Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last But Not Least

I spent my last day in Utah in Logan with our dear friends.  It was a lovely day while I was there, but the Wellsville Mountains showed evidence of the wacky spring weather.

I spent a lot of time the week before my trip sewing for Abigail and Laura Kate, two of my favorite human beings in the world.  (True confession--the pink dress was meant for someone else, but I botched the measurements totally and completely.  Happily I had enough fabric to re-make the dress the right size, and I was able to make this one fit Laura Kate with a few alterations.)

My visit to Logan was short, but we packed a lot in.  Game playing, choir singing, basketball watching, dinner making, home-teaching, bread baking, and talk talking.  And of course a little more picture taking!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sisters, Sisters

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.             ~Linda Sunshine

Friday afternoon I met with my sisters and sisters in law to start our annual Girls Night Out.  This year's celebration was pretty spontaneous since I didn't decide to go to Utah until a few weeks ago, and my sisters and sisters-in-law were such good sports about it.

We started our afternoon with a late lunch at PF Changs, which has become a tradition.  First we had yummy lettuce wraps,  

then all sorts of good food, 

and of course we finished with "The Great Wall of Chocolate."

While we waited for our food Laila and Amber played a game they had been planning, called "What's in Your Purse."  For a while we thought that Amber would win, with 5 sharpies and a large handful of assorted pens and pencils.  

But Laila pulled it out at the last minute, with this moldy contribution that she can only assume used to be a pea.  (A snack for her little boy.)

All I could say was that I was happy to be carrying a little purse that can't hold much more than my wallet, cell phone, and purse cam!

We left a big tip for our waiter, who was nice enough to take a picture for us and to dispose of the pea thing.  Ugh.  Andra and Laila practiced their origami on the tip.

When we left the restaurant I was able to take a picture showing the truth of Laila's explanation of spring in Utah.  She says,
Spring in Utah is winter plus summer.  Winter one day, summer the next day, and both winter and summer the next.
Amen, sister, is all I can say to that.  When I left the restaurant I took a picture to the west

And to the east.  Seriously, I didn't move at all.  Just turned and faced the other direction.

The weather is insane!

As we were leaving the mall we saw an interesting fashion statement, and fortunately I was able to whip out the purse cam in time to record it.  For my posterity.  So that they know What Not to Wear.

(PS.  If you know this woman, don't tell her that her picture is on my blog.  
But you may want to ask her where she gets her socks.)

After lunch we went and got massages at the massage school.  The massage school is always a little bit of a gamble.  The last time we went there, a couple of years ago, I didn't get much of a massage.  This time I'm pleased to report that my massage experience was terrific.  If I lived in Provo I'd go visit that girl once a week!

On the way up to Salt Lake we noticed that there was a lot of new snow on Timp.

The Mt. Timpanogos temple was beautiful with all of the lights on.

Usually we stay in Park City for girls night, but because we were so much earlier in the season the rates aren't down there yet, and so we stayed at a different hotel.  The location was convenient, but the hot tub was over chlorinated and made our eyes sting.  :(  There was also the small problem that when I thought I was grabbing my tankini top out of the bathing suit box, what I really got was this.

And no, I'm not posting a picture of the tshirt I wore instead!

Our Saturday fun included a very late breakfast at IHOP (delicious as always, except for the dirty glass), shopping at Kohls where Laila and Jenny tried on these pants

 and a trip to the nail salon at Walmart for pedicures.

Our toes were very happy!

After all of that fun was done we went back to Laila's house where we were met by all of the husbands and our dad.  We had dinner and sat around talking while the kids played and we ignored them.  Well...except for baby Kayla.  Who could ignore her?!?

My sweet sister-in-law Emily was nice enough to let me hold her for a long time, and she was so much fun.  Especially when she fell asleep all snuggled against me.  Other peoples' babies are so much fun!

We finished up the evening with a big chocolate cake for Jenny's birthday.

I always have so much fun with my sisters, and I am always so grateful that my brothers have married such wonderful women.  Such fun!

After hugs all around, it was time for the last part of my trip--a day in Logan...


Friday, March 26, 2010

Baby it's COLD in Utah!

Yesterday morning I left bright and early (though never early enough!) for Utah.  I stopped for a quick bowl of soup first in Idaho Falls at my dear friend's Susan's house.  Sadly I forgot to take a picture with Sue, but I did get this picture of her lovely neighborhood

And of the house at the end of the street (still in her neighborhood).

Yes, the homeowner's association is suing the owners to change their paint color.  This picture really doesn't do it justice--the yellow is so bright it seems to glow...

