Monday, May 26, 2008

Recent Happenings

We have been very busy with family in town and lots of little adventures. Although I try to avoid working backwards in life I am posting these pictures and events in order of the most recent and then going backwards.
Ryan's sister Julie came to spend a long weekend with us. She just happens to be one of my closest friends and with her three is never a crowd, it's always a party. Emma has been waiting for her visit and would tell us everyday how Julie was going to sit by her in the car, that's all she wants these days, is for someone to sit by her. We had so much fun and it makes me that much more excited to go to Oregon this summer.

Ryan's parents and nephew Taylor were passing through town on their way back from a reunion, so we met up with them and took them to our favorite restaurant Taiphoon at the Gateway. Nothing beats their Thom Kah Gai soup, it's a must have!

Afterwards we toured Temple Square because Taylor had never been there. I don't care how many times I've been, it has never lost it's effect on me.

I don't think there could be a more beautiful place in the whole state of Utah then where we were standing to take this picture.

I would assume that every library offers this program, but it's definitely our favorite Thursday activity. For 30 minutes someone reads, sings songs, and does activities with the kids. It makes for great social interaction for Emma and is also a great reason to get out of the house. Lily joined us last week and these pictures just say it all with the little "ham bones" that these girls are together.

My favorite walking trail is the Ogden River Parkway. Last week we had a little FOOFS activity and loaded the squids up in the joggers and walked down to the Pelaton's Cafe for lunch. It's so nice to have friends who are game for anything.

One thing that just can't be beat is that my Aunt Lee will say "Can Emma come and spend the weekend? The kids miss her and we need some entertainment." It's one wonderful thing to trust who your leave your child with, but it is a whole other ball game when those that you trust the most are actually wanting her to come and stay, for no other reason then they just like her. Priceless. So this is a picture of my two favorite "babysitters" in the whole widest world.

There are few things in this world that are better than sisters. I am so thankful to have a unique relationship with each of my sisters and I have really learned to value their differences and how each of them has something to offer that the others may not. What a blessing to come from a family of all girls, and to have a mother that works as the glue that holds us all together.

I think my family is on to something. We've been meeting for Sunday dinner at the half way point for all of us in Brigham City. We bring a yummy picnic and let the kids play. Having races is a favorite and also playing kick ball. This last time we met it was Caleb's fifth birthday so Sara brought a yummy Costco Cake (the best cake out there) and also brought a piñata for the little squids. I hope to make this a more common Sunday dinner, including the costco cake.

Emma doesn't get candy very often, so she was pretty pleased with the "guts" that fell out of the piñata

I am pretty pleased with Emma's balance of all things girly, but also her love for rocks, sticks, dinosaurs, and anything boys can do. Ryan is a little worried she'll be a tom boy, but I say more power to her!

My sister Stacey and her husband Todd came to town with their youngest son Brody. We had them over for a yummy times dinner and love having them to ourselves.
Brody is exactly a year younger than Emma and he was pretty into that little Bucky Bunny.
My mom took us to get pedicures and out to lunch. If Stacey lived here I think my friends would never see me, I'm pretty sure she would monopolize all my free time. Of all my sisters I think Stacey is the one I have the most in common with. My yearly visit to Portland to see Ryan's family gives me one extra visit a year to see Stacey and I really think it helps strengthen our friendship.
I could have lunch every day with these two girls and never get sick of it. This was at the Bistro on 25th street and I had the yummy yummy baby greens salad, delightful!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Stroll in The Park

My family is a very active family. Most vacations revolve around something athletic, and I've always cherished that. However this month my whole family decided to do some form of participation in the Ogden marathon and I just wasn't interested, running isn't my thing. I am thankful that in the end my parents encouraged/forced me to just walk the half marathon with my mom and I am sooooo glad I did. We had the best time and it made me want to look into the world of running a little bit more.
Jamie, mom and I walked the half and just laughed and talked the entire time. I'm sure some of the "elitist" runners were not amused with how lightly we took this task.
It started in the Ogden Valley and the roads were closed so we could have the prettiest route in the whole state of Utah. Seriously, Ogden Valley is the best kept secret.
My mom and dad are just true rock stars and are such an inspiration to me of staying fit and healthy.
Definitely the highlight was when my mom had us stop just a mile before the finish line to grab a diet coke and some peanut butter cookies. We were cracking up at the insanity of it all. This one little pit stops just sums up so much of what I adore about my mom.
My sister Stacey and her husband Todd flew in to compete in the race. This was Stacey's 8th marathon and she has participated in many tri's and even an iron man, so this was like a Sunday stroll for her. Todd is a great supporter of her hobbies and I am so thankful she has a man who encourages her.

