Updates, Canyons, Golf and Slowing Down to Enjoy Life!

Welcome. It’s been awhile hasn’t it? Eh….. Sometimes you just get caught up living life! These past few weeks have been all over the place with sick kids, getting our oldest out of his cast and nursing him back to walking, to deciding on a last minute vacation with my parents. I often have parts of blogs lined up and I slowly put them together as time allows me and/or while my thoughts come together. Lately I have been through stages where I find myself just wanting to kick out a post just for the sake of looking consistent. In reality that is not really what I want to do. I mean, I want to be consistent with the material but I would much rather there be truth and meaning with an experience to share. So I stepped back a bit and haven’t worried about it too much. Even after coming back from our last minute vacation I started getting the bug of feeling like “I need” to get it going again. There is truth to that but honestly, I am not trying to impress anybody. I remind myself that this blog is to share experiences of everyday life, goals, struggles and some days just finding the strength to get out of bed. That being said, I have spent the last week trying to put my head on straight and get back to normal life. A lot of times that takes major effort! Take today for example. Cadel has been asking me to make some tea since yesterday. He asked me again today and I finally said yes and got to it. As I was preparing everything I found myself rinsing off the tea bags. Yes, you read that correct. I was rinsing tea bags. This is life some days.

Ok, on with the show. Are you wondering what’s going on at the reno house? Well, a lot is happening but nothing really fun and photo worthy to share. Unless of course you like photos of walls ready to be taped and floated… I didn’t think so. Top floor is ready to be taped and floated across the board. And we went off the main plan for a little bit, which I really hate doing, but I know we will be glad we did in the end. We have been quote shopping and got a pretty good deal from a company we feel really good about to come in and tape, float and texture all the walls that have paneling. So that is basically the whole dang house. No sense in having them come out twice and deal with the dust and mess in two sittings so we decided to prep and demo the remaining walls with paneling on the first floor and get them ready to roll as well. We have gotten a little luckier as some of the other rooms with panel have come off a lot nicer and with less damage to the sheetrock so that’s a plus. And the benefit of it all, aside from a mess all at once, is we will have fresh walls to paint as time allows along the way. We will be the ones painting the house. Don’t worry, we have a lot of steady hands in the family when it comes to painting. Me, I am not the best so I am not allowed to do cut-ins. LOL. Excited to get this done so we can jump back to polishing off the upstairs bath and then move on to the kitchen. Floor and shower tiles have been picked as well as vanity. I still need to go pick out the lighting, fixtures and all the hardware. It is all coming along nicely!

So what’s the last minute vacation business?! Well, my parents had been planning a trip to the Grand Canyon for the last six months or so and I had been chatting with my mom about the trip. Four days before they were scheduled to leave, I got a wild hair and thought, “Hey, what if we tagged along?” Well, I put my cart before my horse without really planning it out. My father will not fly so that means they were road trippin it. We have a five year old and a one year old so the thought of it sounded like a nightmare. I assumed we would book some flights, meet them out there, Chad would fly back early for work and we would only brave the road one way. Yeah…. That wasn’t going to happen as the flight costs last minute were outrageous. So I decided to bite the bullet and ride with them. I last minute threw things in a suitcase and off we were. I literally just threw random stuff in a suitcase and hoped we didn’t look like fools when we got there. I had tickets to see Impractical Jokers with a friend of mine the night before leaving and I wasn’t going to miss that so I didn’t have time to really get things together nicely.

Ok, so the drive wasn’t that bad BUT I would never do it again. At least not while the kiddos are so young. They did exceptionally well considering but it is a lot to ask of them. We got to experience all four seasons with a little bit of snow flurries too while driving! It was really cold in Arizona. And both kiddos ended up getting a stomach bug on the latter half of the week. Lex was sick on our way to Mesa, Arizona and Cadel was sick on our way to San Antonio. Vomit galore but thankfully it was just a twenty-four hour thing for each of them.

If you have not visited the Grand Canyon, I highly suggest you do! I never really had it on my bucket list or anything but it was so beautiful! It really puts into perspective just how small we are in comparison to our world. We visited the West Rim which included the area where the Skywalk is located. It’s on the Haulapai Reservation. Their tour is expensive, around $75 person, but you don’t visit the Grand Canyon every day and that includes your ticket for the Skywalk. In case you are not familiar with the Skywalk, it’s the glass sidewalk that extends out in a horseshoe shape over a section of the canyon. It’s a great experience. I don’t know if I would pay to do it again but I was happy to pay and experience it once. Here are some photos of the Skywalk and some photos of that particular stop on the tour. (Side note, you cannot bring anything with you on the Skywalk, that includes phones or cameras. They have photographers on hand to take photos that you can purchase. Yeah, not a cheap option but fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat.)Image-18410928
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Lex exploring new styles.

