She Crawls!

Not with the smooth fluidity of an experienced infant... but I can definitely define it as "crawl". The past month or so when people ask if she crawls, my answer would be, "[pause] Well... sort of?" Because, she really gets around, but it wasn't crawling in the traditional sense (i.e. going forward). No more gray area, folks. Ella has joined the ranks of the mobile!


The Art Fair.

Our last day in Phoenix we went to this amazing art festival with nearly five hundred artists, and more funnel cake than anyone could hope for. The finer points of the day: Ella had a cold and Paul and I both wore black shirts, which resulted in abundant snot marks all over both of us. A disgruntled sandal-artisan complained to us that no one was buying his wares, send a salesperson next time. I got a signed poster of the local sherriff who is famous for tough punishments (They have a jail composed entirely of tents. In Phoenix. In the summer.) He wrote: "Ella, stay out of jail. Sherriff Joe" I'm going to frame it for her room. Cowgirls need to be living on the edge of the law, in my opinion. Last, but not least, we ate fresh fried potato chips. Yum. So good. We spent the whole day laughing and talking and enjoying all of the fun stuff that was on display. (Without buying anything... not even sandals.) Yeah for vacation!

In order of people looking at the camera:

Paul, Jess, Carolyn, Chad, Susan.

Am I a blogging machine or what?

Well, it's official. Ella loves to swim, as I knew she would. We had a blast at the pool, and although the weather wasn't that warm (mid-seventies), the pools are HEATED! So it was basically just perfect. It is our new plan to "winter" in Phoenix yearly. Or we could just leave our frozen home permanently... We'll see. :) Here is a picture of Paul, Ella, and Auntie Carolyn (read: "Ahhhn-tee"). Ella got a new tooth in Phoenix, she starting repeating syllables (she is a pro at da-da-da-da, but refuses to go the ma-ma route), so that is her exciting developmental progress. One last Phoenix post and our vacation is over!

Wish they all could be Arizona girls.

For those of you who haven't figured it out, this was a looong vacation. After spending ten days in Texas, we flew to Arizona to begin Vacation: Part Deux. Another seven days of fun in the Sun. Our goal was to not return to Idaho Falls until Spring hit... (No such luck, for those of you who are wondering. However, there is less snow.) While in Phoenix we got to meet "The Boyfriend", Chad. Ella likes playing with his shiny hair. We behaved like gluttons that night, satisfying our large appetites with half-price appetizers at FLO'S Asian Diner. Thanks, Flo. Here are Paul, Ella, Susan, and I on our hike, where we worked up our massive appetites.


Here we all are at the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. (Susan was taking the picture.) I like this one because I think it makes Paul look pregnant :) That is Ella in there, she is just taking a nap. Chihuly is a glass sculptor and they displayed his work among the Cacti and so forth at the Botanical Gardens. This trip was Susan's idea, and I admit I was a bit skeptical, but it was seriously amazing. We spent the whole day there, ate dinner, and came back after dark to see the glass sculptures lit up. It was a beautiful day. We could not have asked for better weather.

Grandma Polly's House

Well, if you can't tell, Ella was thrilled with all of the dogs she met on vacation. Here's Ella and Kayla at Grandma's house. Incidentally, I'm not sure why Paul took this picture, but it's the only four generation picture I got during the trip... so there you go :)

We spent a fun and relaxing day at Grandma's, hanging out by the pool (still too cold to swim), having lunch with Laurel, and then a fun family dinner, with yummy fresh shrimp, they have things like that in Texas, you know. :) Above we have Joy Lea, Jessica Joy, Ella, Joy, and Laurel Beth... one of these things is not like the other :) But we like her anyway.


Two's company... five's a crowd.

Well, Mom and Archie spent a romantic weekend in San Antonio for Valentine's day... the only catch was they had to let Ella, Paul, and me come along. Really, though, is there anything better than a long weekend in the sultry heat of San Antonio, accompanied by three marvelous tag-alongs?!

So we saw the sights, we walked the riverwalk, we remembered the Alamo, we took about a million pictures (mostly Paul and Arch). The one above is courtesy of Paul. And then had an intimate dinner on Valentine's night at the Golden Chick. It was, unfortunately, the only restaurant in LaGrange (home of the "best little whorehouse in Texas") that did not require a reservation. I think Mom and Archie were really glad we came...


Vacation so far.

Ella's first rain storm. Nice and warm.

I personally think Paul makes a great cowboy.

I found my Valentine's Day gift. Hopefully the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be willing to part with it.

It's hard work being on vacation.

Ella might need a puppy.

She was mesmerized by Bacon, Rachel's dog... although we didn't let her meet Rocky, their 90 pound Boxer puppy. Probably a good call. It is awfully cute to see babies playing with dogs.
Houston is WONDERFUL! It's been rainy all week... but I'm still wearing shorts, it's nice and humid. And of course, my family is great. More later.



Why, may I ask, does the entire country rely on predictions made by one groundhog in Pennsylvania? Because I did a little shadow-checking myself this morning, and let me tell you, there were none. For those of you who have not already realized, it is impossible to see a shadow without the Sun. And while we must assume that the Sun continues to make appearances in other parts of the country (Punxutawney, PA perhaps), I can be certain that no Idaho groundhog saw any shadows today. In all reality, they probably didn't even want to check, which may be a whole other prediction unto itself. So join with me in my rejection of the Punxsutawney prediction. I and my native groundhogs must agree that there are no shadows in Idaho today. So bring on the next season, we are ready!