our adventures in phoenix

It started with an idea. We had become stir crazy at home. With the temperatures in the negative or snowing every other week, we were over this “polar vortex.” So we decided to call our good friends, Kathleen and DJ, and picked their brains about a visit to Phoenix. Without thinking twice, they were on board. As in Kathleen was on her computer searching for flights while we were doing the same. In a matter of minutes, a flight was booked. This would become our first official family vacation with Noah man!

We knew traveling with little man might be completely crazy. After all, he was on the cusp of moving and who knew how he would do on a plane for three hours. What did we sign up for?!  Did I mention we have an unstoppable nine month old?! I will say, we may have packed up every back up plan for our flight including plenty of snacks and milk, his favorite books and toys, a blanket, pacifiers, and if absolutely needed, the iPad. To our surprise and everyone flying on the same flight, Noah man was one chill and happy babe. He slept and played quietly on the flight (except for the bursts of excitement). Of course it helped that anyone who looked in his direction, he would give them a big old smile and send the person and those surrounding into fits of laughter. This babe sure knows how to entertain a crowd!

As for our weekend, Phoenix captured out hearts. Literally. We may have even lefts pieces of it there to be honest. Maybe it was because this was Noah man’s first plane ride and vacation. Or because we finally are back at doing the thing we love the most together which is traveling. But one thing is for sure…the weekend was better than we could have imagined.

While the weather was not as hot it has been in Phoenix, we could not have been happier to be outside enjoying the warmer weather. (I shall state for the record, KC experienced another cold front, sleet, and snow this same weekend. We could not have picked a better weekend to jet out of town!)

Much of our weekend was spent sitting on the patio drinking margaritas, hiking, trying new restaurants, chatting about life with the patio door open while listening to the rain and holding a sweet sleeping babe, laughing until we had tears running down our cheeks, and catching up with family and friends. This weekend was exactly what we needed. It was perfection.

All it took was those two and half days for us to entertain the idea of living in Phoenix.  We know this life we live is way too short.  Given that the two of us have adventure engrained in our hearts, we dig the idea of become west coasters.  We have no idea where the next piece of our story lies, but I have a feeling we will be seeing beautiful Phoenix sooner than later!

Looking back at these memories already make me miss Phoenix, our family and friends and the warm weather…

Phoenix 01

i have no idea why, but this photo makes me so happy!

Phoenix 02

kathleen makes a mean egg casserole.

Phoenix 03

someone loves his uncle dj!

Phoenix 04

he means business when it is time to eat!

Phoenix 05

lunch at the pita jungle.  amazing.

Phoenix 06

the start of our hike.

Phoenix 07Phoenix 08

our cute mini hiker.

Phoenix 09Phoenix 10

Phoenix 11

one word: blessed.

Phoenix 12

i kind of am in crazy like with this guy.

Phoenix 13

what would i do without this gal?!

Phoenix 14

men (and a little man) being manly.

Phoenix 15

exploring this rock and dirt business.  

Phoenix 16

verdict: he is a born country boy like his daddy.

Phoenix 17

love is seen in the most unthinkable places.

Phoenix 18

my sweet love and i.

Phoenix 19Phoenix 20

so excited to see my cousin and his beautiful family!

Phoenix 21

a very neat spot where restaurant meets class meets backyard fun.

Phoenix 22

already missing these two!

Phoenix 23

a place that feels like a “home away from home.”

  

chances + walter mitty

Last night, I laid in our bed awake.  My mind was all over the place.  At one point, it landed on this topic.  It was one I could not shake away.  I asked myself where would I be had I not taken chances.  Chances which engulfed great loves, careers, and faith.

Life has taken me down some pretty twisted roads.  One which had shaken my trust and faith.  Often times, I would sit and daydream about the kind of life I wished to live.  This reminds me of Walter from the movie, Walter Mitty.  What I thought was going to be an ordinary date night turned into an extraordinary date night thanks to this movie.

The main character, Walter, goes on a quest to find an important negative for his company.  Little did he know, he was going to be led down a path full of adventures.  Bryan and I spent the entire movie in amazement.  (This movie needs to go on a the must-see list!)  By far one of my favorites from this year.  On a side note: as a movie viewer, I will say the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.  But, the story, the story is what resinated with me.  Maybe because it reminded me of someone I knew very well a few years back…me.

