Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And another thing

Oops.  Sometimes when you slack on blogging, you later realize that you didn't post pictures from two months ago.

In April, my sister-in-law Becky took some pictures of the Salt Lake Temple for us, and we chose one that will someday (soon?) be hanging on the wall above our fireplace.  I hung out with all the kids at her house so she could focus on being a photographer.

So while we were doing this:

She was doing this:
She took a lot of amazing pictures, and I am so excited to have this one displayed in our home.  I would love to post more here, but they really belong to her.  She should sell them.  Really.

We went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point for a preschool activity, and Cassie surprised me by being excited about riding a pony.  I was proud of her for being brave!

Easter morning:

Sponge curlers?  Why yes, yes they are.

Cassie's best friend from our Wymount days paid a visit!  It was fun to see their family and to see Cassie and Lily interact so well.  They have a really strong bond, even though it was forged when they were only 2-year-olds.  Cassie wishes we would drive the 1300+ miles to go visit her.  Really, she asks me about once a week.

And, because I can't help it:
Cassie with her "class" 

Benson's obsession:  big people shoes! 

Playing with cousin E 

Our happy little fella

The Finishing Touch

Our exterior is done!  I am proud of myself for sticking to my guns and finding a way to get it changed.

The process:

 The final product:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The little birthday girl

We now have a 4-year-old running around our house!  I'll spare you my ramblings about how time has flown, etc. and move on to the festivities.  

But before I write about Cassie's birthday, I need to mention something truly sad that happened in the days before her birthday.  At the beginning of April, my Dad's older brother Jerry was diagnosed with terminal melanoma.  I was shocked at how fast the cancer took over his body.  He was his normal, healthy, happy self at the beginning of April, and he passed away on May 31.  He was really an amazing and humble person, and it makes me so sad to think of how cancer took his body away from him.  I could write a lot more about him and his death, but I want to focus this post on Cassie.  His passing affected her birthday quite a bit for two reasons.  First, my Aunt Ann came to town, and I hadn't seen her in ten (or more?) years, so she had never met Trevor or our kids.  Second, the memorial service was planned for Cassie's birthday.  We decided to celebrate Cassie's birthday with my family a few days before her actual birthday so that we could spend more time with Ann as well.  Celebrating her birthday was a welcome distraction from the sorrow that we had been focused on.  We really had a wonderful, fun time!

 "I want a pink cake with pink frosting and sprinkles!  And I want it to say my name."  Easy peasy!  I don't think she knows yet that cakes can have princess figurines on them...

 Action shot!  Right before she blew out the candles, I explained the concept of making a wish.  Of course, I don't know if she understood 'cause she can't tell me what she was thinking or her wish won't come true!

 A gift from aunt Taja: sparkly pipe cleaners.  Pure genius!  She is still having fun with these.

 With Grandpa (People always say my kids look like my dad.  I can definitely see the resemblance here.)

 And Grandma, who bought her the awesome dictionary in the bottom of the picture.  Bedtime is now preceded by reading several entries from her new favorite book.

 The whole crew!  Hooray for camera timers.

 My dear Aunt Ann.  It has been too long since I last saw her.  Watching her interact with my kids reminded me of why I loved her so much as a child: she is amazing with kids, so funny, attentive, kind, and fun.  My kids warmed up to her and adored her right away.  I am so glad that my little family finally got to meet her and that I got to spend time with her again.  Did I mention that she got Cassie a "twirly skirt" for her birthday?  Yeah, so she's pretty much the best.

Since I was gone for several hours in the middle of Cassie's actual birthday, she got to spend some glorious time with our wonderful next-door neighbors.  Okay, we spend a lot of time with them pretty much every day.  But they went above and beyond mere babysitting and took Cassie to a dinosaur museum!  I was so glad that her birthday was not at all tainted by me being gone for most of it.

