Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunny G Birthday

Breakfast in bed for our 4 year old lady:

The rest of us enjoyed the remaining birthday breakfast (Tahitian Pancakes) up in the kitchen. 
Joseph is officially the new crepe master in our family.

It was a crazy fun morning of opening and playing with fun gifts from us and Grandma & Grandpa, and of course, swimming up at the pool. Then we set off for Snow Canyon and the Butterfly Trail per Olivia's request.
 These olders and Joseph and my parents set off to climb the big red rock at the end of the trail. Luke and I stayed at the bottom so he could roam and move after riding in the backpack. The baby had such a grand adventure! He was so cute and curious that I just kept taking pics of him as he crawled and dug and played. The next pictures are my ode to Luke. He is too adorable for me:

Later in the day we got Luke settled for a nap and my mom, dad and I geared up for one last bike ride. We had made it about a mile when the beat up Sunbrook roads sent my mom for quite a crash. Luckily we weren't going very fast but she took a big spill and even cracked her helmet. Joseph came and picked her up (and her bike) but it seemed silly for my dad and me to keep riding when we only had an hour window before needing to pack up, clean up and ready the house for leaving. Plus we felt like we needed to check on my mom and see if we could help her. My mom was pretty banged up but healed up quickly over the next week or so. I'm so glad it was nothing more serious.

Our weekend was one of our favorites down there (but I swear we say that every trip!) Playing in SG in February makes me so eager to get back there for Easter when spring is in full force. In just a few more weeks we'll be back!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Escape to Sunny G

We made the President's Day weekend a little longer by driving to St George Thursday night and spending a full 4 days in the warmth and sunshine. It was so refreshing to feel the sun and play outside all day in the 60 degree temps. We cannot wait for spring up here!

Each day basically followed the same agenda: swimming, hiking and biking. And then eating, riding scooters, roaming the yard, and hunting for golf balls in between. Friday morning was the only day Luke was awake for swimming and he loved it. That boy is super easy to please though—love that about him! 
My Olivia was super proud of her most recent feat—jumping into the water and swimming to the side without her life jacket. Go Livs!

Joseph and I both went for bike rides and then took the kids up to the Dixie Red Rock park to roam and climb a bit before dinner.

Luke was so curious and right at home in this little cave. He tried to eat every rock and lots of sand while he checked it all out.

My parents arrived that evening and we got to play with them for the rest of the weekend—such fun for our whole family!

After Saturday morning's swimming adventure (my parents, Luke and I napped a little while Joseph took the bigger kids to the pool. He is such a good daddy!) we packed up and set out to find a new place to hike. We ended up at the Gunlock reservoir, started wandering around, and ran into some men on mules who pointed us toward a cool slot canyon. Such a fun, new, totally empty place to explore!
We found so much whitewashed wood and had a little fun with it
 We found the slot canyon easily enough but it was kind of funny how anxious it made Bentley. He was sure we were lost for 90% of the hike and kept waiting for us to find "the trail." So silly how 4 adults were not enough to convince him we knew just where we were even though there wasn't a set trail to follow. We stressed him out a bit—but I sure loved the whole outing. It was such a sunny beautiful day and the rocks and sand were so red and striking, just how I like my Utah deserts.
Later in the afternoon my parents stayed with the kids so Joseph and I could ride over to and up Snow Canyon. Such a pretty place to ride and I always love it up there. It was a good, hard route for me but I think it's always hard to ride a canyon for the first time—not knowing just what to expect and how much the road will actually rise/wear me out :) Next time will be a better, faster climb I am sure. It was nice to have my hubby with me encouraging me too. And riding in his hardest gear so he could still push himself at my pace—he is too tough!

My red face—a sure sign we're at the top!

We stayed in St George through Olivia's Monday morning birthday...more to come on that...

Monday, February 18, 2013

To 4 Year Old Livs

Dearest Little Olivia—

You will not be so little much longer! I am loving the bright, beautiful, helpful girl you are becoming but I will miss having a tiny princess in our family too. Luckily, you remind us often that you are indeed a princess—sometimes with your 4 dress-up changes a day and passion for all princess toys and dolls, but also with your demeanor. I keep thinking you will grow out of your bossy turning into grumpy phases but they haven't vanished yet. I love you so much my darling girl and feel like we have the sweetest, easiest time together when the big kids are at school. Somehow, when they are home and life is busy you can get overwhelmed and annoyed, and I can see how our loud, full house stresses you out. I think I felt a lot like that when I was your age too—it's hard to be the 3rd kid and have older siblings to share your mom and little world with!

You are learning so much this year and getting so good at writing all your letters and practicing sounds. You are a pretty fearless adventurer and love to climb, hike, run, and especially swim with your older brother and sister—and you keep up very well. You are a detail oriented lady and always color pictures very carefully and beautifully. You sing and remember songs really well and also love to flit and float around our house like a ballerina girl! You have also been an amazing helper with our baby boy this year. You love to feed him and play with him, cheer him on for all his new milestones, and kiss and snuggle him often. You have been so kind and sweet with him and always willing to put his old diapers out in the garage for me or grab him a new onesie when I am changing him. He and I are lucky to have you around so much!

I am thrilled that you are my girlie girl who really loves to wear dresses and skirts and pretty hair bows, and play Barbies and dolls and Polly Pockets and Squinkies. I love how you look up to your big sis and think everything she says and does is very cool. She is a wonderful girl for you to be like and I am so happy you two have each other!

Happy 4th birthday cutest girl!

