Friday, August 27, 2010

Return to the Lake

I don't think it's any secret that we love to go up the canyon to Payson Lakes. It is so beautiful up there. We especially love showing it off to our family. For the first time in several years, James' dad and stepmom visited us during a warm-weather month so we packed up the car and spent the day hiking to the grotto and playing in and around the lake. It was a great day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fun for Zoe's 4th

Zoe is Four. Or, if you ask her, she's "twenty nine four." It's a little-known number between four and five. I'm surprised you've never heard of it.

Moving on. My parents were here for the big day and we had a nice time together. Zoe got a new scooter, lots of nail polish and lip gloss, and some fun things to go along with her Ariel-themed birthday. I found a cake online (for the life of me I can't find the link anymore, but if I do, I'll post it) and did my best to duplicate it. It was a bit of a mess, but I think it turned out pretty cute.

Now to bore you with the details of Zoe's life. Zoe is a fun little girl. She has an excellent memory and is finally going through the phase of asking me "why?" a bazillion times a day. Most of the time she already has an idea of the answer she wants to hear (whether or not it is a logical answer to the question) and just likes to hear me tell her what she already knows/thinks. It's cute most of the time and the bane of my existence the rest of the time.

Zoe is potty trained (mostly). If she decides she is a "big girl" then she does fairly well. She also wears certain clothes, is better about eating, and speaks very clearly. When she is a "little kid" she only wears certain things, has many more accidents, doesn't speak, and makes me cut all her food into tiny pieces "so I don't choke." So I never know which Zoe I will get throughout the day. Mostly I'm getting better at rolling with the punches and being very careful which battles I choose to fight.

Zoe's favorite color is pink. Then purple. She will tell you an exact order, naming every color she can think of until she gets to "sparkle." It's her favorite color after orange. She loves Tinkerbell and I must say I myself am excited for the new movie to come out in a month.

She has some really great friends in the neighborhood who love her despite her indifference towards them and the near-constant whining. Preschool is starting back up in a couple weeks and I am excited for that. We'll have 8 kids in our co-op preschool so that should be an adventure.

So that is Zoe's life right now. We have some more exciting news but I'll wait to post that until I catch up with the rest of our summer fun.

Oooo! Intrigue!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Smallest World Ever

Right after the 4th, my parents arrived for a Turley family gathering and Zoe's birthday. On the 5th we went up to Salt Lake City to represent our little branch of the Turley family (my mom's mom is a Turley). Oddly enough, we ran into Dr. Bennet - the man who delivered me. So that was pretty neat-o.

[Disclaimer: I am aware that my hair looks like crap and I have squinty eyes and neither child is looking at the camera and the picture itself is slightly out of focus. I'm posting it anyway.]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Watch Out Miley...

Zoe made up a catchy little tune the evening of the fourth. She sang it the rest of the night.

(Sorry this took so long to post. Blogger was giving me grief about uploading the video and then James pointed out that he had already uploaded the video to his Facebook account and Youtube, so here we are. I'll put up Zoe's birthday pictures later this week.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fun on the 4th

For the Fourth we watched the Stadium of Fire from our usual super-secret spot (which has become not-so-secret over the years). We staked out a spot then went to In-N-Out with our neighbors, did a little birthday shopping for Zoe then went back to our spot to hang with the Nelsons and the Namannys. As usual we brought tons of toys and activities for the kids (bubbles, nail polish, hula hoops, etc.) and enjoyed the time waiting for fireworks almost as much as the fireworks themselves.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Once More to Oregon

The weekend after Girl's Camp was the memorial service for James' Grandpa Tom. Some gracious and wonderful neighbors watched the kids for a day so James could leave for Oregon and I didn't have to miss too much fun at camp.

