Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Best Surprise

This Easter weekend has been great! I was really sad that I was going to be away from my family because it would be the first time I didn't get to decorate Easter eggs, have an Easter egg hunt or have Easter dinner with them. Holidays have always been a big deal in my family with everyone getting together and eating way too much food. I was really sad to miss that this year. Little did I know, I was in for a great surprise. 

The past week and a half Matt has been asking me what I wanted to do this weekend. I never really said much or had any great ideas because what I really wanted to (go home) was not feasible. Then we found out we both would have Good Friday off from work. I was beginning to start actively searching for fun Easter things for us. I knew we would have to decorate Easter eggs and maybe go out for an Easter brunch to at least keep up some of the tradition. We had talked about going hiking on Friday morning but surprisingly Matt didn't say much about hiking after about Tuesday night. All week we had been really tired and one or both of us fell asleep before 10 pm each night this week. On Thursday morning Matt told me when I got home from fieldwork I should take a nap before he gets home since it wasn't a "school night" and we could stay up late. This sounded pretty ridiculous to me because I thought he was the one that had been so tired all week. 
Matt finally came home on Thursday, and I was busy getting some Easter things ready I did not have time for a nap. About 8:30 he told me, "Okay, I have something I forgot to tell you. I need you to pack a bag like you are spending that night somewhere. And no questions!" Of course I was flabbergasted. I had so many questions: Where were we going? What should I bring? Do I need to look nice? What is going on? What have you done? Should I bring a jacket? OMG, are we camping? Should I bring shampoo? What about make up? Do I need pants? A pillow? Blankets?? Now he said no questions, so I did my best and only asked one or two, or maybe four or five...
We had successfully watched some of our favorite TV shows (The Big Bang Theory and The Office) and yay!!-we were both still awake! I asked if we could leave yet. He said no. So of course I was even more confused. Why did it matter what time we left? A few minutes later he said okay, come over here we are going to watch some YouTube videos. "What have you watched that is good lately?" What!?!?!?! I have no idea what is going on and you want me to give you some good YouTube videos right now? Are you kidding me?!? Of course, I assume this is some sort of clue as to what is about to happen. Then Matt says, "This is totally unrelated to what we are about to do." Yeah I am falling for that. Then we watch some funny video about kids trying to figure out a rotary phone. Once it was over he said it was okay to leave now. By this time, it is about 10:15 so I am super tired and very confused. Just when I think he is going to tell me what it going on, he puts my bag in my trunk opens my driver side door and tells me to get in. I thought ooh this will be fun, he will navigate me to my surprise. Nope, he heads to his car and says follow me. What!?  I have to drive behind you, in the dark, probably on the highway or freeway, have no idea how long it will take and have no clue where we are going!? Thanks, Matt....
So I am following Matt, alone with my thoughts. I thought we were maybe going to a hotel or B&B for a relaxing weekend, but why would we need two cars? Then I was pretty sure he was taking me camping and he had all the camping gear in his car and didn't want me to see it when I climbed in. Seemed a little odd to drive two cars out to a campground, but we have done stranger things. We kept driving down the highway, and driving, and driving. I had completely given up trying to figure out where we were going or what we were doing. One-because I didn't want to be disappointed if I had fantasized something much greater in my mind, two-I really was worried we were going camping, and three-I was sick of thinking about it. So I jammed out to some music instead. It was a very funny feeling driving somewhere you had no clue where but knew there was a destination in sight. What if a cop pulled me over and asked where I was going. Ummm......I literally have no idea....Yeah, that would go over well. 
After about 30 minutes of driving, we finally pulled off the highway. I noticed signs for the Mesa airport and thought, hhhmmm....that would be cool, but I am sure that is just a coincidence. We kept driving down the road, and I couldn't help but continue to notice the sign for the airport. But where would we fly to at 11 o'clock at night for one day? Why are we bringing two cars? Doesn't he know we will have to pay to park both of them? And why did it matter if we left our apartment when we did or 10 minutes earlier? Did we really need to watch that YouTube video? Does the Mesa airport even stay open this late? And yes it does because as we were driving I saw a plane landing. That's strange....So I guess planes do run late at night here so we could be going somewhere. Or maybe we are picking someone up....I was thinking he had arranged some of our friends to come down, but we could all fit in one car and why in the world did I need to pack my bag? Then sure enough we turned left to head into the airport. Are we REALLY going to the airport? What is going on? Then we took another turn toward airport parking. Yes, we are really going to the airport! No camping!!!!!! Why did we bring two cars again? We winded down the road...We had to be getting closer. We turned again. Maybe Matt is going to take flying lessons...That's pretty cool but why would they start at 11 o'clock on Maundy Thursday? And we pulled in. No flying lessons. MY FAMILY WAS HERE!!!!! 
A few months ago I had thought that would be awesome if they could come down since they have a long break and Matt and I do not. But I had talked to my mom earlier that day for quite a while and she was telling me about preparing for the annual Easter Egg Hunt for Saturday morning and having the whole family over for Easter on Sunday. She also mentioned Jadyn had some lifeguard training in McCook that she had to get out of school for and didn't finish until 9:30 that night. Right before we got off the phone she said she had to get back to doing stuff...that seemed a little odd. Was she STILL at the office? Maybe she was getting things ready for Easter...She usually tells me what she is doing, not just stuff. Well turns out she was packing and preparing for her trip to Mesa! It was by far, the best surprise ever!!
We headed down to my grandparents place and stayed there. Friday we went to Schnepf Farms. It was adorable, we will definitely go back when other things are in season.

