4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

We celebrated all weekend!  We kicked off the 4th by getting up at dark-thirty to watch David and our friends, Emily and Bill, run in Freedom Festival Run 10k!

This is David right before the race.  Thanks to our friend Emily and her MacGyver skills, David was able to wear his time chip attached to his ankle.  (You see, 99% of runners don’t have this problem because they attach the chip to their shoes.)

I’m sure David is in this picture somewhere . . . there are only 5000 runners to sift through . . .

The kidlets waiting for their parents to cross the finish line!

Check out The Barefoot MD!  He placed 111th overall, and 10th in his age division.  Not too bad among 5000 racers!

BUT . . . he placed FIRST in the barefoot division!  He wasn’t the only barefoot runner and he came in first!  (This is him picking up his award!)

We watched the parade after the race . . . it was super crowded.

We ended our day with a BBQ with several of our friends and we all had a great time until it was cut short when it started raining!  Back at home we (meaning David) lit some sparklers and the kids wanted nothing to do with them.

We have several packs of sparklers left.  🙂

Hope you all had a lovely 4th of July!  We love America!

Stadium of Fire 2011

No matter where we are in the world, every 4th of July, we WISH we were at the Stadium of Fire.

The Stadium of fire is the place to be.  PERIOD.  The last time we went was 10 years ago, so this event was long overdue for us!

The Stadium of Fire is held at the BYU football stadium and they fill the stadium with 50,000 people.  Tickets sell out within hours when they go on sale in March.  David was able to buy tickets the day before they went on sale to the public and we got GREAT seats!  The kids got a babysitter (who they LOVE) and we had a fabulous date night!

Entertainment included: David Archuleta and Brad Paisley!  The fireworks at the end were incredible!  The Stadium of Fire touts the largest fireworks display in the nation!  Take that DC!

(Sitting four rows in front of us was Steve Young, and several members of the Freedom Festival Board.  I think we got great seats.)

This was our view of the stadium.  I have some great footage (great if you consider the iPhone a great video camera that is) that I want to post.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to edit and post videos . . .

On Sunday I ran into two of my childhood best friends!  Katie and Katie!  I love holidays!  Everyone comes in from out of state and we get to play!

It was so fun seeing our kids play together.  We had big dreams when we were younger that our kids would all play together one day and every once in a while that actually happens!

Katie’s little boy, Levi, just wanted to drive my car with his big cowboy boots on.  🙂  (Bossy little two year old!)



Hot Air Balloon Race 2011

I love the 4th of July!  It has always been my MOST favorite holiday and Utah is the PLACE TO BE for the best 4th of July festivities in the nation!  We discovered this shortly after we started our gypsy lifestyles about 10 years ago.  No one celebrates like Utah does!  NO ONE!

The 4th of July celebration lasts all weekend in Utah, and we love it!

One of our favorite traditions is going to the balloon launch.  It is a hot air balloon race and it’s quite exciting to see so many hot air balloons on the ground all being blown up at once!

This year Darth Vadar made an appearance.  The kids had no idea who he was so they were not as impressed as we were.  🙂

The Coca-Cola balloon is the tallest hot air balloon in the world.  I got some pictures of it last year with my Nikon D90.  (I went with my iPhone this year.)

On Sunday morning, we woke up to this balloon in our backyard!  Hannah was in hot air balloon heaven.

It’s not very often that you have a hot air balloon make an emergency landing on your street! 🙂  (Look how cute Paris and Hannah are checking it out.)


Our Easter Race

You know when you have a full day ahead of you and you pack everything you need and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself and then you realize you forgot the most important thing?


Well. That happened to me.

We had a busy day on Saturday with our schedule filled every hour.  Of course I brought my camera (HELLO!  It is my third child!) but I forgot to put an SD card in it.

People, that is like taking your newborn somewhere and forgetting to pack diapers.  YOU MAY AS WELL CALL THE OUTING A FAILURE.

Fortunately, the phone can take pics, right?

David signed our family up to run in a race.  David ran a 5K and I ran a 1 mile race with the kids. (I use the term “ran” very loosely here, it was more like Hannah ran and walked, while I pushed Dallin in the stroller.  I stopped to take a few pics of them running, and Hannah pooped out just before the finish line.)

Here’s the kicker . . . I WON A FIRST PLACE RIBBON.

