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Showing posts with label weekend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weekend. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heroes' Day

Excited about her Junior Firefighter pin!
Over Memorial Day weekend, the fire department hosts an annual open house for the public, offering a free lunch, tours of the station, and a peek inside the fire engines. Aspen has never been to a station before, so I put it on my calendar as something to keep us busy while Kev (hopefully) worked on the master closet.

Despite the rain, we enjoyed the BBQ and stayed warm in the heated garage (I need one of those!) before taking a look around.

Truthfully, we spent the majority of our visit playing with the SNAILS on the sidewalk. Aspen is into bugs lately, and when she saw the dozen or so snails by the front door, she had little interest in anything else. She just kept picking them up and moving them from puddle to puddle. She was psyched when I pointed to one snail that had crawled over the entry to the station and was upside down above us. She couldn't believe it. I was at least able to talk to one of the fire chiefs for a while, and discovered he's also an east-coaster like myself. He actually lived in Portland, Maine for a couple of years and has been to my hometown of Freeport countless times. It's always nice to meet another transplant to Utah who loves both places (East and West) as much as I do.

I eventually dragged Aspen from her slimy friends long enough for her to get inside one of the engines. She spent mayyyyybe three minutes sitting in one, looking at all the equipment and pretending to drive until she shyly told me and the fire-fighter that she wanted to get down and play with snails again. SO HILARIOUS. The fire-fighter just laughed and lifted her out of the engine.

The only way I could get her to say goodbye to the snails was to point out that her shoes were soaked all the way through and we should probably go home for rain boots, and continue our snail hunt in our neighborhood. She really took that to heart, though, and snuck out of the house BY HERSELF while I was telling Kev about our fire station adventure. When I looked for her after a few minutes and couldn't find her inside, I about had a heart attack. Then Kev spotted her through the window, hanging around our front fence.

When I went out, she said she was just looking for more snails. I think it's time to take her to a bug museum or something. I don't have the heart to tell her that if I ever find a snail in our flower garden, I throw it into the street so it dies a slow, painful death and doesn't kill my plants. SHHHH.

Regardless of whether or not Aspen was actually into the fire station itself, I'm glad we went and met our local fire-fighters. I've been trying to explain to Aspen that they may look scary in all their equipment, but that they're a great group of friends who only want to help us. We actually bumped into a handful of fire-fighters in Sandy a couple of weeks ago at Cafe Rio and they gave her a sticker so thankfully she had at least one positive experience to draw on when we met the huge group of them on Saturday.

She was also pretty into the hot dog they grilled up for her, and the bag of Doritos she was able to choose. She kept saying it was neat they had something to eat that she really really really really likes!

Man, I love that kid.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's your lucky day - front yard flowers (year two)

The last few weeks I've been getting a lot of work done in the yard. Aspen and I have had fun going to nurseries and picking out plants, as well as just giving some love to the ones we already have from last year, and from the previous owners (i.e. the giant lavender bush). I don't know a lot about flower gardening, but I have a small library of books I've accumulated over the years, which have been helping me feel less naive. Also, I'm going with a lot of the same plants that we had in Ogden which thrived all on their own. So I figured I can't go too far astray with proven winners!

We planted snapdragons last year, and I didn't realize they're not actually perennials. In Ogden they reseeded themselves beautifully so I was tricked! I thought they'd come back again this spring, but only two of the four or five I planted last year decided to come up again. I did a little more research this spring and purchased some columbine, bellis flowers and ballerina reds to fill the front flower bed (my red columbine is staked right now because it's too close to the existing sprinkler and can't handle the beating!).

Kev salvaged this bird bath from a job he did, and very early in the spring he stuck it in the front corner of our yard. It's the perfect spot for the teacup bird feeder, too, because we can watch all the action from our front windows. I have loved seeing all the fat birds come and gobble up the food! It's hilarious when the bullies stake out a spot and scare away all the other birds who try to venture over. Aspen has really enjoyed it, and it makes me so happy that even though I left the feeder out all winter and it broke into a few pieces, Kev glued it back together and it has held this spring. I promise I'll take better care of it this year. And maybe make another one because they're so cute.

Aspen and I also used this spot to plant sunflower seeds she received from her Sunbeam teachers at church. I wasn't sure if we'd get anything, but as the weeks have gone by, five sprouts have shot up. She's pretty excited about them, and I'm hopeful they'll last. They'll be a great complement to the hollyhocks we planted here, too. Kev thinks hollyhocks are kind of annoying because they reseed themselves so voraciously, but that is exactly why I love them. They're super low-maintenance and they invite hummingbirds! What's not to love? I'm psyched to watch them grow four feet tall and take over this corner of the yard. Wouldn't it be so nice to walk by and have sunflowers and hollyhocks waving at you over the fence?

