Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home, sweet home

We've got 8+ inches of snow all around us right now. The view out our back window is amazing. School is cancelled. Dance class is cancelled. We're home all day, and before we head out back to make the world's most amazing snowman (something Reid's always been in charge of....until today) and since my girls are all playing really well right now in the fort they made with our couch cushions, I'm going to do a little catching up.

We spent the second and third weeks of September in UT. Yes, we finally got up the courage to make that drive again. This time we stuck with I-70. Not that it's any safer, but it's slightly less likely that you'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere than on I-80. Not to mention that it's such a gorgeous drive!!

We got there the day before my sister's house-warming party. Julia just bought her very first house, and it's amazing. It's this quaint little 1920's house in the heart of Provo, and there's nothing about it that isn't just perfect for her.

The housewarming party had a "spa" theme--with fingernail painting, bath-salt making, fresh kale-smoothie drinking, and a professional masseuse. The food was amazing, the company was great, and I was so glad to be able to help out with this big day for my sister!!

Reid flew back home for the work week, and the girls and I stayed to soak up some good ole Utah fun. I love my mom and dad so much, and I love how much my kids love them, too. Nothing makes me happier than to see Grace, with zero hesitation, run into my dad's arms when we get there, or to see Abby sit next to my mom at the piano and plink along with her. They're so good to us when we're there, too. I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to have my whole crew plow over their otherwise serene daily routines, but I'm grateful they let us do it time and time again.
The weather was gorgeous, so we played outside lots.
We went for a walk to feed the horsies.
and my dad took us to a little house of bounce place, which was so much fun for the girls. Grace overcame her fear of the 3 story slide and conquered that thing..over and over and over again. (she did not, however, conquer her fear of the dragon balloon on top of one of the bouncy toys). Abby and Eliza had a great time, too.

We feasted on the fruits of my dad's labors. His garden is one to be envied...and it me! He was kind enough to send us home with dozens of tomatoes to ripen here...which we have since completely devoured.

I also spent a few days up in Logan, where my girls' only cousins on my side live. On my way there I stopped by one of my life-long best friend's house for a few hours. I could have stayed for a few weeks!!! I love Carrie dearly, and she (somehow) loves me, too!! And we know everything there is to know about each other. And I just love feeling that comfortable around a person that isn't Reid. I remember when I was graduating from H.S. that people would say "none of the people you are friends with today will be your friends in ten years" and I must say how wrong they were. Some of my closest friends, to this day, are friends i've known since grade school. And somehow, knowing me as well as they do, they still put up with me... Here are our kids all together
Abby, Eliza, Grace, Ally, Broderick and Grant

We had a great time in Logan. Reid and I were married there, and that's where my grandparents Logan has a special place in my lil' heart. And my kids loved playing with their cousins. Although Eliza never really warmed up there (i'm convinced it's because of the size of their's a bit...daunting) we had so much fun with the whole Logan crew. Grace and Abby have been asking to go back since we left.

We played games, ate delicious food from Melanie's (also amazing and coveted) garden, ate some delicious Aggie ice cream,
and spent one morning at this cute park/zoo in "downtown Logan"

Thank you, Logan crew, for putting up with us for a few days!! we love you!!

We left Logan on Friday to spend a few days in SLC with Tom and Jana. There were about a billion people i'd hoped to see this trip. (Anyone who doesn't live near their parents understands how hard it is to squeeze in visits with all the people you want to see when you're home for a visit.) It never works out to see everyone I want, so i just try to enjoy the peeps i DO get to see. One of whom, this trip, was Candace--a good friend from law school. It was so fun to spend a lunch hour at her place and see her cute kids, and catch up on life. There's only so much that emails and blogs can do for a friendship. It was sooo great to actually SEE her, face to face, and talk about real life. And to all those i didn't get to see this trip--you really didn't miss out on much.
Here are my kids with Candace's kids. Katelyn and Grace used to be "buddies" back in's so fun to see them really play together now.

