Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rivers, oh we love rivers

Oh we love rivers in this family. So when the weather was perfect over the weekend we packed up a picnic and headed to our favorite camp site near home. Come to find out Tanner's Flat doesn't accept picnics on Saturday nights because they fill up with campers. After some nice smiles and pleading from my part we got a picnic site.
But Tanner's Flat picnics are not about the food. Or the picnic. It's all about the river.

Oh, and the rocks nearby that make perfect climbing spots.
James has become a master rock scrambler and found his way out to the middle of the river on his own to see the waterfall. Luckily I was close behind.
This boy is growing out of little kid-dom. He's not a little kid any more. He's just a kid. And it's crazy.
 And because he's not a little kid, he's not afraid of some serious rock scrambling.
He is happier here than anywhere else in the world. I don't post much here about his love for rivers and waterfalls, but my Instagram feed is full of it. There is even a hashtag #throwingrockswithjames that has well over 100 photos. He just loves water.
And just a screen shot of my throwing rocks with James hashtag. Oh this boy. I love him for his passion for life.  (Juliet also has a river hashtag aptly named #julietlovesrivers and it's just as darling.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Favorite outfit {Strawberry Shortcake Princess Dress}

Juliet has many many clothes that fall into my favorite category. I only buy what I love, and only keep what I adore. But, that said, she still has a closet bursting with beautiful things to wear.

And I don't even spend very much on her wardrobe, if you can believe it. About half of what she wears comes from thrift stores, and many of my favorite pieces fit for longer than a year, because dresses just get shorter and turn into tunics.

One trick I have with buying James and Juliet new things is always buy big. She's a tall girl anyway, but I'd rather have it too big and fit for an extra year than fit perfectly now and grow out of it too soon.

When I saw this skirt on Next Direct I knew it had to be mine. I really love bunnies and toadstools. And, when I received it I was so happy to see a full embroidered picture on the back of the skirt (very rare in kids clothes) of a mouse and strawberries.
The little over the shoulder suspenders totally seal the deal.
She calls it her "strawberry shortcake princess dress" and she told me it's her favorite. Oh, and her black boots?! A total splurge, but something I've wanted for her for a year. Expect to see a lot more of them, they are darling in person and seriously so tiny!
Outfit details -
Skirt and shirt - Next Direct (still available here). I ordered size 3/4 I think!
Boots - Nordstrom

Monday, September 08, 2014

First position

Today Juliet started ballet. While she spent the entire summer in a little gymnastics class, today felt different.

She had to wear pink. She had to have little tiny (tiny!) leather ballet shoes. She wore her hair in a bun and spun around the room with 14 other little tiny girls with their hair in buns.

The floor was polished, the teacher elegant and the classical music streamed out of the door any time that is was opened.

Juliet is the youngest in the class by six months because this is a three to five year old class.  I may have forgotten her birthdate when signing her up, knowing how much she would love it.

She was fine. Totally happy and content. Listening to directions and telling me the class rules when it was done. She told me she loves ballet and wants to go tomorrow.

Seeing her in there, while I sat on the other side of the glass and smiled like an idiot, well, it was pretty great.

Ballet Mondays, you are perfect.

She stuck close to the teacher and followed all instructions.
Such sweet little girls!
See her there? Fifth from the back. Even though she may be the youngest (many in her class were four years old) you'd never know. She's tall and smart.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

September love

Things I love:
Flowers, baby girl dresses, blue skies, happy waterfall loving boys, shade, September, my little girl, my husband, and having the entire garden to ourselves.
Yesterday we felt like it was cool enough to venture out to Thanksgiving Point Garden again. We haven't been since spring, and since there is so much area to cover, we really wanted a cooler day.
Going to the garden in September is a wise choice. Everything is huge and colorful and perfect. Plus, the roses are back.

The kids were happy (after a early meltdown from the littler one), plus James was wearing his favorite shirt and Juliet was in one of my favorite vintage dresses.
AND they spotted an airplane!
This girl is so stubborn. Try to change her ways she pushes harder than ever. Finally E decided to let her rest in the shade and tickle him, and all of a sudden she was as happy as can be. Success!
This guy was beyond happy. He loves visiting the garden, and the water features are his favorite places of all. He was so flushed because he is at the age where he never walks. He runs everywhere, and fast.
I got some amazing photos of this girl because she was being schievous (a word of my own invention that describes me, and her, to a T. It means "scheming" and "mischievous"). She kept pulling petals off the zinnias after being told numerous times to stop. Oh but it was so funny!
I intentionally dressed Juliet in the same dress she wore last year. One plus to having a big round baby is big clothes. And when they slim out a ton they still fit! Even a year later! (Check out this post of her when she was only 16 months wearing this darling vintage dress again.)
Because I knew the light and the flowers would be perfect we bought some special gummy bears to bribe the kids with for nice smiles. James stopped every few feet and asked for a photo then requested a candy. Sweet kiddo.
I was intent on capturing the two of them in a spot I've captured them before. E did some fall down gymnastics behind me and I caught this gem.
Last year. Oh I love it so. 
And the year before. These photos have made it onto the cover of our yearly photo albums and I feel like the one we took this year just may make the cut too!
I really really love September gardens. And watching my kids grow. Juliet starts ballet tomorrow. Full report to come.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Pre-K starts!

