Monday, August 30, 2010

family pics 2010

Every year I ask myself why I put myself through all the stress.

Then I get the pictures back and I realize then why I do it.

The boys are really good sports about doing these every single year and THIS year they get special kudos since we had three sets of family pictures. Yes, three. Both of our parents had theirs updated as well this summer so even I am done with them.

Until next year.

This year we had Andrea Tate of Crave My Photography take our pictures. She took SO many pictures. She told me at the end of the session (2 1/2 hours worth!) that she would pick the ones that she thought were the best and send me a disc of the edited photos. At first I was a bit irritated because I wanted to be the one to choose the pictures that I wanted her to edit. I mean, how does she know what I would want? Once I received the CDs in the mail, I realized it would have been so hard to choose between all of the pictures and I was so happy with the ones that she chose to touch up. There are few others that I would like edited but luckily I know another amazing photographer that doesn't mind doing the editing.

I absolutely love them...what do you think?

*These files were super big and most are distorted since I tried to fit them on the blog. The photographer is sending me smaller files so they will be updated so they will look even better!*














Friday, August 27, 2010


A new adventure is beginnning. 5...4...3...2...1...hold on, sit tight, Liam is turning 5.

I still have him held captive at 4 for a few more days and it is killing him.

The other day Justin put syling product in his hair and spiked it up. Liam came to me and whined "I hate gel." "Why? It makes you look so handsome!" "It is just so...spikey!" "Well, I think it makes you look like you are five." That was the ticket. A huge grin took over his face and he skipped off like he always wanted his hair spikey. Five is a big deal.

We had his family party on Wednesday and we were invaded by martians.

I am really liking this color combination. If it wouldn't be so obnoxious in a huge space, I would consider decorating a room in them.

I had a lot of fun getting the treats for his favors. There was a crystal looking sucker, a glow bracelet, a sheet of stickers, a Buzz Lightyear or martian tatoo, and a toy story fruit snack. It was so hard to choose from all the fun things!

We just had a small party with cake and ice cream and presents. It was fun because most everyone was able to make it and even in our current tight quarters, it went off well. Liam got some fun things and it was a great variety of stuff. He received a scooter, a pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass, a book about Biscuit, a singing car, a Guess Who game, magnets that make cool things, and a Buzz Lightyear that speaks Spanish. Thank you everyone!

Happy birthday to you!

I love you my little space infinity and beyond.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

school days

Another summer has come and gone and it is time for school to begin.

For the past two years I have wanted to have a back to school dinner that we could actually sit down, not be rushed, and talk about what goals the boys have for the upcoming school year. This year I was finally able to pull it off. It was not as fancy as this one, but she is the person who inspired me to want to have this special night with the boys.

We had a dinner last year but it was a couple days after school had started and it was a bit rushed because of football practice and work. This year it worked out that I could plan it the Sunday night before they went back to school and I hope to continue that tradition. It was lovely. Justin also gave each of the boys beautiful father's blessings and again I am blown away by the love that a father--both heavenly and earthly--has for their children.

Our menu was:

green beans
herb mashed potatoes
red, white, and blue layered jello
chocolate trifle for desert

It was a fun evening. We talked and joked and the boys are very excited and ready for school to start.

Nick is starting 6th grade which is exciting and frightening to me all at the same time. I can't believe he will be starting junior high next year and I can't think about it too much because it makes me have an anxiety attack. I just have to remmeber that it is still a year away and I will definately have to enjoy every moment of his time left in elementary school. His goals for the year were to understand long division better and to not procrastinate his big assignments. I was grateful for that one and hope he sticks to it because I ended up doing a good portion, if not all, of his major reports last year. Maybe I need to make a goal not to help him so much so he can learn how to manage his time. We'll see.

Andrew will be starting 4th grade this year and he is excited as all get out. I remember my fourth grade teacher telling me on the first day of school that I was not a baby anymore and only had 10 minutes for recess now and that I needed to come in with the first bell. I guess this means that this year Andrew is officially not a baby anymore. His goals were to not rush through his school work, to do his best, and to make new friends.

Luke will be going into 3rd grade. He was excited to find out that his teacher is "nice" and even though he doesn't have his best buddy in his class this year, he figures he can just sit next to him at lunch. Luke wants to not get frustrated with math and to work on his handwriting.

Liam started his new preschool a couple weeks before the boys started school. I was really on top of things this year and waited until the last minute to sign him up. I paid my money and while I was getting all of the paperwork I asked when he starts school. The lady replied: "They started yesterday." Awesome.

He loves it and they have done some really cute projects already and he comes home singing the song that he learned every day. They also learn cute little poems and he has fun reciting those to me as well.

Liam didn't really have any goals for this year but he did say that he wanted to have fun. I think he has already reached his goal. What an overachiever.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

silver lake

With the long summer days threatening to end and our free time on Saturdays slowly dwindling away, after Nick's football practice on Saturday we decided to take a family drive up to Brighton and walk around Silver Lake.

Silver Lake is beautiful and it holds a special place in my heart since it is where Justin and I were engaged (almost 14 years ago now!). When we got there, Luke said: "It isn't a lake, it is more like a pond." Oh well, you can't please everyone.

These two climbed every single rock and every time Luke would get to the top of one he would want me to take his picture. I indulged myself since I don't get that kind of opportunity very often.

