Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top of the world {Snowbird Tram}

On Sunday we decided to use the glorious weather and the fact that Snowbird was offering free Tram rides in exchange for a bag of food as an excuse to visit Hidden Peak one last time before the winter winds blow.

We arrived first thing in the morning and the line was already forming. We hopped on the second Tram of the day and sped up the mountain to the stealer peak.

Juliet was SO grumpy (week three of missed naps and an ear infection that didn't become apparent until the next day would make anyone grumpy), but James was loving it. We all were loving it (other than the pissed-off two year old).

And the weather on the peak was mild! We were all in winter coats but by the end of our visit we were shedding our coats and hats. Fantastic!
Him: "I love adventures, let's hike down!" Her: "Why am I here? Let's go home and even though I'm exhausted and try to nap on the floor of the Tram, don't think for a second I'll sleep once I'm at home in bed! Ha!"
 Views in every direction are amazing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Juliet says, James says

Age two is hilarious. Everything that comes out of Juliet's mouth is pure gold. She is so funny!

Here are a few of my favorites over the last few months:
  • "If you pretend my tooters not stinky that is fine!"
  • Me: "I love you sweet dear" Juliet: "Me know deer, me snuggle bunny!"
  • "I love to snuggle daddy!" or "Daddy is my snuggle bunny!"
  • "My coink is sticky" (I love the way she says "coin")
  • Fuss fuss fuss "I can't even cry!"
  • "All perfect! Me a princess. Princess Ana!" (After rubbing herself from head to toe in mud.)
  • "Whatever you say princess mommy."
  • "Me learned that at preschool."
  • "Me ignore you guys! Me mad at you mommy!" (Not one second later) "... me getting happier!"
  • "When I'm a little boy I go to preschool."
  • "My doggie is named rice-a-roni!" So funny because I'm not sure I've ever said "rice-a-roni" in her presence.
  • "I love you so so so so much! Like 10,000 pounds! When we get home I'm going to give you a big hug!"
  • Me: Can I sing "you are my sunshine" Juliet: "No. Sing goodnight."  Me: "How does that go?" Her: "Goodnight, me love you so! Goodnight, me love you so!"
  • "Me in a sad situation."
  • Me: "Why are you fussing?" Julie: "I don't know me crying." (better honest, right?)
  • "A little bit pukey!" (spooky) whenever she sees Halloween decorations.
  • "Ba ba weeeee!" whenever we go down a big hill in the car. I don't know where she and James got this, but they say it all the time. Funniest coincidence is E said "uggy-moo-weee!" when going down a hill when he was small. Crazy similar. 
  • Out late one night she says "Me don't see Mr. Golden Sun!"
She has been on a two+ week nap strike due to cutting a hole in her binky. It's been rough. When she got up she had a big long story about a bugger and the fact that it disappeared. I love her little voice so much I just had to record. Here's what she had to say about it the other day:

James, at his age, talks with such skill that he hardly ever says anything super funny these days. Sob. He's growing up. When he does, I always try to write it down.
  • James: "Why is that company gone?" Me: "They ran out of money." James: "They need a sticker chart to earn more money!"
  • After calling him dear "I'm not a moose, I'm a James"
  • "I think the beach is headed right for us, I hear a lot of EagleOggle. They're headed right our way!" (He calls eagles "eagleoggles" but this entire statement it entirely out of left field.)
  • "There is a little boy and my tummy that helps me with my think abouts. And there is a shark in my tummy!"
And he learned the pledge of allegiance at his school and was so proud of it. Of course I had to record it. I was proud too.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Apple Orchard

Last year in early October we went to a local family owned orchard. We picked and picked and came home with the most amazing apples ever. I could hardly wait to make it an annual tradition!

I learned, however, that many apple trees have "on years" and "off years" so while we went to the orchard this morning, we were bummed to discover that not a single gala tree was full of apples. There were a few other varieties, but not the ones we were so looking forward to.

