Sunday, February 26, 2017

And She's Four...

My how the time flies. Charlie turned four this February. I just can't believe it. This year it was all about Moana. For those of you who have not seen it yet, you really should. It is a fun Hawaiian adventure story with amazing music and Charlie's request for a party theme this year. We got grass skirts for all of her girlfriends and leis for everyone.
We decorated the tables with sea shells, hibiscus and green glass beads that looked like "hearts of the island". On the food table we made a couple of Kakamora.
While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, Charlie and her friends took turns getting authentic Maui tattoos.
After that we ate kalua pork, Hawaiian BBQ chicken, fresh pineapple, veggies with dip and Hawaiian rolls. When the food was gobbled up we started the games. First up was "Pin the Heart on Tafiti." I painted her on cardboard and printed out hearts to stick on. The girls loved it.
Next we did the pinata. I made it to look like the crab, Tamatoa, who has golden treasure all over his back. We used an oar instead of a bat to be authentically Moana.
We are so lucky to have such generous friends. They loaded Charlie up with gifts.
For a cake Charlie decided this year that she wanted one of those giant cookies and vanilla ice cream. We made it look like the "heart of the island."
She was great at blowing the candles out this year. I guess that's what happens when you turn four.

Friday, December 30, 2016

May the Force Be With You Carrie

I know it is just a movie. I know she is just a character. It may seem trivial but Star Wars is a big part of me. Sometimes films can be such a part of our lives, especially as young people, that they become a part of who we are as adults. Like many, Star Wars is that way for me. It's not just about being nerdy (which I fully admit that I am) but it is about a story and characters that so moved me when I was young that they feel a little like they were apart of my life. I don't live in a fantasy world or anything, I simply enjoy the films very, very much.
As most of you know Carrie Fisher passed away very suddenly and, if I may say, too soon. She played the imfamous Princess Leia. She was one of the first characters in a film to show me that women can be sexy and strong without needing a man but if Harrison Ford happens to fall in love with you, that's okay too. Losing her feels strange. I didn't know her personaly but I know her character well. I grew up with her, in a way, and I feel the loss very deeply.
All over the world cities held memorial lightsaber walks in her honor. Tempe Beach Park here in Arizona was one of the locations and I felt it was the best way to honor her memory. As every proper Star Wars fan does, I had several Leia costumes lying around. I ended up going with her camoflauge suit from Return of the Jedi. We picked up some Dollar Store light sabers and headed over.
I was moved by the amount of people there. It had to be 700 plus people and three news crews. It was an incredibly celebratory and humbling event.
As the march start time neared it began to rain. It didn't phase anyone. They all just pulled out their umbrellas and waited.
It was a sea of sabers and it stretched on for what seemed like forever.
Princess Leia's Theme was playing as we walked. It was moving and beautiful.
So often people are brought together to march for a cause or something political. For all of that, however, there is usually a wrong side, an ugly side, an angry side. There was none of that here. Just fans coming together to honor the memory of a character they loved.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Charlie's Choir Christmas Show

For Christmas this year Charlie's church choir group was invited to sing at Litchfield Park's Christmas in the Park celebration. It was so cute watching the kids get all dressed up in winter clothes in 70 degree weather. Oh Arizona!!! Charlie is the one on the right in the front row with the white hat and muff (something she insisted she needed to look the part of a caroler).
After their performance they shot off a bunch of snow bubbles from one of those machines. All the kids were so excited, especially Charlie.
They also had real snow play areas for the kids where Charlie ended the day with her first snowball fight.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Shout Out

Just wanted to drop a quick Thanksgiving shout out. This year we did a "Friends Thanksgiving," and yes I mean the kind from the TV show. The one where you open you're home to anyone who doesn't have a place to spend Thanksgiving and it usually ends up just being friends. The cool thing about this year was that I finally bought a heritage turkey raised out in a green field from a local farm. It was something I had always wanted to do. It was worth every penny. Delicious and cooked super fast. I was having such a good time I forgot to take a lot of pictures but here are some of the ones that I managed to snap. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Impromptu Wyoming Trip

I love Spirit Airlines!!! I know that a lot of people don't but they are my first choice of airline to fly. Here's the thing, if you don't plan ahead and read all the fine print then you are going to be disappointed with Spirit. I have never had a bad flight and the staff is always super friendly. So why am I telling you all of this. Veteran' Day weekend was upon us and Shaun needed some time alone to work on a script for the puppets. I hoped on Spirit's website to see if there were any good deals and I found an amazing price for a last minute flight to Denver. I called my parents and within a few minutes we were packed a heading to the airport to see them. It was sort of a whirlwind but we made it.
When we got to Denver Charlie was super excited about the statue and immediately asked to have her picture taken with it. She couldn't believe how bit it was.
The weather was perfect. There wasn't any snow, we still needed a jacket and gloves, but it was comfortable.
We took a hike on the new trail that Fort Laramie had set up. It was really beautiful and I saw my first bald eagle in the wild. I had see them at zoos and things before but never one out just flying around. It was pretty magical. Sorry it is so hard to see in this picture but it's there right between the trees on the left.
We had lunch and my Mom's favorite tea spot. I can't get enough of High Teas, as you know. We also got to rake all the leaves in the yard of the tea house. My Mom wanted them all for her compost.
Charlie loved climbing and exploring all over Grandma and Grandpa's property. She couldn't believe how many stars there were.
It was such a fun, super last minute trip and soon it was time to head home.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sprinkles Cupcakes

I know I have mentioned a couple of times that my favorite cupcake shop in the whole world is Sprinkles.
I was introduced to them in California and I have never looked back. You can imagine my excitement when my sister called me and told me that Sprinkles owner, Candace Nelson, was coming out with a cookbook and was going to be having a book signing right here at the Scottsdale Sprinkles. With books in hand (one for me and one for my sister) I headed over to Sprinkles early to wait in line to get my book signed.
Candace was the best. She was super friendly and kind. We chatted about our favorite flavors, Williams Sonoma and she loved Charlie. It was truly and awesome experience.
Of course we couldn't leave without grabbing a couple of cupcakes for the road.