Monday, June 30, 2014

june in an instant

So, June happened. 

Really fast. 

Some days seemed like they'd never end - like the few we spent driving through Nebraska. But mostly the days flew by. 

Really fast. 

Hoping to catch up and document all that we were lucky to be a part of...

...really fast. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014


With no long runs scheduled these days, our Saturdays have been feeling mighty free lately. Sometimes a little too free and we end up wasting an entire day. So, we decided to take a short drive to Galena, Illinois today to check out its famous Main Street. 

Kate perfected her lip balm application skills, Leah out-ate both of her parents at a local cafe for lunch and Ryan was in root brew heaven at a little store called Root Beer Revelry. I counted at least 50 different brews and he chose a mere 13 to come home with. 

Other than the ridiculous humidity (seriously, I might as well have been swimming fully clothed) and the apparently too-small shoes I chose to wear, we had a great time. 

Plenty more to see and do, and plenty more root brews to try, so we'll be back. 

Friday, June 27, 2014


Our friends are out of town this week and they asked if Ryan wouldn't mind mowing their lawn for them once while they are away. In an effort to sway his answer in their favor, they mentioned the girls were welcome to come jump on the tramp while he mowed.

We took them up on their offer. Though, have the record show, we would have done it even if they didn't own a trampoline. 

The girls and I bounced our hearts out. I haven't heard them giggle that much, continuously, maybe ever! It didn't stop...unless I stopped. Which I did a few times because apparently I'm not 15 anymore and jumping (in 99% humidity, no less) is a workout! I was drenched by the time we left. 

I don't think Ryan had as much fun as we did...but the lawn sure looks great!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

utah: friends

Another great outcome of spending so much time in Utah this trip was the ability to see so many friends and not feel rushed about it! We still didn't see everyone we wanted to see, but it was so nice to see as many as we did! Being away from family has blessed us with some of the best friends in the world and we are so happy to see them whenever we get a chance. 

First up was Tally, a friend from my junior high/high school days, and her darling son Sam. Sam is about two months younger than Kate and, as you can see, Kate is most definitely interested. He was immediately added to her list of potential suitors. I think he was actually put at the tippy top of the list. Tally just moved back to SLC from Seattle and I'm ecstatic about that because, for the last 7 years, we seem to miss each other on our vacations to Utah by about a day. We also had fun catching up with Kim, also a friend from junior high/high school (and who eventually became my college roommate) and her darling new addition, Logan. But they left before our selfie photo session commenced. 

Next up was Morgan, my collegiate other half. It was so fun to catch up with her while relaxing at a park in the avenues in SLC. Morgan has been living in Manhattan for the last 5 years, so I have been able to see her on a handful of occasions, but I'll take as much Morgan time as I can get! We've come a long way since our tired-after-running-a-mile-in-our-matching-boxers-over-yoga-pants days. Oh my. 

I ran into a high school Highlites friend, Haley, randomly while swimming with a friend at my friend's neighborhood pool. Come to find out my friend and Haley's sister are neighbors and good friends. So fun to see her (and her three handsome little boys!)and catch up! 

Next I visited with Danielle, a good friend from my married college days. Danielle was my savior the summer Ryan interned for Boeing in Alabama. She was a running partner (even though she can run twice as fast as me) and a lap-swimming cheerleader (she can also swim twice as fast as me). She is one of the most calming people I have ever been around and I wish I could be around her all day every day! We had a great time running around in her backyard blowing enormous bubbles. Funnest mom ever. And I loved meeting the newest of her four beautiful daughters.  

Last summer I missed out on my opportunity to see Megan, my other half in high school. She and I were connected at the hip and even did unspeakable things - like getting our ears double pierced without our mothers' permissions or wearing gigantic bows to a choir concert just to make our conductor mad - together. Yah, we were pretty wild. I got to see Megan's beautiful new home and meet the newest of her four beautiful daughters as well! When she found out I was going to Cafe Rio later that night for dinner, she decided to join me since her husband was also out of town. Megan twice in one day!? I'll take it! I guess that made up for last year? 

 And, when Ryan came to town, we were able to get together with his awesome high school friends. These guys are the greatest. We obviously went to Training Table (too bad it wasn't the Taylorsville location so we could laugh at the picture of the boys in girl's cheerleading uniforms) where Ryan obviously got three dipping sauces for himself. He doesn't share dipping sauce. I love watching how this group grows and changes each year. And with two little additions and one impending marriage, it was a year of great changes! 

