Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Don't Grow Older Everyday, Why do You?

I do know the answer to the question, yet I still wonder why it goes by so fast. Boston has two teeth coming through (on the bottom); he is up on all fours, ready to crawl, and I think he made his first sign today. He had just finished dinner and was sitting next to me while I ate. He was going nuts every time I took a drink. So, I offered him some water out of the lid of my water bottle. He became quite upset with me. He then stuck out his arm and began to squeeze his hand - to say he wanted milk? I celebrated and praised at though it was a sign. I hope to see more soon for confirmation. If this is so, that would mean he is signing a whole month earlier than Cambry did. Yeah! Oh yes, and my favorite thing lately...he is over the moon about his daddy! (Video to come) (The frames below hold a picture of the children 6 months ago as well as a current picture.)

Y'all (Yes, I said it.) already know that Miss Cambry is over the moon about her Papa. :) Today I was helping her get dressed for the day. "Ohh, a dress, I'll be so pretty," she said.
Wednesday, after paying for lunch, I received about $2.45 in change. She asked me for the money. I gave her the coins. "Can I have the cash?" she asked. She continues to be a sponge for knowledge as well as the Princess of Literalness.
And then there was tonight, the reason why this whole post came to be. I was laying next to her bed, holding her hand before she went to bed. Ever since she was a baby, she holds hands by holding my pointer finger; I then wrap my hand around hers. Tonight, she shook out of this mold we have created, clasped my hand in the typical hand-holding position, and said, "Like this Mommy." There goes my baby.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Working Towards a Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday is an entry many bloggers make each week by just posting a picture. I tend to be wordy; I will have to work towards that.

Houston doesn't mess around when it comes to weather! This photo is actually from last weeks rain storm. This is the park right across the street from our house. The photo was taken from inside the Traverse as I drove by. I was blown away by the amount of water. Turns out, when you are at sea level, you create parks to hold water. Being home to playgrounds and ball games is their second function.

This week, on Monday night, was the the first night ever (in my adult life) that I was woke up by a storm. Our area of the city received 4 inches of rain in an hour, and it kept on coming, accompanied by hail and severe thunderstorms. Roads and homes alike were flooded. Our home was fine. We were unable to leave for most of the day though. All the roads leading to the freeway were closed. Joe traveled 8+ miles out of his way to get to work Tuesday morning. The trip took him about an hour and a half.

So that was far from 'wordless.' Like I said, this will be a work in progress. teehee.

In other random ramblings...

We make a lot of dust. What is the deal with that?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Adult Entry, Wk. 16 - Reflection

Welcome to my second week entering the I Faces weekly photo contest. Last week I mentioned the contest is only for amateurs. I stand corrected. Occasionally they do offer another category for amateurs, but in general the contests are open to all skill level. The theme this week, Week 16, is reflection. Perfect, I just entered my best reflection picture in the Self Portrait Category last week. :) That's the way it usually goes, right? So this week I was pondering how I would capture a reflection photo. Cambry was not cooperating, and Joe prefers not to have his photo taken. To spare phoning a friend, I decided the picture should be of me, taken by me of course. I am a die hard foodie and have actually been doing quite a bit in the kitchen lately. ('Quite a bit' by my standards is a step above opening the box and emptying it into a pan. Progress is progress.) What would me more appropriate than a photo of myself in my silverware?

I Faces Wk. 16 Reflection - Adult Entry
For more great reflection photos, or to join the fun yourself, make sure to stop by I Faces. Hope you enjoyed my photo. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Director, Producer, Videographer,
& Lead Actress

Although I never thought I would say this, I am having a lot of fun making videos for the Mommy Madness promotion. It proves to be quite challenging to hold the camera yourself (or prop it up, turn it on, and run in front of it) A few of my family members have mentioned that they are not able to see the videos on the Mommy Madness site, so I am posting them here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Trini Traverse

I am already attached to the Traverse. I am completely bummed that we will have to return it at the end of eight weeks. There is a purchase option, but we are in no place to buy a new vehicle. This Traverse is my ultimate Mommy Mobile! It has sooo many features that I don't currently have. Check out my blog entry on the Mommy Madness site She's a Keeper. You will learn all my favorite features, what I could live without, and why I named her Trini.