This side of the yard, next to our driveway, is another huge accomplishment. Kev fixed the sprinkler system last spring so it was at least getting watered for the first time in who-knows-how-long after we moved in... but the plants were pretty sad. There were a few perennials already here that I don't know, and I added some hostas this spring to supplement. Also, while out gardening on Saturday, my neighbor brought over a clementine flower that she said has the potential to spread and come back each year. Yippy! There's a big dead stump right in the middle of this plot which made it difficult for me to arrange everything how I had envisioned, but now that the mulch is down it's less obvious that there's a lot of bare space.

I'm surprised I have so much to say about our flower beds... mostly I want to brag about how amazing it is I'm not just sitting on the couch fighting nausea non-stop. It's been pretty uncomfortable to do all this work while so far along in my pregnancy, but it's so worth it. The yard has come such a long way and I'm so proud of myself for not starting a project and then leaving it entirely up to Kev to finish (yes, I did let him haul the bags of mulch for me, but I totally spread a lot of it all by myself!). It's so nice to come home to a yard that isn't completely dead and disgusting, too.

Next up: I need to fill a big teal planter to place by the front door to distract people from all the cobwebs and peeling paint.

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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Throwback Thursday

On Sunday Sophia and I were able to head to an old friend's house to celebrate her college graduation. It's so exciting to visit with friends like Brenn (and her family) because we go waaaaay back. When my family lived in Bountiful, Brenn's family lived a few houses up from ours in the cul de sac by BHS. Her family has kids that mirror the ages of the kids in mine and we had many fantastic sleepover parties/night game extravaganzas/mischief making adventures with that crew.

I'm so glad Sophia's out of school and living in SL County for a little while so she could go with me to see Brenn. It was wonderful to visit with Ron and Lalli and all the kids to catch up on life for a few minutes.

I can't believe that Sophia will be graduating next and applying for teaching jobs like Brenn. How are these girls old enough to be responsible for the education of little people?! I remember them being baby girls who ran around the neighborhood like hooligans, who took baths together and who ran up the street on Christmas morning to tell each other all about their new gifts.

*sigh* It makes a person feel old. I guess it doesn't help that I'm about to pop out another baby of my own.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Over the weekend...

Easter was nice this year; very low-key but we still covered all the important basics. I talked with Aspen about Christ's resurrection and what an egg hunt symbolizes. Then she got to do a two-minute search for eggs Sunday morning before church... in the living room. It was pretty much all I had energy for, but she obviously thought it was amazing even if I felt like it was lackluster.

Growing up, I remember getting a few key essentials on Easter, like a chocolate bunny. I never got a lot of toys or books or clothes. And I'm okay with that. Thankfully, Kev is also okay with not going all out and not treating Easter like Christmas. I think I spent about $12 on Easter stuff for both Kev and Aspen. Chocolate bunny? Check. Jelly beans? Check. Piggy bank money? Check. A couple of small toys? Check and check! Everyone kept asking her if the Easter bunny came to her house, and every time she replied, "NO MY MOM HID EGGS WHILE I WAS SLEEPING!!" So, uh, sorry if my kid tells your kid there's no such thing as the Easter bunny.

When we were outside BBQing with Seth later that evening, our neighbor Michelle came to our shared fence and told Aspen she had a surprise for her. She had hidden a few eggs in our front yard (filled with coins!) for Aspen to find. So we all went and watched Aspen hunt around for eggs again and it was so much adorable.

We live in such a great neighborhood that takes such good care of us. Just these little things make me feel so loved and so happy here.

And I can't forget one of the highlights of the day- Aspen's old infant swing (the kind that straps the kid in) finally broke after a couple of years of surviving the elements, so we pulled the big-kid swing out of storage and Seth hung it up for Aspen. She kept falling off and screaming about it, so Seth joked that she should put on her helmet.

So of course she did it. She put on a helmet TO SWING. It was so hilarious. I was finishing up dinner inside and I asked Kev to pretty please get the camera and capture this aspect of our daughter's personality. You might not think it of Aspen unless you know her well, but she's so timid! She knows how to speak her mind and pitch a fit, but she's a scaredy cat when there's the possibility of even the slightest threat to her person.

She continued to wear the helmet while going down her slide, riding in her police car and zooming her trike around the backyard. Safety first, I guess. She's such a cute little weirdo.

It was such a nice weekend, and I'm so grateful that although Kev worked straight through the night on Friday (he didn't get home till 530 Saturday morning!) he was able to spend the rest of the weekend with us without any work calls to interrupt the festivities (meaning: yard work and painting, ha!).

I'm looking forward to many more warm, sunny days ahead!

