Friday, October 3, 2014

Arizona

We were invited by our friends (and Anton's co-worker) for a weekend in Scottsdale to see their new home. It was SO FUN!! Us and their next door neighbors were invited. We had never travelled with either couple, so we were a little curious how we would do. You know how you can have great friends, and then friends you can also travel with? Turns out, they are both! We had a blast. I don't remember the last time I have laughed that hard. Anton and I walked away saying that Christopher is easily one of the funniest guys we have ever met. He had us laughing the entire weekend! Bob and Rene's house was stunning, and it was so kind of them to invite us. We went golfing (yes, Anton golfed - a little!), played games, put Anton to work on projects (so funny), went swimming, went to a movie, ate food that was beyond delicious, and relaxed. It was so fun to be with Anton. We love our girls to pieces, but it was nice to have some time away. It had been a long time since Anton and I had spent several days away, and it was so great. We had a ball, and we are hoping it becomes a tradition!!




(This picture makes me laugh because we put Anton to work killing hornets, taking care of the bat problem, killing bugs, fixing door handles etc.)

Claire's 1st day of school

Oh Clairey...I can't handle your cuteness!! If she would let me, I could snuggle her all day long! She was so excited to go back to Miss Lories. Every night when we would tuck her in, she would ask how many more sleeps until she got to go to school. So, when the day came, she was ready! She was a little bit nervous about a particular "mean girl" being in her class again, but she was lucky and this little girl wasn't in her class this year, so it has changed her whole perspective about school. She enjoys it so much more this year. So far, every time a school day rolls around, she is super happy to go. She has a little homework folder she brings home (practicing her letters) and she loves doing it. I think she feels like such a big girl since she has a backpack, a homework folder AND homework to go with it!! Claire is funny because she is so random, says funny things, and seems so little, but she is SMART. I can't believe how quickly she picks up on things. She loves reading, doing her letter homework, her numbers...the only thing that's a little hard for her is her shapes. But, that will come! I can't even tell you how much I love this little squirt. She is pure Joy. As Lilly puts it, "Life is so great with Claire"! Well said Lilly, well said!!


Lilly's 1st day of school

I can't believe I have a 1st grader! 1st Grade!! Where has the time gone? I think I had more anxiety about her starting than she did. I was a little nervous about switching schools, but it has turned out to be so great. It is a great school, and I couldn't be happier with the move. A couple weeks before school started, we got a darling note in the mail from her teacher that got Lilly really excited. Along with the note was an invitation for us to come and meet the teacher, and do a scavenger hunt around the school so she could get a little familiar with the school before the first day of school. I thought that was such a cute idea. That was my first of many "I really like this school" moments!

The actual day of school was full of excitement, anxiety and a little bit of fear too! Lilly was the most nervous I have ever seen her. She was making herself sick she was so nervous. Therefore, it was making it really hard on me. She never once said that she didn't want to go, but she just kept saying "Mama, I am so nervous". Little sweet heart. She wanted me to pack her a lunch in her new lunch box Anton bought her, and I slipped a little note in it for her - which she loved. 
It was fun for her to get to school and see all her friends from the ward and neighborhood (which all happen to be in her class!!). As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, I was trying my very hardest to hold back the tears. We walked up to her line, snapped some pictures, and then she was off!! And, I was a wreck! I thought about her all day long. I wondered what she was doing, if she liked her lunch and the note, wondered who she was playing with at recess, etc. 
3:20 rolled around and I was there to see her when she came out, and it was a moment forever etched in my memory. She was beaming!! She loved her first day, and has loved school ever since. She is reading amazing, loving her teacher and classmates, and is so happy. Couldn't ask for anything more!!





