Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let's Celebrate 9 Years!

For our 9th anniversary, we didn't get each other traditional gifts of pottery or willow or leather.  Instead we spent time together for a couple days up in Salt Lake City (the best gift in my opinion).  Some of my favorite things from that getaway included the Gilgal Gardens, Ruth's Diner in Emigration Canyon, the Cheesecake Factory at City Creek, and the view from our room at the Anniversary Inn on 5th South.

We really did visit a lot of places in Salt Lake, but I only came away with pictures from about half of them, which is fine because most of the places we went we only spent a few minutes walking around, then went on to the next place.  Here's the pics I took:

Planetarium- Steve on the moon

Lani on Mars

A real rock from the moon.  Cool!

Our hotel

Those biscuits are famous.  Ever seen Diner's Drive-ins and Dives?

Our breakfast on the patio- so perfect.  And yes, I had fish and eggs.  And it was good.

Steve's Pecan Cinnamon Roll French Toast.  Crazy good.  Leave it to the Americans to  start the day with dessert.

Gilgal Garden is a little hidden public garden full of rock sculptures with deep meaning.  It's an intriguing place to spend some time.

Notice the head of Joseph Smith on the Sphinx.  You gotta see it in real life.

The hearts of the children turned to their fathers...

This is across from the Utah State Capitol Bldg.

The fountains in the background dance to music at the new City Creek Mall

These fountains were a like a mini version of the Las Vegas Bellagio fountain show.

Going to Cheesecake Factory for the first time... and not the last.

That novel is actually the menu.

We got 2 appetizers- Thai lettuce wraps and avocado egg rolls.

Steve's decadent peanut butter cup cheesecake

The happy couple at the City Creek Mall.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Valley in June

 Back in June we took a trip to Happy Valley (that's Utah County for those unaware), aptly nick-named because it's full of my family and other splendid people that make you happy to be around.  June is when the Orem Summerfest is.  My dad is such an amazing individual and he can add "Orem City Astounding Parade Executive-Managing-Overseeing-Coordinating Authority" to his long resume of accomplishments, as he has put together the Summerfest parade for the past 2 years and will again next year.  YAY for all us parade goers!  He does such a great job at all he undertakes and has always been an impressive individual to try to emulate.  Wanna see his newly made-over basement space?  My sis-in-law Lyndsi was the brains behind the operation and with the help of other family members, this play room and office came together beautifully (see pics below).  Wish I had a better camera and that I took more pics, but here's what I captured with my Ipod cam.

 There's my daddy!!!  Love him!  And love this space.  My kids and all others that come over are going to be in kid-heaven.

Also during our stay, we made sure to play with some cousins.  We stayed with Joe and that was fun, but we sure missed his family (they were breathing in paradise in Hawaii).  It's so nice that our other cousins live so nearby, so we spent lots of time with Jax, Max, and Devon.  

We also visited with Steve's family.  We went to the park by his parents' house.

We also visited with Beverli and Eva (James and Tron were in Idaho).  It was so fun to meet their new family member, Ninja, a really cute and energetic border collie puppy.  Lily and Amara also got to play dress up with the myriad of costumes Eva pulled out.  My girls LOVED them!

Visiting Happy Valley wouldn't be the same without going out-to-eat with family.  We went to the Pizza Pie Cafe in Highland and there were smiles all around.

 I love watching Amara and Jaxon interact.  They're only 9 months apart and they just "get eachother."

We took a Saturday to help Joe with his "morning project"  ahem... others call it backbreaking, sweaty gruntwork.  I did what I could with my heart condition which means a whole lotta nuthin.  Actually, I watched Devon while my strong sister and husband helped Joe.  Lily and Amara were good snail hunters and they even caught a few that weren't dead yet.

 Notice how Joe is doing nothing while my husband is slaving away.  Just kidding.  Although I should mention that Super Steve did remove the majority of that pile of rocks lining the driveway that were maliciously scattered in the dirt strip while Joe and April took a scenic vacation to buy that mulchy-bark stuff.  You have no idea how heart-melting it is to see my hubby sweating away whilst yard-working.  I'm such a proud wife.  This picture is not a true "before" shot since they were in the middle of the project, but it still gives an idea of what they were working with.

 Lily spelled Devon with pretzel bits while I fed hungry Devon a lot of yogurt.  He didn't act ill all day, but after that feeding (dinner) he threw up at various intervals over the next hour.
 And right before dinner, the mostly finished project came to a close as the sun was setting.  I never knew Joe's side yard was that large, and it sure looks fancy now.  Joe treated us all to a DELICIOUS Thai take-out dinner from one of our favorite restaurants- Thai House in Lehi.

A couple days later, Steve and I took the girls to visit his parents and spend the night while we went on our anniversary date (a month late, but it's all good).  On the way, we redeemed a carwash coupon that I had won, and boy was that a cool carwash.  The girls got to spray soap onto cars that went through by using remote controls.  So fun!

Many thanks to Steve's wonderful parents for always being willing and ready to watch over our little ones.  We sure love them.