Reflections on December in Arizona

In three days, Hubby and I will return to Seattle after just over a month in Arizona. Even though we love visiting family and friends here, I am itching to return to get back into my regular routine.

While I wait, my impatience pushes me to create something anyway. That’s how my last post came about. That’s how this post came about too. Instead of focusing on iconic history from the past, this one focuses on personal history–the history of last month. But don’t worry. This isn’t just a recounting of my travels. Fashion is still very much a part of this post!

Cast in Style

Hubby and I visit Arizona often, especially this time of year. His parents are snowbirds and both his sister and my parents live in the Phoenix area year round.

This year we had an extra special reason to linger: My mom had surgery to correct an injury to her ankle and foot.

Who knew casts were so stylish these days?

Teal striped leg cast.

I am happy to report that Mom has come a long way since the day of surgery. She has endured two soft casts and the hard cast, shown above. By the time I’m back in Seattle, she should be out of the cast completely and into a boot she can take off when she’s not walking around.

From the moment she returned from surgery, her sweet Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund), shown below, made sure she was tucked in and a-okay.

Recovering from surgery with the help of a pup.

Christmas with the Windows Open

With Mom down for the count and Dad not feeling 100-percent, my sister, the hubby, and I stepped in to take care of lunch. We purchased a prepped meal from Whole Foods and just heated it all in the oven. It took about an hour to get everything on the table.

Christmas dinner a la Whole Foods.
Dinner is served!

Even with the ease of preparation, being in the kitchen with the hot stove really warmed the place up. I took off my favorite blazer (you’ll see it again later) and rolled up the sleeves of my blouse. We turned on fans and opened windows to cool off a little. When it came time to open gifts, I sat next to an open door to stay cool.

Red blouse for Christmas.
I got coal in my stocking this year!

My blouse is thrifted from Thredup.

My sister got “coal” as well, but Santa also gave her some pretty snazzy boots by Gianni Bini from Dillards!

Santa hat and high-heeled boots.
My sister’s pretty giddy about her new boots. I would be too!!

The pair in the photo above is no longer available. She also received the navy blue pair below and they’re on sale at Dillards!

Gianni Bini Gladia Suede Side Knot Bow Booties
Gianni Bini Gladia Suede Side Knot Bow Booties

Visions of Skeletons Danced in Their Nightmares!

We spent the second half of our Christmas day with Hubby’s family, repeating much of what we had done with my family–food and gifts. When the sun set and the day was closing, Hubby and I went for a walk.

Along our route we saw many homes lit up with Christmas lights. The glow made me smile and reminded me of the wonder of Christmas I had when I was a kid.

Then we came to this house. So beautiful. So magical. So…what is that in the tree?

On closer inspection, it appears Santa got stuck in the tree and shriveled down to bone. His skeleton continues to glow with the magic of Christmas.


Family Photo Ops

During holidays when the whole gang comes into town, my sister-in-law schedules a group photo session with photographer Matt York. It’s not easy to get the group of us to coordinate colors and show up on time, but the truth is, we all appreciate the end results. Over the years, the complaints have dwindled as we realized the value in this tradition.

family photo in Gilbert, Arizona at the Riparian Preserve.
Once upon a time those kids in the photos were babies! Now nearly half of them are as tall or taller than I am!

To show our support for the teal, Hubby and I wore teal on top as well as teal socks! His dotted socks are from Nordstrom. My socks actually belong to him. They were a gift from a friend. They’re by Mitscoots Outfitters, a company based out of Austin, Texas. For every pair of socks purchased, they donate a pair to a homeless shelter. They also provide avenues for people living on the streets to reenter the workforce.

teal socks

In addition to the family shots, Matt works in other special photos, like this one of Hubby and his two sisters.

Photo by Matt York.

The photo shoot took place on a chilly morning at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, Arizona. The preserve is a fantastic place to check out the diversity of Arizona’s winged wildlife. You might also spot the blue-crested hubby or the teal-necked blogger!

Photo by Matt York

Hubby’s Outfit:

Hubby’s jacket: Calvin Klein (old)
Hubby’s button down shirt: Rodd & Gunn Linen Shirt
Hubby’s jeans: AG Tellis Modern Slim Fit
Hubby’s hat: Handmade by Hapertas & Co. in Seattle
Hubby’s glasses: Anne et Valentine Formacolor from Sassy Glasses in Arizona.

My Outfit:

My blazer: Vintage piece from Suzanne Carillo’s Etsy Shop
My sweater: Thrifted from Thredup
My necklace: David Yurman Medium Box Chain
My jeans: Paige Verdugo jeans
My sunglasses: Kate Spade (old)
My watch: FitBit Charge 2

And just in case you didn’t get enough of our shenanigans at the photo shoot, have a look at the silly selfie “photo booth” photos I took with Hubby.

Silly selfie photo booth photos at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, AZ

More to Come

Our adventures in Phoenix did not end when Christmas came to a close. I’ll be back soon with the rest of the story.

Affiliate link disclaimer: Please note, some of the items linked may be affiliated with companies I am associated with. By clicking the affiliated links and purchasing from those stores, I might receive a small commission. By purchasing from these stores, you support the work I do here and I greatly appreciate your support!

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    • Thank you, Jodie! I’ll pass along your thoughts to my mom. It’s good to see her doing so well and my fingers and toes are crossed that she’ll be “running marathons” before too long! 🙂


  • Glad you are having fun and sun!

    Seeing family is nice for the holidays. Plus the break from the Seattle cold and clouds must have been great too.

    You make that blazer look GOOD!


    • Thank you, Suzanne! I get so much wear out of that blazer. It’s my go-to, the perfect topper. It goes with everything. It’s been especially nice to have it in AZ where temps range so much from morning to afternoon to evening.


  • Looks like you and your husband had a great getaway to Arizona. That’s super convenient that both sets of parents are in Arizona. I love your idea of how to prepare at Christmas meal – what’s always most interesting is the people together anyway, like those great family shots you managed. Your selfies crack me up. Lots of smiles here, unforced, always a good thing.

    • I totally agree about meal prep for holidays. I used to run myself ragged making a massive meal for 30 people but I got burnt out doing that. I was so weary when it came time to eat and stressed out, not to mention a sweaty mess. If I’m the one cooking, I’m a much more pleasant person doing things this way.


  • Family, in all of it’s real, heart felt, holiday hustle bustle, glittering lights and smiling faces is also repleat with convalescent moms, Whole Foods dinners, happy feet sisters, skeletal Santas, teal bedazzled photo ops, and crazy face selfies. There’s a lot to love about what authentic holiday memories are made of and your’s made me smile from ear to ear my friend.
    I can’t for the life of me figure out why you, of all people, would receive any form of COAL for Christmas. I figure it must be family tradition because truly Sherry, “you are too cute to live!”

    • Ha ha ha!!! Jude, you never fail to make me laugh out loud! You do know that phrase “you are too cute to live” is my favorite from 2017? All because of you!! ❤️❤️❤️

      Thank you, also, for your sweet and thoughtful comments. In addition to making me LOL, you always manage to warm my heart as well.


  • Arizona is fun for its difference. The weather, the cacti. I also have family there (Tucson) and enjoy visiting. Glad you had a good time. Those blue boots are beautiful.

    • I totally agree about Arizona being a nice change because of how different it is. Every time we visit, it takes my eyes a day or two to adjust to the unique landscape of pink rock and muted greens.

      My sister’s blue boots are lovely! Sadly, I have lost my ability to stand for very long in high-high heels. I used to do it with ease–my job required it! But these days it hurts too much. I’m glad she can still enjoy them, though!

      I hope your holidays were great!