July Recap/ Summer Break

July completely flew by! It consisted of Bryson's three week Summer break so we tried to pack in as much fun as we could.

I started the month off at girls camp with these fabulous ladies! The theme was "It's a Jungle Out There!" and we based the camp around "Survivor" with fun challenges. It was a total blast!

Love these girls...
I got home from girls camp just in time to welcome Bryson home from his last day of first grade. What a stud.
We spent the 4th of July at our local town days. Bryson enjoyed the haystack dive and walked away with a huge bag full of candy.
We visited the fair and Bryson especially loved this water bubble activity...

We ended the evening watching the fireworks across the valley from the top of our house. It was so beautiful!

We enjoyed a day up at our friends Ty & Kami's cabin and spent the day fishing, shooting, 4-wheeling, canoeing and relaxing. We love their cabin!

Mike and Bryson have started fishing on a weekly basis together and enjoyed trying to catch fish from their pond.

Bryson and Saki (our Japanese exchange student) spent hours and hours jumping on the trampoline with cousins and friends. Bryson mastered the front flip and is now trying to master the double front flip. He almost has it down!

We spent a day at Lagoon. Bryson thought he died and went to Heaven. He was finally tall enough to go on Colossus and Wicked and loved them.

This is how Lilly looked on every single ride except on the very slow little boats, the very slow little cars, and the very slow train. She almost smiled on those three rides....haha. She was not a fan of Lagoon.
Lilly's cousin Brody loved holding her and pushing her around in her stroller.
Bryson and Lilly took lots of bubble baths.
We went to see Wicked for the first time with Ty & Kami and loved it!
We also enjoyed several outdoor movies that our city puts on after dark.

We visited the zoo. I hardly recognized the place because it's changed so much since we were last there.
Lilly loved walking with the big kids instead of riding in her stroller.
Bryson played on Granny & Grandpa's big blow up water slide and had fun emptying out the water bags afterward. You'll see in the video why he enjoyed it so much...haha.

 Bryson went to his first live musical at the Hale Center Theater.

Bryson played his first season of rugby with this fine looking group of boys (his cousins).
And the month ended with him starting second grade! His Summer break was short and sweet but he's excited to be back at school and loves his new teacher!

Favortie quote this week:
"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."
President Ezra Taft Benson 

Life rules.


June Joys

June already feels like forever ago, but it was a good month filled with lots of joys.

We spent every Saturday at the soccer field watching this cute kid play soccer. He's becoming quite the little soccer player and loves the sport with a passion. Now he's on to rugby but I'll post about that next month.

His team picture:

This group of cuties came to stay with us for a week.

Bryson and Lilly both loved having four extra friends/cousins around to play and giggle with all day.

Bryson graduated from first grade and earned the "Leader in Me" award.

So proud of this boy.
Here is our reading list for the Summer. We've already read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and are just about finished with Hatchet. Reading together as a family each night is something we all look forward to.
We got to see this fine young man get baptized. Cole is Lilly's half-brother and is such an amazingl kid.
Lilly loved getting to spend time with her Mommy Amber.
Lilly is growing like a weed, but is still such a petite little thing.
If we don't take her pigtails out at night she wakes up with "antenna hair" as we call it. You'll also notice that her pajamas are on inside out in the picture below. That's because she learned how to unzip her jammies, which wasn't such a bad thing until she started taking off her diaper and pooping all over her crib (seriously DISGUSTING!). Fortunately inside out jammies have solved that gag-worthy problem.

We snapped this quick picture of us before heading to church. Even though it doesn't look like it in the picture, Lilly absolutely loves going to Nursery (it took a few weeks) and has some fabulous leaders.

Bryson got to babysit Mike sister's snake for a week, which he thought was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Me?...not so much.
My sister's and I took this handsome man out to dinner for Father's Day. I am seriously so beyond lucky to have been blessed with him as my dad. He's definitely the perfect dad for me.

We ended the month with a fun siblings dinner with all of my siblings & in-laws (minus Ike, Amy & Cali). We decided to start meeting together kid-free once a quarter and talk about business strategies, money management, investing, planning for the future, food storage, couponing, health, nutrition, etc. We rotate who hosts and who's in charge of planning the dinner and topics. We keep minutes and everything and it has really brought our family together and helped us stay more unified as a family.

