Thank you museums

First, a big thank you to the Leonardo for allowing us through their illusion exhibit these laugh-out-loud photos! 

This museum is a treat and has a lot of good stuff for kiddos. We specifically liked the illusion section and the airplane area. Using a green screen was a real treat. Plus, it wasn’t too busy and that’s a double thumbs up!
We love the Discovery Gateway Museum too. I always love going downtown. The parking is easy and the exhibits keep the kids interested. From what I can tell, they remain the same from year to year. 

The Curiosity Museum is great too! Ian could not get enough of the Waterworks area. By the way, that waterproof vest did nothing to keep him dry. I guess that size was for the big kids. Ha!

That poor place is so busy and is constantly used and abused. I always leave realizing they’ve had to take something out and replace it with something simpler (or nothing at all) because kids have used the heck out of it. I guess that’s a testament to how fun and creative it is. 

The Dinosaur Museum in the same spot is cool as well. Never as crowded and never gets old. They have one room with a rotating exhibit and I think they do a good job with the material presented. 

The Aquarium is a hit. We had a season pass for a couple of years and I thought we were done. But the kids wanted to go this summer and it was good to be back. They keep adding new stuff and the baby penguin was fun to see. Plus the shark tube is no longer filled to the gills and one can actually take a decent photo. 

The Tracy Aviary is always cool and the bird show is a must see. It is exceptionally big even though it seems like it’s in this small space within Liberty Park. 

We’ve enjoyed these fun places, only one of which was around when I was a kid (the Aviary). It’s crazy how much this area is growing. And I don’t know how this post became my poor commentary on the museums we’ve visited this summer.  Needless to say, we’ve had a good time visiting these spots. 


Fourteen years!

Man, am I glad I met this guy several years ago! We were freshmen in college, trying our best to be confident, cool, and look like we didn’t care too much about anything even though we cared about most everything. When I met Jess, after a few outings, it just clicked. He was so easy to talk to, so funny, so cool without being full of himself. We had lots of fun and we both thought we were hilarious. 

All these years later and we still have fun and think we are hilarious. 


Babies, children, friends

Last week a friend of mine shared with me that she was expecting a baby girl! I was so excited for her as she has been wanting to have a fourth after her three boys. All this had me thinking about babies and how wonderful they are. The best! Then they turn into bona fide kids who can think and reason and see the wonder in the world. All the while, you get to be there. You get to be a part of their life and the magic of it all. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my kids and how they are happy and how I never want them not to be happy. It gives me all kinds of things to worry about. But Jess said something to me the other day and it’s stuck. 
Your kids look to you for happiness. If you’re worried, they’ll worry. If you’re loving and have confidence, they’ll know they can turn to you for love and security.

And since all this talk started with babies, here’s a pic of Ian at 5 weeks. The best!


More of what they say

Ian: Penny Lane is in my ears and in my nose!

Ansel: Mom, I’m going to buy a Ferrari when my kids are dads. 

Oliver: Don’t forget to lock the doors, two front and two back!

The stuff these guys come up with on a regular basis is gold!


July 4th, you are a fave

Last year I realized I absolutely love Independence Day. This year, that love was confirmed. It was especially good this year because family from both sides were in town visiting. 

Jess’s parents had a wonderful get together at their home. Their new backyard is amazing and we were able to enjoy it. Grandpa filled up the pool and the kids had the time of their lives getting all adults wet, most specifically Jess. Even Ian learned how to use the water shooters. The one above was bigger than him!

The little cousins got caught in the crossfire of Oliver and Ansel’s water battle! They were very patient though. 

Jess threw balloons for the kids to try to kick with their feet while on the swing set. It was tough!

That evening we finished off the day at my brother’s home. We found out that no fireworks were allowed on their street. Big bummer! Luckily, Grandma and Grandpa brought glow sticks and the kids went to town. 

Later in the week, we went up to the cabin and did some go-karting with my sister’s fam. 

Gramps tuned up the machines before we got going. 

Ian liked the ride. 

And once Oliver got the hang of it, he was taking all the cousins and his brother for rides. He said to me later, “You know what’s great about go-karts, mom? I don’t have to wait until I’m 16 to drive.” Needless to say, Ansel is eager to grow a few inches so he can drive soon :)

We went swimming too. Oliver and Jess had fun on the diving board. 

Jess did a swan dive that he learned all those years ago during his life guarding days. 

