Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Smith & Morehouse {Camping}

For Father's Day Weekend (that's right, I'm just now getting around to blogging it), we headed into the mountains for another weekend of camping.  Somehow it never occurred to us that campsites would be crowded, and a reservation was necessary.  Big mistake!  We arrived at the Smith & Morehouse Reservoir & campgrounds around 2pm that Saturday only to find out that one tiny campsite was all that was left.  So it's wasn't the ideal site by any means, but at least we had a spot for our tent and didn't have to let down a particular little boy.  Phew!

While our site was small and pretty open, the campgrounds as a whole were beautiful.  Tall mountain peaks lined one side, as well as a large stream.  My favorite part was sleeping to the sound of fresh running water.  I may just have to change the boys' sound machines from ocean to stream now!  And I may just always need to be near rushing water for all future camping trips.  I was spoiled!

We were completely unplugged during our adventure and enjoyed the slow pace of our days.  We decided on an early dinner to make sure we had plenty of time for fishing at dusk.  We walked along the stream for a bit until Conor could see tons of fish just waiting to catch some bugs floating down stream.  He pulled out his fly fishing pole and started catching fish immediately.  Lots of graylings & one rainbow trout.  Liam was excited, yet skeptical.  He didn't necessarily want to be handling the fish.  But Finn... Finn was so into it.  He wanted to touch, hold, poke every single fish.  Conor couldn't get it to him fast enough.  So with the pressure on from baby brother, Liam finally jumped on board with the fish touching too!

While fishing may have been the highlight, there were so many little details.. little moments to our adventure that made it a special one.  There were wild strawberry bushes just covering the campgrounds (yet unfortunately it was too soon for berries).  Big monarch butterflies were all around us.  Conor & Liam spotted a beaver while kayaking, and he even slapped his tail on the water for them.  And we took one epic walk through an over-the-knee-high stream in search of the best fishing spot.  I may have had a heart attack while crossing with both boys simply in our arms, but we survived!  Liam was so tuckered out from it all, that that evening he fell asleep in our camping hammock while waiting for the stars to come out.  It was nearly a full moon that night, and seeing his sleeping face lit up by it was such a sweet sight.  We really slowed down and took it all in.

While this trip really was all sorts of amazing, it wasn't without some struggles.  Both boys had colds and Finn was teething.  There was a fair amount of whining, crying, & just general not listening.  Whether we were at home or in the mountains, we would still have been dealing with them; so, we chose mountains.  I hope we always choose mountains.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend Recap

This last weekend was near perfect!  And I say near because... kids still whine & cry regardless of the fun.  But we managed to keep that to a minimum!  Perhaps I was in such a good mood all weekend due to the sleeping in (both days), which was quickly followed by two big brunches.  Lemon poppy seed pancakes & crepes make for no better way to wake up.  Plus, I get to take long 2+ hour naps with Finn on the weekends.

We spent our days mostly outside with the neighbors.  Sprinklers.  Dance parties.  Bikes.  Wiggle cars.  We made it to the farmer's market for fresh produce as well as the. best. popsicles. ever.  Then we snuck in a quick trip to the waterpark.  My boys were shirtless and barefoot nearly all weekend long, which is exactly what summer is all about!    

But the highlight of the weekend was spending an evening up at Snowbird for their summer concert series.  We almost didn't go, since Finn only naps once a day now and therefore hits the sheets ridiculously early; and, because Liam hadn't napped at all.  But we're risky parents.  And some drinks & music in the mountains trumped all.  We joined four other families up there for happy hour & a little picnic dinner.  The band was your typical rock/folk, but they were good!  Little Finn was especially into it.  The weather could not have been better, nor my children more well behaved (minus one pushing incident... remember near perfect).  It was a roaring success, so I think we may just be back every Saturday all summer long.  Plus, I can never get enough mountain air.  Mountain sunsets.  Mountain everything!!!

