Day Date to the West Rim

Yesterday Derek & I had a little day date to go visit the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. We loved visiting the South Rim over Thanksgiving as a family, but we thought it would be fun to see it one more time just the two of us! Living in Las Vegas has a lot of perks, and the proximity to so many amazing sights is definitely one of them! The West Rim is a 2.5 hour drive from our house. We got Chick-fil-a for breakfast on the way there & stopped for lunch at Chick-fil-a on the way home, and we didn't feel one bit bad about it, ha! We don't have a CFA near our house, but there is one on our way out of Las Vegas, so it's a must for us every time we travel. ;)  We had such a fun day!!!

The South & North Rims are part of the National Park Systems, and there were handrails/clearly marked off areas to keep you away from the edge. The West Rim is on Native American land, so it was a completely different experience. First and foremost, there were NO RAILS ANYWHERE!!!! Here is Derek's favorite picture of the whole day when we first walked off the bus and I realized this:

And here's a couple other pictures from the opposite direction of where I'm standing in the above picture so you can see what I'm talking about--there is nothing keeping anyone from the edge. I kept thinking all it would take is someone bumping you & that would be it! I probably yelled at Derek 1.5 jillion times to stop or be careful or something else similar. There were all these people literally right on the edge, and all I could think was: "Where are their mothers to tell them to STOP IT?!"

One of the "cool" parts of the West Rim is they have a SkyWalk, which is glass walkway that goes out over the canyon so you can see straight down. I was excited/nervous to do this, but we found it pretty underwhelming in person. So we ended up skipping it altogether. Compared to the National Park version of the Grand Canyon, the West Rim seems like a bit of a tourist trap. Since Derek is military, the National Parks are free for us. The West Rim was $50 per person, then the SkyWalk is an additional $20 per person and then they won't even let you take your phone or camera out there. They will offer to take pictures for you for a fee of course. ;)  In my head, I envisioned the SkyWalk being this huge thing but in reality it was just really small and crowded. I don't think we missed much not doing it. You can see the SkyWalk in the picture below.

I think the Grand Canyon is one of those things you really have to see in person to fully appreciate it, but that being said I think we got some cool pictures! One of the neat things about the West Rim is there is this little peninsula if you will near the Guano mine where you have a 360 degree view of the canyon.

{Derek taking a picture looking down from the edge. You can bet I was probably yelling at him while he was taking this picture!} 

We left the Grand Canyon around 2:30ish to head back to Las Vegas. And less than 3 hours later, a helicopter crashed down in the canyon. There were no helicopters in sight when we were at the National Park over Thanksgiving, but the West Rim was practically crawling with helicopters due to its proximity to Las Vegas. Derek & I kept commenting on how crazy it was to see them flying down in the canyon so low and how close the helicopters would be to each other in flight. On our drive to the West Rim, I kept commenting to Derek about the lack of civilization and wondering where these people would shop? Derek's line of thinking was much different and kept saying how bad of a place it would be to get into an accident. Ugh, and then to hear that news just hours after we left. According to our local news, 3 people died & 4 are in critical condition at UMC in downtown Vegas. The part that I can't even imagine for those surviving victims is that the crash was reported around 5:20, and they didn't arrive to the hospital until 2 am b/c of how difficult it was for rescuers to get to them and for them to get the victims out. NINE HOURS LATER. All of the passengers were from Great Britain according to our local news, and I keep thinking what a nightmare this must be for the families of the victims being so far away from their loved ones. So horrific and so incredibly sad.


Spring has Sprung

The weather here has been pure perfection lately! We've spent so much time outside this week b/c we just haven't been able to get enough! It's been amazing! I keep thinking we'll get a random wind storm {I've never lived anywhere so windy in my life!} & winter will make a reappearance, but Derek says he started seeing ash pollen in the counts at work this week. If you're like me and that means nothing to you, apparently ash is the "spring herald" & this means spring should be here to stay?!


I've been dropping the girls off for school in the morning and then Brady and I will walk and/or run and hop from park to park until it's time to pick up Hadley from Pre-K at 10:30.

