Saturday, August 20, 2011

-good bye virtual friends.

we're moving.
everyone in my everyday life is so sick of hearing about it.
we've been working hard on our exit for about 9 months and now in less than a week- we'll be gone.
we moved to arizona 10 years ago from nyc. brandon worked as a loan officer back then and gave me the opportunity to explore every job/degree/hobby/social circle that this place had to offer. i think i did just about everything maricopa county.
we've loved our life here.
my top 5 favorite things about living here:
1-running south mountain before the sun is up
2-raising my babies with a weekly visit to the small and perfect phoenix zoo
3-irreplaceable friends and neighbors
4-taking pictures of trusting people from the desert to a small pasture. and all of my favorite little towns off the 17.
5-my collection of beautiful and delicious restaurants throughout the valley.

i don't know if that's the ultimate top 5 but it's a handful of things that immediately came to mind when i thought about what i would really miss.
brandon's job is taking us back to the east coast but this time we're headed to the south.
it'll be the first time i've lived by the beach. i can hardly wait.
i've decided that along with my residency in this great state- this blog will end as i cross the state line in our big move.
i'm keeping my name "arizona lewis" for photography purposes and will continue to update my photo blog HERE.
but the details of our personal lives are going somewhere else.
we're ready for a fresh start with a more directed purpose, some fine tuned priorities and an abundance of adventures that will bring us closer as a family.

thanks for all of the comments and support on this blog.
i'll miss "y'all" but it's time to go live happily ever after- with a life full of love and days in the sand.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


now that ade is 3- he goes by captain jack sparrow.
reason 1- because he went on pirates of the Caribbean twice this summer and wasn't even scared.
reason 2- because it's high time all of the other scallywags he's been living with show him the proper respect.
reason 3- because my life is just sometimes that awesome.

happy birthday ader gator. you are the funniest person on this 4 man boat. love you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

-quick post with not enough detail.

brandon went out of town.
so i drove the boys to disneyland.
i'm spontaneous like that.
and my mom took care of the hotel.
and she was going to be there with carl's family anyways.
and because i've decided that i LOVE disneyland.

it was such a fun trip.
we didn't get to share a suite with my family but we did get to have a place by ourselves!
we loved it! pizza in bed, heading to the free public breakfast in our jammies and photo shoots directed by THIS 4 year old:

these are my favorite- (he told ade to "be dead")

and disneyland really is the best with your sweet little utah cousin!!!
i didn't get one stinking picture of my mom AKA sugar momma carol AKA nostalgic nancy.
but here's the rest of us in our bug's life glasses- my favorite part of DCA.
and you really can't spend the day together without matching shirts. that would be unrighteous.

on our last day we stayed until 11. brooks was the biggest boy and did back to back rides on splash mountain with me, grandma and uncle carl. we were SO proud of himself. thanks devin for taking the little nuggets on the winnie the pooh ride 6 times while we gave brooks the amazing feeling of having your stomach rise up into your throat. it was top 5 moments in my life.
and then ade fell asleep eating a churro.
and i made him pee into a bottle at the bus stop the day before.
and the kids loved the haunted mansion and pirates.
and ade fell on some lady's head while watching the beauty and the beast play.
and i ate gluten free all over the place. (Dland had pizza AND burgers for me!)
and my mom's the best. she makes disneyland even more magical.
and lots more.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

-live like arizona lewis

our tempe, az home is for rent.
4 bedroom, 3 bath.
click HERE to see pictures.
please email me if you're interested:

Monday, August 8, 2011

-ARCHER VIDEO by jenfolio

do you know jenny?
she's pretty fun.
last week she came over and helped us capture our new little family member.
this is such a chaotic stage of life- why not add a furry fellow to the brood?

thanks jenfolio for making magic in the crunched time we had.
being around you makes us all feel happier and makes me feel loved. xox

ps- family videos are way cooler than family pictures. she'll be in utah for the next couple of weeks and then off to NYC.
book her if she has an opening. you'll LOVE her!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

-my life on a bed

the boys were watching tv.
the dogs were playing in the back yard.
the little brother was eating in the kitchen.
i finally had time to put clean sheets on the bed and make it the way i like it.
i went to get dressed in my closet and when i came out 4 minutes later, i found this crew messy things up.............
really? everyone at once? right after i made it?
love them all. add the husband and there's a 6:1 male/female ratio.
ps- we got a dog to match my brother's gf's dog. his name is archer. he likes to chew and take naps.

