Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Wedding and Tulips

We ended our April with a busy weekend. Friday evening we celebrated Joseph's cousin Andrew and his fiancee Sarah at a beautiful wedding dinner at the Salt Lake Country Club. I cannot help but remember all my old memories of that place like swim meets, Sunday evening rollerblading, and endless night time escapades from Megan McCullough's backyard onto the golf course. Sometimes it's fun to be in the old Sugarhouse hood :) 
And the night was wonderful! I was very excited to have a night out with my hubby, to meet Bob's new girlfriend, and to hang out with the great Adams' family. Joseph is making Andrew and Sarah's wedding video so he was filming all the speeches for a good chunk of the night. Meant I got lots of time to chat with Mary (the new GF) and get to know her better—I've decided she and Bob are a darling fit and I'm delighted they found each other in old Chicago. They both seem genuinely happy together which I love. Plus they're just cute and in love...I feel like I remember those days so well and they are amazing and so fun!
LeBaron cheesers 
 Adams: Preston and Catherine, Andrew and Sarah, John and Lisa, Abigail and Scott
 More LeBaron cheesiness—why can't we just take normal pics?

Saturday was mostly really busy because Joseph was gone filming the couple for their wedding in the Manti temple. He left at about 8 Saturday morning and we didn't see him again until about 3:30. Because it was a perfectly beautiful 70 degree day, I took the kiddos down to the Tulip Festival. Yes, a million people were there but we are Thanksgiving Point members and got in free so I didn't feel like it was a huge deal. We can go back anytime to roam and run without crowds but the tulips really are so stunning and it's tricky to get a pretty day around here during the tulip festival! We made the short trip (thank you Mountain View Corridor!) enjoyed the glorious sun and blooms and green grass, and made it back to put Luke down for a nap and for my trusty babysitter to come over so I could go for a good, hard bike ride. I just have to get out and sweat on my bike on such pretty days!
 our totally posed "secret garden" picture
These umbrellas were being sold by a vendor in the gardens and my girls were dying over them. I caved and bought them (only $5 each) and they ended up shading my ladies so nicely!

Once Joseph was home our whole family got dressed up and ready and headed down to Trolley for the reception. We didn't last too long there, maybe 90 minutes total but it was a lovely party and fun to see wonderful friends who happen to be neighbors and cousins with Andrew too (Ramsey Warner  and Jane (Warner) Pahnke, Liz and Steve Warner, and the Cooks and other families I grew up with).

I am excited for Andrew and Sarah and their new marriage. I met Andrew when he was just a kid (12 I think!) and he's always been a crazy, cool, funny, outgoing and really good boy. He reminds me a lot of my little brother—they used to be very similar (and were even kind of friends for a while) and are now worlds apart. I have a tender spot for the friendship I have with Andrew though, and it makes me hopeful that one day, maybe really far down the road, I could have that again with my own brother. Anyway, it's been cool to see all these cousins who were so small when I married Joseph growing up and finding such awesome people to marry over the past few years. And we still have 2 more Adams' cousins wedding this spring!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Zoo Afternoon

The weather was exceptionally lovely during the rest of the kids' spring break, but it meant that everyone (seriously, everyone) in the valley was determined to get outdoors and enjoy it. We had ambitions of enjoying the zoo on one of our lazy days and so we drove all the way over there to discover way too many people clamoring to just find a parking spot let alone get in. I do not do well with crowds and lines so we skipped out that day, parked at This is the Place Monument, had a picnic lunch on the grass, ran around to get wiggles out and drove back home. I promised the kids we'd come back to the zoo the next week after school one day hoping we'd find the place less packed (am I the meanest mom for not just going for it? Maybe I am lame but it just looked too overwhelming for me!)

some shots of our impromptu picnic

I think we discovered the secret to the zoo! We went back a week later right after school and seriously saw 10 other people while we were there. It was awesome! We could see every animal and had optimal viewing. In addition, Luke could roam and run all over without getting lost in a sea of people. It was a great little adventure for us that day. The only sad thing is that a big chunk of the zoo is closed down right for a huge construction project that won't be done until next year. I am pretty sure we won't go back until that project is finished—it should be a pretty cool addition though.


 Seriously, hardy a soul in sight...

A very interesting log! This baby was so curious. He would have crawled inside but there were lingering puddles from the morning rain so I wouldn't let him.

 We got pics on so many bronze animals that day!

And just to prove that I was there and being silly with my kiddos in the Asian Highlands...channeling my inner wicked witch (which surprisingly wasn't very hard :)

As much as the crazy weather lately has made outdoor plans pretty tricky, I do love spring around here. The beautiful rain making everything so green, the chance to wear a cozy sweater but have to ditch it later in the day when the sun comes back out, the smells of heavenly blooming things everywhere, and the daily growth of blossoms and color, riding my bike in perfect 65 degree air—not too hot, not too cold. I really am a summer girl at heart but these changing seasons are so beautiful and unique every time they arrive. Love this wonderful world so much.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Back to Gunlock

We are loving this beautiful new place to explore. Yes, we adore Snow Canyon but it's good to mix things up. Now that 3 of my 4 kiddos are pretty good at hiking and climbing and exploring on their own, it's easier to try new places and create adventures.

