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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lagoon 2009

For the past few years my Dad's work party has been at Lagoon. This year, the majority of the family went along. I left home around 9:30am and was the first to arrive. One by one, the family came along. All the kids but Tanner showed up and we had a great time. I had forgotten how tiring Lagoon can be though. Lifting and carrying the kids just made it a little crazier (and more fun.) We lucked out with the nice weather - I don't think it got above 80 degrees after 1pm, although the wind picked up in the late afternoon. The kids had a great time and the adults had a great time watching them and joining them on rides.
Now that the "triplets" are three, they can go on a lot more rides. I think Wyatt's favorite ride was the airplanes, Lauren's favorite rides was the flying animals, and Isaac just wanted to be moving. Aaron was able to go on a few rides and actually did pretty well. Sidney and I went on quite a few rides. I can't believe how fearless she is. She wanted to go on the Wild Mouse, the White Roller Coaster, the Tidal Wave, and other fast rides. We rode in the front car of the White Roller Coaster, per Sidney's request. She loved it! I think I screamed more than she did. She and I played a few games as well and she ended up winning a small duck. Mom and Dad fed us pizza for dinner and we didn't leave until almost 10pm. I'm amazed at how long all the kids lasted, especially since none of them took naps. They all had so much fun. Thanks Mom and Dad, for inviting us to have so much fun.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I haven't been camping in quite a while. Oh course, I don't know if I can really call this camping. We slept in cabins with bunk beds and glass windows, there were flush toilets and running water (including showers,) and we ate food prepared in a kitchen by the pavilion. We stayed at the Heber Valley Girls camp. Despite the lack of tents and non-flushing toilets, it was good. Two other singles wards were invited besides mine.
I left work early on Friday to get ready. I bought a sleeping bag on Thursday, which worked really well. I also bought a sleeping pad, which didn't work as well as I'd like. Anyway, I ended up at the church at 5:30pm with roommate M. Even though she had hurt her back, she still wanted to go. We ended up taking Natalie, a girl from the ward, as well. It was a nice drive up. The first thing I noticed is that it was about 10 degrees cooler in the mountains. As the night went on, it became windy and colder. We had a potato bar for dinner and then listened to a speaker. After the speaker there were skits, which I didn't participate in. I went down to the fire pit, where most of our ward ended up (we all decided that we are the old grumpy singles ward.) We didn't have marshmallows but some people toasted Mambas, Starburst, and Red Vines. We talked and joked around. By 11:30 I was tired and cold and ready for bed. I tried to blow up my mattress but it didn't seem to work properly. (Let this be a lesson to everyone about testing camping equipment before taking it camping.) The cabin was pretty cold since it had cement floors and not a whole lot of insulation. It was still really nice though.
Lights were out by 1am but I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable until almost 4 am. I was awaken at 7:30 by some girls packing up. I left my warm sleeping bag and took a trip to the bathroom. Breakfast was at 9am, by which my entire cabin was packed up and cleaned, and consisted of pancakes, eggs, sausage, and hot chocolate. It was still windy and looked like rain. Roommate M's back was killing her so we decided to leave early. All in all, it was fun. My favorite part was sitting around the campfire and tables talking to people in my ward. There is something about food that makes people talk and share things they might not when just sitting around. I didn't end up taking many pictures, but I've included a few.

May Celebration

Last Sunday I went up to my parent's house to celebrate mother's day and May birthdays (Dad and Britnie.) It was nice enough that we got to eat outside. We ate a great meal and had chocolate trifle for dessert. The kids and I had a great time trying to play t-ball. Trying to teach Lauren and Wyatt to hit the ball, drop the bat, and run around the bases was hilarious. Lauren would hit the ball and run with the bat. Wyatt would hit, drop the bat, but then run the opposite direction of the bases. Sidney was able to help me teach the kids. Tanner wandered over every once in a while but was more interested in the t-ball stand than the bat. It was a lot of fun. For our Mother's Day gift and Dad's birthday, the kids decided to refinish Mom and Dad's deck. We are planning on doing it on June 13th.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bowls for Isaac and Aaron

The more time I spend at Color Me Mine, the more time I want to spend there. I was able to finish the bowls for Isaac and Aaron. What do you think?