We had so much fun with Reid's brother and fam. I hadn't seen little Gabe since he was 2 months old. He's the cutest thing, and Eliza loved being by him and playing with his eyeballs.
Reid's mom and little sister joined us, too, and it was so much fun. There was golfing, garage-sale-ing, eating-out, eating-in, pumpkin patching, prom-dress shopping, game-playing, gabbing, and more gabbing. I love Reid's family and we always have such a hard time saying goodbye to them. Thanks for hosting and spoiling us and our loud crew!!!

And I was driving on the way home, so we got zero photos of the most beautiful Spanish Fork Canyon i've ever seen. Even Grace couldn't stop from saying "Oh, Mom, look over at those trees" every 2 seconds. It really was breathtaking. It made the drive home much more pleasant. Which is nice, because often times the drive home is spent wondering why it is that our families have to live in places that we don't really want to, instead we just looked at the leaves and enjoyed the accident-free drive:)

Friday, October 23, 2009

What i've been up to....

All blogging has been pushed to the side by a series of large novels that i finally decided, a year later, i better finish before Hollywood ruined for me--a certain teen-aged romance series about certain pale-skinned beauties and their hairy enemies. I regretfully say that i am not a huge fan. I did like the last book. And I liked some things about the books, but overall....not a huge fan (sorry emily, isa, lindsay, amber, isa, april, isa, stephanie, alisa, emily, liz, melissa, emily, elise, and isa!!) Keep in mind, however, that I've read a total of 11 books since college....7 of which were Harry Potter, and 4 of which were, well, these. So, really my judgement is completely irrelevant and unimportant, and I should be banned from all discussions on all literature. period. I have the attention span of a 4 year old, a vocab of a 12 year old, and the opinions of a crotchety, know-it-all 80 year old. i should really just be banned from life. definitely from book clubs.

oh, and i listened to "wicked" on tape. interesting and creepy.

the only sad thing about finishing these books NOW rather than 1+ years ago is that no one wants to talk about them anymore. it's all so, well, last year. And, although i'm not in love with them, I got stuff i wanna say. And this isn't the place to say it. I need another "newborn" to discuss this with....anyone? anyone's tweeny daughter?

well, at least it's over now and i can blog about what we've REALLY been up to. where to start...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Top 10 unblogged, unexciting events of the summer

In (dis)honor of Mr. Letterman, i thought i'd highlight the Top 10 unhighlighted ongoings of our summer. In no particular order.

#1. Playing in our back yard. This summer we spent endless hours swinging, sliding, swimming, playing, pretending, picnicking, and enjoying every square foot of our backyard--reassuring me that buying a house because of the nearly perfect backyard really is a good idea

#2 Millions of Peaches. Okay, it was only about a hundred. But that song was in my head the whole four days that those peaches sat on our counter, making up about 90% of our calorie intake each day, and convincing me that i can make jam and jelly!

#3 Family Movie Nights We took the girls to see "Up" and "Monsters Vs. Aliens" this summer at a little cheap theater here. Grace and Abby LOVE movies. Eliza just wants to crawl around. So Reid and I usually take turns with her in the back of the theater. And we almost always grab something to eat at Johnny Mac's (owned and operated by Andy's dad). they've got yummy burgers, fries and know, health food.

#4 The Full-Shade garden This is the third, but not final year of us attempting to grow our own vegetables. Why can't i just give up? Why can't i just accept that a green heart can't make-up for a black thumb?? dunno. This year i thought was going to be THE year. The day we planted our garden it looked like this:
A month later it looked like this:

So I was all sure that we'd actually have zucchini bread, tomato feta salads, and enough pumpkins to carve and eat. But, alas, even these big-leafed plants need more than 2-3 hours of sun to produce much fruit. We got exactly 3 tiny zucchinis, 1 tomato, and 1 pumpkin.

And I'll surely try again next year. It's like pregnancy--it always sucks, yet i do it again and again (perhaps my garden could do with the same five-year break my uterus is getting...hmm) I just love the idea of having my own garden so much that i think if I change just a few things--the compost, the plant choice, the magical all-natural fertilizer-- that it will actually work. i know the only real answer is to change the location, but I just can't bring myself to mess with our fantastic landscaping. So i stick with my annual failed garden and rely on farmer's markets, overly-generous neighbors & family, and Sunflower market. How hard is my life!

