Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Idaho

I love to travel.  So when the opportunity presented itself for me to travel to Idaho to visit family, I was all in.  As an added bonus, a good friend of mine recently moved to Idaho and I had a chance to spend some time with her too!

Unfortunately, Josh and the kids weren't able to make the trip with me but I wasn't exactly flying solo.  My parents flew with me from Chicago to Salt Lake City where we met up with my Uncle David.  Then the four of us drove to Twin Falls where we would be staying.


We ate dinner at a quaint little pizza place called Gertie's where the most unique pizzas are served. As if Bacon Ranch Chicken isn't interesting enough, they also serve dessert pizzas such as blueberry pie.  It might sound a little crazy but they are actually delicious.  If you don't believe me, check out my uncle's plate(s)...


The next day we ate lunch at a fabulous restaurant that overlooks the gorge.  It's hard to capture the vastness and beauty in pictures.  You really have to see it to appreciate it.




As we began sightseeing, we had no idea that we would get to witness people base jumping off of the bridge overlooking the snake river.  These guys were fearless!


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Being around family members that I rarely get to see was just the best.  We laughed.  We cried.  We reminisced.  We loved.  






Before I knew it, my time in Twin Falls was coming to an end and it was time for me to see my friend.  I hopped on a Greyhound Bus and made the 2 hour trek to Boise.  There were some interesting characters on the bus but, thankfully, it was mostly empty and I had a row all to myself.


My sweet friend, Lisa, picked me up from the station and we had the best time catching up.  I first met her in my married student ward in Utah and we've kept in touch all these years.  I loved spending time with her and her family. 


I love immersing myself in a new city and Lisa was kind enough to explore with me.  


We went to the Boise Zoo.


We visited Albertsons Stadium where the Boise State Broncos play.  I wish I could have gone inside and seen that blue turf in real life!


In downtown Boise, there are random alleyways that have these amazing graffiti walls.



I was pleasantly surprised with downtown Boise.  It's a pretty happenin' place!  Lisa and I went to a delicious little deli that had the most amazing sandwiches.  If you're ever in Boise, you've got to stop by Bleubird.


I'm so, so grateful that I was able to take this trip.  I was humbled by the hospitality that my family and friends showed me.  And, bonus, Josh and the kids had a great time together while I was gone!  Maybe I should travel alone more often...


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Jackson is Three

How is it possible that this kid is three already?  Sheesh.


Jackson has sure added a fun dynamic to our family.  Here are 3 things that Josh and I adore about him:

1. When it comes to getting what he wants, he doesn't mess around.  Whether he's lining up his cars or asking for a kiss, he means business.




2. That hair!  I "pet" him whenever I can :)



3. He's all boy... and he's ours.





Sunday, September 4, 2016

Roscoe

We've got a new furry friend in our family!


Meet Roscoe, a 12-week-old silver lab who happens to have the most gorgeous green eyes you ever did see.

 

It all started about a week ago when a friend of mine surprised her kids with a puppy.  It got me thinking.  Josh and I knew we always wanted a dog at some point but weren't exactly sure when.  I realized that now might be the perfect time since the girls are back at school and I've got a little more free time.  Plus, I'm already in potty training mode so we might as well keep that ball rolling.

So the night of Summer's birthday we told the kids that we would be getting a puppy the next day.  They were SO excited!  Kylie could hardly believe the good news and almost immediately began laughing/crying.  Bless her.

 

The next afternoon we drove about an hour East to Greens Fork, IN where we met the nicest Amish family.  They had two puppies left for sale: a chocolate lab and a silver lab.  They were both really sweet but I had my eye on the silver lab {which is still considered a chocolate lab but it has a diluted coloring gene}.  We were impressed with his easygoing temperament and beautiful features.  Josh and I were immediately smitten but the kids were pretty excited too :)  As we loaded him up in the car, the girls couldn't believe that they would get to sit by the dog the whole way home.  We discussed a few names, including Chris and Ricky {so not happening...} but eventually my suggestion was the one that stuck: Roscoe. 


Life with 3 kids and a dog can be a little chaotic.  Life with 3 kids and a puppy is madness.  But it's so, so fun.  The kids adore him.


We've all taken to Roscoe in different ways.  He and I?  We're tight.

 

Josh grew up having dogs around and I couldn't be more grateful for his insight and wisdom.  Kylie and Summer are fascinated with their new puppy but a little on the timid side...


Summer is definitely the most timid of all, but to her credit she is really trying to overcome her fears. 


Jackson and Roscoe have the most unique relationship of all...


As the smallest, Jackson is definitely viewed as a sibling.  These two taunt each other all day long.  It's quite entertaining.




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I'm really excited to have a dog for two reasons.

#1: Responsibility.  The kids are used to having chores but caring for a living, breathing thing is completely different.

#2: Companionship.  Life doesn't get much sweeter than this.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

August Wrap-Up

August was a bit of a crazy month.  We shifted from vacation mode to school mode to birthday mode, which made the month fly right by.

We started off our month by taking a nice long trip to Michigan.  We made stops in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Holland, Mackinac Island, and St. Joseph.  It was such a great way to finish out our summer vacation.


When we got back home, our peaches were ready to be picked.  It was a completely new experience for me to learn how to can them, but I did it and they were so delicious!

 

 

 The girls started school: Kylie in 3rd grade and Summer in Kindergarten.


Josh and I got to go on a date :)


We spent as many days at the pool as we could, especially before school started.


And now that it's just Jackson and I at home, we've been taking regular trips to parks.


It's taken us a while to get into a regular routine because our focus has been potty training.  He has actually done really well but we're not quite there yet.


And since we were emphasizing Jackson's new "big boy" status we ditched the car seat and put him in a booster seat.  Now he looks like a big boy and it's taking some getting used to!


I painted and redecorated our loft.  We spend a lot more time in there now reading books, doing puzzles, and building with blocks.  Hooray for non-electronic toys!


We had some crazy weather in August.  I felt like it was either unbearably hot and humid or else it was raining.  Nothing in between.  Fortunately we didn't experience any tornadoes but we did have several warnings.  One day the girls didn't get home from school until 5:00 because there was a warning in effect.


Lots of rain = long grass.  I became very well acquainted with my lawn mower.  And my washing machine.  Yuck!

 

 I got to have a lunch date with my guys.


And celebrate this sweet little six-year-old.


We planned on celebrating at the pool but the weather didn't cooperate.  Nobody seemed to mind playing Summertime Bingo, Duck Duck Goose, and Dodgeball with emoji beach balls.  Grandma and Grandpa Steorts sent a homemade doll-sized gymnastics set, which the girls loved assembling.


I have a feeling that the next few months are going to go really fast too!