Friday, January 21, 2011

Arizona Love

When my mom told me she was planning on going to Arizona to visit her mom (my Nannie), I jumped at the chance to invite myself along. 

As a family, we used to spend a lot a time in Arizona at Nannie and Papa's house. We were down there at least twice a year every year that my parents lived in Utah. Once they moved to Washington, I found myself in college, and spending all my time off from school or work journeying Northward instead of South.  Needless to say, I've missed my Arizona.

Although it had been over six years since I had been there, some things never change... and I found myself feeling very sentimental, nostalgic, and a little existential throughout my week with Nannie, my mom, and my kids. 

But maybe those nostalgic thoughts are for another post...

This one's for pictures. :)


This is Caleb. He's my cousin, Jacki's little guy and is about one week older than my Sarah.

Sarah is giving her new pal a little pat.
(I wish my "pat-down" at the airports had been this innocent and happy.)

I love this chubby little guy.

This is Lily.
If you think you are looking at my cousin, LaChae in miniature, you might be right.
I took to little Lily immediately. (Although I had met her before.) All week, whenever we were together, she would bring me her treasures and show off her talents. I loved it.

Miss Maddie. Jacki's girl. She is the sweetest little thing.

Are you kidding me with this kid?!! Little Wyatt. LaChae's newest.

My mom pretending like she is Maria... and the kids.

My Papa's grave.
I am so happy that we made this visit a priority. I don't think I've visited Papa's grave since he died. 
Nannie, Mom, and I shared a few tears and laughs here during our visit.
To say that he is missed is the biggest understatement ever... Actually, that sounds like I'm making light of it. I really, truly miss my Papa. He's one of the greatest men I've ever known.

Mom and Nan.

I love my Nannie.

My parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents were all sealed in the Mesa Temple.
I loved walking around the grounds with my mom and Jakey. (Nannie volunteered to sit in the car with sleeping Sarah.)

I may or may not have told Jake that this random truck in the parking lot was "Mater".
... And my mom may or may not have placed him on what he now calls "My Mater."

Pretty cool truck, though.

Arizona's sunsets are killer.

I dig palm trees.


Jake fell in love with Nannie's toys.
Especially Lara's old wooden chicken, Steve's old cars and trucks, and the Cowboys and Indians.

We put a pink foam curler in Sarah's "hair". It kind of worked.
Then, she and Nannie played their little game of of tilting their head back and forth... it's Sarah's new favorite game, and it's pretty adorable.

See? I told you.

I wish I went through my Nannie's house and taken more pictures. At least I got the pool.

We had to constantly tell Jake that the pool was locked and we couldn't go in.

Oh, man. Oh, man. 
These orange trees are amazing.
Seriously, the fruit is straight from heaven.

Jake loved picking oranges.

I loved spending time with m Kempton family. Here we are playing "Hilarium", which was hilarious.

Wade and Caleb.

Nannie and Sarah.

Jacki and Jeff.

And finally, LaChae and Wyatt.
LaChae and her kids came by before I flew out on Monday.
I love this cousin.
It's funny (and sad) how little I get to see LaChae  nowadays, when I saw her everyday for four semesters of college.

P.S. I can't believe I didn't get a single picture of little Kate. She is perfect.


Lindsey said...

I think Sarah looks more and more like your husband every time I see a picture of her. Like twins. And I'm jealous of the orange tree situation there. Aren't orange trees the most beautiful trees ever? More photo shoots should take place there.

Laurel said...

Just seeing tiny snippets of Nannie's house makes ME nostalgic! I heart Arizona.

I love your pictures of Nannie's orange trees, the temple, Jake's "new" toys, our awesome cousins, Nannie, and especially mom singing with all the little kids.

What a happy week!

Laurel said...

Oh, and I can't believe you let Jakey run amuck with that stick of DEATH out there!!! :) I'm so happy you all still have your eyeballs!

Scott and Megan said...

oh Leesh...I love these pictures so, so much!!!! We have been to Nanny's house 3 years in a row every Feb/March and won't be going this year for the first time and these pictures now make me pissed that we're not!!! I LOVE visiting her and her fun house and all that goes with Arizona. I can only imagine what it would be like to have the memories like you (and Scott) have. He always has new stories to tell me when we visit. They usually involve jumping off the roof into the pool with various cousins/siblings/etc....but oh how fun! I bet that week was so memorable! You, your mom, and the nanster! What a great time for jake all time favorite was him finding Mater!!! love it!ok, it was a tie with that and Sarah's new tilting her head thing..omgood gosh I wanted to jump through the computer and squeeze her!

Scott and Megan said...

k...I'm back...I can't get enough of these pictures! I am so homesick for my nanny of 8 years! I love being a prt of the Lee familia and extended loved ones! Oh Leesh, I miss you and your little ones! K, that's all, I just wanted to say hello again and mention that your pictures are beautiful, the composition is incredible with all the palm trees and the temple. I looked at my pictures of AZ from last year and the pictures of us at the temple and papa's gravesight. I love papa, and I only know him in spirit and from whenever i visit the temple. Ok, i clearly need a new hobby other than stalking you and your blog...THE END!

Mom of twins ♥ said...

Great pictures! I remember when your Nannie always came and visited, she was always so fun and sweet! Sarah's head tilt thing is super cute, where did you get her bow I love it!

Mesia said...

Alicia! Thank you for sharing your experience in Arizona. I really enjoyed seeing your pictures! Give your family our love!

staci said...

Cute, cute pics! Loved seeing LaChae! I rarely check her blog since it's private, so it was fun seeing her on here!! She's darling!

Ok those pictures of Sarah tilting her head are the cutest thing ever!! What a little cutie patootie she is!!! Love it!! Your Jake is getting so big & handsome too!!!

Karin said...

Loved. every. picture.
I did get teary-eyed at the graveside pictures. Loved him. And love that he and my dad are so similar. (I'm pretty sure that's why my kids call him "Papa"). Hope you're blowing up the Mater pix for Jake's room.
Great play by play of Sarah's head-tilting game:)!!

Markelle said...

bless you for sharing your wealth! (grapefruit and oranges)

I share your Arizona love and Sarah in that one roller is adorable.

LEE BIEN said...

Perhaps you might want to enlarge one of the temple pictures for your dear old mama. Your photos of the Arizona temple are better than anything Deseret Book has to offer. Hmmm, I'm thinking three or four shots that I could put into one picture frame. What do you think? It was so fun to spend the week with you and also Nannie. Let's make this a tradition.

Jeff & Jacki Sharp said...

Fantastic post. I just love it. We had the best time with you here! I have to say I think you're really great. Thank you for the sweet pictures. So... when are you coming back?

Alifinale said...

You have sufficiently made me miss AZ so much that I want to go there tomorrow. I love that place. I love the Mesa temple and you got so many fabulous shots. I love the citrus trees and miss picking oranges straight from the tree. Oh what a great trip for you.