I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

November 18, 2009

Girls Only!

Last month, I experienced one of the best weekends of my life!  I met up with my Mom and sisters in Seattle for a Girls Only Weekend. It was a blast! Although I am a little bias, I do think that I have the greatest Mom and Sisters ever.  I only wish I could see them more often...it truly makes me appreciate the time we do get to share and makes me love them even more.

Kera, Kristyn, Mckell, Meagan, Mom, Me, Natalie

Seattle...one of the most beautiful cities
I have ever visited

My older sister lives in Seattle so we all decided it was definately time to take a trip, visit and celebrate her birthday with her.  Kristyn was the best host! She was the cook, innkeeper, chauffer, and tour guide.  Not an easy job.  Her husband Thomas was such a gentlemen...making sure the fridge stayed stocked with Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper, assisting with transportation and most of all, being Dad so that Kristyn could enjoy the weekend with the girls.  Of course, I can't leave out Aiden. What a sweet boy! I wish I would have had room in my suitcase to take him home with me! He is the smartest, most kind-hearted and one of the cutest boys I know. I am a lucky aunt!

We had so much fun not only touring this amazing city, but also enjoying being together. Our first outing was seeing the sites of Seattle first class style...in a Duck Tour Bus/Boat Ride.  It was a BLAST!! We really had so much fun.

So this bus goes down into water and becomes a boat. First we saw many of the attractions down town on a bus ride and then went to the harbor, down in the water and floated around there.

Aiden with his quacker

We seriously had the best tour guide ever! He was the man with many hats, had clever stories and music that went along with all the sites and attractions. He was a riot!

Being the birthday girl, Kristyn got to (had to?!) wear a duck hat and dance up and down the isles. (I know...just what you want to do for your birthday!) But she was such a good sport and definately had some pretty good moves!

Some of the attractions were Safeco Field, the building where Grey's Anatomy is filmed, the Space Needle and the famous Sleepless in Seattle home.

So I'm going to share a blonde moment I had.  While on the duck tour, one sign caught my attention: "ALL CLOTHING 100% off! Free admission"   I thought, Wow! They're having a great sale and it's free to get in! I leaned over and said to the girls, we need to check that out. Probably some great shopping in there.  Kristyn's response, "I don't think we want to go in there." Why, I ask. "Because it's a strip club!" Of course it is! Now, I do have to say that I couldn't see the top of the sign, the "Lusty Lady's" part. Being in the duck bus blocked the entire view! At least we all got a good laugh about that one. 

We absolutely loved the duck ride tour

The next day we drove to a beautiful city north of Seattle called Leavenworth. It is a cute little shopping and tourist German town.

We ate lunch in an authentic German restaurant. I was the only one not brave enough to try the food...I stuck with a chicken salad. I know boring huh. But the others got the real stuff... wienerschnitzel, bratwurst goulash, and sauerbraten. (I was glad I stuck with a salad!)

We had so so much fun shopping...very cute and original purses, jeans, jewelery, and our biggest treasure the "Beanie Band". We're not sure the real name, but that's what we named them. They are so cute.  My sweet mom bought us all one and we wore them the rest of the day.  We got so many compliments and people asking where we got them. Seriously, when we bought them there were like 30 in the store. When we left to go home we stopped in the store to say goodbye and tell them everyone loves the beanie bands and they already sold at least 20 more! The plan is for us to go into business...we shall see!

More fun shopping...

Thanks Leavenworth for the beautiful and quaint town, fun shopping day, and lasting memories!

So in the van, Natalie found a strap to pull, which surprised us both...it flipped the seat backwards and down we went! We had a good, long laugh!

The first night we were at Kristyn's, we were discussing missing our cousin Mckell and wanting her there with us. She truly is one of us.  So we got planning.  By 1:30am, we had a plane ticket purchased, thanks to Kristyn so willing to share her hard-earned sky miles. "Anything for Mckell", she said. Mckell was pulling an all-nighter studying so that she could be prepared to take a test Friday before leaving for the airport.  Call us crazy, I know, but it was so so worth it! The big surprise was that my mom had already gone to bed when this planning took place, so we decided to not tell her and just surprise her.  We made up a little story...I realized that I had forgotten a gift bag on the airplane. (It was Kristyn's birthday afterall.) I pretended to call the airport and discovered that they had it, so we took a trip back to the airport to retrieve this "special package." My mom believed every word. Here is the anticipation on our ride to the airport...

I went into the airport to retrieve the "special package" and came out with Mckell!! My mom was shocked!

Oh, how I just love surprises!!

We were all so happy to have Mckell with us

The next morning, we visited Pike's Street and the market.

