Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spooky Smiths 2013

Such a fun family tradition! We look forward to this party every year and I have found I can take tons of pics of my dressed up darlings during this party rather than try to fit in lots of photos on Halloweem night—simplifies things quite a bit and I love the lighting.

These kids just keep growing up way too fast! Love the Watson and Sherlock duo, the cute superhero brothers, my very tall "baby" Livs, and the world's most adorable dragon. I was slightly obsessed with him last night and so proud of him for actually keeping his costume on! 

Bentley has his big cousin brothers in Ethan and Will and lucky Luke has Connor and Brigg. These boys are the funniest together and Luke is getting old enough to start playing along.

We always love the "hay-ride" through the my parents' neighborhood. We lucked out with the most beautiful night. I think it was still 60 degrees as we rode around and it felt crisp and cool but not at all cold. And the sunshine made the fall leaves so vividly bright. 

 Dragon in the leaves!

 This neighbor's maple has been a great find the past 2 years—always a huge stash of leaves on the grass and just the right amount of sunlight peeking through for some pretty pictures.

 Joseph had some fun with Brigg's Ironman mask (even though he was officially Batman/Bat-Dad that night).
 Papa Sherm and Luke

Our little family all dressed up (sadly no theme this year as the kids were very decided on their witch, baby and clone trooper costumes. Maybe we could have made something out of those?... But Bentley begged Joseph to be Batman when they saw the costume one night so I tried to play along as Catwoman...and we already had that kitty mask!)

Of course we had our delicious meal of spider jell-o, mummy hot-dogs, orange and black veggies and chips, and then Cec and Chad made chicken and white bean soup and cornbread that was soooo yummy. We even ate outside this year without needing much more than a sweater or long layer on! Why didn't I grab a picture of that? It was beautiful out there. Glad my kids had warm costumes on as they played outside a ton on the play-set and in the yard. Once it was getting dark we came inside for "pin the bow-tie on the skeleton" and some Halloween "feel boxes" full of Tarantula Legs (pipe cleaners), Monster Eyeballs (sticky rubber eyeballs from Target) Serpent's Dinner (mini rubber rats) and Mummy Fingers (mini carrots wrapped in toilet paper strips).

I know this party takes a ton of effort, especially from my hosting parents and my sis making the "grown-ups" a yummy meal. Somehow Mr. Bones doesn't seem to compare (and let's be honest, Joseph made him not me!) Love those amazing people in my life and I'm grateful my whole family loves and adores them as much as I do. Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beautiful Fall


 More from our month via iPhone pics:
Livs and Luke digging into our very first Nanny Box! We do love getting such fun prizes in the mail but nothing can ever replace having Nanny and Grandpa in the same city :) We miss them tons.

 Figuring out Halloween costumes

 A quiet moment with my blonde ball of energy

 Cornbelly's with these awesome teenagers. They totally keep my young :)

 Gorgeous, rainy afternoon. 
I was dying to get out on my bike but a run was sufficient on the soggy streets.

I'm totally obsessed with riding in the fall. Pretty sure I wear a permanent grin as I pass the colorful leaves and breathe the fresh, crisp air. Means more layering to ride but up a canyon like this (Butterfield) I cannot get enough of the beauty. All too soon it will be gone so I am soaking it up (and loving my new black beauty too :)

 LeBaron Halloween/Birthday party at Jim and Luci's to celebrate Jim and Tiago

 Fall in my backyard

View of the whole valley from Rose Canyon near my house. Rose is the perfect little ride when I don't have much time--great, fairly punishing ascent (beginning at my house) and then a swift ride back home. One day I will have thighs as strong as Joseph's and I will kill it up that canyon! Or maybe not but I sure love getting my cardio on.

A biking selfie. See what I mean about more layers?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Perfect little outing during the kids' fall break. Earlier in the day we grabbed lunch with my sis and my mom at Training Table (totally cheesy place but my kids eat well there (and I love cheese fries...see? cheesy:) AND it's a good spot for 7 monkey children to move around and play until we are all done eating...sorry to any other lunch patrons that day :)
We took Maddie home with us after lunch, made pumpkin spice play dough while Luke napped, and then met back up with Cec and all our littles to choose out pumpkins and explore the pumpkin patch: vintage tractors, rows and rows of gorgeous gourds and a little corn maze. It was a good day.

Caught these cute friends posed like this looking out over the patch before we left. 
9, 8 and 7 years old—a perfect cousin sandwich :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Alpine Loop and Conference

Conference Sunday, as the afternoon session began, we needed an escape from our house and a change of scene. The perfect option living where we do was to drive the Alpine Loop as we continued listening to conference. I can't believe I had never been before! Yes we mean to do it every fall and then suddenly it's winter and we missed the window. But Joseph rode to the top of AF canyon a few weeks back and finally rallied us all up. Plus, he wanted to try out some family friendly hikes he'd seen on his biking adventure.

It was stunning up there! We'd had a fairly wet and cold week so fresh snow topped the highest mountain peaks making the views so striking. I loved it. I think I may not be able to listen to conference any other way from now on :) We drove past many lovely trail heads but 1) some were way too muddy and 2) the recent government shutdown had resulted in many barricaded parking lots and blocked turn-offs. But we pressed on all the way until Cascade Springs and found the parking lot open and ready for us. The kids were pretty done with the car by then anyway so we were ready to wander and explore. It was another new discovery for our little family. Such great treasures in all the glorious mountains around us!

Fall comes each and every year around here but I swear I can never get enough of these vivid colors no matter how many autumns I live through. I think my phone is full of photos of leaves and trees and reds, yellows and oranges. Happiest colors :)

 Livs was not in the mood to participate in this picture so she was pouting in the background...

 Luke had a blast throwing leaves into the rushing water below the bridge

We're glad we discovered this beautiful spot and we'll certainly be back.

And for my own records and as a reminder of what I'm eager to study and reread, some highlight talks from conference:

Come, Join With Us by Elder Uchtdorf
The Moral Force of Women by Elder Christofferson
Like a Broken Vessel by Elder Holland
To My Grandchildren by Elder Eyring
No Other Gods by Elder Oaks
I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee by President Monson
Teaching with the Power and Authority of God by David McConkie
Decisions for Eternity by Elder Nelson

Friday, October 4, 2013

14 Years

Such a beautiful day that was, 14 years ago, when I married this boy. I love our anniversary and how it reminds me to think back to how our love began.  I just feel so blessed and grateful that Joseph LeBaron is an eternal part of my life—I would be so lost without him. It seems silly that the 20 year old me knew so well in her heart that this boy, this man, would be the one who could make me truly and completely happy, and create and raise our precious darlings with me. I love time for what it teaches me and how year after year I grow more and more in love with my husband.

Our anniversary fell on a Tuesday night so we grabbed a babysitter and had a little date night downtown. My cute hubby had just gotten stitches after my dad removed a lymphnode from his forehead, hence the cool bandaid ;)

We ate dinner at Settebello, roamed the temple grounds and remembered our perfect wedding, and popped into a few stores in City Creek. It was a lovely night and always fun to be hanging out together. He's my favorite.