Saturday, July 21, 2012

the 4th of Julyla

Summer fun checklist:
schools out! (hasn't applied for years, but...) check.
the weather is warm! check.
pool days! check, keep checking...
BBQs! check.
visit the zoo! check. As a family... TO DO
go on a hike! TO DO check!
breakfast at Ruths! TO DO
4th of July! check.
Pioneer day/handcart days! pretty much check.
birthday/anniversary celebration! TO DO check!
I also kinda want to drive up to bear lake for a day trip... TO DO
I've almost got everything out of the summer that I want to. It's funny because from January-March all I can think about is summer weather. I want to be sweating in the sun. I don't mind being hot, I prefer it 100x to being cold. But by midsummer I always start getting an itch for the change that autumn brings. Sweaters. Changing leaves. Caramel apples. Pumpkin cookies. The anticipation of the best holidays of the year. October through December is by far my favorite time of year.
Summer used to be so cool because you were out of school, but without school little changes- I have a few fun things to check off the list and July has 2 fun holidays (2 in Utah anyway) that break up the summer nicely.

The fourth of July is always fun- BBQ, fireworks, instilling patriotism.
  Unfortunately Brad wasn't in town this year and I couldn't keep the girls up past 8:45 so I had a nice, quiet 4th with my mom.
 We went to a neighborhood breakfast then headed up to Midway for the holiday.
 I took a few pictures of the girls at home before we left.
 They were inspecting progress on our never ending deck project.
 dusty bums
 They love running around in the yard.
 I love that they can't get out.
Pioneer day isn't till the 24th, but in Bountiful we always celebrate it early, because Bountiful is just awesome like that."handcart days" is by far the funnest day in Bountiful! They have little carnival rides, booths where you can buy rolled gold and tiger paws, and my very favorite parade.  In my opinion, the perfect balance of small town candy throwing and handing out of flags, mixed with a few impressive floats that are used in the big Salt Lake parade on Pioneer day- just right. In the evening they do a respectable fireworks show and I have great memories sitting in front of my parent's house watching the fireworks together.
 The girls loved it!
 I love this pic, my nephew tommy is hilarious.
 It was my other nephew's birthday!
 Lyla never let go of that flag.
 June never let go of her chips.
 They thought they were the parade at first, you know, until it started.
I won't even tell you what time my bro-in-law woke up to get us these awesome seats...let's just say Bountifulites take their handcart days seriously! Thank you rich for your dedication. :)
 Doesn't it kind of look like L&J are in charge of crowd control?

Brad has never been to handcart days since we've been married. The first newlywed year he was out of town. I watched the fireworks with friends and imagined how fun it would be to be with Brad. Last year he was out of town again. I sat through the parade and tried to get the girls to notice everything with my family.  I was disappointed when we weren't going to be able to go this year- we had 3 comitments in one night! In the end we decided to just make appearances at all of them- we gave the girls their first "taste" of a parade, hung out for a few minutes at Brad's big summer work party, and enjoyed seeing family at a wedding dinner. We really packed it in last night! The girls didn't even go to bed till after 9 which is the longest they've ever stayed up. It was a fun evening and I was so glad we finally got to go to the parade as a family!
I love the July holidays celebrating sacrifices for freedom, the sacrifices of my pioneer ancestors, and my love of America and Bountiful. God bless America, land that I love!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