#5 Cirque Du Soleil--Kooza

In spite of the fact that I'm a total wimp and had to cover my eyes for a couple of the acts (i really wish I were kidding) we had a great time at the Cirque Du Soleil. Those people are amazing. Their talent blows the mind. I just have one question--why don't they use more nets?? this is all i want to know. Regardless, we had a great time.

This isn't my picture, but these are the girls we saw. amazing!!!

#6 Gettin' all artsy
It appears, so far, that my sweet children have acquired their mother's artistic inabilities. As much fun as we had finger painting, in the end, their blobs look exactly like the blobs I painted as a child. And when we made play-doh, their blobs looked exactly like the blobs i used to sculpt as a child. But we've had fun. Eliza's nap time has become our get-creative-and-let-loose-time. And our perfectly shaded back porch often provided the perfect studio this summer.

#7 Park days and nights.

The weather this summer was absolutely amazing. I don't think it ever hit 100 (don't quote me on that...) and it was mostly just in the 70's and 80's all summer long. (yet another reason for you to move here, marissa!) We hit up just about every park in our community. Grace and Abby brought their bike and scooter sometimes, which adds at least 30 minutes to the park day's life-span. And we'd often meet up with friends, or make new ones. Grace, who can be so insanely shy, also loves to make new friends when we're out and about. it's cute.

Here we are at Redstone Park. We went to feed the geese, and my camera died after this one picture.

#8 Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Red Rocks Amphitheater

We had a great time with our neighbors and good friends from law school at this concert. The choir was amazing, as to be expected. Tears were shed, as to be expected. But the rolling hills between the amphitheater and downtown Denver were covered in this perfect green, perfectly fresh late-spring grass--more beautiful than could have been expected--the prefect backdrop for such beautiful music. It was unforgettable.

And Thomas Monson, the President of our church, and a man we revere as a Prophet, was there--which was really fun to come home and tell our kids about. The whole evening was great, a definite highlight of my summer.

I was hoping to come up with some clever joke about "did you hear about the mormons, the catholics and the adventists who went to the Mormon Tab choir concert?"....but i'm nowhere near that clever. ML--care to take a crack? anybody????

#9 The Broncos Game

We took no pictures that night. But if we would have, here's what you'd see: 1st quarter--dudes sittin next to their ladies--leaning over us to comment to each other about the bad call, the interception, the injury, etc, while the ladies were leaning over their men talking about real-life issues--our kids, pedicures, etc. 2nd quarter--we all wise up and put the dudes together, and we ladies spend the entire remaining 3 quarters gabbing about all sorts of things, having the time of our lives...and not paying even a bit of attention to the game. I have no idea what the guys did. I can only assume they watched the game. And I swear to you, that in this moment i have no idea if we won or lost. Actually, I think we won, cause i don't remember a lot of tension as we left the stadium....oh, and cause I think the broncos have a perfect record this year...right? i'm a disgrace, i know...(lindsay, can we still be friends??!?!) Anyway, it was probably of a waste of the amazing VIP tickets we got from reid's work--except that is gabbing between ladies ever really a waste!?!?

#10 Starting Pre-school (and Joy-school)

Grace officially started preschool this year. She goes 3 days a week, and looks forward to it 4 days a week. She loves her teacher and she loves her friends at school.

Grace's first day of pre-school

She's changing so much, and slowly overcoming so many fears and anxieties. She is more and more fun to be with every day! And we're butting heads less and less throughout the day. We're reall starting to be good friends and have real conversations. She asks me such fun things, like "how does God hear all of our prayers at the same time?" or "Does He speak spanish, too?" and "what are apples made of?" and "how did Eliza get in your tummy?" -- I love the challenge that comes with answering her! I really do!

When Grace is in preschool, Abby goes to joyschool or dance class--both of which she's thoroughly enjoying. Those two girls really need that break, too. They play so well the days that they have a break from each other. And I enjoy the 2+ hours a week with just Eliza!!

Abby's first day of joy-school