Phoenix Weekend

At the beginning of February we were able to sneak down to Phoenix to visit Colin’s parents and soak up some heat…and I’m just getting around to pulling the photos off my camera now. It seems to take about a month to get around to posting while I’m working full time.

Colin had a quick business stop in San Fransisco on the way to Phoenix so I got Ron and Elise all to myself for 2 days.

On Thursday morning I got up at 4am to catch my 6:30am flight to Phoenix. The winds were behind us the whole way so we touched down in Phoenix 30 minutes early…unfortunately there wasn’t a gate ready until our scheduled arrival so we had to sit out on the tarmac for half an hour!

Ron and Elise were waiting for me right at the security exit and had been there since my plane had landed 30 minutes earlier. From the airport we stopped by the biggest grocery store I’ve ever seen – some of the highlights? A cheese market with tasting area(looked like a pub inside the store), a chocolate fountain counter, jewelry store and 3 aisles of small kitchen appliances. We spent the afternoon lounging by the community pool and eating all the treats we’d picked up at the store and in the evening we went down to the Scottsdale Art Walk – an artsy outdoor market in old Scottsdale. It was a cool (for Phoenix) evening so there weren’t many people out but we enjoyed chatting with the vendors, checking out the jewelry and window shopping in the arts district nearby.

On the Friday, Elise and I visited the craft store and worked on our new crafts.

Crafting in Phoenix

Colin arrived Friday night and on Saturday we went to the Musical Instrument Museum. The main exhibit is sorted by geographical region and includes multiple instruments from almost every country in the world. You wear a headset that detects your location and as you approach each booth, your headset starts playing the audio for that booth’s video. There is also an exhibit on specific artists, a room where you can play all different instruments and a window into their workshop where they restore items from their collection. If you are anywhere near Phoenix, I would highly recommend checking out this museum!

Musical Intrument Museum

On Sunday we watched the start of the Superbowl and then headed to the airport. Men were lined up outside chili’s too to catch the end of the game. Our flight time was getting a little close and I was worried the rush once the game ended would make us late so we took a chance and headed through security before the game ended. Our gamble was too late, the game was over by the time we got through security.
Superbowl at PHX

Our late night arrival in Calgary was a little rough for getting to work the next morning but I’m very glad we went. It’s been a challenge to adjust to our new lifestyle – going from traveling to multiple countries in a month for a whole year to staying home for 4 months in a row!

Hello Again

So the week off turned into a month and the month turned into longer. A back injury is a sneaky creature. I’m now back working…from home to start, hopefully back in the office next week. I was very happy that I was recovered enough to enjoy some seasonal activities.

Gingerbread House construction happened mostly without me – Tyson, Veronica and Colin made one from scratch!
Gingerbread House
Colin decorated the Christmas Tree by himself:
Colin decorates the Christmas tree
Our friends Dave and Roxan had us over, along with Mike and Shannon, to meet their new dog Finnegan and for a baking day in their newly renovated kitchen:
Baking Day
Colin was on call during his Christmas party and there was a photo booth set up so we got some great shots with the on call laptop :)
On Call Christmas Party
On Christmas Eve Day, we had the Crossfield Fairs (Robin, Carole, Kat and Collin) over for a roast ham lunch and skype chat with the Ontario Fairs and my parents in Texas.
Christmas Eve Lunch
Tyson and Veronica slept over Christmas eve so we had a relaxed morning with them and then joined the Camerons for Christmas Turkey Dinner.

On boxing day, Teresa and Amelia came over for a visit:
girls by the fire
The week after Christmas we had a big crowd over to try out a Turkey Mole (spicy Mexican chocolate sauce) recipe. This also ended up being a great opportunity to smash and eat the gingerbread house.
Gingerbread Smashing - Safety First
For New Year’s Eve, we attended a Toga party at Dave and Roxan’s house:
Toga Toga

Last Sunday Mike and Shannon took Dave, Roxan and us on a horse drawn sleigh ride with a campfire lunch. For the record it was -20s and windy and STILL very awesome! There had been a big dump of snow the night before so it was a total winter wonderland, we saw a moose with her 2 mooselings and had a great time with the horses and dogs and our awesome host/driver Neil.
Sleigh Bells Ring
And that’s a little of what we’ve been up to :) Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season!

