January 30, 2016

January Roundup

Another month gone by, which is crazy because that means baby boy's due date is only about 6 weeks away now - ahhh! After returning from our Christmas trip we were able to spend some time in Provo at my aunt's house while she was out of town, which is always fun. Dave started stake basketball and Sophie and I enjoy going to cheer on our ward team at the games when they aren't too late. Sophie also went to a birthday party all by herself, had a dental check up (she LOVES the dentist), her first ear infection, and her first sick visit to the doctor. Luckily it was a mild infection and we probably could have skipped the visit if we had known, but are mostly just happy our girl is feeling better.

At church in a new dress she got for Christmas. I'm starting to accept the fact that this is the face I will get if I ask her to smile for me - definitely cheesy!

One afternoon we found a lost dog. He had a collar and a phone number, but no one answered when I tried to call. None of the neighbors recognized him, so I decided to put him in our backyard so he would be safe while I waited to hear back from his owner. 

I finally heard from someone a few hours later. She was out of town and had left him with someone in the neighborhood next to ours and they came to get him just before dinner time. Sophie was thrilled to have a friend for the afternoon, but I was glad he got back to his family.

We are still regular visitors to Thanksgiving Point and the aquarium. It sure is nice having fun things to do nearby! Sophie's favorite activity is always playing with the sand. 

Another favorite is playing with play-doh. On this day she made "scrambly eggs". Once she had had her fun I just swept it all into the trash. I'm glad play-doh is cheap!

We seem to be getting snow about once a week right now. Last week she went out to build a snowman with daddy. He melted after a day, but it was fun to have him in our yard while he lasted. 

Sophie loves snowmen - sometimes a little too much :)

January 28, 2016

Wild Wednesday at the Hogel Zoo

The zoo here in Utah has free admission on the last Wednesday of each of the winter months. We were out of town for both the November and December free days, but were able to make it in January. Sophie and I dropped Dave off at the U of U campus, and then went over to the zoo to see the animals. It was a cold, clear morning with temperatures below freezing, but we've spent so much time indoors lately that it was nice to be outside for a few hours. Pushing her around in the stroller definitely wore me out though! When we got home we both went down for naps :)

Sophie's favorite animals were the snakes, lizards, and turtles. Even though we see those each week at the aquarium, that's what she wanted to see at the zoo too. This girl loves her reptiles!

I had Sophie bundled in two coats, a hat, and gloves but she was still cold so I gave her some hand warmers - she loved them!

All the African animals were in their barn so we weren't able to see any giraffes or zebras, but the tigers didn't seem to mind the snow. They were both awake and active. 

Sophie's second favorite animals were the seals. I liked them too because there was an indoor viewing area so we could be out of the cold for a while :)

On our way out we passed the carousel. I started to tell her that it cost money so we weren't going to do it,  but she said right back to me, "Ok, how about you go pay the money and I will ride it!" I gave in and she chose to sit on a tiger. It was probably the highlight of her visit!

January 19, 2016

Provo City Center Temple Open House

We have been looking forward to the new Provo Temple ever since it was announced in conference four years ago, and I'm glad we are still in Utah so we could attending the Open House! We missed getting tickets the first round, but were able to get some a week later when more were released. 

We went on a Monday holiday, so crowds were probably heavier than normal, but it still an amazing experience! Everything was beautiful - the woodwork, the fabric choices, and especially the murals in the Instruction Rooms. I hope we can attend a session there before Dave is finished with school and we leave Utah. 

We went on a dark rainy evening so the ground didn't look quite like this. We'll have to go back in the summer to walk around when it's nicer weather.

This is what it actually looked like for us

When we went to the Payson Temple Open House last year Sophie refused to wear the protective booties so we had to carry her for the whole tour. This time she did much better (I told her they were like ice skates) and she was able to walk all by herself. 

My brother Derek and Faye (his fiance!) joined us for the tour 

January 6, 2016

Wrapping up 2015 & Hello New Year!

This is the final post from our three week vacation - I'm all caught up now! Our trip was great, but it was time to get home and get back to real life. We could also tell that Sophie was starting to get worn out. So much party is hard on such a little girl...

The day after Christmas was grandpa's birthday. We celebrated with hamburgers for lunch, Star Wars during the afternoon, hibachi grill for dinner, and then tornadoes! This was my first ever tornado warning. It was an intense storm, but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be nervous or not. Later we found out the tornadoes were in a neighboring city about 15 miles away. 


On Sunday we had family dinner with all the Howes and Cindy's sister's family, who had driven down from Idaho. Dave made 6 batches of baked macaroni to feed the 22 guests we had. It was delicious!

The kids really enjoyed the candy claw that Grandpa got for Christmas. It was running pretty much non-stop for a couple days. We knew it was time to put it away when Sophie started waking up in the morning asking for chocolate. 

On Monday we went to the Perot museum with friends. My Thanksgiving Point membership is part of a museum partnership program so we were able to visit for free! Here Sophie and Dave are getting ready to try the slow motion cameras. Sophie's kick was good, but her pony tail flip was even better :)

Sophie helping grandma replenish the cookie supply. Her favorite job is to unwrap the butter sticks.

Enjoying some quiet time with daddy

On New Year's Eve we had friends come over for dinner and games. We really missed having Zara and her kids, who were home sick. Us girls are expecting again so there will be another round of little kiddos next time we get together. Bri is due in March, I'm due in March, and Christie is due in April!

The boys with their food babies :)

One last day of fun with cousin Liam before we had to go home

Returning to snowy Utah - we're home!

January 4, 2016


On New Year's Eve we went to see ICE! with the family at the Gaylord Marriott Resort. We got there early to avoid lines and had time to look around before going in. The resort in and of it's self was amazing, especially since it was still decorated for Christmas. We were also there on the morning of the Cotton Bowl and this was the official hotel of Michigan State, one of the teams playing, so there were people everywhere. 

The theme this year was "Christmas Around the World". The exhibit featured holiday scenes and people from many different countries. In all there were over 2 million pounds of carved ice and it is kept at a chilly 9 degrees to preserve the creations. We brought coats and gloves to stay warm, and then they also give you another overcoat, but it was still pretty cold inside!

There was a big ice slide and Dave (far left) won the family race with his "duck n' tuck" technique

Sophie really struggled with the cold, but this is proof she did have some fun :)

Sophie spent most of the time snuggled up in Dave's coat for extra warmth

The final scene is a nativity carved from crystal clear ice - beautiful!

At the exit there is over-priced hot chocolate that even my frugal self couldn't turn down. It felt so nice to hold and drink something warm.

Before going home the group did some indoor snow tubing. It was just a little hill, but Sophie really, really loved it! Hopefully she will think the real thing is just as fun next year when we take her up to the mountains in Washington. I was just a spectator because of baby boy, but I ran into one of my childhood friends while I was watching that I hadn't seen in years, which was really fun. 

And I don't really have a caption for this last one... love my family!