Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mesa Means Table

It's crazy how many people I know and love all coincidentally live within miles of each other in the Mesa, Arizona area! It makes the decision to go visit a no-brainer! I am spending most of this week there and having an absolutely wonderful time.

Michelle and I left at 1:00 a.m. to make the 11 hour drive. Thank heavens Michelle does a better job driving between 1-7 a.m. than I do! She took the first half of the drive (plus some!) and I took the second half.  We listened to some great tunes including Celine Dion, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Adele, and more.

We got into town just in time for me to meet up with my dear friend Kate and her husband Darren for church, which was just like old times! Kate and I were in the same ward four different times in BYU singles wards.  We came back to their beautiful new apartment and had a delicious meal and kicked back to watch the Olympics.  I love the level of comfort only found with the oldest and dearest of friends.  I didn't get a pic but there is more Kate and Darren time to come!

I am staying with Shilo and Kimball, whose family is like a second family to me. I mentioned Shilo a few posts ago.  They make me feel right at home and I love each and every one of the Richins clan.

On Monday morning, I met up with one of the fearsome foursome from my BYU music education days, Alicia.  Alicia, Emily, Many and I went through our under-grad program together and became fast friends in the process.  They made my college experience so joyful! 

I brought Shilo's two youngest along for morning of swimming.

Alicia brought her two oldest.  I loved getting to know her sweet kids and seeing her as a Mom.  My friends are such good parents! It is amazing to see and I long to someday have that opportunity!
Emily is quite an impressive acrobat and swimmer. We did some Olympic competitions in the pool and Emily won an admirable amount of gold medals.

I asked Courtney to smile for the camera and this is what I got. Kids are SO cute!

Ty Ty, waiting for the bucket to drop...

...which releases a surprisingly large amount of water on one's head!

While waiting for Alicia and her kids to finish getting ready to go, Ty Ty, Emily and I played the game that just never gets old: The "I tell you an expression and you make it and then I take a picture and then we all look at the pictures we just took and laugh" game.

In love
Just won a gold medal in the Olympics!
Upon further consideration, "Just won a gold medal in the Olympics" take 2
Best friend is coming to visit!
Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon Dynamite

Alicia and her kids

Me and "my kids"
 We went to Costco for lunch (also something that never gets old to me) and then journeyed to what I now consider one of the happiest places on earth: Bahama Bucks.

Bahama Bucks is a franchise mainly in Arizona and Texas. Alicia's parents own this particular shop.
Can you tell why I wanted this picture to be taken?
Here's a closer look, in case you missed it.

Alicia's third joined us for the second half of our day of adventures and I was smitten! See if you can tell what changed from this picture to the next to make that little frown turn upside down!!

By the end of the visit, Emil, Tyler, and Alicia had all successfully completed the ring toss!

Ty got super sour lime and Em got strawberry with cream. Yum!!
Alicia and I got our shaved ice "Bahama-mama-rama" style (I think that's how it goes) with vanilla ice-cream on the bottom and cream on top...it was so good it's almost unfair.  I got half raspberry and half "big bed" flavor which is essentially like a strawberry Italian cream soda.  Alicia got wedding cake as one of her flavors! Not sure why this place isn't in every single city in the nation.

After the fun morning and afternoon with Alicia's family, I met up with Michelle for a much anticipated trip to get pedicures. It was heaven;y.
I debated a (too) long time on what design to get.  I was really hesitant about the black background for the polka dots but went for it anyway.  I think I like it.

Monday night is family night, and Tyler and Emily taught us about paying tithing. Tyler did the object lesson where we drew a dollar amount out of a hat and then figured out how much we should pay in tithing using the money in the middle.

After family night, Emily introduced me to Shelby the snail whom she rescued in Utah. She made her a habitat in a Tupperware.
Of course I then had to show her "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On" on Youtube.

Can't wait for more fun to come in sunny AZ!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Grab Bag Part 2

This summer has been full of reuniting with friends!

1) My very first roommate from college!
Shelley and beautiful baby Stephen came to visit! I miss my old roommates SO much, and I realize just how much whenever I get to see them again. Dave calls Stephen "Superman Baby" because of his buff arms and legs at just 8 1/2 months!

I could hang out with this kiddo all day!

 2) Joseph Cast!

We had our cast party for Joseph (I will eventually post pictures my dad took from the show!) last week.  It was held at the home of one of our cast members and was absolutely beautiful!

Jessame, Allison, and Dallin, great friends I made while doing the show!
Glenn is mid front flip off the diving board, but look at that water slide!
So happy to be there!
Jessame, Allison, and Kira
I took this picture for Dave, who has been a TMNT fan for many years.  Can you believe the awesomeness of this shirt?

We all gathered in the raquetball court (INSIDE the house) to watch a spoof on our show written by the producer's husband.

It was Quatro and the Amazing Monochromatic Life Vest (or something).

We were then asked to write our own endings to the beginning of the story that was shown to us. We had about 5 minutes to do so.

Ours involved Sebastian and King Trident from the Little Mermaid.

Unfortunately the group after us also had the Little Mermaid idea.
This is my buddy Matt who just graduated high school and therefore reminded me of all my students at Highland!
We all gathered in the movie room (INSIDE the house) to watch an incredibly well-put together slide show of our show. It was a blast. We all sang along an had a great time laughing and cheering as pictures appeared on the screen.

 3) The Mighty Prospectors!

My friend Ben from Phillmont hosted a reunion for our camp group at his house. Almost EVERYONE was able to make it, which just shows how well we all got along in New Mexico!

Here is your host, Ben Parry!
Liz is so funny. You have to meet her to understand.  This was a moment where she got a butcher knife and covered it in ketchup and we all took pictures. I guess you had to be there.
Ben's brother Mike who brought the Brats (SO good!)
Here is the gang. Thanks, new roomie Michelle, for being such a good sport and coming with me and putting off our trip to Arizona by almost a day so I could go! And for taking our group pics. You're the best!
We're going to start having these reunions regularly. The next one is at our place!

Stay tuned for many more glorious reunions in Arizona!