Hann Thanksgiving Friday

SO as I said we went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving weekend.

Just as with every visit to Phoenix, we have to make plans to see about 95 different groups of people. Thursday we did Thanksgiving dinner with my mom’s extended family. Friday we did Thanksgiving dinner with my dad’s extended family.

Luckily it was at my parents’ house (where we were staying) so I had plenty of time to sleep in and relax before people started arriving.

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My dad drove up to Prescott to pick up G’ma Irish and Walter….

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My cousins Jeremiah and Amber made bacon-wrapped green beans. YUM.

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Jeremiah and Amber just had their first baby in August – Bryson. Which means my Uncle Tod (the youngest of the 5 boys) is the first one to become a grandpa! He’s super cute.

So’s Bryson :)

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But I think Bryson had a hard time with so many people. He spent most of his time being snuggled by mom and dad.

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Later that night we watched the tail end of the Phoenix Suns game.

Even though I have no idea who is on the team, and haven’t watched a game in years and only follow enough to know their not very good …. I still love them.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving in Phoenix

….. aaaaand…. here we go!

Waaaay back to November 2012 – Thanksgiving.

As you probably know, we were *just* in Phoenix 2 weeks prior for Miranda’s wedding, and then a couple months before that for Kim’s baby shower.

So I’m not totally sure why we decided to come out for Thanksgiving.

Either way – because I worked late Wednesday night (got home at midnight), we didn’t leave town until Thursday morning. 6a or so. Which means that with the time difference we got to Phoenix about 2p, maybe.

Thanksgiving dinner was being held at my aunt’s house on the Westside, so at least we didn’t have *as* far to go than if we were going to my parents’ house.

Thanksgiving weekend in Phoenix is usually gorgeous.

This year we all ate outside in my aunt’s backyard … LOVELY.

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in fact, Andrew took a bit of a nap in the sun while we were waiting for the final dinner preparations to be finished.

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Grandma Jaye made the gravy. From scratch. And tried to teach her daughter (who is plenty old enough to know and still uninterested).

G’ma Jaye is a rockstar :)

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The turkey was so juicy it started spilling over the cutting board while Chuck was carving it! So Steve rescued him with some well-timed syringes. Hilarious!

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After dinner, some football (that I slept through) and Apples to Apples (Uncle Pat won more than anyone)

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Andrew and I drove Grandma Jaye home – she is just the cutest – and then finally crawled into bed at my parents’ after a long, full day.

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Phoenix friends

(I realize, of course, I am WAY behind in telling these stories.
If you want a more up-to-date look at what we’re doing, check out my Project Life 2012 gallery)

These images are from the first week of November, when we were in Phoenix for Miranda’s wedding.

Andrew and I both had work on Monday, so we didn’t plan on staying late Sunday.

Just breakfast with my family, quick stop to see Mat and Lisa’s new house, and then home.

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We actually stayed a little bit later than we intended, just because we were dropping Kevin off at the Mesa airport (which was nearish where we were going to see Mat).

After dropping off Kevin, we put Mat’s address into the GPS map program on Andrew’s phone and basically drove blindly to find it.

I miss the days when people gave you actual directions.

Somehow we got the address wrong (typo in the text when Mat gave it to us, maybe) but the map program still found the street. Which is kind of remarkable. We were parked on this little culdesac, trying to figure out which house was Mat’s because we couldn’t see any address numbers that looked like what he told us….

… when he came out of one of the houses across the street with Owen in his arms.

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Owen turned 2 in December – and he is such a smart, expressive adorable kid! So fun seeing him again with so much personality.

Only child getting to lay claim to this whole new house and backyard. … He handed Andrew and I each a bunch of rocks. Sharing his backyard with us, I suppose.

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He showed us his bedroom (wanted to turn out the lights like naptime) and his playroom (he got to ‘open’ a new playroom for Christmas) and all in all slowed down the house tour.

But, you know we really came to see him and not the house anyway :)

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We stayed a little while to chat and see the rest of their house – and then left town straight from there.

6 hour drive home.

(with plans to do it again in another 2 weeks)


Miranda and Aaron

If you follow me on Facebook you may have already seen these photos….

First weekend in November we went to Phoenix to go to my darling friend Miranda’s wedding….

I love Miranda – she is one of my favorite favorite people.

And Aaron is pretty fantastic too.

They have an incredibly special love story … she’s more or less been in love with him since she was about 14. He’s one of her brother’s best friends.

