Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Staycationing 101

Oh Summerness, how I love thee. We spent last weekend tucked away in Deer Valley with friends. It was one of those off-the-diet-hair-in-a-bun all weekend treasures! This time of year the mountains are nothing short of glorious, and you can't beat only 45 minutes in the car to feel like you're a world away. I must have been overly excited to be on vacation because I failed to sleep past 7:00 am on the first morning. Apparently BD was even more pumped because he nearly jumped for joy when I finnnnally started stirring around 6:30 am. Such a vacation no-no.

Friday night we went to the Deer Valley Music Festival and heard The Von Trapp Children with the Utah Symphony. Perched on blankets in the snow park amphitheater we shared a beautiful picnic and I was introduced to cranberry mustard and now I can never go back. Me and cranberry mustard must never be separated again. The Von Trapp's were delightful and fun to sing along in such a pristine Sound-of-Music-y setting. I loved every Dirndl minute of it

I smothered little ellejay with no less than 10,000 kisses. The look on her face really says it all. I'm sorry littlemiss, but aunt G has her needs. Someday I will sneak you gum, k? Maybe it's because I adore her mother to no end. Maybe it's because she is a miracle baby that was never meant to be, and yet is. Maybe it's her sweet mohawk. Maybe it's because at 9 months she's oodles of fun and yes, that stinkin' cute. Whatever it is, this littlemiss fills us both with so much hope. She tugs at my heart!
The rest of the weekend included a scenic drive to Oakley for lunch and a caramel-Oreo malt at the Road Island Diner, a little baby buffalo {swooooon} and a never-ending rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus" because Leah would cry when mom stopped singing. Oh so cute. Kim had that bus doing things I didn't know buses could do! Superb Mommy skills.
We also spent some time poolside where I somehow managed to unevenly burn the left side of my body to an indelicate crisp. I'm so over being tan. There was nap time, not just for the babe. Come dinner time we ate an elegant meal on the outside patio; I am of the opinion that in the summer it is an absolute treat to dine outdoors. Come bed time I knew we wouldn't have any trouble sleeping in after such a full day. And we didn't. I also didn't want to go home. But we did. Thoughts of chips and salsa at the Loco Lizard certainly helped pry us out of bed and in the right direction. Rough weekend, you see?

P.S. I'm not about to let my passport expire, but I think we're enjoying the staycation thing more than we ever thought possible. If BD were writing this he'd boast "Utah is just a giant playground." My somewhat obvious, unsolicited and non-expert advice is to take advantage of local off-season deals where you can get way more bang for your buck. Oh, and make sure to go with friends, especially if they have a cute baby to munch on. Class dismissed ;).

Happiness is

a silhouetted sunset

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

BD's family is full of running fools. Two weeks ago, after not having run for like, ever, BD decides that he'll up and run the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon with Russ, Michelle and Alli. Is it just me, or do men seem to have this ability to just do stuff like this on a whim? I'm going with, yeah. The injustice of it all bewilders me. Regardless, it was a perfect excuse to tag along on a little road trip with the Duncan family (minus Ellie who stayed home for some precious daddy-daughter time and was missed enormously). All the runners did superb! I was proud of each of them. Not sure if you knew this, but running is hard. I have such great respect for anyone who can run past the end of my street, because that is usually where I succumb and die a very horrible death.

Sojourners: Michelle, Russ, BD, Alli, Heather, Jenny
Surprise, surprise cousins Jenny and Heather ran as well. On the sidelines we visited with Stu and Helen who always give big giant hugs and make you feel warm and fuzzy from head to toe.
We took the long way home - because that's what Duncan's do - and I finished my book. Hooray for summer reading! Also, I did pay very close attention to the beautiful scenery surrounding us. Especially the full-to-the-brim golden moon that hovered so handsomely over the mountains that first night. My lawsie, was that ever a site to behold. We drank cold sarsaparilla and inhaled giant ginger molasses cookies at the Burr Trail Grill in Boulder. Totally worth going back for.

Plenty of little stops along the way helped so that the runners and little Cody could get out and stretch their legs. That boy, he's a charmer. Such a darling and good natured little rascal. But hello, look at his parents. They take easy street to a whole new level. I could just squish him.

