Friday, November 1, 2013

a little bit of halloween

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday, but it's definitely more fun with a little munchkin running around. Gorilla Gray and I went trick-or-treating around my aunt's work. Then we came home, put out more decorations and handed out candy. Well, I handed out candy. Gray "sneakily" took it out of the bowl and made his own pile on the ottoman. He was really ticked off every time I gave it to kids at the door. When Nick got home from work and the temple we had mac & cheese and "sea serpent" hot dogs. So festive ;)

Friday, October 18, 2013

up the canyon

Apparently we were in denial about it not being summer anymore. So for FHE we headed up the canyon with our bestest friends and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows and starbursts. The kids were happy to rub dirt all over themselves and run around. Well, Gray wasn't so into the dirt, but he made up for it in cheeto crumbs and maniacal faces. 

Friday, October 11, 2013


I love mornings with this boy. Most mornings are spent a little chaotically... trying to get things ready to go for the day, hurrying out the door for work, or photo shoots, or something. I love the mornings we can just wake up together, play, eat some breakfast and be in our pajamas. I can't wait to be a stay-at-home mom. I never thought I would want that, but now nothing sounds better to me.

Mornings are the best. Gray sleeps from 8 to 8, then is awake for two hours while we play and eat breakfast and read books. And then he takes a nap for another hour or two. But he's such a happy morning baby. And he loves to wander over to his toy chest and pick out a toy... usually just one. And then he sits down and plays with it and studies it.

I'm embracing this peaceful schedule while I can, before we throw another baby into the mix and start all over again. :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

payson grotto

I need to blog more... obviously. I am loving that it's summer. When we're not working or trying to catch up on sleep, we're outside. A lot. Which has been wonderful. In two weeks we're ditching Gray (anxiety attack...) and going to Zion National Park for the entire week. I'm a little nervous about leaving Gray, but I am SO excited to get away from everything and just go be outside all week. We're going to do some huge, awesome hikes and canyoneering. I'm thrilled!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some hikes we've done around here. We've been trying to explore new places and find fun trails. I'm trying to find somewhere cool to go hiking with Nick for his birthday in a couple of days. That's what we do on birthdays/anniversaries/any free time... we hike. Very romantic ;)

A couple of weeks ago we strolled "hiked" up to Payson Grotto with my brothers. This is a fun little spot, and not much of a hike at all. Super easy. It'll be nice to take Gray there when he's older. It's less than a mile, and has a fun, shallow pool of water with a beautiful waterfall. We did climb up a steep path that led above the waterfall. It probably went further, but we had to get back for dinner. We'll have to go back and explore it again, it's really pretty.

A couple of things to note, it is a VERY crowded trail, since it's such an easy walk. Probably best to go on a weekday.

Also, if you climb above the waterfall, be careful :) There are lots of loose rocks. Jake slipped at one point, and almost nailed some lady and her teeny dog with a rock. She was not pleased!

Gorgeous little spot, though :)

These boys are so funny... Jake LOVES being outside and exploring with us, while Nick is so "meh" about anything outdoors-related. At least he lets us "drag" him along!

On top of the falls.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

be happy

sometimes things get stressful... money, time, work... and i have to remind myself to be more happy. a lot of times nick and i say to each other "tell me five things that made you happy today." it helps a lot :) today was one of those days... so i thought i'd make a list WHILE blogging. i'm really cool like that.

one: this kid, every time. i love getting smiles from him. he's not constantly smiling, so sometimes i have to do really strange things to get a grin, but it's always worth it.

two: friends. i haven't been great at making friends in our ward. i'm friendly, and people are friendly back, i just haven't really clicked with anyone. but i've made a couple of really good friends lately, and it was nice to just go be a girl for a little while tonight :)

three: baking. cooking. all of it. it doesn't always turn out great (the guacamole i made tonight), but sometimes it's amazing (the white chocolate snickerdoodles i've been munching on all day). it de-stresses me.

four: this guy. always. i don't care what we're going through. as long as i have him by my side, i'm okay. he's my best friend.

five: this weather!! i love gray, cloudy, rainy weather more than any other weather. and the fact that it's been fairly warm? perfect!

