Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Since it is so hard to go home every other Christmas when you start to have children, and since most my sisters live in Utah right by their in-laws, my sisters and I decided it would be a good idea to spend every Thanksgiving with our family and every Christmas at home. Last year we all drove out to my parents and it was so many people that they rented a couple RV's and parked them in the driveway to accommodate everyone. It was so so fun, but I think my parents felt a little guilty that all their children had to drive with little kids in the car for 12 hours when they are only just two people that could easily fly out to visit us over the holidays, so that's what they did. 

My parents decided to rent a cabin up at Sundance so that we could all come stay together in one house over Thanksgiving. I had been looking forward to it for months because it just sounded so fun and I love to be with my family. Olive is at an age where she just LIVES to be with her cousins and she loves it so much. It's fun to watch her make these memories and I don't think she realizes how lucky she is to get to live by and interact with so many cousins all the time. She even got to sleep in bed with some of her girl cousins one night and i think it made her whole life haha, she loves spending the night with cousins... almost as much as she loves sleeping in bed with her mom and dad haha. She loves vacations for that reason, she loves to get to be in bed with KC and I, it's really cute. Elijah was so good to sleep in his portacrib even though he realized immediately that he could easily get out of it haha. 

We the cabin for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night. On Wednesday night there was a big snowstorm and we had to wait it out a bit before we headed up. Olive had gone up earlier with her cousins (she couldn't wait for me when she would be losing time with cousin) and so Kc and I headed up with Elijah when Kc got off work. I was worried he would not want to see his grandma since last time he saw her his mom left for a week, but he was SO EXCITED to see her. It was really cute. He loves her so much and would always run over and give her hugs and kisses and cuddle. Elijah loves both his Grandmas so much and he is so lucky to get interact with them. Each person that loves a child unconditionally gives them confidence in themselves, a confidence that extends throughout their whole lives. I love that both my children are surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that they have positive interactions with almost every week whom give them so much love and security in who they are.

The cabin had a hot tub outside which we turned down so the kids could all get in and play. I hadn't thought about bringing a swim diaper for Elijah so I just let him go in naked. He LOVED that hot tub and woke up every morning enthusiastically signing "swim" and didn't stop signing it all day until I let him go in. We spent lots of time talking and playing games and eating delicious food. I think Elijah had a little too much yummy food because without any warning or acting sick at all he threw up A TON and then just went on his merry way again and played as though nothing had happened... what? I think maybe he had swallowed to much hot tub water or something, so weird. My in-laws serendipitously had gone up with my mother in-laws side of the family for one night at Timp Lodge at Sundance so they had decided to rent a cabin up there for a couple nights as well. Their cabin came with a key to a really fun little area with an outdoor fireplace, big tree swing, and a zipline. It was really a magical place and we went down and hung out with them for a while and it was SO SO fun. 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and I left feeling full of gratitude for my family; a group of people with a lot of imperfections that are doing the best they can and really do love one another. And that's all we can ask for from anyone, right? Happy Thanksgiving!

Cutest little turkey butt there ever was.

Getting jumped on. A lot.

For some reason the kids treated me like a human beanbag on multiples occasions. I'm assuming it's cause I'm the "fun" aunt.... or the push over one. Glad it was to the amusement of everyone else around me. 

When you are desperately trying to put that backspin on your serve. 
I love ping-pong. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

When did my baby turn 2?

Since my little Elijah turned two last month I thought it would be a good time to do a post about him and all the little things he's doing these days. At his two year check up he was about 98th percentile in height and about 50th percentile in weight, so he is a tall skinny little guy and I just can't stop squeezing and kissing his tiny little body. He is getting a little too attached to his binky and so I think we are going to cut him off from that within the next couple weeks or so, which should make for fun sleepless nights had by all! His red hair and rascally smile are irresistible, and he is full of charm and charism which helps him get away with the fact that he barely says any words.

