May 21, 2014


Dave and I are always slow to upgrade. Part of that is because we have been students for 6 of our 8 married years, and still have 2 more years ahead of us, but also because we just don't feel compelled to have the latest and greatest when what we have works. This month, however, the Howes are finally moving forward!

First upgrade was a push reel mower for our yard. For the last year we had been using a weed whacker, but  now that Sophie is old enough to play outside, we knew something better was needed. I had been searching the classifieds and finally found a good deal on mower. We cut the grass as soon as we got home and it looked so much better! A few days later we also trimmed the edges and pulled the weeds, and now it looks like a proper lawn. I'm sure Sophie will spend many hours out here this summer.

Cutting the jungle

Sophie doing her part to help clean up the grass clippings

Hunting for eggs (one of her favorite activities) on the newly trimmed lawn

Next upgrade was a new camera for me. When Sophie started walking and 9 out 10 pictures I took were of a Sophie blur, I realized my little point-and-shoot was no longer adequate. So when we got our tax return, we decided to put it towards a DSLR. It came in the mail on Tuesday and I have no idea how to use it, but I'm looking forward practicing a lot on my crazy girl. 

Sophie was interested in the new camera

....and a little unsure. Hopefully soon I'll be capturing smiles instead :)

Last upgrade was new phones for me and Dave. This is where I really moved out of the stone age. 4 years ago, when smart phones were starting to get popular, we decided that we could wait and signed a 2 year contract on the freebie flip phone. Then 2 years ago, when Dave started his PhD program, we talked and decided that a smart phone was necessary for his school, but that I would keep my little phone. Now that my flip phone is 4 years old, we decided that it was time for it to retire. This time we went through Costco and it was a breeze - we are never going to the Verizon store again. After only 30 minutes at the store we came home with new phones, free accessories, and a reasonable contract.

What I am nervous about : breaking it - my little brick phone was virtually indestructible. It was chewed on, dropped a hundred times, thrown into a bag without thought and nothing ever went wrong.

What I'm excited about - finally having a decent camera so I can take pictures on the go!

My old and new phone  

Side story: Dave's new phone turned out to be defective. To return it, however, we needed the original packaging and we had already tossed the box. So today after work I got to go dumpster diving! I was able to find everything pretty quickly, and without too much grossness. Phew!

May 18, 2014

Sophie Gets a Balloon

On Saturday I went to the store for our weekly grocery trip. At the checkout, the cashier asked if I wanted to donate $1.00 to some organization or cause (I can't remember what it was). I normally politely decline in these situations, but this time if you donated you got a free balloon so I said yes. I let Sophie hold the balloon in the car on the way home, but it wasn't until we went inside that she got really excited. I'd say it was a dollar well spent!

Video: Sophie's 1st Balloon

May 12, 2014

Sophie was in a dancin' mood tonight!

Dave and I were watching last week's episode of the voice On Demand tonight after dinner. Sophie was loving the music and suddenly started busting out some moves. My camera was upstairs at the time so I wasn't able to record any of it, but later when Pharrell came on for a guest performance she decided to entertain us with a second performance of her own. Unfortunately I think she got my sense of rhythm. Ha - I love this girl!

Video - Sophie Dancing

May 9, 2014

Family Date Night in Provo

For the past week and half we were staying in Provo at my aunt's house while she was out of town. On Monday night we decided to take advantage of our time in Provo and went on a family date night to the BYU Creamery for dinner and to the new recreation center. At the Creamery we both got kids meals, which are the best! Burger, fries, drink, and ice cream for under $4.00. And after Sophie finished the dinner we brought for her, we let her try some of our food. It was her first experience with junk food and I'd say she was a fan :)

Trying a french fry

And some chocolate ice cream!

After dinner, we went to the rec center, which is only a few block from the apartment we lived in during Dave's MBA. It was still under construction when we moved, so this was our first chance to visit! We decided to check Sophie into play land for an hour so we could go play a few games of racquetball. This was our first time leaving her in a daycare/nursery type environment so we weren't sure how she'd do. They gave us a pager to call us if she cried too much/got hurt/was mean/needed a diaper change, and we kept watching it, but it never went off! She did great! The staff said she never cried and never needed any attention. She just walked around looking at stuff for the entire hour - easiest kid ever.

A little sweaty after two games of racquetball. Unfortunately I lost both times, but put up a good fight and made it a close game. 

Sophie in play land - when I went to pick her up she just wanted me to follow her over to the castle where the slide was

After picking up Sophie we went swimming as a family. The rec center has an indoor water play area, lazy river, climbing wall, slides, and hot tub! This was Sophie's first time at a pool and she did ok. The water clearly made her nervous and when we first went in she had a death grip on whoever was holding her. After some time she was able to relax a little bit and let us help her float on her tummy, back, and glide between us. We have a pool in our complex so I'm sure she will spend a lot of time swimming this summer.

Ready for a swim!

Not sure about the water

Already breaking the pool rules

Having some fun - "Hi mommy!"

May 5, 2014

More Purple

Sophie's world pretty much revolves around four things these days: daddy, food, outside, and Purple. Daddy is a given - he is pretty awesome and my world revolves around him too :) Outside is also understandable - the weather has been amazing these past few days and we've been going on lots of walks (2-3 a day) and having fun at various playgrounds. And who doesn't love food? Especially goldfish crackers- they are sooo delicious.

I'm still trying to figure out why her Purple attachment is so strong though.  She carries Purple wrapped around her body, over her shoulder, or out in front of her with both hands like a matador. Purple is the first thing she grabs when she wakes up, and what she wants to cuddle if she's sad or tired. Sometimes she will see Purple on the ground and just fall down on top of it and snuggle it for awhile. She LOVES that blanket. And it's getting harder and harder to sneak Purple away to get cleaned every now and then. The other day I threw Purple in the washer while she was eating snack, but 10 minutes later I found her in the laundry room in distress:

Video - Purple in the Wash