Random, Random, Random

I rarely take my camera anywhere anymore.  It’s sad, but true.  Taking my camera places used to be fun, and exciting, but now that I shoot for a living, it represents work, and when I just want a little relaxation from what I do, I definitely don’t think to bring my camera.  I want to take all of my equipment, including the kitchen sink, EVERY TIME I take my camera anywhere, and let’s be honest, that is A LOT of work.  Fortunately, I have my trusty iPhone camera handy at all times that can SNAP the shot when all I want is a SNAP SHOT!

This is was taken this summer at Splash Park.  (AKA, the best FREE water splashing place near my house.)

Dallin and his train set.  He can’t help but put sand EVERYWHERE on the patio.

Hannah and her birthday tea set.

Sparklers on Hannah’s birthday.

Hannah (far left in the nude leotard) and her friends waiting for their ballet class to begin.

Dallin and his late night reading.  (MOST ADORABLE THING EVER!)

This ends my randomness for today.  Until tomorrow . . .

Top of Utah Marathon

Is it really the 22nd of September already?  WOW.  Where have I been?

In an attempt to bring my blog up to speed, I am randomly posting now.

Random would be the operative word here.

Unfortunately, there are not more than 24 hours in a day, and for some reason, my body likes to sleep at night, and that TOTALLY cramps my style.

Sleeping and eating.  Such pesky habits I can’t seem to kick.

Anywho, let’s talk about David’s stellar performance at the Top of Utah Marathon!

In a nutshell: we rented an RV. The kids thought we were the BEST.  PARENTS.  EVER.  Dallin puked.  I slept in every bed in that RV during that ONE night, so as you can imagine, I was just a peach after three hours of sleep that weren’t even consecutive.  You’re jealous, right?

It poured.  ALL NIGHT LONG before the big race, and ALL MORNING DURING THE RACE.

I know what you’re thinking, LUCKY DAVID!!!

It rained, it poured, it HAILED on him!  No stopping this running machine!  He crossed the finish line with a time of 3 hours and 39 minutes!  He didn’t qualify for the Boston Marathon this year, but it was a great time for his first marathon!

 

 

 

Golden Gate Park

When I was 16, I visited San Francisco with my best friend Tricia and her mom (and her mom’s friend).  Tricia’s mom, Leslie (who owns the Alpacas) flew us all out there for her 16th birthday.

Best birthday idea EVER!

I remember going to several tourist attractions, and one that I really wanted to see again was the Japanese Tea Gardens.

I hoped it would be all I remembered and more . . .

And it was!

The Japanese Tea Gardens are located at Golden Gate park (Which is like SF Central Park).  They were beautiful, quiet, and well manicured.

The only stressful part was keeping two excited kidlets QUIET.

How do you keep kids from running outside?  How do you keep them from using their outside voice when they are outside?

No idea?  Me neither.  We ended up walking like 29 miles over to another park the kids loved SO MUCH.  (Okay, it only felt like 29 miles because we didn’t have our rockin’ BOB stroller yet, and pushing a heavy stroller and kids up and down 45 degree hills makes every step feel like a mile!)

I have more to share from our time at Golden Gate Park!  Come back!  🙂

A Little More of This and That

It is only the end of June and it is NOW FINALLY getting warm.  Warm meaning, in the 80’s!  Dang this has been a cold spring!  It hasn’t been warm enough to take my kids swimming yet this summer and it seems like the season is half way over!

The kids (meaning Hannah) have run through the sprinklers a few times.  (Dallin runs along the perimeter of the water only.)

Sometimes I wonder if I should change my rule about letting Hannah dress herself.  She gets to dress herself six days a week.  On Sunday, I get to choose her outfit.  I want her to learn how to make decisions and this seemed like a really good way to empower her to express herself and give her full control over parts of her life.

However, princess day is like everyday. People often address her with big smiles saying, “Hello Princess!”

I think she likes that.  Especially when we’re shopping and there are lots of people that take notice.  I love it when people ask me if its her birthday or something and I’m like, “Nope.  It’s Tuesday.”

Different day, different crown.  (Out to eat at Pizza Pie Cafe which tastes good but not exactly in the Barefoot M.D. diet.)

Hannah was THRILLED when we found her some small five finger shoes!  No, we didn’t buy them which sorely disappointed her, but we were impressed she could get them in!  Those little piggies an be a bugger to get in the right toe slots!