Monday, May 18, 2009

We had more fun than Lauren's dad

On Thursday I was able to drive up to Salt Lake and babysit Lauren. I arrived early and Lauren, John, and I walked down the block to buy some lemonade at a lemonade stand. Afterwards Lauren and I threw some balls around outside while we waited for Nana and Poppy to arrive. Once they did, we went to the Red Butte Cafe. The food was good and Lauren started to really worry that her parents were going to the theater. I think she was worried that her parents wouldn't be back for days. Once we got home, Lauren and I waved goodbye to her parents and her grandparents. All was well and Lauren and I left for the park. We had a great time on the playground and walking around in a little wooded area. We ended up staying until 8:30, her usual bedtime (whoops.) We walked home and put on pajamas. We read a lot of books and sang some great songs. For a three-year-old, Lauren can really hold a tune. She finally got to bed at 9:15pm (sorry Jen and John.) It was a lot of fun to spend time with her.
After Lauren went to bed, I finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Overall, I think it is a pretty good book. I would give it a B or B+. While it quoted directly from Pride and Prejudice, it was still a little choppy in the transitions between Austen and Grahame-Smith. I thought the idea was very original and look forward to his next book, which is apparently a book about Abraham Lincoln and his abilities as a vampire slayer.
After finishing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which had a pretty bloody final fight scene, I started a book of essays by David Sedaris. Jen and John got home, where John expressed his dismay at the seeing Miss Saigon. I'd seen it and had told John that there was a helicopter in it and that it had some great music. I neglected to tell him about the tragic ending that might make his wife cry. The poor guy was blindsided. I left soon after John and Jen got home and I was able to get home by 11:30pm. Overall, it was a great night. I really wish I could spend time with all my nieces and nephews.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

San Diego - day 4 (the end)

I awoke on Saturday morning with the sad knowledge that I would have to fly home later that day. As I was getting dressed Mom called to tell me that the Sunday Mother's Day celebration was off due to her being sick, and not wanting to infect her dear children and grandchildren. I got dressed, attempted to look pretty,and met Josh, Brooke, Tanner, and Ava for breakfast. I gave them the news of the rescheduled celebration, to which they were pleased to know that they could now be included in the party to be held next weekend. They were sad that Mom was sick though.
We ended up at the Corner Bakery Cafe again where I, once again, bought a cinnamon crumble muffin and a hot chocolate. Even though I also ate eggs and potatoes, the muffin and hot chocolate were the best part. After breakfast, during which Ava had fun sitting with her Aunt Jess, we went to the gaslight district. (Every time I held Ava she had a good time playing with my shark necklace which I had purchased at the Sea Life Aquarium on Thursday.)
It was mentioned by either Josh or Brooke that the gaslight district was once known as a den of harlots (or a place where women of ill repute sold their wares.) The area has been cleaned up since then. There was a great five story outdoor mall where Tanner had a great time riding the escalators. Ava slept through most of it. I loved walking around. Afterward, we were trying to figure out something to do before I had to go to the airport. Since there wasn't anything that would fit into the slot, it was decided to drop me off early at the airport. Since I had a bunch of work e-mails to wade through and the kids were getting tired of getting in and out of the car, I thought it was a good idea. I bid my dear family adeu and went into the San Diego airport. It was sad to see them drive off, knowing that the rest of my weekend would be a big bore compared to playing with them.
I waded through a bunch of e-mails, set up some meetings, and then started listening to the book on cd I had brought with me. (I would highly recommend the non-fiction book Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, who is a contributor to This American Life on NPR.) We loaded onto the plane where I had a whole row to myself (how boring) and I watched tv. We hit some turbulence and I got airsick. I just barely managed to keep my lunch inside my stomach. By 5pm I had landed at the airport. I waited for my luggage to arrive, trying to pretend that my stomach felt ok.
I stopped by the post office and the store on my way home. The stomach ache was briefly ignored when I found that I had received three books in the mail (that I had been waiting almost a month to receive.) I started Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last night and should have it completed by Thursday. Afterwhich I will most likely begin Dead and Gone, which is part of the Southern Vampire Series. (Not to worry, I will review both books for your amusement.) Lest anyone think that I only read science fiction or fantasy, my order also contained The Complete Book of Questions. I was sick to my stomach all night and awoke on Sunday with a huge headache and fun bowel issues. My roommate, E, let me know that she had found ants in our kitchen the day before. (I guess that's what happens when I take a week and a half off from cleaning and no one sweeps, vacuums, mops, finishes all the dishes, or cleans their food off the counter.) Luckily, roommate M had at least thought to buy ant traps and put them out. I hope to have the pesky insects gone by the end of the week. I was still feeling airsick by the time I went to work on Monday morning. Luckily, I have since recovered.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tanner's bump on the head

We interrupt this San Diego trip overview to bring you two sad pictures indeed:Tanner was playing on the bed, which I was laying on, when he promptly fell and bumped his head on the bedside table. He cried and immediately formed a goose egg on his head. The poor kid was fine after five minutes but gave us all a good scare. I decided to take a picture of he and his dad a few minutes after that. Tanner is amazing in the fact that he seems to have no fear. He will swing and jump around with no concern for his personal safety and received several scrapes and bruises on this trip. Poor kid (good thing he has such a great attitude and parents that have strong, heart-attack-proof hearts.)

