Downtown Boys

(As opposed to "Uptown Girl"...see what I did there?)

A few weeks ago we took a trip downtown with the kids. We started out at the Gateway for a quick dinner and a stroll up and down the mall. We ducked into Old Navy because I was looking for a belt (I have the pesky "none of my pants fit because they're too big problem right now). I didn't end up buying a belt (because I'm EXTREMELY cheap and practically refuse to spend money on myself...but that's a story for another time), but we did pick up a new backpack for Kyle. We didn't have time to get one before his first day of school and we promised him he could pick one out, and he found this cute one (and on a major sale too!).

He insisted on wearing his new backpack for the rest of the night
After Old Navy, we hopped on the train and rode over to City Creek Center to take a look at the Disney Store. Kyle had been DYING to see it since the last time we were there--we took too long eating dinner and it closed before we got a chance to go inside. The big boys love riding the train, especially Lucas. 

Lucas' half-hearted "Mommy Face" on the train
The boys reveled in all things Disney, and we had to drag Lucas away from the Jake & the Neverland Pirates display.

We had to top off our evening with a treat, and we decided to try Farr's Fresh Ice Cream because we'd never been there before. It was a FANTASTIC choice. Kyle chose chocolate ice cream with mini M&Ms, Cole got Cake Batter ice cream with brownie bits and cookie dough, and I got this:
Honey flavored Greek yogurt with mangoes and coconut. It tasted like a tropical vacation.

While we were finishing up our treats, Cole kept the boys entertained with the $3 car we bought at Old Navy.

We took a stroll through Main Street Plaza and Temple Square to let our ice cream digest (or walk off the calories, either way). Cole showed the boys the place where we got engaged, and Kyle told us he wanted to get married in the Salt Lake Temple like Mommy & Daddy did (guess we're doing something right there...). It was the perfect end to a fun evening.


What I Made Monday: Scarecrow

Did I mention that I love fall decorations?

I'm extremely proud of the flower in the scarecrow's pocket--I freehand-ed (is that even a word?) it with my leftover raffia, and it turned out pretty well. I also love that this scarecrow is argyle-clad--he's classy. :)


Throwback Thursday: Football

I don't remember being a big fan of football as a teenager. I think I went to two football games when I was in high school--the homecoming games my junior and senior years--and that was because the choirs I was in were singing at them. It just wasn't a big deal to me.

I do remember being a BYU fan. Casual, maybe, but still a fan. I probably inherited it from my dad, who graduated from BYU. I remember watching football games with my dad (who got REALLY fired up) and cheering for the Cougars because he did.

So, I started college with a love for BYU and sort of a "meh" attitude toward football. My boyfriend and I bought sports passes at the beginning of the year with his roommates, because "that's what students at BYU do." That gave us free entrance to most (if not all) BYU team sports, including all the home football games. I went to all the games that first year, more because my friends did and because I wanted my money's worth. But, somewhere in the course of that season, I fell in love with football.

During the next two years of my college life Game Day became almost sacred. There was something so special about getting all decked out in blue and filing into the stadium with all the other students. My roommates and I cheered and booed and sang the fight song, and after the games we re-lived all of the great and terrible moments.

One of my favorite games was the BYU-TCU game of 2005. My roommates and I had KILLER seats--the second row right behind the BYU bench, 40-yard line.

Me, Natalie, and Ashlee. One row of guys, and the BYU football team right in front of them. 


Our roommate, Bonnie, had a huge crush on #93, so we took pictures for her because we were so close. She was insanely jealous that she couldn't be there.
The game was intense--BYU had a commanding lead until they blew it in the 4th quarter and TCU caught up. The game ran into overtime, and BYU scored a touchdown--but blew the 2-point conversion. TCU drove it to the goal line and "scored" on a 3rd-and-1 run. The play was reviewed because the runner fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line, but the officials didn't see enough to overturn the call. TCU made their PAT, and BYU lost by one.

We yelled and booed and complained, but what was done was done. That night, the game was re-broadcast on TV and we watched it again and yelled and booed and complained at the bad call at the end. We talked about that game for the rest of the season. To this day, I maintain that ball was fumbled before the touchdown.


Wordless Wednesday: Orangutan Child

(Explanation: Have you ever seen the orangutans at the zoo? They all drape burlap sacks over their heads when they sleep.)


What I Made Monday: Home, Pt. 3

The last set of "O"s for my Home blocks were probably my favorite to do. 

January snowflake

February heart

March shamrock

April Easter egg

 I'm most proud of this set of blocks, particularly the Easter egg. I basically had to free-hand the three separate sections, then paint and sparkle them all. It took me WAY longer than it probably needed to, but that's because I'm an extreme perfectionist. Luckily, I love the way it turned out. I can't imagine having to do the whole thing again.