Paris has been loving all the lazy days outside.  It reminds her of her carefree days living in the Caribbean.  🙂

Dallin got a new ‘do.  He wasn’t happy about it, but now he matches his dad and it’s super low maintenance which means no bed head for at least four more weeks!

He has loved being able to play on the patio.  I have loved the moderate weather, so it’s been a win win situation for both of us.

A few weeks ago, we walked down to JCW’s to get a milkshake for our Family Night activity.  Normally we would drive there, but after google mapping it, we thought the 5 mile walk would be good for us.  Especially since we were going for milkshakes.  🙂  On our walk home (the kids had a lovely ride in their new stroller) Mout Timpanogos looked so beautiful with freshly white capped mountains.  I had to take a picture.

Hannah made some creative art out of her lunch.  I never would have thought of this!  Maybe 3-D art is going to be her thing!

Our church time is right during our kids nap time.  Hannah can survive a day here and there without a nap, but Dallin on the other hand can not.  Fortunately, he loves his sleep as much as I do, so he will take a nap out on the couch in the foyer.  What a doll.

We had a family reunion a few weeks ago and it was nice to get reacquainted with some of my cousins.  Several of them were very interested in what David had to say about barefoot running.  He had just run another 1/2 marathon that morning.  That makes three 1/2 marathons in the last few weeks and he has one more this weekend!  (Plus he rocked it at Ragnar!)

We visit Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point a few times as week and riding the horses is a highlight.

How was that for random post?

Malaya’s Birthday!

Hannah’s cousin Malaya turned five!

Okay, so it was like two months ago, but hey, better late than never, right?

She specifically requested a Barbie cake which my sister-in-law Diane (her aunt) put together.

Hannah has such a great time, she didn’t notice how freezing cold it was, or that she lost an earring until much later.

We are still looking for the lost earring.  So sad.  In the mean time, Malaya has decided she is brave enough to get her ears pierced, so David will be piercing them soon.  🙂

This is Hayley, Malaya’s three year old sister.  (Remember her party?)  She is hilarious and really happy, but sometimes she get’s a little attitude.

Obviously, it’s hard to not have it be your birthday everyday when you are three.  It’s not her party but she’ll cry if she wants to!

On a more random note, I photographed their family a few days ago and the pictures turned out so adorable.  You can find them on my Salt Lake Photography photo blog!

Disneyland Round Two

Did I mention we made an impromptu trip to Disneyland right after my art show at AAU?

I know San Francisco and Anaheim, California are not in the same vicinity, (Okay, so 6 hours is not close at all, but hey!  We’re flexible!) but we are spontaneous and when I got a phone call from my BFF Lydia (who now lives in Florida) telling me she was flying into LAX the same weekend we were in San Francisco . . . well, what do you do?!

You completely change all your plans and create more fun ones!

I love that my husband is as spontaneous as I am.  It makes trips and life adventures a lot more exiting and flexible!  We cut our trip in SF a day short, and drove down to Los Angeles and extended our trip by a few days.

Paris (our stinker dog who makes an appearance on this blog every once in a while) was super depressed to be left at a kennel for a few extra days, but she got over it quickly when we returned to Utah.

This time around, we enjoyed walking around Disneyland with our stroller.  (Really, I can’t recommend it enough!)  Dallin took a good two hour afternoon nap in it, and both kids fell asleep around 8:00 PM, so David and I had a few hours to take turns riding on the fun rides for which the kids are both too short!

They are such good friends, I love it.  They are getting ready to ride Autopia here.

Hannah is a jerky driver.  I let David experience her driving.  🙂

Oh my goodness.  My kids LOVE Pooh Bear and Tigger.  This attraction was closed when we went to Disneyland a few weeks ago, so they were SUPER excited to see their favorite characters!

Oh, how Dallin LOVES Tigger.  I almost cried at the adorableness.

Splash Mountain was also closed a few weeks ago, so this was Hannah’s first time riding it and she LOVED it!  She is such a roller coaster junkie!

Oh yes, and she got to meet Princess Jasmine.

What a fun, fun day!  Honestly, I’m ready to pay the exorbitant southern California living expenses JUST so we could use annual passes to Disneyland!

We all want to go back today!

AAU Spring Art Show 2011

Oh my.

I have lots to share and I’m literally swimming in so many pictures that I don’t know where to start.

Life has been busy.  Very busy.  Fun too (of course!).  David likes to tell me that I’m “too busy and important” (this is a long standing joke that we categorize people in who are just to dang “busy and “important”) to slow down, but what woman isn’t?

So . . .

This is my attempt at sharing some of our happenings, however discombobulated my thoughts are!

