Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas

We finally got around to taking pictures of these cute girls in their Christmas dresses. This season sure is fun with these little sweethearts:


Sunday, November 23, 2014


When we moved into our house we found it very odd that the master bedroom was the one that did not have the outside access door. We were never fully comfortable putting our kids in a room with a door to the outside. For the last few years we have been talking about a re-model to remedy the situation and this year we finally got around to it:

What started as Aven and Etta's room  . . .

 . . . was transformed in a new master bedroom:

And what was once the master bedroom . . .

. . . was transformed into a wonderful room for Aven and Etta:

And what was once a fairly useless little nook in the master bedroom . . .

. . . was transformed into a walk-through closet that connects both bedrooms to the master bathroom and provides storage that we didn't have before:

And finally, what was once an awkward and mostly useless wall of  drawers . . . 

. . . was first transformed into a nice storage area for toys that still had an ugly built-in desk . . .

. . . and finally into a truly functional space. We LOVE it:

Another shot of the new master:

 A few more shots of the girls' room:

Ian did an amazing job with everything. He did a whole bunch of things he had never done before and he did them well. As with most old homes, he encountered his fair share of strange problems and head-scratchers, but he figured out a workable solution to every weird obstacle. I am SO glad this enormous project is done!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Garden After Dark 2014

So I'm a huge sucker for taking low-light pictures, especially when there are a lot of colorful lights. We went to Garden After Dark at Red Butte with some friends last night and I got a few good ones.

Cute kids- we sure had fun!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ian is Amazing!

just have to publicly boast about Ian's awesomeness for a minute. We decided to take on a home remodeling project in which we will be switching bedrooms with the girls. Throughout this project my main job has been to hand Ian tools and wrangle the kids. Ian, however, has spent the last week engaged in a variety of things he has NEVER done before and he has done an amazing job so far. After watching some YouTube videos and reading some DIY forums Ian has:

-Removed an external door we have never used.
-Framed a new wall, creating a new walk through closet that connects both bedrooms to the back bathroom.
-Hung drywall.
-Installed two new doors.
-Capped off an old section of our gas line. 

He never ceases to amaze me with his sheer awesomeness!

There is obviously much finishing work to be done, but I am relieved that most of the "big" stuff is done.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Hike

One of my favorite-ever hikes is the Brighton to Albion Basin Hike up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Ian and I have been together for over 12 years and even though I have wanted to take him on this hike every year it has never happened until today. That probably makes us sound lazy, but since we can't take Grace Dog up Big Cottonwood we usually end up hiking Millcreek. Any-who, enjoy some pictures of our 3 hour, 27 minute hike, in which we hiked 4.66 miles and climbed 1280 vertical feet:

There is something so beautiful about seeing the ski lifts in the summer. I guess it just gets me excited for ski season.

Apparently everyone else decided to go hiking today too.

Ian took some pretty pictures.

Looking down on Lake Mary.

Lake Martha, with Lake Mary in the distance.

Ian, with Lake Katherine behind him.

Me standing in a hollowed out tree trunk. Notice I'm wearing my cool new X-Files shirt. Hell yes.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Red Butte

Well, my yearly stint as a stay-at-home-mom is drawing to a close, so we are trying to pack in a few last days of fun before we're all back to the grind of work and school. Today we enjoyed a few hours at Red Butte Garden that included a picnic and exploring. I'm pretty sure that we need a new digital SLR. Ours is almost 10 years old and is as sluggish as can be. Most of the shots I took didn't turn out- boo! So Ian, Christmas is coming up . . .

Running through the rose garden.

I swear they DO love each other.

Exploring by the duck pond.

My camera did manage to capture this beautiful image- yay!


Monday, July 28, 2014


Etta turned two a couple weeks ago, but we finally got around to having a party for her over the weekend. It was fun, as always, to have friends and family over for some laid back birthday fun.

We played "pin the bow on Minnie". We let the little ones go without blindfolds. Etta is a little too smart and got straight to the point.

We did a pull-string pinata, since I wasn't in the mood for head injuries.

Etta blew out her candles like a champ.

She opened presents like a pro.

And there was lots of sandbox fun for everyone.


The end.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

San Diego 2014

Ian was granted permission to go to the ESRI conference this year (he last went in 2011), so we planned a sweet little 12 day family trip. We decided to drive this year, since it would be way cheaper than flying. It turned out to be way more expensive than flying once we had to get a clutch rebuild, a CV axle repair, and pay for a rental car for a couple days- oh well, those repairs were probably inevitable anyway.