**If you are in Texas, remember that every time you vote, you are entered to win a weekend getaway! (and spa services) You can vote as often as you like. Thanks in advance for your support! Click Here to Vote

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Funnies -
Go Ahead, Smile Out Loud

In our lives, around every corner is a good laugh. Although these may not be our proudest moments, I am going to make a point to share with you each week. Why not spread the joy, right?

Yesterday at Boston's 6 month check, Cambry decided that the doctor would need to look at the pea size bruise she had on her leg from falling the day before. She asked me permission to ask the doctor. After getting the doc's attention, she asked, "Can you please look at my boo-boo? I could stop whining to Mommy about it if you looked at it."
I have had this pair of unworn socks sitting on the ledge in our bedroom for sometime. When I went to go pick up my new running shoes, I attempted to return them. I explained to the woman that the package contained two left socks, rather than a right and a left. I wanted to know if I could exchange them, or by a package that had two right socks. She went to get the manager. It was then politely revealed to me that the "L" on the socks meant they were large, not left.

This week I was fixing Cambry's hair in the bathroom. She is a gassy child, but knows it is nothing to be ashamed of. During the entire time I was fixing her hair, she was audibly passing gas. I was nearly finished with the style when she looked up at me and said, "I can't even stand in here; you smell so much!" -LMBO-

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Purple Rain

During the four weeks I have been running, I have gone through three pairs of shoes. The Asics Gel Nimbus 10, the perfect shoe for me, split open at the seam after the first run. (exchanged no problem) The Adidas ____, well it was everything awful about a shoe - for me. (exchanged no problem) I then spent a week running in the shoes I use to mow the lawn as I awaited the arrival of the new Asics Gel Nimbus 11. Imagine my surprise / thrill when I went to pick up my new shoes and the woman brought out this gorgeous purple shoe. Thanks for splitting open Nimbus 10!

"Dark Cherry," "Ms. Can't Be Wrong," and "Grape Lightning" Life is good!

Don't Blink

"My sister calls me Boston Chatterbox and my Mom calls me Little Bear."

I can hardly believe Boston is already 6 months old. He is growing soooo quickly. At his 6 month well check today, he was 19lbs 12 1/2 oz and 27" long. (Sorry to those of you who I told 28".) Cambry was also 27" at 6mo, but weighed just 17lbs 2 oz.

Just like we did with Cam, we have begun signing with Boston. Although he has not yet produced a sign, he does look for them, and will put his hands on mine when I sign to him. He is completely crazy about his big sister; their special bond is growing everyday. Lately she tells him about all the things she will teach him when he gets bigger - including how to drive. (Yes, she is already asking when she can learn.) Boston loves it when Cambry helps to take care of him too. She brings a humor that I couldn't to every situation. "Mommy, I need a towel! He's dripping," she will say as he drools all over his toys. The three of us read stories together often. Boston is fascinated by books and stories; he bangs on the pages in excitement. Oh, and remember the monotone 'singing' Cambry does? Well Boston has picked up on too. Bedtime is often the noisiest time of the day around here. lol.

His bottom two teeth have erupted now. Thank goodness! They have been bothering him for some time. He has been doing pretty well with sitting on his own - starting just this week. But he still loves to stand and walk assisted. He is talker, just like his big sister. He favorite sounds are ba-ba-ba and ma-ma-ma.

Just to humor you, I will try to get a video of him 'crawling.' He has the legs down to a science; the arms, well they are just in the way. He pushes his head into the floor, arms flopping at the side, and crawls forward with his knees. Awesome!

Boston Boy loves to be loved. He soaks up attention from anyone who will give it. He has a laugh that could light up the world. Lately he enjoys singing to the radio with Cambry and Mommy. :P We love you silly boy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Gulf

On Monday Papa Joe had the day off, so we took a little road trip down to Galveston Island. It has been 7 months since hurricane Ike destroyed much of the city. We were amazed by the buildings that had been rebuilt as much as we were amazed by the damage to structures that had not yet been repaired. Once we got down to the water, I kept my disappointment to myself. I have only been to the ocean a handful of times in my life. The site of the Gulf of Mexico, just off of Galveston Island was not the ocean I know or have come to love. I walked to the water's edge, closed my eyes, and just listened. After hearing the waves crashing for a few moments, I decided it was going to be a great day. We built sand castles together as a family, walked along the beach, waded in the water, and soaked up the sun. Awww!

