We made it to Arizona last Thursday night, or should I say Friday morning and pulled up to my best friend Sarah's gorgeous home in Avondale, Arizona, where we spent the next 5 nights with her and her awesome husband Caleb!
I just have to throw this in here... Sarah is my most crafty friend! So crafty in fact, that she has her very own craft room complete with a gorgeous wall which she took 3 days to trace and hand paint! Anyone else out there swooning with me?!
I was so excited to be reunited with Sarah and to be back in "the valley of the sun" with Aaron, who's never been here! I'm such a sucker for playing tour guide! Poor guy had to see every house I ever lived in and all my favorite stores and restaurants!
I got up early Friday morning and had breakfast with Sarah and Caleb before they left for work and then Aaron and I drove to downtown Phoenix to pay a visit to the Social Security office, so I could officially become an Osteen! This little paper just proves I really did it!
Introducing: Mrs Osteen!
Then it was off to lunch at Hob Nobs, a darling cafe in an old historic home in the heart of the Willow Historic District of downtown!
If you're ever in Phoenix, do yourself a favor and stop in for lunch! Their vegetable quiche was delish!
Then, it was off to see Sarah in action at her job at Grand Canyon University! Being there and seeing her adorable office made me miss having an office job! Am I the only person out there who can relate?! There's just something about having a big desk, comfy chair, picture window and a long list of tasks to complete that makes me a little giddy!
You know what else makes me giddy? Frozen Yogurt! Grand Canyon University has an actual frozen yogurt shop ON CAMPUS and Sarah's co-worker treated Aaron, Sarah and I to a bowl! SCORE.
No, this isn't a 5 year old's bowl of frozen yogurt... it's mine. The secret's out - I'm a sucker for kid-style toppings! And yes, there's actually frozen yogurt under there somewhere!
Next stop on the agenda was a hang out date and backyard BBQ at the Murphy's! Have you ever seen cuter kids than these three?! They were so fun to hang out and play with, and the BBQ London Broil was the icing on the cake! Good friends and cute kids are just what the doctor ordered!
As if today wasn't enough fun... Aaron picked me up from the Murphys and we drove right on over to some more friend's house - Mark and Jill's, where we were met with giant hugs and big smiles from the two of them and my sweet friends Seth and Brittany and Brittany's friend Jaime, who's been reading my blog since the beginning! :) The weather was PERFECT, so we ate dinner together out on their picnic table in their GIGANTIC backyard, complete with a chicken coop and comfy furniture. We spent the next 5 hours catching up on life, sipping wine and eating Mark's homemade ice cream! I'm kinda bummed that this is the photo we took to commemorate the night, because it was practically magical outside and we never even hung out inside. lol (Sorry for posting the photo of you with your eyes closed Seth! lol) Love you guys and so blessed by your friendship!!!
Saturday was spent at Sarah's in-law's house down the street, who I adore! Caleb has an older brother, 3 sisters, 4 nieces, 1 nephew, a phenomenal set of parents, and a huge golden doodle named Judah! We spent the whole afternoon playing around the pool, competing in ladder ball, cooking lunch together and just enjoying time in the sun with family! :)
We left the family party around 5:00pm to head to the movie theater for a double date! I can't tell you how fun it is for Sarah and I to have our 2 guys together for the first time. :) And for the record, if you haven't seen it yet, buy your tickets this weekend for the movie: "42"! I lllloooooovvveeeeddd it and may have even shed a few tears at the happy parts! We spent the next couple hours after the movie at Chipotle and a sporting goods store, checking out backpacking gear and buying a fishing pole!
On Sunday morning, I went to coffee with Sarah and Caleb and then drove to Phoenix with Sarah to see one of my good friends lead worship at Living Streams. It was so great to be with him, my 2 best girlfriends and some other friends who I hadn't seen in years. The Murphy "party of 5" totally has my heart!
