What to do When You are Stir Crazy in the Winter

Have I mentioned HOW LONG the cold season is in Utah? It’s like eight months long.

If you ever find yourself trapped indoors for more than a few days at a time, you start to get creative out of desperation, not because you are inspired. ūüôā

My kids get in their bathing suits and jump off the couches into a pile of blankets and they think they are swimming.

They draw, run intervals all over the house, and probably watch too many movies and TV shows.

Hannah likes to “play” the violin, so she makes one out of markers, sets up her music, and we turn on some classical music for her to “play.” Honestly, she could do this for hours and by the looks of it, she really gets into it. ūüôā

Dallin likes to do anything Hannah wants to do, so they make great playmates. (Especially since he LOVES to watch Tinkerbell more than Hannah does!)

He doesn’t like to sit still for pictures AT ALL. He wants to see his face on the LCD screen before you even snap the shot which is sort of impossible and leads to great disappointment like this:

This kid never says “what” either. It’s always, “WHY?!” When you call out his name, “Dallin!” he will instantly reply with “WHY?!” I swear that is kid is up to something and he knows it! ūüôā The best is when you ask him something, like, ‘Come here Dallin!” and he replies, “Nevermind!” and runs the other way. It’s awesome.

On a random note, I took the kids to McDonald’s the other day so they could play in the play center, and Hannah befriended a little three year old girl. I overheard parts of their conversation and couldn’t help but smile. Hannah told her she was five years old, and that she already goes to kindergarten. Hannah then told the little girl, “You have such a cute little voice!”

Oh. My. She is four going on 24.

Family Christmas Party

This year, my family rented a big cabin up in Aspen Grove (it’s just above Sundance for those of you not familiar with Provo Canyon . . . Sundance as in Robert Redford and the Sundance Film Festival) for our family Christmas Party. ¬†It was a one big sleepover with lots of fun things to do . . .

We didn’t sleep over though . . . ¬†it was the night of Hannah’s performance in the Nutcracker, so my little family didn’t join the party until the morning.

Honestly though, it sounded like no one got much sleep in the big cabin with lots, and lots of bodies.  (He! He!)

We braved a big snow storm to get to the party. ¬†It was a “chains or 4-wheel drive required” kind of drive.

It didn’t stop snowing ALL DAY LONG. ¬†The kids didn’t care though, Hannah LOVED sledding! ¬†(And do you think I was responsible and brought my camera? ¬†No. ¬†Pics courtesy of ¬†the iPhone.)

This hill is really quite long and steep. ¬†I heard through the “Probst family grapevine” that my nieces and nephews (the older ones, like eight and up) were up until 1:00 AM sledding on that hill.

Oh.  My.  No wonder no one got any sleep!

I know it’s practically impossible to tell in this picture, but those little ant size dots on the snow are¬†skiers at Sundance.

David and both let out a sigh when we saw them, skiing on fresh snow.

Seriously, we haven’t skied in 12 years.

TWELVE.

Not that I was a big ski bum or anything, but it is fun.

We had a lovely family party and it’s nice to have some of my family nearby to share the holidays with!

Christmas Morning!

Santa found our house again this year (it doesn’t matter how many times we move, he still knows where we live!) and he didn’t disappoint!

The morning started at 1:00 AM when I finally went to bed. ¬†At exactly 5:45, Hannah jumped out of bed, ran to me, and in a very, very, loud whisper said, “MOMMY! ¬†I THINK SANTA CAME!!!! DO YOU THINK HE CAME?”

As I earnestly tried to awaken my body from it’s sleep deprived coma state, my lethargic body won and no matter how hard I tried, I could not will myself out of bed. ¬†In an effort to buy myself some time, I somehow mustered out the words, “Hannah, go see if he came.”

Well, out she went, quick as a flash, and back she came into my room in 2.5 seconds, poking ¬†my coma-state-sleeping body, literally yelling, “HE CAME! ¬†HE DID! ¬†HE REALLY, REALLY DID AND HE BROUGHT PRESENTS!”

That did it.  Nothing like a voice as loud as a fog horn to wake you and the entire household!

This is what Santa brought.  I was busy taking pictures of this set up at 12:30 AM, so I blame my need to incessantly take pictures for my late night.  (I would never just stay up late for no good reason.  What?  You think I would mill around following my nose all night?  NEVER!)

Dallin is a bit OBSESSED with Cars, and obviously, Santa knew that because he brought him almost every car from the collection! ¬†It’s too bad that Mack doesn’t carry more than six cars, Dallin has been trying to figure out how he can carry 50+ Cars . . . no luck yet. ¬†ūüôā

This is Sheriff . . .

And this is Sarge.  They are both new to his collection.  The Cars were his favorite set of presents until . . .

He opened his electric train set which Santa just knew he would love!

It has kept him busy ALL DAY LONG, EVERY DAY since he opened it.  THANK YOU SANTA.

Hannah scored a lovely collection of Barbies and Polly Pockets.

She loved this outfit so much, she wanted me to take a picture of it. ¬†She intentionally closed her eyes (she is not blinking here) and when I asked her why she closed her eyes, she said, “Well. ¬†Mom. ¬†I really wanted you to focus on the ice skates, that’s why I had to close my eyes.”

Smart girl. ¬†ūüôā

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Nutcracker 2010

Hannah was invited to join the cast of the Nutcracker!  She is the youngest member, playing the part of the littlest part girl during the opening scene.

