A Baby Shower + A Girls' Night Out

My sweet friends threw me a baby shower Friday night and words cannot express how lucky I feel to have their caring presence in my life! We began by stuffing our bellies full of some AMAZING homemade soups for dinner followed by opening presents.  Amy knew I had my eye on a Rock 'n Play Sleeper so the girls all pitched in and bought me one!  I'm seriously over-the-moon excited about it.  It looks so comfy.  I kind of want a grown-up version!  Then we all went to the mall for manicures and pedicures.  Ahhh, those massage chairs are where it's at.  I could have stayed all night feeling those rollers knead my back into smithereens.  And of course, a true girls' night isn't complete without a trip into Ulta where Shelly helped Dani and me find just the right eyebrow fillers, a new-to-me add on to my makeup routine!  Then we headed back to my house to finish it all off with chocolate cake and a late night chat.  It really doesn't get any better than that.

Thank you!!!


Grandma's 80th Birthday

^^Grandma with five of her great-grandchildren: Jed, Levi, Jaxon, June, and Carter^^

We spent the most memorable weekend with extended family at a cabin way up in the La Sal mountains outside of Moab, UT.  We all gathered there to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday!!!  She just radiates love.  Words cannot describe how much I admire that woman. There was no cell service and it was wonderful to truly unplug from everything: no internet, no advertisements, no pressures of the everyday grind. It was just family (noisy family!) and food (sooo much food!) and some small adventures. I wish we could relive it because I'm missing my weird but loving tribe of people already!

On Friday morning, I dropped off this studly man (and my uncle Ed) at 11,000 feet at the top of a mountain to ride 27 miles of what is called the Whole Enchilada.  Pretty incredible, yeah?  You bet I was jealous!

You guys, I married a good one. I can't imagine my life without this man. He's the one I talk late into the night with, adventure with, work and plan with, and parent with. He is patient and loving and involved and does his best in every facet of his life. I couldn't ask for a better husband. I love you, Bron!

View from the front porch of the cabin.  These horses just wandered in and out of the yard nibbling on the grass (and pooping all over the lawn).  And would you look at that scrub oak?  The leaves were changing colors and it was beautiful in its own deserty way.  

One afternoon, my cousin Rachel, Aunt Becky, Kelsey, and I all went for a little exercise walk that turned into a hike!  And another afternoon, our family of four strapped on helmets and took off in the razor that my Uncle Jeff rented.  That thing was buttery smooth over the dirt trails!  We let the boys take turns riding in the front seat.  "Step on it!" they commanded.  It goes without saying, they had a blast. 


Trip to the Hogle Zoo

We spent the most memorable weekend with extended family celebrating my Grandma's 80th birthday!!! But first, I want to reminisce about our pit-stop a the Hogle Zoo on our way south.

Jed had both Thursday and Friday off from school.  So we packed up the car and headed out Thursday morning, arriving at the zoo in the early afternoon.  The boys were sooo excited to see all the animals!  Jed was especially excited to see a rhino.  He was pretty fixated on that and wanted to find them right away.  Ha!  (I think the movie Hatari may have had some influence on that.)  We've found that Fall really is the best time to visit the zoo.  It wasn't crowded and the weather was cool and overcast, which meant all the animals were out and active!  We spent over three hours exploring and re-exploring the different attractions.  I was quite impressed, actually.  The Hogle Zoo is small but really nice and harbors all of the major large animals.  I am so glad we have zoos to help foster a love and fascination for animals.

We wrapped up the afternoon at the gift shop by purchasing the boys stuffed animals to remember their trip by.  Jed chose a rhino.  Levi chose a snow leopard. They're inseparable new best friends and kind of go everywhere with us now.



Snapshots and a Few Stories from Lately

Life has been humming along this September.  Levi and I enjoy our {mostly relaxed} days together doing laundry and reading stories and just getting stuff done: like making caramel apples for lunch!  We've gone to regular doctor appointments and followed them up with little dates together.  We saw Pete's Dragon in the theater one day, ate a picnic lunch at the historic Stricker Station another day, hit up the Herrett Museum last week, and of course, have gotten some ice cream.  From the backseat Levi said, "Mom, you're the prettiest!"  It made my day.  I think he's the cutest!  My four-year old companion is the best.  And I am so glad I have him.  We're really soaking in this one-on-one time together while it lasts.

However, once Jed gets home at 3:50PM, it feels like life all of a sudden speeds up to 100mph.  We scramble to fit in all that needs to be done before bedtime: homework, dinner, soccer, showers, ukulele practice, and mutual for me...  It's exhausting!  Both Jed and I are still adjusting to this new schedule.  (Ohhh, the tantrums!)  As fun and good as soccer is, we're both looking forward to mid-October when it's all over and Jed can have some time to unwind and just play like a kid--well, for an hour or two.  And don't get me started on school and homework.  Sooo much homework for a little guy!  Jed has come a long way since school started and I see progress weekly and even daily in his schoolwork and behavior, but wow has it been a stressful few weeks working with his teacher trying to figure out what works best for our first grader. 

This new journey into big kid territory has left me feeling helpless at times!  BUT it also makes me all the more grateful that I get to return to newborn territory in less than two months. Then I can fix all of someone's problems with a fresh diaper and my boob.  :)  Though I'm nervous the combination of exhaustion for caring for a baby and helping my first grader just might kill me.  However, a friend reminded me that if it isn't one thing, it's another.  So I'm trying to roll with the punches and just enjoy the ride!

A few pictures and stories from around the house to document:               

Teamwork!  Backyard apple picking with Kyle.  These two four year old neighbors have become inseparable (and mischievous) peas in a pod since school started.  So I put them to "work" for me one afternoon. I think this picture tells the whole story!  Hehe.  ^^Look carefully in the tree!^^