Monday, August 11, 2014

Palmyra 2014

In July, we got to escape the Phoenix heat and start an adventure.  We started by flying out of Phoenix with Cleveland as our destination and Charlotte being our layover.  The day quickly became a whole new set of adventures when Laila threw up on the first plane ride all over herself and Michael.  Definitely didn't pack change of clothes on our carry ons. So things started getting creative quick.  Luckily, we had packed all of her diapers instead of just a few spares because we started going through a lot of those.
We landed in Charlotte, grabbed some lunch and headed to our gate with our poor, sick baby.  Right before boarding our flight started becoming more and more delayed due to maintenance issues.  Laila was not feeling well and then threw up on me.  Therefore, all three of us had gross clothes and we were getting close to emotional break downs. (One of us, more than others...) So Michael went to customer service to get us to stay the night in Charlotte and fly to Cleveland the next morning.  Luckily he was getting everything situated because while he was there, our flight got cancelled so all the other passengers were headed to customer service like a swarm of angry bees.  We tried to get our bags so that we could have clean clothes but someone higher up said vetoed and our bags were sent on to Cleveland. Let's just say, it was an interesting night and we recognize that things could have been worse. So we were grateful.

Thank heavens it only seemed to be a 24 hr bug and we all were able to smile riding the train from the airport to our hotel in Cleveland.

We had some plans for our day in Cleveland but when we got to the hotel, we all just crashed and enjoyed a nice long nap.  That night, the Walkers met up with us and we went to an Indians game. Loved the stadium! What a view! (And it felt SO nice to be outside and not sweating!)

^Glad her smile was back!

 ^We stayed at a fun hotel near downtown that had a great history.

The next morning, we piled in with the Walkers and drove to Palmyra, NY.  Michael's parents and youngest brother were in the Palmyra Pageant this year and we were excited to see them! When we first got there, we hiked to the top of the hill Cumorah and attempted some cousin pics...

That night we got checked into our hotel, had dinner, met up with Katie, Tony and Liam and then headed back to Hill Cumorah for the pageant.  We had front row seats and my phone died, so I don't have any of those pictures. :( It was a great show and so fun to see family in it.  It's an incredible history and you get an incredible feeling about the things that happened there.

The next morning was a bit rainy but didn't stop us from going to the Joseph Smith Farm and going into the Sacred Grove.  Loved the rain. And loved being there with my husband and daughter. What an amazing place!

^The Palmyra Temple peeking through the trees right across from the Sacred Grove.

^Cute Walker Fam

^Best we could do.

After the Sacred Grove and lunch, we all piled in our cars and crossed the border so we could see this incredible view...
 (From our hotel room!)

^Pretty incredible stuff!

We loved exploring with our cousins and walking around the falls.

The next morning we went on the Maid of the Mist and some of us enjoyed it more than others...


 That night we had to go separate ways.  The Walkers stuck with us and we spent the night in Pennsylvania.  We went out for ice cream and I found the closest thing to a cherry rainbow.  SOO good!

The next morning our two families went to Kirtland, Ohio.  Again,  so much amazing history happened in this little town.

^The School of the Prophets

For our cherry on top before our flight home, we stopped at the Kirtland Temple.  This is the first temple built in this dispensation.  It's a beautiful building even to today's standards, but it's even more incredible when you think of what tools, time, money, faith, and talents went into creating this house of God. I absolutely love that we got to go inside and see what the early Mormon Pioneers worked so hard for.

Like all family trips, I felt like ours ended too soon but we are grateful for the time we did have.  Our adventure home was quite the bookend to our beginning and involved more delayed flights and some serious running from gate E26 to B8 in Charlotte.  It wasn't pretty.  Shin splints, panting, and possibly sciatic nerve damage might have been involved.  But we somehow made it on our connecting flight to Phoenix and didn't have to spend another night in Charlotte. And that is how we had a great vacation which included staying in 5 different states 5 different nights! Phew!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ch-ch-changes Part III

We've been finishing a few projects in our house lately and having a mid-summer cleaning so I thought this weekend would be a good one to do a house update like this one HERE which originated with this post HERE.  
*Before= Before we moved in. Therefore, previous owner's furniture is pictured.*

Our House Before:


Took off the broken security door and have the door frame patched and painted.

Front Entry Before:

Haven't done much except paint, baseboards, and add some decor

Living Room/Dining Room Before:


Added accent wall trim work, curtains, paint, new furniture & rug.

Kitchen/Breakfast Nook Before:


-We have changed out light fixtures above table and sink, added some trim work by desk, and recently decided to paint as part of our "Kitchen Reno: Phase One" project.

Family Room Before:


-Main thing that's new to this room is that we FINALLY finished painting the cupboards of the entertainment center.  We love our built in entertainment center (& it's storage) and our updated fireplace mantle. Most of our time together is spent in this room. So we like that it's open and cozy.

Harry Potter 1/2 Bath Before:

Full update covered HERE

Laundry Room Before:

Read about that update HERE

Stairway Before:


-PHEW! We added trim work, carpet, painted the banister and stained the handrail. For more updating fun, see HERE

Master Bedroom/Bathroom Before:


-We painted! (And got some new nightstands.) 
Still needs a little more polishing, but it's coming along.

Laila's Room Before:

Besides getting a new big girl bed and patching a hole in the wall from a hide 'n go seek incident, nothing much has happened yet...

Guest Bath Before:

After: (Bye Bye outdated brass!)

Spare Bedroom Before:


Guest Bedroom Before:


Upstairs Hall/View Below Before:


Backyard Before:


What an adventure! (And what a really lengthy post!) Now, on to the next one... ;)