Friday, April 18, 2014

Then & Now {favorite Easter outfit}

Last year (when Juliet was 14 months old) I was already dressing her in 2T. She was just so rolly. Her fat little arms and legs needed the room. Over the last year she's grown so much, but only in height. Her rolls are nearly gone and her 2T bunny shirt that fit last Easter still fits.

Can you believe a year later she still fits into this darling outfit? I hope to get even another year out of the skirt! Love it that much. Everything is the same even down to the tights.

Last year the windowsill hit her in the middle of the chest. This year she hits it at the belly. So much taller.
See that little arm roll on the far left below? It's one roll (of many) that I miss a lot.
Tee and skirt: Janie & Jack
Tights: Target
Shoes last year: vintage
Shoes this year: See Kai Run

And yes, she's quite a character. She loves to ham it up for the camera.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Daffodils in the garden {2014}

My favorite days of the year can be easily summed up, garden days. I live for them. The Daffodil Festival, the Tulip Festival, going to the garden on Mother's Day, and enjoying it again in the autumn are by far my favorite days of the entire year.
I've only met two people to adore flowers as much as me, my Grandparents. The had a deep rooted love for gardens and color and nature. If I inherit anything from them, I am proud that this is it.
Luckily for me, I am in a family that also has a deep love for the garden. I however am beyond obsessed with flowers.
Each year since I was pregnant with James we've worn yellow and taken a family photo in the daffodils. This tradition, while cheesy, is something I so look forward to each year. (See last year, 2012, 2011, 2010, and finally 2009.)

 These two have done a tiny bit of growing since last year. ;)
When I happen to photograph their personalities, well, I smile too. These two goof balls have me cracking up all day long.
I proclaim each new flower to be my favorite, but daffodils rate in the top five. I love that they are often the first ones up in the spring.

The blossoming trees have been spectacular this year.
My new favorite photo of my freckled boy. He had a potato bug on has hand and was laughing at the tickles.
I've mentioned on Instagram a few times how wonderful and sweet this relationship is growing into. James cares so much for Juliet and she just adores James and looks up to him so much. At once point in the garden James said "Juliet, let's hold hands for the whole time we are here," and Juliet agreed.
James is also the first to run to Juliet when she gets a bonk and needs a hug. "It's ok, are you better now?" he asks. "Yea" she said, and off they went.

These days of small kiddos, flowers, sunshine and warm breezes slip away too fast. Please let them last just a moment more.
Happy Spring.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring has sprung!

The daffodils dance in the hillside dew
The tulips are poppin’ up two by two
The little brook babbles, glistens and shines
The butterflies dance in the shadow of the pines
Spring has bloomed in a glorious display of color and sunshine over the last few days. There have been smiles, a new love for biking riding from James, and the most glorious flowering trees wherever you may look.

This next week we will visit the Daffodil Festival AND the Tulip Festival. Get ready for spring flower photo overload.

The mama cow nuzzles her little baby calf 
And the trees find their leaves at last
Life is everywhere fresh and new
Proud and strong, sweet and true

I want to shout it out
From a mountaintop
I want to tell the world

Spring has sprung! Spring has sprung!

-Frances England, Spring has Sprung

Monday, April 07, 2014

Cousin line-up

How many forced photos do you have with yourself and your cousins growing up? Likely a lot. So whenever we get together with the kid's cousin Emilia, I'm all for taking a quick photo, forced smiles and all.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

You are my sunshine

You make me happy when skies are gray.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Happy happy birthday to me!

I know many people don't love their own birthday, but I am not one of them. Mostly because of E. He is amazing. He makes a big deal of it and every year seems sweeter than the year before.

This year he took the day off (woot! woot!) and he let me sleep in the basement, hence letting me sleep in a bit on my actual birthday.

As soon as I finally rolled out of bed (at a very late 8:10) we dressed and headed to breakfast.

Blue Plate is one of my favorite breakfast spots in Salt Lake. Their eggs benedict are amazing.  AMAZING.

And then the day just got better from there. Secret Park where we didn't see any foxes but had a wonderful time just being together, lunch at home and the kiddos' and nap time. Damma arrived (E's mom) and we hopped in the car and went to the aves for a traditional Japanese bath at our favorite local spa.

A small lunch and mini shopping date at Trolley Square rounded out our afternoon.

We headed home to some very tired and happy kids. On my birthday I didn't want to skip one of my favorite parts of the day: putting them to bed. I snuggled them close and tucked them both in before another babysitter arrived (thank you sis!) and we went downtown for the most fantastic sushi dinner Salt Lake has to offer.

What a busy complete wonderful day. I am the luckiest.