Pinkerton Photography was the official photographer but I got my shots in too…

Love you Mertzes …


Christian and Avalon in town

(My harddrive died at the end of October and I had resigned myself to the loss of these photos. AND THEN! I found the memory card that they were on and resurrected them. One of the perks of being slightly disorganized)

Back in October, two of our favorite favorite people came to stay with us for the weekend!

Christian and Avalon flew into town and got to our house mid-morning. I love that we have a guest room now to offer people! Even if there isn’t a real bed yet.

They got the tour of the house and we caught up a little bit, but they had plans to see Christian’s family in the afternoon.

Once they got “home”, though … it was our kind of party : Coffee and card games :)

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Shang-hai – my favorite card game.

It’s a big time commitment and you can’t really play with fewer than 4 people so we don’t often get to.

They brought one of Christian’s brothers with them too – Kelly – but he didn’t stay for cards.

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Sunday morning we got to hang out a little bit more.

We made plans to meet another friend – Justin – at a restaurant where one of Christian’s other brothers works as a bartender.

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Christian’s brother went on his lunch break, so we went over to a different restaurant nearby to eat a little and visit.

I completely forget the names of both the restaurants. Both chains. Both at the mall here.

My first time at the mall since we moved back.

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Then another errand: getting more work-appropriate clothes for Christian’s new job.

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Then Andrew had to get a Cinnabon. He *claims* he had never had one before.

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Then home for a little bit. Andrew had to go to work, and I hung out w/ C&A before they went out again to see more family.

Khaleesi made friends. She really will take any lap she can get.

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Christian and Avalon left again Monday morning. Sad. But we *might* be able to see them over Christmas while they’re in town. We’ll see.


Joey discovers the mirror baby!

These photos are from the beginning of October …. Which means Joey was almost 5 months old….

He and Katie were hanging out at Andy and Julie’s, so of course we went over to visit. And see the little munchkin.

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He had just started ‘sitting up’ …. like a tripod, resting forward on his hands.

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He had also just recently discovered his best friend that lives in the mirror. Laughing and carrying on at his reflection …. SO cute!

Until, of course, Andrew laughed his crazy loud cackle and that frightened Joey enough to be distracted :)

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What a cutie :)

The rest of the day, Andrew and I just hung out at home, getting work done around the house and on the computer, snuggling with the kitties and marathoning Walking Dead season 2

Khaleesi LOVES to lay on her back, often with her legs spread. Crazy cat.

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Santa Barbara engagement photos

Andrew’s cousin Chris got engaged over the summer …. and they asked me to take some engagement photos of them in September.

Chris and Kahla went up to Santa Barbara for a couple nights and Andrew and I met them there for an afternoon of photos ….It almost didn’t happen! Chris got crazy food poisoning the day/night before and I got a text from Kahla asking if we could come up the next day instead.

Unfortunately, that happened to be a busy weekend for us so it was that Saturday afternoon or not again til November.

So, Chris rallied like a trooper and we got some great photos!

We did 3 different outfits at 3 different locations around town.

They’re both gorgeous, of course, but Kahla is just a natural at posing. I didn’t have to direct her to pop her hip or tilt her head or anything. This is mostly her …

Here is just a glimpse at a couple of my favorites. They’ll be using some of the photos in their wedding invitation, too!


Joey (3.5 months old)

This kid.

We have gone over to Andrew’s parents’ house several times when Joey is there and supposed to be sleeping.

And he never is ….

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Love that face.


old friends

We’ve now lived back in California for about 4.5 years …. and I *just* saw some of my old friends from growing up a few weeks ago.

I made plans with some of the girls from my old church youth group for them to come over for lunch – to see each other, and so they could see my house.

Anna arrived first – and brought her 8 month old Harrison. Look at that cutie. He was super interested in the cats (and they in him) and the boxes we leave out for the cats to play with.

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My favorite meal to make for guests is salad and turkey chili. Easy, healthy, plenty of food.

We sat down for lunch and caught up on gossip and news and all.

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evidence of guests:

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Fun to see these girls ….


favorite nephew Joey

Mid-August Katie and Joe went away for their anniversary and Joey came to stay with Grandma.

Always a good excuse to go visit and see our favorite nephew!

We walked in (mid-morning) and Julie was holding Joey back in the family room. He was all swaddled and drowsy and she was trying to get him to sleep.

She said, “You want to hold him?”

Um. Of course. Look at that little guy!

And immediately, as soon as I sat down with Joey she says, “Ok good. I’m going to go take a shower.”

