Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Picnic in the backyard

The weather today in Utah is bizarre. Awesome, but bizarre.

We are eating lunch in the backyard without coats. And more than that, we are too hot! Finally James and I stripped down to our tees. It's nearly seventy degrees and it is still February!  I am loving each and every second.

So to celebrate we had our first backyard picnic. Oh joys of joy!

Sorry about the less than clear photo. The pose won out over the blurry quality.

It is hard to believe it is February and not the end of April, other than the bare branches without even the smallest green bud.

Her hair is long, wild and curly.

Evening sunset

Last night while E was getting the kiddos into the tub and I was cleaning up after dinner I peeked outside to see a glorious sunset. Instead of loading the dishwasher, I went and swapped lens on my camera, exchanging it for E's zoom and hustled outside before the light changed.

Goodness I live in a spectacular place. These mountains take my breath away daily. Really. I have a thing for my mountains. They are stunning.
And a few of the sky. What a beautiful moment.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend highlights

We had such a wonderful weekend over here, mostly due to the weather. The weather has suddenly felt just like beautiful glorious spring. It is hard to remember that it is still February, because Sunday felt like April. Actually, it was record breaking warm, at 64 degrees. Glorious!

Saturday, while not quite as warm, still felt awesome. We dressed in spring colors (bring on green grass and leaves please!) and took a neighborhood walk. Both kids wanted their binoculars and were both thrilled to see our neighbor friend who saves a handful of candy for them.
If you know where to look, the first signs of spring area all around.
Beautiful girl on our walk.
James spotted the butterfly nets in a not so secret hiding spot. I was saving them for Easter but once he found them there was no turning back. We collected all sorts of goodies with our nets on the walk.
And Sunday was one of the best days I've had in a long time. E gave me a massage at the Grand America Spa for Christmas. The Grand America is the only five star hotel in Utah, and it is just so beautiful. I was so excited to go and wanted to go on a really cold day so I could enjoy the steam room and spa even more. Well Sunday broke and it was the warmest most glorious day ever. I was still so excited to go get pampered while E stayed home with the kiddos. 
The pool was spectacular, the massage heavenly and the steam room and sauna awesome. Oh how wonderful it all was.
After naps we decided we MUST go to the park. It was AMAZING. No coats, sun, blue skies. I was so excited to photograph my spring header photos. With weather like this is actually was feeling like spring.
What I captured is so cute. Bare legs and short sleeves! Yes! Can't wait to roll out the spring header on Saturday. But until then, here is a little teaser shot. Oh was it a glorious day. We even came home and barbecued. I still can't believe it's February.
Happy spring!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Juliet year two interview

When James turned three I did a little interview with him, so I could remember his favorite colors and friends and foods. And then I did another interview when he turned four.

Before three they are pretty hard to pin down. Asking them questions like "what is your favorite activity" gets silly answers and sillier behavior.

But who doesn't love silly? And who cares that she can't answer most questions. She's crazy and cute nonetheless.

So here it is, Juliet's year two interview.

Juliet is hilarious
And cute
And a mermaid
And crazy ;)
*and she would NOT let me help her with her headband, hence the awesome style

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Red Butte on the cusp of winter to spring

As I've gotten older I've realized there are a few things that get me really really excited. Beautiful golden light, creating magic for my children and the changing of the seasons.

Seriously, the changing of the seasons gets me super excited. I love thinking about how the air feels different, how the smells are different, how everything around me is changing. My favorite seasonal change is undoubtedly summer to autumn. However, I also LOVE love love winter to spring.

Winter to spring's change, while easy to understand why you'd love it, is actually I'd say some of the most dreary and "boring" change in the garden. Spring in it's height is amazing. Better than amazing.
But those first few days that feel like spring? They feel beyond beautiful, but in all honestly don't look that great.

