Saturday, August 30, 2008

Funky day...
I'm feeling kind of crummy today. I felt tired all day and could fall asleep in minute even though I slept over 8 hours last night. I've had a bit of a headache and a few other aches and pains, which is very abnormal for me. I took some advil, which has helped some, but still don't have much energy. I forced myself to do a few loads of laundry just so the day wasn't a total bust. Since I don't feel like being up and around, I decided to post a few final photos from our trip just for fun.
The photo at the top was taken in the front yard of one of the businesses on Main Street in Breckenridge. Feels like you're in the mountains, huh?
Isn't this coffee cup chandelier so cute? It was in the Blue Moose Cafe in Breckenridge. Linda, it looks like something that you and Randy could create together.
Here are a few more scenery shots as well. We saw cloud-filled skies everywhere. This was on the road between Albuquerque and Flagstaff. I was trying to catch the massive expanse of the high open desert. We often forget about all that open space when we're in the city. It was beautiful. I must have taken hundreds of cloud shots.
The yellow flowers were all along the highways and in the fields for most of our drive thru New Mexico and Colorado. They were a cheery site.
The two church shots are of the oldest church site in Colorado. Our Lady of Guadalupe in the southern part of the state.
These last two shots were at our last stop of the trip. It was mid-afternoon on Wednesday and since we hadn't been eating healthy the whole trip, we decided to stop at the Rock Springs Cafe near Black Canyon City to get some of their world famous pie. I have lived in Arizona for many years and heard about the awesome pies at Rock Springs, but never had a chance to go there. I chose the blackberry pie ala mode and it was delicious! I'm not a big pie person, but this had just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. It was worth the stop.
So that's it for Breckenridge. Now in a few weeks we go to Forest Lakes for the weekend, then at the end of September we're off to New England. Of course there's a lot of real life to do between now and then, but we'll enjoy planning these trips in between.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We're Home!

After 4 days of driving for 2 days of vacationing we're home. Next time we'll be sure to plan to go somewhere within 8 hours or less. Breckenridge was wonderful, but the drive was long and sitting so much was tedious. We enjoyed our time together though...talked a little about family history, answered questions from one of those "If" books, and listened to a lot of fun music. When I wasn't driving I took a lot of landscape photos out the window (between the bugs), but they're on my laptop and I haven't transferred them over here yet. I'll post more when I have a chance.

I wanted to let you know about this website that my co-worker showed me. It's called and it has all kinds of cool things that you can design yourself like these tennis shoes. Pretty cool huh!

Well gotta go. I'm still tired from not sleeping well while on the road. I was so glad to be back in my own bed last night. I have to work tomorrow to make up for the time I took off, but it was worth it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Breckenridge - A truly memorable and precious third day...

Today mom was feeling better and up for an adventure so we got up, got ready and decided to drive over to Lake Dillon to enjoy the beautiful Colorado outdoors, do some walking or whatever else we could find to do outside.
When we arrived, we parked near the marina and started walking around. We noticed a sign for boat rentals and Sharon got excited about the possibility of going sailing.

You see, amazingly enough, even though we all grew up within a hundred yards or so of the shores of Lake Erie, none of us had ever been sailing. Oh, we've been on motor boats, small yachts, dinghies, kayaks and canoes, but never a sail boat. So, after a few minutes Sharon found the guys who rent the boats and captain the little ships that tour around Lake Dillon and set up a 2-hour sailboat tour around the lake.
We met our "Captain" Thom Emrick of Windrider of the Rockies. If you ever get to the Frisco Marina in the summer, be sure to stop in and say hi to him. He won't be there in the winter since the lake freezes over and he spends those months in the Bahamas. Rough life, huh!

At the beginning, we motored out away from the marina, then Thom hoisted the sails, turned off the engine and we were officially sailing on our way. It was so quiet and peaceful. I could have enjoyed a picnic and taken a nap right there. It was a gorgeous day with a cool breeze and just a few clouds.
Thom would be our guide, captain and teacher on our 2-hour tour. What a prince he was! He learned all our names immediately, was helpful, patient, friendly, funny and kind to each of us. He even helped mom feel right at home on the boat. Since Sharon had expressed a desire to learn how to sail, Thom patiently showed her (and the rest of us) the ropes (so to speak). You can tell by the pics of her just how excited she was!
Thom allowed each of us to steer the boat, help a bit and be the "skipper" for a while too. We also enjoyed hearing a little about where he had come from and where he is headed in his life. He's quite an adventurer and conversationalist and all of us girls were happy to spend a few hours laughing and enjoying the lake with him.
I need to point out that the photo of Thom with his arm around me was after a conversation with all of us girls about the fact the our husbands or boyfriends are not jealous men. Everyone thought it would be funny to take this picture to see if it is really true. Funny huh? I love you, Terry!

