Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Calico Ghost Town

I don't know if I spent too many childhood years watching Scooby Doo, but every time since I was a kid, I always wanted to stop at the ghost town in Calico on the way home from family ski trips to Brianhead or weekend getaways to Las Vegas.

I finally got my wish a week ago. As we passed the sign on the last stretch home on our Park City road trip, I asked Kevin if he wanted to stop. I imagined him wanting to press on, but he was game. Yay Hubs!

It was way cooler than I expected. As we pulled up in the minivan (a.k.a. Mystery Machine) we were all filled with anticipation:
Kevin- hoping it was worth it to stop.
Me- the old preserved structures.
Luke- mining.
Charlie- ghosts.
Jack- well, at 2 he was still along for the ride and we just all wanted to get him out of the car because his screaming was making us all a bit edgy.

Luke, declaring himself the "smart one," had to clarify that a ghost town does not actually have ghosts.

So check it out:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Park City 2010

There it was. Park City. After two days of driving 6 hours each day...we arrived. Thank God. The mountain sides dotted with green and brown, and blue skies swiped with wispy paint brushed clouds were breathtaking. It was worth the drive, the screaming, the fighting, and my sanity.

Here's the low-down:

Day 1:

After hiking up the hard way, we really wished someone could have put this sign where our hike began…

I heart random finds…

Once we returned from the hike, the kids had time to craft, drink root beer floats and splash in the cool pool. Perfect.

And for the grown ups? We finished the night with a mean game of dominos...

Don't mess with the hubs.

What to do when no one can start the game? Kindly let one person draw 1st? Not in our family. Rock-Paper-Scissors is the way to go.

Day 2:

If you know me well, you know that I am not ashamed to admit that I am a total wimp and that I have the greatest fear of heights known to man. Trying to be a good sport, I sucked it up for the sake of fun and got on the death machine otherwise known as the gondola.


About to take off (notice the tense fear). I think Kevin was enjoying this. Sick man!


And don't be fooled by the smile. I was certain of my death.

We hiked once we were there. Again, it was all worth it…

Day 3: Rocky Mountain Resort

Lots of fun activities for the kids (and parents!)…

And best of all…time spent with family and creating rich memories.

P.S. The winner for the Starbucks gift card is...Leah. Enjoy a coffee date with a friend or your hubby! Your name was drawn out of a bowl by 2 year old Jack. Congrats!! You can inbox me your address on Facebook. : ) Yay!!!

Road Trip: Park City 2010

When my parents 1st invited us along to Park City, I had no hesitation with my response, “No thanks.” I knew better. With littles…7, 4, and 2, I could not think of anything besides Chinese water torture that could be more difficult to endure. My boys last about one hour in the car before they have reached their limit, so the image of 3 “done” boys on a long distance car ride is what spurred my immediate answer. I was so certain of my “no thanks” that I didn’t even mention the invitation to my hubs.

However, we were spending time with my parents a few weeks later and my dad mentioned the trip. Kevin’s response was much different than mine, “Oh, that sounds GREAT!”

Not wanting to be Debbie the Downer, I decided we’d go along. And I’m glad we did. I was right about the car ride. I threatened to get out and walk more than once to escape the complaining, fighting and screaming. But once we were there, it was all worth it.

Here are a few tips for surviving a long road trip:

Enjoy the scenery and block out the “How much longer until we are there?”…

Snacks (especially food that they don’t usually get to eat)…

DVDs (Yes, I’m THAT kind of mom)…

Lots of stops for getting out the wiggles and lots praying, crossing fingers, and rain dances that they sleep. For a very long time. My kids didn't.

And when I realized my kids were not going to sleep long and that the walking on my own to Utah was not a great plan, I relied on this…

So did we make it? Did we survive? Yes, we did. And to celebrate, I'm doing my 1st give away. Since Starbucks made me so happy on this crazy drive, I'm giving away a Starbucks gift card. Just leave a comment in the comment box and enter to win. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

Plus, more to come on Park City later this week.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1st are Bittersweet

Today was a big 1st.

This boy was ready. He's been ready. He has an older brother, which means he's always ready for the "next step" before his mama is.

I know now.

With Luke, I was so excited for every new step. I couldn't wait for him to eat solids, to crawl, to walk, to start school, etc. But I know now how fast it goes.