Twins. Aren't these two adorable? Indeed. Besties through and through. Notice how their stride is exactly the same! Like I said, adorable.
Russ & Michelle, Besties
I'm not sure I can take this post to any greater heights than this. It's taken me no less than 6 blog sessions to finally finish it without being interrupted, side-tracked or distracted by something else. Have a lovely weekend! We'll be picnicking and lovin' us some Von Trapp Children in Deer Valley tonight. Feel the joy people :)

This guy, we love

On the way down to Bryce Canyon last weekend we pit-stopped at the Scipio (love that word) gas station / Dairy Queen to fill up the cars and indulge our road trippin' bellies with a frozen treat. It had been far too long since my last chocolate dipped cone. {insert wistful sigh}
Anyway, moving on.
While pumping our gas a Mercedes Sprinter Van pulls forward at the adjacent pump. The Duncan men pay notice. The Duncan women pay notice to the Duncan men paying notice to a camping van and wonder why they even put on makeup that morning. {insert beleaguered sigh}
Anyway, moving on.
By this point the clan has migrated inside and in line to order their dinner and guilty pleasures, as they may be. But not my father-in-law Lee. Nope. He is outside saddled up to the van chewing the cud with three ladies (ahem) who, come to find out, are en-route from Glacier National Park to home in the South. And he's washing their windows. 'Cause he's just that guy. I couldn't love him more. {insert affectionate sigh}

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hit the road, Jack

  • Summerness is well under tow / my list is shrinking just as the days
  • Oh boy, this week has been busy / Oh girl, next week looks busier
  • You must know I love it when / my old boss is back in town
  • Lyrics on repeat / streets are uneven when you are down
  • Today is my Grandma R's birthday / I miss her so much it hurts
  • BD is a cyclist / masquerading as a runner for the weekend
  • My tennis game is seeing improvement / am so happy about it
  • On the other hand / my piano practicing has taken a huge hit
  • Root beer popsicles / are keeping this girl nourished happy
  • Did you know / most of the world thinks root beer is disgusting?
  • I have the travel bug / also known as running from my problems
  • Am scared out-of-my-mind / as to what the rest of this year holds
  • But this weekend / I'm excited to road trip with some cool cats
  • Last weekend / I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie from scratch
  • Further evidence that I am becoming my mother / it's not so bad
Happy Friday!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Being Uncle Brad

After all the Fourth of July hype of the slip 'n slide, swimming, elevator rides, lunch, and a way-too-short-for-mom nap in the car seat Ellie cuddled up to Brad with binky and blankie while we watched the Tour. She kept still for a solid half hour or so. A rare occasion, you could imagine, for a perpetually busy and curious little toddler. Ellie would pat his hand softly with one hand and twirl her hair with the other. A beautiful sweet moment, forever imprinted in my mind. I think Brad's heart grew three sizes that day. There's something to be said about being an aunt or an uncle that allows for a little reprieve for mom or dad and where there's no guilt in sneaking extra bites of ice cream from the kitchen.

29 going on 80 and other holiday weekend highlights

I'm not joking when I say we packed our Fourth of July weekend pretty solid. It caused my body to ache all over from the intense amount of fun we had. BBQ at mom's. Dinner with the Duncan's. Bike races. Hayley and Jody's engagement photos. Patriotic choir performances. More family togetherness. More eating. More fun. More fireworks. More fun I tell you!

BD's bubble-blowing cheer section

My boss passed me his tickets to The Stadium of Fire last minute and we couldn't turn them down, being that we're all about fun. Country music and fireworks in your home town is as patriotic as it gets. I'm hesitant to admit that we did wear ear-plugs and had every intention of leaving before the fireworks ended if it were not for being stuck in the middle of a very long row. We didn't want to be those people. You know. So we took one for the team and stuck it out through all the fun. Because we are 29 going on 30, not 80.

On the way home we had a lengthy discussion about whether having kids makes you more fun. I'm not sure what the consensus was, because I fell asleep.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Breakfast in the Park

We invited BD's family to join us this year for our neighborhood Fourth of July Breakfast in the Park. I love this tradition just as much as I love my neighbors and neighborhood. We really hope to not get kicked out, ever. But if we do, we're coming for your basement (you know who you are!). Even on a slightly chilly, overcast and muggy Independence Day, the 200 foot slip 'n slide is always a crowd pleaser. With our hillside scorched by fire just the day before, I was nervous the fire department wouldn't have enough trucks or manpower to spare. But they came, and with two trucks! Which made the whole shebang perfect.

BD and CJ did a knock out job of manning the top deck again. The slip 'n slide is pure entertainment: steep hill + fire hose + baby bubble bath = a seriously slippery situation. Michelle and Alli proved to be the only rock star moms who dared take their babies down. They got a big fat KU-DOS from me that day. I'm not sure Cody and Ellie could quite appreciate the awesomeness of it all.

We were thrilled to introduce our family to some of our very favorite people. 

Behold...our beloved park with a view. A bubble bath beard. Toddling toddlers with cute bums. And babies with twirly feet. Babies with twirly feet make my heart stop.

Afterwards we took a chilly, short lived dip in the pool, followed by sandwiches, watching the Tour de France (which is airing non-stop at my house these days), and homemade strawberry ice cream.

BD shuttled off for his third bike race of the weekend, and I opted to stay home. To nap. It had been a solid 3 day weekend and sometimes I think I'm not built for that amount of fun. That evening we both had a hard time keeping our eyes awake watching the fireworks from our balcony. The new aerial fireworks were clearly a big hit, every neighborhood in the valley was lighting up in perfect style.

Until next year: may the fourth be with you!