Friday, August 30, 2013

The Quest: Part 9

Challenger: Smash Burger
Reigning Champ: ??? (Pick your favorite and insert here)

A while ago my best friends from the time I was little and all through high school and I met in St. George for a girl's weekend. Our weekend pretty much consisted of food, movies, food, games, food, swimming and more food. I was actually kind of excited not to eat out when I got home. I love these girls and love being with them, conversation is easy, laughter is constant and it feels just like old times being back together. 

While we were there we ate at a burger place called Smash Burger. Apparently it is a Utah thing because I've never heard of it but Lindsay said it was really good. So we decided to give it a try. 

The menu reminded me of The Habit or something. And I was super excited. I got their sweet potato fries but did not add the rosemary they are well known for. (I am not a huge fan of rosemary but Lindsay LOVED it). My fries were really good. I also opted for the Smash Burger, which I did enjoy.

Another thing I really liked about this specific location was they cut their straws for babies. Whenever we go out to eat I always have to cut the girl's water straws so it was super convenient and fun to see this already done. Again good ole' Utah catering to families with small children... love it!
My best friends Jill (Davey) Duncan and Lindsay Pennington. I am sure they will love this photo because we did not get ready at all this day and we all look awesome. These girls were part of my youth and all of growing up and we spent the weekend reminiscing and laughing about high school and dating, hanging out, old crushes and boyfriends. It was such good times.
This was my seat buddy the whole weekend. I had to bring my nursing baby and while she was teething and a little fussy, I think she enjoyed being with the girls too.
CONSENSUS: I really liked my burger and fries. It reminded me of The Habit and Five Guys. It was a really good, quality burger. BUT, with that said, it was NOT my favorite burger ever, and compared to somewhere like In N Out the price is a tad steep. So, I would go back, but I would not claim this place as my all time favorite. 

I also had to throw in this "gem" (in all honesty I about cried seeing myself in this photo) but I needed one of the 3 of us together. Here we are at Marv's in St. George another previous burger quest joint. Definitely not the burger winner, but a champ when it comes to shakes, malts, onion rings, fries and fry sauce.

Wish I had more pictures of us from this weekend but it was a wonderful time. I love these two so much! Thanks for making this happen girls!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Everyday Mom....... and That's What she Said

Some of these are old... I guess I need to post more often. I also need to write them all down because my oldest says and does soooo many funny things its a shame I won't/don't remember them all. In fact just the other day Peyton and I were watching old videos of her from when she was about 18 months. It totally saddened me to see that sweet baby of mine and I realized how much and how fast she's grown. And all those everyday things I thought I would for sure remember, I don't. So sad... waaaaah! All I have are the wonderful sweet feelings that only I get to have because I had the opportunity to be with her every single day and watch her do the not so extraordinary things, but the things that are so simple and special. I can't really verbalize or write exactly what I feel but I just am blessed to be an every day mom. The mom who remembers the cute funny walk of a 15 month old. The mom who got to watch the simple gestures that made (and still make) me laugh. The mom who got to see the laughing face, the crying face and those silly tantrums. I want to remember everything and know I never will and can't. But I get to hold the memories and feelings forever even if I can't remember the specifics. Okay tangent aside... back to the funny things from my 2 1/2-3 year old. (It's been that long and she doesn't even do some of these things anymore.) And like I said... there are so many more, but I can't remember so much.

Peyton used to be in the habit of yelling, "I'm so mad" or "I'm so disappointed" at naps... thanks Daniel Tiger. For a while she fought napping, but she's back on track now. In fact Daniel Tiger (the new animated Mr. Rogers show... sort of) provides much of our everyday songs and conversations here lately.

Upon leaving the room at night she never stops talking. One night Wes left while she was is mid sentence (sometimes we have to do that because she seriously doesn't stop) and she responded with a, "Heeeeeey."

She has started accidentally combining 2 words looking for the right one, and it's funny because she realizes its funny. Also the other night she was trying to tell me about something in the kitchen and she accidentally said "in the chicken" and she started laughing so hard saying, "I said chicken mama!"

After sneezing one day nobody said anything, so a few seconds after her sneeze Peyton said, "Bleeeess me."

At the beach (maybe after at the Huefner home) Peyton goes up to Wes' sister and says, "Hey Jaime, I have sand in my bum crack."

I recently showed Peyton how to make a wish with a eyelash. A few days after initially teaching her, she had an eye goober, so she got it out and said to me, "Hey mama, make a wish," holding up the goober to me.

In July after one of the many firework shows we watched (I can't remember where) Peyton looked at me and said, "Mama, I honestly love fireworks."

