Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zoe D'Lynn and the Blustery Day

A few mornings ago it was uncommonly windy. It was actually nice as it made it feel as if it wasn't 90 degrees at 10:30 in the morning. Zoe, as always, was having a great time playing in the backyard so I grabbed the camera to document the beautiful day (and the cutest kid ever).

Friday, June 27, 2008

Flashback Friday: Wedding Announcements

This is just a quick one to commemorate two of our friends that are getting married. Not to each other, but we found out about their engagements around the same time. And we happen to have compromising photos of each of them. Enjoy!

This is Jeremy. During college super hero contests he masquerades as The Smoocher. He was James' neighbor and/or roommate for 4 years and my home teacher before James and I were a "thing." And now he's getting married.

This is Lindsay. Once upon a time, when James was living with Steve in a trailer in Auburn, she made him a birthday cake. About 6 months later, James and Steve decided it would be a good idea to wrap the whole cake (dish and all) in plastic wrap and mail it back to her (in Provo). Isn't that sweet? It was so sweet that Lindsay kept the thing around a while longer (like as in MONTHS) until James visited and snapped this lovely shot. I'm hoping that the cake is still around somewhere as I'd like to see it at the reception in September.

Word of The Day

It's a fairly innocent book. The title, Where Are My Glasses? pretty much summarizes the entire plot. We've read it about five times every day for the past week (thank goodness it's a library book and will eventually have to go back). The rhymes are simple and predictable and Zoe knows every single one without being prompted. So, for our third reading of the day when I read, "Are they under my..." and left room for Zoe to complete the sentence with "bed," she paused, gave me a sly look, said "HEAD!" and fell over laughing. For about 10 minutes. She just knowingly made her first joke and she loved it. Half-way through the laughter I grabbed the camera to document the occasion. Fortunately the joke was still funny.

Warning: this video is cute and long - don't feel obligated to watch the whole thing. But don't feel self-conscious for watching it over and over either.

As a side note - our new schedule is working out better than I could have hoped. I have actually been productive this week. And I have had more quality time with Zoe. More quality time = more blogworthy moments. Fortunately the schedule has also given me more time to blog so I should be updating more frequently than I have over the past couple months. Look for Flashback Friday coming at you late tonight!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Summer Winds of Change

AKA: "Shaking Off the Lethargy of a Long, Long Winter"

I'm lazy. That's what it all boils down to. Sure, I've thought of other excuses - we've been traveling, had company, the weather was terrible, we moved, I'm pregnant, etc. But in the end I think I have just let myself become lazy. So things are changing around here.

#1 Dig the new blog design? I've been working on it for quite some time and figured I'd better get it up so I can enjoy it before it's time to dress it up for the Fall.

I also updated and changed our lists of blogs - they have been categorized and put into Blogroll format, which now includes a mini-feed to see when you've updated your site (this nifty feature is available through Blogger now - just go to customize, add page elements, add Blogroll). If you have a problem with your blog being on here, not being on here, or how it's listed, let me know and I'll fix it. My deepest apologies to all the blogs for "James' Homies" - I was entering addresses as fast as I could when the page refreshed and I lost all that I had worked on. I was about 90% done and didn't feel like restarting. But I will get to it (as I've asked James to and he has refused).

#2 The Staycation. Shortly after receiving our Utah Valley Adventure Passport in the mail, I decided it was time to figure out what the heck to do with our time this summer. I made a list and then started scheduling things that had definite dates - concerts, fairs, etc. - on the calendar. But I couldn't stop there so I went ahead and tentatively scheduled the rest of the events as I saw fit. Here, if you're interested, is our list of places to go and things to do. You might just see us there!
The only thing missing is a trip out to California to visit friends and family. We are in desperate need to see you people but we just can't seem to make it work. With James' work schedule and some of our scheduled "must do's" - not to mention that gas is sitting at $4 a gallon and rising, oh yeah, and pregnant ladies don't like long car trips - we just don't know how to fit it all in. But we haven't given up hope yet!

