I want my 64 years like he promised

We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary this week, we got married on Leap Day 2004, so while we technically didn’t have an anniversary this year it was more important this year than previous years to celebrate the in between’s.

At the time we got engaged, he was still living in Iowa and I was here, in Phoenix. He proposed Halloween weekend 2003 and we of course started talking wedding dates pretty soon after. Sean had a date in mind, pretty quickly and asked if I’d be okay with February 29th. Wow, that was fast! That would only give us a few short months to get him moved from the midwest back out to the valley, and plan a wedding, and get him a job, and find us an apartment…those are a lot of big things to make happen in a 4 month time frame. Once he told me his reason for wanting that date, I of course said I was fine with it.

See, Sean’s grandparents had gotten married on that date many years before and they’d celebrated 16 anniversaries but 64 years of wedded bliss. He figured if it worked for them, it would work for us. Plus, they’d both passed before we’d met and he wanted a way to include them in the special day. So, see, I really couldn’t have refused him that date and still claim to have a heart šŸ˜‰

We started making the plans and doing the things, and ended up getting him moved back out here by Christmas. We moved into our apartment not long after the first of the year and then it was just a matter of the final touches on the wedding planning. Once the day finally arrived, it was beautiful. Blue skies and gorgeous weather, as we are accustomed to in the valley of the sun. We had an outdoor wedding and everything was really exactly as it should have been.

Now, here we are all those years later, never having thought we would have to deal with some of the things we’ve dealt with in our early years of marriage, like being caregivers for his mother as she passed from cancer. Or being a caregiver to my aging grandmother who was sliding further into Alzheimer’s and dealing with bipolar disorder at the same time. Or having an aunt and uncle of his pass from different types of cancers.

Once we started learning of the different types of cancers in his family history, I became more and more concerned that eventually this would enter our world…I mean, you cannot have so many people in your family with all different types of cancers and think you’ll be the one it doesn’t touch. It was a huge worry for me, I’m not sure if it was as big in his mind. I can tell you with certainty I never expected to get the dreaded cancer diagnosis as early in life as we got it though, I thought we’d have 20 more years before we’d hear it.

Now, as I sit here contemplating life and having celebrated this 14th year of marriage…I would be lying if I said there isn’t some level of fear….I hope and pray and I have to believe that he will be here to celebrate many more anniversaries with me, just like his grandparents had…I want my 64 years with him like he promised.

My Top 3 Reasons I Love Arizona

I wrote this post for my friend Amber over at Sneakers over Stiletto’s back in January and thought I would share it here now that we are in the throes of what seems like the longest part of the summer (the end) here in Phoenix…so I give you My Top 3 Reasons I Love Arizona

I live in Phoenix, AZ. The middle of the desert for those who aren’t familiar with Arizona. We are called the Valley of the Sun for a reason…we are in a valley with mountains on all sides of the Phoenix area…and its always sunny. I think the chamber of commerce once made the claim that we have 360 days of sunshine per year. You might guess that it can get a little hot in the middle of the desert especially in summer and you would be correct! But putting aside the immense heat we get most of the year (from say April through November) there are some really great things about living here. Here is my top 3 reasons to live in the desert!

1. We have amazing sunsets. I’m not just saying that, I mean we seriously have the most gorgeous colors in our sunsets. Pinks, purples, deep blue, orange. Just breathtaking at times.

Source: google.com via Megan on Pinterest

2. Fall-Winter-Spring temperatures cannot be beat! I mean, look at this forecast for this week in Phoenix.

I’m sure there are people who love snow and cold weather, but for me, these kinds of temps are the reason I live in Phoenix. It is gorgeous like this from mid November til about April with maybe a few weeks of really cold temps. Well, really cold for us is like 50’s so take that with a grain of salt! I think Mother Nature let’s us have the few gorgeous months is because we are punished the rest of the year and our brains get fried in the heat of summer. We have to be reminded every year why we live here and tolerate the offensive heat! šŸ˜‰