Salt Lake local and haven't been to Blue Plate? You are missing out big time.
I love eating out with my kids. We do it at least weekly and they always get compliments from restaurant staff and strangers on how well behaved they are (most of the time).
Early April and we are back in winter coats with snow on the ground. Didn't deter us, if there is sun we are out.
No foxes, but a blue sky and a sweet girl.
Kura Door is my favorite Utah spa. I haven't been to many (only two or three others) because I adore Kura Door. It is amazing. I love love love it. And the couple's ofuro bath (in double tubs) is a total treat. The sky at this point had turned cloudy and cold and nothing felt better than an hour in a deep hot bath chatting about travel with the man of my dreams.

A small lunch at Whole Foods and looking around Tabula Rasa without herding the kids away from 90% of everything they keep in stock was so much like our life before kids. I miss it. Of course I adore my kids and would miss them more, but looking around the mall without yelling "don't touch that!" was nice too.
Back home for kiddo dinner, bath, and bed. Damma really wore them out with all their playing, and they were both quite ready for bed. (Sorry James I caught you mid-blink).
Last stop of the night was Takashi. If you are a sushi fan you've got to try this place. It is amazing. It is my favorite place and where we've been going to birthday dinners for almost five years. It is that good.
Three of our favorites, the sunshine, the Buddha and the ebony and Ivory. So so good.
What a happy birthday it was. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The pursuit of foxes

Some animals are magic to me. Some that seem hard to see, elusive, and secretive. My top two favorite animals to see in the wild (here in Utah) are owls and foxes. Lucky for me both animals are really popular with kids items right now, so James and Juliet have a little collection of fox and owl toys.

I've heard threw the grapevine that our favorite park had its own fox skulk (a group of foxes). I was obsessed. We've been going to this park for years and every single time I'm there I think "wouldn't it be AMAZING to see the foxes today?"

Well one day two weeks ago was my lucky day, and I didn't even see them! I was there with my lifelong friend Allison and her sweet baby boy when a friendly dog walker stopped and told us more, specifically where to look when looking for foxes.

That day, unfortunately, there wasn't a fox to be found. But oh, I had new hope!
I've know Allison since I was a baby. Younger than her baby. We've been close friends our entire lives. And, lucky for me, she was willing to go on lots of endless fox adventures the weekend she was in town from Colorado, because she even knew about more local foxes! (Didn't see them though).
The next weekend was lovely temperature wise so we invited E's parents to join us at "Secret Park". We wandered over to where we heard the foxes hang out and we spotted him!!! In the middle of the day! In full sun! I was always expecting to see them on days with little sun and near the end of the day.

We were thrilled. Mostly me. I felt like I finally had hit the jackpot. I felt like it was the best best day of my entire year. I am not exaggerating. I'm obsessed. We only saw him for a half a second run between some far off trees, but I was beyond stoked.

My little explorers. We brought our binoculars in hopes of seeing them (we did!) and Juliet wore her foxy dress for good luck, which of course seemed to work.
After walking another small loop with the kids and E's parents we came back to check on the foxes and what what what?! One was napping in the sun not far off. I was DYING that I didn't have anything other than my iPhone camera, this sweet napping guy was like a dream come true. We watched him for a minute or two before Juliet's crying scared him away. It was the best minutes of my month.

Twice over the next few days I went back. Once with my mom (we spotted him off in the trees for only a moment) and then again on a cloudy morning after dropping James off at preschool. I put Juliet in the carrier and hoped the morning would yield just as much luck as the afternoon.
I knew carrying Juliet on my back would be heavy so I didn't choose to bring the big camera and the zoom. Instead I chose my old point and shoot that has a decent zoom. The morning light was perfect and still.

After a week of rain things have started to green up nicely.
Since the Secret Park is also a dog park, the key is to look for the foxes behind the fence. I had a lot of time to enjoy and be quiet watching the sun and clouds shift.
These berries were being picked over quickly by a flock of robins. Juliet fussed a bit and I handed her my phone with a little show turned on. All I wanted to do was stand still, and watch.

Finally I saw him! Not close like the day he was napping, but I saw him. And then another, and then another! One really red and two blondies. Sorry for the photo quality, but it was AMAZING to witness.
Soon Juliet's show was over and wanted to get down and play at the playground. We walked back in that direction, and I just kept thinking how lucky I am. The luckiest.

Spring is really on it's way, and foxes live in my neighborhood. Things are good.