Sometime on our trip we ended up buying a Bob Revolution Duallie Stroller.  I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago when I pushed my kids in one during the one mile fun run that I won.

HOLY SHNIKES.  YOUR LIFE WILL EVER BE THE SAME AFTER YOU USE ONE!

How could we not have known about these Cadillac strollers?  Who cares if you’re not a runner . . . if you WALK anywhere and need a stroller to haul your kids around and all your hud, then YOU NEED THIS STROLLER.

Honestly, we don’t know how we lived without it.  We’re thinking a third child might be in order just so we can use it for a few years.  (Okay, that was a bad joke.)  These things aren’t cheap, but you get what you pay for!  We’d known we were going to get this stroller for some time now (and my “some time now” I mean like a few weeks) and to FINALLY get one was just AWESOME.

Please note happy content kids in their new Cadillac SUV.

We didn’t go down to San Francisco with the intent of buying a Bob, but after one day at the Golden Gate Park with our old Baby Trend sit n’ stand, those hills were killer.  We went off the first REI we could find and bought it straightaway.  Back at our hotel, we left our other stroller with a nice housekeeper.

Moving on to the Bay Area Rapid Transit AKA The BART.

The kids were DANG excited to ride on the BART!  It was a train!  A REAL LIFE TRAIN!

Apparently, kids don’t ride on the BART.  EVER.  And I mean EVER.

Imagine a bunch of commuters, all 18 or older, silently riding to and from work.

Boring.  Quiet.  Stale.

Now, imagine a two year old and a four year old who have waited their WHOLE LIVES to ride on a train.

Stark contrast people.

Wanna know what happened?

Everyone FELL IN LOVE with our kids.  And It’s not just because they were so dang cute and talkative.  Because we had kids with us, we met LOTS of people on the BART.  We knew their names, their birthday’s, how long they lived in the city, where they worked, and how old they were.  We also learned a bit of San Francisco history as Hannah asked multiple people random questions.  (Hey, better them than me!  I get my fill of questions everyday!)

Several people commented on what a treat it was to have kids on the BART.  Many of them commented that they had NEVER seen kids on the BART in all their years of commuting.  EVER. One girl came over to congratulate me on having such darling kids and for being beautiful and then she licked her finger and singed the air.  We’re talking friendly people who tell you what they think.  (She was’t playing for the female team FYI.)

Hello?  Do kids not exist in SF?

The BART was a lovey 40 minute ride which dropped us downtown SF right at at my school!

The Academy of Art’s Spring Show 2011 was incredible!  I was surrounded by amazing, gifted artists!  It was an honor to be a part of such an incredible exhibit!  To be a part of a larger body of work was quite surreal. (My image is the bottom left.)  It was very fun to sit back and watch people react to my image!

I had a chance to meet some of my professors, and talk to the program director.  Guess who else showed up at this art show?  Just a few names you might recognize:  Disney, Pixar, Nike, and Canon to name a few!

Look!  I even got to meet my online friend Kelly!  She and I had two classes together online during our first semester at the Academy!  We felt just like old pals, we just had to formally meet!  Kelly attends the school on campus and I’m 100%  envious!  (Especially since she resides in the “Chanel” house, does the name not say it all?!)

This is not the Chanel house here, but it is student housing!  Look at this house!  What the heck?!  STUDENT HOUSING?!  What ever happened to dorms and cinder block walls?  Now can you see why I’d want to move there?

Look!  It’s me!  It’s my school!  It’s me at my school!

It was so fun for me to have my family with me at this show.  David and the kids were great sports (I mean, how could they not be, riding in total comfort!) at the show.  On the shuttle bus from the art gallery back to the school, Hannah sat by a girl from Taiwan who attends AAU.  Hannah asked the girl if she would teach her all the Chinese she knew.  The girl smiled saying, “That would take a long time.”

I love kids.  They are so dang cute.

Washington DC Here I Come!

Today I’m cashing in on my belated birthday present (remember how my birthday was in January?) and I’m flying out to visit my sister in Washington DC.

By myself.

No kids.  No husband.  No dog.

For the next seven days, I will be completely unfettered from most of my responsibilities.

The dishses?  Hannah can load the dishwasher.

Landry?  David is talented in many areas, this includes laundry.

Meals?  Everyone can fend for themselves.  Just like every other day I’m here.  🙂

Bedtime routine?  David is the only one Dallin will listen to when going to sleep, so really, they won’t even know I’m gone!

