Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lake Powell

All last week we were House-boating on Lake Powell with wonderful friends. It was 7 days on the water and a full day to get there and back. Thankfully the kids did really well on the 11 hour car drive. We planned it that we started out during nap time, then they were awake for a while, then both ways we stopped for dinner in Vegas and to burn off energy and stretch our legs for a bit, before hitting the road again, while the kids slept the remaining 5 or so hours. They are both excellent in the car, with little to no crying from either of them, both ways!! This was my first time house-boating, and it was so much fun, and so beautiful! The landscape is gorgeous, with stunning rock formations, and the water was a perfect temperature, in the mid-high seventies. Our plan was to find the perfect beach and anchor the boat, then take off on the motor boats and jet skis to explore and wake board. We found a good beach the first day, but then the second day an even better one became available, so we moved the boat one last time, and enjoyed our rad beach for the week. It was clean and sandy, with great coves and hiking all around. We settled in to boating, wake boarding, hiking, swimming, jet-skiing, eating delicious food, and hanging out. Clara loves having older kids to tag around with, she was so independent and big-kid like the whole trip! She really looks up to Kelly & Nolan's kids, Brenna and Brett, and they were so good with her. Of course Clara absolutely loves Matt & Jeannine, and can't get enough of them. Luckily Matt & Jeannine are fond of our kids as well, because we all six slept in very tight quarters. We had the lower room that had two full size beds, and just enough floor space for a pack n play and travel bassinet. Somehow by early morning we would all four end up in the small bed, and I don't think anyone was sleeping very well. Oh well, it was worth it!

We had lots of bonfires and Matt let off great firework shows.

One of our favorite activities was a hike we took way back in one of the canyons. It was along a very muddy riverbed. It was a sticky soft kind of mud too...and if you weren't careful it would suck you right down! At one point I got caught in some crazy quick sand/mud. I stepped and sunk down to my upper thighs, if I moved or tried to get out, I would just sink further. I was panicking a little bit, especially because it took everyone a couple minutes to get a free hand to help pull me out!
Just starting the hike!
Another fun adventure we went on, was a day of exploration around the lake in the smaller boats. Lake Powell is huge!! We were gone almost all day, and we still maybe saw about a 1/4 of the lake. While we were about an hour from our house boat, we got caught in a crazy thunderstorm! The clouds just kept getting darker and darker, and very ominous, then the lightening and rain started, and we all got drenched in a matter of seconds. We were trying to huddle under towels and blankets and Nolan was trying to steer us to a dock with a store so we could find shelter. When we docked we were passing off kids to whoever had a free hand and all ran as fast as we could into the store. Lots of other stranded boaters where waiting it out in the store too, so we ordered ice cream and hunkered down until the storm passed.
Overall it was such a fun trip and I am so glad we were able to go!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clara's 2nd Birthday Party!

We had Clara's birthday party last Saturday and it turned out really great!  It was in our backyard and we had lots of fun activities for the little ones.  We had a toddler jumper, bubbles, sprinklers, and a big and little pool.  Clara has been anticipating this party for the past couple weeks, she has been so excited talking about cake, and balloons, and presents, and kids.  She has been going on and on about it, and it's hard to explain to a two year old the concept of time, and that the party won't be for a week, or a few days, etc.  She had a blast opening her presents, which we had her do throughout the day, blowing out her candles, and having happy birthday sang to her.  We sang and let her do the candles twice because it made her so excited and it only comes around once a year!  She loved all her presents, the theme this year seemed to be play kitchen and food toys and baby dolls.  She absolutely loves both of those things.  Our big present to her this year was a play kitchen, which is now in our kitchen, so she can cook while we do.  Guests took home cute little pink cake pops, and treat bags filled with white chocolate candy popcorn.  We barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs, and had family and friends over to help us celebrate our little girl turning two.  It could not have gone any better!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2 Years Old!

My sweet little baby girl turned 2 today and we threw her a smashing party.  Pictures will come later, but I just wanted to write some thoughts.  She is such a sweetheart, she loves her baby brother and she is so good with him.  She is talking so much, putting together long sentences and having full on conversations with you.  She loves to say mommy a lot which just melts my heart, "Mommy, where are you going mommy?"  "What are you doing Mommy?" "I'm sorry mommy."  It is just so cute in her little munchkin voice.  She loves to sing in the car, she can sing almost perfectly the abc song, twinkle twinkle, baa baa black sheep, the happy birthday song, and probably more that I can't think of.  She can count to 20 although she skips a couple numbers in between.  She loves to play babies, kitchen, hide and go seek, and loves to watch Sesame Street and Shirley Temple.  We love this little girl so so much, I can't even put it into words how much she means to us.  She brightens our lives with her goofy and loving personality.  Happy birthday sweet Clara Jane!!