San Diego - day 3

After the heat of Legoland, we decided to go to the beach on Friday. I dressed in my swimsuit, my new shorts, a t-shirt and flipflops and opened the door to find an overcast and windy day. Such is life. We had breakfast at a great little place called the Corner Bakery Cafe and made our way to Mission Beach. The wind was pretty stiff but we went down to the waves anyway. One foot in and I pulled out of the Artic Circle/Pacific Ocean water. Josh was brave enough to actually go all the way in while I stayed on the shore and held Ava, who looked ever so fetching in her hat. Tanner, come to find out, was afraid of the waves. He didn't like them coming towards him and he definately didn't like his father going into the ocean. He would point to his dad in the ocean and yell a horrible warning and start to cry. It's almost like he had drowned as a sailor in a former life. I got some pretty cute pictures of Tanner running away from the waves and holding on to his dad, as well as a picture of Josh sitting on the beach looking at the ocean with Tanner standing behind him (see left.)
Anyway, after hanging around the beach for a while we walked around Belmont Park and decided to go back to the hotel and go swimming in the warm pool. The pool turned out to be warmer than the ocean but still not warm enough for my tastes. I retired to the hot tub. At least Tanner and Ava were able to get in and splash around a little. Having had enough of the water and the overcast sky, we decided to find something else to do. After showers and new clothes, we drove down to the Maritime Museum, which we discovered cost $14 per person and was very stroller unfriendly. We decided to not go in and wandered the pier until we were all tired. The pier had some great sculptures (see right.) After Tanner and Ava fell asleep in their strollers and the adults were all tired we headed back to the hotel. Overall, the sights were lovely but the weather was not. Tanner actually started to say "Hess" when pointing to me, which I considered a great compliment, and Ava wasn't shy around me at all. I love being an aunt.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

San Diego - day 2

I decided to set my alarm for 8am since Tanner and Ava would be up by then. I awoke, got ready, and then we left for breakfast. We had bagels at Einstein's Bagels and headed off for Legoland. We arrived shortly after they opened and started wandering around. I bought a hopper pass ($73) which allowed me to go into Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium next door. We walked around and found out that Tanner was fascinated by the miniature cities made out of legos. He would stare at them and watch the cars drive around. There was a miniature Washington DC, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco among others. We had to basically drag him away. I pretty sure that we could have spend two hours with the little cities and he wouldn't have gotten bored. We found a few rides that Tanner was old enough to go on. Legoland is a pretty cool place but they don't have many rides for children under 36 inches tall, which was too bad since Tanner is only app. 34 inches tall. It was a very hot sunny day and I ended up getting a pretty bad sunburn (yes, I forgot to apply sunscreen.) I was wearing pants so only my face and arms got sunburned. We had hamburgers and then went to the Sea Life Aquarium, which was nice and cool. Tanner liked looking at the fish but liked climbing the stairs even better. Sadly, most of my pictures of the aquarium didn't turn out because they asked us to not use flash photography when photographing the fish.
Back in Legoland, I was amazed at the number of statues that were made out of legos. I had my picture taken with Darth Vader. Brooke and I went on a roller coaster, then Josh and Brooke took their turn. By 4pm we were all hot and tired. We went back to the hotel and then went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. All three of us got pasta, which was good. I ended up with a piece of Godiva chocolate cheesecake which was wonderful. It was a good day but very hot. I was glad that we went to Target that day. I ended up buying a pair of shorts and sandals to wear the next day to the beach. I slept really well despite my sunburned arms and sore shoulders (from lifting kids.) I checked my work e-mail before I went to bed and dealt with an issue or two. We had planned to go to the beach on day 3 so I was excited.

