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!  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pictures from May & June

It feels so good to get all the photos off my phone and camera, and start editing them. It has been weighing on me to get it done, or else it gets overwhelming. We have been so busy lately, busier than I can even remember, so thank goodness our crazy schedule is now winding down!  
We went to visit Gramps on Memorial Day. It was hard - I didn't like being there really. It made it so "real". Both Anton and I cried - life is just not that same without our sweet Gramps! We miss him!

This particular day I took Lilly out to lunch. I told her we could go where ever she wanted to go, and she chose Taco Time. Yuck. Anyway, she was so darling and it was so fun to be with just her. Love that little squirt! How about those freckles?! 

We have ripped out several trees in our yard. It has been fun to make the yard "ours". For some reason when we work in the yard, it makes the house feel more like ours. Anton does such an amazing job, and works so hard. We love it here!

On my Mother's Day card, Claire said "I love Mommy because she takes me to the swimming pool"! So, here we are, at the swimming pool. Couldn't help but snap a pic of her in her awesome foggy goggles.

Father's Day. I can't being to express the love I have for these three. We are blessed beyond words to have Anton. We is so adored. 

Mother's Day. Oh how I love my little family.

Claire's rad hiding spot. Lilly and I still laugh about that.

Willow Creek Swimming!! Is there anything better about summer than swimming at Willow Creek?! I think not. We love love love it there!
We have been tossing around the idea about putting Lilly into riding lessons. And, it just so happens that my darling co-worker owns and shows arabian horses so she invited us out to see the stables and ride her horses. It was so much fun. My girls were in heaven!! Particularly Lilly. Claire is still too young. She doesn't weigh enough, so her horse was acting a little funny. It could feel something on its back, but couldn't feel her legs. So, now we know we will need to wait a few years until we put her in lessons. It was such a fun night. We went with Anna and her kids, my mom, and cousin Annie! 



Last day of Kindergarten!

SO bitter sweet! How on earth is Lilly old enough for 1st grade!? I can't handle the fact that she is done with Kindergarten. She LOVED Kindergarten. Her teacher, Ms. Diaz, was amazing...both of us adored her. Lilly really excelled this year, and loved her classroom environment. She made so many darling little friends, and is sad to be switching school, but I have no doubt at what she will meet other friends. The day before her last day, she had a class play where they performed "Room on the Broom", and "The Very Hungry Catterpillar". It was absolutely darling!! Her last day was certainly fun filled. It started off with her Kindergarten talent show, where she and her best friend Hope did a little dance. Then, she had her Owl Chorale concert. I cried watching her up there. She loved her Choir - it was her first time every being in a choir - and she loved it. It was so fun to go see her perform, and see how confident she was up there. This particular concert was really sweet because my Granny came. It is rare that she comes out for things like that, but she did! Then after the concert, there was a little class room party. The next day there was a pool party for all the little girls in her class. We have been so impressed with Oakwood, and will miss being there. But, with that being said, I think the move to the new school will be the best for her. It has also been so fun to be in school with cousin Annie - they became the very best of friends by the end of the year. They are such little cuties! Congrats to my little bug for doing so well in Kindergarten!






Preschool Promotion

Well, Claire is finished with her first year of Preschool, and I can hardly believe it! She is getting so big, but still seems so itty bitty. She liked preschool, but didn't love it like Lilly did. She always had fun once she was there, but it was always a battle to get her there. It seemed like every day I heard "I don't want to go to school". I think part of the problem was Lilly's school didn't start until after I took Claire, so Claire thought Lilly and I were having a grand time without her. Hopefully next year will be better! She learned a lot this year, and I am so glad she went. I think it was good for her to learn from someone other than just me and Anton...she tends to tune us out sometimes! 
Her preschool promotion was SO darling!! She had to recite a poem, which was a little scary for her, but she did it (even though she was so quite you could hardly hear her!)! They also sang all of the songs they had learned throughout the year. I love her preschool so much - it seems so old fashioned, and just perfect for little ones.
Good job little Clairey, we love you!!