baptism, more packing, and a wedding

This morning I took Mary to a baptism while Abe took Lydia to ballet. She was really good until after the actual baptism. While Peter’s dad was conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost on him, Mary lost it and I had to rush out of the room. She spent the next half hour literally running the halls and jumping up and down the flights of stairs in the church. When we got home, she took a four and a half hour nap. Guess that baptism wore her out!

Then I packed a bunch more. Our living room and dining room bookshelves are almost empty, a bunch of kitchen ware is packed, the dining room hutch is empty, and a couple paintings are bubble wrapped and ready to move. I only have to repeat this feat seven or eight more times, and we’ll be all set to move.

We had a minor scare trying to find a babysitter for this evening. I called every single babysitter I knew and even Abe’s parents, but it wasn’t until one of the people I called gave me a lead on a young woman in our ward that I’d never met before that I finally got someone lined up. That freed Abe and me up for a wedding reception.

We went to Cynthia Barlow’s wedding reception at La Caille (and you really need to click on the link to see what that means) and it was the first time Abe and I had ever been there. It was gorgeous. We should have taken pictures, but for most of the time I was enjoying visiting with my friend, Maria. She is so fun to be around, and some of her stories had Abe and me literally crying from laughter. One of my mission acquaintances happened to also be sitting at our table, and it’s always fun to bump into people like that. Overall, the reception was the highlight of our day.

nov7

Flowers from the reception.

Flowers from the reception.

IMG_0244

While I packed, Lydia was outside with Abe collecting petals from all of the dying flowers in the garden. She meticulously collected each petal in this box...and then proceeded to accidentally spill them all. She carefully put them back in, one by one. This picture represents a good hour of her day.

While I packed, Lydia was outside with Abe collecting petals from all of the dying flowers in the garden. She meticulously collected each petal in this box…and then proceeded to accidentally spill them all. She carefully put them back in, one by one. This picture represents a good hour of her day.

A disgruntled call and house pictures

After I visit taught this morning, we headed down to spend the whole day in Orem. I visited preschools, and by the time our preschool hunt was over, the girls were hungry. Enter The Worst Drive-Thru Experience of All Time. And we eat a lot of fast food, so I think that statement has value. As I pulled up to pay, I noticed a sign with a number to call if you have comments about your customer experience. Boy, did I!

Sadly, just as I dialed, another call came through to my phone, so the call was lost. No matter, I thought. I just searched “recent calls” and called the most recent number. A very cheerful voice answered, and I proceeded to rant for the next five minutes about my experience. After I reviewed each complaint a second time to make sure the customer representative was taking notes, the voice on the other end said, “Um, Lily? This is Chelsea. Are you trying to call customer service?”

Chelsea! I had called one of my favorite friends instead of customer service, and she had patiently listened to me itemize my complaints in an aggravated manner twice before I stopped talking long enough for her to clarify my mistake. Oops! I am taking this as a sign from God that I complain too much. When my dad died, he left behind STACKS of complaint letters to businesses, hotels, municipalities–you name it! If it serviced customers, he had complaints to write! I think I might have inherited this tendency. Today’s experience tells me that I might need to reign it in a little.

Anyway, I proceeded to head to Chelsea’s house for a play date. After that, we kidnapped Olivia and took her to our new house during the tail end of the home inspection. After that, we headed back to Chelsea’s for a deeeee-licious dinner of calzones, salad and fruit.

I snapped a million pictures because the listing is now off of real estate sites. Mom and Grandma, I realizes as I uploaded these that I totally forgot to take a picture of the kitchen, but it’s right next to the dining room. Oops! Enjoy anyway, and next time we go I’ll take a picture. I also forgot to take one of the basement bathroom.

basement room in front of the bathroom. We'll put the treadmill here.

basement room in front of the bathroom. We’ll put the treadmill here.

basement room #1. Guest room?

basement room #1. Guest room?

The inspector, Chase and Abe standing in the furnace room. Cute Olivia is in the foreground.

The inspector, Chase and Abe standing in the furnace room. Cute Olivia is in the foreground.

Basement storage closet.

Basement storage closet.

Basement room #2. Office?

Basement room #2. Office?

basement family room with kids play area behind.

basement family room with kids play area behind.

Half of the kids' basement play area.

Half of the kids’ basement play area.

Other half of the basement play room.

Other half of the basement play room.

basement stairs.

basement stairs.

First floor bathroom.

