Saturday, July 11, 2009


Why did I get a tattoo? I really should have my mom send me the picture of me at about 7 with my serious, tough face holding up my shirt to show off my temporary tattoo on my belly. I have always been fascinated by them. I have wanted one for years and came close to getting it quite a few times, but I always had a hard time with the idea I had being on my body forever! Recently I decided I wanted the tattoo to have some sort of connection to my kids. I thought about getting a bug to represent Hailey and an owl to represent Athena. But then Hailey got the desire for one too.

Skip to Hailey's childhood. Anyone that knew Hailey as a child and has read To Kill a Mockingbird should notice the similarities between her and Scout. I have video of her reading at 4 years old! All the moms in Kindergarten would ask me how I taught her to read. Well I didn't, she was just born reading. There were even instances in her life when like Atticus I was basically asked by teachers not to teach her things! What?! That is just crazy in my opinion, you never discourage a child from learning. I don't care if cursive isn't in the curriculum until 3rd grade, if my 1st grader has a desire to learn it I'm going to teach it to her!

So last year during one of my many re-reads of To Kill a Mockingbird I had the idea to incorporate that too, since it is my favorite book and Hailey has fallen in love with it now too. So we thought of the tree. At first we were both going to get the whole tree and we were going to have all kinds of things going on with the tree. Then Shawn came accross a site of literary tattoos. Most of them were quotes and the idea of adding our favorite quote came. Sometimes matching tattoos can seem cheesy to me so I thought it would be kind of cool to each get half of the tree. Then we would match but each still have our own tattoo.

We almost got them last year, but I guess I chickened out. There was always something else to spend the money on, Hailey was a minor and lots of places have a problem with that, I didn't know where to go to have it done. We thought about auditioning for L.A. Ink but they don't do minors either and have a really long waiting list. So this year rolls around and Hailey says she is going with or without me!

So you see this wasn't a whim. I have really given it a lot of thought. Maybe too much!? Now that it's done, I love it and the bonding experience of doing it with Hailey was wonderful. I'm glad I waited. I told Athena when she is 18 we can go and get one together too, she said "NO WAY! she does not want a tattoo" especially after seeing Hailey's face during hers, they hurt too much!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Craters and Canyons

We had a very nice little vacation this week. We left Monday morning and headed towards Flagstaff. Since the room wasn't available until 3:30 we did some sightseeing on the way.

Our first stop (after some confusion over which crater we were going to) was Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The wonderful smell of pine hit us right when we opened our doors at the visitor center. We took the lava flow trail hike that meandered around the base of the volcano through lava rocks. Then a short drive to the Wupatki Pueblo trail. This was a quick walk to some of the best preserved pueblos I have ever seen. I even learned something!
Then to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Ski-lift Lodge at the base of the SanFrancisco Peaks. The room was a cute little cabin under the pine trees. It was so quiet here. Our only complaint was the room was so tiny there was no room for a table and chairs so the only place to sit was on a bed. But since we didn't spend much time in the room this wasn't a big problem.
After dinner in historic Flagstaff we headed up to the Lowell Observatory. (Pluto was discovered here) We watched an interesting film, checked out the on hands exhibits. Athena weighs over 200 pounds on some planets! We got to look through some of the big telescopes. We even saw a star before it got dark! This was a really fun place to visit.
The next day we were up bright and early and headed for the Grand Canyon. The weather was wonderful! We started hiking along the rim trail at Bright Angel Lodge. The views were amazing and since most of the visitors chose to ride the shuttle from point to point we had the canyon all to ourselves most of the time! I think we went an hour once without seeing another person. Poor Athena was really a trooper though hiking over 7 miles that day!
Before we headed home we had to use our free tickets for the skyride! Snowbowl has one lift open to ride to the top of Arizona. The views were amazing, we could even see the Grand Canyon from up top. And the ride down was actually chilly. I am trying to remember that feeling now back in the valley and 110 degrees!
One last stop at Meteor Crater. Yes it is the best preserved meteorite impact site on the planet. Yes it is amazing to think how big and how fast the meteor was moving when it hit. But was it worth the $32 (that's with a discount coupon!) admission price? Not really. Especially when the big hole in the ground we saw the day before was much more impressive!

It was a fun vacation and it was very nice to get out of the heat for a few days. We did really miss Hailey though. Hopefully she won't have work conflicts the next time we go out of town.