As promised, here are a couple of photos. My editing software is only functioning at a basic level right now (many updates and downloads to go), so I have just included a couple for now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm a Work in Progress - New Edit Please Read

My broken links have now been fixed. You should be able to click and link to the radio station sites, as well as the Mommy Madness Site, and the other Mommy Bloggers Sites. Sorry for the delay.

Addition to original post:
I stand corrected. I apologize to all of my out of town friends and family who have tried to vote for me as their favorite Mommy Madness Blogger. I didn't realize the voting was only open to TX residents. As a person living out of state, you can vote one time. Once you reach the Mommy Madness site, scroll down a bit and you will see the "Vote for the Madness" box on the right, click. You will seen the voting screen where TX residents can fill in their name, etc. Scroll down a bit. You will then see a tan poll box. You can select my name and click vote. It's that easy.

A special thanks to everyone for their support!

I ♥ Faces - Kids Entry

I Faces has a weekly photography contest (for amateurs); It is something new I am trying this week. So here is my entry for the I Faces Week 15, Self Portrait Kids Contest. Wish us luck!

This is a picture of Cam and I taken in the reflection of the high gloss paint on the new Chevy Traverse! (The photo is a little red in color because of the dark cherry paint color on the car.)

Go On, Get Your Vote On!

It's here, it's finally here! Mommy Madness Houston kicked off today at 12:01AM. Today was the perfect day for it. Life was madness around here. (To people like me, madness is a great thing. It gives you that rush. That 'activating all your senses' kind of rush.) The computer crashed - due to a virus - early, early Sunday morning. Thankfully, I thought a few hours before that would be super time to back up my photos and documents. So other than all my software, settings, and web contact information for everyone I know, I have all I need. :) Please send me an email, if you would, so I can update my outlook.

After spending most of the day yesterday on the phone with Dell on-call, I was able to get my internet and outlook back up. Hooray! Life line restored! Now for some blog therapy. Oh, and can someone please look to the left of my blog address in the URL area and tell me if my favicon (that apple slice) is still there? I switched to Firefox and I can't see it. Thanks for helping to restore the peace.

Now for the good stuff...
Have I told you lately that I love the Chevy Traverse? Really, the more I drive it the more I love it. Let me rephrase that, the more I look at it, the more I love it! (driving helps too) I find my self stopping by the bedroom window (the window that overlooks the drive) just to check on (read, admire) my purple beauty. Today we took at trip down to Galveston Island, in the Traverse of course. (Yes, as soon as I get the software back, I will post pictures.) Joe drove; I did nothing in the comfort of the ultra spacious passenger seat. As a woman who normally will take two vehicles, even on a 1000 mile trip, to avoid having to ride in the passenger seat, the Traverse may have me demanding a chauffeur more often. We had the double BOB, umbrella stroller, my 15 'must have' bags (3 really), the cooler and a huge stash of sand toys in the back, and I still had a perfect platform to change Boston's diaper before hitting the beach. Hey, you do what you gotta do.

The Mommy Madness Site is up! Stop by as often as you like to vote for your favorite Mommy, and be entered to win. After you vote, if you enter your current car year, make, and model, you get another vote! (Men and women and vote and be entered to win, and you can win from anywhere in the country.) I would really appreciate it if you would pass the word on. Thanks for your support!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Shout Out to Sarah Pepper

I have never really been a fan of morning shows. I just may change my mind on that one. There is something about listening when you actually know who is on the other side. Thursday afternoon, at the Mommy Madness kick 0ff event, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Pepper, Morning Show co-host on Hot Hits 95.7. She too was excited about the purple Traverse. Although she said I was way too excited, I think she knew that wasn't really possible. She had a great time with us that afternoon.

I just wanted to send a shout out to Sarah, and say "Thanks for supporting all of us!" Make sure you listen to Sarah 6-10AM weekdays. She is hilarious and full of life. She will be plugging our promotion on her show too.

