It was sort of like an extension of Mother's Day.
And by the way, my Mother's day was wonderful. I took an after-church nap while Jon dressed the kids in aprons and enlisted their help to create a nice meal for me. This is such a sweet gesture because if you know my husband, then you know that cooking is not his usual thing.
Everything turned out great!
The next day, while I was scrambling to balance work, cleaning, cooking and all the other "mom" duties by myself, I grumbled out loud, "I want Mother's Day back."
Well, I only had to carry on for three short days before I got all the respite a mother could wish for.
Last summer, my dear friend, Tracy, moved to Arizona. Tracy and her family were some of the first people we met when we moved to Washington. They were like the social planners of the ward. Tracy was always arranging playdates, planning campouts and hosting dinners and parties at her house. Even after she moved to a neighboring community a few years later, Tracy continued to regularly invite many of us from her old ward over for lunches and get-togethers.
Then she moved really far away. Almost as soon as she moved to Arizona, she was planning a trip for some of us girlfriends to come for a visit. Though it was tricky finding a weekend that would work for all of us, we eagerly accepted her invitation.
She is the hostess with the mostess. Her home is ah-maze-ing!
Our whole family was lucky enough to visit back in February, when the girls competed in Phoenix. We had a wonderful week-long visit. This girls' trip was equally as wonderful but totally different. I'm so lucky that I got to go back.
Tracy's backyard is like a resort. We spent a lot of time by the pool.
And chatting around the fireplace:
Tracy grilled us some burgers for a lunch served at her swim-up bar. Isn't she adorable?
Left to right: Stephanie, Camille, Anna, Me, Tracy and Jackie
When the sun got too warm, we slid into the pool to cool off.
We sometimes got a little crazy, too.
Look at Anna's toe touch! Impressive, huh? I promised I touched my toes, too. The picture just didn't capture me at the height of my jump. :)
There's a little bench under the waterfall:
One evening, we rode Segways while we watched the sunset. It was a blast!
A short hike to Hole in the Rock gave a pretty nighttime view of the city:
After a delicious pizza dinner, we went for decadent ice cream treats.
On Sunday Camille and I discovered that we have matching skirts. Luckily I brought another dress that I changed into so that we weren't matchy-matchy at church.
I styled the hair of each of Tracy's girls for church so I had to get a picture with them. Cute girls. Made me miss mine.
Brinkley, Kennedy, Me and Madison
After church we visited the Mesa temple.
There's a wonderful visitor's center on the temple grounds. We watched a beautiful movie about families and cried as we thought of those we'd left at home.
Soon enough, it was time to leave the cacti and return to the evergreens. This is Tracy's guest house:
Beautiful, right? Her entire home is decorated as lovely as this room. Our accommodations were deluxe. But I was ready to return to my simple life and be with my family.
I knew I was almost home when I saw this out of the window of the airplane:
While I was away, the family was having all sorts of fun. Jon and Caleb went on a father and sons campout. Alyssa had a blast eating candy for dinner in between walking laps at Relay for Life. (A huge thank you to our very generous family members that helped her raise funds for this event!) And Natalie got to have a sleepover with Emma and her two favorite babysitters of all time, Megan and Paige. There was scarcely any time to miss me.
What a wonderful weekend filled with fond memories!