Monday, August 26, 2013

Early 2013 continued.


Though generally I lose my steam in winter months February proved unusually active.  We went bowling, had a couple birthday parties, and went to Monterey, California. 

Kate getting a strike in bowling

Kate turned 6 in February.  She wanted a cowboy party.  Honestly I was a little surprised since last year was princesses and knights.  Time flies and things change quickly with it.  As usual I went way overboard.  I made stuffed stick horses for each kid (which ended up being over 20 horses), had a "Kate's General Store", and "Outhouse", cowboy hats, lassos, a boot pinata, and cactus cupcakes.  I can't tell you how tired I was after that one.  As a thank you for each child I took their picture through the "Wanted" poster frame with a cactus and horse in the background.  They turned out really funny and cute.  

This is Kate's wanted poster.

It never ceases to amaze me how kids get closer and closer to the birthday girl/boy as s/he opens gifts.  Just watch at the next party you attend.  They will start pretty far away but inch closer and closer until they are completely surrounding the birthday child.

Grandpa was an awesome sport, holding the pinata for the kids to hit.  Unfortunately, there is a certain boy who shall remain unnamed who packs quite a punch.  And his punch landed on grandpa's fingers.

Okay.  The cactus cupcakes were supposed to be a little cuter than this.  I saw some similar on Pintrest but apparently that baker had a cupcake pan with very deep wells and put in all those little white sprinkles, bunch by bunch.  Oh well, they were sort of cactusy.  More importantly, they were tasty.

Kate had a family party and a friend party.  For the family party I made a cowboy cake.  The hat is out of rice crispy treats and fondant.  The cowboy boots are candles.  She picked out her own cake design.  Unfortunately most of my cake decorating supplies are in storage so the finer details weren't perfect (and I'm a perfectionist) but she was happy.  That is all that REALLY matters, after all.

Kate warming her hands over the candle fire.

There is nothing better than an awesome child's expression captured in a picture.

The cowgirl devouring her cake 

Asher helped Kate open her gifts.  He didn't seem to like what was in them much.

My mom turned 60 this year.  My dad wanted to have a small party for her as a surprise.  I think she had a good time.  She got mint brownies (her favorite) for dessert.

Jon and I went to Monterey, California with Jon's mom and her husband, and all of Jon's siblings.  Though it was the first time both parents have been away from Kate and Asher it was a nice break.  And it was nice to be around Jon's family without having to take care of kids.  I got to know Jon's siblings as adults instead of aunts and uncles.  

Jon's mom and step-dad have a house near Spanish Bay golf course and hotel.  In the evenings there is a bagpiper who plays as people sit around fire pits outside.  It was awesome.  I love me some good bagpipe.

I love Mexican Train Dominoes.  I've always wanted to get to the double zero domino but it never happened until this vacation.  Everyone was pretty sick of it by then but I loved it.  :)

Then there was the Spa.  Ah, the spa.  Janet took the girls to a spa near Pebble Beach that was just absolute heaven.  We got massages, had relaxation time in a quiet room, scented neck wraps, and awesome facilities to get ready later.  If I was a member of that spa I'd never leave.

While we went to the spa the men went golfing.  Suckers.

 I think one of my favorite things about the trip was just being in a green setting again.  It was cool, but green.  And fragrant.  There were even some flowers popping out.   

 The area along the Spanish Bay/Pebble beach area is just spectacular.  Jon and I took a bike ride and I got some awesome shots of the beach.

The whole group

At the San Jose airport I ran into a little trouble.  I carry pepper spray in my bag and when I go running.  I accidentally left it in my purse.  How I made it through the Salt Lake Airport with it I don't know, but I didn't get through San Jose with it.  My name is now on some airport security list somewhere under the title "trying to board a plane with pepper spray."

On the way to California, a family wanted to sit together and asked if one of us would mind going up to first class so they could do so.  Jon instantly agreed and left me back in coach next to the screaming baby.  It was only fair that on the way home he ended up in the very last row, over the engine, right across from the bathroom.  Karma.

The rest of February was filled with kids who just couldn't wait for better weather.  Asher was dying to ride his scooter, and though I warned him it probably wouldn't work too well, he gave it a go in the snow.

I won a ticket to see the band Gold Fields in a studio session.  It was so nice to have some alone time that didn't involve errands.  I almost felt kind of cool again.

 The kids wanted to make chocolate covered heart marshmallows for Jon for Valentines.  It was quite a messy experience.  The best kind for kids.  :)

 Asher is always a good helper.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just rollin' along.

My life continued...


My brother Brian was fortunate enough to marry the perfect woman for him, Emily.  The wedding was beautiful.  

Nathan took the opportunity to get a family photograph.  I made the pink capes and muffs for the girls in the wedding party.  It was so much fun to see all their faces as they put them on.  

Asher, of course, looked rather dashing in his duds.

I just love these two.

Daddy taking Kate for a whirl.

We are lucky enough to have an awesome brother-in-law named Joel who agreed to take our family pictures.  It had been awhile and we decided it was time.  We are pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

Emily got tickets for Kate, my mom, and I to go with them to see the Nutcracker Ballet.  Kate didn't have the greatest attention span but she did love it.  She said she would love it more if the dancers talked.

You can't talk about December without mentioning Christmas.  The kids met a few different Santas.  Asher, upon meeting one in the "workshop" asked for a big tiger and was very upset when Santa didn't produce it right then and there.

Asher received his huge tiger Christmas morning.  Santa always delivers.  :)

Kate got her beloved full size Ariel doll.

And mommy got the best gift of the bunch from daddy.  A new road bike!

To avoid the holiday lull we hit Discovery Gateway.  The kids love that place.  They can act in the theater, be firemen and postwomen, run a grocery store, and just run wild.

 The cousins came up to go sledding at Sugarhouse Park.  Asher scares me half to death because he isn't scared at all.  He fell a couple times and got run over a couple times.  He recovered pretty quickly.

December just wore Asher out.  He couldn't even sleep in normal positions.

He actually fell asleep with one sock on, playing with a motorcycle inside a bin, face smashed against the side.  I can't tell you how long I laughed at this one.


I hate winter.  I just really hate the cold and gray and wet everything.  I love sun and heat and summer.  Plus it's hard to be inside for six months of the year.  That being said, being a mom with such an aversion to playing in the cold mush is a little challenging.  Discovery Gateway is a winter life-saver.  The kids went multiple times during the dreariest days to ward off cabin fever.

Kate and her friend Jill being Postal Workers

Asher being a fireman

Asher the dragon terrorizing Kate the fairy in the theater.

One afternoon we went to Discovery Gateway and discovered my old friend Susanna Risser, nee Florence.  It was a wonderful surprise.  They had just moved back from California.  The really funny bit is about Kate and Susanna's son Van.  When we lived in New York I was looking at Susanna's blog and a picture of Van was on the screen.  Kate came up behind me and said, very sweetly, "Is that my future husband?" Inwardly of course I was cracking up and had to inform Susanna of her intentions to which she agreed if the parties involved were willing.  :)  This is the first picture of them together.  Later I asked Kate if she remembered the picture of Van and the conversation.  She didn't but liked him all the same in person.

Asher the KSL news anchor

Yet another reason I HATE winter is because of the horrible inversion in Salt Lake City.  I feel like I'm getting cancer just by breathing.  Plus every day is gray.  It's horrible.  So one day when we were above the inversion I decided to snap a shot of the blue sky to cheer me up when it gets yucky down below.

Nothing makes a mommy happier than kids who are playing together instead of fighting together.