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).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to real life {and engagement photo shoot!}

Last weekend was perfect in many ways, mostly due to the twenty degree temperature drop. We went to the Farmer's Market, the park with friends, brunch with my family and even Red Butte Garden. I hardly got any photos of the darling children at Red Butte because my attention was on E's brother David and his fiancée. The engagement photo shoot went perfectly and we got so many lovely photos. Can't share them yet, not until the invites go out!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Miscellaneous Vacation photos

This will be the last Teton Post. Now that I've been home for an entire (rainy) week, I'm really missing being on vacation. I adore vacation and don't get overly stressed out. Especially now that the kids are a bit older, vacations are even more wonderful than ever.

So here are a lot of photos that didn't fit well into the other posts. So much fun.

On our second day there we took the boat across beautiful Jenny Lake to hike the Hidden Falls hike. Although we had an amazing time, it didn't end up being one of our favorite activities. The hike was steep and busy and the kids loved the boat ride, but it was quite short. Still glad we experienced Teton's most famous hike.

Waiting for the boat.
Off to the other side of the lake!
Hidden Falls was spectacular but we couldn't get any closer and had to wait in line (!!!) to get a view. Not our style at all.
Boat ride with a view!
Lots of swimming in the lakes. This time the kids wore their swimsuits. Surprising, I know.
Our cabin at the Jackson Hole KOA was perfect. Two bedrooms and a kitchen. Plus a private patio with a BBQ. So nice not to have to eat every meal out.
Juliet ended up sleeping in our room and everyone slept great.

Patio dining. We ended up eating at our cabin more than once and helped make the busier days feel more laid back.
Every cabin had a fire pit, which means we ate lots of these babies.

I took so many photos from the car. We'd round a bend and I'd be struck by beauty and just NEED a photo. 
One dinner we were most excited for was a little Italian Restaurant in Jackson that we remember so fondly from our 2006 trip. It was just as good as I remember.
Tetons tiramisu is not to be missed.
I mentioned that many nights after dinner we went to the city park for ice cream and games. Hide-and-seek was our favorite and I was often teamed up with this cute girl. She's an expert counter.
The elk antler archways are very iconic Jackson.
Always so silly.
Most days we were able to nap both the kiddos so we stayed out later than normal. Such fun!
More photos from the moving car. 
Our cabin was only minutes away from this fantastic beach on the Snake River. One night we went down there as a family to throw rocks. Juliet noticed this little muddy puddle and asked to go in. So off came her clothes and in she went. The water was cold! But she happily played for over thirty minutes, and covered herself with mud. After she was rubbed from head to toe in mud she said she was "perfect like a princess" and we walked back to the cabin and stuck her directly into a warm shower. 
Last day at the visitor center for Jr. Ranger badges!
Teton Ranger badge. Reminds me so much of this photo.
The morning before we drove home we went out to brunch (for the first time on the entire trip) and then drove one last time into the park to see Mormon Row.
This was a small Mormon settlement at the turn of the century. The cold winters and dry summers didn't make it very easy to build a life, and the area was soon deserted, leaving a small ghost town at the base of the most beautiful mountains.
The way home was uneventful and easy. Juliet slept and Google sent us on the most beautiful drive through small towns and tiny highways. Stunning.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Taggart Lake - Teton National Park

On the last full day we were there we decided to do a hike called Taggart Lake. Taggart Lake is one I've done before, but last time I did it I was on snowshoes.

As I mentioned before, James is an amazing hiker and really fun to hike with. He goes fast, stops are short and he has lots to notice and talk about. Juliet is sometimes great, other times a terror. This time was the later.

She wanted to be carried and then spent the entire hike in crying to go back to the cabin. Not fun for anybody, but especially E who had to carry the large, heavy, fussy mess.

Plus, the cloud cover was really low and so the day was kind of sticky humid and there wasn't a view of the mountains. We kept hoping the clouds would clear, but mostly they were blanked in a thick gray cloak.

Still, we were determined to have fun. It was our last vacation day, after all.

 Finally upon arriving we were met with our prize. A beautiful crystal clear mountain lake.
And just then the sun broke threw the clouds and the clouds shifted just enough to see some of the peaks beyond.
James wanted in. I feel like half of our vacation photos are of one or both of my kids in their undies. But it's all good, swimming in undies is a right of passage for kids.

The water was like glass, and the reflections were just perfect.

So perfect.
Soon Juliet took her shoes off and followed suit, balancing on the one large rock out on the lake. They steadied themselves by holding hands, and one little ray of light light them both up for a moment.
Soon she'd had lunch and stripped down to her undies as well. All grumps were forgotten. This girl loves water, and cold water never bothers her, and suddenly she was as happy as can be.
And brave enough to lie down in the chilly lake!
I am never one to miss a lake experience, so I joined them.
I have more photos of myself in undies at different lakes and rivers, so seeing this makes me happy. Kids should be allowed to be kids.
Balancing on a submerged log.
And splashing rocks. Always splashing rocks. And look! Sun!
After a long time of playing and eating and throwing rocks we got dressed and said goodbye to beautiful Taggart Lake.
Luckily we were able to sneak in a family photo before we left. Expect to see this one again, I love it.
And as we hiked out two AMAZING things happened. The clouds started to shift and stir and we were finally able to see some more of the mountains beyond.
AND Juliet had figured she'd had enough fussing and decided once again that hiking was fun, and happily and cheerfully hiked the entire way down (over 1.5 miles) without help. 
The clouds continued to clear and the view just kept getting better.
Soon Juliet decided that she needed to collect a bouquet. We told her wildflowers were off limits, but she found a few already picked on the ground and she picked a couple more while we weren't looking.
A girl with a handful of wildflowers, in the middle of the most beautiful mountains the world has to offer, there's nothing better.
Taggart Lake, even with the rocky start, was the perfect ending to our trip. 
-We are coming to an end of my vacation posts, after this one I think I'll just do one more, with some miscellaneous photos that didn't fit into other posts. Tetons, we love you.
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