We went somewhere with Sandie and Wyatt and on the way back to Chino Wyatt was crying pretty hard. Peyton, sitting between the 2 babies, looked at Wyatt and said very seriously, "OK OK Wyatt, that's enough."

I was telling Peyton, "Let's go" one day as we were trying to leave the house and she says to me, "Stop saying let's go, that's driving me crazy." I know I say that too much to her.

Wes has been exercising every night, and every so often we let Peyt stay up for a minute and do some exercises with him. One day she said, "I do jack jumpings every day so I can walk on the moon."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

L.A. Rules

When I was a little girl I went with my neighbors (The Saldanas who taught me Spanish, to swim, and to love L.A.) into L.A. with them for a day. I am still not sure why or why my mom let me go. Anywho, when I got home from said day in L.A. I came home and either wrote or carved "L.A. Rules" into my brand new dresser in my room. My mom was not as enthusiastic about my feelings of L.A. as I was. Well, I still really enjoy a day in L.A and had the opportunity this last weekend (before our crappy camping trip) to go into the city with Wes' out of town family, as well as Jaime and her kids... so the same crew as Lake Powell. 

Our first stop was hiking the batman caves and Hollywood sign. For us it was our 2nd time doing this (see our first trip here) hike, but we did take a different route up this time. Shorter but not easier. It was a hot day, which made some not love it, but we enjoyed ourselves.

Next we hit up TCL (or Grauman's/Mann's) Chinese Theater at Hollywood and Highland. The family from Utah was not fond of the crowds, the crazies or the scene in general and we did not explore much or spend much time there. But, being starved from our hike we decided to hit up the nearby and conveniently located California Pizza Kitchen next door.

The next day Wes participated in a 30 mile bike ride to the beach from Green River Rd on the 91 to Huntington Beach. My mom and I drove out later and met them all. He said the ride was really pretty and the day was perfect. Overcast in the morning but nice and sunny and warm once they all got to the beach.

Some of the views from his ride:
And once we got there we had a grand ole' time. Peyton played in the water and made sand angels... more than likely filling that crotch pouch in the bottom of her bathing suit with tons of sand.
Jovie cuddled and slept with Nana.
I got to lay out and talk with my friends who happen to be leaders in the YW program.
And Wes played and got a wicked sunburn on his side where we both failed to apply sunscreen. Apparently I didn't do too good of a job on his back either. Sorry babe.
So between that weekend and our fun filled week of camping :/, it has been really nice to just be home, relax, get ourselves back on a sleeping schedule (for Jovie- who I think missed home the most) and attempt to get my house in order, because it is trashed!

But I've said it once and I'll say it again... L.A. rules!

Monday, August 19, 2013

FHE: The Atonement (3rd article of faith)

We've still been having our FHE, but with summer its a lot of being out and about with little to no lesson. We have been having a lot of fun and enjoying being all together this summer. Tonight we worked on the atonement and the 3rd article of faith. We went to the temple over the weekend (in St. George) and she is understanding a little more about the sacrifice Jesus made for us (the atonement or his ouchies) and repentance (saying sorry). I consider this a success for a 3 year old. We ended the night with otter pops and duck duck goose.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Lake Powell 2013

So I've termed this vacation the trip to hell and back for good reason. I'll walk you through it......

Left for St. George, no incidents (thank goodness)

-Breakfast with Grandpa Gubler and hit the road around 9

-20 or so min into the trip Jaime's brand new truck broke down with her and the 4 kids. 2 hours in 105 degree temp and she was towed back into town, Wes and I are on our way to the lake. (with a now grumpy baby).
-After a WAY overpriced lunch at Subway in Page (:/) on our way into the campgrounds when Wes gets caught in a speed trap and gets a (bleepin) speed ticket. Dumbest ticket ever btw!
-okay okay... we set up our lone tent in front of lone rock (everyone else staying in a nice hotel) and try to bolster our spirits by going out on the lake in Wes' uncle's boat. Not 1 min into the boat ride but...... the boat breaks down. Seriously?!
-After being towed back to our tent slowly we decide to change the girls into jammies and have dinner. While we are all in the tent a windstorm hits us and it's pure chaos. Peyton is crying and stuck, Jovie is being pummeled in the face by sand and wind and doesn't make a noise, I was changing so I am in my underwear. Wes jumps out to help so I throw the kids at him to put in the car and I lay in a ball as I am being beaten by sand and wind. So, our tent blows down and every ounce of it is covered with a nice layer of sand. Including our suitcases and bed. :/ Lesson learned: anchor a tent at Lake Powell.

Our campsite.... facing lone rock

-The rest of the evening passes without incident and is actually really, really nice!