She practically exploded from every cell in her body when David told her she was invited to be a part of the cast. ¬†The Nutcracker is by audition only, ages seven and up. ¬†Hannah was SUPER disappointed to hear they didn’t take four year olds . . . but¬†apparently, they need one! ¬†She is beyond thrilled, and we are excited for her too!

Get your tickets today!  Hannah will be performing on Friday night, December 17th, 2010.  The performance is at Covey Center For The Arts on Center Street in Provo.

It will be WORTH it!  Live Orchestra!  Professional ballet company dancers!

HANNAH WILL BE DELIVERING THE PERFORMANCE OF A LIFETIME! ¬†ūüôā

Buy your tickets at Covey Center For The Arts here!

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. ¬†ūüôā

Winter Running Gear

It turns out . . .

That this is a good look for David. ¬†ūüôā

After David didn’t shave for a few days, I encouraged him to grow out a beard for fun, you know? ¬†He’s never grown one and seriously, why not?

I also like the way his hair curls when it’s a bit longer, so his hair is getting longer too. ¬†I have a real mountain man on my hands! ¬†(Which, you know, is totally fitting since we actually LIVE at the base of the mountains.)

Lots of people have asked us why he is growing out a beard and because we are quite literal people, we always tell them, “Because he can.”

Plus, a beard is excellent for winter running.

It also turns out that I’m not the only one who thinks he looks dapper this way . . .

He was asked to model as an extra in a Christmas commercial for the LDS Church which was filmed last week.

The commercial was shot in downtown SLC and will air at the end of November through December. ¬†I’ll post a video when it becomes available!

Fall Foliage

Did I mention how much I hate the weather in Utah?

Well,¬†I don’t . . . ¬†not always anyway.

October has been the MOST beautiful month. ¬†Every day has been in the 70’s which is perfect park weather.

The leaves are past their peak in the mountains, but they are just reaching their peak in the valley.  I was scouting out a new location with some fall foliage for a few upcoming shoots and I found this spot just a few minutes away from home:

Utah is beautiful and I will stop complaining about how it’s cold eight months out of the year. ¬†Instead, I will complain about the cold weather during the seven months it’s cold. ¬†ūüėČ

Salt Flats

Last year, when we moved back to Utah from Kansas, I mentioned to David that one of the things on my bucket list was to visit the Salt Flats which are West of SLC.

They are amazing, and it’s a popular location for people to come look at tons, and tons of salt. ūüôā

Because I am a Probst at heart (which by definition is¬†synonymous¬†with being a lover of “all things salt”) I knew I needed to see the world’s salt mecca. ¬†ūüôā

It only took a mere three hours to drive to this spot out in the middle of nowhere, but it was a poppin’ place when we got there!

The kids loved all the open space to run, and run and run . . .

But they did not like it when they both fell down on the gritty sharp salt crystals which drew blood.

And I’m just going to point out the obvious . . . SALT and BLOOD are a bad mixture as evidenced by their uncontrollable cries.

I love this face SOOOO much.

This is not our car, but it was beautiful against the white salt and blue skies as it drove out on the salt.

This little bullet is actually a motorcycle. ¬†You see, we happened to drive out the Salt Flats during the very time some people were trying to break the international land speed record for motorcycles. ¬†This motorcycle is encapsulated in this bullet-like-thingy to make it more aerodynamic. ¬†The world record for motorcycle speed is 367 MPH. ¬†This motorcycle had to beat that speed by 1% to officially “break the record” so it had to get up to 371 MPH that day.

Bummer, it only made it to 366 MPH and we were all so disappointed. ¬†I mean, we drove ALL THE WAY OUT THERE and it couldn’t even go 4 MPH faster to break the world record?! ¬†ūüôā

Oh, and guess what else?  An air show was going on in Wendover as well!  Turns out we picked a good day to drive out to the Salt Flats!

David enjoyed a little run WITH shoes (as many of you know, he is a barefoot runner) protecting his feet from the sharp salt crystals.

After our nice little outing, we drove a few more miles (and by a few, I mean like five) to Wendover, Nevada for dinner.

It’s fun to discover Utah. ¬†Maybe we’ll stay a while.

I’m bursting at the seams to do a photo session on the Salt Flats, any takers?

Labor Day Weekend? CHECK.

Labor Day weekend:

Swiss Days? Check.

Swimming at the Lindon pool for the last time this summer?  Check.

Attended the baptism of good friend’s daughter? ¬†Check.

Girls night out with my sister-in-law Angie?  Check.

Family get together?  Check.

School at AAU started?  Check.

Ate LOTS and LOTS of Hi-Chew?  CHECK!

Photo session with my favorite little girl?  CHECK!  CHECK!

(More from this shoot coming up!)

My Besties

These are my best friends from elementary school, Jr. High, and High School. ¬†We’ve known each other for . . . a long time.

Amidst all the family fun and activities surrounding my niece’s wedding, I was able to get together with my friends.

We live all over (especially me!) and the stars aligned that night for us to get together.

In this photo: Me, Katie, Ashley, Lindsay, Katie (who lives in CO), and Pam (who lives in AZ).  (We are missing Tricia who lives in Houston and just had a baby.)

It was such a fun night, talking and laughing the night away while eating fried ice cream.

Getting together with these girls was the shot in the arm I needed to keep me going. ¬†It’s been a L-O-N-G four years of medical school, and it was fun to jump into my carefree self and laugh the night away.