Favorite quote this week (maybe I should start saying "month" because that's about how often I update this thing...haha):

"Pay bad people with your goodness; fight their hatred with your kindness. Even if you do not achieve a victory over other people, you will conquer yourself."
-Henri Amiel

Life rules.


Catch Up

It's official. I have become a pathetic blogger. I use to update this thing 3-4 times a week and now I'm averaging only about one post a month and that's on a good month! So today you get a months worth of posts all piled into one. Luck you.


This silver beauty has been Mike's commuter car for the past nine years. He's hit a deer in it, the front grill flew off while driving, and he's replaced the entire engine, but it has carried him safely to and from work and has been our little baby. Mike calls it "the silver bullet." I call it his "wind-up car." We have loved having it, dent and all, but we finally felt it was time to say goodbye and let someone else enjoy her in all her glory, so we listed her on KSL and by the end of the day she was gone. It was a sad, sad day, but the 16-year-old girl who bought it was thrilled to have her first car and we know she'll treat our baby well.


Mike and I celebrated our 12 year wedding anniversary on May 14th. Mike surprised me with a private airplane ride over the Salt Lake Valley. We got to fly right over our house (middle house in cul-de-sac) which was really cool .
We also flew over or around five beautiful LDS temples. Our bishop has a plane and was kind enough to take us on the flight. Mike's dream is to learn to fly airplanes or helicopters, so he loved having a mini flying lesson along the way.


Both sets of our parents are currently serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mikes parents (left) are serving in Budapest, Hungary (you can follow their blog here) and my parents (right) are serving in the Family History Center in downtown Salt Lake City. They are both doing awesome and we love hearing about all of their amazing experiences.


Mike surprised me with a new beachcomber bike for my birthday and I have been peddling it all around town like the Wicked Witch of the West (as Mike teases) ever since. Lilly loves to be pulled behind in her little trailer. I've been trying to bike everywhere I possibly can and was able to make it an entire week without driving my car. It was fabulous!


I have been very slowly working on getting our new home decorated. I'll share pictures as I get things finished, but today I'll just share a quick photo of the numbered baskets I added to our mud room lockers.


Lilly is growing like a weed. She now weighs 22 pounds and has finally upgraded to a front-facing carseat. She loves to read (she especially loves David books) and is always bringing us books to read to her.

Lilly looks slightly freaky in this picture (even so she's still stinkin' cute), but it shows her sitting like a big girl up at the counter. She absolutely refuses to sit in her high chair and insists on sitting at the counter next to Bryson. She is also walking up and down stairs now and can put on her own socks and shoes.


I have been volunteering at Bryson's school a ton this year. I give his class their spelling test each week and I also teach Art Masterpiece twice a month. The eight prints below are the ones I've shared with Bryson's class this year. I have loved teaching the kids about each of the different artists as well as the different principles and elements of design (ie: line, shape, form, space, value, texture, color, balance, contrast, movement, pattern, etc). Art, like music, is such a powerful form of expression and I have loved sharing my love of it with Bryson and his class.

My beautiful and amazing little sister Rachel was diagnosed with uterine cancer last month and had to have a hysterectomy in order to remove the cancer. Luckily the cancer was contained to just the uterus and she is now cancer free, but it was definitely a huge scare. Our prayers were answered and we feel so blessed she is still with us. My other amazing little sister Taylor created this beautiful video of Rachel's experience.


Bryson spends every free moment he possibly can playing outside with the neighborhood kids. I had to snap a picture of how cute they looked playing "school" in a box.


Now that we finally have a yard, we've been spending a lot of time enjoying it. For Mother's Day Mike gave me some yard games (Bocce & Croquet) that we've enjoyed playing out in the yard as a family.


After a hard day of working in the yard there's nothing better than to end the day with dancing. Ever since Lilly joined our family, we've been doing a lot of this lately because she just loves it and can't get enough of it.

Mike cracks me up...

Favorite quote this week:

"If you don't accept excuses, then people will stop giving them and will start looking for solutions."

Life rules.

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