Monday, August 1, 2011

-a video montage all about home

another summer trip home to Ktown under our belts.
super boring, not much happened and a lot of days spent laying around.
it was perfect.

my parents and Mariah did talk us into doing some things.
because they feared we were all turning into a family of Jabba the Huts.
which really wouldn't be the worse thing.
as long as we were ALL giant slugs.
and had a spazzy muppet on hand to feed us.
and carrie fisher in a metal bikini on a leash (pre jenny craig).

music by dale earnhardt jr. jr.

-muchas gracias

cousin hayden and ade at laguna beach
thanks mom and dad for the awesome week in so cal.
our room was great, the boys have never played harder and my smile lines are deeper than ever.
we loved hanging with carl's family at disneyland and the beach and even in slow moving traffic.
i'll blog more about our trip later but i wanted to put something up quickly to show gratitude.
life is good as a mccain kid.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

-and they called the wind fri

i lied.
i did one photo shoot in kennewick.
but only because she made me.
and isn't it funny that every time i pick up the camera i get all excited again?
maybe to make photography fun again i just need someone to handle the business/scheduling/money side of my life.
mariah is my longest friend.
i've always felt that our friendship was such a success because we're so different (she's responsible, mature and well mannered. i'm not).
but whenever i do get to see her (8-10 days a year) all we're doing is laughing at our own jokes, embarrassing our husbands with old cheer routines and craving the same crappy food. she feels like home. she loves me for me. and she's the kind of friend that tells me i'm a complete idiot when i'm acting like a complete idiot.
congrats mariah for being such a work horse, marrying one of my favorite guys on the planet and birthing 3 sweet kids. i love you 5.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

-so rad

i'm still in mourning.
we had so much fun in kennewick this summer- it makes not being in kennewick crappy.
yes- i loved the weather, good food, road trips, teasing my dad, naps and a general escape BUT what i loved most was watching my children be entertained and loved and engaged by my totally awesome parents.
like- when i came back from a midmorning run and found my mom helping my boys make volcanoes. cause that's what grandma's do i guess.
so maybe the results weren't completely spectacular but the pride those boys had in watching their beige lumpy domes bubble over was.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

-i got 99 problems but a snitch ain't one

doll found here

i went to see harry potter last night.
so i didn't have to answer any questions from those that chose not to read the books.
i cried 4 times.
and had to undo my belt and pants because i had to pee so badly but refused to get up and go.
and i played with the idea of wearing Depends to future similar occasions.
i really did think about it.

mischief managed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

-god bless america. and old barns.

dad called us a couple of months ago and told us he'd made our plans for the 4th of july this year.
condon, oregon.

it's not by the ocean.
it's not in the mountains.
there aren't any cool pine forests.
it's in the middle of nowhere but it does have one heckuva 4th of july celebration.
the 2 hour drive from kennewick was all hills, wheat fields and wind mills.
with every passing mile i felt myself melting into the seats of my dad's red truck as we listened to garth brooks sing about rodeo cowboys and counted cars on passing trains. the further we drove the happier i felt as i embraced the love surrounding me from the 5 people that mean the most to me in the world: my husband, my sons, my mom and my dad.
i didn't even pack extra clothes because i forgot to care about wearing the same shirt and jeans 2 days in a row. my cell phone lost service so there was no way to receive texts, check facebook or blog.
my only objectives for this little trip were to slow down, relax and enjoy the happenings right in front of me. so i did.