Olive also started to talk after she turned two. I don't know why my kids talk so late but they have no problem understanding everything going on around them and figuring out ways to communicate. Elijah recently started saying a few words, but still has a hard time making the correct sounds with lots of other words. He says "MOM" loud and clear about 50 times a day, which I love because he says it like a teenager and then when I come over he grabs my hand or signs something. He has started to say "cold" a lot when we go out in the cold and over our thanksgiving break my mom asked him to say "cheese" and he repeated that no problem. He has a hard time saying "dad" but he tries, and yesterday he said "bye" for the first time at church while we were waving good-bye to nursery leaders, so you know we'll get there someday. Slow and steady. He mostly communicates through signs and pointing, or grabbing my hand and dragging me toward the things he wants. It gets easier for me because I know his personality so well and all the things he likes, but I think other people just stare at him like "huh?" which makes him so frustrated. He will throw a really big fit if you can't understand him, and that is always frustrating for both of us. His most frequent signs are more, food, water, horse, and crocodile. He also like to makes up lots of signs and it takes me a bit to figure them out. He made up a sign for binky (of course) which is him rubbing his fingers together like the money sign, he recently made up a sign for sun which I think he got from the motions of the song I sometimes sing him "oh, Mr. sun, sun." He also modified the sign for fish to mean swimming and it is a very enthusiastic sign that he did every single morning over our vacation this weekend because he wanted to be in the hot tub every second. He is a busy little body, that is for sure. 

He loves to cuddle and give kisses and hugs. If you ask him to give one to someone he has to give one to everyone in the room and sometimes asks that you give each other hugs and kisses too. He is so affectionate and always likes to be held and puts his little arms around my neck. He and Olive are always competing to be held and it causes some big drama because I can't always hold them both, Olive is getting so big, don't know how we will manage another one whenever we get one! He has a sudden spike in energy lately and I am beginning to notice a big difference between having a little girl and a little boy. At breakfast he will often just growl and shout and shake, as if he just has so much energy he can't contain himself. He is impossible in stores and always wants to be running wild everywhere we go. At his two year check up he was out of control. He was up on the counter turning on the sink and spraying it everywhere, then on the exam table dive bombing into my arms as I talked to the doctor, then opening all the drawers and pulling out all the supplies, then opening the door and running down the hall. The doctor told me she was concerned for his safety and I was like, "well then you watch him!" 

His favorite things to do are to sit on my lap for hours and point to things in books and have me say what they are. He often corrects me because he think he knows better than me at this point, so I sometimes have to run the gambit of options to figure out what the thing "really" is, for example hamsters don't exist, they are all mice. Tadpoles look more like snakes apparently and so on and so forth. He loves it when I sit down to play with him using toys and he likes to show me the different parts of the animal and have me say what it is, like "oh that's your tail!" and he smiles and nods. He likes to build marble mazes and watch the marbles go down over and over agin. He loves to watch shows in my bed and snuggle with me, he will climb right in and pull the blanket over himself. It's so cute. His favorite shows right now are Octonauts and Dinosaur Train. He loves to get up and dance when he hears the intro music, and really he will dance to any beat that he hears. It's adorable. This stage is just so cute! He loves dinosaurs, which is something I think comes from his sister. I bought ornaments for them this year, Olive got a triceratops and Elijah a horse. I thought it would be a good memory since he loves to go visit the horses but he was mad he didn't have a dinosaur one too. He does love visiting the horses though, and signs and asks to go all the time. They moved the one across the street so now we go down the street and feed the three half-lingers. They are so pretty and fun and run to us when we come. He loves to eat salad (which is something Olive has never really eaten) and hasn't really cared much for chicken nuggets. His very favorite thing to eat is pasta with pesto. He will eat three bowls of that if you let him! 

