Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Day of a New Year

We've enjoyed 3 days and 2 lovely nights here at the Marriott in Mesa, Arizona. Sarah stayed here with me on the first night. The boys joined us last night.
The balcony of our 5th floor room overlooked the pool and palm trees. The beds were comfy and the Internet connection was complimentary. $40 per night on Priceline.
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We'll be checking out in about 2 hours, since late tonight we'll be heading home. The family Christmas party starts at noon.
Yesterday was New Years Day and we kept busy. The kids were glad to spend a few more hours with their dad in the morning. Mark is living in a residential rehab facility for at least 5 more months and has been clean and sober for about 4 months now. He seems happier and more relaxed. He enjoyed the time with Jacob, Dylan, and Sarah.
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I met them at the Fiesta Mall around 1:00. I had $60+ Disney Dollars to burn and the Disney Store was having a great tee-shirt sale. We got a sweatshirt for Dylan plus 6 assorted tees for the family for $55 (which cost me exactly $0.00!).
Here's Dylan in one of his new tees and a cool cap he bought at the mall with his Christmas money from Great Grandma Helen. He also bought a teen-rated video game before I joined them at the mall. We returned it and got his money back. I don't allow bloody games in my house!
Left-to-right: Julien, Brianna, Karla (and Sarah is the shadow behind her), Jacob, Dylan, and Celesta.
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It was 4:00 before we reached Karla's house. She and I went shopping for the groceries to make a potato salad and a broccoli salad for the family party. Then we went back to her place for a yummy dinner of chicken, rice, and green salad.
Around 9:30 my oldest nephew Jeremy and his wife Cami arrived from their new home 2 hours away in Prescott Valley, along with their 3 young children, Analyce, Jaren, and Makayla. Sarah and I were so excited to meet 3-month-old Makayla for the first time. She has a very different look from her parents and siblings. I teased Jeremy and Cami that she's an adorable Elf-child who should come live in the forest with Legolas and me!
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Makayla was actually sweet as can be for the first 2 hours, but it was nearing midnight by the time we took this picture and she was very tired!
Left-to-right: Brianna and her boyfriend Bryce (in the background), Analyce, Cami, Jeremy, Jacob, Karla, Julien, Addison, Gabby, and Celesta.
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Just before midnight we again cheered the New Year with sparkling cider (remember the 2 bottles I'd left behind in my hotel room on New Years Eve?). Then the kids, including the adult kids, arranged a card game of Apples to Apples.
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When I suddenly realized it was almost 12:30 and I'd need a good night's sleep before tonight's long drive, I dragged my grumbling children away from the game and back to the hotel.
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Today was a very pleasant start to a New Year. So far, so good!

2 comments:

Jill said...

You got that room for $40?? Incredible!!!

Jill said...

Not sure you will get this comment but I hope you do. Just wanted to say thank you. Den is going to Utah for 4 days this week for his nephew's funeral. I told him to just try Priceline this one time. He knows how it has worked so well for you. I showed him what you got last summer and what you got this past week. So he calls me from work just now and says he has a Marriott Springhill Suites for 4 nights at $55. a night through Priceline. He is thrilled!