I wish the kids and I could have joined the Archibald family but we just couldn't make it work. James had a great time anyway.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Three days after our trip to New Mexico, it was time to pack my bags again - this time to go camping. The best part about being in the Young Women's organization is being able to go to Girls Camp. I haven't been since I was 17 so I was pretty stoked to go. This year our stake was able to go to Heber Valley Camp and it was simply amazing. Since we have a small group we got to stay in one cabin. It was a great week - hikes, canoeing, zip line, crafts, awesomely funny cheers, the best skit in the history of camp skits, junk food, and hanging out with the coolest girls and leaders in the world. It was also the first time I've ever been away from my kids for more than a few hours.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Eyes Have It

It's my birthday today. It's been a pretty good day so far. I've received all my favorite things- breakfast in bed (my favorite place to be in the morning), the new Arcade Fire album (one of my absolute favorite bands), a cookbook from The Range Cafe where I worked in high school (one of my favorite restaurants and jobs and I love to cook). Also, James is staying home from work to give me my absolute favorite thing - TIME! I get to do things (like blog and work out the menu and pay bills) without interruption from the kiddos. Loving it.

One of my new favorite things which I am enjoying today - waking up and being able to see. My parents' big present to me this year was springing for Lasik surgery. I had my eyes lasered two months ago and I love it! The procedure itself it pretty much the creepiest thing that has ever happened to me, but I'm free of contacts and glasses so it was worth it. Plus I got Valium and that was fun. I've had glasses since I was in 3rd grade and contacts since 8th grade - that's 13 years (or nearly half my life) that I've worn contacts. So I am really enjoying my new-found freedom. Even if it does mean I'm another year older. They say 27 is the new 24, right?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Celebrating 50 Years

Ok, forever ago I mentioned some projects I was working on for my mom. This is what I've been up to: I created and mailed out the invitations to the 50th Anniversary party (including custom return address labels), handled the RSVPs, scanned images and processed video to create a slideshow, designed a DVD and DVD case (James was a big help in this area), arranged the photographer for our family portrait, and helped coordinate the meals for our family dinner.

I made enough copies for all of my siblings and their kids to have one, plus I included all the scanned images and video footage as files on a DVD-ROM. It was a pretty big undertaking and I enjoyed every second of it. Here is the final product:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Has it Been 50 Years Already?

My parents were married June 4, 1960. That's 50 years ago. Even though I've only been around for about half of that time, it was time to celebrate. All of my siblings and their kids (except the one on a mission in Brazil) gathered at my parents house for a weekend of family, food, and fun.

On Friday we had a nice family dinner after getting a family portrait taken (the first professional one since I was about 5). We talked and played and just enjoyed being around each other. This is the first time I've been with all of my siblings since my Granny's funeral about 11 years ago. We surprised my parents with a new television and then we watched a slideshow of pictures and video of my parents throughout the years (I'll post that tomorrow separately). Then we planned another little reunion for 2012. It was really a great night.

The next night we had a catered party at a hotel with live music. It was nice to see some of my parent's friends that I normally don't get a chance to visit with, and again have more time around my siblings. We ate and danced (I have to send out a HUGE "Thank You!" to my nieces and nephews who watched the kids all night - helping them eat dinner and then chasing them around the room so I could talk and dance and generally not worry about them), watched the slideshow again, and stayed until nearly midnight. I made a bed out of a few chairs and Zoe fell asleep. Before the night was over my nephew Bryson sacked out next to her.

Sunday I got to go to stake conference with my mom and a friend from high school. There is a stake center across from my old high school! And hundreds of new homes. And a new Aquatic center. And a library. I barely recognized the area.

Monday we celebrated my nephew Elijah's 7th birthday with a trip to Chuck-e-Cheese's. Now that is a good time. My dad played ski ball!

Tuesday we headed to the Albuquerque Zoo. I love that place so much (it's so much nicer than Utah's Hogle Zoo). It was hot but we stuck it out and saw everything. Owen was asleep about two minutes after we strapped him into the car. Zoe was out after 5 minutes.

Zoe and Owen had a great time getting to know their Eldridge and Darnell cousins and I loved being able to let them run around mostly unsupervised. It was a much-needed family gathering and I can't wait until we do it again!