Friday, January 29, 2010

Botanical Garden

I realize I have shamefully neglected this blog lately, between law school and focusing on my book website (and not having anything interesting to post), I haven't posted anything for awhile. Recently, Colby and I were able to visit the Desert Botanical Garden in Tempe with the Snow family. It was beautiful! I had no idea there were that many different types of cacti (the plural of cactus, as I was corrected by Haydn) nor that the were that beautiful. I found out that the reason most of the trees here have green bark is because they don't have typical leaves, the bark will actually do photosynthesis so the tree can eat at all times.

The photo above is a beautiful glass sculpture located outside the garden that they are trying to purchase from the artist. We really enjoined the walk through and are planning on visiting again when the flowers are blooming in the next couple of months.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jordanne and Jillian Visit

In November I found out about a killer deal being run by Southwest Airlines, fly anywhere in the US roundtrip for $50.00. So, Jordanne and Jill bought tickets and came to spend the last week of freedom from school with me. It was great! We went shopping, visited the Snows, and went hiking. The girls were excited that it was in the 70's the whole time they were here. One day we went hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Cactus Preserve. It was gorgeous! We all had a great time and before we blinked they were boarding the plane to go home. I'm so glad they were here to hang out with me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again. New Years Resolutions. Why is it that I start off the year doing so well and then get worse as time goes on? Also, why is it I seem to have reoccurring resolutions. I mean, everyone has the repeat "lose weight" goal but I seem to go in patterns. Two years ago I had a resolution to go to the Temple every other month, that year Colby and I did well and the beginning of this past year we did well but we haven't been since before we moved to Arizona.

This year's resolutions are as follows:
1- Go to the Temple at least every other month.
2-Get down to that size six.
3-Survive my first year of law school.
4-Finish the projects for the blog forwarding I posted last year and get them mailed to the individuals who posted. (I have two mostly finished so I am on my way.)
5-Keep track of the books I read so I know how much I really read.

Recap of 2009:
I decided to do a recap of the highlights of 2009. Getting into law school was the biggest for me. Moving to Phoenix, I'm not sure I would call moving a highlight but it definitely was a big deal. Passing all my classes in the first semester of law school. It is amazing how a person's standards can drop. I started law school with the intention of being in the top 10% of the class, having been to school and taken the finals, my intention is now to just pass the classes, regardless of what standing I have in the class. Colby was laid off two days before Thanksgiving and found a new job this year. Dad got married again and I obtained four great new siblings in addition to a great new step-mother. Life is good.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hiking New Years Day

New Years day it was 70 degrees so we decided to head out hiking with the Snows. A couple of weeks ago, Erika took some amazing photos of Colby and I at the Sonoran Preserve. It was incredible to see the many different types of cacti and to see the weird cactus. It was a great hike and the preserve is set up so you can hike as long or as short as you like. All of us enjoyed the hike but I think Haydn's favorite part was the Icee after the hike was over.
The boys were troopers until the very end and then they needed rides. (Of course, Wyatt got a ride for the entire hike and he enjoyed being outside with all of us.)
We have decided we all need to get outdoors more while the weather is so good (good in Phoenix being below 100 degrees).


This year was the first Christmas with the now combined Lamb-Schmutz (or is it Schmutz-Lamb?) family. All of us were there, and by all of us I mean the nine children Dad and Tia have between them, (Myself, Jocee, D.J., Josh, Jordanne, Courtney, Jillian, Taylor and Jaycee) the three in-laws (Colby, Zorn and Rachel), three grandchildren (Brejden, Amilya and new little Cartr) and Matt, our cousin who has basically lived at Dad's house since high school. (Impressed I can name everyone? I am!) Needless to say, chaos abounded, there definitely weren't enough beds and at one time it was hard to find a free bathroom. But we all had a good time. The tree looked insane with all the presents under it (as Jillian said, "This is what happens when you leave two presents unattended under the tree").

I don't think anyone was disappointed and it was great to see how excited the kids got. Brejden woke us all up at 7:00 a.m. by running down the hall shouting, "Wake up everyone, it's Christmas! It's Christmas!" Mily and Brejden made a killing since every single Aunt and Uncle got them each a present. Jocee and Zorn couldn't fit all the presents into their car to go home and DJ and Rachel had to take some of the presents up with them on their way to spend the New Year with Rachel's family in Wyoming.
Cartr got passed around a lot but Tia really liked to hold him and he loves his Grandma. After opening presents with my family, we headed over to Colby's for the traditional big breakfast (of course I forgot to pull out the camera for that) but the food was fabulous and the company even better. Grandma and Grandpa Squire came over and Bentley showed off his moves on the Big Wheels he got from Grandma and Grandpa Williams. (I couldn't decide who was more excited about the Big Wheel, Bentley or his Dad and Grandpa.)

Saturday, Kim, Lachelle, Sharlene and I all spent some quality time together getting pedicures and then met with the guys for lunch. Later we went to the Squire Family Christmas party and were able to get caught up with everyone. The entire group played Christmas Charades and here is Lachelle and Bentley acting theirs out. :)
After the party, we played games with Colby's family and we laughed so hard that Colby and Lyman cried.
We had a great time with both of our families and enjoyed the holidays. I hope you all did too!

Christmas Travel 2009

Since moving to Phoenix, our usual travel method has been to go to St. George by way of Flagstaff and then through Fredonia. (Our drive would be much faster if they would just build a bridge over the Grand Canyon.) With the snowy weather, we decided to go over the Hoover Dam through Las Vegas. The last time we had been on the dam was well over a year ago and we were surprised by the progress they have made building the new bridge.

I have to admit I am nervous about actually driving on the new bridge, you can't tell from the photos we took from the moving car but it is built over the river side of the dam and is REALLY high up. The traffic on our drive to St. George wasn't bad but coming home we had about a 45 minute wait to get onto the dam. For those of you not familiar with traveling over the dam, thanks to 9-11 and the fear of a terrorist attack on the dam, all vehicles have to drive through a security check point and security may make you pull over so they can search your vehicle before allowing you onto the bridge. After being stuck in the security traffic, I was feeling more inclined to give the new bridge a chance so long as it doesn't add time to our drive.
When we moved from Salt Lake City our rental truck was too large for security to allow on the dam so we had to take an hour long detour (which added too much time on our already ridiculously long drive...but I digress...). Having lived in Salt Lake City for the last almost eight years and gotten used to a four hour drive to get home, the 7 1/2 hour drive from Phoenix seems to take FOREVER! I'm sure I will get used to it by the time I have finished law school and it won't seem so bad. But we made it to St. George and were able to enjoy the holiday with the families. I have to admit it was weird to have to pack warm clothes to go to SG. Phoenix has been about 20 degrees warmer so very different from going from Salt Lake City which always had snow and cold in December.