Thursday, February 26, 2015

Life Is Like A Box of Chocolate...

I enjoy Valentine's day more every year.  Maybe because lately I have more people in my family to love, or the Spring-like Houston weather, but mostly it's the chocolate.  We started Valentine's weekend Friday morning at the temple seeing the Tulips.  This has been our family tradition the last four years.
Next we met one of my dear friends for lunch.  This was an anniversary date for us because I met Holly two years ago on Valentine's Day.  She is such a thoughtful sweet friend and I am so lucky to have her in my life!  Rissy insisted on wearing a swimsuit around town that day.  I didn't put up a fight.
For dessert the kids picked these chocolate dipped brownies.  They were to die for.  I picked an extra one up for John and left it on his nightstand.  To my dismay he didn't want to eat it that night (so I couldn't sneak a bite).  I learned something that night.  It is torture for me to sleep next to chocolate.
I try to do a little spontaneous Valentines surprise for the kids.  James had been asking me to make him a car out of a box.  The kids were ecstatic to wake up to this love bug.  Then the kids gave me a Valentine in return.  It made my heart skip a beat.  
We spent Saturday at Moody Gardens.  I have loved having a new place to take pictures.  I needed a break from the zoo.

We had the nicest picnic under a palm tree.  The weather was perfect for enjoying our pb and j's.  The best part was the chocolate dipped brownie that John had saved and shared with us all.  Then I was glad I have a guy with so much self control.

My little Tom Sawyer.  
And my beach babe.  She loves being covered in sand.  
The aquarium was setting up for a Valentine's dinner that night.  
These flowers were from John and the kids the week before Valentine's.  They were lovely and lasted three weeks!  I asked John not to get me Chocolate because I didn't want the extra calories.  Then Saturday night after our long day in Galveston I was having a chocolate attack.   I was so mad at myself and vowed to never say something so atrocious again.  Then that very moment, we received the most amazing Valentines package from Grandma Gregory.  It was a St. Valentine's miracle and gave the whole family a chocolate high!  What a fabulous holiday!  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Life elevated...

The slopes were calling so we headed to the Great Salt Lake state.  
It was James's first time on skis and he Snowplowed like a champ!

We skied several times at Alta.  I haven't spent much time at this resort in the past because snowboarders aren't allowed.  But I can see what all the hype is about!  The views were heavenly!
James's cousins are awesome skiers and great kids!  Eli was so nice to stay behind with James and give him some helpful pointers.  I was having the best time tagging behind watching  Eli give James an afternoon ski lesson.  It was adorable and Eli is an incredible instructor for a six year old.
Soldier Hollow is where the Sullivan's go to Charter school.  We went up there to see them race Saturday morning but we were about an hour late.  It can be hard to get our little crew out the door.  We still put on our snow clothes and spent the afternoon checking out the scenery.  
Rissy was thrilled about the Elsa ice castles.  It must be magic to go to school here.
My little snow baby.
Check out all this bling Isaac has from his cross-country races.  What a little ripper.

John spent a couple days skiing at Solitude and Snowbird with friends.  He hit the hills hard and got the most bang for his buck...Those lift tickets can be expensive!
We came at a great time.  There was plenty of snow, the weather was springlike, and the conditions were sublime.  The tram deck got up to 50 degrees.  That is almost unheard of in January!
One night we went sledding with the Sullivans at Soldier Hollow.  Rissy was a great sport and stayed in her sled the whole time, despite the cold snow spraying in her face as she sped down the hill.  

Left:  James enjoying the view of Heber Valley below  Right:  John races the Sullivan family down the hill.
How I've missed the hum of the hills the last couple years.

Happiness is the view from the ski lift!
Ski bums in the making.
Black diamonds are a girls best friend...along with this little boy!   Thanks mom, for watching the babies so many afternoons so we could ski after three at Alta.  
I just had to go through and edit some of my exclamations out of this post. It proves one of my biggest passions is being in the mountains-skiing in the thin Utah air. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Everything Coming Up Roses...

Being a mom to three young kids is the most humbling. exhausting, back breaking job I've ever had.  But it is  also the most freeing, fulfilling, and beautiful thing I've ever done. 
Tommy playing at his daddy's feet.  I realized I've been taking John for granted on my trip to Utah.  He is such a help to me with the kids and a caring husband.  I am lucky to have him! 
This girl is so hot and cold, naughty and nice, sugar and spice.  We adore her.
James is a sweet caring boy!  He spontaneously tells me he loves me almost every day.  He has a great imagination and is constantly crafting, building with legos, and driving his sister crazy.  
Not much brings me more peace than a picnic. 

Mmm.  This silk chocolate pie has been staring me in the face since Saturday tempting me at every turn.  Right when I think I couldn't love John more he becomes a baker.
The beautiful flowers John and the kids bought me for Valentine's Day.

Today I learned Tommy loves to eat rocks, chalk, and dirt.  I hope the microorganisms in the dirt can help fight his cough we brought back from Utah.  
"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses."  Feeling blessed for all the flowers in my life tonight.
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