Then once we've eaten lunch and gotten Brady down for his nap, Hadley has been happily playing outside and I've even been able to read for a bit while soaking up the sunshine! We had a decent sized yard in San Antonio, but the girls hardly ever played in it. We always laugh b/c now that we don't have a yard at all {just the pool & rocks}, the girls adore playing in our "backyard." This week Hadley has been climbing on our waterfall {I try to pretend this doesn't make me nervous}, dipping chalk in the pool and then "chalk painting," making rock families, and who knows what else. Lots of imaginative independent play!


Another highlight of the week was Hadley wearing Shelby's old jean jacket for the first time, and she was smitten. She adores wearing cardigans for whatever reason, and I'm pretty sure this jean jacket {which Shelby I think wore all of two times} will be worn out by Hadley! As soon as it was clean & back in her closet, she immediately picked it back out to wear again!

And we've been working our way through some Disney classics courtesy of the library b/c the girls were confused about some of the characters/rides after our recent trip to Disneyland. ;)  Once we got home from our trip, we immediately put Pinochio, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Mary Poppins on hold. So far Alice in Wonderland has been their favorite, and it was also my favorite b/c Brady was totally into the bright colors/lights and actually sat & watched for a good while!

Happy Friday to you! :)


Wild & Crazy Day ;)

Today we had someone scheduled to come look at our dryer {again}. All of these repairs are such a nuisance to me, but man oh man do they excite these two!

We had just finished lunch & I was cleaning up the kitchen when I heard Hadley calling to me from the living room that Brady climbed up on the couch with her. So I ran in to snap a quick pic. The doorbell rang right as I was taking this next pic:)  They couldn't get off the couch to race to the front door to greet the repair guy fast enough.

Then they proceeded to stand right outside the laundry room door & watch the poor guy do his work like hawks.


They literally did not leave their perch until we walked him to the front door after he delivered us the bad news that we'd be without our dryer for at least another week..waaaaahhhhh!! Oh, and we got the exact same prognosis on our oven earlier in the week--we are just striking out lately!!

And as if dryer repairs weren't exciting enough, Derek insisted that I take this picture of him tonight and post it to the blog. It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but that is two grapes that grew together. Derek kept saying: "They're twin grapes! I've never seen this in 33 years of life! Don't you think this is cool?!"

I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it, but we also had to save a Diet Coke can we bought in a 24 pack years ago that was sealed shut but never filled. Apparently Derek really enjoys weird little phenomena like these. ;)

Happy almost Friday to you!! I hope you have the best weekend!


Life Lately

Life lately has been filled with lots of waiting for repairs {waiting for repairs to be approved by our property management company, waiting for the repair company to call us to schedule said repair, waiting for the repair person to show up, then waiting for the right part to come in, then starting the whole process back over again when the appliance breaks again--waaaah!}. We're just thankful we live in a super dry climate, so all of our clothes can be air dried in a jiffy & that we have a trusty little toaster oven that can get the job done!!!

Other than that, it's just been business as usual around here as we've been trying to get back into the swing of things after our Disneyland trip! It was a rude awakening to come back to some suuuper cold temps in Las Vegas! We also celebrated the 100th day of first grade & Shelby's first school awards ceremony.

I was thoroughly impressed with the girls' imaginations for the 100th day! Because we were out of town right before, we didn't really have much time to prepare. The first graders had to do a 100th day project as well as dress like a one year old person. We have a ton of dress-up stuff, but nothing that could really work to be an old lady. Hadley suggested Shelby wear our apron & go as the little old lady from The Gingerbread Story..I thought that was genius! So she just wore an apron, put her hair in a bun, & we stuck a little gingerbread man in her pocket that we printed out, and boom! Done!

For her 100th day project, Shelby decided to make a rainbow out of 100 fingerprints. She had her heart set on a catchy phrase to go with her project {we'd seen googly eye projects with the saying "Eye Survived the first 100 days" or popcorn projects that said "Popping through the first 100 days}, but unfortunately Google & Pinterest had nothing I could find with rainbow sayings! And my creative juices were NOT flowing, so I was no help. But Shelby all on her own and came up with: "I'm 100 days more colorful!" How perfect is that?!

And of course we have our obligatory library pictures...