First floor bathroom.

laundry space in mudroom.

laundry space in mudroom.

Mudroom entrance.

Mudroom entrance.

Upstairs bedroom #1. Mom's office.

Upstairs bedroom #1. Mom’s office.

Mom's office's closet.

Mom’s office’s closet.

view from Mom's office.

view from Mom’s office.

Entrance to girls' room.

Entrance to girls’ room.

Girls' room.

Girls’ room.

Girls' room.

Girls’ room.

Mom's bedroom.

Mom’s bedroom.

Mom's bedroom.

Mom’s bedroom.

view from mom's bedroom.

view from mom’s bedroom.

Nursery.

Nursery.

Nursery closet.

Nursery closet.

Upstairs hall closet #1.

Upstairs hall closet #1.

Upstairs bathroom.

Upstairs bathroom.

upstairs hall closet #2.

upstairs hall closet #2.

master bedroom.

master bedroom.

walk-in closet adjacent to master bedroom.

walk-in closet adjacent to master bedroom.

master bath.

master bath.

view from master.

view from master.

kitchen space for fridge.

kitchen space for fridge.

pantry.

pantry.

living/dining.

living/dining.

living/dining room.

living/dining room.

living/dining room.

living/dining room.

piano room.

piano room.

on back deck.

on back deck.

back of house from basketball court.

back of house from basketball court.

looking other way on basketball court.

looking other way on basketball court.

front of house.

front of house.

IMG_0231

our cute mailbox.
looking across the cul-de-sac.

looking across the cul-de-sac.

view from front yard.

view from front yard.

Bye, Mom :( …and celebration dinner!

This morning we took my mom to the airport. That’s the sad part. The good news is, she took a lot of pictures before she left!

Lydia in her Challenger uniform

Lydia in her Challenger uniform

sep30pic9

Mary posing for Nana

Mary posing for Nana

...and eating apples.

…and eating apples.

sep30pic6

Popovers, because I make them a lot.

Popovers, because I make them a lot.

The house the morning my mom left.

The house the morning my mom left.

On the way to school!

On the way to school!

sep30pic5It was sad to see my mom go, but Grandma, I am happy you get to have her. Love you both!

Today was the last day of the quarter, and so Abe surprised me and took me out for dinner and ice cream to celebrate this great quarter.

sep30 sep30pic1It was a great day! Now, tomorrow, if I can just find time to work off some of the food I ate today, tomorrow can be a great day too.

school clothes, a date, a Miner party, and my new steam cleaner does it all

Mary has been waking up at 4:30am a couple times a week recently. I have conflicted feelings about this. I miss not sleeping through the night, but I absolutely adore cuddling with Mary. Last night after I rocked her, I was so awake I couldn’t fall back asleep. Finally at 7 am I leaped out of bed to get a head start on the day.

I raced to the market and Tony Caputo’s for produce and cheese, then headed home to pick up the girls. Abe had an Elder’s Quorum move this morning, so I took the girls to get Lydia some more school clothes and her new preschool uniform (which she has to wear every Tuesday).

They were best buddies in the car.

They were best buddies in the car. We spent a ton of time driving around, and we talked and bonded the whole time. I sometimes tune Lydia’s talking out, but today I determined not to do that–and it was great! We had a lot of fun.

At the mall. The girls raced around and had a lot of fun together.

At the mall. The girls raced around and had a lot of fun together.

After that outing, we drove home, ate lunch, and took naps.

When we woke up, Suzanne came over to pick the girls up for a Miner family party.

aug23pic7 aug23pic6 aug23pic4 aug23pic3 aug23pic2 aug23pic1 aug23In the meantime, Abe and I went on a date with an Amazon Local deal to one of our favorite restaurants.

aug23pic8

Ichiban Sushi. We love this place.

Ichiban Sushi. We love this place.

Then we bought Lydia more clothes, because honestly, she is growing so fast and I just can’t keep up. Once we’d purchased a whole new wardrobe at Kid-to-Kid, we went grocery shopping.

Suzanne dropped the girls off, and while Abe bathed them, I steam cleaned the carpet in their room. I am in love with the new cleaner! I cleaned the house for the next three hours (with the neighbors’ permission), and our floors and carpets have never looked cleaner. Once midnight was upon us, I stopped steam cleaning and just vacuumed, but still–it looks great, and I can’t wait for Monday because I can steam clean every last inch of the house that I didn’t get to today! Yippee!!