Monday, April 29, 2013

book review: the kite runner

okay, needless to say, i have not been blogging every day. i have definitely still been taking daily photos (over five months now!), but i am not a good blogger. so i'm going to keep doing photos every day, but not stress about posting them. i will try to post more often, though.

i've tried to make more time for reading lately. i used to read a different book every week, but that slowed down with work, a baby, r.s. presidency, a house, etc. i'm getting better, though, and i've already read nine books so far this year.

the one i just finished tonight was the kite runner, by khaled hosseini. he was also the author of a thousand splendid suns.

i won't give an incredibly in depth review... however, i strongly recommend both books. they are incredibly sad, and tragic, which normally i hate. i like happy stories, with happy endings, and happy people. i cried my way through both of these books. but they are beautifully, beautifully written. i don't know of a better way to describe it. hosseini is an incredible storyteller and i was so immersed in the characters and their lives. and despite being sad, they both do end hopefully.

anyway, like i said, not an incredibly detailed book review. but they are both wonderfully written and you will be better for having read them.

and, thank goodness, they are stand-alone books. none of this every-story-must-be-written-in-a-three-book-series nonsense. or thirteen movies. or whatever.

has anyone else read these? what did you think? and has anyone seen the kite runner movie? i am planning on watching it within the next week or two, hopefully they did a good job with it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

21 march 2013

the entire time we were out there, gray was getting tooth number eight. so he did not sleep well at all. but we all managed to get some sleep and on thursday morning we all ate some breakfast, packed up, and hit the road.

food is probably one of our very favorite things, and portland is known for having some pretty good food carts. so with the help of a fabulous portland food blogger who actually e-mailed me with some suggestions (thank you, amy!!), we went and found a pod. we were kind of in a hurry, so we just hit up the first place we could find, but it was still so good! nick got a lamb gyro (i had to teach him how to pronounce gyro, first ;)) and loved it! normally i play it safe and go for burgers... there was even a mac and cheese cart i really wanted to try. but i decided to go outside my comfort zone and try a shredded pork pot pie with yam (?), caramelized onions and red pepper flakes... um, SO good! there were a million more places i wanted to try, so we will definitely be going and scouting out more pods/carts every time we go back.

next we had to try voodoo doughnut. we decided to go during lunch-time to avoid crowds, and it totally worked. we were both kind of skeptical... figured they were mostly just hype. but they were surprisingly good! i don't think i would wait in a huge line for any doughnut, but i was willing to wait a couple of minutes for these ones.

after that, gray was starting to get tired, but we still wanted to play. so we went to the omsi (oregon museum of science and industry). along with food, we love museums of all sorts, and this is nick's favorite kind. we went to the planetarium (which gray loved), an imax (which he slept through) and then made our way through the mythbusters exhibit where we threw playing cards as fast as we could, successfully pulled the tablecloth out from under dishes & found out i balance MUCH better than nick. :) whew! long sentence...

after we were done playing tourist, we headed over to tillamook to stay with auntie ev, auntie ann and grammy and thank them all profusely for the van! they spoiled us rotten with incredible clam chowder, apple pie and comfy beds. they are amazing :)

20 march 2013

oh baby drool...

gray was chillin' on the floor while we packed up and headed to oregon. i'm glad i snapped a couple of photos before we took off, because i didn't unpack my camera the rest of the day.

it was only a two hour flight, but i was really anxious to see how gray did on the flight. we didn't let him have his bottle the couple of hours leading up to it, hoping he'd drink it on the plane so his ears would pop (mine are SO bad at popping). we got bags checked, made it to our gate, and waited to board. in the 15-20 minute wait, gray went crazy and started to scream like a banshee. you could see everyone eyeing us, hoping we weren't on their flight. i just knew we were going to be "that" family with the baby that screamed the whole flight.

as we were getting in line to board, an older man from a different flight came over to say hi. he told us, "we've all been there, don't you worry one bit!" it was so reassuring :)

luckily, it was a half-full flight, so we could choose where we sat. we headed all the way to the back, so we could bug as few people as possible. he was better on the plane, because he was fascinated and finally had a bottle. we started down the runway and as soon as those LOUD jet engines came on, he conked out. nothing like engines to lull a baby to sleep, haha.

he slept for most of the flight and was really pretty good. flirted with the flight attendants. ate some puffs. napped with his dad.

