Thursday, August 30, 2012

6 years and going strong

Earlier this month Brady and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. 

It makes me happy to know that after 6 years our marriage has grown in love, honesty, trust, and mutual respect, and continues to go in that direction. Sometimes I look back and am amazed at how much better we know each other now, how much more we have in common than we knew we had on our wedding day, and how lucky we are because of it. We've been through ups and downs, but I'm proud of how awesome our marriage is.

To celebrate we spent a night up in Park City a few weeks before our actual anniversary. The weekend of our anniversary was packed, but the night before we managed to make some time to spend together. Brady tapped into his romantic side and spent the afternoon driving all over northern Utah to arrange he perfect evening. He drove me to one of our favorite spots up American Fork canyon where he had set out a sweet spread. 
He then produced a feast of Greek hummus and pita bread, my favorite Indian foods, and a lemon bar from a bakery downtown -- 3 foods I had been craving, all from a different restaurant. We then roasted marshmallows and ate s'mores as the sky got dark and sat next to the glowing fire to chat and reminisce.

As we sat there in the dark, watching the fire and talking, I heard a little rustling behind me. Nothing major, but I remember thinking in the back of my mind that's odd, it isn't windy... But then quickly dismissed the thought and went back to focusing on our conversation. That is, until I heard the rustling again and realized it was our plastic bags on our table right behind me that were making the noise...and yet, no wind. 

I turned around, and not 2 feet from me I saw this thing in the dark. At first I thought it was a person standing right there, but then I saw it's little paws reaching into the bag...and saw the black "mask" across its eyes...and realized that a giant RACCOON was sitting on our table, just mere feet away, trying to get a taste of the goodies we had left over.

Like any calm, collected, and perfectly rational person in a shocking situation, I frantically leaped out of my chair and let out a strange scream/gasp which scared it away. Brady jumped up and shone a flashlight on it to see it scampering down the trail to turn around and stare at us with its beady little eyes.

Needless to say, we pretty much packed all our stuff as fast as humanly possibly and booked it out of there, thankful it was only a curious raccoon and not a ravenous bear that had decided to crash our party.

Ultimately the evening seemed like a good analogy for our marriage- comfortable and cozy, with good food and a little bit of adventure. :)


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


It's hard to believe my baby is the ripe old age of 4! Claire hit the milestone last week, and I'm pretty sure that instead of turning 4 she actually turned 14. The girl is full of opinions- from what she eats to what she wears to how her hair is done and the kind of music she likes (not to mention what I wear and how my hair is done). She'll occasionally tell me she doesn't feel like talking about something when I'm trying to ask how her day was or something along those lines, and I'm fairly certain I've already seen a few eye rolls when one of us tries to make a joke.

Claire, as she has always been, is the light of our lives. She is still sweet as can be, just like she has been since birth. She is also stubborn as can be, but in the most calm and quiet way (usually). She is the most persistent little thing I've ever met. I often joke that she'll make a great salesperson someday, because she never takes no for an answer, never gives up, yet rarely throws a fit over anything, and genuinely tries to sway me to her side, often saying things like "don't you think that's a good idea, mom?". And the funny thing is, it often is a decent idea she's pitching, just not in line with the current plan.

Her imagination is bright and vibrant and just wonderful. Everything is a game, or a story, or a song, or a combination of them all. Dress ups, Barbies, playing preschool, dolls, restaurant, farm, circus...I love listening to her play. Lately she has really taken to coloring, and will spend hours each day coloring and drawing. Her growing talent has astonished me as she's created these elaborate pictures of people wearing elaborate outfits, each one with a back story. She loves making "cards" to give to people. She's learning to write her letters and likes to discuss the different sounds they make and what everyday words begin with. She's just smart as can be with a memory that often amazes us.

She still loves to cuddle and adores most affection. When sitting next to me she is never sitting, but leaning on me entirely, which usually delights me except for recently during these hot summer months when she seems to have no issue with getting cozy while we are outside in the blazing sun and I'm ready to melt into a hot, pregnant puddle. She gives hugs freely and still gladly holds my hand, which I love.

There's so much I could say about this little girl, but I've already rambled on.

To celebrate, this year I insisted that we keep it simple. Simple! No full dinner, no trying to host in some fancy locale...but oh the angst of planning a blasted family party! Somewhere we could fit our whole large family, at a time when everyone could come and something everyone could be happy with? After much tribulation I declared we would have cake and ice cream at our house, and if you could come that was wonderful, and you couldn't...even better.

After all my declarations of simplicity though, I still spent two full days baking a double layer white cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting, per Claire's request, two kinds of homemade brownie bites from scratch with either mint or regular chocolate ganache, and peanut butter cup cookies. Plus homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, made by Brady, thankfully. What on earth was I thinking?

In the end though, after our bathroom practically flooding the day of and a near heat-induced fit of rage by me, "Happy Birthday" was sung, candles were blown out, dessert was enjoyed by all, and Claire was spoiled rotten with gifts. All in all, a successful birthday.

According to Claire, at age 4-
Favorite color: Green
Favorite food: chicken nuggets, fruit, and pretty much anything and everything sweet
Favorite movie: Toy Story 1
Favorite game: Matching game
Favorite thing to do: Color pictures
Favorite book: Mud
Favorite place to go: Virg's to eat a pancake
Favorite song: Firework by Katie Parry

Pay no mind to the bloaty, sweaty pregnant woman taking up most the frame...