-No incident. Mornings are hard because with just the 2 of us alone we can't set up shade and the rest of the group doesn't come until about noon each day. We make due.
-Nights are just stressful. Spent about 1 1/2 hrs in the car and tent trying to calm a crying baby in the middle of the night (the night sky was AWEsome, so many stars...I didn't want to enjoy it but I did)
-Brinley is throwing up and Wes starts feeling bad this night.

-Fun day on the lake
-Evening came and we packed up and left back to St. George
-That night I got really sick. Peyton (we didn't know until the morning) threw up during the night. Not sure if it was a flu or food poisoning.

-I'm still sick
Wes eating a PB&J sandwich (w/ creamy peanut butter and seedless jam) broke off a BIG piece of his tooth (molar). If I wasn't already sick I would've been at this point. He goes to a local (wonderful) dentist to get a temp fix until we can get a cap ordered and put on.

-Jaime and her kids come back and Tyler (and Wes' cousins) were totally sick now.

Friday and Saturday:
Both good days with no incidents.......phew.

I mean really, isn't that crazy?! And, if I am honest, my bad attitude the entire time was no help at all. But, as bad as it seemed, there were definitely good times too.

Monday night was probably my favorite time of the entire week. It almost seemed like something from an incredibly cheesy chick flick of sorts. After the kids went to bed we laid out a big blanket in the softest sand ever. Because our dinner food was packed away by the kids in the tent, Wes went and found a bunch of our snacks and laid them out for our dinner. We then spent the night laying on the beach next to each other watching the sunset with a great rainbow, then the most incredible display of shooting stars (there was a big meteor shower that night, and they almost looked fake they were so big and long and bright). When we weren't watching the shooting stars there was a huge lightening storm across the lake we watched. It was a pretty magical night.

Each day was wonderful and spent swimming, chatting, snacking and boating. Peyton was in hog heaven. From the moment she woke up to the moment she went to bed she lived in her life vest playing in the water. She couldn't have been happier, more content, and as pleasant as could be. Hannah, Wes' 12 year old cousin was there to watch and play with the kids... she was pretty much a life saver. I am so happy she was there and owe her so much for keeping my little girl so happy and well taken care of. We saw lots of beautiful sunsets and rises, lightening storms, and time with family. So if I overlook the fact that my husband lost part of a tooth (barf) and what should have been a 100 dollar trip turned into way more than that, I shouldn't complain (I did, but shouldn't) because it ended up alright. Although, when my husband goes to the doctors tomorrow because his sickness keeps getting worse and has to pay $$$ for antibiotics, I might go back to complaining. I am still not sure we will be camping there again any time soon.

 The creepy tarantula that was crawling on our stuff at the beach. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Yosemite 2013

Yosemite is definitely a family favorite around these here parts. There is so much natural beauty. There is also a lot of natural not so beauty when a family doesn't shower for 7 days straight, touch their hair with a brush that whole time, and does a little hiking... at least we played in the freezing river every day right? Right?! Not that we would ever do that.... gulp/ collar pull.

Moving on. What we did in Yosemite. LOTS of bike riding, I think Wes and I agreed that is our favorite thing to do in Yosemite. It is gorgeous, fun, and really gives a better view of the whole park which you can't appreciate on the full shuttle packed with foreigners who don't understand the need for personal space. Played in the cold water a lot (even if it was the driest ever) we still found a few fun places to jump off rocks and cliffs into the water. Sadly though Yosemite Falls was more like Yosemite Walls as there was no waterfall at all... it was such a bummer. We also "floated" down the river... OK Wes basically pulled us down the river for 3 hours, but it was still pretty fun. Hiked Vernal Falls, which was not that fun pushing a double stroller... well at least according to Wes. My heart rate hiking alone would confirm this. Ate ice cream in Curry Village and enjoyed that area. Had all the children become Jr. Rangers on our nature walk. Watched The Spirit of Yosemite video in the Village and enjoyed sandwiches at Degnan's Deli. Loved making pools and exploring the stream by our campsite. Hiking the trail out of the Happy Isles Wes and I and the girls were about 50-100 yards away from a mama bear and her 2 cubs, and it was AWESOME! With the rest of the family we went on a twilight bear hunt in the apple orchards until mama Todd got too scared even after Peyton assured her we were fine all together. Took an official tour of the Ahwahnee Hotel and the surrounding area. Wes and I played night games together while the girls slept in our awesome tent. Attended the LDS church service in our camping clothes in the cute chapel in the valley. Did some much needed reflection in the old Indian area. Claire even told us our fortunes while there, apparently Wes and I are having a baby boy soon. And enjoyed bubbles, ladder golf and quality time with Team Todd (and the Hamiltons) at camp. It was a great vacation!!!!
 Photo bomb! Da' best, or da' bomb photo ever as some might say.