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Thursday, April 03, 2014


Before Aspen was born, Kev and I took a quick trip to downtown SLC and enjoyed a little getaway. I often get the itch around Spring to do something like that, so we call it my birthday present and I justify spending the money to get away for a mere 24 hours.

This year it was no different. And when my mom mentioned that she was coming into town again, I decided to use her for babysitting Aspen and go ahead with an overnight for just me and my Kev. I found a nice deal on Expedia and booked us a night at The Little America. I tried to talk Kev into going to Midway again because I'm obsessed with The Homestead, but he wanted to finally see City Creek so we settled on SLC. I know, I know. City Creek has been open for two years and he never went until last weekend. INSANE.


Kev came home a little early on Friday afternoon and we headed to Little America. I spent way too much time deciding where we'd eat dinner, and then we drove to City Creek beforehand. I rarely go without Aspen in tow, so I really enjoyed strolling through the mall without anything stopping me. And I got to go into stores that have some invisible force field that usually trigger Aspen's scream reflex! It was amazing! Who knew you could walk through Anthropologie without wanting to pull your ears off?!

For dinner I had crowd-sourced some ideas via Facebook, but ultimately I kept going back to wanting Greek food. Weird, because the last time I had Greek was when our friend Ken brought us dinner in Aspen's newborn days. I think he brought us gyros or something quite "normal" when it comes to Mediterranean fare, but for some reason the memory of it kept coming back to me. Kev had recently eaten at Aristo's with some friends, so we made reservations right before going.


I went all out and got some lamb ribs served on fries and if I hadn't been too self-conscious about being one of those people who photograph their food, I would have photographed that plate. It was another kind of delicious that totally hit the spot and it was presented beautifully. Aristo's recently underwent some renos and the space was so bright and quiet while we dined. I loved it. And that lamb was so good that before 10 the next morning I was eating the cold leftovers in our hotel room. Or, more accurately, on the sidewalk outside our room because Kev couldn't stand the smell of garlic that early. Haters gonna hate, yo.

After (my) second-breakfasts, we packed up and went back to City Creek to spend the rest of our day. I liked seeing everything with someone who's never been before; it's like how I felt all those times I took people back to Maine with me for the first time. Everything is shinier!

We had our lunch at City Creek and headed home so I could get ready for the baby shower later that night. Although we were actually gone less than 24 hours, it was a much-needed break for me. I did not once text or call home to check on Aspen (nor did I receive any communication from my mom about her the entire time we were away). It was so nice to be just ME and not MOM for a little while.

And even though it was pretty hard to talk myself into putting on a swimsuit at 29 weeks pregnant, I'm glad I did that, too.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Send it soaring

After church on Sunday we decided to harness the wind in our neighborhood and fly the kite we've had for YEARS and never yet used. Do you know what that means? It means we moved that kite from Ogden, to WJ, to the Lucky House without ever having used it before. Who does that?!

Aspen rode her trike to the park with me and Kev walking along with the kite and the dog. It was a beautiful day with so much wind Kev actually started to worry it'd be too much. After some finagling, he did manage to get kite flying a few times.

Hooray for family adventures!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

They were fine until he almost touched her blankie.

Last weekend we got to visit with the other Kevin Taylor family and have a BBQ and some pool time. It was a nice break from the loneliness of our neighborhood (which is full of bachelors...). But dudes, I'm serious that I live in the middle of nowhere. It took half an hour to get from my house to Murray.

It was well-worth the drive though, because Aspen and Milo get along really well. I guess it isn't hard for 2-year-olds to play; there's usually a lot of playing next to each other rather than with each other.

At the end of the night, the little babies were cozied on the couch together for some photos and Aspen decided she needed to get in too. She requested I lay her next to the littles and then Milo obediently joined in. It was toooo cute. Aspen even held Milo's little sister for about a minute. With the help of both Kev and myself.

I'm so glad that even though I'm not meeting anyone new, I have a few friends kinda-sorta-close already. It's great to spend more time with them and to let our kids get to know each other better. Also, having my brother stop by for lunch in the middle of the work day is pretty awesome too.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Starry, starry night.

On Sunday we had dinner with a few friends and I'm so glad we did! For one, all the little kids get along together really well. Also, it was the night of the solar eclipse, and we might not have made such a big deal out of it if we had been home alone.

Kev brought his welding mask over to Jon's and Sharice's so we could look through it and a pair of sunglasses and stare directly at the sun. Doesn't that sound like a really great idea? Well, it worked. And I'm not blind yet.
The shadows were so amazing! The kids played in the sandbox for ages while the adults got to chat and observe the eclipse. Jon's brother made a contraption of cardboard and aluminum foil so we could avoid burning our eyes out. There was a pin hole in the foil so the image of the eclipse could be projected through the cardboard tube onto the paper taped at the end.

