Wednesday, April 12, 2017

recently

You may or may not have noticed, but I have been really struggling in the blogging department. Life, man. I just can't seem to get into a rhythm with picture taking and blogging. These pictures are all sorts of scatty wampus but I figured they were all worth posting in the name of documentation.


I took Minnie skiing for the first time at Alta in early March and although the first hour was rough (like swearing in my head kind of rough...that dang rope tow, man!) but by the end she was cruising down the hill with no problems and we were both happy as clams. I hadn't been skiing for over three years so I was pretty rusty myself. Heaven knows how neither of us ended up injured. I was so proud of her, though. She was so brave, even though on the lift for the first time she told me she was a "teeny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, teeny, tiny, tiny, very tiny bit scared." She conquered it and I was actually the crazy mom speeding down behind her yelling, "Pizza, Minnie! Pizza!" The girl was flying.


Minnie's favorite part of skiing was probably taking her boots off. I remember feeling that way too. They are just so dang tight! 
Robert got free tickets to the SLC D-league basketball game which I wasn't terribly excited about. Lucky for us, it was princess and superhero night so they had loads of princesses walking around, passed out crowns to all of the little girls, and there were bounce houses above the seating area. The girls were so pleased and it ended up being really fun.


My friend Shelly and her sister are cake making pros. Her sister, Kalleen, actually made my wedding cake and there were literally crumbs left at the end of our wedding...it was SO good! Shelly was kind enough to give me and my friend Sara a little cake-making tutorial, just in time for Will's bday. We caged the babies in the kitchen and the bigger kids in the playroom and then went to town. I made one cake for Will's little birthday party and then a cake for he and Megan's shared bday party at my parent's house the next day. My frosting skills could use a little work but they were both so delicious!


I love the picture on the left so much. First, Will looks gigantic. and second, I just love the way Minnie tries to help him. It usually puts him over the edge when she does, but I appreciate the love.
The picture on the right is from when the girls and I went with a big group of people from SLC to welcome the last group of refugees to arrive in Utah after Trump's immigration ban. The ban was lifted not too long after this, but this was a really great experience for all of us. I love the girls little signs and Minnie was so excited that she was able to give a picture to one of the little girls.


I buckled down and did some sleep training for Mr. William a couple months ago and my life has changed!! He is sleeping through the night like a champ, making me feel like a whole new woman! I can actually wake up early and exercise now. I'm a normal human being!
Also, we have been loving $5 movie Tuesdays lately. We surprised the girls and took them to Beauty and the Beast a couple weeks ago while Julia watched William for us. We were surprised when Belle and Beast greeted us on our way out of the theater.


It was spring break the week I was leaving for Chicago with my friends so I tried to take the girls to do a few fun things a couple days before my trip. Minnie had been wanting to go to the Hill Aerospace Museum that she could see from the freeway every time we drove up to Shelly's house, and I was happy to discover it was free! It was actually pretty great and the girls loved it.


Krispy Kreme after the museum and a little wave from my favorite boy!


The day of Will's actual birthday was so beautiful so Robert and I decided to put together a little party last minute since we could host it in our yard. I made the cake and Bob grabbed pizza and salad from Costco, and bam! Party done. Lots of friends and family were able to come and it was such a nice day. He ended up getting some random rash all over his body earlier in the day, and I was a little freaked out, of course, but it was gone by the end of the day. He and his cute cousin, Noli, are only about three weeks apart. I love them!


Love this boy so much!


Kite flying the other night on a terribly still day. The girls ended up just running around the park making their own wind, which got them ready for bed like a charm.
Megan was kind enough to share her family birthday party with Will this year. Sorry to make you share your birthday week, Megs!


Will helping with Saturday pancake cleanup a few weeks ago. And Minnie with her cute friend, Norah. She and her family moved down to St. George a month or so ago and we were all so bummed about it. We need to plan a visit.


Post-church pics of my people.


Girls trip to Chicago! Robert was a saint and agreed to watching the kids for four days so I could party for the weekend with my friends. I'm a lucky lady. It was such a fun trip! Shelly is 30 weeks pregnant and was partying hard with the rest of us. We went on an architecture boat tour, ate ourselves silly, walked all over the city, biked along the lake and to Millennium Park, and played games in our hotel room.


Deep dish pizza at Giordano's, which was much better than the deep dish Bob and I got the day we spent in Chicago on our way to Pennsylvania.


The water in the middle of the city is magic! And Sprinkles cupcakes are unreal. If you ever go, get the red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Heaven!


At the John Hancock lounge drinking Pepsi's with this view next to our table.
Chicago was such a fun city and we had such a good time, but I missed my family so much! I didn't really miss changing diapers or folding laundry, but I just missed snuggling my babies and sleeping next to Bobby. Nothing like a trip away to make me grateful for my every day life and the people I share it with. That said, I could easily do one of these trips every five years.





Tuesday, February 28, 2017

don't blink


Don't blink or you'll miss it - a phrase that never rings truer than in parenthood. Meeting this sunshine baby at the hospital for the first time is so fresh on my mind. My excitement, my anxiety, the feeling of the cold table on my back and the tug as this fresh little sweetheart made his way into the world. And here I sit, 11 months later, and the every day sweet moments of bouncing, nursing, and kissing this baby kind of all just blur together as I look at this picture and realize how much he has changed. Time is such a tease. I feel like with every baby I kind of trudge through the first few months, waiting to get to my "favorite age." I'm sore, tired and my baby and I are trying to figure each other out and it is equal parts sweet and unbelievably frustrating. Then, my favorite age hits...and then they are one, and then they're starting kindergarten and then they're out of the house and on their own and I'm an empty-nester just wishing and dreaming I could scoop them up in my arms again and whisper into their ears how much I love them and how wonderful they are and kiss their soft cheeks and rock them to sleep like I did a million times a thousand years ago. Dramatic? Absolutely. But there are so many moments where it feels like time is at warp speed and I am trying with all my might to slow my pace and enjoy every bit of my time with these sweet little people. It's hard to believe it now, but one day it will be over and no matter how hard it gets now, I have to remind myself that it's not going to last forever. Don't blink, Laura.