After the two hours as we were getting off the boat, the clouds were growing dark and it was beginning to sprinkle, so we timed it perfectly. We had such a special and memorable time! I hope you enjoy the pics, because we enjoyed the day.
Breckenridge - 2nd Day
Breckenridge wildlife - cute little squirrel by our front porch. Click to enlarge.

I didn't have a chance to post yesterday, and we're getting ready to go out today, so I'll just do something quick now.

This photo of Diane below is in front of the timeshare where we're staying. Isn't it cute? There are 2 units in the building. Ours is a 2-story 2 bedroom with a full living room, kitchen, fireplace, etc. Very comfy. Sharon even made a fire in the fireplace last night!

Yesterday, mom didn't feel great, so she wanted to stay home and take it easy most of the day. Before the rest of us went out exploring, we decided to do a little photo shoot of the sisters. Here are a few of the favorites of the photos that we took.
Later, Sharon, Diane and I walked downtown and visited an open air market with crafts and produce sellers. The weather was perfect! There was also a performer named John Adams, who sounds just like John Denver and did all of his classic songs. How perfect to listen to John Denver music high in the Colorado mountians.

I found some cute earrings at the market, then we stopped in a couple of shops and I found a vintage style poster of Breckenridge by one of our favorite artists (Paul Lanquist) to add to our collection of travel posters in the office. Now I just need to get the rest of them framed.

O.k., I need to get dressed and get going...see you soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Breckenridge - Arrival Day
Today we drove from Farmington to Breckenridge, Colorado. We left the hotel around 10:30 am, arrived in "Breck" around 6 pm and had dinner at Bubba Gump's.

It was a nice drive. We stopped at a little roadside fruit seller to pick up some delicious peaches and gala apples. your mouth watering?

Everyone's tired of sitting in the car, and we're planning to split the drive home into two days as well. Overall, though it all went smoothly. We had a little rain, but it was no problem. We saw some awesome cloud formations, and a little bit of a rainbow, but it didn't really show up in the pictures.

The high in Breckenridge today was 70 degrees with a low expected tonight of 38!!! Can't wait for the cold! It's a classy little town. I'm not sure I'd want to be here during ski season. I was just looking at a website for the population and it looks like it has just under 3000 permanent residents, but the population balloons to over 30,000 during ski season. Wow! I'm sure it's not near that right now...maybe 5-10K or so. There are bunches of shops, cafes and galleries downtown, which is just a couple of blocks from where we're staying. Easily within walking distance for us girls (but probably not mom). We're looking forward to doing some browsing, and maybe I'll even do a little Christmas shopping. Any suggestions?

I think this picture of Sharon after our long drive is just hilarious. She looks like a puppy waiting for a treat or something. I promise I'll post some better ones of her during the trip. I need to remember to post about her upcoming trip to Kuwait. She will be there from November 7th to the first week in April 2009 working for the Red Cross. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Here are the winners!

Sorry for the delay in the drawing. I was out late last night and was busy working this morning, getting ready for our trip and heading out of town today. Right now, I'm sitting in the Courtyard Marriott in Farmington, New Mexico with my sister, Sharon.

I put all the names on little pieces of paper, folded them up really small and had my sister draw three names. The winners are:

Ashley - God Loves Me More than That
Kendica - When God Created my Toes
Trendy Spot Boutique - God Gave us Heaven

Congratulations all!

If you send me an email at Nan_Hann[at] with your address, I'll send out the books when I get back in town next week. I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I have three great new children's books to give away!

Today I have the privilege of reviewing 3 new beautiful children's books written for 4 to 8 year olds. These would be an excellent addition to any family library. The stories and rhymes are clever and memorable and the illustrations are truly works of art. These would be wonderful gifts for kids, grandkids, baby showers or for any little tikes in your world.