So crafty.

Did you see the eclipse, too?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Captain Spontaneous

Last Saturday was one of those days. I didn't have any specific plans, and it turned out to be the BEST THING EVER.

On Friday, Nikki and I took the girls to City Creek, and I ended up leaving my stroller in her car. So when she texted me the next morning to let me know, I decided we'd go with the flow and just pick it up first thing.

Off to Roy we went, and after a quick visit with our friends we headed back to Ogden with nothing on our agenda. I kept thinking I'd take Aspen to the Treehouse Museum, but the weather was so perfect I didn't want to waste it inside.

That's when Aspen piped up in the backseat of the "BIG CAR" (as she calls it) and started talking about the airplanes she could see at Hill's Aerospace museum. Being the awesome mom that I am who never worries about schedules I took a detour and rerouted us to the museum instead of Ogden.


Aspen and I spent about an hour wandering the museum and playing in the children's learning center. She had so much fun pretending to fly an airplane in one of the exhibits. I only got a little worried when she started making airplane sounds followed by "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!" Who taught her that?

The best part about the morning was surviving without any snacks. I had one in my purse, but I'm trying this new thing where I don't give Aspen 100 snacks between breakfast and lunch. I'm finding that she'll actually eat lunch if she's hungry. Novel idea, yes? I guess if I just keep her occupied, she doesn't ask for goldfish or chocolate milk or bananas every ten seconds.

So yeah. Awesome morning. Followed by a lunch Aspen actually ate. And a walk to the grocery store to pass the time until Daddy came home and put Aspen down for her nap. A nap during which I went to GAP to redeem some gift cards/credit card reward points and bought myself a hot pair of red skinny jeans. Perfection. Absolute perfection.

The greatness doesn't stop there, folks. I went to a book party and ordered Aspen some great reads while she and Daddy had an afternoon snack at home. I rode a bike for the first time in maybe 6 years. Aspen figured out how to take her shirt off and cover her naked belly with stickers. We ate grilled veggie burgers and asparagus in the backyard for dinner. And then Aspen went to bed so Kev and I could catch up on our shows from the week.

It was just one of those days.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life can be a dream, sweetheart.

After church, naps, (a surprise visit from Seth) and dinner, the whole family retired to the backyard at the Pink House for some reading, hammocking, and general merriment.
Sounding out the big words
Aspen loves books so much. When she was in bed later that night Kev and I watched a program on how horrible America's educational system is. It makes me scared for when she's in school. I hope we can afford a Charter school, and that we can make it past the waiting lists those kinds of schools usually have. I'm not wasting all these hours of book reading now just for her to decide later learning is lame!
Aspen discovered she can walk across Daddy's back without falling down and breaking both of their heads open. Although, whenever she plopped onto the grass, she did yell "SORRY GRASS!" every time.

Trying to escape
Sunday was basically spectacular. Seth stopped by at the tail-end of Aspen's nap, so we all stood around her crib like a bunch of stalkers and then woke her up. She was so excited to see Seth and maybe more excited to see his dog, Samson. It was hard to convince her to get out of Seth's truck when it came time to leave. She loves playing in it. There may have been some bribing with cookies.

I'm so glad when we have days like these.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bon Voyage

Last weekend I got together with both of my brothers for one last hurrah before Jeshua and Julia move away from Utah. I managed to keep it together until 7pm Saturday night when I started crying and it took me an hour to finally say goodbye.

And then I cried a lot of the way home.

But in order to avoid dwelling on how sad it is to say goodbye, we'll focus on how wonderful it is that I actually care my brother is moving. What if I didn't care?! What if our daughters weren't friends?! I'm actually glad that it bothers me so much they're moving. That's love.

Saturday morning Julia and I took the girls to the driveway for some coloring. And road rash (Little!) There was also some frog hopping and elephant walking. But mostly Little tried to figure out how to get into the 40mph traffic in front of Seth's house. Fun! I guess she was just jealous that the boys were out doing "man" stuff and she was expected to stay home and color.

Once the boys returned from shooting things in the west desert, Julia and I left them with the babies and ventured to H&M for the first time. Joy! The boys let the babies climb in Seth's rock-crawler so they could connect with their masculine sides. The playground is for suckers who don't have access to Toyotas.

It's a really good thing we didn't take the babies shopping with us because A) H&M on a Saturday afternoon is INSANE (and we weren't even at the City Creek one) and B) the babies really really really liked the truck.

Cuddles with "Signing Time."

Okay, now I'm remembering how hard it was to say goodbye and I need to go cry in my pillow for a little while.