Hey Sarah! Maybe we can take the Traverse up to see Dave Matthews in May?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miss Daisy is Driving

As with many children, the driver's seat (anywhere in the front really) is a mecca for Cambry. Today, before our playdate, I let have her moment in the new Traverse. To sweeten the pot, I gave her the grail - 5 minutes of button pushing freedom. She immediately pressed the horn. It was cute, even though she was given free reign, she still hesitated and asked permission before testing each button and lever. Her last request was to put the key in the ignition. Not until you're 16 lady. Sorry.

**A new update regarding voting: We have now been informed that you will be able to vote more than once during the Mommy Madness promotional period. I think it will be the opportunity to vote daily. (Voting begins Monday, April 20th) For each time you vote, you will be entered to win a Girls Weekend Giveaway complete with spa services!

Bring the Rain

It has just been one of those days. And really, after coming off of yesterday's high, of course today would be Meh. I have had this Bubble Blast Playdate all planned out for the longest time. Today was our third attempt at it; past attempts were called on account of rain. Today, imagine that, looks like rain again. Most Mommies here stay in if it rains or even looks like rain - understandable. I, on the other hand, take the kids out almost daily regardless of weather for my sanity - well theirs too. So rather than be all disappointed about Mother Nature raining on our parade, I decided to invite people over to play inside. Thankfully, two of my favorite Mamas and their kids came. We were also joined by a new Mom - super nice lady - who I hope to get to know better. We all had a great time!

In other news, I have changed the settings on the blog to allow anyone (yes, you my family) to comment here. I am not sure what that means for security, but we will try it for a bit. Go ahead, share your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mommy Madness - Tell Me More

Today was a HUGE day for me. I can not even put into words the amount of excitement that I felt today meeting with the contributors and creators of such a genius promotion - "Houston Mommy Madness." I could not contain the thrill behind it all, well it wasn't as though I tried either. If you're happy and you know it - show the world.

Being still quite unfamiliar with the Houston area, especially downtown, I set to leave the house more than one hour before the event began. Put the address into the GPS - fail. :) I ended up calling the organizers of the event, twice, for directions, and was the last to arrive. I chose my seat and was handed a packet and some paperwork along with a set of car keys. I began writing my name and glanced up for just a moment to look at the keys. My eye caught "Purp_" jotted on the tag. Without out thinking, I held up my keys and said, pointing to the tag, "Does this mean my car is purple!?!?!" (This most likely came out in a volume not at all appropriate for this business type meeting, but again, I couldn't contain it.) A PURPLE CAR! It really doesn't get any better than that.

Okay, let me digress for a minute to tell you how this all happened for me. Like any country girl, I am thrilled to be in Texas and immediately find the best country radio station and programmed it into my car. (Music of any kind is a necessity for me, but country will always have a special place in my heart.) One day while listening to the KILT I heard a ad for the Mommy Madness promotion. I immediately went online and submitted an application. A couple of weeks later, I went back to the site to see a notice that stated we should check back on April 20th to see the winners. I was a bit bummed to learn I wasn't selected. None the less, I went on with my day. Joe around noon to let me know that someone from CBS radio and Chevrolet had called the restaurant looking for me. Apparently, a woman with CBS Radio (Jeanie) was googling one day to see what sites were talking about or producing traffic about the event. Remember that post I made a while back about the Chevy Traverse and Mommy Madness?? Well, when she googled, my blog came up, as the first entry no less. The problem was, my application was not in their records (lost on the web somewhere?) so she had no way to contact me. Reading my blog, she read of the Flemings Town and Country opening and decided to call the restaurant and look for me. I called her and she offered me a place on the Mom Squad. AMAZING! Thanks Jeanie!!

