Monthly Archives: July 2016

Packing up…

Pool Time Memories…too many to post

Fifteen years ago I packed up my kids,  my cat (who passed at the age of 20 last year), my belongings (most of which have been replaced over the years — oh those kids!), rented a Ryder truck, attached my car and drove 2,300 miles to move to the Arizona desert.  The first time I set foot in Phoenix was the night we pulled up during our first monsoon storm.

While the heat about killed us, we immediately fell in love with our new state.  Within our first year I bought the house my kids did most of their growing up in.  It’s a colourful, kid-pet-party scarred home full of love, laughter and tears.  As beat up as it is right now — needing new windows, new floors, new paint — I love this house, but it’s time to spruce her up for another family.

I’m sweaty, dusty, and a bit too furry (thanks to my shedding dogs) because I’ve been packing up the stuff that needs to be stored until Joe and I are ready for our next American home.  It might be awhile since I’m not yet finished with my overseas adventure (Joe has yet to begin his), but the things that matter to us will be waiting for when we’re ready to replant our roots.

It’s hard packing up now because the house won’t even go onto the market until the Fall, after Joe and the kids have gotten some of the cosmetic fixes taken care of.   I’m sad that I won’t be here the last day I own it, but I’m totally cool with missing out on all the moving hell that comes with it.  I’m also looking forward to using some of its sale money for our family, summer Europe trip next year (now that’s fun packing!).  I’ve been wanting to take my kids on a trip like this for forever, so yay we can finally do it — in about a year.

In three weeks I fly back to the second desert I moved to, and I’ll finish off my probable last year in the UAE (who knows what the future holds?!).  Until then I’ll continue enjoying my time here.  It’s not all melancholic packing.  There are more pool parties, happy hours, family trips and gatherings planned before I leave, so it’s all good — just a little nostalgic.

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Just some random (stuff posted on Facebook throughout the years) home memories.



Just call me Mrs…same last name


While all sorts of uglies have literally blown up around the world (including my country), I’ve been spending the past few weeks busy, busy, busy catching up and bonding with my loved ones.  My heart aches for those who suffer, while my soul savours every second I get to spend with my people. Thank you to the powers that be for these precious times in my life!

In the spirit of loving and laughing, Joe and I had our wedding ceremony, and it was exactly as it should be:  many of our closest people pulled together to celebrate all of us (and thanks to technology we were able to also include those who couldn’t make the trip).  The flowers, the cabin, the woods, the decorations, the festivities, all of it was the perfect mix of all that is right in our world.  Our photographer is busy sorting through all the lovely photos she took of us, so I don’t have those yet to share, but here’s a bunch from friends and family.  I nabbed photos from here and there, so I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know who took what pics (very few posted are from me).  BUT, credits go to Ericka, Monica, Steve, Michelle, Shannan, Trisha, Derek, Tracy, Diana, and darn it all I bet I’m forgetting someone.  And, of course, the bridezilla in me will post more pics when I get them.

Pre Wedding fun:  I’ve been celebrating this upcoming ceremony for months, but the fun in the states began a week before the wedding.  It started off in Virginia, then ended up at my place in Phoenix, then caravanned four hours away to Show Low, Arizona, then back to my place.  Here’s just a glimpse of some of it all, but know the best shots are still in my hard drive… Oh and Joe had his fun with the boys too, but they’re not much for picture taking.

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The cabin!  I have to show a slide show just on where we spent our 4-day weekend.  The first two nights were all about whooping it up and decorating, third night was the big ceremony, and the 4th night was just for Joe and me.  We’re so doing a family reunion here again!

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For some reason I don’t have pics of upstairs game room or the THREE master suites — all of which include jacuzzi tubs.  Joe’s and mine had a double tub, and you bet we sipped champagne in that bad boy!

Wedding Prep:  Decorating and getting things ready was all part of the fun, and everyone pitched in!  I just randomly nabbed people’s pics on this.  There are way better shots of all the fun we had.  Seriously the two days of prep that led up to the big day were simply awesome.  THIS is what family (and that means good friends too) functions are all about.  I love you all!

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The wedding.  Again, there are so many more pics that tell the story, but I don’t have them yet.  Our photo album will do a better job of including everyone and everything.

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I can’t thank, love and hug all who attended (in spirit, online and in person) enough.  Now, I’m spending the days packing up the house while Joe is at work.  Soon, my house will go on the market and Joe will retire and, well, the next chapter in our lives will begin.  BUT, the fun times will continue.  What lucky, blessed folk we are!

Hellos and Goodbyes!


Photo taken and edited by Andrew Cole … thanks Andy!  I’ll share more of your goodies later.

The past few days have been all about having fun with friends and saying good bye.  Too many farewell parties this time around, but I’m happy for my friends moving on to new experiences.  I’m sad for my future here without them, but I’m sure some of us will most certainly drink and eat together again.  And, I’m grateful that a few of my friends will also be returning in August.

Some of our good byes.  Wish I had more pics to show, but we were too busy having fun to snap it all.

There are only three main to-dos for me today:  finish packing, clean up my mess of an apartment and land my tuckus on the window seat that leads to the flight that will get me back home.  I’ve accomplished two, and in about an hour I’ll be on my way to the airport.  (time IS dragging a bit right now)

I cannot wait to see everyone!  And then six weeks later I’m back to saying goodbyes.  It’s my ever-revolving circle of tears and laughter.

And, that’s about all I’ve got to share for now … more posts will be in the making shortly!  Have a great summer everyone.!



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