Gift giving...

I think I have always been a good gift giver.  I like getting people things!  Me and my sisters used to buy little surprises and treasures for each other all the time!  In fact, I just got a surprise package from my sisters the other day with a couple fun little treasures!  I also like giving birthday gifts and Christmas gifts!  I may have not been the smartest gift giver...i.e. the time I had Tacy close her eyes so I could try on the 'ring I was getting "JESSIE" for Christmas'..."It's for Jessie I swear, I just need to see if it fits you cause your fingers are the same size and I just don't want you to see her present"...I have never lived that one down!

But....since getting married...I have become the WORST PRESENT GETTER EVER IN EXISTENCE!  Just ask Daron!  His birthday was Oct 25th...what did I get him.  nothing.  We had been married for not even 3 weeks and I didn't get him one single thing for his birthday.  Not even a card. (But we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that day...so I get a tiny bit of an excuse)  Then Christmas...oh my gosh I had a mental breakdown over Christmas and then I ended up getting him the lamest thing ever.  Just recently Fathers Day, now I know he's not my dad or even the father of my children, but he is a dad and kind of important to me so you'd think I'd be able to get it together and get him something nice for Fathers Day.  Nope, I couldn't figure out what to get him!  

I think my biggest problem lies in the fact that he tracks every single penny that we spend at the end of every day.  And he gets a text message anytime we use the debit card if our account is under a certain amount! There have been times I've gone through the McDonalds drive through and before I even got to the second window to pick up the food he had called to ask me if I was enjoying my breakfast.  It's creepy sometimes!  So I feel like I can't spend a dime without him knowing how much and where I spent it, so therefore any surprise would be ruined for the most part.  Like, at Christmas I was going to (and did) get him an iPhone 4.  But it took major skills and sneakiness to do it, and he ended up figuring it out anyway.  I hate hate hate it when people know what they are getting as a gift from me.  Surprising is way more fun! 

Like I said earlier, I also like getting fun little "I saw this and thought of you" gifts...but I know that if were to get something like that for him he's look at it and think/say "Really...you spent three dollars on this piece of junk that reminds you of me, but I really don't want it so now it's just going to sit around and be annoying"...so I just don't get cute little gifts for him.

I sound like I'm ragging on Daron...but I don't mean to if I am.  He is  a GREAT gift giver...He got me super cool stuff for my birthday and Christmas and even for Mothers Day!  It just makes me so frustrated that I can't get it together and be a good gift giver in return!

My goal is to redeem myself this year...I have almost 4 full months to figure it out...so let's just hope I can get it together and become the gift giver I know I can be!


Independence festivities...

Daron and I started off the 4th of July by sleeping in till 10!!!  I haven't done that in a long time!  We headed over to the theater to see Larry Crowne, and it was really cute!  We got home about 1:30 and from then until 5:30 we literally did NOTHING until we went to Darons moms for the family get together.  It was a very lazy/relaxful day.

Darons mom hosts the 4th of July party every year, so we had dinner over there, shot off some fireworks that Melissa and Tom bought, and then we walked up the block to get our spots for the Apache Junction fireworks.  They were scheduled to start at 9, but about 8:30 it got really windy and you could see a big storm starting to blow in.  Shortly after 9 announced that they were postponed till 9:30, and if the weather didn't clear up they would be cancelled.  Well...they were cancelled, so we didn't get to see any big fireworks.  But, it was still nice to get together with the family and hang out.


Our staycation...

Hannah is off in Nauvoo and Bryan has been at his moms house for almost two weeks...so me and Daron decided to get out of dodge and head up north!  We went to the Petrified Forest National Park and to Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Shay..not Shelly).  Then we spent a day driving along the Mogollon Rim.  It was BEAUTIFUL weather, so much better than the 115 degree days we've been battling in the valley.

We started off at the Petrified Forest National Park (where I got 8 pressed pennies!)...

 The PFNP is next to the Painted Desert...which is really pretty, in a very open, uninhabitable sort of way!  There is a place where there is a bunch of rocks that have petroglyphs on them though...that was pretty cool.

We left the Petrified Forest and headed further up north to Canyon de Chelly.  It is WAY up north in Navajo Territory.  It's sort of like a little Grand Canyon, where you can take the North Rim or the South Rim routes.  Of course, you could do both in one day cause it's not near as big as the Grand Canyon.  We went on the South Rim, cause it had a lot more look out points.  It was really beautiful!

At some of the lookout points they had little viewfinders set up where you could see some old cliff dwellings and places where the Indians used to live hundreds of years ago.  I tried to get a good picture of them...but they were so far away and so small that they didn't turn out very well...hopefully you can get the idea though.

We spent the afternoon along the south rim, and then came back after dark to take advantage of being away from he city and being able to see the stars! It was so beautiful!  I tried to pull a 'Fivel' and have my sisters and Hannah go outside to see if they could see the big dipper and then we could all be looking at the same stars together, but Tacy in her own special way made me feel real stupid and let me know that was a dumb idea.  So, we did it without them! 

We originally planned on spending two days at the Canyon, but decided that night that one day was enough.  So, we got up the next morning and headed back down towards Payson.  A month or so ago we went up to Payson and drove around some of the forest service roads in the Coconino National Forest.  Or course, we were in Darons Ford Taurus, so we couldn't be too adventurous. But this time we had my Escape, so we knew we wanted to explore some more roads.  We ended up driving on Rim Road 300 for probably about 5 hours...and it was the highlight of the trip.  The funniest thing was, we saw the road on the map, but there was this big green line right next to it, and we couldn't figure out what the big green line was.  Then we actually got on the road, and we realized that green line was a huge drop off!  It was THE RIM!  Oh man...it was beautiful!  There were some places where we were further away from the rim, but for lots of it we were literally just feet away from the cliff! 

It was a little frustrating because you want to capture the real picture of what we saw...but it's almost impossible (mostly because of my lack of photography skills or good camera)...

It was CRAZY WINDY when we would be on some of the really open drop offs...

Daron spent quite of bit of time like this:

Becuase he is not a fan of heights and like I said, we were driving right along the cliff!

We packed a cooler for our lunches on our trip, so we found a good (and safe) place to stop and have lunch...and we decided we want to come back and camp at that same spot sometime soon.

When we came down off the rim and headed into Payson for the evening...we tried to get a good picture behind us of the view of the rim and the places we had just driven...but that proved to be a lot harder than it seemed.  You can kind of get the idea here:

So that was our trip!!  It was so much fun!  We loved loved loved the rim drive and I hope to be able to take my family on that someday...I think they would enjoy that!   I got lots of new pressed pennies too...so that always makes for a good trip!