I lumbered into our house one evening in March, loaded down with the weight of too many grocery bags (because yes I can bring them all inside in one trip), when John greeted me from the couch with, "Hey do you want to go to Arizona next week?"

I set the grocery bags on the floor, my frozen fingers turning red as they warmed from the frigid outside air. "Um. What? And... YES!"

John's mom spends her winters in Arizona and offered to fly us down for a visit.

I may have mentioned once or thrice how eternally long winter has been here in Michigan and the thought of SANDALS nearly had me jumping for joy.

Only a few days later we were on a plane- John, Arie, and me- flying over mountains, into the desert, leaving our frostbitten state behind.

It was a gift: four days in the sun! Four days without hats and mitts. Four days without shivering. I almost forgot what it felt like.

We stayed with my mother-in-law outside of Phoenix where the time differs from Michigan by -3 hours. I'm not a morning person (understatement) but because of the time change our family was both awake and happy by 5am each morning. Not wanting to wake up my mother-in-law's entire complex with out noisy three-year-old, we enjoyed morning walks to the park and to the bakery for doughnuts.
Arie had very strict instructions for this game. John is riding his dinosaur away from a whale. 
Custard filled long-John with no custard!! 
I now understand why some folks claim the title of "morning person." Mornings are beautiful! The warm rising sun, the quiet, the chirping birds, the cheerful "Morning!" greeting from everyone you meet.

If only I could get Michigan mornings to arrive as late as Arizona mornings.

Arie swam like a "big boy" in Grandma's community pool, allowing us to let go of him in the water for the first time ever. With trepidation at first he clung frozen to his pool noodles but soon began to kick his legs and move around the pool beaming with pride!
The amount of crap you bring to the pool when you have a kid... it's ridiculous. 

My favorite part of Arizona is the landscape. I thought it would be super awesome fun to walk a few desert trails with Arie. We traveled to a nearby nature preserve and were directed to a mountain (ish) hike by the lady in the welcome building.

"It's level one," she said.
"For beginners!" she said.
"It'll be fun!" she said.

Truly it was fun and the views were incredible, but woah "level one" hikes up a desert mountain are a teensy bit hard. Especially for those of us who went in a skirt and Toms shoes or wound up carrying a sluggish three-year-old up (and down) the mountain.

We ended our visit with a trip to the Phoenix Zoo where Arie eagerly climbed aboard a camel with Papa and later a merry-go-round with Mama. I am amazed at his bravery; when I was three I was terrified at the idea of riding anything.

Friday- back home in Michigan- Arie asked to ride the penny horse at the grocery store. As he giggled in delight, high on the saddle, I asked him what he liked best: the grocery store horse or the REAL LIVE ZOO CAMEL?

"I like camel and horsey just same."

Of course. My little guy: taking the party with him wherever he goes.

Even though it's still cold here, I'm wishing a you happy spring (and happy spring break to my Michigan friends)! Hope you are able to escape somewhere warm if you are living somewhere cold. And if you live somewhere warm... well, an invitation to the rest of us would be nice.  Just sayin'.




  1. What a wonderful trip!! I LOVE Arizona! :-)

  2. I am so jealous! I want to go to Arizona and escape the never ending winter. It looks like you guys had a great time, thanks for sharing the sun with us. And side note, super cute bathing suit!

    1. Ha! Thank you! I hope the sun and all it's radiance hits your home soon!

  3. Awww, you got to visit my city! Glad you had so much fun out here - and just in time. This next week is the beginning of the 90 degree afternoons!

    1. To be honest 90* sounds amazing!! I love the heat!! Especially if swimming is an option :-)

    2. Ha ha! It's true. An abundance of pools really does help. I can imagine after an eternal winter anything above 60 is heavenly. I haven't been lucky enough to experience a real winter for years, so I can get a little "eternal summer" bitter ;)

  4. Awww! Love this! Especially the part at the end about Arie enjoying the Meijer horse and the camel equally - so sweet!

    Oh, and about warm places - we live in Tanzania Africa, so karibu! (that's kiswahili for 'you are welcome!')

    1. So cool! I think I remember you saying but now I forget: what do you do in Tanzania?

    2. We are missionaries - right now our focus is on creating unity and healthy relationships within the community we live in, and we also volunteer as teachers. I teach middle school kids and my hubby teaches 2/3yr olds in the preschool :) Hubby also dabbles in Farming God's Way.
      Seriously - if you ever want to come we'd love to host you!

  5. daniellem024/08/2014

    We are in upstate NY, so I feel your pain! Love your bathing suit!


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