Two is such a fun age. I feel like each day that passes he learns something new and we all delight in it. Olive is so anxious for him to talk so she can interact with him more. She is also really frustrated with him most the time because he really wants to do whatever she is doing and that means he often takes her toys of messes up her room. It's always hard to find that balance between teaching kids to share and letting kids know that some things they don't have to share. Elijah is so good at sharing though, and for that I am grateful because there is already enough drama with the toys. Some days I want to throw them all out! He is so generous to usually give Olive anything she asks for, sometimes Olive takes advantage of this as older siblings often do. It's fun to see younger siblings do things earlier because they see their older sibling do things, like Elijah's insistence to stir the pancake batter too when he sees his sister do it. He's figuring out little tricks and finding out which things his mommy will give in. He begs to have books in his bed when goes down every night and during his nap time and I always let him so at the end of the week he has a stack of books as tall as he is sitting in the end of his crib. I delight in every moment of my day with these two kids, even moments where I want to scream and pull all my hair out. Can't believe I have it so good to have these two happy, healthy, red heads. Life can be hard, but that's why it can be so wonderful.

Elijah is grabbing his hair here because I put some gel in it and he thought that was so funny he wouldn't stop touching it,

We took him to his cousins to have more of an audience to sing to him and he surprised me by getting really shy and putting his head down the whole time we sang. 

Rascal REFUSED to wear a costume so we just put little mouse whiskers on him and let him run from house to house. 
He loved it of course. 

Elijah loves story time at the library. He loves to dance and sway to the music and plops himself right in the middle of the blanket when they put it down to read the story. 

Always with the horses. 

This was a birthday party for Olive but when Elijah say all the fun that was happening he refused to leave. 


Every Morning.

He was such a good boy for his haircut because I bribed him the whole time with ice cream. 

Helping Mama smash leaves.

Why do they always have to eat the snow? 

Waiting impatiently for the German Pancakes.

As you do.

That's all Folks.

Friday, November 11, 2016


A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Peru with my best friend Callie. I have had lots of people ask how this came about when I have a husband and two kids to attend to. When I was talking to one of my co workers about my trip a new hire in the lab overhead I was going to Peru and responded "oh, I thought you were married with kids." haha "I am." I said. 

The trip came about like this. I haven't lived by my best friend Callie since we graduated from high school, even though we have always corresponded with each other throughout our lives. We have dreamed of doing a trip like this for 10 years and would often discuss where we would go and what we would do. With all the changes of life and clashing schedules somehow we could never make it happen. It was to be the same this year as my family was supposed to travel to Australia with my in-laws and I was busy trying to plan that trip and make sure we had all the finances we needed for any extra things we wanted to do and the time off. After some time my in-laws realized that the trip was not going to happen this year as it conflicted with too many schedules and the whole point was to be able to get everyone together for Christmas so they postponed it for another year. Meanwhile with all these things I had set in place (extra travel finances, time away from work, etc.) the stars seemed to be aligned to take the trip of a lifetime that we had talked about for years, so we pulled the trigger. 

I am not one who is very aware or pays much attention to the judgment of others, but I've had so many funny comments about this trip that I know to many who cross my path it seems very strange that a married women with two kids would fly to another country with her best friend for a week. I don't feel I need to explain myself to anybody because I know that I do lots of things other people wouldn't do and that's ok. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom. This trip was not about escaping and needing some time alone or away from my family, in fact I missed them so terribly much, but more about me just being me. You sacrifice a lot to be a mother and honestly I don't think much about it because boy is it so worth it, the highs are so high for me. When I am gone I miss everything about being a mom, even changing stinky diapers and getting yelled at by my kids for grabbing the wrong color plate. I'm not kidding, I miss that, because it's all part of it, but you know I also just love being me and I think that's why I have loved motherhood so much because I have never given up being myself. I was out to dinner with a group of friends for a birthday and someone who didn't have children said "are you just soooo happy to get a break?" And I was like ummm not really, I like being home with my kids, but I think the reason for that is because I am always making appropriate time for myself and to be myself. Yeah there are days when I just say "can I just not be a mom today?" But those moments are few and far between, and how long do those moments really last? 