The movie left me with an important thought.  Taking a risk is scary.  But, it is far better than the alternative of living life with the “what ifs.”  I fought for the man I married.  Really, really hard.  Which is probably why I am still that crazy about him after 10 years.  Sure, we have silly arguments, but we now both understand marriage is some of the best and hardest work.  I knew the career path I chose when I had graduated was not meant for me.  So, I started over at 28 with a career path equally as challenging and competitive with the possibility of failing.  Who would have known I would love it so much that it would blend in with another big milestone in our life…welcoming our sweet babe into this world.  This may have been the most challenging, difficult, and amazing accomplishments yet.  Probably why I am a firm believer of taking risks and living life on the edge.  Because I now realize, I may not have been half as happy as I am had I not failed and succeeded in various aspects of this beautiful journey.

chances

(photo courtesy of Pen and Paint from etsy)

I will leave on this note with one of my favorite lines from last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, But, if we used our best judgement and listened to our hearts, we are more likely to see we chose wisely.  And, avoided the deepest, the most painful regret of them all…the regret that comes from letting something amazing pass you by.  

Off to pack for a weekend getaway with my boys to visit family, friends, and the sun!  Happy Friday, friends!

  

letters to noah man: nine months

Dear Noah,

The other night I sat down next to your daddy as he wiped away my tears.  They said this time would go all too fast.  And, they were right.  Somewhere in the past nine months, our newborn bundle of joy we bought home has been replaced with a sweet babe who hops when he sits, tries to stand any chance he gets, and has the most elaborate of stories with the most precious of theatrical eyebrows.  The thought of you turning one year in three months makes my heart both excited and sad.  Sad because I know you are only going to grow bigger, want to explore, and become a mini version of your daddy.  But, excited because I get to teach you how to love with that great big heart of yours, show you the amazingness of our world, and celebrate life.  

nine months 01

your rosy red cheeks get me every. single. time

I would be lying if I said this was not a game changer of a month for us as a family.  This is the month you brought your daddy and I the closest we have been in years.  This is the month you made our frantic mama and papa heart worry for you as we battled weight loss and gain.  This is the month you knew exactly what to do to make us smile when we needed it the most.  This is the month you made us incredibly proud.  And, this is the month, you taught us to pray.  Harder than ever before.  Above everything, this is the month you changed our hearts.  More than before.

nine months 02

my heart just exploded.

Bubba, I believe God is using your presence in our lives to teach us to learn to “let go.”  It is amazing to see the strength you teach us to have in order for us to guide you through this beautiful life.  It is because of you, one worried mama has been replaced with a more carefree mama who laughs freely and smiles endlessly.  It is a working progress…this mama thing.  But, you have definitely turned our life into something we are so blessed to be living a part of each day.

nine months 03

Let me go ahead and say, while I thought last month was my favorite month, I was wrong.  This month goes down as your daddy and I’s most favorite time with you (aside from the day when we brought you home from the hospital).  I am sure we will continue to say this sentence a few more times. We blinked and suddenly you have become this amazing nine month old.

nine months 04

daddy always makes your giggle.

While we battled with weight loss and gain this month, we feel nothing but gratitude you are healthy and happy.  Bub, this was a HUGE month for you.  You got in not one or two but THREE teeth this month with another on it’s way.  Somehow you did it without much a fuss.  (Your daddy and I owe you big one day when you are older!)  Not to mention, in one week, you decided you wanted to crawl, try standing, kneel, and take steps while holding you up  WHAHHHHHTTTTTT?!??!!??!!?  I about had my heart jump out the other day when I turned around to you halfway standing up.  You always keep it interesting at the Lindsey household!  

nine months 05

You have five favorite books that we must read to you every night before going to bed-My 100 First Words, Good Night, I Love You, B is for Bear, Toes, Ears, and Fingers, and I Love You Through and Through.  I almost feel like you know what is going to come next.  Especially in your “B is for Bear” book.   My goodness do you love your books! Without a doubt, you LOVE to babble. (You may get this from mama!)  Your daddy promises he heard you say, Yes, What’s Up, and Where Are You. I may think otherwise but it does make us giggle. We will stick to saying Mama, Dada, and Pebs.  Our favorite part is hearing you tell your elaborate stories which includes squeals, giggles, and those theatrical eyebrows of yours. Oh, do not get me started on your eyebrows.  Except that I love you have many expressions.  You truly have the better parts of both your daddy and I.  As for the volume control, I cannot help you there.  Mama still is working on that 29 years later.  

nine months 06

still not ready for you to grow up this fast!

