Just Breathe…

Are you going stir crazy? Is it time to get a little break from home, work, children…just check out for a bit?

It is for me! My husband & I like to take a break close to home from time to time.

Where do you like to go to relax, de-stress and just breathe? Living in Arizona provides us with some fabulous places to go. I know there are more we have yet to discover. Here are just a few of my favorite places that are only a car ride away.

L’Auberge de Sedona, is a beautiful tranquil resort in Sedona, Arizona. One of my favorite places to go in Arizona is Sedona. The resort is situated on Oak Creek in the heart of Sedona’s Red Rock Country. I adore this place!

L’Auberge de Sedona: One of my favorite places to sit is right here by the creek.
L'Auberge de Sedona
The path to one of L’Auberge de Sedona’s creek side cabins.
L'Auberge de Sedona
L’Auberge de Sedona
L'Auberge de Sedona
Beautiful Red Rock Country viewed from L’Auberge.

The Phoenician, set against Camelback mountain is pure luxury featuring a beautiful pool area to relax. The grounds are meticulous and the staff is beyond attentive. They really take care of you at the Phoenician. The summer time is the less expensive time to stay here. 🙂

The Phoenician
The Phoenician
The Phoenician
The Phoenician
The Phoenician Resort

The Royal Palms Resort and Spa, pure romance is how I describe this resort. Beautiful luxurious  property reminds me of a European setting with Palm tree’s added. The resort offers casitas, estate rooms and villas. We stayed in a casita years ago. A great place to go to relax in the heart of Scottsdale.

Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort
Royal Palms Resort

The Westin Kierland Resort, is a beautiful resort with a golf course and spa, with a huge pool with fun amenities like the lazy river and flow rider. More fun with the family maybe but still a great place to get away to right in what some call “new” Scottsdale.

The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort
The Westin Kierland Resort

I do hope you have some favorite places to get away from it all where you live. If we can’t get away to a hotel or resort, sometimes we hang out in our backyard when all the kids are in school and at work. We might take our work outside by the pool or just take ourselves with no work and just relax in the sun. We all need to take a break and clear our minds from the clutter. Don’t forget to take yours. I would love to hear the places you go to relax, please share in your comments.

 

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

– Sydney J. Harris

 

 

I Took It For Granted…

This last year and a half has been somewhat of a rude awakening. I think I have been a little bit in a dream land. What I mean is I didn’t really realize I may have a limited time left with my parents. I was taking for granted the fact that they have been here and relatively healthy, not really believing or wanting to believe someday they might not be in good health or worse not even be here.

IMG_0302
Dad & Mom’s Wedding Day, March 30, 1968

What brought me into reality? It was like a slap into reality really! The news that no child, brother, sister, parent, aunt, uncle, friend…pretty much no one wants to get. Cancer…my Dad has cancer. He actually had cancer years ago, prostate cancer and they took care of it with a prostatectomy. I have to say I kind of expected one day that my dad would be diagnosed with cancer. You see my Dad has a lot of cancer in his family. His father and three sisters all had cancer, three of those four died of it. So when my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I thought “okay, this is going to be Dad’s cancer”. He had the surgery and went back for all his subsequent tests and it was gone. We were elated to say the least. The worst was done. He hasn’t had any problems with the prostate cancer since that time and still doesn’t.

Unfortunately the prostate cancer was not “Dad’s cancer”. He has a new and entirely different cancer, its far worse… stage 4 lung cancer. Just writing that makes me want to cry. Stage 4, no cure, just containment… I know there are a lot of you out there that can relate to this.

Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom

The space of time since my Dad was diagnosed in August of 2013 has been painful to say the least. My Dad has always been the strong one. I know most children feel their father is tough. But I am telling you this man was tough. He has been like a tree rooted deep in the ground when the storm is raging trying to tip him over. He has been the one keeping his own siblings together when they went through the loss of parents and siblings. He is a strong advocate of family. No matter what the issue, you work through it and keep the family close. That’s one of the many things I love about him. But watching this strong man deteriorate physically and see his own emotional struggle with the future has been heart wrenching. My Dad has been the voice of reason, the parent I came to when I needed some strength. I only found this side of my Dad later in my own adult life, although it’s been there all along, I just never realized it. I have always been close to my Mom and have pretty much gone to my Mother for everything so it has been a bonus to finally have that close relationship with my Father too. Fathers can be the voice of reason when your emotions are trying to rule your actions. I do believe men have this quality, my own husband is much like my Father in that way.

This new chapter in our life has been the rude awakening I talked about. It’s made me more aware of how time is precious and I need to take every opportunity to spend as much time as possible with my family, especially with my Dad and Mom. My parents live in Oregon, so I have to plan my trips in advance. I can’t just up and drive to see them like I used to when I lived in Oregon, only 2 hours away from them. I really enjoy my visits home. We spend quality time together, sometimes just sitting in the same room reading etc… It’s nice. It’s an added bonus that I am able to see my younger sister, her family & my younger brother on these trips home.

Image-1
Our Family

I encourage all of you to not take for granted the time left with your loved ones. Take the time now to spend with them. I am thankful my Dad is still here and no matter how much time is left with my parents, I will try very hard to not waste one precious moment of it.

Image-1-1
Our Family

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.

-Richard Bach