Events like these are far more relaxing now that Liam is at the age where he can now run off with his friends with little intervention needed.  I simply love it! These four are the best of friends but can also treat one another just like a sibling.  They love.  They fight.  But they totally get one another.  It has been such a treat to watch them grow together over the last nearly four years.  And during that time, their moms became some of my favorite people.  I often talk about my "tribe"; well, here is a little glance at some of the kiddos who make up my tribe.  A few are missing, as well as all the baby siblings.  We often have 10+ kids on playdates now.  It's a little bit of chaos, but it's all worth it to raise my boys in such a tight knit little community.

And now Monday is here.  The temps are supposed to be in the hundreds. 
I think the mountains may be calling...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

4th of July Favs

Fireworks are already being set off here in Utah.  People are seriously allowed to use them a week before & after the holiday.  So two weeks of fireworks!!!  Not cool when you have small children, and your neighbor lights them off nightly around 11pm.  So not cool!  Anyhow, here is a little roundup of a some July 4th necessities:

1 . 2 .  3 .  4 . 5 . 6 .

I think we can all agree that the rocket pop pool float trumps all pool floats, which is saying a lot if you have seen Target's selection this year! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

1st Season of T-Ball

Last month. we kicked off Liam's sports career with t-ball!  We have a tee & bat at home, so of course we did some practicing before the season began.  Conor volunteered to be the coach, which made the whole experience even more special!  Watching him be so patient with all the kids & share one of his greats loves was so sweet (and sexy!).  The coach role looks real good on him.  And when the snack sign up sheet got passed around that very first day, I was giddy.  I take the role of "baseball mom" quite seriously.  Bringing team snacks just seemed like a whole new milestone.  How was baby old enough for this?!

I had anticipated spending our evenings on the baseball field, watching the sun slowly go down.  But no.  Not at all.  Because this t-ball league was played in a field house, womp womp.  There were teams everywhere and it was a bit chaotic.  Not what I had imagined at all.  I was actually a bit disappointed in the league.  They really simplified the sport (just running to one base per hit) and didn't keep score (which you couldn't really, since the kids didn't run all the bases even if their was a "grand slam").  I hate how many people are trying to take the competition out of sports; it's a bit ridiculous to me.  Liam was ready for something a bit more advanced.  Next spring I will definitely do my research and find something that will be a better (more competitive) fit of us and where they actually play on a field!

Regardless, Liam still loved it!  He takes direction really well & always seems to be improving.  He was determined & fast.  He also spent plenty of time goofing off with his friend Quinn.  But let's be honest... there is lots of waiting around in baseball...

And while t-ball was all about Liam, my "job" was strictly Finn.  He wanted to play so bad.  He wanted the bats, the balls, the bases.  He wanted to run with all the big kids.  He was busy.  We had to spend half of our time outside, because it was just too exhausting to have him close to the action.  One time I may have been busy chatting it up with one of the attractive (british) dads, while Finn completely escaped.  Luckily I have sweet friends who are also watching my kids, and she managed to snag Finn for me, phew!  So while big brother played, Finn typically man handled as many baseballs as possible; he's got a grip & throw already.

The "season" only lasted a month, but that was perfect for our first start.  We are filling the summer months were swim lessons currently.  Then come Fall, he'll be in soccer which I am most excited for!  Sports were such a big & important part of my childhood; so this new stage with Liam, is just the beginning!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Solstice

Who doesn't love the first day of summer, right?!  There seems to be some sort of magic in the air.  And with a fun name like Summer Solstice, it should most definitely be celebrated.  I had big plans for water parks & frozen treats & staying up late to look at stars and the full moon!  Not often do we have a full moon coincide with Summer Solstice.  But literally every single of one of my plans failed...

First, Finn decided to practice his strong man skills and pull a barstool down right on his big toe.  There was screaming & crying & lots of blood.  It left a huge gash, and I was terrified that it was broken.  After lots of snuggles & nursing, he finally calmed down only to get even angrier after I dared to put a bandaid on the wound.  I think he most unhappy about the damn band-aid.  Meanwhile, Liam was at swim lessons with Conor.  He did not adjust well to having a new swim instructor, so he refused to get in the pool for lessons. Immediately I knew the frozen treats we had bought "special" were going to have to sit in the freezer for another day.  Conor had used them as one big bribe, and it failed.  So we had to follow through.  I wasn't giving up on my waterpark dreams though.