#3 Scheduling Makes Perfect. After penciling down our entire summer, I thought that I should attempt to put my days and weeks in some sort of order. For a long time I've been envious of the cool stuff my friends do with their kids. They seem to have it all together, but getting it together just seemed a bit too daunting to me. Finally I mustered enough motivation to organize my life.

First I broke my day into half-hour units, then I thought of all the possible things I would need time in the day to accomplish, and finally, I scheduled like I have never scheduled before. For Zoe, I can gather activities and fun stuff to do with a focus on different topics each week. For me, I've scheduled in time for housework, projects and reading books that don't have pictures. Hopefully our days will be much more productive. It takes me a while to change, but when I do, I pretty much embrace it fully and go well beyond what is necessary (for better or for worse).

I'm excited to have some structure so Zoe and I can enjoy these few months we'll have of being together in the warm weather before Fall, and Owen, come and throw a wrench in everything.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Lake

Did you know that we had a lake 20 minutes from our house? Actually, we have a few up in Payson canyon. Last Saturday (the 14th) we went up to check it out and scout out some camping spots. It is absolutely beautiful there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jump, Jump!

Many of our friends have ventured to Kangaroo Zoo so we jumped on the bandwagon. Quite literally. We had a great time. Zoe was timid at first, crying "Done! Done!" every time we tried to take her on the slides, but after we forced her down a few she warmed right up. Still I think her favorite part was running and jumping on the padded floor. Here are way more pictures and videos than you would ever care to see:

Here are some close-up shots of the face Zoe made EVERY time we put her down the slide. At the bottom she would hop up with a big grin saying "Down the Slide!" so I guess we didn't traumatize her too much.

Monday, June 16, 2008

One Week in Heaven...

We might have to nickname our house Neverland Ranch because it seems to be the perfect place for 10-year-old boys. For the last week we've had James' mom and his nephew Tre visiting us. I was a bit nervous about Tre coming as I have absolutely NO experience with children (other than Zoe) and very little tolerance for them (Zoe included). But it was awesome. Apparently, the combination of video games (particularly Mario Kart, Zelda, Wii Sports, and Wario Ware), Simpsons DVDs, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, 15-year-old Goosebumps books, and a bubbly 2-year-old who thinks everything you say and do is absolutely hilarious, equals vacation heaven for a 10-year-old. Oh, and we went to Kangaroo Zoo, the lake, and a couple neighborhood parks (look out for those posts coming soon). So I apologize for our extended absence, but our office has taken on the role of guest bedroom and, as you will see in the pictures, we've been keeping very very busy.

Oh yes, our house is also heaven for grandmas - all meals prepared, the Twilight series, and a bubbly 2-year-old who thinks everything you say and do is absolutely hilarious.

And I should probably add that having two extra sets of hands is heaven for mom too. Tre was great at keeping Zoe entertained and never failed to think of something fun to do. James and I got to sneak away on Friday night and go out to eat and then hit a movie. A real movie. Half-way through I remembered why we never went to movies while I'm pregnant - I CANNOT sit that long comfortably - but the date was well worth the pain and actually paying "full price" (read: more than $1) for a movie. We went and saw the new Indiana Jones movie which, despite numerous plot holes, was fun. And it was the second movie about "The City of Gold" that we saw this week. We rented National Treasure 2 for kicks. I'd have to say that the most unbelievable part about that movie is Nicholas Cage's dye job. Yikes. I hope whoever did that got fined.

So bear with me as I delve into our camera's memory card and pick out some gems for you. Hopefully I should have everything up before our next family visit in 2 weeks!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flashback Friday: Yearning for Summertime

I almost remember what it's like to be warm more often than not. Today is June 5th. As in, the same month wherein begins Summer. As in, two weeks SINCE Memorial Day weekend. As in, I have the heat on and I'm wearing sweats today. And it snowed in the mountains. What the...? Yup. It is our second cold rainy day today so I had to turn the heat up. Last night Zoe slept in her winter pj's with the space heater on. Did I mention it's June 5th?

