X-rayed and is OK, and she doesn't have to stop sucking her thumb till she's 5 1/2! Good news all around!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Little Man

Baby Logan is just the cutest thing ever. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his aunt!

Don't you agree?

Today's PhotoADay theme is "Us."

Nearly the whole family got together for dinner (taco salad!) and dessert (ice cream sundaes!) tonight. So all of US were together.

This pic of Logan -- in the moustache shirt I got for him in Botswana, made by Sticky Fudge (most adorable kids' clothing!) in South Africa, plus his whipped cream-from-a-spoon moustache and dimples -- was the cutest!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Today's PhotoADay theme is "Collection."

Not sure how to interpret that, so here is a collection ... of photos of the girls today!

Nile with a bouquet (a collection?) of grass. I was laying out in the backyard and she wanted to be in her swimsuit, too.

Pilar swimming with Papa G!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dots and a Movie

Today's PhotoADay May theme is "Snack".

I went out to dinner and a movie with my sisters in law Lisa and Becky and a bunch of their girl friends. Sushi at Blue Wasabi (me, when the food came out: "Um ... Why is the wasabi blue? Ohhhhhh I get it!") and "The Other Woman" at the theater. Cute chick flick-y movie. Glad I've kept a free movie pass in my wallet for the past two years -- came in handy!

Being the sugar fiend that I am, I got one of my favorite movie theater snacks, DOTS!!!! Love 'em, especially the pink and red ones.

Good times in the U.S.A.!

In other news, I figured out a way to upload and post pics using my phone and the iPad. PhotoADay May is back on track!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

PhotoADay May: It All Begins With J


The PhotoADay theme for today, May 1 2014, is ...

"Begins With J"

It was too dark out when I got around to it to get my planned image of the girls Jumping on the trampoline in Grandma and Papa G's backyard here in Mesa, AZ.

So instead I give you a sweet image of the girls, ready for bed in their matching jammies.

These were a gift from Grandma and Papa G when we visited at Christmastime and they treated all 10 grandkids (and parents) to a ride on the Polar Express train. Wonderful memories!

I realize this PhotoADay thing may be better suited to those (not me!) with photography aspirations or at least an iPhone with filters and whatnot, but this will at least get me on here every day with an illustrated post, which I think -- I think -- is better than nothing.