So, I was gone for a week and the kids were with their Grandma and their Dad and they loved being with Grandma but they missed their Mom and Kc missed his wife and I missed them, but I also had an amazing adventure and it was all good because all those thoughts and experiences are part of life. It's about feeling different emotions and recognizing all the people there are in the world that love you and taking a different lens of things around you and breathing it all in for what it's worth. So my goal as a mom is to really be there with my kids when I am with them not just "there" and then when 6:15 pm rolls around on a Tuesday night and Dad comes home I tell the kids that I am going to yoga for an hour. And they hate it. Let's be honest a kid never wants you more than arms length from them at all times. But I take an hour away and the kids are fine and they learn that they can ask their Dad for things and that I am not always physically there and that's ok. I am not saying that I do things the "right" way or that there is a right way, or even that I am doing it a better way because I'm a human being that does things wrong all the time. I am just saying that I am doing it the best way I know how, like all mothers. 

Now that I have gotten those thoughts out of the way haha here is a rundown of my trip to Peru. I tried to spend the least amount of money so because of this I flew to Vegas and left from that airport as it was A LOT cheaper than flying out of Utah. Then I had a layover in Mexico for 4 or 5 hours and enjoyed some AMAZING tacos which I have been pondering on how to recreate ever since, then I flew to Lima and then to Cusco where I met up with my beloved Callie! What a fun moment to look for her at the baggage claim! We got a taxi and headed to our first hostel filled with so much excitement and intrigue. We had debated different ways to plan this trip as most people book tours that take them to different places. We had decided against it because we thought it would give us more freedom and would be less expensive. In retrospect this was true but there were positive and negative sides to it. In the end I am happy we did it all on our own (for better or for worse) but I would NOT recommend it if you don't speak some Spanish because had I not been able to communicate with others to figure out where  we had to go and when and how than we would have had a really hard time. The overall positive side to doing it all ourselves was that in other countries I have traveled to where we have had a guide I have always felt at arms length from the country I am in because you are being shepherd around and you don't really know where you are at times and you don't interact with the people as much as you could. However sometimes (like our trip to Israel) there would have been no way to navigate and visit all the places we did without a guide. On the negative side of not booking a tour we did miss a couple things I wanted to see because I had miscalculated how close they were to certain locations and also even though you are spending less you don't really have an idea of how much you need to budget because you are paying as you go and there are unexpected costs, while in a tour everything is prepaid so you don't have to worry so much about putting aside money for potential taxis and busses (we spent the most by far on transportation.) Having visited multiple countries I was happy to have chosen to do it this way because it gave me a sense of the culture and the country in a new way than I had ever experienced before. No regrets. 

Here's a Run down of our trip. 

Day 1: Took a Taxi to Cusco and settled in to our Hostel. Visited the main Cathedral in the Square. It was was very large and grand as they often are and had been built with some of the rocks that had been taken from the ancient ruins. We had some traditional lunch of alpaca and a delicious soup with veggies and quinoa while we sat in a balcony overlooking the square as it rained. They were having some sort of military procession in the courtyard and there were lots of brightly dressed andean woman with tiny baby sheep trying to make money by having you take a picture of or with them. We took a taxi up the hill to the ancient ruins Sacsaywaman. Once we got to the ruins it started pouring rain! Callie had no jacket so she bought a poncho and we ran around in the rain. It was really such fun even though we got soaked and covered in mud. The ruins were so interesting and had alpacas wandering around and I took a little ride down these rocks that have become a little slide of sorts. We headed home and got dry and went out again for dinner. I had been dying to try the Peruvian ceviche I had heard so much about so we went to a Seafood restaurant. We got three Mariscos (seafood) dishes and shared them all and they were divine. It was my favorite meal of the whole trip. Our server was very cute and timid that she didn't speak much english and although I talked to her in Spanish it didn't seem to ease her nervousness. Then we went home and went to sleep because we were so exhausted from our travels. 

Upon Arrival.

Our view during lunch. 

This guy wasn't happy I picked him up.

Handmade Knits make my heart swoon.
 We all know this.

Wish I was an amazing photographer to capture all the beauty I saw in this store but my mediocre pictures will have to do, but trust me this photo doesn't accurately depict the gorgeousness of these rugs!

This dinner! 
Ceviche and Mariscos. 