The last stop on the tour, there are three, is really something special. It was definitely my favorite part of the day. It’s called Guano Point. It was absolutely breathtaking. This spot had two big areas you could hike up and get different views and it was nothing short of awesome. There were a lot of people constantly exploring but often times you would find yourself alone with no one around. In those moments, it was a quiet like I had never before experienced. It gets so still and tranquil that it literally speaks to your soul. And that is no exaggeration. Here are some photos of Guano Point. I decided not to bring my big boy camera as it was one more thing to carry but it was quite hard to jack up such beauty on a camera phone or my point and shoot.IMG_4245
IMG_4249IMG_0628IMG_4267IMG_4284IMG_4276Our next stop after the Grand Canyon was Mesa, Arizona which is smaller city right outside of Phoenix. When my Dad mentioned visiting the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction showroom that quickly made me realize we would be visiting Scottsdale! Cadel has a large Fathead (giant wall photo) of the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Golf Course at the famous hole #16. He always asks about going there and now the opportunity presented itself rather quickly. I don’t golf so I couldn’t take him to play a round and Chad was not with us so I scrambled to see if I could get him a private lesson while we were in town. A number of phone calls and emails later I was able to get it setup! But before doing the golf thing we stopped at the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction Showroom. They were not having any auctions that week so the showroom was the best we could do. Here are a few photos. Didn’t take too many photos here because cars really aren’t my thing. 😉IMG_4292
IMG_0671IMG_0667After that we hauled it down TPC Scottsdale. Cadel’s coach was named Rob Rashell. He was fantastic. A great coach that really gave him his full attention and most importantly made sure he had an enjoyable experience. If you are golf enthusiast and you are ever in town, I suggest you book a lesson with him. He does lessons with people of all ages, pro and amateur. Here are a few photos of his lesson.
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IMG_4319IMG_4313IMG_4322And last but not least, Rob was nice enough to drive Cadel out to hole #16 so he could see it for himself! This was the cherry on top for him. We couldn’t go to the exact spot the photo was taken as there were people currently on the course but we were able to grab a quick photo and soak up the experience. Next time we visit it will be with Chad and he will be able to actually take him golfing on the course.IMG_0677

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Cadel with his Fathead of The Stadium Course that he got a couple of years ago.

Rob also sent us this really cool learning video for Cadel to have. He asked Cadel which golfers he liked and first out of his mouth was Jordan Spieth. Cadel is a lefty so he was able to flip his swing around via his program and give us a side by side instructional video of what Cadel’s swing looks like next to Jordan Spieth’s.Cadel_1
Cadel_2Cadel_3It was the cutest thing seeing his little body lined up so well to that of Jordan’s. It also made Mommy and Daddy super proud! Keep note y’all, we by no means force him to do this. I don’t golf. I rarely even make contact with the ball when I try. Chad would golf for fun in the past but it was nothing he did daily. When we saw that Cadel had a true interest in golf, Chad had to pull his dusty clubs out of storage which had been in there for years. This is purely him enjoying something he loves. We just do our best to encourage him and give him the tools he needs to grow.

All and all, it was a great trip and I am so glad my friends and hubby talked me into going. The boys got quality time with grandma and grandpa and we all got to experience one of God’s beautiful creations together. We of course missed Daddy very much and we were so happy to see him after a solid week away. He greeted us with open arms and thoughtful welcome home balloons.IMG_4345
Chad of course used the time while we were away to work on things around the house after work. When we turned down our street on the way home Cadel said, “I am so excited to see Daddy and the tile floor!” This made me laugh quite a bit! Our poor boy has only known a life of constant home renovations. It was rather sweet though and he was pleased with both the floor and Daddy’s hugs!

This week we are finally getting back into the grove of everyday life around here and continuing work at the reno house. I am hoping to get back to blogging more regularly but I gotta take life as it comes at me. Live first, blog about it later. 😉

Until next time…. PEACE In, Grace OUT!

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