Thursday, April 21, 2011

Las Vegas...round two

Yep, a week later we returned to the Tahiti Village with our friends Landon and Brittney Wimmer and their little girl Sailor. The Wimmers are also doing summer sales and they talked us into joining them for one last hoo-rah before the guys move to Oklahoma. I'm SOOOO glad we went, we had the best time!

This is our first family vacation Ryan and I have been on that didn't include my family or going to see Ryan's family. We love taking our girls out door to explore and hike and Emma was a champ to climb to the top of this rocky mountain with Ryan.
In the evening we went out with the Wimmers for dinner at rain forest cafe. Yes the girls loved it, but the food quality did not much the prices they were charging, but the atmosphere almost made up for it. Afterwards Ryan and I took the girls to see the Bellagio water show and garden. Las Vegas Strip is rather disgusting and I will never take my kids out at night again. There were times when Emma just had to close her eyes and hold Ryan's hand because the papers on the ground were so disgusting. I am so glad we did not stay on the strip or have much to do with it. I do have to say that the photo in the bottom right corner on this collage is not painted, it is made with fresh flowers, it was worth the visit.
We were supposed to go home on Friday but just couldn't bring ourselves to do it, so we extended for one more night and I'm so glad we did. The hotel has a great grilling area and we had the patio to ourselves as we enjoyed the yummiest BBQ dinner, definitely my high for the day.

Our last day we just vegged and hung out at the pool all day! We had left overs from the night before so we grilled up another BBQ spread for lunch and we all just relaxed and soaked up the sun. We truly had the best time as a family, and also loved getting to know the Wimmers, especially since we will be seeing a lot of them this summer :)

The next day after our trip Lydia slept until nearly 3:00 in the afternoon!! I guess all that sun and fun finally caught up with her. We went to my parents for a thai dinner that my very talented sister made and then enjoyed crepes and four square with the rest of my Utah family.
Ryan worked in the yard ALL day in the POURING rain. The girls and I stayed inside, nice and warm and enjoyed life as usual.
I took Ryan to the airport at 6 a.m. for him to start his summer sales job. I'll be joining him in a month. Until then, I will eat as much girl food and salads as I can before I have a man too cook for once again.
I sure do love my most recent purchase from Real Deals.
The girls and I sat on the front porch and snuggled up watching the thunderstorm. They were both a little nervous about it, especially when the thunder literally rattled the windows. But it's moments like these that are the highlight of my day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Peanut Butter

I have been putting hair tinsel in Emma's hair lately and I love the little pizazz it gives her. I'm surprised how often strangers are stopping her to check it out. I'm so glad I just did it myself instead of going to the salon. One of many thanks I owe to ebay.
We had a date night with our friends the Wimmers. We took the Front Runner to SLC and played cards on the way down there. For a four person pass it was only $6 a couple round trip, that's cheaper than gas prices. Then we had our favorite dinner at Thaifoon where the Thom Kah Gai soup is unbeatable!!

Saturday we had another date night with my sister and her husband. We normally don't do back to back date nights but we're trying to get in as much of them as we can before Ryan leaves. In the photo below it looks like Cody is my brother, instead of my sister who I very sadly look nothing alike. We went to an all you can eat Sushi restaurant in Layton and it was DI-VINE!!

Sunday we had an early Easter celebration since Ryan will miss out while he's gone. The girls were so excited about everything and I just love doing for my girls what my parents did for me.

This is Peanut Butter, Emma's build-a-bear she got for her birthday. Because Emma loves it so much, then Lydia loves it so much. It's the cause of a lot of fights. As the oldest Emma has to give in to Lydia A LOT, this is one area where we don't make Emma give Lydia something of hers. So although this bunny can be trouble, it is also the cause of bonding when it's Emma's own choice to share with her little sister.

Tuesday I took Emma to Bates Elementary to register her for Kindergarten and give her the tour. My heart was pumping so fast the entire time we were there. I can't believe my little girl is leaving for school! There aren't really words to describe this melancholy feeling I have. I'm so happy for Emma to have this experience, but my heart just kind of aches inside. Oh, I guess there are words, that describes it just right.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Three generation girls trip

My mom, Emma and I just had a three day blissful girls trip to Las Vegas. The first five hours were driving in the snow, so that made this trip an even better treat for us.

We started by going to the Excalibur so Emma could be in a real live castle. We saw three different 4-D movies/rides that were fun for all of us and also rather clever. My mom refused to go on the Sponge Bob ride but joined us for the Log Ride and Happy Feet.