Monday, August 25, 2014

Disney Cruise

Our cruise...SO much fun!! And, I can say with certainty, seeing Alaska was incredible!!! I had always wanted to go to Alaska, and it certainly didn't disappoint. I couldn't get over how stunning it was. We loved it!! For Christmas my dad surprised us with it, and it seemed forever away. We had been anticipating and planning it for months, so it when the time finally arrived for us to leave, we were really anxious for the trip to begin! First things first, the ship was amazing!! Disney always goes above and beyond, and they didn't skimp in regards to their ship. And, apparently we were on an older ship, but you wouldn't have ever guessed it. We were also on one of their smaller ones, and when cruising Alaska, I really liked that. It seemed like we could get really close to the glaciers. The first few days were sailing days. They had two movie theaters on the ship, and so we saw a couple movies the first few days...Frozen, Malificent, and Captain America. At night, they also had Disney broadway style shows - they were darling. The girls had so much fun at the Kids Club that the ship had. There were two different ones...one for smaller kids, The Club, and one for a little older, The Lab. They LOVED them!! The lab and club were open all day, so they could just come and go anytime they wanted - we just had to check them in and out. It was really nice because once the kids finished their dinner, and Mickey desserts, they all went up to the kids clubs while the parents finished dinner. Score! Our first "port day" was called Tracy Arm. It was probably one of, if not my favorite port. Strange enough, you didn't get off the boat - which I thought would drive me crazy, but I loved it. The water was the most beautiful turquoise green with the most unbelievable mountain side all around. It was a little rainy, which made it that much more Alaska-like. I loved it!! We just sat outside and watched the scenery while sipping hot chocolate and the girls had ice cream cones - makes perfect sense! Then after their ice cream cones, they decided to go swimming. Also, makes a lot of sense!!
Our next port was the charming little town, Skagway. Our day was really fun, and we had perfect weather. We met up with my sister Anna and her family. We walked about 2 miles to a gold mining cemetery and waterfall. The cemetery was really cool - I love things like that. And, the waterfall was beautiful. The weather is funny in Alaska. When the sun comes out, you get really hot, and as soon as it hides behind the clouds it cools off by quite a bit. We had a mixture of both that day. After we got back from the cemetery and waterfall, we were ready for an early dinner - late lunch. We found this little Thai restaurant, and it was so so so so SO good!! It was a really fun day!
Our next port, which was day 5, was in Juneau. Juneau was certainly a much bigger city, but had a lot of charm to it. I could see why people would live in Juneau...it was gorgeous. My dad had arranged a couple of vans to pick us up at the cruise ship, and take us to Menenhall Glacier. Our taxi driver was showing us some pictures on his phone of a bear that was on his back porch that very morning. He said they see bears ALL the time. Crazy!! Mendehall Glacier was stunning. The park itself was really well done. There was a really neat pathway of sorts that went over the river, and we could sit and watch salmon swimming upstream. It was really cool to see that! As we got closer to the glacier, there was the most amazingly huge waterfall. The whole setting was something out of a movie. It was so beautiful that it is hard to put it into words. After the glacier, we all split up and went into town for dinner/lunch. It was a great day! I loved it there!
Our next port, day 6, was Ketchikan. It was POURING rain. I have never seen rain like that. They got six inches of rain that day we were there. It was insane. Because of the rain, we didn't spend much time in the town, and some of my families excursions were canceled. Anton and I decided to leave the girls on the boat, per their request, and we went into town. We walked around for a little while, went to a museum, watched the seals in the river, then went to lunch. I am not kidding when I say, I had the best fish and chips I have ever had in my life. They were made with fresh halibut..and were simply delicious. See, they must have been amazing, I am still talking about them!! By the time we finished lunch and headed back to the boat, we were dripping wet. We decided to spend the rest of the afternoon, and evening on the boat. I wish it wouldn't have rained as hard as it did, because I would have loved to have seen more of it. My sister Anna did an an excursion, which Anton and I debated about going on, and she saw several families of grizzly bears, reindeer and eagles...needless to say we were a wee bit bummed we didn't go on it! I don't have any pictures of Ketchikan, because it was too rainy to get any decent pictures.
The boat, Disney Magic, was amazing. Like I mentioned before, Disney just does it right. We had such a memorable and great time. It was truly a trip of a lifetime, and it is a vacation I will never forget!! On our last cruising day, I got a little emotional while talking with Anton. I had so much fun watching our girls - there were times where it was just magical watching them. The girls had an absolute BALL. They still talk about it almost everyday, and tell everyone who lends an ear about their Disney Cruise!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Family Fun

Have I mentioned how fun our summer has been?!?! What's made it so fun is the time we have spent with cousins and family! Anton's family came into town, and we had the best time with them. My girls were in heaven having Truman, Prentice, Carden and Chambers at our house. They play so cute together, and they are all so nice to each other. They came up over the 24th of July, so it was fun to do fireworks with them. I think the kids asked us 5,000 times when we were going to light fireworks. They could hardly wait! Nicole and Jeremy were nice enough to supply the fireworks. Anton's mom and sister Monique came up a few days later. That was the icing on the cake. We did some fun things together including the Zoo, Lagoon, Wheeler Farm, and Cowabunga Bay (so fun!!). We always love having his family in town...it is always filled with lots of laughs! But, it always has to end...and that is never fun. The girls always take it hard. It is usually Lilly who has a hard time, but this year Claire took it really hard (well, they both took it hard - I was just surprised by Claire). As Grandma drove away, she tried really hard to be strong, but finally couldn't hold it in. She cried and cried. It broke my heart. We always look forward to their next visit - hoping it is sooner rather than later!

Summer Outings

I have mentioned this before, but we love our cousin outings in the summer! We weren't able to get as many in this year, due to lots of traveling, but we enjoyed the few we did. We made sure we did our "favorites", which are Temple Square, and This is the Place. One of the things we love so much about summer is the time spent with cousins. Very rarely do we go to the swimming pool alone, and same goes with outings. I dread the day the kids are too old to go on outings, but I hope that when I am grandma that the tradition will continue. 
This summer has seemed to go faster than any other summer I can remember. I am sure it was in part of all the traveling we did. It was a busy summer, but we were busy making memories! Even though summer is over, we hope to still fit in a camping trip, more nights at Lagoon, and hopefully a date night :)

Montana

With Anton working so much in Montana, we decided it would be a fun tradition to start spending some time in the summer up there. I was kind of anxious about going because I love my summer months in Salt Lake so much, but in the end, it was so much fun. It was so great to get away from obligations at home, and really spend quality time with my little family. I am really sad because my phone broke, and there was no way to turn it back on and retrieve all the pictures I took. We had so much fun going to splash pads, hikes, swimming, spending time at their amazing library, kayaking, horse back riding, and best of all...4th of July celebrations! We went to the fair grounds and listened to the symphony and watched the firework display. It was the first time my girls have ever been to a big firework show, and they LOVED it! Lilly kept oohing, ahhing and clapping! It was so darling! Another favorite thing we did was put the girls in Riding Lessons. Lilly wasn't great about listening to the teacher, and surprisingly crazy Claire was the opposite. She did amazing! She really listened, and did everything that the teacher asked of them. It was so cute to see them carry the saddles and brush and feed the horses....they looked so little carrying those heavy things around! We will absolutely be putting them in the Horse Camp next summer. We were so impressed with the lady that runs it, and the girls had a great time. Montana seems like it is a much slower pace than Salt Lake, which was a nice change. I am really looking forward to spending more time there!