Lots of eating [out]

We had so much fun with David, Karin and Jay at dinner that we accidentally stayed until 11 pm. We were the last ones at the restaurant, and now it’s almost midnight. In light of our desperate need to go to bed, I really just want to throw up pictures with captions and then go to bed.

Except! Except that I forgot to take pictures of my lunch with Misty, and that was a huge highlight of the day. Abe took a long lunch from work and took the girls to nearby IKEA for free food (kids eat free on Tuesdays) while Misty and I had our lunch date.

mar18pic2 mar18

Misty and I went to my school’s restaurant, and the theme today was “Spring.” I forgot to take pictures of the food or the menu, but it was all very yummy. The starter was ahi tuna with rhubarb salsa…except that we couldn’t discern where the rhubarb was, even though we searched, searched, and searched some more. The second dish was a salad with bagna cauda (again, couldn’t quite figure out where that was) with a salad and bread stick. It looked pretty fancy. We ordered different entrees, and then had molten chocolate cakes with white mocha ice cream for dessert. The menu was set, and I am now really looking forward to my restaurant class where we get to put together these menus, plate them, and serve them to actual people. In my present class, we throw out most of the food we make because there’s never enough time to wrap it up to take home.

Strangely, the rest of the day felt fun and productive too, although I’m not sure how that happened because I’m still sick, queasy, and easily tired. I think the girls were just more self-sufficient than usual, so I got to get more done with less effort. Plus, Mary napped from 2 pm until 6 pm, and Lydia napped from 2 pm until almost 4 pm. That probably helped.

Then Abe came home and I frantically folded laundry until the last minute, when we picked up David and headed up Mill Creek Canyon to meet Karin and Jay at Log Haven. There’s a gorgeous waterfall right across from the restaurant, and the ambiance of the restaurant felt really…nice. The best part was just the conversation, but the food was amazing too. I should have taken a picture of my entree, but alas, I started eating before that could happen. We did, however, take a shot of Abe’s beet soup starter.

mar18pic4mar18pic3

mar18pic5

mar18pic6Happy (belated) birthday, David!

What will be will be

This morning was beautiful outside, so I packed breakfast snacks and let the girls eat in the jogger while I took a two hour walk. We walked up to the part of City Creek Canyon where bright green clovers grow in the creek; ever since we’ve moved here, that’s what I look for every year to tell me it’s Spring. And wow, is it Spring! The clovers were lush, bright green, and much more abundant than I’ve ever seen them. Too bad I didn’t take my phone–I wish I could have taken a picture. The birds were chirping, the creek was gurgling, and that bright green clover made me really happy.

The sad part is that I have had shin splints for over a week, and the two hour walk (with a couple short jogs in the middle) exacerbated them to the point where I spent the rest of the day in a mild state of pain. Happily, on my walk home, I ran into Aria and Anique, both avid runners with lots of shin splint experience, and they gave me some tips. There’s hope!

Then I came home, cleaned the house, fed the girls, and gave Lydia a piano lesson. We make such little progress in these lessons that sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. But then I always conclude that it is worth it, just because Lydia and I get so much one-on-one time, and, if nothing else, Lydia is learning to sit and focus at the piano. At first I’d give her a treat when the lesson was done, but then I started to worry she’d confuse sugar with happiness, so now at the end of our lesson we take water breaks and read together. It’s my favorite part.

Then I finished my book, fed the girls, practiced the piano, and cleaned the house. Abe and I had planned on going to the temple tonight, but as soon as Abe brought the baby-sitter over, he checked his wallet and could not find his recommend. He searched for fifteen minutes and finally gave up. Truthfully, I was so disappointed. I had been looking forward to going to the temple all day, and I almost suggested that I go by myself–but then I didn’t know what we’d say to the babysitter, who was already at our house. We ended up going to the Cheesecake Factory, since Abe’s mom gave him a gift card there a while back. When it came time to pay, Abe found his recommend behind his credit card. I guess it wasn’t meant to be a temple night, and even though I was initially disappointed, I always love talking to my husband, so it turned out okay.

The flash on the camera phone is BLINDING. Abe took a picture of me, but my lopsided squint in the face of the flash made me look inebriated, which I was not.

The flash on the camera phone is blinding. This is Abe enduring it. Abe took a picture of me, but my lopsided squint in the face of the flash made me look inebriated, which I was NOT.