My parents are 60 years old! I can't even believe it. My dad ran the half marathon in 2:08 and I am just so proud of the example he is setting and for his desire to stay strong.
Sara and Cody also ran the full marathon in a relay, and it was so fun to meet up and congratulate everyone at the end. Everyone was actually feeling pretty good, but they thought it would be a funny pose for the camera to do a visual effect of how they would be feeling later that night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

My day started off smelling so yummy! Ryan had gone the night before and gathered together the most beautiful bouquet of lilacs and snuck them in the house just before we went to bed. So it was a very beautiful surprise that morning. Also in keeping with the smell good theme he got me the yummiest lime twist salt city candle. I don't know what is with me but yummy candles are my all time favorite!
Then in church I was at first very worried when to my surprise I saw his name on the Sacrament program, but again he was right on top of it. He had been asked to speak on Mother's and do a little tribute to me, and he did such a great job! He shared some of the key points that Julie Beck made in her talk Mother's Who Know, then he compared how I apply those in my life. My most favorite part was when he said how I never really liked school, and never really liked working, but that I always did what was needed of me. Then he went on to say that when I had Emma I really came into my own and that this is my true calling in life and he just talked about how I've waited my whole life to be where I am and I am just making the most of it and cherishing every day. That right there means more to me than any gift or any worldly offering he could make. For him to recognize that, and also say it aloud is just priceless to me.

After church we went to a park in Brigham City to meet in the middle. We all had a food assignment and had a very yummy picnic to keep the Sunday dinner minimal on my mother. We loved this arrangement and hope to do it at least twice a month while the weather is still really nice.

We played kickball and had races and then we washed it all down with yummy cream cheese cupcakes! What a great mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

5 things about Emma

Emma was tagged by her friend Addi to share 5 things you may or may not know about her. So here goes...

#1 Emma is a man's girl
She has always preferred men over women since she was a little girl. She would even wander off to strangers and hold her hands up for the man to pick her up. Although she adores her grandpa's the most she also has on her list of favorites Mike Jensen, Paul Griffin, and recently added Googily. The ironic part is that she does make one exception, and that is the fact that she is definitely a mama's girl.

#2 She has really cute legs

At first I thought it was just cause I was her mom that I loved her little athletic legs, but then some of my friends said something about them too and I knew it wasn't just my "mommy goggles" that had me thinking so. I just love her little calves and the fact that she is almost always bouncing.

#3 Emma still sleeps 12-13 hours a night
Glory glory hallelujah

#4 Emma is really smart and loves to learn
Besides knowing all her colors and shapes she knows over 60 different animals and species and can recognize 48 famous places and worldy wonders thanks to the National Geographic flashcards. These pictures are of Petra and Angkor Wat.

#5 She has a great sense of compassion for others "owies." Due to the many accidents and "owies" Emma has had she has developed a great sense of compassion and awareness of others pains and bumps and bruises. She hasn't stopped talking about Papa's broken arm for weeks now. She is quick to notice something that doesn't belong and always has to kiss it better. All though it is sweet, it's not so sweet when she is troubled by a zit, cold sore, or ugly mole that she knows is out of place.

The top picture is when a wrought iron gate fell on her head (her second trip to the ER) notice the bruising around her eyes. The bottom picture is days after she grabbed my chi hair straightener.

We want to tag Jaken, Kennedy, Spencer, Brooklyn, Makenzie, Kalli, Taylor Pickett, Lauren, Crew, and Cam Jensen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

Yesterday was my sister Sara's birthday. She is the one just above me. This day has been a long and dreaded day, but I was pleased to discover that she handled it with enthusiasm and lots of presents :) For a while there she had me convinced that I would soon become her older sister since she didn't want to move past the age of 29. However she has changed her mind and decided to celebrate a new decade.

So here's to you Sara, and your new house, your darling boys, your hunky husband, and your energy and light you bring into any room you walk into. I hope this new decade is your best one yet!!!

Front Runner

Last weekend my cousin Kylee and her husband Brody came to spend a couple nights with us before Brody went to Brazil. Then Kylee stayed on with me for a couple more nights to play and break up her time being alone. Kylee is my closest cousin and she is 7 years younger than me. We have always been really close and the age gap has never seemed to be a problem. It was so nice having her all to myself again and so I could drag her along with me in whatever adventures I wanted to do that Ryan wouldn't play along with.

One of many things I had Kylee do with me was try out the new Front Runner Train that goes from Ogden to Salt Lake City.

The train was $10 round trip from Ogden to Salt Lake, so not much cheaper than gas, especially not if you go in a group. We found it to be really smooth and it was a very nice train with beautiful views. I am hoping that they are still working on some kinks and will get everything worked out in a few more weeks, but it took us an hour and a half just to go from 25th street to Gateway, which by car would have taken 45 minutes.

We went to the Gateway to play and shop and eat at Thaiphoon. Emma is really into dinosaurs and this Little Poot (Foot) dinosaur comes with us everywhere we go now. Notice him in the background of many pictures.

I thought it would be funny to put Little Poot on one of the fountain holes so he would go flying into the air. I didn't plan on Emma running out there to save him, and in the process having the fountain spray her directly in her face. I will admit it was pretty dang funny, and I was trying my best not to laugh.

By the time we were headed home it was 10:30 and Emma was well past bed time and really rather bored. She passed the time by playing in her stroller basket and trying to push the stroller up and down the aisles.
If this train wasn't so new and still in mint condition I wouldn't normally let her lie on the floor, but I was just happy to have her be entertained.

So my final vote on the Front Runner is to give it some more time before tyring it out, or perhaps go if your child isn't the busiest little beaver you know. I think it would be way fun for a date night, they had tables that you could play cards on or have treats or whatever.