Friday, September 25, 2009


I'm trying to figure out how to post larger pics with photobucket. Obviously, they aren't working with this template. Hmm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.

This is the location where we attempted to do our free family photo session. I took the boys back and did my own photo session. Because sometimes you just have to do things yourself. Usually I am ok with living in Utah, but every year at this time I just want to live back home. But that is a different post. The point is fall reminds me of apples reminds me of home. Plus, I copy folks with style.

Friends who know stuff.

It is good to have friends who know stuff. Then you can know stuff too. Like how to make applesauce.

Erin's applesauce recipe:
First, apples.

Add friends:
And magic grinding machines:
Plus cute babies (ok, babies optional):
= applesauce:
And if you show up late they'll have already done the work and they'll still feed you lunch and send you home with applesauce that you don't deserve. Well at least if you have my friends they will.

Room and board.

We decided it was time Sawyer started pulling his weight around here. Especially considering how much he eats.
Bryce made him a hat out of a shirt sleeve.

Yes, our children are free-range.

Sawyer loves to ransack the garden. We put him out back the other evening and he helped himself to tomatoes and carrots from the garden and finished his meal off with a handful of mint. He eats mint leaves like candy. I love when the kids can just graze for their dinner.

Just kidding Sawyer.

Live it up, live it out - berry edition.

I found a pick-your-own berry farm online. It was delightful. The gentleman said to tell my friends, so I am. McBride Berry Patch in Mapleton. Check it out.

I was worried about taking the boys after hearing tales of less-than-kid-friendly berry picking farms and reading instructions on one patch's website that children "must pick into their own baskets and not waste or eat fruit." Yeah right. We were pleased to find a totally opposite attitude at the McBride patch.

When we arrived we received a great tutorial on blackberries and berry picking from the homeowner. He showed us how to find the ripest, sweetest, juiciest berries hiding under the vines. And the blackberry vines were thornless...I didn't know that was possible. When he walked by again the boys had empty buckets, full mouths, and purple faces...but rather than chastise us for wasting and eating fruit Farmer McBride thanked us for bringing the kids and praised them for enjoying the fruit.

And we ended up with baskets of delicious berries at bargain prices. Yum.

So, friends - consider yourselves told.

Live it up, live it out

Bryce had Labor Day off and we didn't have any plans. Pathetic. When we got home from church we decided we needed to do something so we put in a priceline bid of $63 and got a night's stay at the Park City Marriott. (Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with priceline.) I had a meeting to go to and then we packed up and left. We convinced Mollie to come with us. In exchange for a night in Park City she got to babysit our kids at the hotel in the evening. She drives a hard bargain. We checked into the hotel and took off in search of adventure. We found the Park City farmer's market that had unfortunately already ended. We also found some mediocre food and yummy ice cream. Then we headed back to the hotel and took the boys swimming. Sawyer wasn't a fan. Neither was I. The water was COLD and it was an indoor pool! Am I the only one who prefers to swim in bathwater temperature water? I'm a wimp.

We left Mollie in charge and Bryce and I went out on the town. Park City on Sunday night is not all that happening of a place. We walked around for a while up at one of the ski resorts. Bryce wanted to take a midnight stroll up the mountain, but I protested that we hadn't told anyone where we were going and would probably injure ourselves or be assaulted or attacked by a wild animal and no one would know where we were and I didn't have a coat and I'd die of exposure overnight on the mountain and never be heard from again. Spontaneity and adventure are my strong points. As we walked back down we heard a noise and a cat walked out from under the alpine slide. A cat with a bushy tail...and a white stripe down it...then I started running. SKUNK. Bryce threw rocks at it. Obviously. Luckily he didn't get sprayed or he would have been sleeping outside.

We stopped at the grocery store and found some snacks since Mollie had been texting me to complain that there wasn't a snack machine in the hotel. Mollie had the boys asleep by the time we got back to the hotel so our goal in going out for the evening was accomplished. Yeesssss.

In the morning we headed into Salt Lake to eat at the Original Pancake House. Bryce had been there for the first time a few weeks before and wanted to go back. We weren't the only people with the idea to eat there on Labor Day morning. Maybe it was because it was busy or maybe just because we didn't order the right things, but the food was not spectacular. After finishing up our breakfast at about 1:30 we headed over to the Snowbird Oktoberfest. I'd read about it online and it promised live music, food, crafts, games, entertainment, etc. etc. It was fun to be up in the mountains, but we discovered that Oktoberfest is 99% about drinking. Which seems obvious in hindsight. We bought $1-for-5-minutes tickets for the boys to go on the inflatables, but Sawyer was scared and didn't make it past the step of the bounce house. Will got to use the rest of Sawyer's tickets and had a grand time.

This guy kept following me, but he's kind of cute so I didn't mind.

Mollie enjoys Oktoberfest.

Here on Lucky Street

I had one more lucky happening. The other week I had a hankering for a Dunford chocolate donut. Okay, I admit, I always have a hankering for a Dunford donut. But that week I had it even more than usual. Especially since Bryce started losing weight and we made a bargain that whoever weighs less at the end of the year gets to decide where we'll live permanently. But then he threw in that I'm only allowed to eat Dunford donuts and butter between now and then. I got the grocery store ads in the mail and found that some of the food I needed for the Relief Society retreat was on sale. Lucky. So I loaded the kids in the car and ran over to Macey's only to find that the ad didn't go into effect until the next day. Not so lucky. Clearly, there was only one thing to be done. Time to buy donuts. The kids picked out theirs (chocolate icing with colored shots), but there were no Dunfords in sight. I asked at the counter and learned that they were already sold out. It was only 11 a.m.! The early bird gets the Dunford donut apparently. Not so lucky. I managed to eat a sugar donut anyways. Sometimes you have to compromise.