The girls got Zoobs for Christmas from us, and they have really been enjoying playing with them since we got back from our trip.


And take a look at this guy! The other day he took a cup from our little play kitchen in the playroom and brought it into the kitchen to fill up with water. I guess he's seen us do this a time or two ;)

Over the weekend while Brady was napping, Shelby played a game of Checkers with Derek. Then the girls decided to play each other in Checkers for the first time, and this was also Hadley's first time ever playing. We did NOT think this would end well since Shelby is pretty good at Checkers now & Hadley is not the best sport yet {ahem, most games end in tears}, but we were BLOWN AWAY by how well they played together. Shelby kept teaching her what to do and what to avoid and was the most patient and encouraging big sister. It was one of those moments where we had hope that we've done something right along the way!!! And Hadley won the game! :)

I got to see Shelby receive an award for All A Honor Roll & the Principal's Award for academic achievement yesterday. It was fun to see her recognized, but awards or no awards we're always proud of this girl! Our school's motto is "Be Kind and Work Hard," and "Be Kind" bracelets are awarded when kids are "caught" being kind. Shelby has been disappointed she hasn't received any bracelets yet this year, but we're trying to make sure she and Hadley both know it doesn't matter if other people "catch" your kindness or if your accomplishments are recognized. I love that our school recognizes their achievements and promotes kindness in such a big way, but we want them to know that you do the right thing just because it's the right thing and not so you'll get an award. This girl definitely lives up to her school's motto--she's always kind & working hard, and we're so, so proud of her!

This guy loves to "sweep" the floors and carry around our little handheld vacuum keeping our floors clean. And yep, we're still wearing Christmas jammies over here!!

Here's to hoping your week is off to a great start & that the next time I pop in on the blog we'll have a functioning dryer & oven again!


Disneyland 2018 {Days 3 & 4}

We spent our second full day at Disneyland at California Adventure. {There are only two parks at Disneyland & everything is so close together in comparison to Disney World, which makes it super doable and a lot less overwhelming with small kids.}

{bumper cars with Hadley! Shelby is in her own car behind us}

{Shelby proud to be riding on her own again!}

{Brady's "cheese" face looks pretty painful, but he thoroughly enjoyed the Jungle Cruise ride!}

And this next picture was the last one of the day, but probably one of my favorites :)  We stopped off at Cold Stone for dessert before heading back to our hotel for the night, and the girls were sitting at their own table just chit chatting about our day. Derek & I just kept looking at them thinking how sweet they were and how they've got a pretty good little life. ;)

We spent our last day back at the original Disneyland park again before hitting the road around 2ish to head back to Las Vegas. Since we weren't going to be at the park all day long and we'd already ridden/seen pretty much everything we wanted to, our main goal for this day was just to hit up the girls' favorite rides again. With that said, I'm pretty sure we did Astro Blasters at least five times on this day! ;)  The other highlight of our last day was getting to meet a few more characters!

{We got to meet Flynn Rider for the first time ever! He was SO much fun! He told the girls to make a smolder for the first picture ;)  After we took pictures with him, he told us he was going to try to track Blondie down!}


{true love is sharing your ice cream with your little brother}

{He found Blondie!! These two were probably the most fun characters we met on the entire trip, and they talked with the girls for the longest time!}

And this last picture from our drive home sums how we all felt after our trip to Disneyland! There is no tired like Disney tired!!!
We are so thankful we made this trip happen! We had the BEST time! Also, this was our first trip that we've taken since Brady was completely weaned from breastfeeding, and it felt so monumental! When we went to the Grand Canyon back over Thanksgiving, Brady was already down to nursing only 2-3 times a day..but that meant we still had to stop to nurse him in the car on our travel days & we had to stop mid-exploring the Grand Canyon to feed him. Of course that wasn't a huge deal or big inconvenience by any means, but this Disneyland trip was a lot more freeing without having to stop to nurse. And it also didn't hurt that Brady slept like a CHAMP in the hotel on this trip! I'm talking one morning we almost had to go in & wake him up b/c we were all up and eager to get to the parks!! Our kids are becoming such good little travelers, and we so enjoy making these memories with them! Our next big trip will be in the Spring to check out two more national parks--we can't wait!