The moment we celebrated the most this month was in the feeding department. Watching you take a puff and feed it to yourself after working on it night after night was an amazing experience. It is moments like this I cannot wait for you to experience with your own little love one day (wayyyyyy down the road).  It never gets old watching you try to figure out you do not have to place your whole hand in your mouth in order to eat a puff.  Or seeing a few of them stuck on your bibb or your bottom somehow as they never made it into your mouth.  I will say, you LOVE, and I mean LOVE food.  Everything, in all forms.  I believe we have experimented with all kinds of protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables not to mention some spices, and you seem to love it all with your grunting and “riding the motorcycle” hand action you partake in.   Throw in butter or sour cream, and I thought you were going to take off somewhere.  Have I mentioned how smitten we are over you?

nine months 07

We cannot wait to see what crazy fun awaits us next month! I am sure it will a month full of firsts starting with your first plane ride and vacation to Phoenix to see family and friends! I have a feeling you are going to love the plane ride…and warm weather!!!

nine months 08

future yoga buddy?

Noah, there are no words to describe just how lucky we feel to have you as our baby boy. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gifted us the most wonderful blessing. You have made this life we live more adventurous and complete. You have taught us to love in ways we did not know were possible.  You have shown us how sweet and silly life can be through your world.  Honestly, there is no other place we would rather be than right here.  Together.  

nine months 09

five years doing yoga and my plank still does not look that good!

Happy 9 Months, Bubba!

nine months 10

xoxo

Daddy and Mama

B - Happy 9 months little buddy!!

  

closer to your destination

It was his thing.  He would leave me a notes of love and encouragement on our photo frame from Martha, a dear friend of mine.  Every day, I would walk in the door home from work and read the note he wrote before he left for work.  Each note would make me smile and laugh bringing me great joy.  But, then there was this note.  It had struck a cord.  One in which I was grateful, overjoyed, teary-eyed, and excited.  To this day, I often go back to his words, Every step in a journey brings you closer to your destination.  Congrats on taking a big step.  (I truly married a man with a heart greater than mine.)  Because it was on this day, I quit my first job and took a leap of faith to start over at 28 years old.

destination 01

Let me backtrack a little.  I have spent the better part of my 20s in school and soul searching.  My family and friends have seen me change career paths more times than I can count on both hands-engineer, advertising executive, business analyst, wedding photographer, pharmaceutical sales representative, teacher, interior designer, and the list goes on.  Honestly, I do not regret this path.  While it took some time to get to this point in my life, it was well worth the journey.  I always tell people becoming an engineer led me to a life far better than the one I imagined.  After all, it is how I met my best friend, married him, and created a life we are proud of together.  But, becoming a photographer 5 years ago is where occupational therapy came into my world.

A few of my clients were occupational therapists.  In between snapshots, they would tell me stories of their patients.  Stories of how they helped someone get dressed for the first time in years.  Stories of how they gave a patient who was a stroke survivor a second chance at living life to the fullest.  Stories of how they held their patient’s hands when they knew they were in their last days of life.  This job is not for everyone.  Occupational therapists have to love people.  They have to be compassionate.  They have to be ok with wiping bottoms and seeing trauma.  They have to make hard decisions.  They have to advocate for their patients.  With that said, a fire inside my heart was lit from that day forward.  I was hooked.

destination 02

(courtesy of Therapy Source)

I spent the next three years (yes three!) researching, reading, and meeting more occupational therapists.  Each time, I resisted the urge to give in to what seemed only like a dream.  But, then one day, everything changed.