Add your comment to this post by noon on Thursday to be in the drawing to win these books!

"God Gave Us Heaven" by Lisa Tawn Bergren, illustrated by Laura J. Bryant is a story of a young polar bear cub asking questions about heaven. A nice story, with lovely illustrations, a bit of imagination and a hint of the gospel sprinkled in.

What was it like "When God Created My Toes"? Author, Dandi Daley Mackall, wrote a lyrical rhyme of a young girl asking about God's thoughts about her as she was created. The question encourages loving affirmation from the reader to the child about God's loving hand in how uniquely they were designed. The book is exquisitely illustrated by David Hohn. Check out more of his amazing art on his website here.

Also illustrated by David Hohn and written by Dandi Daley Mackall, my favorite of the three is "God Loves Me More Than That". With child-like examples, this lively rhyme sets a strong foundation for the little ones in your life about how immense, high, deep, and wide God's love is for his children.

Much of the fun of reading books with children is the adventure of helping them search for all the little details in the illustrations. All three of these books have gorgeous detail and beauty, unique perspective and wonderful full color illustrations. I'm sure that they'll become family favorites that you'll pass down thru the generations.

If you don't win the drawing and want to buy the books, just click on the titles above to order.

Spread the word about the give-away and be sure to comment on this post before the drawing on Thursday evening, for a chance to win .

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One of my favorite times is getting ready for a road trip!

Next Friday, my mom, my 2 sisters and I leave for a road trip to Breckenridge, CO. Although each of us have very different personalities and values that can sometimes rub the wrong way, we have learned to appreciate and enjoy each other on trips like this. And my mom loves having all of us together. We do lots of laughing, talking and reminiscing too.

In 2006 we took probably our FIRST EVER girl's trip in our lives. We all drove to Cloudcroft, New Mexico to visit a couple of my mom's sisters and we had a great time, except that I had to share sleeping quarters with my noisy sisters.

This time we'll be staying in a 2 bedroom timeshare in Breckenridge Colorado. We leave on Friday, drive to Farmington, NM as our first pit stop, then drive on to Breckenridge the next day. We're taking a little longer route so we can see some of the gorgeous mountains on the way. We'll stay in Breckenridge for a few days and leave early Weds morning for the 12 hour plus trip home.

So we're in the homestretch for getting ready. As some of you know, my mom is the absolute Queen of Planners (which is being passed down thru our generations). And the older she gets, the farther ahead she needs to plan. She calls me every few days with something else she's thought about for the trip. Do we need to take paper towels? Do we need to take our own bedding? How many miles is it, so she can calculate the gas costs? What will the weather be like? What time are we leaving? Do we need drinks for the car? How far is Denver from Breckenridge? It's fun to see her get excited about going. She loves to travel and doesn't get a chance to go these days unless one of us goes with her.

Today she told me all the things she did around her apartment to be sure that it's nice and tidy and clean when she gets home from the trip. (She just called back to tell me a couple more food items that she's going to bring.) I love going thru the adventure with her!

Since mom is 84 and uses a walker, we won't be doing much hiking or anything too active. Mainly driving to see the sights and walking around the cute little downtown area. There are supposed to be a couple of free concerts in the square that we'll try to get to as well.

The weather forecast calls for a possibility of rain off and on, with highs in the low 60's and low's in the upper 30's ! PERFECT!!! If we get much rain, we may just stay in the condo some of the time and watch movies and talk. I'm taking my new laptop, so I'll plan to continue documenting some of our family history while mom tells us stories. I realized the other day that there are a lot of events from my childhood where I can't pinpoint the dates, but with the 4 of us together we should be able to do some of that too.

So here's the beginning of my list of things to do to get ready:
  1. Terry already took my car in this morning for maintenance service and got it washed as well. How sweet is that! Did I mention that it was his idea that I go on this trip? He's a bit jealous that I get to go to one of his favorite states without him, but encouraged me to go and spend time with my mom. (one more proof that he's a great husband)
  2. The packing list is started. I actually have a generic list saved on my computer, so I'll just tweak that one for this trip.
  3. The route is mapped
  4. Hotel reservations are made
  5. AAA book and maps are picked up
  6. The cameras are charged and ready
  7. I'm ordering some "chick flicks" from Netflix to take with us in case of rain
  8. I may need to pick up a few food items for the drive
  9. Later in the week I'll get all the laundry done and make sure there's food in the house for Terry, which there always is
  10. Actual packing on Thursday night...
  11. I have to work all week, but just a half day on Friday...
  12. ...then we'll be on our way to the cool country! Can't wait!
I'll post pics as soon as often as I can, hopefully while on the road.