Want to see three of my favorite blog posts that also happened to take place at Secret Park? This one was the last outing before Juliet was born, this one was when Juliet was tiny, and this one which is one of my favorite blog posts of all time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

James says, Juliet says

Whenever my children say something adorable or funny or sweet and loving I try to pull out my phone and make a note of it. I'm only on top of my game about 30% of the time, but these are just too darling not to share.
James (4 years) says:
  • "I think those little birdies are cold little fellas." 
  • "Angry daddies come and kiss children!" 
  • "The moon is nocturnal"
  • "I was trying to be grumpy and Juliet laughed at me!" 
  • "My sweet little legs are all cold and it makes me funny!" 
  • "When I'm a daddy I'm going to have two kids, Peter Rabbit and Ariel." 
  • "When I'm thirty-teen you'll have to get me a new bed!" 
  • "You are a bad woman!" (This was his favorite insult for awhile when he was mad at me. Wish things could stay that simple.)
  • "My tummy is full of boogers!" 
  • "Will you be my part-a-ner?" (The way he says partner just melts me.)
  • "I love mommy, and you love me. And I love daddy and he loves me. And I love Juliet and she loves me!" 
  • When asked what his name was at the playground "My name is Juliet and James." 
  • "If I do say so myself!" (One of his favorite things to say a random times, it cracks me up.)  
  • Out of nowhere: "I love you Juliet. I really love you Juliet." 
  • "When I'm 31 Juliet will be 11!" 
  • "I'm a good engineer."
And we can't skip out on what the silly "gurla" says now that she's talking non-stop. (James still says "girl" in the most darling of ways, we call Juliet our "sweet gurla" or "silly gurla" all the time.)
Juliet (2 years) says:
  • "Wait wait! Hug! Wait wait! Kiss too!" (Every night telling James not to forget to hug and kiss her. She really couldn't care less about E and I kissing her, but James is a different story.)
  • "Want it, doggy! Want it!" 
  • "Mommy? Never-mind!" (She went through a major phase with this about two weeks ago. She'd say "Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY! Never-mind!" over and over again. If it wasn't so adorable it'd make you go mad!)
  • Putting her to bed: "Ready! Naps! Bye! See ya soon!" 
  • "Digger Days (James)! Digger! Look Days!" (For a long long time she called James "Days", and just recently she figured out how to say "James". "Days" is a thing of the past. 
  • "Tickle me!!" "Catch me!" "Kiss me!" "Nuggle me!" (Depending on what mood she's in).
  • "Me doing it SELF!" (I hear this 100+ times a day. She wants help with nothing and would rather throw a huge fit if she can't do it than ever ask or accept help.)
  • Somehow opening my Pinterest on computer "oh cute! Ohh! This cute too!" 
  • "Ready debie!" (Ready for strawberries!)
  • "Ok!" She's been saying "k" now for a long time, but for some reason when she added that little "o" it just make it extra cute.  
  • Me: "How many more bites do you have left?" Her: "Forty-nine!" 
  • When putting her dollie to sleep: "Good sleeps Rosie! Nap time! No cries! Safe bed Rosie! Good sleeps!"
  • "James favorite kiddo" (They adore each other and it seriously it the best part of parenthood.)
  • "Daddy favorite. This daddy. This daddy head. This daddy poky hair favorite." 
  • Everything is named Nicholas. She loves that name. "James Nicholas, Mommy Nicholas, me Nicholas, shoes Nicolas, dress Nicholas" etc...
*Above, she is quite insistent on snuggling (nuggling) all her friends each and every time I lie her down. Today at nap time she kept railing she was missing one or two, so finally when she had them all, I asked if I could get a photo. She said yes and then proceeded to fall asleep in this mass. Weirdo. ;)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Backyard rainbow party

I had planned a little backyard playdate for St. Patrick's Day this year (just like last year!) but cold winds forced us to reschedule. We planned on today hoping for beautiful weather, but although there wasn't wind, there was still plenty of clouds and cold.

Luckily our little troupe of kids braved it out and we really had such a fun late St. Patrick's party Rainbow Party. Everyone wore green and/or rainbows and we did all sorts of rainbowy things.

Lucky my kids get to grow up beside these kids and I see their Mamas on a weekly basis. These are some of my best friends.
Rainbow umbrella with rainbow raindrops twisting and twirling in the wind.
Kids were greeted with a rainbow necklace making station.

Every kid loves a good rainbow necklace.
James has the cutest friends.
The first highlight of the party was the parachute!

And the main event was the leprechaun scavenger hunt just like last year's. Everyone loved it and followed eight simple clues to the hidden treats at the end.
Party girl.
Look how much this guy's grown since last year's party.
We loaded them up on rainbow colored sugar and played and played. Such a fun way to kick of spring in the backyard.
Have a rainbow filled weekend. 

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