Still, we came home with a huge bucket full of apples (I think I'll make applesauce!), some tiny little plums and two huge home grown pumpkins. Oh yea, and two very grumpy kids. But that was not because of the orchard, and it's a story for another day.

I intentionally dressed him in the same sweater as last year. Love looking back.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Frightmares {Lagoon 2014!}

Each year since having kids we've visited Lagoon (the local amusement park). Back when the babies were babies we went in the summer with E's work and only rode one or two rides. Now, instead, we go in the autumn for Frightmares. It is a million times better. The weather is fantastic and there are hardly any lines. Most rides we were able to walk right onto! Plus, now that the babies are kids, they totally get it and LOVE it.

E and I didn't ride a single adult ride. Not one. We could have, I suppose, but we were having such a fun time with the kiddos, riding along with them, we really didn't want to. And it's amazing how many "adult" rides James is tall enough for, and some Juliet is even tall enough for. There was a full size roller coaster meant for adults that miraculously Juliet was tall enough for. James rode it with me before and said it was his favorite ride in the park. And because there was no line at all, we'd hop off and run around and jump right back on, over and over.

But soon we found E and Juliet and I suggested that she try it. It was fast, but smooth. And the sign said she was just tall enough. So we tried it. One thing about Juliet, is she is a total daredevil. Much much more than James ever is or will be.

She totally loved it.

So much so that we rode it again and again until one old fart (me) started to feel sick. Juliet, James and Daddy rode it five more times laughing all the way.

For the Halloween festivities there are also little walk throughs for the kids. Our kids did one, and liked it, but passed on the other one. They rather ride more rides.

At two and four years old, I've created Lagoon monsters. It's kinda amazing.

Ready to go on one of the scarier rides. I asked if I could hold his hand, he said no.
Looking festive in this dress that has fit since Juliet's first Halloween. Every year it just gets shorter and shorter, but is still a favorite.

Weather perfection, and crowds were small.
And before I quit riding on the roller coaster I decided it was worth it to try to record Juliet's reaction to the fast ride meant for adults. She'd already ridden it once, so I knew we were in for a lot of laughter. 

This video is better than I could have hoped for. LOVE!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Autumn splendor {sunny skies & gold leaves at the Cabin}

Hurrah! Seriously hurrah!! We made it to the cabin and we were met with the best sight in the entire world: golden leaves, blue skies and such a happy family!
It was magical. I know I seem to use that word a lot, but honestly, think about it: I have two healthy kids. My husband and I love each other very much. We own a cabin in the woods. I have more than anyone really deserves. I think about how fortunate I am all the time.
We were there for a work party. Everyone had a job and we were busy the entire time. But even with sweeping, emptying mouse traps, digging a hole for the port-a-potty contents (gag!), and all the other jobs we needed to do, there was still time to enjoy the glorious weather and take a few little walks.
When I suggested taking a walk to the meadow James was the only one that wanted to join me. I was thrilled. Spending some time with him, and only him makes me so happy. Love my first born.
We bush-wacked, looked for animals and talked about preschool. All the best things when you're almost five.
Forest floor magic.
There are lots of little secret gems around the cabin. One is our boulder felid. Major bush-waking required to get there, but Juliet never minds being carried by her favorite person in the entire world.
Everywhere we looked, the blue sky and gold leaves made for perfect backdrops!