This time we parked on the road just before the entrance to the lake and hiked up the rocks toward the dam. When the water is high and spring run-off at its height the whole area we hiked would be covered in waterfalls. We are anxious to see that sometime—it's supposed to be beautiful! But it was still gorgeous all around us as we hiked.

Luke is one heavy babe but at least he's super content in the hiking backpack watching the world from his high vantage point. We packed up our lunch and brought it with us to eat on the pretty red rocks. Once the babe was out of the backpack there was no stopping him! He wanted to eat and touch and walk/climb/crawl over everything he could get to. Love my busy boy :)
While I watched over the roaming baby, Joseph took the kids to explore and they discovered some crazy spots! I would have had a heart attack if I had seen these 3 like this:

More of the hubby's shots from the day:
 See? Stunning place to be

The next day we decided to just swim some and play in and around the house before packing up and leaving at dinner time. I'm glad we had that extra day to just hang out before needing to be home. Memorable moments from the trip include discovering SWIG (world's best sugar cookies—hands down!), a pedicure outing with my pal Heather, Luke's first Easter egg hunt and our first one with cousin Mason, and beautiful, balmy weather for lots of outdoor play time!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Easter at the Temple


Such a beautiful day! Thank you SG for continually delivering gorgeous Easter Sundays. We said goodbye to Tye and Stace before lunch and then my parents after a yummy outdoor dinner. The house felt so quiet and empty with "just" the 6 of us left. The kids and I usually stay and play for a whole week over Spring Break but with the busy baby boy as crazy and all over the place as he is, I wanted to have 2 parents around as much as I could. Plus, I wanted to ride and needed the hubby around so I could. We decided to stay through Tuesday and then be home to enjoy the rest of the kids' break from school. Next year I am hoping for a good, long stay though...Luke better calm down a little by then!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Easter Sunday at the St. George temple.

All I can think of when I see this picture is how incredibly blessed I am. I am so grateful to be a woman, and to be a wife and a mother—the greatest gifts ever. I am indebted to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to fill these roles in this life. And I love so so much that these roles can be mine forever, that this little family will be connected through the eternities and that we will become untied with all before and after us who are ours. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the true path to happiness and I love my Savior for making up the difference where I lack and helping me in this journey here on earth. 

I thought I had life figured out for the 20 years I spent living before I married Joseph. Then I realized I had it quite wrong (wait, it's NOT all about me? ooooooohh :) And 9 years ago, my world completely changed when a perfect baby boy entered my life and I fell completely in love with his chubby body and tender soul. I fell in love with being his mother too, and wanted to fill my home with children and a family and surround myself with those who are so pure and perfect and help me become the person I wanted to be—more loving, more giving, more focused on others, more needed, more patient, more kind, more focused on the Gospel so I could teach these beloved spirits who they really were and how precious their beautiful spirits are. It has been the most incredible thing to build this family with my amazing husband. Life is crazy, we are busy and tired and worn out most nights. But we love it. It is the most important work we can do and I am so grateful we are on this path together. 

This family is my heaven on earth and I love them with all my heart.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Annual Egg Hunt

We made it down to St George last weekend with just enough time to eat dinner and dye Easter eggs before the kids' bedtime. Priorities! All the littles (minus baby Luke) slept in the bunk beds together and did a really good job falling asleep all nestled in there. Bentley went to bed later than Cares, Mason and Livs and he had a harder time sleeping with so many other "loud breathers." He is totally his mother's child when it comes to sleep and needs it very, very quiet :)

Saturday morning the Easter bunny left baskets filled with fun things and tons of eggs all over the place. The kids were great sports about waiting just a little bit so Joseph could make it back from his morning ride and join us in the hunting. I love these egg hunts in St George—it's always so refreshing to see green grass and thriving plants when spring is not quite blooming yet back home.


Having one whole day to play with Tye and Stace and my parents we made the most of it. After egg hunting my dad and I went for a bike ride, and then we all headed over to Main Street for lunch at 25 Main followed by play time in the fun lazy river and splash pad. It was super busy at the splash pad due to the Arts Festival but the kids had a blast and Luke made himself right at home wandering everywhere and exploring everything—have to keep the closest eye on that guy!

Later in the afternoon Luke napped, my parents stayed with him and we hit the pool—warm enough to swim outside! I was lazy and let Joseph entertain the kids in the water while I read and relaxed in the sun.

After such a crazy day the kiddos fell asleep in record time and the adults played Canasta. Reminded me of nights on the houseboat down in Powell (and got me excited about that fun trip this summer).