Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break Adventures

Over spring break, we decided to take full advantage of the outdoors, which means we went snow to beach within the span of 24 hours. 

First up were the snowy hills of Flagstaff. 

We were excited to see the hot air balloons on our way - a fun feature of Arizona skies.

After a little less than 2 1/2 hours, we found our snow among the beautiful Flagstaff vista.

30 more minutes of driving, and we arrived at the Nordic Center to try cross country skiing. Now, Ed's done it a handful of time, but I'd only done it once. Neither of us had gone for at least 16 years. With my balance issues, I was understandably a bit nervous. 

The verdict? I'm not horrible. It was pretty hard, and I didn't really hit my stride until the end, but it was beautiful and very, very fun. 

We stuck with the easy trails, per my insistence. Today was really the last day of cross country skiing, which made since considering our 60 degree skiing day. Snow was melting like crazy! That did make things more challenging, with lots of ice on the trail and a few dry patches. 

We were out there for about an hour and had a blast. 

Next year we'll have to go back right after a snowfall to enjoy skiing in perfect trail conditions!

The next morning, we were off again, this time to California! We decided to combine visiting my family with a little camping, so we booked ourselves an oceanfront San Clemente site. 

The downside was that the fog hung around pretty much the whole time we were there, making it pretty freezing, but we still had such a great time. 

My parents came down to join us for dinner, and we sat around the fire together, enjoying sausages, goat cheese beans, and salad. It was so much fun to share this with them. They left around 8, and Ed and I continued to enjoy the fire ourselves, along with a s'more or two. It did get pretty cold, but it was still wonderful.

The next morning, Ed got up early while I lazed about. I may have chosen a sleeping bag not quite warm enough for the conditions, so after Ed got up, I got in his and then put it in my sleeping bag. This let me get a bit more sleep :). 

Breakfast was our classic oatmeal and hot cocoa, along with enjoying just a bit of sunshine. Afterwards, Ed went out for a run, while I hung at camp and read (I was feeling a little off from the lack of sleep and just wanted to relax). 

Once he came back, we explored the beach below our campsite, which was very fun. 

It definitely felt more like a central or northern CA coast beach with the fog. 

Looking up, we could see where we'd camped the night before. 

So glad I have a husband who also enjoys being outdoors. 

Walking around we spotted our newfound friends - the agaves - and had to snap a picture. 

Finally, we headed into town for lunch, and went to Avilas, a restaurant that we really like (though at a different location). We were thrilled to be sitting by the fire, enjoying the day. 

Drinks and chips really made this feel like spring break. 

It was the perfect way to spend spring break! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Lyons Go To Spring Training

Ever since Ed and I got together, we'd been planning on going to a baseball game. Believe it or not, I had never been to a baseball game (that I can remember - apparently I went to an Angels game as a kid, and even sat in the press box, but alas, so memory). But, the years slipped by in the Bay Area and we never made it to one. So, since we were moving to the home of Spring Training, we decided that we should attend a game. 

And, we did!

Of course, we had to attend a Giant's game, and we were so surprised at the huge amount of Giant's pride in Scottsdale. As we looked for parking, we saw Giants flags everywhere, signs promoting a Giant's victory, and lots of fans decked out in Giants gear. Pretty crazy considering they were playing the Diamondbacks (Phoenix's team). 

We went for lawn seating, which was excellent. 

You just brought a picnic blanket, spread out, and relaxed! Perfect for watching a game. 

We needed lunch, so I decided to go with the "famous" noodles, which were very delicious (and seemed like a much better deal than the hot dog Ed bought for the same price). 

For never watching a game, I was able to follow it pretty well. 

Of course, I may have read my book between the innings. That's normal, right?

At the 5th inning, we may have enjoyed some delicious garlic fries. 

And, of course, we had to have some beers. 

I may have needed to check out the scoreboard after each swing, to find out whether it was a ball, strike, out, etc. But, I did pretty much get the lingo by the end. 

We stuck it out to the end, and were rewarded with an awesome Giants' victory. 

Baseball was such an important part of Ed's childhood, so it was so great to share this experience with him. 

While I may not have become a baseball aficionado, I do think we'll make this an annual event. What a special way to spend a Sunday. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our "New" Home

The past month has been a huge one for our house. While there were a lot of changes we'd planned on waiting on, we finally decided that we should just go for it,  so over President's weekend, we bit the bullet and decided to say goodbye to our grass. This was (and still is) a bit of a bittersweet decision. We love the look of grass. But, we are also very aware that we live in the desert. And having grass just didn't make sense, especially since we had to redo all of our irrigation and the planter box. 

After three full days of work, this is what we had:

Granted, it still looks a bit bare, as our plants need to grow in, but we're very happy with the end result, especially our pathway! We were able to use flagstone that we already had from the side of the house, and river rock we also already had. Once our tree and agaves grow in, it will look amazing.

We also fixed up our planters in the back, putting in some small gravel to make things look nicer. 

Again, when the plants grow in, it'll look great!

We were also so thrilled to take out this ugly planter that really messed up the flow of our backyard.

A few nights ago, I looked back at the pictures from our house hunting trip, and the thing I keep coming back to is that none of the houses can even hold a candle to this one. 

Especially with the weather we've been having (and will be having even more often), it's pretty idyllic. 

We also had some big changes inside. After wishing for it since before we even moved in, we finally decided to go ahead and paint. And we couldn't be even more thrilled. Finally, we no longer have a million colors downstairs!

It's amazing how much less light we need now, that our room is so much brighter. 

Our home now feels cohesive, and so much more like us. 

In just two months, we'll have owned our home for a year, believe it or not. It's so fun to think about all the changes we've made for our home. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spring Crafts

  Life, Love and Puppy Prints

So far, I've only successfully been able to complete on spring craft so far. Forever ago, I pinned this picture, with the plan to make my very own soon.

Gorgeous wreath!
(source isn't working anymore)

Finally, things calmed down enough, and it was the right season for me to tackle my very own version.

I can honestly say that I very much love it! It makes the front of our house look so much cozier and friendly. Plus, it'll look nice all the way until fall. I was super easy to make - just bought the hydrangeas from Michaels, detached their stems and leaves, and stuck them through the grapevine. I didn't even secure them with anything (something I need to rectify soon). The numbers are a bit larger than I'd wanted, but work just fine. I painted them with some craft paint, then hot glued some floral wire to the back, and used that to attach them to the wreath.     

All told, the craft took maybe 30 minutes start to finish. Easy, pretty and well worth the effort. 

Excellent pinterest find :)