17 months

Do you remember when I used to post letters to the girls every month and talk about all the cool new tricks they learned? Me either...because it's been like 1/2 a year since I've done that. Mom fail. I am not keeping a good record of all the amazing, funny new things the girls do everyday and I'm already totally regretting it. So to get back on track...
 When babies turn one they suddenly, almost overnight, transform from a baby to a little person. Their face starts to look more grown up. Their hair gets longer. Their teeth all pop out {not as easy as it sounds people}. They start walking, which makes them look tall and lean and especially non-baby like. They start talking, like words that are associated with things & you start to realize that little brain is really working and they will eventually be a fully functioning adult person one day. And that day might be sooner than you imagined.
My babies aren't exactly babies anymore. They are the cutest, funniest little girls in the world, I love to watch them and everything they do makes me want to squeeze them and hug them and kiss them to pieces. {except the terrible-two-esque tantrums and whining that has been occurring a bit} 
Honestly, being June and Lyla's mom is the funnest, most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. Funner that a trip to India or Europe. Funner than planning a wedding. More fun than anything I could have imagined. (and I know funner isn't a word, but I don't think it makes sense not to be one so I choose to be a rebel and use it freely)
As always, I just love watching them interact together. They really love each other and whenever they are apart they call for their sister until they see her again (they both still call each other Lyla! lol) They give hugs and high fives and occasionally pull hair.  They will eat anything as long as they are able to dip it in something. Current obsessions include carrying purses, climbing on the table, wearing necklaces, raspberries, finding and trying on every shoe they can find, saying "aaaa" and trying to feed something to me or their sister, brushing their hair, brushing their teeth, and coloring in the tub with bath crayons. And modeling for me, obviously.
Some of their newest words are agua, mas, shoes, purse, and book. They are pretty good little talkers which I've been told is sometimes a little delayed in twins. I think June's second word was "thank you" and they've both been saying it since just after their birthday. On top of that their regular words include: dada, mama, bye bye (lately they say that whenever they put their purse on), grandpa, grandma, please, lyla, ball, woof woof, baby (about their favorite word- it means binkie, they really get passionate yelling for their BABY), uh-oh, belly button (more like beibut), car, hola...that's all I can think of, but they seem to be doing fine. Just in case you think I'm trying to show off my babies cool awesome skills (even though I would totally do that) this really is just for me. I want to remember, I don't keep a journal and I need to remember this stuff! So if you baby who is older/younger than mine says/does more/less than my babies there is no judging here, I think especially with having 2 babies at once learning different things at their own pace I easily accept the idea that babies have their own timeline and more likely than not they will eventually learn all the important skills that will turn them into capable adults, no importa at what month they did it first. That was Spanish there. It worked for me.
Your sweet smile gets brighter everyday. You can also scowl like it's nobody's business. You love giving people the stare-down, although if I give it back to you for long enough you normally start to smile. You like to observe people and are always trying to figure things out whether its a lid on a bottle or a plug to undrain the tub- you'll figure it out. You love your sister and always call for Lyla after you wake up from a nap. You love taking care of Lyla and when shes throwing a fit you try to find a binkie or anything handy that you can give her that might make her happy. So sweet. You love to be held and will cuddle right up to me (or anyone really) and read a book or watch TV.  You've become a cautious little thing- you like to explore but you take your time and always turn around and make eye contact with me before proceeding. You're freakishly strong and can throw things far. You've turned into quite the little dancer and really took it to the next level a couple months ago by making really fast little steps and lifting your feet while you dance. Since you were born you've always had flirty eyes and they remain the same. You're silly, flirty, sensitive & sweet- I love you so much!
You have this hilarious obsession with getting up in people's faces, turning your head sideways and squishing your whole face up into a big, almost confused-like smile. You are also obsessed with one of your newer skills, turning in circles. You are such a good repeater you pretty much say a new word everyday- you watch someone say something and often say it right back to them. You like to get all cuddly on me, but normally after you get your fill (maybe 30 seconds tops) you're ready to go go go again. You've turned into a wild child, which is fun and sometimes scary. That's why your front tooth is a little chipped. :( Hey, at least it's not a permanent one right? :/ You are fearless and run away without turning back. You'll run into a field of kids playing soccer or a circle of young men talking at church. You want to be where the action is. When you dance you throw your arms in the air like you just don't care. You have some really cute thigh chub that I love to squeeze at least 20 times a day. You're spunky and funny and we love you pieces!

Monday, July 16, 2012

little kitchen with big dreams

Our big dreams of getting more cupboard and counter space can't seem to get past the dream stage {it's been a little frusterating, anyone know a good contractor? We found a guy we like, but we've been waiting months just to get a quote...}  In the meantime we're making the most of our itty-bitty kitchen.
A few days back me and a couple of my friends from nursing school decided to have a baking day and share recipes with each other. Alicia was good enough to take pictures so I stole some from her. We made chocolate con churros, marshmallows, and artisan bread. It was such a blast getting together and learning some new things! This was while Brad was in Alaska so the girls were there for a little bit- if you can't tell from the above picture, they were ready for a nap. Luckily they took a nice long one so that we could bake to our heart's desires.
The girls still love their little kitchen and it has on occasion been quite the life-saver while I'm baking.
Although they still prefer pulling everything out of the real drawers. On this particular occasion they found some yellow food dye and managed to get it all over themselves and paint the whole kitchen with it. Those guilty little just can't help but love them no matter what they do.
On a much more depressing note, I got an email from Magleby's last month informing me that their Provo restaurant location had closed (the one that sponsored the free cake for life) and so the free cake for life turned out only to bee free cake for a few months. A part of me knew it was too good to be true. I certainly made the most of those few months, in fact, maybe I'm the one who put them out of business..? I had already been saving weeks to get a big cake for Papi Chale's 90th brithday party, so I emailed them several times to see if they would still honor it, but they never responded... boo maglebys. {but thanks for those few awesome free cakes!} :)
I was determined to still make an awesome cake for Papi Chale's birthday, I came up with a new recipe which tasted very good- but did kinda collapse in the middles. It's a work in progress. With some creative arranging I was able to create the appearance that the cake was in perfect form for the party.
Brad's family also made a video for Papi Chale and asked Lyla to play the role of baby Chale. Her acting debut was groundbreaking. case you were wondering our family biggest loser is done- Brad won! I thought at the end there that I might have a chance to take him out, but he was a good loser. We are trying to still be a little more health conscience than we were before, but it is SO nice to be able to cook some normal food again. Even in a tiny kitchen. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I got the idea in my head that it would be fun to make a rainbow collage of pictures I've posted on instagram, I was going to spread them out over several days, but I had so much fun making them I became obsessed and made them all in one day.
Rainbows are special to my family, so this one is dedicated to my brother Jimmy. He passed away 15 years ago today, I wish I had been older than 11 and been able to have more memories and clarity, but the ones I do have are special to me. I feel so blessed with a fun, happy life that is full of people and things that I love. There is a little bit of color missing from our family, but he watches over us and still brightens our life. I'm certain he's helped us find good spouses and hand picks our cute kids for us, among other things like the occasional rainbow to say hello.
I love a bright, colorful life!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