We pulled into the waterpark parking lot only to notice that they had closed early for a private event!  What?!  On the first of official day of summer?!  No way!  We decide the next best thing was a splash pad; there is an awesome one with quite the mountain view near our house.  So we drove there next.  Well it just happens to be right next to an amphitheater, so on event nights they turn the water off early.  You guessed it... event night!  Literally every plan of mine was spoiled; I was probably more upset than the kids about it.

Given our situation, I was still determined to make our evening something special.  We headed home to our little backyard oasis.  We filled the kiddie pool, turned on the sprinkler & some jams, and were the jolliest little bunch.  Moscow mules were mixed.  Hamburgers grilled.  And we dined al fresco.  Liam got to stay up late late late and even spotted the very first star in the sky.  It wasn't in the plans, but it turned out darn good.  And now I have a new love affair with my camera & our simple sprinkler! 

Somehow, our little summer solstice celebration turned out alright.  I'll cheers to that!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stitch Fix #16

My sixteenth Stitch Fix!  Seems a little crazy!  Typically, I'm a big fan of Stitch Fix during the Fall months; but this year, they have me drooling over all their maxi dresses.  So yada yada yada, blah blah blah... check out this fix.  And try to see past my unwashed hair and minimal make up: 
See U Soon Augustin Embroidered Bib Top
While I actually think this looks good on me, it simply wasn't my style.  And as is always my biggest complaint... it was a bit short for me.  Sent back.

Market & Spruce Kentfield Mixed Media Side Panel Knit Top
My stylist was trying to fulfill my desire for some blush pink, but this almost seemed more nude than pink to me.  And you don't notice the mixed media, since the color was still the same.  This top was so basic and "meh", so I sent it back.

Free Heart Lepere Chambray Button Down Top
I just don't think sleeveless button ups are for me.  Unless I'm playing ladies golf, and then maybe...  But the biggest complaint was the length.  So so so so short! Sent back.

Le Lis Karla Knit Maxi Dress
Loved everything about this!  I think it is far more flattering in person too!  At first I thought the funky top section wasn't for me, but once I put it on I was obsessed.  I wear this dress all the time and can actually manage to nurse it in.  The neck isn't overly stretchy, but doable!

Gilli Tahj V-neck Knit Maxi Dress
I wanted to love this.  And I almost kept it.  This style of dress is simply perfect for breastfeeding!  But the cut of fabric on the bottom section was just unfortunate.  The pattern did not flatter my midsection, and I couldn't stop seeing ovaries in those swirls.  So sadly I sent this dress back, but I would totally keep a slightly different version of it!

My closet is now stocked with maxis, so I should probably stop buying more.  I will try and hold off until Fall for another fix, but I may not be able to stay away.  And here is where I place my quick plug for actually trying Stitch Fix if you haven't yet (and many thanks for using my link if you do)!  It's fun & convenient and somehow I keep coming back!  So tell me, did I make the right choice in keeping the striped blue maxi?
*affiliate links used*

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

1st Year of Preschool Complete

Summer is here!!!  I'm actually rather excited to have Liam home with me every day for a few months.  Sure, it will be harder to run errands with two kids, and I'll really miss that morning nap with Finn twice a week.  But it's summer, and we have lots of adventuring to do!

Summer school seems to be all the rage these days.  Yeah that's right... summer school for preschoolers.  But that thought just makes me a bit sad.  Liam will be in school for the next 20+  years of his life!  No need to be in there all year round; it's summer!  And the water park is calling!

Liam thrived at his Montessori this year.  We love his school and especially his teacher, whom he is lucky enough to have again next year.  On his last day we were given a portfolio of all his work from the school year as well pictures of him throughout.  I have never been so proud of some craft skills as well as his writing!  The portfolio is quite a special thing; it will definitely be tucked away & saved for him.  Now let's take a little look back at a picture from his 1st day...

1. Preschool just knocked the baby right out of him!  (Bawling my eyes out)!  And 2. Long hair don't care.  And because I just can't stop with the old photos, here are his Fall & then Spring school photos...

I can't even think about how much bigger he will be when he strolls back into his classroom in late August!  But until then, we play!  And I enjoy every extra minute with my sweet little Lamb!

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