William George is honestly my sunshine boy. He is as sweet as pie and makes life so good. He is absolutely into everything and makes me as tired as you might imagine, but he is such a gift. He's quick to smile, quick to clap, has the best belly laugh and is my mama's boy through and through. I love the way he loves me. My girls were never quite like that, and although sometimes it's tricky when I need to get things done and pass him off to Bob, I genuinely love the way he loves me, the way he wants to be close to me, the way he looks over his shoulder to make sure I'm there and watching. The fact that he is finally starting to sleep through the night is kind of making me love him even more too, if that's possible (bless you, sleep training). I love his juicy little lips, big blue eyes, the dimple on his left cheek and his little Alfalfa hair (thanks be to his dad for the awesome cowlicks). This guy makes me want a thousand more just like him, that is, if they're born sleeping through the night. Jk. Jk. I am 31 now, so who knows what's in store for us and the future and babies, but for now I am trying to soak up this sweet little bubba as well as I can.


Also, I took a photography workshop a few weeks ago to go a little more in-depth into manual shooting. Jill Thomas is incredible and I feel like I had so many light bulb moments during that day with her. One of them is when she said we should try to take pictures we don't need to edit and we actually like right off our memory card. I took these a few days after the workshop and decided to post them unedited. It took everything in me not to tweak the light or the color or anything, but I really do love them this way. I feel like I would post a lot more pictures if I didn't feel like I needed to edit them first. Here's to a lot more practice in manual mode and hopefully a lot more posting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

the beach


The beach will always be magic to me. We went from one magic place to another on our trip to California and I'm so grateful the beach was last. The three days we spent in Oceanside were slow and easy. We woke up when we wanted to, ate giant bowls of cereal, the girls played with their little princess figurines for an hour or two and then we packed a picnic and headed to the beach. I think the beach brings out the best in kids. Lou was in her element digging in the sand for hours and doing what she loves best...collecting. Minnie is my little fish and would romp around in the waves as they lapped up onto the sand. With a bucket and shovel the girls were set for hours and it was heaven just snuggling with William under the beach umbrella, watching my girls do what they loved.

We stayed in a cute little condo just about a half block from the beach. Unfortunately the tide right next to the condo was incredibly high the entire time we were there, so we had to walk a ways in either direction to get to a decent beach. Once we were there, we plopped ourselves down for a good few hours so it was always worth the walk. The heat was a bit much when we were at Disneyland, but I was so grateful for such warm weather in November once we hit the beach. The temperatures had cooled quite a bit in Salt Lake before we left so it was a nice last little taste of summer before winter hit Utah for good. The one strange thing about it all was how early the sun would set. It was literally dark there by 5:00, and the first day we walked home from the beach by the light of street lamps. Sitting on the beach and watching the sun set was a dream.

Robert's friend Jordan and his family happened to be staying at his wife's family's place in Oceanside the same time we were there and one night we met up with them for dinner at Ruby's at the end of the pier. We were somewhat of a scene with our 6 wild little kids, but it was still so nice to be able to visit with them. It's funny because we live about 5 minutes away from each other but yet we end up actually hanging out with them when we are on vacation. We decided to meet up with them the next day at the beach close to their beach house and it was even nicer than where we'd gone the day before. It was much quieter and Minnie and Lou played so well with their cute kids. There were also lots more shells to be found on this quieter beach so Lou, Will and I took a little walk up and down the beach to collect some and toss them in Lou's bucket. 

The last night we headed to the pier at sunset and the girls loved watching the surfers and the waves from above. I did too. Having Julia was nice because we kind of had our own personal photographer to take family pictures. Sadly, though, I feel like I didn't get her in as many pictures as I would have liked. I cannot say enough times how nice it was to have her with us. She helped me cook dinner, did dishes, held William when I needed both my hands, and just made my life easier. If you can't tell, I am a major proponent of bringing sisters on your family vacations.

It was hard to come back to real life, especially when it involved a 10 plus hour drive. We had our tires rotated before we left on the trip and the car was so shaky on the way down. On the way back we decided to have them fixed at some podunk little place in California and decided to eat lunch at the Pizza Palace next door. It was the only option. I would have chosen something else if I could have. You would have too if you'd seen the exterior of this place. I was terribly skeptical, but it turned out to be quite a decent pit stop. Julia got the girls some arcade tokens and they won themselves some fake tattoos and a few Tootsie Rolls and the pizza wasn't half bad either. Bless that Pizza Palace. And bless personal DVD players that kept our kids quiet for the majority of the drive. And bless sisters who sit in the back seat with your kids and situate said DVD players when the discs need changing.

I am just dreaming of a warm beach right now looking at these pictures as I sit in my chilly house with a few inches of snow laying on the ground and icicles hanging from my roof. But I do have a newly decorated, delicious smelling Christmas tree to my left, giant chocolate chip cookies in my kitchen waiting to be devoured and Christmas coming in just a few weeks to look forward to. I guess I'll survive.

I included a few more Snapchat videos in this post too of our time at the beach. I love that app for no other reason than that it has helped me take more videos of our family. I have been sad at how few videos I took during both my girls babyhood so I'm hopeful I can keep this up. Pictures are awesome but there is just something about video.