Mopey Monday

I stayed at preschool this morning. Misty had the kids make “giraffe skin” out of yellow paper, cut sponges and brown paint. Afterward, we took the kids out to the back yard to play.

preschool 3 preschool 1Then we came home and I gave Lydia another piano lesson before lunch. Her technique is really coming along, although I was a little impatient today and our lesson ended in tears and hugs. I had a little bit of an emotionally down day today, and I felt so bad for taking it out on Lydia.

Abe wanted to take me out to Smashburger to celebrate my cooking competition on Saturday, so we met him there before school.

smashburger1 smashburger2

While I was at school, Abe was home with two very melodramatic girls.

This was after Mary got put in her crib for not behaving, and Lydia was denied a princess puppet show because she refused to clean up. Misery loves company.

This was after Mary got put in her crib for not behaving, and Lydia was denied a princess puppet show because she refused to clean up. Misery loves company.

But they did have a princess hair night again.

But they did have a princess hair night again.

Then Lydia attempted to knock Mary in the head with the iPad. Thankfully she missed. While she was being disciplined, Mary ran around the house naked. When Abe found her, this is what he saw:

She was typing code into his laptop.

She was typing code into his laptop.

Lydia perked up and joined her.

Lydia perked up and joined her.

Guess my night learning about different dry heat/wet heat methods to cook food was pretty tame in comparison. Abe’s downstairs running off the evening’s stresses on the treadmill, and I am just about to try to forget mine by picking up my book.

Oh! Mom and Grandma, I am about to post some pictures from yesterday onto yesterday’s blog. Abe forgot to email me some cute pictures he took from his phone. I’ll just tack them onto the end of yesterday’s blog.

 

February Camping trip

We just came back from our St. George and Zion camping trip. I took ninety-five pictures, so I will try to whittle them down (somewhat) and just post the highlights here:

Our neighbors left us some chocolate covered strawberries on our back porch right before we left on our trip. Here's Mary chowing down at a gas station en route.

Our neighbors left us some chocolate covered strawberries on our back porch right before we left on our trip. Here’s Mary chowing down at a gas station en route. (Lydia just finished hers — with evident satisfaction.)

We borrowed Lydia's friend, Cole, for the afternoon and evening. The first thing we did was go to Abe's cousin's soccer game.

We borrowed Lydia’s friend, Cole, for the afternoon and evening. The first thing we did was go to Abe’s cousin’s soccer game.

Charlie won his game! Posing with the victor.

Charlie won his game! Posing with the victor.

Then we went back to our campground to set up tent. The kids shared a bag of chips, ran around, and even helped a bit.

Then we went back to our campground to set up tent. The kids shared a bag of chips, ran around, and even helped a bit.

Sharing chips.

Sharing chips.

Running around

Running around

 

Wanting to help.

Wanting to help.

It looked a little wonky because we didn't set up the vestibule properly. But it was huge! This is the first time we've used it, and we fit a queen sized air mattress AND a twin air mattress (I have a bad back) in there with plenty of room to spare.

It looked a little wonky because we didn’t set up the vestibule properly. But it was huge! This is the first time we’ve used it, and we fit a queen sized air mattress AND a twin air mattress (I have a bad back) in there with plenty of room to spare.

We bundled.

We bundled.

And hugged.

And hugged.

Happy and warm.

Happy and warm.

 

The next morning, eating granola bars and fruit.

The next morning, eating granola bars and fruit.

After breaking camp and attending Sacrament meeting, we went to Zion National Park.

Entering Zion National Park. The pictures do not do it justice at all. The majesty, splendor, and vast scale of the rock formations just took our breaths away.

Entering Zion National Park. The pictures do not do it justice at all. The majesty, splendor, and vast scale of the rock formations just took our breaths away.

IMG_6639

Abe wears an adventure hat, and so Lydia does too. Here she is before hike #1 with a pine cone and leaf.

Abe wears an adventure hat, and so Lydia does too. Here she is before hike #1 with a pine cone and leaf.

Abe in his adventure hat. I have so many versions of this picture, and they are all so cute.

Abe in his adventure hat. I have so many versions of this picture, and they are all so cute.

IMG_6647

IMG_6649

Lydia and Daddy are so far ahead!

Lydia and Daddy are so far ahead!

Deciding to catch up.

Deciding to catch up.

Caught up.

Caught up.

Wanting Daddy to hold her hand.

Wanting Daddy to hold her hand.

Success.

Success.

 

Hand holding.

Hand holding.