Next day we took the kids to the park and then stopped at Albertson's on the way home. I looked for Dunford donuts, but they were sold out too. Not so lucky. Then in the back of the store I saw the clearance grocery bin. And you've always got to check out the clearance bin...even though clearance groceries creep me out a bit. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a four pack of Dunfords sitting right there! Woohoo!

And they were delicious.

Which means they worked out much better than the free photo session I won. Our appointment was on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. I spent over an hour trying to get my hair to do something besides be frizzy and then got the boys dressed and ready to go. We got to the location at 7:07. Few minutes late, but not too bad. I didn't know what the photographer looked like and there were several people there taking pictures so we sat in our car for a minute thinking someone might acknowledge us. When no one did, I called the photographer's cell number. No one answered, but as it was ringing I saw a lady taking pictures look at a phone and put it back in her pocket. We got out of the car and the lady glanced at us and I waved but she didn't respond. Then she glanced at us again and I said "Are you the person I was just calling?" She replied "Oh, I didn't answer it because I didn't recognize the number." Interesting. Considering we were supposed to be meeting you here. Answering might have been helpful. She was taking pictures of some other kids and said "Give me like 15 more minutes." Which seemed like a bad plan since it was now about quarter after 7. But whatever. So Bryce and I took the boys off to the other side of the orchard so they wouldn't interfere with the other pictures. We were still just hanging out at 7:25 so Bryce suggested that we should go stand by the photographer so she would remember we were waiting. We did and finally at about 7:30 she said she was ready for us. It was too dark to shoot in the trees so she had us sitting on the grass in front of the orchard. By 7:44 it was completely dark. She said she would look over the pictures and post some online by the next day. The next night I got online to see if she had posted any of our pictures. Instead I found that she had e-mailed me to say that the pictures didn't turn out. She said that her appointment before us was 15 minutes late (not my problem) and that we were 15 minutes late (half that actually) and it got dark "SO fast" (is the sunset a surprise?) and none of the pictures turned out. She offered to schedule a re-do session, but we were not really feeling the desire to do all the prep work again. And that is the end of my free photo session.

Thank you Dunford donuts - you never let me down.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Felix Felicitus!

I'm on a lucky streak. This is unprecedented.

I've been on the lookout for a black cocktail dress for an upcoming reception. I'm cheap, however, so even if I'd been able to find a great dress I didn't want to pay much for it. And after several trips to the mall I couldn't even find an appropriate black dress regardless of price. I finally found a couple black dresses on and ordered them figuring I'd try them on and return one of them. They were both okay, but the material was a really thin t-shirt material and not the most flattering.

Last weekend, having nothing else to do, we decided to go to the mall and take one last look around. We parked at Macy's so we started there. They had gotten some new stuff in stock and they had a short sleeve black dress that I liked. Problem = $99. Not up for spending $100 on a new dress. Then I found another black dress that was (miracle) knee length and (miracle) short sleeve and (double miracle) on a rack marked $14.99. I tried it on and decided it would do. I went to go buy it and was more than a little surprised when it rang up at $158.00. I guess my surprise showed because the lady said "A lot of dresses are on sale right now, did you think this one was on sale?" Feeling more than a little stupid I said "Well, I found it on a rack that said $14.99!" To her credit, the lady didn't even look at me like "Ma'am just because you found a diamond ring on the cubic zirconium rack doesn't mean it was supposed to be there." Instead she said "Oh, I'm sorry to trouble you, but can you show me where you found it?" So we strolled across the sales floor and I showed her where I had found the dress and that there was another of the same style hanging on the rack as well. She said "Ok, well it says $14.99" and we walked back to the register where she scanned the dress and checked in the computer again. Then she said "I'm going to take the other one off the rack because it was mis-racked, but it said $14.99" and then she rang it in at $14.99. Now, I like a bargain, but I was feeling kind of bad about accidentally and unintentionally getting away with a bargain like that so I told her that she didn't have to sell it to me for that because it wasn't a big deal and I didn't want her to get in trouble. She replied "Nope, I'm not going to get in trouble and honey, it isn't your fault they put it on that rack!" So I don't know if there was some kind of feud going on between the departments (the register I was paying at was right next to the women's clothing, but in a different department) or if she was quitting the next day, or just feeling generous, but I walked away with my $158 silk party dress for more than 90% off!

And here it is: (except I got it in black...although I love this coral color...and yes, I have to do the Mormon fashion norm and add a tank under the low neckline)

As Napoleon would say "Lucky!"

Now for today. I was perusing craigslist the other day and came across a link to a local photographer's website. She said that in celebration of the launch of her facebook fan page she was holding a contest on Thursday, September 3rd and if you watched her facebook wall at some point during the day she would post with the line "I wanna win [the contest]" and the first 2 fans to leave a comment would win a photo shoot with 20 finished images on cd and a print release. Sounds like a good deal, but who wins those things? Well, today I did. After consulting a calendar to figure out what day it was, and remembering today was the day of her contest, I looked at her page at around 10:30 this morning and there was nothing there. I read an e-mail and debated how long I could justify sitting in front of the computer waiting for her to post at some point during the day and then clicked on her page again to discover that she had just posted! I left a comment within about 2 seconds of when she posted and, to borrow from ESPN, winner winner chicken dinner I got me a family photo session.


I'm trying to ignore the logic that a round of unprecedented good luck is almost surely an omen of bad things to come.