Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Us Circus Folk

Jack's sister, Pam, invited us to the Jordan circus a few days ago in Farmington (they are a traveling circus and have been in several cities.  We didn't think Berlin would be entertained by it for 2 hours so we left her home with my sister and just took Olivia.  We stopped at The Habit first to eat burgers (if you haven't eaten there, you should.  Their burgers are amazing.)  And then went to the Legacy Expo Center.  Tickets were $18 for adults, kids 3 and under were free, and everything inside was super cheap! (Usually at things like this they jack up the inside prices because they know people will pay for drinks and stuff)  I got Olivia a blow-up monkey hanging from a stick for only $5.  We got drinks and fruit snacks for only $1 each, and cotton candy for $5.  They also had tons of light-up toys, snow cones, popcorn, nachos, etc.  It was an old-fashioned, dirt-floored, traditional 3-ring circus; with a ringmaster tigers, clowns, elephants, a zebra, horses, dogs, a camel, a llama, a trapeze artist, rope climbers, a whole family of motorcyclists, and a guy being shot from a cannon.  During intermission we paid $10 for Olivia to ride an elephant around the ring!  She loves elephants, but I think she was a little nervous about it because she was so serious.  She wouldn't look at the camera, smile, or even move.  It was pretty cute and such a cool experience for her!  The next day when we were discussing the circus she said "Wivi rode the UhhFuh!"  ("Livi rode the Elephant!")

It might have been kind of a corny production.  There was a big metal thing in the way of the center ring that they later used for a daredevil act.  The performers often had to do their tricks over because they messed up, the animals missed their cues a lot, and there was a magic act that took a lot longer than it should have....But once I stopped fretting about the captivity of wild animals, I loved the whole thing though.  I would love staring at a cardboard box for 2 hours if it brought Olivia joy.  I loved looking at her watching the different acts with an expression of awe.  She laughed at the animal tricks, clapped when each act was over, and pointed and yelled every time we saw the next animal act walk out in the background.  She was in love with her little blow up monkey and wanted to spend the whole intermission walking him up and down the walkway.  At one point as I was watching Jack holding Olivia in line to get on the elephant I thought I'm going to revisit this moment.  Someday when Olivia is a teenager we will talk about when she was little and we took her to the circus and she rode the elephant.  The memory of her excited little two-year-old face will be faded in my mind, but it will still be there.  I took a mental picture.  And a few actual pictures ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

a reeeeal pick-me-up

Sometimes when I need a good laugh I'll go look through my lol-ing board on my Pinterest.  It's awesome because I'm always pinning stuff to it, but I forget the stuff I've pinned there, so once every few weeks when I go look at everything on that board it's like tons of jokes that are specially catered to me- by me :D and all are freakin' hilarious.  Go check it out and see if we have compatible senses of humor. (if you haven't used Pinterest before, fyi you can click on each pic to enlarge it.  I'm pretty sure you don't need an account to look at someone else's board, but I could be wrong.)

In the meantime, I'll leave you with one of my personal favs:
...and another
 Okay one more.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vegas Baby!

When I was 20 and Jack was 24, we met on Myspace.  We talked on the phone for a couple of months and became great friends and then he drove from Costa Mesa, CA where he was selling alarm systems, and I drove from St George where I was going to Dixie College, and we met face-to-face in the lobby of the Wynn hotel and went on our first date.  Fast forward 7 years, a wedding, and two baby girls later, and we were back at that same lobby celebrating 4 years of marriage.  We had a fantastic weekend, just the two of us and some much-needed alone time.

Here's Jack and a lucky random girl who made it into this nostalgic photo.  She was the first in a series of photobombers from our romantic getaway.  Everyone just wants to be us.  Too bad.  
We had lunch at the buffet at the Wynn (notice photobomber #2 slyly pretending to be on his phone.  We're onto you, sneaky p-bomber).  If you were wondering if I'm a vegetarian, the following photo gives a pretty clear indication.  I'm pretty sure I got my money's worth and also gained 3 pounds in meat-weight. 

 We stayed at the Venetian, and honestly it was one of my favorite rooms we've ever stayed in!  I loved the two levels, the 3 TVs, and the huge bathroom (we watched the SAGs from the tub!).  It also had a great view of the strip.  I hate having to walk through the casino in Vegas hotels though.  I was still getting over a cold (which may have been bronchitis), and the smoke irritated my already sensitive lungs and sent me into coughing fits every time we had to walk through.  I felt overly dramatic.  