WHAT?!  I know, I was just as confused as the rest of you are!  I ran a 12 minute mile pushing and chasing my kids and somehow that got me first place in my age division.  Oh, yeah . . . the other thing  . . . somehow I was in the 25-29 age group, so apparently my skin care regime is working!  I thought about setting the record straight, but what the heck . . . (And for the record, I do not have a third child.  The baby belongs to my friend, it is one of her twins, I’m not sure which one I’m holding, but he likes me.)

Check out Hannah rippin’ up the pavement in her Crocs and a dress of course!  Go Hannah!

Dallin thought all of his little boy dreams had come true: I ALLOWED him to run IN the street.  Ah, life was good for him at that moment.

After our race, we headed out to Thanksgiving Point to attend their Easter egg hunt and other Easter festivities.

NEVER doing that again.  Kids were trampled and they cried as the PARENTS grabbed as many eggs as they could.  IT was over in less than 5 seconds.

To top it off, it was freezing and the lines for the bouncy slides rivaled the rides at Disneyland.

Not worth it I tell you.

Plus, the Easter bunny was kind of scary to Dallin.  Come to think of it, the Easter bunny is sort of creepy.  He just doesn’t have the same appeal as Santa.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Happy Easter!

Even though the Easter Bunny was very tired and very sick, he still made it to our house.

I was also very tired and very sick.  I barely had enough energy to get out of bed, so I propped my eyelids open with my fingers as I watched my kids jump up and down with excitement with their Easter baskets.

I have no pictures of their Easter stash.  (They scored way to much candy.  I’ll be sure to let the Easter Bunny know that next year they don’t need ANY candy since they share that sweet stuff too much with their parents!) I was able to snap one picture of Hannah in her new Easter dress though: (Thank you H&M . . . dress $5, leggings, $5!)

Dallin wore his race shirt from the 1 mile race we ran on Saturday.  It was neon green with lots of writing on it.  LOTS.  Why do I tell you this?  Well, not only was I blinded by the neon shirt all day, but since he refused to take it off, there was no way Iwas going to take his picture while he wore it!  That nixed a picture of the two kids together.  I shot this image while he was wearing his green shirt, but as you can see, it was mandatory that I convert this image to black and white.  🙂

We had a lovely day and hope you all did too!

Easter?! It’s Practically Here!

I just realized that THIS SUNDAY is Easter.

I’m not sure when I thought it was . . . some ambiguous date in the next few weeks I guess.

The good news is that I’ve had the kids’ Easter baskets ready for weeks . . . the bad news is that I haven’t had two seconds to myself to even come up with some fun Easter activities for them.

Time to outsource, right?!

Looks like we will be attending the Thanksgiving Point Easter Egg Hunt this year!  (No stress for me, LOTS of fun for the kids!)

In the mean time, we did manage to color some eggs.

Dallin was very bossy.  It comes with being two I guess.

While we waited for the eggs to color (and dry) Hannah passed the time by talking to my sister Jenn.

Dallin practiced doing what he does best . . . being a darling two year old.  Oh!  I could just squish those cheeks!

Valentines Day 2011

Our Valentine’s Day preparations started a few weeks ago.  Hannah hosted a Valentine’s Day party with her little friends earlier this week and do you think I took pictures?  Um . . . NO.  I was too dang busy helping a bunch of four year olds craft cards!  Also this week, I taught Hannah how to properly make a  “Valentine Box” and she took copious notes.

How to make a Valentine Box:

  • Find a box.  Any box.  An old tissue box, shoe box, hot chocolate can, or the most recent box from Amazon siting in your garbage can will work.
  • Find paper.  Any kind will do.  Wrapping paper is easy to use.
  • Use any craft supplies you have on hand: random stickers and feathers will do a fine job.
  • Decorate any way you want.

As you can seem she followed my instructions exactly.

Last, make a slit for all Valentine cards to enter.

Hannah decided to become a professional Valentine-card-maker, so she spent hours and hours making Valentines.

Honestly, I don’t know who all these Valentines are for, but she took her job SERIOUSLY.  I had to make a few runs to the store for more craft supplies for her.  During one of her Valentine-making-days, she sat at the table for almost NINE hours.

My butt is numb just thinking about that.

During her marathon card making session, she said to her Grandma, “Why don’t you make Valentines everyday?”  Gloria responded, “Because I don’t have time everyday.”  Hannah then spewed out this reply, “WELL I DO!”

Yes.  Anyone who can sit in one area for NINE hours doing virtually the same thing has some time on their hands.

Each card is crafted differently . . . each is one of a kind!  🙂 Here are a few samples still available:

Most of the cards are decorated on both sides so no space was wasted.