I walked into our bedroom and told Bryan I wanted to apply at Rockhurst to get my master’s in occupational therapy.  Not anywhere else.  Not any other program.  I am pretty sure the look on my face is what sold him in 2.5 seconds.  I was confident this was it.  This was my calling in life.  To help others live a meaningful life.  May it be children or older adults or patients with cancer.

We spent the next twelve months living the BEST and HARDEST twelve months we had yet to experience.  Juggling two full-time jobs, classes, photography sessions and weddings, sixty hour work weeks, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking was not our ideal situation.  However, with team work and prayers to keep giving us the strength we needed, we survived!!!  We had quite a few late nights and there were some days where we felt like we wanted to give up.  But, if I had to do it again, I would without thinking twice.  Because it led to one of my greatest accomplishments.

One beautiful September day, I wore my cutest suit paired with my lucky black heels and pink sapphire earrings as I walked up to the OT building for the interview I spent hours preparing for the night before with Bryan.  Not one question we practiced came up during the interview as I threw all of that out the window and decided to show them who I was and what fired my heart up.  Weeks passed after that one beautiful September day.  Until one day when a certain envelope showed up in the mail.  With shaky hands, I opened the package to find my acceptance letter!!!   It was surreal, and made every one of those late nights, working full-time, and studying during my lunch breaks worth every second of bliss I felt as I read the letter over and over again for the next two hours!

Those sleepless nights of wondering why now make sense.  God gave me all these different puzzle pieces, and it was up to me to put them together.  I was led down this wild path to do something unique with my life.  Something that would bring me closer to the life I am supposed to be living.  Little did I know, four months into the program, we would be growing our family with those two pink lines on a pregnancy test or how our sweet babe nine months later would need occupational therapy.

Life in the last year has really come full circle for me. A little over a year ago, I sat in my professor’s office telling her I was pregnant…and I was not taking a maternity leave.  I had people tell me I was out of mind.  While I agree, I was also very determined.  As in nothing was stopping me from being the best mama and wife while finishing occupational therapy school.  I will say for the record, there were quite a few hard days with being torn between my passions and my loves, but I made it through the hardest part of the program all the while raising a sweet baby boy and still feeling crazy about the guy I married (thanks to our supportive family and friends!).  Not to mention, I cannot get enough of the field I am in.  I mean, I actually read OT magazines for fun.  Say whaaaaat?!  

I will leave on this note.  We get one life to live.  So why not make it a good one?  Filled with passions, adventures, risks, and turning dreams into reality.  As I think about the past few evenings sitting next to Bryan teaching Noah how to crawl and stand with my OT mama heart, I cannot help but smile knowing…I am closer to my destination.

 

  

because…

Because one time we were told, we did not belong together.

because 01

our second annual Valentine’s day tradition

Because you are small town and I am big city.

Because you love numbers and politics and I crave creativity and HGTV.

because 02

Because you are type B and I am type A.

Because you are quiet and reserved and I am as loud as they get with my crazy, colored outfits.

because 03

he keeps denying it but he is one amazing painter.

Yet, we chose not to believe.

Because you are the realist and I am the dreamer.

because 04

hi, my name is shefy.  i have a chocolate addiction.  i am working on it.

Because you are the the ying and I am the yang.

Because after 10 years, we are still crazy for each other.

because 05

Because we have faced hardship.  Together.

Because we have learned how to pick one another up when the other is down.

because 06

Because we have explored the world hand-in-hand.

Because we have danced in the living room when good things have happened.

because 07

Because we have learned marriage is not easy.  It takes work.  A lot of work.  But, it is worth it.

Because we have fun with our silly jokes.

because 08

this painting stuff is serious business.

Because we have supported turning one another’s dreams into reality.

Because we have created a true blessing together who encompasses the best parts of both of us.  Plus, he is really cute.

because 09

our finished product.

Because we were lucky enough to marry our best friends.

Because we have said vows.  For better or worse.  For richer or poorer.

because 10

Because…it is you and I.  Always and forever.

because 11

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.

Susie - So sweet! Love this!

B - You have a way with words babe! I had a wonderful valentines with you and I can’t wait for next year. We keep this up soon our house will look like our own little art museum! Luv u!!