We walked up the strip to an amaaaazing dinner at an Italian restaurant called Maggiano's (recommended by the Riches).  Should we talk for a minute about how I only took crappy phone pics on this trip?  Or of everything now?  My poor Nikon is gathering dust in the closet as I slowly become the lazy queen of "good enough."  And apparently I can't even be bothered to hold my hand still while snapping a picture with my phone...
Jack loves magic shows (in the most attractive way possible, if that even exists) and for Christmas I got him front-row tickets to Penn and Teller.  The show was a blast.  I'm sure it was not a blast for Jack to hear me whispering every possible solution for how they could have done the tricks- none of the solutions involving actual magic ("I see the string on the ball!  See it?!  It's right there!  There!  Now it's there!)  Honestly though, there was some pretty amazing stuff (that even my brilliant mind could not ascertain) and I'd recommend seeing the show.  They even involved us in a couple of the acts!  They had us check the bullets in a gun in one trick and in another I got to stand up and hold a cone while Teller turned a cloth into confetti. I sweated a lot.  

Below is Bomber #3. Top left. This sly dog is pretending to be taking photos when in fact he is just trying to get into ours.  Maybe because he knew I'd be the amazing girl who held the cone in the confetti trick..

We had a gorgeous romantic night in our room and the next morning ate at Hash House a Go Go, a favorite of ours that I highly recommend, and then made the cursory stop at Gold and Silver Pawn (Pawn Stars, anyone?) before heading back up to Utah.  A wonderful milestone with my most wonderful guy.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I've been so bad at blogging, but I have been so sick!  Two-and-a-half weeks ago I got a sore throat that turned into a monster cold that just would. not. quit.  The stuffiness and body aches gave way to coughing fits that kept me up all night long and toned my stomach more than anything I've done since high school. This morning I finally started feeling better....then around 3 I started feeling worse. In a different way.  Now I'm in bed with what I'm assuming is a stomach bug.  Not the flu, because I thankfully got a shot, but just something else evil.  Tomorrow is our 4-year anniversary!  I need to feel better by morning!  I'm going to pray and will myself better.  Being a mom and being sick are two things that should never go hand-in-hand.  Taking care of kids is hard enough.

Being nauseous reminds me of what it feels like to be pregnant and makes me not want to ever again.  Luckily, I'll forget again and we will eventually get pregnant again and by the time the nausea strikes it will be too late to go back. *cue sinister music*

I can't even browse Pinterest while I lay in bed because of all of the pictures of food. :(

Here's hoping I feel good for our anniversary date

Thursday, January 2, 2014

three great articles

The holidays are over and I have a Christmas and New Year's post in the works!  But first, I read these a couple of weeks ago and thought I would share them!

How to Raise a Low Media Child

This low-media one especially resonated with me over this looong winter when Olivia is stuck inside most of the time and I have to really make sure her screen time doesn't go long and that we interact and be creative and imaginative as much as possible.  I took the advice of the article and took most of her toys to store in the garage to cycle through, leaving only two sets of toys inside to choose from (her dollies and accessories, and her Lego Duplos).  She played for hours with just those two sets.  It totally made sense that her attention was too divided with so many toys, preventing her from playing with just one of them for a prolonged period of time and causing her to get bored with all of them quickly and ask to watch a movie or work on her ipad apps.  We did the same thing when she got her Christmas gifts.  We left all of them out for two days and then decided which ones to put away for a while to let her focus on just a couple of them and get the full amount of play out of them.  Another thing I try to do is, when I have some free time while Olivia is playing by herself, instead of pulling out my laptop or phone I'll read my book instead.  Then she she isn't tempted to come look at my screen or ask for hers, but sees me reading and hopefully it sets a good example.

Here are some good links for play that doesn't include media:

The article below is great because it offers ideas that I hadn't thought about.  Olivia can get very frustrated when she is playing and something won't do what she wants it to do (the toy won't fit in the bag, the dolly won't sit up, etc.) and it's hard for me not to rush over and help her and prevent the ensuing tantrum.  I need to just let her figure it out for herself so that she learns to do things on her own and control her emotions.

Ten Ways to Build your Child's Self-Esteem

This next one is fantastic because before reading this article I had never thought about raising my child to be a good spouse, but if you think about it, there are few things you can do to set your child up for happiness more than teaching him/her to be a good spouse.  Being a good spouse creates having a good spouse and a happy marriage.

Raise a Good Future Spouse
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