Day 2: We explored the city of Cusco. We visited the famous site "12 corners" which is an ancient building in the city built by the Incas. It has different animals shapes built into the wall using different shaped rocks and a particular rock famous for being cut at 12 different angles. They are still not sure how they were able to cut these rocks and match them up with precision. 

We had some tea at a cute little local cafe and talked for a long time about life. We visited some small merchant markets as we made our way to San Pedro Market which I highly recommend and I am sad to say we didn't get to spend enough time at because we had to head to Ollyantambo to take our train to Aguas Calientes where we were staying that evening. This is where I could have used a guide because the reason I wanted to go take the train from Ollyantambo was because there were a couple sites by that station such as the Moray and the Salinarias that I had wanted to visit before we headed up to Aguas Calientes. From the maps I had looked at it appeared that both those sites were right next to the train stations, but that was not the case and they were really about an hour away from the station and when we got there we didn't have time to visit them before our train left which was a bummer. In retrospect I would have dumped a day (or maybe both) in Lima and stayed in this cute little town Ollyantambo one night as it was so charming and located near several sites that would have been worth visiting. I also would have stayed another night in Cusco instead of Lima. I loved that city and everything was very easy to navigate and centrally located and if you want a guide it's very easy to access travel or tours there. 

So, we took a bus to Ollyantambo and then had dinner there and then took a train to Aguas Calientes. We arrived when it was dark and it was fun to get off the train with all these travelers and find our hostel. I love adventure.

Look at these cuties! 

12 corners. 

Sitting on the corner and knitting.
 I really wanted to sit down next to her and start knitting with her and ask her about her life. 

Sand Pedro Market

Day 3: I had discovered the night before that somehow, someway I had NOT gotten tickets to climb both the mountains. I was devastated and had a good cry about it since that was the thing I was by far the most excited about doing. I couldn't figure it out since I had sworn on my life I had gotten tickets to both. I had never even checked because I was so confident. I wondered if maybe others had bought tickets at the same time because there were only 5 or so tickets left to climb Huayna Piccu when I went to buy them. At least I had tickets to climb the bigger mountain that overlooked the smaller one it's just that I really wanted to climb the more dangerous one that you had to hold onto chains to climb! Oh well, I had to get over it because I couldn't change it at that point. 

Aguas Calientes is an adorable city at the base of Machu Piccu. It's a bit more expensive than Cusco but I highly recommend staying there because it's close to the mountain and beautiful with lots of little things to explore if you are up for it, however I don't know how common this is but we did lose power both days we were up there which isn't that big of deal as you are mostly outside but it did cause some issues with using credit cards and things like that. We took a bus from the base up the mountain, which for me was the scariest part of our whole trip because you are driving in a huge bus on the edge of a cliff passing other buses with an inch between you with the driver sometimes slamming on the brakes and backing up towards the cliff to let a bus through where there isn't enough room. Gets your heart racing that's for sure. Then we got to the ruins and headed up the to the mountain to climb because they only give you until noon to summit and it's very long and arduous. The hike was was so breathtaking and the view from the top will be something forever etched in my mind. What an awesome experience. On the way down my legs were jello and so we had lunch at cute little cafe and then decided to head down the mountain since we didn't have the energy left to explore and knew that we had the whole next day to do so. 

We took the bus down and went back to our hotel to get ready and go out in the town. We had a authentic Peruvian dinner and then headed to a cute little local "hot pot" which gives the city it's namesake Aguas Caliente (hot water.) The water wasn't really that hot, but just warm enough to sit and enjoy for a while with a lot of the locals. A perfect ending to our day.

View from the Hotel.

Views during the Hike.

We made it!

Of Course. 

Day 4: We took the bus up again to visit the ruins. Yes the bus ride was just as scary the second time. We didn't want to be led around by a guide so we eavesdropped where we could and listened to others (so we still need to study up on all the history of the Incas.) The ruins are beautiful and so mysterious and leave you wondering about a different time and a different world. Then we headed back down early afternoon because we had to catch our train back to Cusco where we were staying the night before flying out to Lima. After we boarded our train we learned that there was another train stuck in the middle of the tracks broken down so we ended up being stationary for another 5 hours, which sucked but I chose to be happy we were stuck on the train and not outside waiting for it and that it didn't cause us to miss any of our connections which would have been really stressful. We got in late to Cusco and the place we stayed was adorable and I was sad to not have been able to enjoy it a little more but such is life.