Friday Letters

Dear Matthew,
You must be going through a growth spurt, because your extremely predictable night time routine has completely fallen apart and you feel the need to eat every two hours. I'm not sure you even did that as a newborn! I have to admit, it's taken its toll on me, but that doesn't mean I love you any less. It just means I'm more tired. In other news, you are now a master roller. You stay on your back for probably 0.5 seconds before flipping onto your belly. Pretty soon you'll be scooting around to get what you want, and then it's all downhill from there. I tried sitting you up by yourself today, and you did a pretty good job! You are still just a teeny-weeny guy (hoping to break 13 lb. by your well-visit later this month!), so it looks so funny to see you doing all this big-boy stuff. I think you've also truly found your voice, because you started yelling when you want attention, particularly from your brothers. I love you so much, little peanut, even though you make it practically impossible to get anything done some days (like today, for example).


Dear Library,
I can't believe I waited so long to come back around (although, $13.60 in fines definitely explains why I avoided you)! I need to start making a list of what I want to find before I come, because I always end up wandering the aisles aimlessly, a little overwhelmed. I love that my boys enjoy visiting you as well. It would make me so happy if they turned out to be voracious readers, like I was. I promise we'll continue to make weekly visits, which will help avoid fines.

an incurable bookworm

 *NOTE TO ANYONE READING: if you have book recommendations, please share them.*

Dear Cole,
I'm sorry I've been super cranky the last couple of days. It gets extremely frustrating when the baby decides not to sleep. I promise I still love you--I'm just really jealous of your mostly uninterrupted nights of sleeping. Also, I'm sorry if I disappear into books more often. 

With love, 
your tired wife

P.S. So, I have a confession to make...there has been more than one occasion where I seriously wanted to punch you while you were sleeping, just so you would be awake like I was and would have to share in my pain. Sorry.
P.P.S. I'm wicked proud of you for your new job and just generally being awesome at work. 

Dear Talk for Sacrament Meeting,
Can you please write yourself? I know, I know, I volunteered to speak (AMITOTALLYCRAZYORWHAT?!?), but that means this talk has to be killer awesome! Besides, my baby doesn't want me to put him down, and it's kind of hard to type a talk with the six-month-old trying to "help."

one who regrets volunteering to speak, no matter how important she thinks it is

Dear Kyle,
I am SO PROUD of you! I love that you love going to school. I love picking you up and hearing what you learned for the day. I love that you have been practicing writing As whenever you get a chance. I love that you're writing your name on every scrap piece of paper you can find. I hope you never EVER lose your love of learning. I think next year we're going to have to make sure you are in a morning kindergarten class, because going to school wears you out. You've started to take naps again, which is quite nice for me. :) You're such a great big brother--Matthew smiles the biggest for you, and Lucas always wants to do whatever you're doing (you're even letting him play with you now, which is pretty awesome). I can't believe you're turning 5 next month! You're growing up so fast! I'm glad you'll still snuggle with me, though--you'll never be too big to do that. :) I love you, Kyle-man!


Dear Steamed Broccoli on my plate,
You taste fabulous right now, especially since you're covered in cheese sauce. I almost feel guilty for how much of you I'm eating, until I remember that the cheese sauce is only costing me 2 Points Plus and you're free free free!

Nom nom nom,
this munching luncher

Dear BYU Football team,
I love you. I will always love you. But you know what would be awesome? If you would kick trash tomorrow. Freals.

a true blue fan

Dear Quadriceps (and calves, and hamstrings, and virtually every muscle in my legs),
I'm sorry you're sore. But, I'm also not sorry, because that soreness reminds me that I ran 3 miles on Tuesday (only stopping to walk once), which is something I NEVER thought I could do. So, even though it hurts to go up and down stairs, it's worth every step.

this fledgling runner

Dear Lucas,
I love your face. I love that you tell me you love me all the time now. I love the impromptu hugs you give me when I help you get dressed in the morning. I don't love that your tantrums are getting more frequent, but I understand it's a phase. They usually don't last very long (because you are WAY less stubborn than Kyle), and then you're my sweet, sunshiney boy again. You talk all.the.time now, and I love hearing all of the new things you say. I may be the only person in the world that understands you, but I'm so tickled every time you say something new. I love that your "car noises" sound more like "crash noises" and are actually quite alarming. I love that you look for "Tyle" every time he's at school. I love that you get so excited and tell me "Look! I find ____" about a million times a day. You're obsessed with Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and you'd watch it all day if I let you. Most of all, I love that you're the biggest snuggle-bug in the world. Lukie snuggles are the best!

I love you!

Dear Bikini in my bottom drawer,
I WILL look good in you in December.



What I Made Monday: Spring/Summer Trio

I have a dearth of spring and summer decorations for my house. Since I've discovered my love for all things Wood Connection I decided to rectify that problem. These are great because I can put them up in the springtime and leave them up through the summer...simple.

Cole says this looks like the Twitter bird. I say it's cuter than that.