-a stay at hotel condon with its ancient door knobs and cool creaky floors
-chili on a baked potato
-little boys racing to gather candy thrown from the parade
-2 old mark twain books found at an old book sale
-fields full of green grass, red weeds and purple lupin flowers
-a 4lb plate of street stand bbq
-a 5 mile race across rolling hills lined by yellow velvet wheat fields
-climbing a hill with hammers and chisels to pick at the layers of fossil riddled rocks
-the dozens of old barns sprinkling the 20 mile drive between condon and fossil oregon.

my dad would drive me in as close as he could get to the old structures and the rest was up to me. i'd climb through barbed wire, wade through weed covered hills in flip flops, scare off grazing deer, keep my eye on the circling and screeching hawks and scale large mounds of piled gravel to get the best angle possible of these incredible barns. the harder it was to get to, the more i wanted it.

it was such a fun trip.
i hope we can do it again next year- but with aaron, laurel, carl, dave and their families too.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

-hand a 4 year old a camera and......

he'll direct a shoot.
in every pose.
even my face expressions.
we mounted my nikon to a tripod and he was too funny bending over to look through the little window. he freaked out when i tried to make it easy for him and switch it into live view.
i wish i was in his brain.
i want to know brooks's thoughts and the process behind them.
i want him to know how much he's loved.
i want to know if i'm doing enough as his momma to stimulate his creativity and encourage his strengths.
i want him to be happy.

these pictures were taken before we came up to washington.
i have nothing to blog about.
my brain is completely shut off.
and i cancelled all of my photo shoots up here to prevent it from powering up again.
i'm choosing to refuel by walking in the wind, eating tacos and watching movies in bed.
this may take a while.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

-so yeah

1st week in kennewick has looked like this.........
i think we're finally in the clear.
fun starts tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

-the escape from fat camp

i don't even know where to start.
there are too many details.
although i love descriptive writing, there are some situations that are so insane that there aren't enough words to paint the picture accurately.
you really had to be there.
so here's a recap to jog my own memory 20 years down the road:
we went to an all inclusive japanese themed spa in san marcos, ca.
upon arrival they sent us to our separate room, had us measured for our "issued" clothing for the week and then schedule our stay with 6 HOURS of training each day and MINIMAL food provided by them at the communal meal times.
this "relaxing" girls trip to the spa ended up being military training with a side dish of Heaven's Gate.
we did our best for about 18 hours.

and then we fled.
we mentioned that we were heading into del mar for some shopping and burgers and the fellow guests all gasped in unison. they'd never know of anyone to leave the property.
we didn't know that we weren't suppose to leave either.
we left the compound and while stuffing our faces with fries and soda we made a call and arranged to have our rooms packed by the cleaning crew so that we could sneak back in and make a quick stealth like exit.
so after 2 hours of riding in the back of some del mar waiter's car (full of campfire scented clothes) -another story in itself- we pulled into the Grand del mar with our smuggled luggage and a new sense of hope for resurrecting this bless-ed vacation.
we headed straight to our room.
2 queen beds, a bradly cooper movie on a large flat screen, room service and taking turns in the scarface sized bath tub. redemption.
we totally made up for the lack of food at weirdville, usa by over eating at every other meal.
7 hours got lost somewhere at the spa.
we turned off our phones and watched people.
there was another movie night with room service where the physical activity looked like this:
-sit up
-cut piece of steak and put in mouth
-lay down
-chew meat in mouth
-and repeat through 2 movies and an episode of TMZ.

the gluttony was fabulous.

and then we had to leave.
the only things that kept us from crying were the stories about awkward conversations during the forced meal time at "couple's retreat" where i was forced to stare at a man's chest hair poking out of his room issued komono and how we had to bang on the kitchen door for some carrot juice to keep us from passing out.

thanks jo for being you.
life just wouldn't be as amazing without you in my stories.