I decided this was my favorite mountain.

I love trees. 
What has this tree seen?

Llamas are hilarious.
 This one attacked me for some food that I did not have.

Day 5: We flew to Lima and didn't really have any firm plans, just suggestions of different things to do. We thought we would get to our air BNB and then decide from there. As we drove through the city I was overwhelmed by how underwhelming the city was, I saw very little that was intriguing and beautiful. As we got nearer to our place we drove by the ocean. I thought oceans were always beautiful, how can the ocean not be beautiful? But it wasn't, it was surrounded by mounds of dirt and earth, unfinished construction projects, traffic and pollution. How disappointing. As we got to our place we discovered it was this adorable little flat at the top of a building with a cute little terrace. It was a beautiful little hideaway in what was surrounded by a lot of ugliness. We were feeling very uninspired to explore and contemplated what we should do. We decided that it's always a good idea to eat, so we found a restaurant and tried to navigate through a menu that mostly consisted of meat. Then we headed back and decided to take a taxi to a nearby shopping area. It was cute and I got a couple things for the kids and Callie and I decided we couldn't resist buying one of the colorful handmade rugs that we had seen in lots of stores. Then we went home early and snuggled up in the cute little apartment.

A quick snap I took of our place in Cusco as we headed to the airport, this is the center of the house, how cute right?

I don't know why but I love boarding plane's outside, feels like I am somewhere really exotic or something.
 I know I am weird. 

Adorable little front door.

Day 6: We had a late start this morning as we couldn't decide what we wanted to do. All the things to see were across the city but we just weren't getting excited to take a taxi across town so we decided to stay. We got lunch and then headed to an art museum that had a cool exhibit by a Peruvian artist name Ramiro Llona. Then we went to a cute little cafe attached to the museum and stayed there a while drinking tea and chatting and eating desserts. After that we had an adventurous experience running across the freeway in our attempt to reach the beach. We finally got there and sat and watched some young kids learning to surf as I desperately wished I was in there with them. As our attempt to get the beach was a bit dangerous we thought we'd grab a taxi... which led to another fun adventure. Again, I am lucky I spoke (some) Spanish. A guy stopped to get us in the middle of the freeway. He didn't have a taxi sign on his car, and the car looked like it was barely running with wires sticking out everywhere. He had another passenger in the car he had to drop off first and took us all the way across town the opposite direction of where we needed to go. All the while he was chatting with me about how he hates Obama because he let gays be married, hates the Catholic church cause the priests are gay, told me that his current "girlfriend" is God, and that  he has 13 children by various women, among other things. Callie was so nervous about the whole thing, especially as I was interpreting our conversation. I was trying to tell him we wanted to go to the mall but I didn't know the Spanish word for mall (which I have now been told is mall, so I don't know why he didn't understand me) but anyhow I was describing the location and that it had restaurants and such and he said "oh, you want to eat? There is a restaurant right here." We decided it was fine if he just dropped us off there instead of where we were really trying to go, and that we really just needed to get out of the car. We ended up being close enough to walk, so that's what we did. What an experience! I actually kind of loved it because I felt like it really put me there, ya know? Anyways we had a delicious dinner by the ocean for our last night and then took a safe little taxi ride back so we could get some rest to head out in the morning. That evening as hopped in bed we felt a considerable earthquake. That was fun.

This little patio really was adorable and I couldn't resist doing yoga here!

I almost finished this sock from all my time waiting on and for trains and planes, but now I am not motivated to do the other one haha.

Look how cute this Menu is!

There is the rundown of my trip. It was a good one, and I know I will keep those memories for the rest of my life. So happy I did it and I took an opportunity that placed itself in front of me because you just never know what will happen in life.