April 28, 2017

Goodbye Aquarium (Almost)

For the past three years we've enjoyed living just 5 minutes away from an aquarium. We have a membership and visit pretty much weekly, sometimes more often. Sadly our membership was due to expire at the end of April and because of the move, we were not renewing. Dave even called to see if they would let us extend just a few months so we could keep going until we leave Utah, but sadly they said no.

The day before we expired was family night where they stay open a few hours later than normal, so we went over after dinner for one last hoorah. The crowds were light and we had a great time saying goodbye to all the fish, lizards, and amphibians.

Then just a few days later I heard back from a manager that I had written, and she agreed to let us extend our membership for a couple months for $40! We went down the next day and got our new passes. Goodbyes are on hold for now!

Hugging the turtles and caimans goodbye


This tropical tank is always a favorite

Sophie loves whenever there in an scheduled animal encounter, especially if it's something she can pet like a snake or a cockroach

I'm going to miss the play area - it's been the best place for the kids to come burn off energy!

 Fish Kiss

Goodbye Aquarium!!

April 17, 2017

Easter 2017

We had a fantastic Easter this year! Sophie ate too many sweets and had so much fun with all the festivities, while Davey had no idea what was going on, but loved the excitement and playing with the eggs that kept appearing. It was a wonderful weekend with beautiful weather, great people, and much gratitude for the Savior and his sacrifice.

On Saturday we went to the Draper City egg hunt at Galena park. It was funny because just an hour before the hunt Sophie and I were talking about how she saw Snow White there a couple years ago. She got really excited about who she might see this year, and then thought maybe it would be Moana! I told her maybe, but probably not, and then guess who we saw right as we walked up.... Moana!! It made her day. We took a quick photo and hurried back over to the circle for her age group.

The countdown started and then all the kids made a mad dash for the eggs. I had told her to run for the middle where most of the eggs were, but of course she stopped at the first egg she saw. Silly girl. No parents were allowed in the circle and I was impressed by how well everyone followed the rules. I heard that a hunt in a city a few miles down turned savage with adults talking over and pushing kids out of the way to get the most eggs. What a crazy world. I was glad that she was wearing a rainbow coat, though, so I could keep track of her in the mosh pit and find her afterward.

Sophie was thrilled to meet the real Easter Bunny. Davey thought he was being attacked by a monster.

After the hunt we went up to Salt Lake to have lunch with my grandma. We haven't been able to see her for several weeks, and I'm glad we were able to meet up since our days here in Utah are numbered. It will be so sad when we have to leave :( Derek and Faye also joined us, and then came back to our place afterward to dye eggs.

The Easter Bunny stopped by during the night and sure spoiled these kids. They both got a drink bottle, a book, and a treat. Sophie also got a card game, some band-aids, socks, and a little kennel with two kittens. When Soph came down in the morning, she ran over to the basket and immediately loved everything. It may have been an even better reaction than Christmas. 

After looking through the goodies, she remembered there were also eggs to find and she quickly gathered them all up. They were filled with M&M chocolate eggs and fruit snacks, and there was one big egg that had a $1 bill inside. Jackpot! Unfortunately while Sophie was enjoying her treats, Davey found the real eggs and cracked one open with his teeth. He then smeared the contents all over our carpet and made a real mess of things. Lucky Dave got to spend Monday with a rug doctor cleaning our carpets. 

Sophie dyed the eggs on the left. The pink egg is named "Leopard" and the yellow egg is named "Scrambled." She was very proud of them both. I made the eggs on the right. Once was dyed in a rainbow pattern, and the other has a swirl to look like the "heart" from Moana. 

We have afternoon church right now and were able to enjoy our morning without feeling rushed to get out the door. Dave made us some bunny pancakes, the kids had a bubble bath and then we even had enough time to take a quick family picture after lunch before we had to leave. Davey was a bit of a pill at church, but it was a great Sacrament program and the ward choir sang for the first time since we moved in 4 years ago. Sophie also got to say the prayer in Primary. She did ask Dave to stand by her, but did a great job talking into the microphone. 

We left a little early from church to head to Provo for an Easter dinner at my aunt's house. My cousin was in town with her two boys, and it was really fun to see her! We only see each other once a year at best, which is too bad because our kids are similar ages and Sophie had a great time playing with Weston. We were also able to see my grandma again, as well as Derek & Faye, my cousin Josh, my Uncle David & Aunt Cynthia, and my cousin's daughter Bethany who is at BYU right now. It was so great to be with family, but sadly, I took only one photo the whole night of Davey stealing an egg that was part of a hunt for the older kids. Sneaky little guy...

April 10, 2017

Spring Break

The first week of April was Spring Break for my school! We are going to be traveling most of the summer, and had no plans to venture anywhere for this break. It was nice to just push registration and enrollment to the side for a time and have nothing else to do but spend time with the kids, a little preview of what life will be like in a few months after we move and I'm done working.

MONDAY: We were home most of the day. The kids played outside in the morning while I did some much needed cleaning in the house. Sophie had a birthday party for a friend from church later that afternoon. It was "Trolls" themed and she ate lots of candy, rainbow cake, and had a fabulous time. I was glad the party was during my week off so she could attend.

TUESDAY: I had promised Sophie a trip to Jungle Jim's during my break, and this was probably the highlight of her week. The place was a zoo and really hard to navigate with the stroller, but we still never had to wait more than one cycle for any of the rides. A co-worker also came up with her kids and it was fun to see them and hang out for a bit. Soph took several turns on the roller coaster, and Davey even joined her on a few rides!