So here we are, back around the board room table at CBS radio, joined by the creators of Mommy Madness, executives from GM, Chevrolet, CBS Radio and three totally rockin' Radio Personalities from their stations. Mix 96.5 - New Hot 95.7 - 650 AM - Sports Radio 610AM - KILT 100.3

Mommy Madness is an opportunity for five Mommy Bloggers to drive a brand new Chevy Traverse for 8 wks. In addition, we will be sent on "Mommy Missions" that tie into the madness of our lives and offer some fun opportunities for our families. We will make blog, picture, and video posts on our own blogs as well as the Mommy Madness Site several times through out each week. The site launches Monday, April 20th. Be sure to check it out and follow along. There will be incentives for you too. Check the site for how you can easily earn an hour massage at Massage Envy, and make sure you vote for your favorite Mommy to be entered to win a Girls Weekend Getaway (complete with spa services). *You can only vote one time. You will earn an extra vote for referring a friend.

The Mommy Madness promotion is currently running in three cities around the nation. Houston, Kansas City, and Dallas. The promotion will run from April 20th - June 14th.

Who is on the Houston Squad you say? We will make our debut on the Mommy Madness site on Monday the 20th. Until then, here are the Magnificent Mamas and their blogs.

1. Angie (that's me) - A Slice of Life
2. Valerie - Moms Living Fit
3. Christine - Christine Meeker Studios
4. Larami - The Alpha Team
5. Stephanie - Real.Life.Mom

Here we are thrilled to be just moments away from viewing our new cars.
(click to view larger)

Trying to contain ourselves as we listen to the walk through info.

And there is my dark cherry beauty parked in the drive at home.

A special thanks to CBS Radio and the Houston area Chevrolet Dealers for this truly unique opportunity!

As We Grow...

This year has brought many changes for my Spunky Lady. As expected, she has had some issues adjusting. The most obvious changes being our move to TX, a new brother, and no more childcare friends at home, and Papa Joe being gone more than normal. The extra drama she ads to the day is certainly understandable. Although, with some special efforts and plans on our part, everything is smoothing out nicely. I can hardly believe how fast she is growing. She loves to have conversations that include the details of how things work or happen. Rather than the typical 2yo. 'Why?' she always asks, "What does that mean?" She knows that when we don't know the answer to something, we can go online and find the answer. Yesterday we were writing our grocery list and I asked her what else was supposed to be on the list. "I don't know," she said. "Look it up online." :) She is building social skills, manners, and a genuine care and concern for others - so sweet. Making decisions is something she still struggles with. She will often reply, "I do, but I don't," when asked if she wants to do things. She is becoming quite athletic and still loves music and art. Digging in the dirt is a new found love; we also use this time to learn to write letters with a stick. We are still very active in playgroups, and she is making lots of new friends. My spunky lady is more beautiful to me every day. She helps me to see life in that pure, innocent, unbiased way only a child experiences life. I love when we revisit the events from the day, talking about our favorite things. She always ends with, "You're the best Mommy in the whole world." I know I am the only Mommy she knows, but it is no less meaningful to me. Thanks for sharing your days with me Cam! Love you!

-This is the Sass I Get
- Loves to teach her brother about all the great things in life. #18 - Wagon Rides

**I will post Boston's update after his 6 mo check next week.

P.S. It's almost 9AM, and my kids are still sleeping! Wow!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chevy Traverse Mommy Madness -
We're on the Squad!

I have been anxiously awaiting the day when I can announce to you that we have been chosen to be a member of the Houston Chevy Traverse Mommy Madness, Mom Squad. TODAY IS THE DAY!! Five Houston Mommy Bloggers have been chosen to drive a new Chevy Traverse for 8 weeks and share their experiences through pictures, video, and blog posts online. Make sure to check back often to share the adventure with us. There will also be opportunities for you to win an hour massage and even a Girls Weekend Getaway! Mommy Madness begins next Monday, April 20th. Follow along here as well as the Houston Mommy Madness site. I will have many more details for you after we pick up the vehicles. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spice up the Hunt

Since the restaurant was open for both lunch and dinner today, Papa Joe went in early this morning and was able to come home around 5PM. This meant that we could have our family Easter Egg Hunt tonight rather than tomorrow. Finding eggs is always fun, but I wanted to put a spin on things, to make it a little more than just running around the yard picking up eggs. This year, and probably many more years to come, our hunt was a photo scavenger hunt. I took 12 photos from around the house and made a 4 x 6 image for every two photos. (See below)

After picking them up at the one hour, I cut them is half and hid them in sequence around the house, leaving one out to start the hunt. Hidden next to each new photo was a filled egg. The fridge photo was the first one. Cam had to take moment to process the directions, and then she was off - dashing down the stairs squealing. From the fridge, to the side table, to the pantry, then upstairs and around some much excitement!!