Oops! I'm supposed to be taking pictures of the scenery!!

Oops! I’m supposed to be taking pictures of the scenery!!

IMG_6658

Hike #2 (Weeping Rock).

Hike #2 (Weeping Rock).

Under the weeping rock.

Under the weeping rock.

Enjoying the view.

Enjoying the view.

Hike #3: The Lower Emerald Pool.

Hike #3: The Lower Emerald Pool.

Made it.

Made it.

On our return trip.

On our return trip.

This is what's behind where we're crouching in the last shot. The kind man who took our picture focused on the people instead of the view (hey! That sounds like someone I know!).

This is what’s behind where we’re crouching in the last shot. The kind man who took our picture focused on the people instead of the view (hey! That sounds like someone I know!).

Early Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Well, it was for Abe and me. We celebrated early since babysitters are booked on Friday. Pre-date, the day was so relaxing. Lydia was exhausted from all the highs of yesterday and took an almost three hour nap. Mary slept too. Abe got home by 5:15 and we left on our six hour date right away–which just might be the longest date we’ve ever been on.

Here are the pictures from early in the day:

Mary dancing (before her outfit change post-messy meal).

Mary dancing (before her outfit change post-messy meal).

Playing.

Playing.

Playing "fish, fish, fish, fish, FREEZE!" We learned this game yesterday, and Mary especially loves putting her hands together and pretending to swim like a fish.

Playing “fish, fish, fish, fish, FREEZE!” We learned this game yesterday, and Mary especially loves putting her hands together and pretending to swim like a fish.

And from our date:

We went to a restaurant called Cedars of Lebanon. The food was amazing. I would love to work here (part time) and learn how to make that yummy food sometime down the road!

We went to a restaurant called Cedars of Lebanon. The food was amazing. I would love to work here (part time) and learn how to make that yummy food sometime down the road!

Our food.

Our food.

valentine2014 1Then we tried to go see Saving Mr. Banks, but it was only showing in Layton, and we were late. So we saw Catching Fire instead and have talked nothing but rebellion, revolution, and fantasy lit ever since.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today was my thirtieth birthday and it feels like kindof a big deal.  I feel like I just lost the last part of me that felt sort-of young.  I mean, when I was in my twenties, I was lumped in with college undergrads etc., but now I’m lumped in with the thirties, which I’m sure is even a cooler group, but it does feel like a change!

Lily and I each had great days today.  I had an awsome training session at work that gave me a lot of insight on how to succeed, and at home Lily was, well, accomplishing crazy amounts of stuff.

Her day started off with a two and a half hour playdate with Paige Anderson and her daughters Ada and ‘Liv.  After that Lily somehow managed to practice piano, feed the children, clean the entire house, write me an incredibly touching birthday letter, make me a happy birthday door poster, paint me another happy birthday poster and finally set Lydia up with paints so she (Lydia) could paint me a happy birthday poster.  The crazy thing is that when I arrived home, she said she was not tired because she had rested during the day…..um…….when?

But I have to say, all her efforts to make the day feel festive really changed the complexion of the day for me.  At work, most people didn’t know it was my birthday, and so not much of a deal was made (I’m still very new), but at home I felt truly celebrated and I thank my sweet wife for that.

As soon as I got home, we had dinner with my mom and Jay at the Spaghetti factory (per my request).  I love the Spaghetti factory at Trolly Square because spaghetti speaks to my inner child and yet the atmosphere is classic vintage.  It’s hard to explain.  I just love how it feels there and the food is great.  Dinner conversation was very delightful with topics ranging from Obama raising the minimum wage to 3-D printing to why Payton Manning deserves to win the Super Bowl on moral grounds (because he’s such a dog gone awsome guy).  At the very end of dinner, it was time to go, but Lydia wanted to eat more of her Spumoni ice cream.  Lily told Lydia that she could take five more bites and then it would be time to go.  Lydia quickly took four bites and then, before she could take the fifth, she froze and started gazing into space.  We all assumed she had just acquired a massive brain freeze and then after her period of gazing she finally piped up, “I feel cold, does anyone else feel cold?”  It is truly hard to recreate how funny it was when she said that, but we all got a great belly laugh.

Now it’s time for bed.  I’m eager to get to work tomorrow and start applying what I learned in training.  Pictures!!IMG_6405 IMG_6403 IMG_6402 IMG_6399 IMG_6394 IMG_6393 IMG_6391 IMG_6390 IMG_6389 IMG_6387