Note: the black & white photo above was found on one of my favorite photography websites, and taken by Zak Himmelman. The stream photo is by Laura Eastlack.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Relax and rejuvenate...then get busy!
Over a week ago, my friend Julie treated me to the first pedicure of my life at the Nordstrom Spa for my birthday present. Our friend, Sharon was also treated. It was amazing!

It began with relaxing music, a nice cool beverage and our feet lathered up and soaking in a bowl of warm lavender scented water. After a short time we moved into the special pedicure chair that was tilted back so my feet were high up in the air so the "pedicurist" could work on them. I received a warm dry towel over my legs and a chamomile and citrus scented washcloth to lay over my eyes to help me relax. After my lower leg massage and actual pedicure, my feet were dipped in plastic bags filled with warm parafin, then left with the parafin on until it cooled. That's the photo of my feet with the nail polish on the counter in the background. It looked funny, but felt really awesome. The whole experience was so wonderful and refreshing that I was close to falling asleep several times.
What a special evening to share with two of my dear friends.

After this extra special treatment, I went to work at the AMFM conference for a week. Maybe I should have scheduled the pedicure AFTER the conference...oh well. It was awesome, no matter what.
Now in the next few months things are getting busier with lots of good things. Next week I'll go to Breckenridge with my mom and sisters for 5 days, a few weeks later Terry and I have a weekend trip out of town, then at the end of September we go to New England for a 2 week vacation!
I'm also starting to lead a ladies' Bible Study with a friend this fall, which should be fun. And last, but not least, my boss asked if I'd like to plan a wedding reception at their home in October for a former co-worker who's getting married in Norway. Before I really thought about it, I said yes. I'm having second thoughts on the last one, but I really love to plan events and wanted to help them out. It should be pretty easy because I won't have much, if any, budget restrictions. Of course, I won't go crazy, but I won't have to do quite as much shopping around. So here's the kicker. The bride is from Norway and the groom is Hispanic so they want to have some Norwegian and Mexican food at the reception. Does anyone know anywhere in the Phoenix area where we can get Norwegian food? I'm told they eat a lot of elk!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Check out the gorgeous sunset that we had tonight!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Busy, Busy week...
I'm typing this post on my new laptop! I was excited to be able to get it before I left for the conference last Sunday.

I spent the week at the Arizona Grand Resort, helping the AMFM folks with their annual Marriage & Family Conference. It was a good week! Actually a piece of cake compared to managing events on my own. Here I just had to show up and find out what they wanted me to do next. No worries about forgetting things or issues that came up. Those were headaches for someone else to handle. This was easy and fun.

They were pretty organized since this is at least the 4th or 5th year that they've done it. Of course, there are always things that could be improved or run a little more smoothly, but overall it went well. It's quite a substantial conference, with around 350 people attending and close to 100 different sessions, including workshops, general sessions, etc. They also have an exhibit hall with various ministries exhibiting their resources. I helped with checking people in, printing signs and missing or lost nametags, selling CDs of the sessions, answering questions, directing traffic and most of all photographing the details of the week. There were a couple of other volunteer photographers there off and on too, but overall we were just trying to document as much as possible.

I took over 1300 photos and have been spending much of the weekend deleting the bad ones and editing the rest of them. I learned a lot about using my external flash because most of it was inside those dimly lit hotel conference rooms, so I was forced to figure it out. Good news is that I will probably do better next time since I've had more practice with it.

95% of the photos are of people you've probably never heard of, so I won't post them here. I'll post a couple of random ones that I took, as well as one of Michael O'Brien.

If you haven't heard of him, you should check out his music. He did a concert at the conference on Thursday night and he does some beautiful romantic music. They say he sounds like Michael Buble and in some cases, Billy Joel too. I can't wait to listen to the CDs I bought.