The last hiding place contained an egg (of course) and a picture of the front of our house. As she ran downstairs to head outside, Papa Joe asked her what she thought would be out there. Thrilled, she said, "An egg and another picture." Instead she found a brand new scooter waiting for her. Off she went, down the driveway. What a great day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Red Dye 40

Yes, it finally happened. With a two year old, and a home that is almost entirely carpet, the odds are against us. Although the lighting is different, and the carpet is still wet in the photo on the right, this is a accurate representation of the near miracle. I found a great tip online from chris_g, carpet cleaner.

Red Dye Removal (Kool-aid, gatorade, etc.)
-Make a solution of half ammonia, half water
-Preheat an iron
-Saturate the stain with the solution
-Soak a white rag with water until it is dripping wet
-Place the rag over the stain
-Place the iron over the rag (It will sizzle.)
-Hold the iron in position for 20-40 seconds. Make sure not to burn the carpet.
-Reposition to a clean place on the rag and repeat the ironing step if necessary
*This will also work on a stain that had dried in or been there for a long period of time.

The Dream in Your Heart

Today, more than any other day, we are reminded that anything is possible, to never let go of our dreams - our hearts desires. 'Be a victor, not a victim. Fan your flame. Your dreams will come to pass.' (Joel Osteen)

For your viewing pleasure: Got Talent? You tube has disabled the embedding on these videos so you will have to follow the link to watch. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Our Special Visitor

After running on Thursday night, my second run without the stroller, the kids and I headed to the airport to pick up my Mom. She was able to reroute her business trip return flight to join us for the weekend. The four of us got up early Friday morning to join my running group for another run. My Mom, opting to walk, graciously pushed the kids in the stroller. This was my first run off a track; it was wonderful. My running partner thought we were running about 11 minute pace. This is HUGE for me, especially considering the humidity and that it is only my second week or running. :) I am glad to have the next three days off from running, my legs need a rest. Running stadium stairs before Thursday night's run really put me over the edge. Later that day my wonderful Mom splurged on a BOB stroller for the kids and I. (This is my gift for many holidays to come, including my b-day.) Running with the Sit n' Stand has been torture, really. We took it out for its first spin Saturday morning. Perfect!

Want to WIN A BOB? Submit a video of your dancing baby and you could win.

We made our second trip to Build a Bear Friday; Cambry made a horse. She gets so excited about the whole process. She was an expert this time and made sure the lady knew what to do next. Saturday we had an early dinner at Joe's new restaurant and then headed to Lakewood Church to see Joel Osteen. I wasn't sure what to expect, but had a surprisingly moving experience.
Our Princess and Her Easter Hair

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Needed a Papa Fix

Cam still has such a hard time when Papa Joe is at work. She gets very emotional about it almost daily. So today, as a surprise, we stopped by Papa's work to visit. She could hardly contain her excitement. Here they are, goofy as ever. Thanks for helping us get through the day Papa!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Because I think it's cool, and because I am getting better and better at using my little camera...I thought I would share.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hippity Hoppity Hunting

(An appropriate face for the occasion :P) We went to our friend's house today for an Easter Egg Hunt. What a blast! 15 moms and twice that many kids running loose in search of treat filled eggs. The trill was enough to make me think we should have such a hunt many times a year. I have something fun up my sleeve for our own hunt at home on Easter Sunday. (more later on that)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bluebonnet Tour, 2009

The kids and I are exhausted after an eight hour bluebonnet tour about 50 miles west / northwest of Houston. We had a wonderful time out in the fields and the sun. It hit 88 degrees out where we were. We were traveling with a group of 18-20 photographers, some amateur, some professional, a couple (myself) wannabe. Every stop was more beautiful than the next. The spring wildflowers attract people by the thousands. We were fortunate to be guided by a native Texan who knew just the right back roads to take so that we could experience the beauty of the painted, rolling hills on our own. Here are some shots from the day. (Sorry, no more details today. We are off to rest.)