Lastly, we were able to spend a lot of time with our favorite Harmans. They became family to us in California and we love getting together with them. We swam at their neighborhood pool, played cards, picked cherries, played the piano, ate Iceberg, sang and danced like crazies, made strawberry shortcake AND peach cobbler and felt all-too-comfortable in their home. And of course it wouldn't be a trip to the Harman's house if we didn't get hair cuts. It is crazy how well all of us get along. Kate and Madison were cute little buds and it was fun to see them dressed in the matching dresses we purchased for their big sisters (and Syd!) five years ago.  The last two nights of our trip we stayed with them at their house and we were able to go on a double date together. Good times were had at the mini golf course and it was a great way to end our Utah vacation! Lindsey nearly convinced me to stay an extra few days and once I got home and into my routine, I definitely regretted my choice to not stay. Next year, Linds, next year. 

utah: family

We had a lot of fun with family when we were in Utah. It was great to have three weeks in which to get lots of un-rushed togetherness. 

My mom and Richard were not only nice enough to watch my girls for me when I was in St. George, but then they let us descend upon their house for two more weeks. For the time we were there, you could usually find me outside on the grass. The luscious, soft, thick, green grass. There really is nothing like Utah grass. I miss it daily. 

If I wasn't on the grass, I was looking at it, while eating a Creamie. 

And if I was inside, I was playing their beautiful baby grand piano. I miss that too. 

My mom was able to meet for lunch at a park one day. My girls had a blast and I love that my mom is able to run around and climb and slide with them. They love it too. 

We took three generation bathroom mirror selfies. 

And of course a trip to my mom's wouldn't be complete without bringing along a sewing project for her to help me complete (translate: for her to complete). Her clothing and textiles degree has really come in handy for me throughout the years. 

We also got to spend some time with my oldest brother, Scott, and his family. They were fabulous hosts and we spent a lot of time swimming in their pool, playing their beautiful new piano, jumping on their tramp, watching My Little Pony (my girls are fans, Scott!) and eating delicious food. Kate basically idolized Arianne and spent her time following her cool, older cousin wherever she went. I really wish we lived closer to cousins!

My mom took a day off work (she's the best!) and we went with Scott and his family to Thanksgiving Point. We visited the Museum of Natural Curiosity. We were the first in line when it opened and had the museum basically to ourselves for a little while. I think we saw 1/10th of it and were there for a few hours! Kate wasn't a fan of being strapped into the water table. She was a fan of playing in the sand with her cousins. And running around like a crazy person. And doing whatever Arianne was doing. Leah was content to hang in her stroller most of the time with a smile on her face. 

After lunch we headed over to the farm. Kate was pretty unsure of the ponies, but we quieted the cries and she survived. She WAS a fan of petting the goats. And she knew just what to do with the green tractor we saw in the store. Leah, in true Leah fashion, was in her element on the ponies. It might have been the highlight of her trip. 

The highlight of mine was definitely seeing my mom hang like a sloth. That takes some serious strength. Don't mess with her!

We were able to visit with Ryan's parents as well a number of times during the trip. And when Ryan got to town, we stayed with them. 

I helped Ryan's dad open a Facebook account. I felt pretty amazing teaching his dad how to do something technological. It was a first. 

Kate helped grandma clean, clean, clean from floor to ceiling before they left. She loved being grandma's special helper. 

They live just a few minutes from Scheels, so we took the girls to ride the ferris wheel. Kate was too short, but she didn't know the difference. We had a great time watching Ryan and Leah go round and round, and then we rode the escalator, which apparently was equally as fun. 

I also got to visit with my grandpa's wife, Patsy. It was so wonderful to chat with her for a few hours and then teach her how to take her first-ever selfie. Her comment when I showed it to her: "I look old." 

Ryan's grandma and grandpa are serving a mission in Ogden to help with the construction of the Ogden Temple. They were so wonderful to take us on a private tour before it was finished. It was fun to see all the ins and outs of a not-yet-completed temple. We watched them put the oxen into the base of the font, polish the cement, cut wood for the baseboards, stencil various designs onto the walls and ceilings, check the fountain and so much more. It was incredible to see the time and care put into building such a holy place. I taught his grandma how to take a selfie too. She was impressed. And we're glad the temple will be finished soon so they can come home soon to Nauvoo!

We had so much fun spending time with our families. It was one of the first times I've actually had a hard time leaving! Now it's everyone's turn to come visit us...