What happens in Vegas....

...ends up on my blog.  Or at least something like that.

I have a confession to make.  I'm a horrible wife.  Every single time that we go back to the States, I hijack my family and keep them sequestered in Arizona for the duration of our trip.  Before going, my husband gently suggested that he would love to see more than Arizona this trip.  The ideas of where we would go swirled in my head - then we landed - everyone got sick - and we had to keep the traveling to a minimum.

Again - a super long drawn out story of how we ended up in Vegas for a few days before New Year's - sans kids.  Since it is only a few hours away from Arizona it was the perfect mix of going away without going "too far" - plus who doesn't love Las Vegas?

It ended up being right up there on the list of one of my favorite vacations.  We stayed for three days at the Mandalay Bay and it was perfect.

We had the perfect blend of romantic getaway coupled with cheesy Las Vegas tourists.  We dined at fancy restaurants and buffets.  We got all gussied up and went out dancing and we even took in a concert.

You guys - it was amazing.  I love the diversity that Las Vegas offers - it really can be any kind of vacation you want it be.

One night for dinner we ended up going to the Red Square at the Mandalay Bay and the food was amazing.  It's a Russian restaurant and I had the most delicious Caviar, and Beef Stroganoff and of course Vodka.

Since we were on a Russian kick, we ended up going to the ice bar that is also at the Mandalay Bay.  Cornel had already been to an Ice Bar in Milan and told me that it was something I had to do once in my life.  It was quite the experience - everything was made out of ice, even the glasses.  Definitely an experience I'll remember.

We also took in a concert while we were in town.  I can't tell you the last time that we had been to a concert together - actually yes - it was in 2010.  We were long overdue.

We went back to Arizona just before New Year's Eve - because as much as I love Las Vegas - I wanted to ring in the new year with my boys.
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Traveling Abroad

Can you believe that just now, nearly three weeks back from our trip we are barely recovering from the jet lag and the sickness.  Now if we can only get some sunshine around here, things would be nearly perfect.

I finally get a chance to write about our big trip back to the States.

Our flight left early in the morning out of Lyon, two hours away, so rather than waking up in the middle night we decided to get a hotel near the airport so that we wouldn't have to rush.  It's a good thing we did since we ended up oversleeping and barely made it to the airport on time.

Aside from the early morning stress we made it on the first of three flights.  Thanks to some new movies on the iPad, some new books and some snacks we survived the nearly 19 hour trip and arrived safely in Phoenix.

The boys were amazing travelers, although by the time we arrived in Salt Lake City, Nathan did make me promise that it would be the last plane ride of the day.  Who could blame him?

It felt so amazing to be greeted by my mom and my sister.  Immediately it was as if we hadn't missed a beat.  The boys were exhausted so we ended up spending the night at a hotel.  We only had a small wake up call at midnight when boys demanded food, but they were soon back to sleep and we adjusted almost immediately to the 9 hour time difference.

The next morning was Noah's birthday, and while I'm sure spending it at a hotel and traveling to my mom's house wasn't how we expected to spend it - he was surrounded by family.  Isn't that what's important?

It felt amazing to be back home.  There was plenty of shopping and catching up to be done.  It was so great to speak English and be surrounded by amazing customer service.  You seriously forget what that is like when you live in France and customer service is only a myth.

Shortly after we arrived at my mom's house, Noah broke out in the chicken pox and we were quasi-quarantined.

We waited for a few days to see if Nathan broke out in "the pox" but he never did.  Crazy right?  He was going a little stir crazy, so we did take some trips to escape out into the nice Arizona sunshine.  We even took him to Old Tucson Studios, the western style movie studio and attraction park.  He loved every second of it.



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Finishing 2012

I can't wait to start writing about my trip, but before I do I really wanted to finish my re-cap of 2012.

Bear with me, it's almost over.

The last three months of 2012 were a little hectic.  It always seems like the end of the year sneaks up on me and the holidays always catch me off guard.

October

We started October with an American Halloween a la francais.  We had a huge celebration with all of the Americans in town and let the kids go trick or treating.  Nathan was so excited to not only go to a party but to dress up as a Pirate.  He still talks about the party in the park, it was that fun.

We also drove to a tiny village for the apple festival only to find out that it was just people selling apples.  Definitely not the apple picking we had in mind.

November:

I felt compelled to make an American Thanksgiving meal.  It was in the middle of the work week and the kids had school, but we made it our own.  The meal was great, the kids wore turkey hats and best of all we had our families on Skype.  It was the next best thing to being there.

November was also a HUGE day for my tiny little blog... I had my SITS Day!

December

Then December snuck up on me, like it tends to do.  Wanting to soak up all of the Christmas magic, I took Nathan on a trip to Paris - just the two of us.  There was the tree at Galaries Lafayette, there were lights and the Seine, it was pure magic.

We also had to say goodbye to Nathan's amazing teachers. It was such a bittersweet day.  I still miss them.

In December we also took our big trip back to the States, but more on that soon!
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July - August 2012

I had this post nearly all written and couldn't get online to hit publish.  Even though we are already half way into January, I really wanted to finish my recap of 2012, if only for me.

Even though 2013 hasn't started out all that great, 2012 was a great year and I was a little sad to see it go.

July

We started out the month celebrating the Fourth of July, in our own style of course with Nathan heading out on a field trip with his school.

This month was the big where Nathan was rushed to the ER to get three stitches through his eyebrow.  The first of what I'm sure will be many battle wounds of toddlerhood.

We finally started enjoying the weather outside just in time for our summer vacation.


August

This was our big vacation month and the entire family was off for three weeks!  We filled the time with tons of family activities like days at the park

We also caught Olympic Fever and who doesn't love that?

September

This is by far my favorite time of the year.  I love it when Fall finally comes to town.

This Fall we spent a lot of time at the lake enjoying the outside!


September is also the month of my birthday and I did a little recap of my life in numbers.

It is crazy to think how far away this all seems. I can only hope 2013 brings as much fun!



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Missing.In.Action

Wow, it has been a long time since I've stopped in here.

You might have noticed that I took an unexpected hiatus around here.

For a big part of that time we were back in the United States celebrating the holidays with my family.

For another part of it were were nursing sick kids.

It all started the week before we were going to fly out {doesn't it always?}.  First Noah had more bronchial issues and was finally diagnosed with asthma.  Then Nathan decided to get his first ear infection in over two years - all before hopping on a plane.  The words stress didn't even begin to cover it.

We all survived though.  We got on many planes and nearly 19 hours later we arrived in Phoenix.  A little tired but safe and sound.

Then a little over 48 hours later, Noah broke out in chicken pox.  All over.  The pox.  Did I mention this was on his actual first birthday?  Chaos.  We had to cancel his birthday party, cancel the baptism we had planned to do while we were there and we were quasi-quarantined for nearly 10 days.  The most surprising thing about all of this is that Nathan never got the chicken pox.  We waited but there was not a pox to be found on him.

It wasn't all bad.  Noah got better.  Santa came to visit us.  The hubs and I took a trip to Vegas.  Noah finally got baptized.  We rang in 2013 as a family.  We survived the trip back home.

And while you would think that we are finally adjusting to our old "normal" - Nathan came down with the flu and started school all in the same week.  Such is life, right?

So while I hope to be back on here more this year {in fact it is one of my resolutions} it might be slow going for a while.  I hope you will still stick with me.

Just for fun.  Here is a picture of what happens when you take a three year old to the "Wild West".

I hope you all had an amazing Holiday Season and I wish you all the most amazing New Year!
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