Friday, May 20, 2016

Sunshine in St. George



Last week was the craziest week since we have been married! It was just one little thing after another. It has been enough time now that we just look back laughing but man, it took a little toll on us. It started with a simple "explosion" of some keifer juice all over the kitchen. Braden sweetly cleaned this up all by himself. Then we were washing all of our baby blankets together in preparation for baby and some dye from the tie dye blanket got on my favorite muslin swaddle blankets. Of course this was devastating to a hormonal pregnant woman. And I could not fathom spending another $30 on a new set of blankets (because that would be so impractical). Then Braden was mowing the lawn and a rock flew up and hit the back windshield of our Subaru - which is of course more expensive to replace than the front windshield. On top of all of this, I was determined to finish all of our baby shopping and returning this week so we spent every night last week going to stores and finishing our list. Admittedly, I brought a lot of the stress on myself in trying to do too many things at once - it is a lesson I am constantly relearning.

Anyway, all of that said, a little weekend getaway was the perfect way to end our week and getaway from the worries of the world. We took off Friday afternoon and arrived late that evening. The next morning, we jumped out of bed and went over to the Black Bear Diner (the portions are huge, there was no way we could finish all of our food). We then went to visit Great Uncle Floyd. He was the main reason we came down to St. George - he is 94 years old (as of June 4th) and recently moved into a senior center. He is the most positive guy we know and we love talking to him about family history (cheesy, I know). He also reminds Braden of his sweet Grandpa Howard who passed away in 2007 so it is always fun to visit with him.


We took a little walk around outside with Floyd and then took him to lunch at one of his favorite places, Red Lobster. 


We then spent the rest of the afternoon at the temple and it was exactly the peace and calm we needed after a crazy week.



On Sunday we went for a little hike in Snow Canyon - so pretty! It was the middle of the day so it was nice and hot but so worth it. We got some fun photos on the petrified dunes as well. I love a red rock landscape than almost anything so it could not have been more perfect. 


















And we ended the weekend with a lovely afternoon trip to see my friend Ketty from high school! It has been so many years and it only felt like yesterday. It was so fun to reconnect and meet her sweet girls - they are the cutest! 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Showered with love!


I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by incredible friends and family. I had two amazing baby showers - one in Salt Lake at our house and one in Ogden. It was so much fun to celebrate this special time with those we love most. Thank you to everyone who came! For all of your love and support and all of the sweet gifts. We finished the last baby shower this last weekend and now we are in full on "nesting" mode! Returning duplicates, organizing everything, final decor, etc.

For my Salt Lake baby shower, my sweet friend Courtney put together an "UP" themed shower...it was so cute!





^ Pin the binky on the baby! So fun.



^ Shirt says "Brilliant like my mommy" - new favorite!



^ And I love this cute little ribbon she made for my belly!

I don't have as many photos from my Ogden baby shower but it was so amazing to reconnect with so many people we have not seen in a while - so many people from high school and the neighborhood where our families live. 



^ Present from my little sister - "If you think I'm cool you can thank my aunt." And the little bowtie all the way from Guatemala from my sweet missionary sister.


^ My sweet cousin Laura hosted the shower and put together all the cute decorations - advice cards, onesies hanging from the mantel, etc. 


^ My little sister Avee with our cute little cousins, Tori and Katey.

Monday, May 2, 2016

{Marriage Market} in Shanghai


I came across this documentary about the Marriage Market in Shanghai, telling the stories of the "Leftover Women" in this city and in other cities across China.

After traveling to Shanghai in February, this hit a little closer to home.

4 minutes...that is all it takes.
It's worth it. 
It left me in tears!


Besties in {Colorado} :: 30 Weeks

I have been best friends with Casey since I was 6 years old - almost 20 years!!! When we found out we were both having baby boys about 7 weeks apart, we had to find a time to get together before the babes came. Braden and I made a little roadtrip from SLC one weekend, stopping on the way in Glenwood Springs to hike Hanging Lake. We did a lot in one weekend but it was such a perfect getaway! I have felt so blessed to feel so good throughout my pregnancy and to still be feeling so good in my third trimester.

Read about our last trip to Colorado last September when we took a totally different route. We sure love the west!

Garden of the Gods



^ I was 30 weeks and Casey was 37 weeks at the time - both of baby boys! I love that we will have a kid the same age :) Maybe they will be best friends too! I sure wish we lived closer.

We met up with Casey and her adorable little girl, Kalynn at Garden of the Gods on Saturday morning. It was a little cloudy but the perfect day to go for a little walk around the park. Garden of the Gods is small but so beautiful. It is a hidden gem just outside of Colorado Springs. We used to go here all the time when I lived in Colorado and I have been dying to take Braden back. Isn't it beautiful? 



 

Braden played with Kalynn for a long time, hopping on and off rocks, sliding down the dirt, climbing high, etc. They had so much fun together and she warmed right up to her "Uncle Braden." I loved it because Casey kept saying "We can't leave until you scrape a knee or are covered in dirt!" We should encourage kids to play outside more and get dirty. 






^ And of course we had to make a quick stop at Balanced Rock because it is the coolest thing ever. 



^ Look at that landscape! The beautiful red rocks of Garden of the Gods set against the snowy, deep blue Rockies.

Hiking Siamese Twins Trail



We did a quick hike to the Siamese Twins on Sunday morning and it was so worth it. It is not far at all but the views were incredible. Siamese Twins Trail is well known for this picturesque view of Pikes Peak look through the window between the two rocks. Amazing!











^ I am in love with this view of Pikes Peak seen all around Colorado Springs - such a pretty city!

Denver


We went up to Denver for Casey's baby shower at the Cheesecake Factory and it was so fun to see her family - they are like family to us! We grew up with all of these guys. My little sister was born just a month before her little brother and they were practically raised together as infants.

I cannot believe it has been so long, yet it still feels like yesterday every time we see them. I love spending time with old friends because it makes me reflect on all I have learned and how far I have come over the years. 

 

Braden had a work meeting on Monday morning so I spent a little bit of time walking around Downtown Denver on the 16th Street Mall. Denver is a bigger city than the Salty and I love the metropolitan feel I get walking around this city. I saw a sign that said "New York of the West" and had to giggle. It definitely does not feel anything like New York! Oh, one thing I love about the 16th street mall :: the free metro buses that go up and down the street. Lots of shopping and people watching here.

My favorite restaurant in Denver, without question, is Mod Market. It only opened a few years ago but I'm dying to have one here in Salt Lake. I've even emailed the owners asking if we could open a franchise ;) It's THAT good! Farm fresh food. If you are ever in Denver, there are multiple locations and you have to check it out!







And of course I had to make a quick stop at the free money museum! Too bad Braden was working because he would have loved all the history. It was so cool to see how money has evolved since the late 1700s throughout the history of our nation.



We also made a quick trip to the Denver temple over the weekend. It was time well spent in such a beautiful place.