To help me remember warmer days, here are some great summer-time activities from, literally, warmer days:

Gearing up for a trip to the lake/river/pool/whatever with buddies.
Buddies include: Ben, April, LaDonna, Lindsay Abel, and James.

Here's one from the same trip, but this shot also includes Steve, LaDonna's face, and three of her younger siblings - Jay, Codey, and Julia (correct us if we're wrong)

And nothing says "Summer" like a dozen half-naked Italian boys jumping into a dangerously shallow river. Am I right?

Well, maybe nothing except a picture of me doing the same thing.

Now, say it with me, "It WILL get warm, it WILL get warm, it WILL get warm..."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What Happens in Vegas....

I think I failed to mention that my brother got married in Vegas. I should also mention that we drove down for the wedding. It was great. Well, at least parts of it were great. Here are the highlights:

Zoe only slept for about 30 minutes of the 6-hour drive down there, but we got to eat at the only In-N-Out in Utah. My parents got us a room at Bally's and since we were only there for one night and that one night was a weekday, they bumped us up to a suite for free. It was awesome - and more spacious than our last apartment. Thursday night we had the pre-wedding dinner with our family and some of Garrett's friends that came out as well. It was a buffet so it would have been a nightmare with Zoe under normal circumstances. So adding her lack of a nap during the day, and the fact that we woke her up from an evening "nap" - that probably would have lasted through the night - to go to dinner, we really had our hands full. Her dinner consisted of a plate of shredded cheese and 2 ice cream cones - courtesy of Grandma. We had a bunch of people and they crammed us into a tiny room so we were constantly climbing over each other to get in and out.

On the brighter side of things, after 4 years of marriage, James (and Zoe for that matter) finally got to meet my other brother Grady, and along with him, his long-time girlfriend Cindy, whom I had yet to meet. Also at the dinner was one of my two cousins close to my age and a few of Garrett's high school friends I hadn't seen, well, since high school. After dinner we - us, my parents, my two oldest brothers, and their significant others - hung out in front of the Bellagio fountain passing the time between shows.

Back at our sweet suite, we put Zoe to bed then crashed on the king-sized bed. The morning, which Zoe decided began at 6 am, was uneventful. We ate - James and Zoe got kicked out of the "gaming area" while they were waiting for the rest of us to finish our meals - walked around, repacked all our stuff and moved it 2 doors down to my parents' room so we could check out of our room. After Zoe screamed herself to sleep for her nap, I met up with one of my buddies from high school to reminisce.

Soon enough it was time to get ready for the wedding. As we left my parents' room I had the sick realization that I had no idea where Zoe's pacifier was. Needless to say, James spent the ceremony wandering the 14th floor of the Paris Hotel with her - they got kicked off the floor with the wedding chapels because she was that much of a nuisance. I found the pacifier in the stroller at the reception, so things got much better after that.

The reception was simple - sandwiches and cake in my brother's suite. By the time dinner rolled around, the majority of my family planned to hit some fancy-pants sushi joint. James and I decided that for everyone's sake it would be better if we excused ourselves. That night we drove an hour to Mesquite to stay with my aunt and uncle. We had pizza and James and my uncle talked about golf. A pretty natural topic since they actually LIVE on a golf course. It was probably the most relaxing time of the entire weekend. The next morning my parents stopped in and then we were off again. Another stop at In-N-Out and then we were home. Zoe slept the whole way back, but I think her recent sleeping schedule of 10 pm - 6am with no good naps might have had a hand in that.

Despite all the not-so-good stuff I really had a great time hanging out with all my big brothers. And speaking of marriage and all that, Happy 48th Anniversary to my folks!