Preschool has started. After a wonderful summer off, school is back in session.

This year is so different than last year. Last year James was extremely nervous about leaving my side. He cried for the first week and was anxious for the first two months. This year he knew what to expect. Same school, same friends, same teachers.

He left my side genuinely excited and greeted the teachers with is trademark huge smile (again and again the teachers tell me that he always has a smile on his face).

It was a good day.

The only problem? Juliet is beyond ready to go to preschool. She cried and cried that she wanted to go with him, and does not want to wait an entire year for it to be her turn. Hopefully ballet starting next week will take some of the pressure off. I swear, she's been ready to leave my side since turning two. Wild how that works.

And next year? This man will be in kindergarten. I can hardly believe it.

Look how much he's grown in a year. His face has slimed out and he's grown about 12" more of legs!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Goodbye summer, welcome autumn {weekend at the farmhouse}

The end of summer may be one of my favorite times of year. I adore autumn knocking on our door and we still get a handful of hot days to enjoy the last of what summer has to offer.

We decided to meet E's family down at the farmhouse to enjoy the AMAZING weather. Cool mornings and evenings and perfectly warm (but not hot) afternoons.
As soon as we arrived Juliet found the new antique rocker that Damma had gotten for the grandchildren. Juliet loves small chairs and Damma knew Juliet, in particular, would love this present. And she did. Doesn't she remind you of an old lady? Her little bun, her bird watching binoculars, relaxing on the porch in her rocker?
Three little cousins in a row. They were all loving digging in the soft dirt under the cedar.
Can we discuss what a beauty this little girl is?
Juliet was giving tons of "nice touches" and even some hugs and kisses. She's told me a half a dozen times since seeing Emilia "I love my sweet cousin so much!"
The sunflowers in bloom always signify the end of summer to me, so when I saw some growing on the side of the road I decided to make a flower crown. As I was fashioning it, Juliet commented on some ants, then "so many ants!" I looked down to realize she was standing on top of an ant hill and was COVERED in ants. They were in her hair and inside her dress. I felt so guilty and immediately took her dress off and swept all the ants off of her. Luckily she didn't get a single bite. I didn't want to put her dress back on until I was sure it was ant free, but the photos with her crown and without a shirt came out to be some of my favorites.
Soon we walked to a little steam train down the road. This is an actual tiny steam train that takes you on little rides, for free. It is so fun that it is within walking distance of the farmhouse.

It was a fantastic miniature steam engine.
Looking west, from the farmhouse lawn is one of my favorite views. Rural Utah at it's best. 
We spent the night, but Emilia and her family (as well as my in-laws) packed up and headed home for the night. The kids adore the big farmhouse tub, and next time we'll have to get all three of them in. We laughed, wondering how many cousins could fit in the gigantic tub. So darling to imagine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dolly tea

My Mother-in-law invited her three grandchildren to a special tea this afternoon, but they tea was not only for them, the invite extended to their favorite dolly or stuffed animal.

After a busy morning with friends hiking around Silver Lake which ended in Juliet falling off the boardwalk and into about six inches of water (what is with this child and falling off things into water?) we came home, napped, and changed into fancy outfits for tea.

Juliet wanted to bring Rosie, and James chose Panda.

Both looked darling and mostly acted darling. We met cousin Emilia there and had a nice private dolly tea at a local doll store. It included tiny cupcakes, tiny tea cups, pink lemonade, special mini silverware, and hats for everyone.

Being a Mama kinda rocks. Hikes in the morning, tea with dollies in the afternoon. Every day should be so awesome.

Such a fancy vintage dress with flower headband. Weather was perfection.
Freshly washed hair because falling off boardwalks and landing on your head means muddy hair. Luckily her washed hair smelled like "strawberry shortcake" according to her.
 Itty bitty place settings for everyone.

 Such a beauty.

 Everyone chose a hat and James chose this green fedora. I can not get over how handsome he is.
 Panda got a hat too.
 Soon babies were discarded (Emilia), fits were thrown (Juliet), and kind words were exchanged (James).
The oldest and youngest cousins are the best of friends. James and Emilia adore each other. Juliet wanted to be left alone (two year olds are sometimes impossible).
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