I’m very excited to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC, and I planned my trip so I could see them at their peak.  (A much better time of year than yucky, cold January!)  My sister, Jenn, and I have lots of talking, shopping, and sight seeing to do!  She and her family will move back to California this summer, so this is my last chance to see the Capital with her!

I’m not sure I’ll know what to do with all my free time . . . I won’t have any needs to worry about but my own!  This will be my first trip away from my kids (OK, last year we went to Wichita for two days, but that was only about 72 hours) and I’m going to miss them!  I used to travel extensively before we had kids, so leaving on a trip was old hat to me, but now, it’s been almost five years since I have traveled alone. Meaning, without a little person hanging on my leg.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to feel like I left something somewhere . . .

I will try to keep my blog updated with my adventures, but no promises.  My laptop crapped out last week (last week was a doosey . . . the kids got shots which was not really a pleasant experience for anyone, I went to my aunt’s funeral, and Hannah got the flu which including vomiting 725 times.  That was all by Wednesday!) but we ordered a new one just in time for me to take on this trip.  (Remember how I’m school at AAU and I take classes online?  It wasn’t really an option to be computer-less for a week!  Plus, let’s admit it, I WOULD DIE.  Hello?  Not having access to my personal computer while on vacation?  Please, pause for a moment while I GASP!)

I hope to show you all the beautiful Cherry Blossoms on Capital Hill, but here’s the thing . . . even though my new laptop has Photoshop on it, the color on my laptop has not been calibrated.  I just can’t see myself posting images from a program without a calibrated color profile.

See what school has done to me?

Hailey (The Giggler) Turned Three!

My niece, Hailey, (the giggler) just turned three!  To celebrate this special milestone, we brought a birthday party to her house!

She is such a doll.  I could squeeze and kiss her cheeks all day.  Seriously.

Little Hailey is ALWAYS smiling.

We had a princess themed party, and Hannah, Hailey, and Malaya (Hailey’s older sister) each got a “princess hairdo,” beautiful crowns that light up, (just press a button on the back!) and got to wear some makeup.  They were thrilled!  Dallin on the other hand . . . well, I think you can see how he feels about all this princess stuff!

How can I resist this face!  I could kiss his face off!

Hailey loved ALL of her presents.  I love this age.  They love EVERYTHING.

Look who got three big dollars!  Three dollars goes a long way to a three year old!

I love the expression on Malaya’s face here.   She is looking at her dad, who is filming her, and she has no idea I’ve just taken her picture.  It’s always fun to capture genuine expressions, especially on little people!

It’s not super obvious in this picture, but the crown has sparkling lights behind it.  It was a hit with the girls.  🙂

This is my youngest brother, Dan, and two of his three girls.

His kids are so adorable, and it’s fun that we live so close now!  He just moved back to Utah a few weeks ago.  Between us, we have five kids ages four and under, and our kids have lived in six states and two countries!  That’s a lot of moving on both of our parts!

Disneyland Day One

We kicked off our Disneyland experience by having breakfast with a few princesses at Aerial’s Grotto.  It was a hit for sure!  The food was great (a bit on the pricey side, but completely worth it!) and every princess came to our table to talk to us.  That saved us a lot of time in the park trying to track down each one to visit them.  We all loved it!  (Well, Dallin loved the food, he didn’t really care for the princesses.)

We saw Minnie Mouse shortly after breakfast and the kids knew she was the REAL DEAL.  Disneyland is so magical!

Dallin with his best friends: Mater and McQueen.

Dallin was a little nervous to see all the characters from “Monsters” up close and personal, so he gladly sat on David’s shoulders why he enjoyed them from afar.

There were so many fun street shows at California Adventure.  We can’t wait to go back!

We had to do it . . .

The official “tourist picture” in front of Mickey at the entrance of Disneyland.  🙂

The kids LOVED the train that circled Disneyland.  This train is used to transport  you from one part of the park to another, but hey, we rode it FOR FUN.  🙂

Ah, I love this sweet face.

Dancing in the street was a highlight for all of us . . .  The kids danced together . . .

Hannah shook her thing . . .

And Dallin did his thing.

Riding the carousel was a very exciting for the kids.

But I almost threw up.  You can only go around and around and around so many times before  you just can’t take it anymore!

We went to see Mickey at his club house.

The wait in line was just as fun as seeing Mickey!

Last up:  The Tea Cups.  Oh my.  I did not go on this ride.

BLEH!

But . . . the kids couldn’t WAIT To get on it!

They had a wonderful time and wanted to go again!

Stay tuned for Day two!