San Diego - day 1

I awoke at 8am on May 6th, got ready, and headed off to the airport. I, of course, missed the exit for the Park n' Jet and parked in economy parking (for $6 a day.) I met Josh, Brooke, Tanner and Ava at the gate. Tanner was pretty shy with me, as was Ava, but he warmed up to me a little after I shared my peach rings with him. We got on the airplane and took off. Tanner was pretty unhappy having to be in his carseat. After we took off and I got my drink, I was able to go up and sit by the rest of the family. Tanner got out of his seat and hung out with me. He opened and closed the window coverings and I taught him how to turn on the lights above the seats by pressing the buttons. Luckily, the row I was sitting in was empty besides me.
I never knew how hard it was to travel with small children. I have to give credit to my siblings and any other people who fly with children under the age of 3. In an airport you have to watch them all the time because there are so many people. Plus, you have to juggle strollers and luggage. All in all, I think Ava and Tanner did really well on the flight. We got off in San Diego to a sunny and slightly humid day. We caught the shuttle to the rental car place. Josh then spent over an hour in line. Tanner fell asleep on the shuttle and slept in his stroller while I sang Ava to sleep. They both slept until about 5 minutes before Josh and Brooke got the car, which turned out to be a minivan (thank heavens.) We strapped everyone and everything in and made our way to the hotel. After checking in we decided to go to LaHoya Beach as well as the beach next to it. We walked down the side and even got down on the beach (if you can call it a beach.) The first part we went down didn't really have sand, but it did have interesting rocks and tidepools. The waves would dash against the cliff and spray water up. Tanner had a great time wandering around but was a little shocked when a wave crashed up on us and got him wet. It was a lot of fun. The adults took turns staying up on the walkway with Ava and her stoller and going down with Tanner. We continued to walk down and ended up at LaHoya Beach, where we saw the seals. Afterwards we went to dinner and turned in early. (With each post I will only be showing a few photos. For a larger variety of pictures, click here. Also, I imagine Josh will be uploading many more pictures on his website when he returns.) All in all, it was a good first day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Caleb's Birthday

On May 5th, Caleb would have turned 5. Many members of his family joined together to plant a tree in his honor. His father and grandfather took care digging the hole and placing the tree and his family members, including his younger brother and younger cousin, helped fill in the hole and pack down the dirt. I still miss him so much. While the passing time has lessened the pain some, I still think of him often.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Three new bowls

So, as you scanned this post, you may have noticed that there are only pictures of two bowls, despite the title clearly saying that there are three. This is because I forgot to take a picture of Lauren's bowl before I gave it to her. As you may know, dear reader, I have decided to make a gift for each of my darling nieces and nephews. I made Sidney and Wyatt cups, for which I received a great phone call this morning. (Sidney and I talked for ten minutes before I realized that I was going to be late for church. She is so funny and smart.) Anyway, back to the whole three bowl vs two bowl situation. Yesterday morning Lauren called me. She was staying with her Nana and Poppy while her parents went on a date. Due to the weather, and her extreme love of me (the aunt said humbly,) they had decided to come down to Orem to visit. After they arrived we went straight to the library, which is the hottest place in town for my nieces and nephews. It turns out they were having a Cinco de Mayo celebration with dancers, so we stayed to watch. Afterwards we wandered around while Mom called Aunt Diane and Uncle Larry to see if they wanted to join us for lunch. We ended up at Mama Chu's, a mexican restaurant. Lauren ate the chips and salsa, which were actually pretty spicy. She said that she liked it, despite her runny nose and eyes. She then ate a good amount of rice and beans.
After lunch we stopped by Jeff and Heathers to see the home improvements. Heather is such an amazing designer. I then thought it would be nice to stop by Color Me Mine to see if my newest creations were done, which they were. One was a bowl for Tanner and the other was a bowl for Lauren. A picture of Tanner's is in this post but I was not able to get a picture of Lauren's yellow and orange bowl before it was sent home with her. The third bowl, pictured below, is from a Family Home Evening activity we had last week. Our singles ward invaded Color Me Mine and we all painted on the ward's dime.
After picking up the bowls with Lauren and my parents, we strolled through the Riverwoods were Mom proceeded to have a pretty bad allergic reaction to the Juniper Trees. I had no idea she was so allergic to them. We made it down the the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where Poppy bought us all some chocolate. We returned to my house and I received some good gardening advice from my parents and Lauren got her diaper changed. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

(As a postscript to this blog entry, it is important to note that the order of my creation does not in any way show a preference towards one niece or nephew in comparrison to another. Also, it's important that all my siblings know that these dishes are microwave and dishwasher safe.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009


In honor of my brother Jeremy, here is my list of interesting links:

Gifts for the kids

So I decided to make a gift for each of my nieces and nephews. Here are my first two:

This is Wyatt's mug, which I decided to do in green. The inside of the cup is light green and speckled. I made the stripes by covering the mug with tape.

Sidney's is a light pink mug with a speckled handle and inside. I was hoping it would turn out darker but I don't think I put enough coats on. I made them at a place called Color Me Mine, which is a pretty addictive place.
Anyway, I mailed these out on Friday and I hope to finish up the rest sometime in the next two weeks. I think it's nice to have something with your name on it, especially when you're young. I hope to post pictures of the next 6 projects as well.