3. We have one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the WORLD in our backyard. The Grand Canyon is absolutely mind boggling. If you have never been I highly recommend you make a trip if you can. It is amazing to stand (as close to the edge as they will let you get!) and look out at this amazing creation. Whether you believe in God or evolution there is no denying there was something at work when this Grand Canyon was created. I have been a few times to the Grand Canyon, we of course went when I was a kid as a family and I don’t remember a lot of that trip. When I was an adult I made the drive with my Gramma and an Aunt and cousins. The most recent I went was about 3 years ago and we went with a bunch of family. My dad rented a Suburban so that my parents, my aunt and 2 cousins (different aunt and cousins – these ones from Connecticut) and my husband my daughter and I could all take the trip up to the Grand Canyon. My dad drove and just the fact that we all made it there and back alive is a miracle, but we definitely had a memorable trip. The drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon takes about 3.5 hours. The previous trips I had made I took the same route so I was vaguely familiar with how to get there. When all of the sudden my dad turns off onto another highway that will take us to a different part of the Grand Canyon. After being on a two lane highway for a while, we turn off onto a dirt road. Now, I was thinking ok, we must be fairly close if we are on a dirt road now. WRONG. That dirt road went on for miles and miles and miles. And of course, Mario Andretti behind the wheel doesn’t drive any differently on a dirt road than on pavement so naturally, we got a flat tire. On an unfamiliar vehicle. In May. In Arizona. The sun was beating down on all of us while the 3 men (dad, hubby and cousin) try to figure out a) where is the spare tire and b) how the hell do we get it out? Luckily I had my camera to document all of this adventure.

Once the men got the tire changed, we got back on the road with dad driving a little more carefully. We pull into a lot with a sign that said something about helicopters and I thought, surely he hasn’t rented helicopters to take us over the canyon? Then we all pile out of the suburban and he asks, ‘so who wants to go on the Skywalk?’ Gulp. If you don’t know what the Skywalk is it is a giant u-shaped structure that juts out over the side of the cliff with a ‘glass’ bottom so you see all the way to the bottom of the canyon while you are walking on it. The initial reaction of everyone was, uhm, NO WAY IN HELL! Then he convinced each and every one of us to do it using the old ‘come on, when are you ever going to have another opportunity like this one’ logic. There are no pictures from that particular adventure because they deem it unsafe for you to carry anything out on the Skywalk in case it should fall over the rail and to the bottom of the canyon. Yep, good decision there. Anyway, they put us on these giant buses and take us around 5 or 6 different locations to get pictures and such after the Skywalk. The Skywalk itself was amazing. While I was a tad nervous, I really am so glad I let myself be talked into it. Amazing experience if you ever get the chance!

Now, I don’t know if I’m the only one that finds this sign amusing, maybe its just my sick sense of humor…but really? You don’t say? Risk of falling when there is no guard rail and just a 3000 foot drop to the bottom of the canyon?! Really?! lol

This is what they call the Eagle, doesn’t it look like an eagle in flight?

Overall, I really love living in Phoenix. Does it have it’s drawbacks? Sure, but what place doesn’t!

Photowalkin’ Downtown Phoenix

Wow, ok, so I have decided I really REALLY hate wordpress. So I’m back to my beloved blogger…but for serious google you best not be locking me out of this here lil’ blog again, capiche?

Now, where were we? Oh right, I am being featured tomorrow over at my girl Nikki’s blog for her Working Girl series, you should pop over and check me out…there may or may not be pictures of beautiful naked or nearly naked people…maybe. =)

Working Girls

As for what’s been going on around these parts, well a TON! Apart from all the lovely fertility testing and nonsense that goes along with that we have been trying to decide what exactly we want to do with the front yard. See, we have (had) this little short wall looking thing in the front yard and it was annoying. It was old and falling apart…sort of like me, but worse.

Well, we talked to our landlord…who just happens to be my dad and he said go ahead and tear the sucker down…so we (and by we I mean my husband while I supervised) did.

Doesn’t that look so much better?!! I know! Now, the plan is to have a stucco guy come and fill in that chunk that is missing on the wall and then we are going to be building a wooden fence/rail thingy that will go on the cement thing that is still in the ground. We also want to build a pergola over the front door/patio area. We will be removing all of the rock from under that front window by the door and putting down pavers so we can have an actual front porch with chairs and such on it. We will be planting flowers and ground cover and maybe a shrub or two that will be in front of the wooden fence/rail thingy…eventually. And again, when I say WE will be doing all of this I really mean Hubby will be doing it while I supervise and look pretty.

So that was our Saturday. On Sunday we decided to hop on the lightrail and head our buns on downtown to take a photowalk as a family. It was a gorgeous day in the Valley of the Sun at about 75Ā° and sunny.

We walked and talked and snapped picture…

after picture…

after picture.

The buildings and architecture of old buildings is so fascinating to me.

I love the vibe of downtown Phoenix with its sculptures and skyscrapers…the feel of old historic buildings against the new modern updates that are taking place all over.

One of my favorite buildings downtown is the historic Hotel San Carlos. With its French bistro on the ground floor and the gold stars on the sidewalk surrounding the building like our own Hollywood Walk of Fame…celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Carey Grant used to stay at this hotel.

The old courthouse, the new courthouse, all the history of the city is evident right in those few blocks of downtown Phoenix. I love being reminded of the great things about my city and of course passing these things on to my daughter who walked right along with me and took her own pictures of the city. ā™„