Category Archives: family

All the Clichés


Last summer was the beginning of the end for my 18 year relationship with Alex. We struggled through the hot months with hurting hearts. Then, right before out baby girl turned 8, we separated, and he moved out. I’ve felt grief before but this loss, the loss of our family, our future together, our normal, pulled me deep down into depression. I knew that this was going to be one of the most difficult times in my life.

And it has been.

However, here I am, remembering how much I struggled to keep my head above water and suddenly I’ve realized how amazing this journey has been as well.

I don’t mean to go all “Stella got her Groove Back” on you, but the journey has held equal parts pain and joy. Loss and discovery. “Know the bad times so you can appreciate the good” and all the other clichés.

On the lighter side, I’m playing my recital, again, for another venue! Also, my hip was hurting again (pinched sciatic nerve) but I’m back on my feet and ready to get back on track for the Tour de Tucson! A TRO woodwind quintet has been created, I’m Super Duper excited to play in a quintet this summer.

I have more excitement coming this summer but I’ll wait to talk about it until it nailed down.

And here are some happy pictures.




The “Tail” of April








Picnic Dinner



I love October in Tucson! This is absolutely the best weather all year.

Ara and I took advantage of it by taking our dinner to the park yesterday. I wrapped up burritos and a Rubbermaid container with failed no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and off we went, to enjoy the sunset. IMG_4266

You might be wondering how I messed up no-bake cookies.. well I messed them up in my regular fashion. I get myself entrenched in a project BEFORE I check to see if I have all the ingredients. In this case, I had 1.5 cups of quick cook steel cut oats instead of 3 cups of regular quick cook oats. I small but important difference. So instead of cookies I had something of a very soft fudge texture. We ate it with spoons. We’re not picky!


The ‘dishes’ from our dinner.


Happy October to you!

Summer, where did you go?



I’ve lived in Arizona for all my life (minus 7 years in Nor Cal) and I’ve never seen a lizard that was this big. It’s hard to get a feel for how giant he was because he was wary of me and my camera. So sticking my hand on the tree would have made this a picture of just my hand on a tree and a place where a lizard USED to be sitting! Ara pointed him out, otherwise I would have walked on by, absorbed in my thoughts. Maybe it’s because this year’s monsoon season has been awesome. He’s had so many bugs to fill his scaly lizard belly?


Speaking of the monsoon season, it’s been lighting up the summer sky with the most ridiculously awesome sunsets. Pictures can’t do it any justice at all (my pictures anyway, especially through a dirty windshield).


I just thought I’d throw in a colorful apology note from Ara… LOL. Her face will show you exactly what she’s thinking. If looks could kill..


Katie’s Birthday is a few days before Ara’s. This was her heart and peace sign cake. I was tempted to use color and make a more traditional cake. She wanted Tinkerbelle at first. But then we settled on hearts and peace signs that I could easily add with fruit on top of homemade whipped cream. It was light and delicious, perfect for August in the desert.


We had Ara’s birthday dinner at The Trail Dust Town the very same evening as KT’s party. It was a long day but still a fun one. Ara had a great time with Alex’s family, who spoil her rotten!


She’s at the age where she really appreciates all the fashion accessories and clothes her aunts shower her with. Which is mutually delightful for all involved!


The day started out blazing hot and then cooled with a massive storm in the evening. Cooling things off so we could ride the train and explore.


More spoiling happened as we checked out the shops and candy store. Right after we boarded the little train my camera battery died!


The next day she modeled all 7 or 8 outfits and I took photos. She hated it, as you can see… lol.

IMG_3744 The night before her actual birthday I hung balloons outside her door with a penny in each to hold them down. I thought I was so clever, using this little trick from Pinterest.. until the balloons started popping on their own, and with money shrapnel inside! Luckily she didn’t wake up from the loud POPs! She adored the surprise the next morning. Waking to find balloons all over the house.


There were a couple canine guests invited so we made ‘doggie’ bags!

Ara’s cupcakes had strawberry hearts and Trader Joe’s Coco Balls on top of whipped cream. They were sort of a strawberry shortcake-ish.

IMG_3779 IMG_3788

Unfortunately this is the best picture I got of our T-Rex watermelon.  I did the carving and Ara put his ‘teeth’ in. The teeth made getting watermelon a challenge, which some people seemed to like. So it all worked out! You can see the TV on in the background. I moved the TV probably 6 months ago and never bothered to hook up the antenna because no one here watches TV. But then, I’ve been DYING to watch the Olympics and my Dad tells me now that they’re on regular old TV channels! So Alex hooked it up! Too bad they were pretty much over, oh well next time. That giant bubble TV might just last another 4 years!


After presents were opened Ara took her new stuff to the street! We got her a scooter and all the protective equipment you can strap onto a kid. Then, the shed was opened and the other bikes came out and all of the sudden my whole family is out in the street. Riding bikes, scootering, laughing, falling, and generally having an awesome time. The summer sun hid under a cooling cloud cover to make for a perfect evening. One that Ara will remember happily!

And that’s what happened while I wasn’t blogging! More to come soon, it’s been quite a while!

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