Ha! It’s nice that she made me feel like it was my choice to hold him. :)

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And then Andrew held him for a little bit ….

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But mostly Joey just looked around and waited for us to give up.

Too much going on for him to sleep, apparently….

But he wasn’t fussy … so instead of watching him sleep we got to talk to him a bit …

SUCH a cutie…

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Grandma Sheila can make him smile with no trouble …. LOVE this face!


Meeting baby Mary Claire

We finally got to meet Michelle’s little girl!!

Mary Claire was born in June … we were initially planning on visiting Tucson to meet her when we went to Phoenix for Kim and Jed’s shower. But then it turned out Michelle was bringing her family to CA anyway!

Michelle and Dusty drove up (from Orange County where they were visiting Michelle’s cousins and all) on a Wednesday morning…. They got to see our new house and new kittens and we got to see their new baby!

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The 5 of us went to Greenhouse Cafe for breakfast/lunch and just spent some time catching up….  holding Mary… and getting all kinds of “your baby is adorable” compliments from the waitstaff and other patrons.

SO funny being in public with a baby. Everyone thinks they’re your friend.

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And then I had to go to work like a chump.

Can’t wait to see her again!!


Breakfast with the Haugens

We got done with maternity photos around 945a or 10a or so….

Andrew and I weren’t planning on staying in town too long – I had to be at work the next day – but we decided to meet up with my parents and Kim’s parents for breakfast!

I love going out to breakfast. It’s one of my favorite things!

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Kim and Jed recommended Butterfield’s Pancake House.

Even though we lived in Phoenix for 6 years, neither Andrew and I had been there, so we met up the padres there ….

They squeeze fresh orange juice right in the restaurant, and the jugs of syrup on your table are big!

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Andrew got lunch. He doesn’t love breakfast as much as I do.

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After breakfast we went back to my parents’ house to get our things … and then drove home. Arriving in L.A. just a little bit before sundown.

QUICK weekend. But definitely worth the drive.


Kim and Jed’s maternity photos

Since we were going to be in town anyway, I got to take some maternity photos of Kim and Jed!!

They’ve been married almost 8 years and haven’t ever had professional photos taken of them – other than their wedding. And even then ….

We met up EARLY Sunday morning (early for me), and went over to the Scottsdale Civic Center to *hopefully* get some good images before it got too hot ….

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Then over to their house for another few poses and images ….. including with the pup!

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Brayden is SO wanted and loved already ….


Kim and Jed’s baby shower

Waaaaaay back in January, I made a quick, surprise visit to Phoenix to see my brother while he was in town.

While there we got together with a BUNCH of old family friends, including my friend Kim. She is my mom’s best friend’s daughter, so I’ve known her her entire life (she’s about a year younger than me, I think).

And while THERE, Kim told us all that they’re having a baby!

SUPER exciting news since this is something I know she and her husband Jed have wanted for a long long time….

So, of course, when my mom gave me the dates of their baby shower I told Andrew we’re going. No question.

The first weekend in August we left the cats a bunch of food, hopped in the car and drove the 6 hours or so out to Phoenix.

(Dear Kim: That is how you know how much we love you. We went to Phoenix in August for you. Never happening again)

The “baby shower” was not really your traditional baby shower, but more of a friends-get-together with baby gifts.

My parents have several couple-friends that we’ve known my whole life, and those 4 or 5 families get together all the time. Now with their kids and their kids’ kids.

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Saturday night we went over to the Thrushes to see everyone!

My mom did this Winnie-the-Pooh decor to match little Brayden’s nursery…

And Andrew finally got to meet our friends Shawn and Nicole’s kids…. and I got to meet their new twin boys (born in April), Nathan and Jonah.

Look at that little cutie!

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The bulk of the evening was just spent talking, catching up and eating …. while Jed and Kim opened baby gifts!

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Emolyn (age 4) and Elsie (almost 2) helped. Isn’t that thoughtful of them?

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You can see the twins were passed around from person to person all night. In Sharon’s arms here….

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The other one in Aunt Miranda’s lap here.

I’m sure I held one of them – if not both – at some point during the night.

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Cadence spent much of the night playing – she was in her grandparents’ house after all, so she knew where all the goodies were. We didn’t see her much and then she shows up in the kitchen with all these necklaces!

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Fun night. Fun friends.

Up early the next morning for photos …..


Took some maternity photos this morning

In AZ this weekend ….



… Posted via iPhone from the car. I love technology!