Anyone want a Valentine from Hannah?  WE HAVE PLENTY.

We started off the day with gifts for the kids.  Dallin got a very messy Play-Doh® set that kept them busy for a while after breakfast.  Hannah got a jewlrey making kit and the second she opened it I knew I hit the jackpot.

We spent some time making bracelets and necklaces, and really, I don’t know why I haven’t made jewelry with Hannah until now!  SHE LOVED IT!

What could be better for Valentine’s Day than custom made princess jewelry?

I took the kids down to my sister’s Kindergarten class to drop off a Valentine to her, and then we made a few more deliveries to my parents and such.  WE STILL HAVE CARDS, so if you didn’t get a Valentine, or just want a Valentine from Hannah, please, let us know.  She has one waiting here for you!

Christmas 2010? Owned.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.  The food was yummy and I found the BEST recipe for sweet potato pie and sweet potato casserole.  Oh.  My.  If you want to tickle your taste buds, you must check out these recipes!  (Both of these recipes were reviewed by 1,000+ people and received five stars, so you KNOW they’re going to be good!)

There was much hype about the “blizzard of 2010” that supposedly hit us this last week that didn’t drop even one snow flake.  As you can imagine, it was a big disappointment.  We stocked up on plenty of food, got a great movie, and snuggled up on the couch drinking our hot chocolate waiting for the blizzard that never came.  LAME.

However, it has been as cold as the North Pole around here and snow finally dropped by the inches on Sunday.  Looks like the kids and I will be building snowmen and sledding this week!

(This is the frost on our kitchen window.  Brrrrr!)

I had a fabulous shoot with my friend Pam and her kids over Thanksgiving break as well.  Lots of fun pics to come!

This was a test shot and luckily, I had THREE willing and happy subjects for me to test my lights on.

Also worth mentioning, black Friday was a  big success!  I like to shop.  I LOVE good deals.  Black Friday is one big party with a bunch of strangers who like a good deal just like I do!

I’m feeling like the Holidays are under control so far.  I’m performing in a Christmas program at church where I have to sing a solo and memorize lines!  EEK!  Someone (who is NOT me by the way) has much more faith in my memorization skills, acting ability, and singing voice!

I want to squeeze as much in and still enjoy the Christmas season, so I’ve planned early and spaced things out as much as I can:

  • Christmas shopping– 90% done.
  • Christmas cards– DONE
  • Nutcracker Ballet– Got our tickets
  • Clara’s Tea Party (from the Nutcracker)– Going this week
  • Going to see Santa– On my schedule for this week
  • Festival of Trees– Going this week
  • Family Christmas Party– Scheduled!  (Should be lots of fun too!  We’re renting a lodge in Aspen grove for the night!)
  • Hannah’s ballet Christmas performance– This week.  (Be there or be square!)
  • Church Christmas party– This weekend
  • Messiah Sing-Along– This week
  • Lights on Temple Square–Scheduled

The Christmas season is OWNED this year.  🙂

Peer Pressure

Hannah and her cousin were playing dress up this weekend and this little guy didn’t want to be left out.

Remember how he REFUSED to wear a costume on Halloween and he went trick or treating dressed up as an everyday toddler instead?

You can imagine the SHOCK on my face when I walked down stairs and found him like this:

Oh my adorable-ness.  This wasn’t even his Halloween costume this year, (it was Hannah’s last year) but if I had known that all he needed was a little peer pressure to get dressed up, I wold have called their little cousin over weeks ago!

Let it be Known . . .

We did actually take our kids out trick or treating.  Did I take even one picture?


It was the equivalent of a blizzard but instead of snow it was rain!  We took our kids trick or treating to five houses and that was the extent of their experience!  Hannah was a fairy (see photo shoot here) and Dallin was supposed to be Batman, but do you think he wore his costume?  NO WAY!  I knew he would NEVER wear a costume, so I literally pulled a cape from the dress up box for him to wear.

We also took our kids to a pumpkin patch and they LOVED it.  ALL OF IT.  Again, no pics.  What can I say?  I’m LAME.

My friend Tricia came into town from Houston, and we enjoyed a lovely time at her mom’s house in Mapleton.  The kids chased the baby Alpacas, gathered eggs, rode on ATV’s, chased her mom’s cat, played in their amazing toy room, jumped on the tramp, and played on the swings.

Clearly, our next house needs to be a fun house like that!  The kids refused to leave!  Again, no pics.  Bleh.