But, this kid was ready so we needed to get prepping.

We bought his 1st one of these that is just for him...not his brother's that he "gets to borrow" on occasion.

And as I put these on his tiny feet, I couldn't help but feel a tad bit of sadness that these little feet were about to do something meant for big boys.

He's part of a team. He has real coaches. It's not mommy and me anymore.

I found myself cheering from the sidelines a little too much; wanting to reassure him and provide him confidence. Maybe it was to make myself feel needed... who knows? I found myself barely sitting in my chair as if ready to pop up at any minute to help him, but then his coach would step in. Mom is off duty there. A 1st for me, too, with my Charlie.

So with a little sadness that my little guy is joining the big kid world (yikes preschool starts in the fall, how will I deal with that?), I am thrilled with this new step of independence for my sweet Charlie.

Have fun Buddy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Copy Cat Decorating

I LOVE home improvement. I LOVE HGTV. I LOVE home magazines. But, I Don't love decorating. I just don't have the eye for it. I know what I LOVE, but I don't know how to put it all together. My sister was born with that gene. It's so bad that when we bought our new home, I'd send her pics of blank walls and asked her what I needed to put on them!

As I've joined the blogging world, I've noticed that many blogging moms share creative posts about decorating, cooking, and crafting. Although I crave to be that mom, I am not there...yet. But I'm trying. I am more of the should have been a CEO workaholic, but can't let other people watch my children because I'm too controlling kind of mom. It is just the way it is.

But I dig this time of my life and being at home with the kids has been the right choice for me. However, choosing to resign from my teaching career and live on one income has not been without sacrifice. One of the sacrifices has been to give up my walk into my fav stores, look at a room set up, and say, "let's do that."

Although I don't have profound decorating tips, I do have one major one for those of you who feel a bit void of this talent. Look at pics in magazines, pull them out, and keep in a decorating file. Then look online or in stores for similar items, but at a lower cost. You'd be shocked to see how you are able to replicate "the look" for much less.

I also go to my favorite stores, take pics with my i-phone, and shop elsewhere for "the look."

At first I found this a bit depressing, but now it is so much fun to go on the hunt for my desired items and see how much money I can save.

Here is a latest example:

Wanted shelves from Pottery Barn. Cost:$170
Bought shelves from IKEA. Cost:$50
Savings: $120!!!

Because I saved money on the shelves, I was able to buy the accessories I wanted. I've adopted the new decorating mantra, "spend where you can, save where you can."

However, I didn't know what to put on the shelves, so once again I looked online for room inspiration. Fortunately we had the photos in storage. That was easy. I knew I needed an inbox for each of us to store school forms, "to do" papers, etc.; hence, the IKEA media storage boxes. Then I found the plant at Pottery Barn, the turquoise vase at Crate and Barrel,the brown vase at Urban Outfitters, and books at Barnes and Noble. The funny thing about this project is that I spent more money on the books than I did on the shelves! I could have gone to an used bookstore, but I was burned out at this point and wanted to wrap up the project.


So, yes, I don't have any super creative tips to make your house more spectacular, but I'm a practical girl and I have practical tips.

Happy decorating!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Random Happies

Today was a day of random happies. Yeah, yeah, I know happies is not a real noun, but there were a lot of things today that made me happy and I'm summing them up into one thing: happies.

1. Kevin's latest scans show that he is still cancer free two years post diagnosis and treatment. Take that melanoma!

2. After experiencing some summer blues due to kids fighting and feeling like we've done everything there is to do, I decided today was going to be a fun day at home no matter what.

So we did a little of this...

A little of that...

And heck yeah, it looked like so much fun that even I had to get in on the action...

And when the sun was setting and we got the kids prepped for bed, Charlie came in from the garage with a left over package of glow in the dark rings from our camping trip (they were intended for the girls in our group). He came up to me and offered me one of his.

He could have kept both of them. But he didn't. He's that kind of kid. He even asked me which color I wanted. Talk about sacrifice. Love him.

Oh, and I almost forgot this...

I've tried some fancy, expensive probiotics in the past, but my kids had radar for it and always detected in their food and drinks. This is like magic. LOVE IT. You can find it at Target.

What a great day of random happies. What are your random happies?