STAYcation: [vacation close to home]
My husband and I recently celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary with a STAYcation at one of our favorites! When you live in a state that offers some of the most beautiful resort options available, why leave town to have a good time!? As you already know from my previous posts, we are big fans of STAYcations and constantly promote the idea of staying nearby and enjoying all of the amenities that your city and state have to offer! We selected the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa because it holds a special place in our hearts and is filled with sweet memories over the last 9 years of our relationship. Plus, it is beyond fabulous!
The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona is simply stunning! From the second you walk in, you feel like you’re at a desert oasis. The pool area is magnificent with different areas to lounge and delight in their decadent drinks and poolside food. You can also jump on a raft and float along the lazy river. With several different pools to chose from, our personal favorite is the waterfall pool because you get an awesome experience of a tranquil waterfall with a nearby DJ providing musical glory!
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge offers a fabulous grand entrance, and the rooms are so accomodating; once you arrive, there is no reason to leave. They have everything you could possibly need, want or desire on site: an incredible spa, a full service Starbucks, a large store/souvenir shop, nightly live music, top notch restaurants, kids activities, golf course and unbelievable views in every direction you look.
Don’t just take my word for it, enjoy a few photos from our amazing weekend away and trust me you, too, will want to stay here!
Dear July 2017,
You were a very toasty month for us in AZ so we enjoyed our California beach getaway. You were also a month filled with milestone moments for our first born. She got her first haircut, started Kindergarten and celebrated her fifth birthday! So many sweet and bittersweet moments. Our littlest one started dance and it has become a highlight of each week. There is something so cute about a 2 year old fluttering around in a leotard and tutu.
We have so much to be thankful for and looking back at these 9 photos is such a great reminder to be present and enjoy every minute. #feelingblessed
August, my only hope is that you bring more monsoon weather and of course more FUN!!!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – July 2017 ::
When you become a mom, you hear so often that you need to enjoy every minute because time flies by… overused advice, but oh so true! I am so grateful for all of the time and cherished moments we’ve shared together. Memories have been made, time has flown by, and though I don’t want to believe it, here we are… my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten. How can my first-born and little bestie, that I have spent every waking minute with since the day I found out we were growing our family, be starting school? I am flooded with emotions. Everything from excitement to sadness to loneliness to nervousness… but most of all, I am overwhelmed with a sense of pride in who she is and who she’s becoming. If I could pass on a few important things, these would be what I would want you to take with you as you enter your Kindergarten class.
Dear Paisley – On your first day of Kindergarten, my wish for you is…
We took our girls out to the woods of Prescott, Arizona for their first camping weekend as a family of four. To give you a little perspective, our girls are 4.5 and 2.5 years old and this was our first time all sleeping together in one small space… without a pack n’ play! My husband was raised camping and in the outdoors so he had been dreaming of the day that our girls would be old enough to enjoy a trip like this, and this was our first attempt. To say it went well is an understatement… much to my surprise it went great! But don’t get me wrong, with any trip you come across a few hiccups here and there. But, it was so much fun to take the girls off the grid, push everyday rules to the side and just let them enjoy being kids for the trip… and I know that we made memories as a family they will not forget.
If you are like me, and questioning whether or not your family is ready for a camping trip, I say go for it! You will never know until you try. And to help you out, here are a few of my ‘camping with kids’ recommendations. I hope these ideas help make your trip extra enjoyable for all – we all want happy campers!
Dear June 2017,
June, you definitely cranked up the heat here in Arizona, so it has been a month of water fun! You marked our 9 year wedding anniversary and we were able to enjoy a STAYcation filled with umbrella drinks and poolside lounging. We also had the best time celebrating our daddy bear on Father’s Day and snuck away to the mountains for our first family camping trip. But, don’t let all the fun outdoor adventures fool you, if we weren’t swimming, we were inside basking in air conditioning and the girls enjoyed indoor summer camps! Thank goodness for indoor activities!
We are so excited and thankful to get to enjoy one more month of family fun before school starts, so please be kind, July.
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – June 2017 ::
As an Arizona girl, I am living the cactus dream… along with the triple digit nightmare! But now that summer is here, I am embracing it in full force and am stuck on the cactus trend. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite cactus inspired goodies and stylish recommendations to help bring your cactus-love to life!
When you hear the name Tim Tebow do you think of a two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, and first round NFL draft pick? Or do you think of a hard working man who is living his life daily for the Lord with a charismatic and outspoken faith?
Tim Tebow. Some know him as a Florida Gator Heisman Trophy Winner and 2-time National Champion. Others recognize the name thanks to the 2011 “#tebowing” craze, where one takes a knee in a praying position and posts it online. Still others recognize him as an outspoken Christian with questionable athletic abilities, and more recently some recognize him as an aspiring baseball professional. Personally, I’ve always seen Tebow as an athlete who likes competing, but loves the Lord. Given his athletic talents, he has been given an incredible platform in the public eye and uses it to glorify God with every step and through every season of his life.
Dear May 2017,
I guess time flies when you’re having fun! May, where did you go!?… You brought the end of preschool and with it an excited heart that awaits the start of kindergarten… que mommy tears! We spent all month in swim lessons, so we are now ready for summer and official pool season!
We were blessed with family in town and some long overdue family fun! And of course, who can forget Mother’s Day… I was spoiled by my loves. I even got to break away for a mini staycation with my BFF for some much needed kid-free girl time, whoop-whoop! As I look back on all of the fun times and memories that were made, I’m realizing that May 2017 completely exceeded my expectations!
June… You have some big shoes to fill, so let’s bring on the SUMMER fun!… and go easy on us with those triple digit temperatures! #arizonaliving #thestruggleisreal
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – May 2017 ::
This trip came at the perfect time. It’s amazing how you don’t realize you need a break from reality until you finally get one! My hubby had a work trip in Sedona, AZ, and so with the help of my parents, we were able to turn it into a kid-free getaway as well. April is a fabulous time to visit Sedona as it offers cooler temps and fabulous outdoor activities!
While my husband spent half days at a work conference, I was extremely blessed with a refreshing few days filled with beautiful hikes, relaxing pool-side quiet time and taking in the incredible 70° Sedona weather. I was also able to enjoy some much-appreciated pampering, quality time with my hubby, and time to reflect and work on me.
As you all requested here is the scoop on our trip, a little Sedona Recap for you! If you are planning an upcoming Sedona vacay you will love these recommendations!