I pulled their seat belt so tight, and he still almost managed to escape. I was definitely the first parent through the gate when the ride stopped to snatch him out of the rocket before he climbed out on his own. 

Sophie chose to wait another cycle for the carousel just so she could have this silver horse

While we were having a party at Jungle Jim's, Dave defended his dissertation and passed! HOORAY!! This was the final step of the very long journey we've been on. Now we just need to wait for graduation in a couple weeks to make it official. 

WEDNESDAY: To celebrate Dave's successful defense, we left the kids with a sitter and had a ski day up at Snowbird! It was strange to think this might be our last time here since we'll be moving in just a few months. Pregnancies and babies have really limited my time on the mountain, but we used to come up all the time and have so many good memories skiing here together. 

Dave took carved really sharp to get some good spray for the camera, but it was a little too much and wiped out shortly after this shot :) 

Enjoying the groomers on a nice spring ski day

At the top of Hidden Peak - one of my favorite views in Utah

THURSDAY: Davey took a really long morning nap, so we just hung out at home for first part of the day. After he woke up we ran to Costco for a few things (and some samples) and then wandered over to library story time. There were only 2 other kids there instead of the normal 30, which was both strange and a little nice. Sophie really enjoyed getting to answer every question and being selected as the "helper" for all the activities. After Dave returned home we had dinner and then walked over to Cranberry Park to enjoy the outdoors, since rain was in the forecast for the weekend. The kids had a great time on the swings and playing in the sand, definitely getting a sandbox once we have our own place). 

Daddy assisting with a minor "sand in the eye" incident

FRIDAY: This morning we set out for our weekly grocery run. We normally go on Saturday because of work and I love it whenever I can make a weekday trip instead. The store was pretty much empty, which was good, because Davey was working on his banshee calls and was making sure we knew he didn't feel like riding in a shopping cart at the moment. After naps we braved a trip to the aquarium. I knew it would be crazy because of Spring Break, but our membership will be up at the end of the month, so we are trying to visit as much as we can. We have loved being so close for the last few years and will really miss our weekly trips here :(

SATURDAY: Dave watched the kids in the morning while I went down to Provo for the last student "Gifts of the Heart" exchange. It was smaller than some of the previous exchanges, but I was still able to get a few good things for the kids and I think they are now set for summer. Later I took Sophie to see Beauty and the Beast at the theater near our house. I think she was more focused on the snacks than the movie, but she was happy and that's all that matters. I also had a good time, although I couldn't help but make comparisons and some things just can't live up to the original...

Davey peeling an orange in one of his new shirts

She's a popcorn junkie

SUNDAY: We were surprised to wake up to snow! I knew there was snow in the forecast, but it rained so heavily the day before that I thought it would be too wet for anything to stick. There were probably a couple inches on the ground and Sophie desperately wanted to play outside, so we let her. We might not see much snow on a regular basis once we move and so I wanted her to enjoy this opportunity. She tromped around with her shovel for awhile, and then I joined her to make a snowman. Davey still has no love for snow and was happy to watch from the doorway. 

April 7, 2017

March Roundup

Wow! March was one of our busiest months to date - 11 blog posts, and that doesn't even cover it all. 

On top of the birthday celebrations, trips, and everyday life we've both spent many, many hours looking at homes in preparation for our move. I have a massive spreadsheet comparing pros and cons of almost 100 properties, and we're still adding to it as new houses come on the market. We've narrowed it down to a handful of good options, but it's going to be a tough decision for sure!! 

We also have a big trip coming up in just a few weeks. Dave will graduate the first week of May (HOORAY!) and the next morning we leave for a 7-day cruise out of Barcelona to celebrate! Grandma Howe will be here to watch the kids, so I'll know they'll be in fantastic hands, but I'm still having a hard time thinking about leaving Davey for the first time. He is still very much my baby (especially in the nursing sense) and it's been rough preparing him for a week without mommy. 

And here are some March photos:

I sent the hooligans outside after dinner to burn off some energy. Sophie snapped twigs in half and Davey tried to eat a bug. Good times :)

Feeding some chickens on one of our visits to the farm

We've had days in the 70s this month, which means it's time to put on shorts! I have a huge stash of destroyed leggings and decided my third ever sewing project would be to turn them into shorts. A made a few mistakes, but really got it down by the fourth pair and next time it should go even faster.

Wearing one pair of her "new" shorts

Snuggles with Daddy

We've made it a tradition to go to "Old McDonalds," as Sophie calls it, when Dave is out of town or has a dinner event. I love that I don't have to cook, and the kids can burn off good energy before bed. On our last visit, I turned my back for less than a minute and Davey manged to escape baby land and follow Sophie to the top level of the play structure - yikes!!

Afternoon church is a hard schedule for naps, but I was able to get him to sleep in the mother's lounge the other week. It lasted almost an hour!

The peg princess dolls my mom made Sophie for her birthday

First time on the chairlift for Sophie girl! The hills was a little too tough for her and she declared "I HATE SKIING!" after her last fall, but she is willing to try again and I know she'll be a pro before we know it. 

March Videos - this month it's the Davey show

This month my cousin Allison asked if had any mother/children photos I would like to submit for a music video her aunt was working on for Mother's Day. I have a million photos with Dave, but only found a handful with me... I guess I need to be better about making sure I'm not the only one taking pictures! Anyway, we made the cut and Allison and her son Peyton are at the 1:05 mark and we are at the 1:49. It's a sweet video: