Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't Feel Bad: The Boys Didn't Miss Us Either

I hope you didn't worry about the boys when Chuck and I left them for eight days. They did just fine with my parents. You are free, however, to have worried about my parents. The first day my parents had the support and company of my sister. After that they were on their own. With cousins, they all went down to some museum. Good times were had! Except when poor Ollie was pushed off the zipline. Sheesh.

After church on Sunday, my parents took the boys on a road trip to the family cabin in Idaho.

The coolest thing they saw in the park (something Rhett will continue to tell everyone he sees for months, I'm sure), was not only a grizzly mama with a cub or two, but also a grizzly feasting on bison carcass. I've never seen anything like that in Yellowstone!

And when they got back to Utah, they all went to an aquarium, which is apparently much improved since my parents' last visit.

Finally, they boys convinced my parents they were brave enough for a ride on the Heber Creeper unlike the last time we went.

I am sooo grateful to my parents who got really worn out for eight days just so Chuck and I could go on an amazing trip. I will continue to be so grateful for ten years. My gratitude expires when we ask them to do it again after 19.5 years of marriage.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Trip Bookends

Our trip to Vancouver Island was bookended with 1.5 days with my parents in Utah. Although we didn't have that much time, we still tried to do some fun stuff.

For the first days, my sister and her four kids were in town. I always love to see my kids play with cousins. The surprise partnership of this trip was Jonas and Ollie! Jonas was so sweet with him. Thursday morning we headed to this crazy Fairy Forest in the Uintas. It was nuts! Everywhere you looked there were painted rocks and embellishments. We're still thinking up a theme because we feel that we need to represent. Next year we'll paint rocks and go back.

After the forest, we drove to a little waterfall just up Mirror Lake Highway. It was decided that next year we'll spend much more time in the Uintas because they are too lovely. It was also decided that next year I'll just whine and cry about walking, in the hopes that Jonas will carry me.

Later that afternoon we swam and then went to Heber's fun outdoor market. After a meltdown by Rhett (and me), we enjoyed the time until we got rained out.

Then when we got back after our trip, we spent the morning talking about our trip and handing out gifts and even went to Cascade Springs. In the afternoon we headed to Park City for some alpine sliding and dinner. Ollie loved the alpine slide, and we nearly got to give a marmot a high five.

Friday, July 25, 2014

To State the Not Obvious

How does one recap an entire week of ease and loveliveness? Of course we had fun. Of course it was easy (except for when we had to scramble to get out of SLC so we could make our connecting flight). Of course Vancouver Island is gorgeous. Of course I didn't miss my boys. Worry, maybe. Miss, nope. Of course I liked flying in a plane and being able to read my book without interruption. Need I even state those things? No. Here are the things that must be stated:

1. We saw Raffi at a market. He was signing albums that hadn't even been released yet. Not buying one was my only regret from the trip. Not because I like his music, but only because. I mean, there he was, two feet from me. And yet I did nothing. Nothing.

2. Canada has TONS of hippies, backpackers, and hitchhikers. It's the weirdest thing.

3. Sand dollars are black when alive. Huh. And stink when they're dying. And are probably illegal to bring home. Shhhh....

4. Tides are amazing. It's also equally amazing when tides go out and leave miles of beaches that are otherwise completely covered by water.

5. On our first honeymoon, I beat Chuck at mini golf. On this, our second honeymoon (well, that's how we explained this trip to the boys, thanks Berenstain Bears), I did it again. Apparently this feat occurs only once a decade.

6. If I moved to Canada, I'd have to visit all of the provincial parks, instead of state parks, obviously. I don't know why this sounds so **cute** to me, but it does. Ah, this park is just so, so...provincial!

7. Just because trees are really, really big, does not make them necessarily good looking. They can just be really, really big ugly trees.

8. Surfing was my favorite thing we did. It was exhausting and hard and my arms were so sore the next day, but it was so much fun. And yes, I even got up a couple of times, thankyouverymuch. Who knew Canada had good waves?

9. Wet suits keep you surprisingly warm, even in the waters off Canada's surfing capital. Not once did we experience cold while wearing them.

10. Sometimes the journey (when it consists of boat-height ocean swells, grey and orca whale sightings, super cool fog, eagles, a black bear, and sea otters) is even cooler than the destination, especially when the destination is wicked HOT hot springs, over 50 degrees (that's 122°F for us yanks).

11. In one bed and breakfast, our daily breakfast consisted of a beautiful fruit and yogurt parfait topped with coconut, a fluffy omelet (either spinach and feta or cheese, mushroom, and ham), pancakes, toast, and juice. This is what our Friday night breakfast-for-dinner should look like every week.

12. Our kayak guide wants to kayak from Alaska to the bottom of South America. Uh, I think I'll just wait for the Banff Mountain Film Festival movie about his trek to come out.

13. If anyone can recreate the French toast I had here, I will seriously pay you $15 (that's better than the exchange rate, by the way). Check it out: it's called the Peasant Toast and it was the best breakfast I've ever had. Ever. I chose to have it on French bread instead, and I'm pretty sure the slices were 2" thick.

14. Walking and walking for seven days in flip flops, even if they're Vibram-soled flip flops, is not the wisest of choices. (Note: Running shoes were donned on day 8 after knees were killing me.)

15. The tan line that one gets from wearing flip flops for seven days straight is, however, pretty cool. (Ack! Don't judge my scraggly toes! I know I need a pedicure STAT.)

P.S. Aren't you so happy that I posted a picture of my feet? You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Our bags are packed! Be back (too) soon.

P.S. Rhett's bag pattern came from a tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew. Ollie's bag pattern came from a book. Oh, I love that Ed Emberley fabric.

P.P.S. I don't know why the boys look like they were put in the corner for naughtiness. But that's what they look like!

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Have a Perfect 4th of July Weekend in 20 Easy Steps

0. Most importantly, order yourself a batch of amazing weather. This weather should include blue skies, a good breeze, low humidity, and low(er) temps. This is the one make-it-or-break-it as bad weather will ruin even the best plans. Also, secure yourself some excellent company. Once you complete those tasks, carry on with the rest of these instructions.

1. When possible, schedule the 4th for a Friday. It means that you can party on Friday, sleep in and get chores done on Saturday, and then enjoy the Sabbath.

2. Because you hope and pray that your kids (and you) will sleep in on Saturday, get your long run done on Friday morning.

3. Enjoy a church 4th of July parade and breakfast with a lot of your favorite people. (The rest of your favorite people all live far away. Sadly.)

4. Go home and take a nap. This nap should be taken by all members of the household, but especially those less than three years of age and greater than 35.

5. Wake up and immediately head downtown D.C. to get dinner of burgers or pizza (or both). Finish that dinner with an amazing strawberry shake. Let your kids only have the minimum amount so the adults can enjoy the greater part. And by "adults," I mean the female adult.

6. Walk to your kind-of-work building to secure great seats six floors up. Enjoy the *AMAZING* weather relaxing with friends.

7. When the fireworks begin, watch them.

8. When the fireworks end, proceed straight to the metro, wait less than one minute, and get on the train from your uncrowded platform.

9. Upon arriving home, place children directly into bed.

10. SLEEP IN until 7:30 a.m. Do not let this miracle go unnoticed. It will not happen again until children are teenagers.

11. Go for another run because it turns out you ordered your weather using a 2-for-1 deal and Saturday was simply stunning, so you couldn't not run.

12. Enjoy being outside with your children.

13. Go get a great haircut while your menfolk go to lunch.

14. Pick out fabric for nighttime sewing project.

15. While the males are all (yes--ALL) sleeping, go get your own lunch of frozen yogurt and do some grocery shopping. (Some things cannot be helped.)

16. Play in the creek.

17. BBQ some ribs for dinner and eat outside because, yes, the weather is that good.

18. Put the kids down for a regular bedtime.

19. Sew a new travel bag for your older son to replace the one you made last week that was too small.

20. Go to bed.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Week in Numbers

39: The number of acorn "lids" I found in the washing machine after doing one load of Rhett's laundry.

4: The number of airplanes we saw fly right over our heads before both boys were in complete hysterics (the bad kind, not the good kind) and we have to leave Gravelly Point.

23: The number of UPS trucks we saw on one block of road one morning.

77: The temperature (and humidity) of my Wednesday morning run (and I'm talking pre-6:00 a.m.). It was terrible.

48: The temperature at my parents' house at the same time. Do you think I'm jealous?

1,000,000: The number of times I've daydreamed about going on my upcoming vacation.

Googolplex: The number of times I've nightmared about returning from my upcoming vacation. Googolplex is in honor of Rhett, who is currently obsessed with that number.

1: Number of minutes it took for the 4th of July t-shirt-making art project to turn crazy.

204 204 255: RGB color of the water after Chuck cleaned up two paint-stained boys. Note: All paint on boys was self-imposed.

Posting early because of the holiday. Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Talents and Un-Talents

Weird Talents
  • Picking the right number of pins needed for a sewing project.
  • Seeing someone in a movie or TV show and identifying where I've seen them before.
  • Knowing when I'm going to win a raffle.

Weird Un-Talents

  • Picking the right-sized container for my leftovers.
  • Leaving frozen cookie dough alone.
  • Sneezing when I need to.