Lots of smiles!
The boulder field has a few little caves. My cousins and I played in these as children, hence the "door" made of logs.
After last year's bummer trip (snow and green leaves) I was so so happy to have such perfect weather this year.
These two work for candy.
Later in the afternoon, while the kids watched a show on the iPad, and dinner bubbled on the stove, E and I left the kiddos with their grandparents so we could take a small walk, just the two of us. We walked to my favorite spot. A spot that I visit every time I'm there. I dream about this spot, owning a home one day in a space like this. No people, just the amazing forest as far as the eye can see. And the sound of a small river bubbling not too far away. E and I sat on a warm rock in the sunshine we talked a little about our dream home, our house in the woods. And then we just sat quietly, for a long time, enjoying the sun and the leaves. No words were shared, just quiet.
After dinner was finished and the last jobs were complete, we packed up and headed home. The timing was perfect because the sun slowly inched lower to the west and the entire forest lit up.
E and I could not help it. We stopped the car over a dozen times. We'd hop out again and again because we saw this:
Everywhere we looked the forest was full of magic. I will never forget seeing this in person, photos just don't compare. However, this photo, my favorite of the trip, was taken with my iPhone! I may need to hang it on my wall, because this forest, and this light, well nothing makes me happier.
Side note: after ten (TEN!!) years of blogging I finally created a cabin tag. It's wild, looking back at this place that never changes.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Leaves take one

September gently turned her page to October. October is magic. Golden light, golden leaves, and hopefully blue skies.

Two weekends ago we had plans to close the cabin but instead the weekend was full of rain. My brother Brandon mentioned again and again that the leaves where at their prime and we MUST see them. So on Sunday we drove up, got caught in rain then hail, but finally saw the leaves even if blanketed with gray skies.

Even with lots of rain, and huge black clouds, the first moments we were there we were greeted with a tiny sliver of sun.
Juliet only wanted to show us her tongue and James just wanted "to explore the beautiful forest."
We tromped through the wet meadow and made it to the golden woods.

Even though the best combo in the entire world is golden leaves and blue blue sky, I was ok. At least we'd seen them.
But then this weekend promised perfect weather. We decided to close the cabin on Saturday and hoped against hope that the week of solid rain and wind hadn't stripped the branches bare. We were awestruck when we found out that, in fact, the branches still looked beyond amazing. And the blue sky couldn't make us happier. 

Next up, sunny skies at the cabin! (A little teaser pic because it was DIVINE!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Daily walk with James

Often times I get stuck in a rut of only taking out my big camera on the weekends. Carrying a camera in addition to taking care of both kids by myself isn't my strong suit. My camera is clunky and heavy and awesome, but because of those reasons I find that all my photos are of just weekend outings.

While weekend outings are spectacular, I also want to remember the day to day. E leaves early (most days by 7:15) and doesn't arrive home until after five. So there are a lot of hours in there that are beautiful and messy and silly and frustrating. While I'm great about documenting these moments on IG with my phone, many times IG photos don't get posted here.

So today, I decided to take my camera out for our daily walk.
For as long as I've had kids I've walked with them. Not every day, but most days. September walks are the best. Horse chestnuts are ready to be collected, grapes are waiting to be picked (lots of grape vines with generous owners) and many times we come home with bags of fruit and veggies that our neighbors have shared.

Most the time our walk route is the same. I've written about the "secret house" a few times; it is a house tucked back behind the subdivisions that I didn't even know about for the first six months of living at our current residence. We love to walk there because the man that rents the basement is our favorite neighbor and the gardens are spectacular.

There is also an irrigation ditch that runs parallel to the secret house. We pretend it's a mountain stream and "fish" everyday off the bridge. Many days in the summer we even get wet. It's not a problem that this little ditch is actually not a stream, and there are not actually fish. We make magic anyway.

The best thing about our neighbor friend is that he always has a candy or two for the kids. It is the sweetest thing.

Today, for the first time ever, our friend asked if the kids wanted to take a ride on the lawnmower. The blade would be turned off, but they were welcome to ride along if they wanted to. Of course both of them couldn't wait.
I don't know this man's last name. He doesn't know ours. But he's known me for almost five years and we've formed quite a friendship. I've seen him through almost losing his leg to infection and he's seen me through raising two really great kids. It's fun to have a friend like that.

Especially when they make my kids smile like this.
Neighborhood walks are the best. And today we came home with a bag bursting with grapes, green beans, tomatoes and candies of course. Always candies. (And one more favorite post about this neighbor, just for good measure).

And, if you're on IG, one of my favorite hash tags of all is #dailywalkwithjames. Lots of joy comes from this part of our days.
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