Ansel, Ian and I enjoyed snacks as we watched. It was a wonderful way to end a week of celebrating the 4th!


8:00am doorbell

Yesterday a woman walking her dog discovered a baby robin in our yard who had fallen from its nest. She rang our bell and asked if we could help by grabbing a ladder and placing it high up in the aspen tree where it fell from. I went outside to assess the situation and told her my husband was still getting ready for work. Due to our slow response, she started asking if there were any other neighbors we could call on or if the fire department could help. At that point I went inside to tell Jess that the woman would not leave until the bird was in the tree. While we waited, I tried to introduce myself, but the woman had no interest in getting to know us. Saving the bird was her one goal. After he finished getting dressed, Jess came outside, fetched the ladder, extended it and placed the bird back in its home. By this point, he had a little audience who clapped at the rescue. “Good things will happen to you today!” she said.  Then she was off on her walk again disappearing into the horizon. The whole thing kind of had a Field of Dreams feel to it. In my mind, she will ever be remembered as the bird lady.


Excellente Escalante

Back when snow was on the ground, my sister and I made a reservation down in Escalante Grand Staircase. When Jess and I were dating, my family and I went down to this exact spot and Jess didn’t get to come. He’s been wanting to go ever since and we finally made it happen! We had a group site and lots of family members joined us. It was a wonderful time. 

The hike to Lower Calf Creek was beautiful and the final stop was stunning!  Oliver jumped right in! Ian took the plunge and then Ansel. The waterfall was cold! But the kids loved it. 

We swam in the reservoir lots. One morning Ollie caught some fish with his uncle and cousin. They brought it back to camp and ate it for breakfast. 

We took an evening hike to see petrified wood. Ian loved the hike. He said, “I do it!” as he walked up the inclines. 

Our last stop was along the Escalante river. It was perfect for a hot day. Oliver floated down the river and said it was better than any lazy river he’d played in at various water parks. 

It was a great camp out we’ll have to do again!


Father’s Day

This guy is such a great father.

My father and father-in-law deserve a huge shout out too! Happy Belated Father’s Day. 


Road Rally

I don’t know why I have such a strong affinity for cars. But I do, and the morning we took to the canyons in these was a lot of fun. Jess had to leave early to coach Ansel’s last soccer game, but he was there too!



One year we stayed home for Memorial Day and I just about went crazy. So now, when May rolls around, I try to have something planned for the long weekend. Plus, it’s amazing to see how much my kids remember trips and talk about them even years after so I always think a trip is worth all the effort. This year, we planned to go to Arches National Park and it was awesome. 

Apparently, Memorial Day weekend is the busiest weekend for the Park but they do a great job keeping order (plus they close the park if too many people are in it). The first morning we were there, our goal was to reach the Delicate Arch. We did it and enjoyed quite the view when we made it!

We got a bit closer while Jess or I took turns watching Ian where there wasn’t any slope. We saw people from all over. We met a couple who had driven down from Park City (they were visiting from DC) and were on there way back after the hike. That’s a 7 hour drive in one day to see this view! While hiking back, Jess was a champ giving Ian and Ansel a ride. 

We then visited Double Arch. This was one of our favorites. Both Ansel and Oliver climbed to the opening of the arch and were very proud of their accomplishment because there was a big drop on the other side. 

See Jess (in the green shirt) up there assisting Ansel? He was very proud to have made it to the top. 
We finished off the day swimming. The kids LOVED the swimming pool. Here Ansel and Ollie are playing a game Oliver made up called pool soccer. 

Ansel learned how to almost swim in the hot tub here. He was so proud of himself. Ian was a fan too. Who wouldn’t be when you’re doing this kind of stuff? 

The next day we decided to go back to the park. Too many good things to see. Cool trees that looked like an arch being one of them. 

Spotting bugs (this is a talent of Ian’s), and lizards, and seeing more arches. 
Landscape Arch is a favorite of mine. 

We ended our day with a view of Tunnel Arch and found a shady spot next to Pine Tree Arch. 

The kids were great hikers. Jess was patient with Ian and often stayed back and arrived at an arch 5 minutes after Ollie, Ansel, and me because Ian wanted to walk everywhere. 
It was a great time and another Memorial Day in the books. On the way home Jess and I discussed the gratitude we have for all the individuals who have served our country, some of whom we are acquainted with. We also spoke of the people we miss who have gone before us. We consider it a great blessing to have had such a wonderful time with our little family.