We decided to head up to Twin Lakes since we had some time and it was absolutely beautiful. I am a bit out of shape and haven't been hiking for a while so I think I forgot that a mile hiking straight uphill is different than walking on a nice, paved road. We were so not prepared for a more difficult hike since we had just originally planned to take a leisurely stroll around the lake so I had two kids in flip flops and no water to drink. I was grateful that I was able to take it easy up the hill since I was walking with Liam. He was a trooper and did not complain once the entire way up.

A nice woman coming down the trail offered to take my picture because she said that "moms are never in the picture, they are always behind the camera."

We made it to the top and in the end, the boys thought the work to get there was totally worth it. Luke thought it was so awesome that we were walking on a trail that people ski on and liked looking at all the trail markers to see where the ski trails went. Luke and Liam waded a bit in the water and Justin gave rock skipping lessons. He was a great teacher because everyone who tried to skip a rock succeeded.

We saw quite a few animals...ducks, chipmunks, squirrels, and this little guy is a badger or a beaver. I think.

We went to the information center before heading to the car for a much needed potty break and a long drink of water. There were some fun interactive displays set up so we hung out for a while and boys made animal tracks in the sand and played with fake poop and tried to guess what animal it came from.

We had a great time hanging out as a family and with all of the extracurricular activities the boys have and work it is becoming more important to me to spend time together doing quality activities. I think I just need to be more proactive about planning things and hopefully we will follow through. Hopefully we can squeeze in another hike before the summer officially ends!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I believe in bribery.

I believe it does amazing things for my sanity.

I just found the bribery mecca. The supreme being of bribery.

It is Subzero icecream in Jordan Landing.

It was awesome.

I was on an errand taking Luke and Liam to get new school shoes. Before we got into the car to go to Jordan Landing they were literally bouncing off the walls. Add bouncing boys with shoe shopping and you get absolute chaos. I had heard about Subzero from a friend and told them that if they behaved that I would take them to get ice cream. No matter that it was dinner time and they would most likely spoil their appetite--I was on a mission to have the most pleasant shopping experience possible.

Luke found shoes he wanted right off the bat that were decent looking and the right price but my little Liam...we went through 6 different pair of shoes because all of the ones he wanted were ugly or too expensive or his size was unavailable. Finally I found some that were similar to one of the more expensive pair that were much less expensive and I told him "I bet these make you run really fast." And you know what? It worked.

Voila! Mission accomplished. We headed over to get their reward.

I didn't just love this place for their ice cream. I love it twofold. They didn't even think I was weird one bit because I was taking pictures. The guy that was making our ice cream even set up photo ops for me and when the boys were laughing at all the smoke from the liquid nitrogen, he smiled at them and I could tell that he thought they were just the cutest things ever.

Here they are watching their ice cream get frozen.

Liam ordered bubblegum flavored icecream with bubblegum.

You don't get this much pleasure out of ordinary ice cream.

This is one of the "staged" pictures. The guy asked me if I was able to capture the smoke on my camera and if I didn't, he could do it again. Seriously, how awesome is he? Give this kid a raise!

I may have to create more opportunities for, I mean rewards. It is totally worth it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

good old days

Last Friday night the fam headed over to see the inaugural Herriman High school football game versus the Hillcrest Huskies. Football season just started for Nick and he was able to wear his new jersey to the game and even get in for free.

The line was insane. We were a little late, mind you, due to Nick's practice getting over a bit late so we were able to find a place that wound from the field, up the side of the school and halfway down the sidewalk to the front doors of the school. We ended up getting in the stadium right before halftime.

This was after we were in line for about 10 minutes...

We were afraid that we weren't even going to find a seat but we did...on the visitor's side. Luckily we weren't the only Herriman fans over there and we had some friends to sit by.

It was fun watching the team come out onto the field, they had both a dance team AND a drill team perform at halftime (the boys were a bit confused as why they needed both and what the differences were), and although I am sad that the summer is coming to a close, this was a great reminder of what is to come in the fall.

I sat there watching the fans, listening to the cheerleaders, listening to the band, and remembering the good old days at East High. Us Leopards had spirit coming out our eyeballs. I was a bit disappointed during the game when the band was playing their school song and no one was singing along. I threatened to stand up and sing our old fight song but Justin had a look of complete terror on his face because he knew I was serious so I refrained. East pretty much lost every single football game that we played but we were there every single week cheering our guts out. I absolutely loved high school and I honestly believe that I had the best class ever to come out of there. I was blessed with incredible friends and not only were they sincere and loyal, they were amazing people. We didn't drink, didn't do drugs, made stir fry on Friday nights, sang together, went hiking, and if we were to get really rowdy we would get in my friend's van and go over dips in the road super fast. I also loved the guys that we hung out with. If my boys are like that in high school, I will have nothing to worry about.

A couple weeks ago a few high school girls got together. I haven't seen most of them since our ten year reunion 7 years ago and to be honest I was thinking that it would be awkward. I have kept in touch with facebook and blogs but face to face is different. What would we talk about? Would we just try to relive high school and then once that was over would there be silence that we would just be trying to fill with meaningless jabber?

I had the best time. These amazing friends that I had in high school are amazing women. Strong in the church, want what is best for their families, good heads on their shoulders, funny, funny, awesome women. We made stir fry for old time sake thanks to Amy and Saydi and sat around and talked for hours. It was rejuvenating to have such fun girl time and not only reminisce but to talk about what we wanted for our future, what we wanted for our kids and how we hope that we can navigate them through all of the crazy temptations that are out there and have them become successful, happy kids...and teenagers. It was so relaxed and wonderful to reconnect with these beautiful people.

I love you girls and for those of you that couldn't make it, we will definately be doing it again next summer so hope you can make it so I can see you too!