we landed and auntie barb came to pick us up in our "new" minivan :) i still haven't gotten photos of it, but we love it. SO much nicer than what we were driving before! and only 30,000 miles! and FREE! yeah, we were spoiled.

we went back, took a nap, and then visited with grandpa del, marlene, auntie barb and her boyfriend whose name i am now spacing, but who makes some of the best pie we've ever had! gray loved everyone, especially the chickens in the backyard. 

i should have brought my camera, but i did snap a token two photos on my phone of the entire day :)

19 march 2013

(ugh, sorry if all these came up on blog reader... i had our oregon photos saved somewhere else, so i've been trying to figure out dates and messing them all up. hopefully i've just about gotten it straightened up!)

pizza night! i have a cool husband :)

18 march 2013

gray is SO into solids now. for breakfast, we try to mix it up a little bit. we've tried (and loved): oatmeal with cinnamon and apple juice, scrambled eggs with cheese, waffles with fruit chunks & yogurt with rice puffs. he's also had french toast with berries, which he loves. we're trying to limit the sugar, unless it's fruit, but he'll eat whatever we give him. i'm sure eventually we'll find something he doesn't like.

17 march 2013

this was our attempt at a family photo with all our festive green... with the camera on the table, and all sorts of tricks to even get gray to look at the camera. nick was proud of his st. patrick's day beard... and gray LOVED it. i feel like a third wheel sometimes with those two, but it melts my heart watching them together :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

16 march 2013

everyone seems to have a holiday. we spend christmas and thanksgiving w/ familiy. on the fourth of july, we go to the mcgills. on halloween, we go to the penrods. so we called dibs on st. patrick's day. you know, since we've been to ireland... once. that makes us pros on the holiday ;) i do, however, make some pretty amazing guinness beef stew. and this year we made three batches... which was barely enough. whew!

15 march 2013

apparently baby swings weren't built this way so that they could hold two babies. who knew?! i thought it was convenient! and despite their dissatisfied faces, they enjoyed it, too.

14 march 2013

okay, so i had two days in a row of awful photos. it happens.

nick is super sweet. thursday i got home from work, gray hadn't taken a nap, and i had only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. needless to say, by the time  nick was getting off of work, i was exhausted and ready to chuck my sleep-deprived baby out the window (okay, not really). so nick went to the store, got delicious rolls, salad, and a pasta dish he could throw in the oven... without even being asked. he's a keeper.

he set up dinner, told me to eat, and then went to put gray down really quick. i dished up, sat down, took a bite... and stopped. it was disgusting. it tasted like what i imagine dog food tastes like. really salty dog food.

but nick had gone out of his way to do something nice. i couldn't tell him his food was disgusting. so i ate a few more bites and moved food around so that when he came down, it'd look like i was really enjoying my food. he came down a few minutes later, got himself some food, and sat down next to me. he took a bite. i watched. he made a face. i smiled and asked "what do you think?

"it's disgusting!"

"okay, good! i thought so, too! i just didn't want to say anything."

"next time, please say something. i feel terrible you ate any of that!"

anyway, that's my long story to accompany an awful photo. we had grilled cheese and it was delightful :)

13 march 2013

yes, i watch the bachelor. yes, that was my photo for the day. yes, erin and i were also eating ben & jerry's while we watched. no, i am not ashamed. (okay, maybe a teensy bit...)

12 march 2013

i've tried a handful of times to take a photo of me with gray (you know, as evidence i'm actually his mom or something...). 8 o'clock, in the bathroom, ready to go to bed... i think this is about the closest i will ever get, but i love it anyway.

11 march 2013

we've started a new "bedtime routine" & so far it's working like a charm. around 7, we bounce, read books & wear a baby out. at 7:30, he goes in the tub, where he splashes to his heart's content. at 8, we dry off, snuggle in warm jammies, drink a bottle and go to sleep alllll night. it's wonderful!

not to mention, bath time is probably the happiest thing ever! (i did throw him in a bumbo so i could snap some photos of him without fear of him toppling away... oh well!)

(and no, i will never do the baby bum photos, or anything like that. i'm sure they're great as blackmail, but posting them online is weird...)

Friday, March 29, 2013

10 march 2013

and who says you don't get to dress up boys? this outfit just needs a good pair of glasses and then he'd look like on old man.