Oh, I also wanted to point out to everyone who thinks that the roads in NC are crazy, that there are crazy roads in IF as well.

(By the way--5th west got a new name a few blocks later...)

On the way down to Utah I noticed new snow in the mountains.   Hey, people, I thought it was spring!!

In Utah I had a fabulous afternoon.  I've been taking a class for the last 3 years.  (It's a conference call class using Skype.)  I already knew the teacher (my amazing cousin Peggy) and Janet, who used to live in Durham. (They both live in Utah now) Another woman, Kate, has been in my class all 3 years.  We have been so close because of this class, and yet never met each other!  Yesterday we were both in Utah, and so the four of us spent the afternoon together.  We had a great time talking and laughing and thinking about how strange it was that we were finally "meeting."  I neglected to take a picture while we were all together, but did get one later.  Kate had to leave but Peggy and I got to go see Janet's daughter (also named Kate) play Maria in her Jr High's performance of "The Sound of Music."  It was an incredible performance, and Kate was brilliant.  Here's a picture of us afterwards.

Today I've been at Peggy's house and we've had fun hanging out together and talking.  And watching the blizzard.  Seriously, this morning it was like a blizzard, with bb sized pellets of snow.  Unbelievable!

 Now it's time to go meet my sisters for our annual Girls' Night Out.

(Have I mentioned that I have the most fabulous husband in the world for making this happen every year?!?)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Escape

A couple of weeks ago the stars all aligned and I decided that this was the week for my annual (solo) escape to Utah & Idaho.

I got up well before the crack of dawn yesterday and got on a plane, which meant I got to see this from the airplane window.

I had the strange experience of seeing this in the airport.

I also worried for a few minutes that I was going to get arrested for smuggling contraband.  As I was putting my carry-on bag up onto the conveyor belt to go through the security scanning I had a sinking realization that I had forgotten that I wasn't checking baggage when I packed my small suitcase.  I was carrying everything on with me.  Most of my toiletries were sample sized, but I had also packed my full-sized, Brand New, EXPENSIVE bottle of mousse.  (You wouldn't want me traveling with bad hair, would you???)

I was sure that they were going to arrest me, or at least yell at me.  By the time I'd gone through the scanner my heart was pounding in frightened anticipation.

And then my carry-on bag came rolling down the conveyor to me, right behind my shoes.

I grabbed everything and RAN.

Of course now the dilemma is what to do with the mousse on the way home.  Cindy Lynn thinks I should leave it with her, but I have declined the opportunity to have 5 bad hair days before I can get home and buy more.  Do I try to sneak it through again, and have it throw it away if they find it?  Or do I give it to someone on my last day in Utah?  This kind of question will keep me awake at night...

When I arrived in Utah I saw quickly that while spring might be happening in NC, it has definitely not arrived in Utah.

Pretty, but chilly.

My first stop on my trip was to spend a day and two nights with Cindy Lynn in Rexburg.  I love seeing the Rexburg temple when you drive into town.

We had fun shopping together, where we were tempted to buy this jacket.

We were very tempted, especially because we could have gotten this too:

Just in case you can't imagine the full magnificance of this outfit, let me show you again...

But in the end I had to remind myself that I was travelling light and so we walked away without buying...

We also had a great time playing Ticket to Ride.  Three times in 24 hours!  At lunchtime we persuaded Mahon to ignore his books for a while and come play with us.  A decision he probably regretted for the rest of the day...

Don't worry...we eventually calmed down and are all friends again.  But Cindy Lynn said she's not playing TTR with me again for a while.

I'm so glad that I got to come and hang out with Cindy Lynn and Mahon.  I always love spending time with them, but I love seeing how happy they are together in their little home.

Here are a few final pictures from my day in Rexburg.

Stay tuned: Tomorrow I head back to Utah!

Euphemistically Speaking

Recently we were driving through another part of town and passed a new neighborhood.  I couldn't help noticing their big sign.

Is that what they're calling them now?  When did a "lot" become an "opportunity"?

Are people more likely to spend too much money on an "opportunity"??

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Family Fun at Duke Gardens

Sunday was stake conference, and to celebrate being out of church by noon and the beautiful weather we decided to pack a picnic to take to Duke Gardens after church.
Our time at Duke Gardens started off with the obligatory "walking on the wall."  When Russ and I were dating he used to joke about my need to walk on every wall and curb we passed.  It's evident that these really are my children.

Except for the teenager, who had far more important things to do than walk on the walls.

 We at lunch with some ducks, and then took crazy pictures.

We did get some normal looking pictures too.  When I look at these pictures I can't believe how old all of these kids are.  How on earth did we get to this point??