 Cassie got to choose one gift to open on the morning of her birthday, and we saved the rest for that evening.  She opened some new shirts, so she chose one to wear for the day.

 She also asked me to curl her hair, which I did, but it was a super windy day, so it was pretty straight by the day's end.  Here she is opening the rest of her presents before dinner.  (She couldn't decide between having pancakes for dinner and going to a restaurant, so we decided on Denny's!)

 Whenever I asked Cassie what she wanted for her birthday, she always told me, "A squirter gun!"

Strawberry lemonade smoothies after dinner.  Yum!  Thanks to Maggie for the awesome idea! 

Wearing her new "flower necklace" (saw it at Target for $1 and knew it would be a hit) and princess "nightdown."   She had been wanting a nightgown for several months...I think the idea of wearing a pretty dress to bed was novel and exciting to her.

Happy Birthday, big sis!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blast from the Past

My birthday this year was epic.  But to the uninformed observer, it probably sounds terribly awkward: I met up with some girl friends from high school and went to my ex-boyfriend's band's concert.  So let me 'splain.  Two of my friends from high school, Brooke and Max, are married to each other.  They are super cool people and are currently living in Morocco.  Since both of their families and many of their friends live here, they flew out for a few weeks to visit.  They planned a big party/jam session/concert at a park and invited friends and family to come watch and/or perform.  In high school, Max was in a band with three other close friends, one of whom I dated my senior year, and they got together to perform again for the first time in 10 years at said shindig.  Kristy (oh, just my BFF since we were 14) and I decided from the moment that this party was announced, and especially since it was on my birthday, that we were making a girls' night of it.  We were sort of Uncalled 4 groupies back in the day.  (Did I mention the band's name is Uncalled 4?  Yup.  It is.)  Then, the best thing happened: our friend Marinda, who was planning on flying out for our 10-year reunion later in the summer, decided instead to fly out for the party so she could see Brooke and Max (and a bunch of other HS friends).  As you can imagine, we had so. much. fun.

We met up for dinner before the show and had a great time catching up.  All my life, I have seriously lucked out when it comes to friends.  How do I end up hanging out with the kindest, smartest, best looking people around?  Kristy and Marinda were amazing people ten years ago, and they are such amazing women now.  I am astounded at the things they accomplish, and they are both so knowledgeable and principled and inspiring!

Greg, Rob, and Cameron.  I was so happy to see everyone that my face hurt from smiling after about an hour.


Blory Fleate!  Ahem, I mean Cory Keate, Marinda, Cameron, and Kristy.

Kyle, Cory, Marinda, Cameron, Kristy, Emily, Brooke, Max, Rob, and Greg.  And Cameron's baby.  I laughed SO hard, partly because the guys were so funny, and mostly because they joked exactly the same way they did in high school.  The banter when the band was on stage was hiLARious.

Here they are tuning and warming up.  They did amazingly well, especially for the short amount of time they had to practice, not to mention that they haven't been playing together for the last ten years.  The music brought back so many fun memories of hanging out together in high school.  I remembered almost all of the words to their original songs and lost my voice singing along to those and their Weezer and Guster covers.  What high school flashback would be complete without "Island in the Sun?"  We formed a three-woman mosh pit for that one. :)
Good times!  This is one birthday I will not forget.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

May Sunshine

It's out of order, but I wanted to blog about a few things before I forget.

Swinging at the park:

Just a cute picture of Cassie with her cousin Lexi, reading a book at Grandpa and Grandma's.

We babysat Blaine and Becky's (Trevor's brother and his wife) kids for a few days while they were in Virginia for Blaine's graduation from Physical Therapy school.  It was a lot of fun, especially for the girls.  We had a little pool party in the back yard with the neighbors, and that was the only time little P was unhappy.  He is not a fan of crowds or strangers!

Not a flattering picture of me, but P's face is priceless:

Cassie and cousin E keeping warm 

 Mister B! (aka the drool monster)