Friday, August 22, 2008

LOTS to do (and tell about) in the White Mountains...

So my parents invited us to join them in Pinetop, Arizona for this past week. We went up Saturday through Wednesday and then let my parents have a few more days to themselves. Paul & I had been to Pinetop for a brief overnighter for our 2nd anniversary in the wintertime and knew how beautiful it was, so we were looking forward to just enjoying the beauty, playing, relaxing and enjoying the cooler weather! It was a really great trip. We got the scoop on what to do (i.e. last post + some other tips for Arizona natives). We actually started on Friday night, staying at my parents house, and went rapelling Saturday morning just outside Mesa with friends which was very fun! - and then we picked Taya back up at my parents' and all headed out for Pinetop, stopping along the way near Payson to take a short hike to a natural swimming hole - it was beautiful! Sunday we just enjoyed church and then staying in due to a pouring rainy day; playing games, taking naps, etc.
Monday was the highlight: we got up and headed out to the nearby secluded Hawley Lake surrounded by pines, rented a small motor boat and went fishing on the lake and picknicking across the lake. Poor Paul and my Dad only caught crawdads (like 6 of them!) and were teased by fish over and over again, biting and stealing their bate only to get away. After we left the lake, we drove further away from Pinetop towards the tiny town of Greer (near a ski resort) and took a scenic loop drive to Greens Peak Lookout along the way, 10,000 ft. elevation - amazing views!!! We then finished off the day driving to Greer and eating at Molly Butler's Grill - a locals lodge with great steaks, etc. that faces grassy meadows and a tall green mountain of pines right across the street. After a brief rain pour, a double rainbow showed up right over these grassy meadows - it was a picture perfect finish to our wonderful day.
Tuesday, Paul and I started with an intense workout dvd, then did laps in the hotel pool, then went mountain biking - and later regretted all of our activity due to our SOAR muscles. Then we finished it all off with a dinner out to The Pasta House restaurant - GREAT Italian food - a restaurant we had been to on our 2nd anniversary as well.
Before driving home (which included a couple scenic lake detours) on Wednesday, we went to the Snowflake temple that morning and then briefly stopped in and by a couple of the cute, quaint historic houses/social hall before heading back to pick up Taya so we could drive on home.
All in all, it was truly a wonderful trip and we felt VERY lucky to have the chance to stay with my parents in Pinetop, and lucky again to have a few chances to go to dinner, to the temple and moutain biking while my parents watched Taya. Thank you, thank you, thank you Mom & Dad!!
So now for the part that's actually interesting for everyone else: the pictures!

I did this cliff jump too, but there was no flipping for me thank you - but look at Paul!

The only sad part was that there was SO much trash near this swimming hole; this is only part of it; we collected the rest and packed it out of camp like good scouts :)

Coming from church
Hawley Lake

At Greens Peak lookout, there were radio towers too and we climbed over this to get up there despite the 'Danger!' & 'Keep Out!' signs - I felt so tough, it was worth it for the best view!
Then this big black rain cloud started to loom and I scurried down knowing we were in the WORST POSSIBLE LOCATION for lightning.

Here is our view near Molly Butler's restaurant in Greer.
We could see the entire arches of this double rainbow, but were too close with our cameras to capture it all.

Goin' out to dinner.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What to do in the White Mountains?

Random post to my fellow Arizonans: This is my question...

We are going to stay in Pine Top, AZ with my parents coming up here, and I'm trying to research (fairly unsuccessfully) what there is to do in Pine Top, Show Low, the White Mountains, etc. Can some of you recommend anything?

I like to keep my eye out for good hiking trails, beautiful lakes, horse backriding for a good price?, good small town restaurants or candy shops/bakeries, ecclectic shops, local festivals/fairs....

Does anyone have anything to recommend? We can go to other surrounding areas too. We may go to the Snowflake temple, so like I said, we can travel outside Pine Top a little ways...

Let me know!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Taya's First Year

Newborn Taya
(Long post ahead; a brief journal of Taya's first year)
Two pics, not even one week old yet!
Skip Forward: Round Faced 8 Months!
Skip Forward Again: 9 Months

And Here it is! Taya's First Birthday, shared with Grandpa Harris too!
Taya got to dive into a big lovely piece of cake all by herself, she didn't waste any time!

My mom surprised us with this dress for Taya when she came to welcome Taya's birth a year ago: it is made out of the leftover fabrics from Taya's bedding that my mom also made - now it just about fits! Isn't it CUTE?
Our own little photo shoot on Taya's actual birthday; apparently she wasn't too happy about it.
I spoiled Taya with her first bubble bath on her birthday too; she looks happy here, but she actually didn't like it that much. How can a girl not like a bubble bath?

We celebrated Taya's birthday with swimming & BBQ, with family and a few close friends who've gotten to know Taya well this past year. It was great! I'm sure she'll remember it ALWAYS ;) This is kind of how Taya's first year has gone down: she was wonderful and a good sleeper the first 2 weeks of her life, then she helped us become more seasoned and experienced by pulling the Colicky Card for the next few months, but I stopped drinking and eating dairy and that mostly solved that. Then she pulled out the Social/Happy card and continues to exude happiness and fun around other babies, kids and adults more and more (she definitely becomes happier and more excited when company is over, she loves her attention that girl). Now she's a walking machine, loves to point at everything, buzz her lips, sign 'book' and occasionally attempt signing 'dog' & 'all gone', wave hello/bye bye/night night, and hold any telephone to her ear saying 'Hi.Hi.Hi.Hi.Hi.'
We love you so much Taya!! We can't wait to share more birthdays with you!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Memories... like the corner of my mind, sing it Barbara!

Here is a post while I find time to post more on Taya's birthday and other post ideas ...
So this is that memory tag that is going around that I've been avoiding, thinking, '...but if I had everyone post a memory of me, isn't that so focused on well, ME?' -- mmmm, but I give in out of my curiousity, and supposedly to contribute to the memory book that I will one day turn my blog into (one day huh). So here it is!! Have fun embarrassing me or my family!

1. As a comment on my blog, leave a memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! 2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments. If you want to leave a memory about Taya or Paul, that's fine too!