Matt is shrinking!

Peach season starts next month. Cannot wait for pumpkins in the fall!

Having a great time at the farm!

We walked through the u pick fields to look for some kale for mom. All of the good stuff had already been picked. We found some honey and jelly at the general store to take home instead!


We also took a quick trip over to Mesa Marketplace. My family has been there more than I have this winter so I guess one more trip seemed necessary. Matt and Atlee had enough shopping and enjoyed the swings instead. 

I had hard boiled some eggs on Thursday and Matt kept saying he didn't want to decorate the eggs yet. I finally understood-he was waiting so I could do it with my family. The tradition lived on, in a new location. 


Almost everyone participated...

My secret message: Where we are spending Easter

Mesa, AZ!!!

Our finished eggs and beautiful Calla Lilies grandma sent.
I made some dirt cups thinking it would be a nice spring treat for us and got to share them with my family.


They also played the longest game of PIG. I never seen so many circus shots. 

Yes, this is a punt

Somehow, Nolan came out victorious.

Friday night we took them to our new go to place-Waldo's BBQ. I think they enjoyed it. And lucky for us, we have enough leftovers to last us several days. We drove past the Mormon Temple with the Easter Pageant going on that we went to last week with our friends. Atlee thought it was a little cold (they did not get to experience the high heat we have been having here) so we did not stop to watch. 

The convertible riders

We also finished another puzzle down at grandma and grandpa's. 

It was such a blessing having them here for Easter weekend. There are now back in the Good Life to celebrate with the rest of our family.



Hopefully the highlight for them was not flying over the Grand Canyon on the way home, and they were not too upset dealing with our cold (75*) weather. Now we will celebrate the rest of the weekend ourselves making some new traditions for our own family. Enjoy your Easter!! 

*On a side note here is the link to the rotary phone video if you want to watch it, it was pretty funny.

Citrus juicing

Matt's cousins that live in Mesa have 5 fruit trees in their backyard. A couple months ago we went over and picked a bunch of fruit. Last week we finally ran out of the fruit we picked. It just so happened they were ready to pick the rest of the fruit off the trees. We went over to help them pick all their fruit. We pulled at least 80 grapefruit and a bunch of oranges and tangelos as well. 80 grapefruit goes a long ways. We took a few bags and left the rest for them. Even though we love grapefruit, we had enough to last us until September. We decided since we love the way it tastes we should drink it, too! So after church we headed over to my grandparents to borrow their juicer.

Matt sliced the fruit and I juiced.

We filled the 2 quart pitcher. Time to upgrade to the gallon!

We quadruple strained it. There was still some leftover pulp, but it was much better than it would have been without our intense straining effort.  

Here is what our efforts produced. That is straight grapefruit juice in there! We added some water and a little Splenda and had over a gallon. We have been drinking it sparingly and it has lasted us a week already. If I let Matt drink as much as he wanted, it would have been gone on Monday night. We also made some orange/tangelo juice which was a nice change to my breakfast routine this past week. Can't wait until next citrus season! Thanks for reading :)