This is supposed to be a bee, but I didn't want to paint it yellow. Plus, bees are gross. So, I guess you could say it's a ladybug. :)


We Bought a Zoo (Pass)

I love the Hogle Zoo. When my family lived out of state, we would almost always make time to take a trip to the zoo when we visited Utah. I know there are other zoos that are bigger and flashier, but the Hogle Zoo holds a special place in my heart. That love hasn't diminished now that I'm a "grown-up." I love to take my kids to the zoo and see them develop a love for animals.

Cole and I decided that a zoo membership was a wise investment for our family. After all, no two trips to the zoo are the same because the animals are always different. Plus, the kids are learning, we get exercise, and we get fresh air. It's only been a month and a half since we bought the membership and it's already paid for itself and then some! 

Here are some highlights from our trips to the zoo:

7-14-12 with Aunt Stephanie

8-13-12 with Uncle Nathan and Jack

8-30-12 with Brittany & Jack and Megan & Kason
Lucas' favorite animals so far are the elephants and the monkeys. Kyle's favorites are the giraffes and the polar bear. I have to admit, the polar bear is pretty awesome. You can tell she's used to spectators, because if anyone gets close to her enclosure, she starts to show off:

We're planning on renewing (and probably even upgrading) our membership next year as well. We're looking forward to many more zoo trips in the future!


The First Day

Today was Kyle's first day of preschool. When on earth did he get so big?!?

There is a lady in the ward that Cole and I grew up in that has done a preschool in her home for years and years (my 21-year-old brother, Daniel, actually went to her preschool!). She always has a huge waiting list, but by a stroke of luck and my mother-in-law's persistence we got Kyle in for this year! He's been looking forward to going to school for a couple of months now.

All dressed and ready to go! He looks so much like Cole!
We arrived a bit early, so we had to wait in the car for a couple of minutes before he could go in. I asked him if he wanted me to come in with him this first time. He said, "No, thanks! I'll be fine!" When it was time to go in, he hopped out of the car, ran up the driveway, and walked in like he owned the place.

Going in the front door, all by himself
I actually held it together pretty well. I got a little teary, but no real crying, which kind of surprised me. I'm usually a HUGE baby.

Wearing his "Welcome to Preschool" hat
When I picked him up he was so excited to tell me about everything they did and talked about. It was so fun to see him learning and experiencing something new. I'm so proud of him!


Wordless Wednesday: Contrast

Taken mid-April 2012

Taken 8-29-12


What I Made Monday: Home, Pt. 2

Craft night has kind of turned into "Craft Whenever We Feel The Urge, Even if It's Every Weekend"...so I have a boatload of crafts to post about. Fortunately for you, I'm going to spread them out over several weeks, because I'm probably the only person in the world who actually finds posts like this interesting. 

So, first up...I did another set of "O"s for my home blocks. This set was for September-December.

September apple

October ghost

November pumpkin

December ornament

The ornament was supposed to be red as well, but I didn't want two red blocks for this set (especially since I think this set is the most boring out of all of the "O" blocks).


4th of July 2012

We had a pretty low-key 4th this year. We started the morning off with breakfast at IHOP, and the boys were even somewhat behaved. Lucas did peek through the glass and flirted with the ladies in the booth next to us, but I don't think they minded too much. There was a fireworks stand conveniently located in the parking lot, so we headed over to take a look. I'm not usually a fan of buying fireworks (to me, it's the same thing as lighting my money on fire and watching it burn), but we ended up buying a small package of fireworks, some sparklers, and some poppers for the boys. I guess I have a hard time saying no to my kids. :)

In the past, Cole's entire family has gotten together for dinner and fireworks, but one of his brothers has moved away, one was on vacation, and another made different plans for the day. So, the big family gathering consisted of us, Cole's parents, and his oldest brother's family.

Grandma and Papa had sent some cute 4th of July shirts for the boys to wear, so we got them all dressed and festive and headed to Gammy & Bumpy's house. The big boys "helped" Gammy work in the yard while Cole helped Bumpy fix some sprinklers. The sprinkler fixing created a big mud puddle in the middle of the yard, and the boys couldn't resist splashing around in it.

After having dinner with Cole's family, we went to my sister's house to light off our fireworks. There are a lot of firework enthusiasts in her neighborhood, so it sounded a bit like we were in the middle of a war zone. Lucas quickly learned what was making all the noise:

We set chairs up in the driveway to light our humble fireworks and let the boys do the sparklers. Kyle was (understandably) nervous at first about holding a burning, sparking stick, but Lucas showed absolutely no fear.

During our little fireworks show, we got the scare of our lives. One of the neighbors down the street didn't prop up one of their aerial fireworks very well, and it tipped over and shot down the street and exploded about 25 feet away from us. It even set the dried, crusty lawn of a vacant house on fire! Cole and a different neighbor ran to put it out while Stephanie and I grumbled and cursed. No one in the neighborhood was hurt in the incident and the guy did come over to see if we were all right...but this event further solidified my opinion that aerial fireworks do NOT belong in the hands of laymen.

Even though our lives were endangered (wink wink), it ended up being quite a nice holiday.
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