How NOT to get a week off work

Step 1: Leave a water cooler jug just inside the people door of your garage during minus 20 weather.

Step 2: Wait for water cooler to fill up with ice eventually popping the bottom out to spread a thin layer of water which will quickly turn to ice directly inside the door.

Step 3: Step into garage and find yourself immediately on the floor. OPTIONAL: During the fall jam your face into the water jug for a lovely cheek bruise.

Step 4: Pretend everything will be fine and go to work the next day.

Step 5: Feel woozy after a couple hours of work and hide under your desk with an ice pack.

Step 6: Have very nice co-workers escort you out of the building and drive you home.

Step 7: Try to fix it yourself with ice and rest.

Step 8: Go to the clinic the next day and have the doctor write you a note and tell you to stay home (preferably in bed) for at least 4-5 days.

Step 9: Watch 3 billion movies and TV shows on netflix from couch and bed (la-z-boy does not work for bruised tailbones and pulled back muscles).

Step 10: Miss work Christmas party because A) you haven’t been at work for 5 days and B) you couldn’t sit in a chair long enough to eat dinner.

Step 11: Invite everyone on your blog to your pity party.

New Year of Marriage, New Blog Name, New Theme, New Adventures

We’ve been back home almost 2 months now but we’ve been too busy enjoying ourselves and running from one social event to the next to take time to blog!

Our Honey Year was amazing and it’s awesome to reconnect with all our friends and family to share our stories and see what they got up to while we were gone. A few highlights of the last 2 months were:

  • I started my new job at HKN (based out of the University of Calgary Health Sciences Library at the Foothills Hospital)
  • Colin went back to the office
  • I attended a couple different library association social functions and reconnected with colleagues ( I have colleagues! I must have a real career!)
  • We had some good visits with friends at family at welcome back parties
  • We’ve enjoyed board games with our board game buddies, craft beer with our craft beer buddies and generally just enjoyed hanging out with all our buddies
  • We ran off to Las Vegas to attend a wedding (forgetting the camera charging on the counter)
  • Enjoyed a laser tag birthday party (you are never too old to invite people to laser tag for your birthday)
  • Polished off the wheel of Gouda we brought back from the Netherlands
  • Cleaned up our yard and planted our tulip bulbs

And I can’t end a post without a few photos so here are a few random visuals from the last couple months:

Honey Year – Before and After:

Brunch with the RM girls:

Fun at Fort Calgary after the Foothills Library Association Bubbly Brunch (yes…I had a 2 brunch weekend):

RCMP Saves the Day

and Halloween in my Durndl:

Halloween 2011

So here we are, one very eventful year of marriage down and a whole lot more on our wishlist for the years ahead. Our Paper Year will not be as exotic but I think it will be very enjoyable and I look forward to sharing it with you!

The new wordpress theme has unfortunately cut off the right edge of my giant photos from the old theme…so if you are looking at old posts, you will have to open up a lot of the photos separately. Sorry!

Thanks for reading and coming back for more!

And in the End

Q4 Review
June 26th to September 24th, 2011:

Countries visited – 4 total, 1 new (in chronological order – The Netherlands, Spain, Norway, UK)

Days Away – 24

Photos taken – 3,011

Photos selected for the slideshow video – 968

Music Video:

Photo Video:

So we’ve come to the end or is it a new beginning? An opportunity to live our old life in a new way – more activities, more socialising and less taking the everyday for granted.

We didn’t learn much Dutch but I did come across one saying that seems appropriate:

Oost west, thuis best.

The literal translation is “East West, home best.” meaning no matter where you travel it’s always great to come home.