All my love,


Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Love Day

Such a fun time of year with my little crew! We did our traditional heart attack FHE complete with funfetti cupcakes and all sorts of sprinkles.

It was Olivia's first year to make valentines for preschool classmates and she was way into it. I just adore how her little handwriting skills have come along the past few months. She is now into asking me all about letters and sounds and writing tons down to see what word she has just spelled. Love.
 Valentines morning I gave the kids some new Crocs and swimsuits I had been saving for them.
Then I sent the elementary kids off with their carefully crafted boxes—all thanks to their awesome dad who can turn any cardboard box(es) into exactly what they want.
The day was kind of crazy trying to get ready for our trip down to St George. We sent Joseph to work super early so we could leave to head south by 4:00 pm that afternoon. The hubby still managed to grab me some chocolate covered strawberries and this yummy caramel apple during his lunch break—perfect sweets to indulge in once we arrived in Sunny G and popped all the sleeping kids into bed.
Not the most romantic celebration of the day but I loved it. Nothing like pulling my sweet family away from everything to go play in the dessert together. Surrounded by my 5 loves—awesome Valentine's Day this year!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

He Walks!

Back in January Luke decided he could take a few steps on his own here and there. And then while Joseph and I were in Hawaii the babe got more brave and walked a bit more. Lately, he is moving everywhere and testing his legs all the time. He still feels very smug and proud when we cheer him on and make a big deal of his walking. Cute :)

Luke is at that age that keeps me so very busy. He's into cupboards and drawers and toilets and toothbrushes and stairs and couches, and climbing under and onto everything. But he can also sit sweetly in his chair and watch a Baby Einstein for 10 or 15 minutes and he loves to "play" Little People, Mega Blocks and trains, and read books. It has been good for me to spend time with him on the floor building and reading and wrestling when we are hanging out at home. Of course I summon my backup troops (bigger siblings) for help with the baby all the time. It's so easy because they truly love to play with our baby boy. 
Love this busy bear so much!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jr Jazz Pics

2nd season of Jr. Jazz b-ball for Bentley and he is getting better and better! It was so fun to see him dribbling the ball with confidence this year and stealing and blocking the ball like crazy. He has great stamina and can run up and down that court a hundred times! This summer we're going to have to use some neighbors' stands and practice shooting hoops—could be a good summer "job" each day, shooting 100 baskets...

Bentley had a great little team this year and they even won about half of their games. I was at a game a few weeks ago and got to witness Bentley steal the ball, dribble it back down to his basket and make a perfect shot! The smile that spread across his face after as he looked at me...amazing. Such a fun moment as his mom! I think it was the only basket he made during a game so I felt extra special to get to see it.

 Love these action shots Joseph took at Bentley's final game

The cheering section (you can't even tell it was an 8:00 am game ;)
And Bentley's wonderful teacher, Miss Clark, even came to a game to support Bentley and Mitchell—both in her class this year and on the same team

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stripes for the Girls

I think I get antsy for something new and orderly every year around this time. Maybe it's the cooped up nature of winter but I have lots of rearranging plans in my little head and the first one we acted on this year was the girls' room.

They have been sharing for over a year now upstairs next door to Luke. The bed they shared was a trundle and after about 1 month of pushing it back in every single morning I gave up on it and just left it out most days. It took up a ton of space in the room and by the summer I knew the girls were needing their own beds more separate from each other (meaning Cares needed to be able to sleep without Livs reaching down and tickling her or rolling off onto her :)

Since coming home from Hawaii we have spent most of our free time turning the guest bedroom in the basement into a new girls' dream room. There wasn't much in the room except an old dresser and queen size bed. But we had big plans for the old dresser! Of course I have been thinking and planning and daydreaming about it for almost a year using Pinterest so it was easy (and so fun!) to put into action.

Priming the one wall we'd be painting. The kids were so eager to help. Joseph was such a good sport and really patient with them (for about 20 minutes and then they were exiled while we finished up :)
Then came the evolution of the striped wall. 
It was a little taxing getting the tape on straight but I love the results.

The dresser had it's own little revival. My girls think it's really cool that I used the very same dresser when I was growing up. It's actually in remarkable shape and was super easy to dress up with new paint. The trick is simply a bonding primer so you don't have to sand. 
Then the new paint will stick to the primer beautifully. 
The paint color is Behr "mermaid treasure"—could not be more perfect for the little ladies' room!
 A close up of the new chandelier. It's from IKEA and my hubby installed it himself. Easy.
The girls' first night sleeping in their room. 
The room got a little more finished each day last week as Livs and I moved bedding and clothes and doll stuff and special things. Over the weekend Joseph and I finally got around to hanging all their pictures and making the room completely done.
What aspiring ballerina doesn't adore Degas? 
These prints were also mine as young girl and I still love them.

The closet. A huge reason I wanted these girls in that room was for this—it is huge and has such a great set-up. It still has tons of empty space even with all their clothes in it.

The day before we started painting we had some crazy freezing rain here in Utah. It was awful and so slick. I have never fallen on ice at my house but of course, that day, I did. I was trying to clear off a little pathway on my driveway for my YW before they came over that night and bam, I fell right on my tailbone on my slick, slanted driveway. Anyway, it's been nearly 2 weeks now and every time I bend down it hurts a ton. I felt bad because Joseph ended up doing the bulk of the painting because I simply couldn't without wincing in pain. Seriously, why am I such an old woman?!

Now to recover from painting for a few weeks before beginning something else. I have big plans for the room we just moved the girls out of!