Monday, August 14, 2017

Memory Grove

After dinner last night, Layton suggested we go to Memory Grove Park up by the Capital.  I had never been there and Layton went last week on his work’s “sketch trip” (they do all sorts of fun activities during the lunch hour like driving somewhere cool and sketching, or volleyball, or other team building activities) and had loved it.  I was excited to go since I’d grown up in Salt Lake City but had never been there. 

It’s a long skinny park that is parallel to the Capital, but on a much lower elevation.  There’s a nice walk way and grass, and a river that feeds into a little pond.  There is a beautiful Greek/Roman looking structure called the Meditation Chapel.  Unfortunately, it was closed and we weren’t able to go inside.  We peeked through the front doors that had glass panes and could see the beautiful stained glass windows and ornate ceiling but I wish we had been able to go in.

It’s an off leash dog park so there were tons of adorable dogs running around and Wesley loved every minute of it.  He is obsessed with dogs and it makes me really happy.  Even though I don’t want a dog myself, I’m just happy he isn’t afraid of them and he is so cute with how excited he gets about them.

We walked up the path, past the pond and came across the river portion.  Layton and Wesley took of their shoes and walked through it; Wes was a total champ and walked for several yards before he was done.  He is a total water baby and I am so happy about it.  We kept walking up the paved path for a little ways before deciding to turn around and head home.

As we walked back down the path, Wesley came across a little acorn hat and then became obsessed with throwing it and chasing it, picking it up and throwing it again.  We were walking on this cobble stoned path that tripped him up a few times, once he fell and his legs flew up as he smacked his head, Layton and I both gasped and were ready for the screaming tears, but they never came! He jumped right up and continued to look for the acorn hat.  We were so surprised and laughed because it looked like it had hurt a lot but he was just way too concerned about getting that acorn hat back. 

The weather was beautiful and warm, and I said happy I was that we had gone out and gone to the park to walk around and play.  I mentioned that there are now fewer warm months than cold left in the year so we needed to make the most of it.  I love these special nights that aren’t extra fancy, but feel like they really matter and will be something I will always cherish.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Love Letters

dear Hamilton,
i really cannot get enough of you and you are making me so passionate about this country i live in and its history and that makes me so happy

you are healthy and divine and i look forward to sipping you down every dang night

dear summer,
you are truly THE BEST and i seriously never want you to end.  life is so wonderful with you around because i get to spend so much time with my two favorite guys.

you suddenly help me look instantly classy and put together no matter what else i’m wearing and i love you for that

dear new favorite quote*, 
thank you for confirming to me what is just complete pure truth and what i am trying to do right now

i’ve waited a long time for you and i am digging your “no-sweat” exterior like nothing other

thank you for finally helping me print pictures because we know i’m never going to do that unless it’s instant

*"for what it's worth: It's never too late to be whoever you want to be.  i hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, i hope you have the strength to start over" - f. scott fitzgerald

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Picture Dump

Pictures as of late…

Get Out Games

On Saturday, 7/22, we did an Escape Room at Get Out Games in Provo with our married Checketts’ siblings.  We’ve been doing monthly get togethers this summer and it has been so fun!  So far we’ve had a game night, a concert and this escape room.  If you have not heard of what seems to be this recent phenomenon of escape rooms, I highly suggest checking them out!  They are incredibly fun! We’ve done a Harry Potter themed one before which I, of course, loved.

This one was more science themed.  There had been a nuclear spill of one kind or another and we had to shut off different parts of reactors and what not to shut the system down before it went berserk.  They had fake smoke periodically pouring into the room and wouldn’t shut off until we had unlocked the box to press the button.  Then there was a tiny room within our room that housed the reactor that we had to shut down, and then we had to figure out how to get out of the room to shut the entire system down. There were several different keys and clues that we had to work out and you only have 60 minutes!  If you don’t figure it out, they leave you locked in the room f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Kidding….

We got out with I think 10 minutes to spare.  It was fun!  Although I often feel like I don’t do much (I tend to hang back in these situations), it is still so fun to try to work through the puzzles and figure things out.  I especially loved the Harry Potter one because it was all Harry Potter and things I love.  Whereas this one had the Periodic Table of the Elements and that doesn’t get me too excited… I can’t wait to do another escape room though!  We have a few in Salt Lake and I am excited to try them out.    

The Liberty Park Farmer’s Market

Brand new this year is a farmer’s market every Friday night at Liberty Park.  We finally went a couple of Friday’s ago and it was fun!  It was definitely smaller than the one downtown at Pioneer Park but we live so close to Liberty Park and the smaller crowd makes it pretty appealing.  

Wesley loved all the dogs walking around and tried to chase after and pet every single one.  We tasted some amazing Jam and some Lemon Spinach (I thought it was tasty, Layton thought it tasted like a weed).  We bought a savory crepe and sweet limemade to share.  We also bought some delicious organic peaches and we could not keep Wesley from downing one right then and there.

There were chocolate dipped bananas that you could buy with homemade toffee bits and other toppings (we didn’t try this one time but definitely want to go back and try it).  They have a free bike valet as well so you can ride your bike and not worry about where to put it. 

We walked around the park afterwards and went over to the playground and splash pad for Wesley.  He loves the playground there but is a bit afraid of the splash pad.  The water is a little too intense for him and he doesn’t like it spraying in his face.  So he more just hovers around the edge and periodically gets a little wet, it’s pretty cute. 