Of course we watched the buying and selling of the fresh fish, which entails the fish being thrown around.  Nat wanted a little more excitment and she got what she asked for! The workers placed a bottle on the top of her head and then threw a fish over her head to the worker behind the counter, with the goal to knock over the bottle but hopefully not smack her face with the fish! It was suspenseful, but good to report the workers were successful...they knocked over the bottle and Natalie didn't leave with a fish smelling face!

 I was trying to stay in the back, out of sight because there was a little old man creeping around scaring and startling people with this crawfish.  Because I was so occupied with avoiding him, what I didn't see was one of the workers pick up a giant squid and start walking towards me. Yikes! It freaked me out! I started running away...and he followed. That was enough for me, we were out of there!

There is a famous "gum wall" downtown.  Years ago, they tried removing all the gum and cleaning it up, but people kept coming back and putting their gum on the wall.  Now, it's just accepted and attracts people to add their own gum to it.

Of course, Nattles had to contribute!

One day we took a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. It was beautiful.  The green foilage is unbelievable (especially coming from the desert!) And all the fall colors...very pretty. By the way, isn't my mom so beautiful? She is such an amazing and talented person. I love her so much! I feel so blessed to have her as my Mom. It is because of her that we as daughters and family love to be together. So thank you, Mom and thanks to my sisters as well for making this trip and all our time together so wonderful!   

November 3, 2009

Fall Festivities

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!!

Here's the lineup: Spiderman, a Wizard, and Witch

What a cute witch!

Mason was insistent on being a Wizard for Halloween, with specific details too. Ideally, it needed to be blue, have a wand and of course needed stars.  I was having a really hard time finding a costume that met these specifications. Luckily, I found this at a store in Seattle and only had to make a few adjustments.  We added stars to the hat and turned a broom into the wand (thanks to my Mom for taking it as her carry-on on her plane ride home).  It turned out to be a really fun costume and most importantly, met Mason's approval!

Jalen loves anything Spiderman right now, so of course that's what he chose to be.  For the last year, Jalen has worn Mason's old spiderman costume very regularly.  It has been worn and loved and it showed it! There were several holes and it just didn't look very nice anymore. So I borrowed another Spiderman costume from a friend.  This costume was the real deal...had muscles, better mask, etc.  So two days before Halloween, Jalen got to wear a costume to his preschool class Halloween party.  As soon as we put on the costume, he started crying and freaking out.  Here's how our conversation went:

Jalen: "I don't want to wear this!"
Me: "But I thought you wanted to be Spiderman."
Jalen: "I do!"
Me: "Well, this is a spiderman costume. Look, it's a really neat Spiderman costume!"
Jalen: "No! I'm not wearing it!"
Me: "But it's Spiderman. Why don't you want to wear it?"
Jalen crying: "It has Boobies!!"
Me: "Oh, no...these are muscles! See how cool. There's muscles for your arms and legs. It makes you strong just like Spiderman."
Jalen: "No! It has boobies. I'm not wearing it!"

So Jalen did not wear the costume. He went to preschool dressed up like Batman (A very quickly thrown together costume, which completely looked it!)  Then for Halloween, I sewed the holes and he wore the Spiderman costume he's worn practically everyday for the last year. But you know what....he was happy!! And that's all that matters.

TrIcK or TrEaT!

We love Halloween and especially enjoy it in Arizona. The weather is absolutey beautiful, which encourages much socialization and fun in the neighborhoods.  People really go all out with decorations, activities, and haunted houses...which makes trick or treating very entertaining.
The adults have just as much fun as the kids!

Two spooky witches..Madelyn and her friend Chase

Mason just chillen with a neighbor friend McKenzie

Our neighbors went all out and put together an awesome Haunted House, which attracted many people to our block.  Jalen was so fascinated with it.  He watched from our balcony at night for weeks as they prepared and got it ready.  However, he was also terrified. There was no way he was going to go inside!   Other neighbors dressed up like zombies with masks and all the get-up. Jalen didn't know which was worse...listening to the chain saw and screams coming from the haunted house, or trying to keep away from the wandering Zombies in the streets!  He decided that under a table was best. You'ld think he would have wanted to go home, but no! He insisted on sticking around, not wanting to miss the action.

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to go with some friends to their family cabin in Alpine. It was such a much needed break!  It was so beatiful and a treat to see the beautiful fall colors, something we missed out on last year. Here are a few pictures.

The boys were in heaven...dirt, sticks, pocket knives, binochulers, hiking, and tree climbing. What more could little boys ask for!

Becca with her sweet Mom and Dad. 
 It was so fun getting to know them.

So this is what happens when two silly girls get ahold of a camera....

What funny girls! They are so lucky to have each other.

Their family has built a really neat tree house.  The kids had so much fun and spent hours putting together the kitchen, family room and bedroom for the babies. They really have so much fun together.  Thanks Jeff and Becca for a wonderful weekend!