We then ate at Rain forest Cafe which was the highlight of Emma's day, even at thirty I still get excited about their atmosphere. Then we hit up M&M world and walked the strip for a bit. This was conference Sunday and it was QUITE the contrast to how we typically spend our Sundays. Man alive, Vegas tourists are sooooo skanky! Where are they coming from? We were all too happy to not be staying on the strip.

Our hotel was bomb-diggity! It had a view of the strip, but we were spared the casinos, smoke, and pornography. I don't think I will ever stay on the strip again. Tahitian Village was the name and it was so nice and had the largest rooms and best pools, all for $72 a night! We were right smack in between two awesome malls and had a kitchen in our room so we didn't have to eat out every meal, even though we still pretty much did.

Monday we just laid by the pool all day. Part of the pool had a sandy beach entrance and Emma played there all day with her mermaid and various friends.

The lazy river is something that not even I have outgrown. We had a blast going between this pool and the main pool.

I loved that this hotel wasn't laced in rules. We could put our lawn chairs in the actual water as well as our table while we both enjoyed our books. My mom ordered us a Pina Colada, that is one of my favorite tropical vacation traditions, and it really added to the experience for me :) Silly, but it's the little things that make such a difference.

Tuesday we went back down town to enjoy some of the unique exhibits the big resorts offer. We went to the Secret Garden at the Mirage hotel to check out their Dolphin Exhibit. This was money well spent. I ADORE Dolphins, and this was the closest I've ever been to them.

There weren't the bells and whistles that Sea World has, but there also weren't the crowds and expenses either. It was fun to watch them play and seemed like a great environment, IF you have to live in captivity that is.
Emma has been saving her piggy bank money and so she bought herself this little dolphin, Bella, named after the baby dolphin that lives here. It hasn't left her side since she bought it.

There was a mediocre Cats exhibit with white tigers. It was much more like a zoo, but more unimpressive. Oh well, the dolphins gave us our money's worth.

We also went to the Bodies Exhibit at the Luxor hotel. I have wanted to see this for years! Photography wasn't allowed, so we had to be sneaky. This was SO fascinating and beautiful. I could have spent far more time here, but having a five year old in tow was limiting. This man I am standing next to was filled with medical body replacements. His knee replacement looked like a car part!! It was soooo incredible to see. I definitely recommend this to anyone who gets the chance. It's a true testament that God created us, we didn't just "evolve."

This is the only photo we have of the three of us. It was SOOO fun for me to be with my mom, and also my daughter. How often does that get to happen? My mom has always been my best friend and I could never ever get sick of her companionship. Emma was such a joy to take on this trip. She is at such a fun age, and I noticed that more when I didn't have a one year old demanding so much time and attention. She was so excited about everything and so grateful. I never understood before, but now I do understand why people travel with their kids. Spending time alone with my girls is always such a treat and really strengthens my relationship with them. I hope I do one on one trips much more often.

The hotel was right in between two fabulous malls and we enjoyed shopping at each of them. The Town Square mall is a step above all others I've ever been to. I will sorely miss the warm weather but I am so thankful I had a nice little break from the snow.

Wednesday we spent the day driving home. Lydia had missed me soooo much, sadly, I think more than I missed her. But once I had her back in my arms three days of missing her came to the surface. She hasn't left my side since I got home, and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reality Check

Monday Ryan flew out with his Vivant team to get licensed and trained and get a reality check for the summer of knocking doors that is ahead of him. After four days he was missing the girls like crazy, I don't know how he is going to go SIXTY days without seeing any of us!

I kept plenty busy while he was gone. Tuesday I had a long over due photo shoot with my little "baby." It makes me sick how fast she is growing up. But until baby number three comes (which is still a couple years off) I will always think of Lydia as my baby.

This photo is my FAVORITE! This little girl knows EXACTLY what she is doing, and that little face just proves it.

Emma continues to take dance every Wednesday and is really learning a lot about technique, not just cutesy dance moves. I love her teacher and the dance program.

Emma had her first sleep over with her little friend Addi. We came up to my parents house to spend the night and the girls played so well. I never even saw them! I also never got a great photo, but this photo summarizes how most of their evening was spent.

In the morning we took the girls to breakfast at the local restaurant in Paradise. I hope Addi continues to make more appearances on my blog, she truly makes my job easier.

Saturday I took Lydia over to the Jensens where she would spend the next four nights with them while my mom, Emma and I went to Las Vegas. This photo looks like Lydia is trying to find a "happy place." It's just that her taggy blanket puts a spell on her. No doubt Lydia had more fun staying with the Jensens than if she would have come with us to Vegas. Thanks again for keeping her!!