swimming up to my ears in social media

 The way I blog and interact in social media can really be a little obsessive, you could even call it... bi-polar. One week I'm posting multiple stories a day, sharing 50 pictures on instagram, and even socializing on facebook. Then it all gets old to me and I forget about the blog for several weeks, maybe check my notifications on facebook occasionally, and post a couple pictures so that no one asks if I've died.  I can't explain why I can't seem to get a healthy, consistent balance like blog once a week or something- no, I will blog for 2 weeks straight then take 2 months off. You can enjoy some pictures from the pool a few days ago and skip or read the unrelated text.
I do enjoy being able to stay in touch with people I wouldn't be able to interact with otherwise {hello. If you're on IG you know I'm completely obsessed}, but I also get frustrated by a lot of the aspects of social media. People acting like it's a competition. People blatantly copying things you do or say and taking it for their own. The people who don't say one kind word about anything I've shared who then want something from me.
There's something I want to confess now. Sometimes I hate pinterest- and it's not because I'm jealous of all the wonderful things other people are doing- it's because I'm mad everyone else can do them now too... (oh woops, do I sound like a brat and a half? Let me explain...) I'm not saying I've always known how to do everything on that wonderful site, I see new ideas on there all the time- some similar to things I've done, some much better versions than my own. But have you noticed how almost nothing seems original anymore? It's like everyone's "special" dinners and crafts and home decor are all slowly turning into the same thing.
Here's the thing- I don't have one special talent that I'm especially gifted at. You know how most people have at least one thing that they really excel at? Whether it's basketball, singing, the violin, etc- most people choose something they really love and are good at, practice it for years, and become gifted at it. It becomes a part of them and they earn a label, like: "I'm a dancer.
But what do I do? I'm certainly no athlete, PE was always my least favorite time of day. I was the child who during a soccer game made dandelion nests and chased my shadow while avoiding the ball at all costs. The child who developed a stomach ache every time we had to play dodge ball and begged the teacher to let me sit out.
So I wasn't into sports- I took dance. I wanted to be a ballerina and auditioned to be a little gingerbread girl in the nutcracker. I still remember watching the little girls who could do back handsprings and wondering how they learned such amazing things. I remember my mom carrying me out from the audition and crying on her shoulder when I didn't make the cut.
Then I followed a cycle of wanting to try everything and while partially enjoying many things I could stick with nothing. It may have been a combination of feeling inadequate and  being curious about what else was out there. I painted. I played the piano. I wanted to be a singer but no one in my family was theatrical like that- I hesitantly took voice lessons and joined the choir, but never auditioned for a musical (though I envied any girl I ever saw take the stage). I wanted to be a cheerleader, but never took tumbling. I wanted to be a dancer, but never learned how to do an arabesque pirouette.
I have always loved being creative and being artistic, even though I've had a hard time figuring out how to channel it.
What do I do really? I do love taking pictures. I've been a scrapbooker since I was in elementary school. Don't let your kids start that early, they'll just cut all their pictures into odd shapes with decorative edge scissors. I've been quilting since Jr. High, I love piecing a quilt together even though it sometimes takes me years to get around to actually finishing the quilting on it. After the girls were born I started making headbands for them, I wish I'd had that skill before I got married- I could have made my veil a lot cuter...
I have always loved to cook- since I was little. I still can't define my strength as one thing- I'm not a chef or the worlds best seamstress, but I have always loved the homemaking skills, even when it wasn't cool to. I guess even though I shouldn't feel this way, sometimes I feel like my best strength has been diminished because it is now trendy and easy to have all of those skills- no need to grow up spending all your years acquiring them, going to college learning about ikebana and hard ball stage for my profession (I graduated in home economics from BYU before nursing school)
Instead, when I make something cool the first question someone asks me is "oh, did you find this tutorial on pinterest?". Unless the particular craft/skill/recipe happened to be something I did indeed find on pinterest I just say "no" and my blood boils a little as I think about how there is no worth or appreciation for my own skill. my own creativity. my own original idea. Now, someone else has had a similar or better idea and its on pinterest- and now mine isn't so cool. And the "dancer" isn't just a dancer but a dancer who can bake perfect rolls and make a quilt and paint furniture and do everything I can do- except I still can't do a pirouette.
So there you have it, I'm not as accomplished as I ought to be. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. Oh wait...that was just a quote from Taken. Just kidding. What I do have is a set of skills that you have too, even though they don't make me special I still love to cook- to attempt an authentic foreign meal. I love to bake a delicious dessert. I love to pull a quilt out of the dryer for the very first time when it crinkles up and shows off all the stitch work. I guess I just need to get over the fact that some people may not be as in awe of my rolls because they found similar/specialer ones on pinterest. That's okay. You eat your rolls, I'll eat mine. Heck, I'll eat yours too. I like rolls. I'm sure they all taste good just the same. After all, it's a pinterest world we're living in.


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