We headed home for Wesley’s bed time and after we put him to bed, we played scrabble with Layton’s sister.  I grew up playing Scrabble often on Sundays after dinner and I’ve always loved it.  I was a little rusty and Layton still beat me >_< but it was so fun to play actual Scrabble! I feel like so often we just play speed Scrabble, it’s nice to just have a nice slow game of real Scrabble.

RSL Game

If you can’t already tell, Layton is a huge fan of soccer and in marrying him, my inner soccer fan came out.  I had no idea I would like watching it so much.  Of course Layton is super stoked about the fact that we have our own MLS (major league soccer) team right here in the Salt Lake Valley, so we try to go to a couple of games a year.  The tickets can be a bit pricey so we don’t go as often as we’d like, but we’re considering a season pass since we love it so much.

I love how well supported our Real Salt Lake team is! I am honestly surprised at how much people love them, it’s super great.  Whenever I go to a game, the energy is so contagious, you really can’t help but get into the game and scream, jump on your feet and boo when something doesn’t go our way.  

Layton planned a game for us and his family to go to and it ended up being a couple of days before the 24th of July so there were even fireworks afterwards.  That’s one of my favorite things, going to an event and then having a fireworks show afterwards.  We played Sporting Kansas City and boy, it was a dirty game.  It definitely seemed that the ref favored Kansas City and they fell and flopped like 15 times whereas we had men down maybe twice.  We were all screaming and on our feet a good chunk of the time and even though it seemed unfair, it was so fun to have an intense game! RSL played their hearts out! They worked so hard and played magnificently.  We scored a spectacular goal but unfortunately fouled on of Kansas’ players in the goal box which = penalty kick which they scored.  Unfortunately it ended in a 1-1 tie.  It was sad since we played better and harder, but it was fun to be at such an intense game.

The fireworks after were spectacular and I am once again grateful to live in a free nation.  The 24th is celebrated here as Pioneer Day.  We celebrate our pioneer ancestors crossing from the East to the West and establishing what is so much of what West America is today and especially Salt Lake City.  They worked so hard and gave up so much and I now live in such a beautiful place to which I owe them so much.    

4th and 24th of July

4th and 24th of July

July is one of my favorite months of the year, it’s the 4th of July, my birthday on the 18th and in Utah, we celebrate a holiday on the 24th.  So many fun things happening!

This year for the 4th, we went to a Salt Lake Bees game.  I’ve been to several and often went growing up.  Layton has been to a couple but it was Wesley’s first time.  Normally we don’t let him stay up super late, but we had a tough time finding a sitter and we figured, it was his like one night a year to stay up late.  The Bees had an awesome game and won! Wesley enjoyed being a total ham in front of everyone (he is suuuuch a performer) and ate so much cotton candy and kettle corn.  The Bees games have some of the best fireworks and we were excited to see how Wesley would react.  Turns out, not well.  I thought he might be afraid, but he was scrambling over our shoulders like mad, trying to get away from them.  It was pretty sad.  Layton took him to the playground which is a bit further away, but he didn’t get to enjoy them.  Oh well, now we know. 

On my birthday this year, I decided to just take the day off of work and do a few errands. Layton and I went out to dinner at this cute café bakery downtown called Gourmandise.  I got the tri tip steak with fingerling potatoes and asparagus with this to die for cream sauce.  It was honestly one of my favorite meals I’ve ever had!  Layton go the beef brisket grilled cheese which I’ve had before and it was also delicious.  We got some baked goods to go and then walked around downtown for a little while.  We found this amazing little alleyway with tons and tons of graffiti art, it was amazing and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it before! We took lots of pictures and then headed home. 

I opened up my gift when we got home and it was an Instax Polaroid camera! I was super excited.  I’d been wanting one forever and Layton picked out the cutest aqua color.  We tried to take a few pictures but the lighting wasn’t as good as we thought so they turned out almost black haha.  But it was still really fun.

On the 24th we went to the parade downtown which we had done last year.  We rode the train and Wesley was mesmerized by it.  He was more interested in running around than sitting and watching the parade, so after about 45 minutes, we walked over to the City Creek mall where they have this awesome enclosed indoor play place.  We let Wesley run around for a while and then rode the train back home.  He fell asleep and took a three hour nap!  That’s when you know we really wore him out. 

That evening we walked to Liberty Park which is about a mile from our house (last year we drove and finding a parking spot was nearly impossible) to have a picnic dinner and play games with some of Layton’s siblings.  We played Frisbee and ate and talked.  We now have a tradition of buying Wesley a light up sword/lightsaber/stick thing and this year we bought him a sword that makes swishing and clanging noises.  I don’t regret buying it, but the noise just goes on and on and on.  I wish it would stop after a little while but it doesn’t!

I love celebrating the freedom of our nation and recently I started listening to the musical Hamilton so I feel it even more strongly.  I am so thankful for our founding fathers and everyone who was alive at the time that helped fight and bring freedom to America.  They worked so incredibly hard and I feel so blessed to be a part of a nation where I am free, there are so so many around the world who cannot say it.  I am so blessed to be a part of choosing who leads and what we allow and what we don’t.  Of course often things don’t go the way I want, but what a blessing to even have a voice at all! It’s beautiful and inspiring and for that, I love America.