Grass is still brown. Trees are bare. Dirt is just that, dirt with nothing growing. However Utah has had a fairly mild winter, and dare I say it? We are headed for an early spring?
Usually in the middle of February we are still in our winter gear. We are still shoveling and sledding and cursing the snow. But it's been mild for weeks, or maybe over a month.
Many days are gray and dreary. Rain and a lot of it, and snow melting faster that I can believe. But when it's not raining, we are out. Even if it's gray. We are looking for the spring in the very winter-like landscape.
At Red Butte Garden over the weekend there really wasn't much to see. Everything was brown. There were a few tiny little green buds, but nothing to rejoice over. But we wore our spring coats and looked carefully for any hints of spring.
This year the snowdrops are in bloom early. They are some of my favorites, always blooming the very first, and such a welcome sight after winter!
The cypress doesn't mean spring, but the bright lime green color is a welcome relief in a sea of brown.
Both kids wore their binoculars the entire time. Thank goodness they now each have a pair.
Late February and early March definitely qualify as the cusp between winter and spring. And although there isn't a lot to see, garden wise, the sunshine and mild temperature feels so so wonderful nobody seems to care.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I hope you get lots of love and kisses on Valentine's Day this year. All the best things in life are free, and love and kisses top the list.

And tomorrow E and I celebrate fifteen years together! We started dating when we were 17. Amazing.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Juliet's birthday and her party!

Juliet's birthday this year fell on a Saturday, which of course is GREAT. Having her actual birthday on the weekend made it so we could celebrate her all day and then have a family party the next day. Full weekend of celebrations.

She woke on Saturday in such a happy mood, which of course is awesome. I went into her bedroom singing "Happy birthday" and she started dancing and singing with me first thing.

Walking into the kitchen we was thrilled to see two yellow balloons (her favorite color) and this enormous 2 ballon. It is bigger than her by a long shot.

On the table was also a stack of presents that she and James didn't waste any time opening.
Her gifts included her own set of binoculars (the meltdown at the end of this post was because James wanted a turn), a mermaid Playmobil set, some new pink spring shoes, a stackable rainbow and the Raggedy Ann doll James picked for her.
She loved everything and kept hugging her new doll. James was so sweet. He kept saying "I got that for your birthday Juliet, because you love dolls!"
We continued with our tradition of pancakes on birthday morning. Juliet got two, because she was turning two. They were extra special pancakes because they were full of rainbow sprinkles.
And we continued our tradition of having candles and singing on birthday morning.
She sang along with us.
And even at two she is a pro at blowing out her candles.
After naps we decided to go to the indoor pool as a family to celebrate. Looking back at James's second birthday I realized we followed almost the exact same timeline. It's amazing how much these siblings love to swim.

And we had to break out our matching suits for birthday pool day! I found them on Zulily about a month ago and they are super darling.
This big boy now likes to play in the deeper pool and jump off the edge and "swim" back to the side. He's not quite there but close.
This little girl does anything and everything her big brother does. He jumps off the edge and isn't scared? She isn't either. And thanks to my handy dandy iPhone waterproof pouch for these awesome pool pics.
Blurry and awesome.
These kids love it when I jump in and make a big splash. I asked E to capture their smiles as they watched me.
My favorite photo of the day, for sure.
And a little gif of this fishy. Wait, scratch that. Mermaid. She corrected her Auntie Melissa when Melissa asked if she was a fishy in the pool. "No, mermaid," she said.
pool jump on Make A Gif
After the pool we were all tired and hungry.We went to her favorite restaurant for dinner, Cafe Rio, and finished with dessert there (their Tres Leches is to die for!). Such a full happy day. Juliet was thrilled and just so wonderful the entire day. Back at home we sung to her a couple more times before bedtime. Such an amazing day.

And then on Sunday evening we celebrated with our family at another favorite restaurant, Pizzeria Limone. It is amazing.
Birthday girl ready for the party!

Grandpa Craig brought Juliet and James a gift. Happy kiddo with his new dart shooter.
Both sides of the family was there. So lucky to have them both.
The lemon pizza is out of this world.
Ao much fun.
Smiles, presents (which were a surprise, I wasn't expecting any), family and pizza. Nothing better.
Birthday girl loving the dinner choice.

And then we went back to my house for cake. All along Juliet's been asking for a "yellow cake". When asked if she wants cupcakes or a big cake she says "HUGE!". My mom was kind enough to be on cake duty and surprised us with a huge yellow bunny cake for my bunny! Juliet said "oh wow!" when she saw it.
A little unsure when everyone is singing to her. It was a big crowd.
Sweet two year old girl.

That's a wrap! Happy birthday sweet amazing Juliet.

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