We drove to Las Vegas the first day. Aven and Etta marveled at the flashing lights and all the button pushing that came along with elevator rides. Ian and I realized quickly that Vegas is a horrible place to bring kids because it's crazy and busy and full of traffic and cigarette smoke and takes forever to even get across the street. We were happy head to San Diego the next day.

Once in San Diego we checked into a cute little hotel in the Hillcrest neighborhood. It was a great part of town because there were tons of great restaurants and stores within walking distance and the zoo and the beach were close by. The down side is that our hotel was literally sandwiched between two hospitals, so we heard a lot of ambulance sirens.

We went to the San Diego Zoo, La Jolla beach, Lego Land, Coronado beach, Safari Park, and the Midway aircraft carrier museum before Ian's conference started. My mom came in halfway through our trip to hang out with the girls and me while Ian was conferencing. With my mom we went to the Midway aircraft carrier museum, the San Diego Zoo (twice), Coronado beach, and Build-a-Bear (for Etta's birthday).

The trip was jam-packed, but we all had a great time. By the end, we were so ready to be home that we drove straight through from San Diego to Salt Lake, only stopping for dinner and to fill up the car with gas. We got home about 3:30 in the morning, but it was worth it to be in our own beds.

Enjoy an extensive photo tour of our trip:

We stayed at the Luxor in Vegas. This is Aven and Etta looking down into the casino from the 25th floor.

The insanity of Vegas in the background.

These girls were a couple of awesome road-warriors.

La Jolla beach.

San Diego Zoo.

Our little monkey.

Etta was in heaven in the Duplo area of Lego Land. We went on her actual birthday, so it was a pretty awesome day.

Aven also enjoyed Lego Land immensely.

The miniature Lego cities were my favorite part.

 While on a boat ride at Lego Land, everyone on the boat sang Happy Birthday to Etta- it was pretty awesome. The video is vertical because I was holding my phone upside down. I don't know how to fix it- sorry.

Like I said, she was one happy kid.
Safari Park. Ian took a couple hundred great animal pictures and since I don't want to upload all of them, enjoy this one of lion cubs.
While at Safari Park we had the chance to see a troupe of Chinese acrobats. They were pretty great and the girls loved them.

Coronado Beach- truly my favorite beach in the San Diego area. We spent my birthday on Coronado- I couldn't have asked for a better day.

The sand at Coronado Beach is full of little flecks of gold sand. Aven was convinced it was fairy dust.

After my mom flew in we all went to the Midway aircraft carrier museum. It's pretty incredible to see how people lived and worked in such tight spaces.

Etta heading off to pilot a jet.

This kid loved the airplanes.

We went out to dinner with our best San Diego friend, Mike. Etta flirted with him all night.

As Ian headed off to his conference, we headed to the zoo again. That zoo is so huge and so incredible that I probably could have gone everyday and not been bored.

Aven got her first tattoo at the zoo (of the henna variety). I hope she doesn't think real tattoos are that painless.

The next day we went to Build-a-Bear and my mom let the girls go nuts and choose whatever they wanted in celebration of Etta's birthday.

Etta wasn't interested in dressing her kitty- just herself. She was quite upset that the shoes didn't fit her.

A nice older lady who had just taken the i-phone class at the Apple store took our picture because she was eager to show off her newly acquired picture-taking skills.

After Build-a-Bear we spent the afternoon on Coronado shopping and having dinner.

We went back to Coronado the next day for another absolutely perfect beach day.

It was lovely.

Oh, Coronado, how I love you. Can anyone, by chance, spare a million dollars so that I can buy a house there?

The next day we spent a couple hours at the zoo before we took my mom to the airport. Etta finally got brave enough to pet one of the goats in the petting zoo.

That night we went to the big ESRI event at Balboa Park. The event allowed us free access to all the museums, which was pretty cool. There was a new pirate exhibit the the natural history museum. Etta did not care for the pirates.

Aven wore her Elsa dress to the event and got a lot of attention for it, which she shied away from. She got even more attention once she got this awesome face painting.

On our last day in San Diego we finally managed to get a family photo.

Overall it was a fabulous trip, minus the $1400.00 car repair. I won't miss the hordes of people, but strangely I will miss the drivers, who seemed to be far safer and more courteous than what I am used to in Utah.