The Murphys, Sarah and I all had lunch together at Paradise Bakery after church, which was delicious and gave us even more time to catch up! After lunch, Sarah and I went back to hang with the boys at home. The rest of the night was spent hunkered down in the house in our PJ's! Aaron and I made a stir fry for dinner for them, which was fun and we spent the rest of the night lounging in the loft watching the new 007!
On Monday, Sarah took off work so we could have some more girl time together! :) We spent most of the morning creating her BRAND NEW BLOG! I love when friends create blogs! But I'm especially excited about this one, because it's called:
(Home from Uganda that is!) Yep, Sarah and Caleb are adopting a baby from Africa! I practically cried when she told Aaron and I our first night here. Then I totally cried when I read her first blog post before she posted it, and then I cried AGAIN when I wrote a little message on her facebook wall about how great of a mom she'll be. I'm just so excited for them! Check out their blog when you get a chance, and if you feel led, throw out a little donation for them, PLEASE! The cost of adoption is like buying a brand new Lexus, so they can use all the extra help they can get! You can actually be a part of bringing baby Thatcher home! :)
Sarah's sister in law, Aubrey, came over with her "little pipsqueak" as they call her, Piper! Aubrey also writes a fantastic blog about being a new mom, natural birth, etc! Check it out here! Is that not the happiest little baby?!
Around lunch time, Sarah and I drove over to have lunch with my long time friend Liz! Her son was in my youth group almost 10 years ago and has now grown into a fabulous musician! Spending time with Liz was sooo refreshing! She's the life of the party and you can't help but be in a good mood when she's around! Love you Liz!
Just a little updated besties shot! :) Thanks A.
Next on the agenda was something Aaron and I have been looking forward to for years - A hang out sesh / mentoring time with some of our favorite photographers, Andrew and Emily Fleming, who own Andrew Jade Photography in Arizona. We've been following them since they started and are probably their biggest fans, so to get to spend a couple hours with them, racking their brains with business questions, was INVALUABLE! Thank you, thank you, thank you if you're reading this! Oh, and as if meeting with them wasn't enough, we actually had the opportunity to 2nd shoot with Andrew later that night! AWESOME!
On Tuesday morning, I pulled myself out of bed early to get in a mini photo shoot with Sarah and Caleb to create a photo banner for the top of their adoption blog before they headed off to work! :)
Then I headed back home to get ready, paid Target a little visit, then spent an hour in Starbucks sipping my vanilla latte and returning e-mails. As a side note: I LOVE E-MAILS! I'm such a huge fan of reading people's thoughts. Then I went to visit old co-workers at Millennium High School, where I used to work before I moved to Korea. Everyone was sooo welcoming, excited for me and Aaron, and so interested in hearing about all our adventures. The questions just kept coming, and if you know me, you know I love to ask and answer questions! I'm such a lover of details! At points it felt like we had all gotten together for a coffee date as 10 or so of us all huddled around the guidance office lobby chatting and catching up! Just like old times! :)
Then it was off to see my super adorable friend April, who has also become a mommy of 2 beautiful girls since I left Arizona! Today was a hilarious potty training extravaganza while we visited! I'm proud to say that her oldest went "potty" 4 times while I was there, and April's been trying to get her to do that for weeks! I think someone was trying to show off for her Auntie Jillers! Either way, I had an honest glimpse at having a spontaneously peeing toddler and a baby, and was just happy that my only responsibility is to be a good wife, daughter and friend... isn't that enough, anyway?! I have so much respect for moms and for April! She is one of the best moms I know.
The rest of the night was spent hanging in the kitchen with Sarah and Caleb and grocery shopping and re-packing for our big adventure, which starts at 8:00am tomorrow morning...YAY! First stop is the DMV for my new license, then we're off to a night in Sedona, which we just decided on a couple hours ago. Who was I kidding when I thought scheduling every moment of a trip was important 4 years ago. Spontaneity is the key to adventure people, and I'm hoping that's what we have!
See you later Phoenix! Thanks for another great time. :)