Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pumpkins and Halloween

It's about halfway through November. How about some Halloween pictures finally?

Kyle and I decided this year that we were most definitely going to carve pumpkins with the girls. It really is a rite of passage in childhood. A child must carve a pumpkin at least once in their life. Right?

We opted to pick out our pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. It was only slightly more than the grocery store, and the atmosphere is worth it. Or at least it would have been if we did not get eaten alive by mosquitos! Seriously, it was terrible. We honestly got there, found a cart, and searched for 4 pumpkins as quickly as we could. And then we left as fast as possible. The mosquitos were everywhere. Too bad. I would have liked to have stayed a little longer.

The next week we carved those suckers. Carving pumpkins is not my favorite, but we did it anyway. So messy gross.

The girls drew faces on their pumpkins with crayon. Kyle did his best to carve something out of it. And then he blew us all out of the water with his own creation. 

Let's pretend like this picture isn't blury and that I wasn't too lazy to pull out my tripod, ok?

Hailey's pumpkin is on the left. Keira's in the middle. Mine on the right. 

 And Kyle's.

Onto the costumes. 

Hailey decided she wanted to be Batgirl. We found a Batgirl costume at Target and bought it on sale. It was sleeveless and a short dress, so I made a shirt and leggings to go underneath it. Easy peasy, done. (Except I procrastinated doing my part of the ensemble. Whoops!)

I really didn't know what Keira was going to be until the week of Halloween. We debated between reusing old costumes or sewing a new one. There was a super sale on fleece the week of Halloween so I capitalized on that and at the last minute decided Keira was going to be Robin. Batgirl and Robin.

(For the record, Kyle says no more of this last minute sewing business. Next year will be done a month in advance. I'm with him. My sewing table is still a disaster!

I found the cutest tutorial online for making a Batman costume and adapted it for Robin. Honestly, I wish I had seen it before buying Hailey's costume, so we could customize it a bit more. But, whatever. She loved it and was happy. That's what really matters, right?

I took the girls to Lagoon a week before Halloween and they got to do a little trick-or-treating there, sans costumes. Keira was super possessive of her bag of goodies. It took a lot of convincing to get her to put it down to go ride a ride. The second she got off she ran right back to the stroller looking for her bag. I moved it once and put it down below and she was very concerned when it was missing. "Bag!?"

They also went trick-or-treating at the library the day before. Keira knew the drill already and was a pro. 

Then the day of Aunt Chelsie and Aunt Corinne went along with me as we roamed the neighborhood for 1 1/2 hours. Keira refused to walk. She insisted on riding in the stroller between each and every house. Whatever, makes it go faster I guess. :)

Both girls had a blast. Who wouldn't? Free candy and you get to dress up? Done deal.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thirty. Again.

My six weeks of teasing are over. This guy matches me and turns 30 today! Since you only turn 30 once, I'm going to celebrate with 30 facts about Kyle.

1. He was born in Provo, UT.
2. Kyle is the oldest of 4 kids. He has one brother and two sisters.
3. He has lived in six states: Utah, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Washington, and Texas.
4. He is a natural designer/builder. He has the kind of mind that breaks down every possibility and is able to see just how something might function.
5. He tells stories from his childhood of building all sorts of contraptions, like an over the fence wiffleball retriever, totally just like in the Sandlot. Or a go-kart with speakers attached that they raced down the sloping road in front of their house.

6. In high school, Kyle was introduced to Solid Works (3D modeling software). He would build things out of Legos and then model them in Solid Works. Just for fun.
7. Because of it, Kyle is a Solid Works pro, which he uses very frequently at work.
8. After graduating high school Kyle went to BYU for a year before setting off on a church mission to the Philippines for 2 years.

9. In the Philippines Kyle learned to speak Tagalog and some Sign Language. For part of his 2 years, he spent 7 months working with deaf church members where he translated from Tagalog into Sign Language.
10. After his mission, he returned to BYU and began working on a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
11. About a year into it he realized that really wasn't for him. He liked designing, not so much the math and science behind it. Luckily for him he discovered Industrial Design.

12. One semester in the Industrial Design program proved to be a true fit. He graduated with a BFA in 2011.
13. After his mission, Kyle worked in the copy center on campus with yours truly. He worked a few different positions in the copy center, one year including evenings alone with just him and the machines.
14. Towards the last half of his time at BYU he worked for one of his professors as a research assistant. The research was in making designer toys. I think designers have a lot more fun than other professions.

15. Between his junior and senior year he had an internship at a design consultancy in Texas. We packed up and spent a summer there playing and exploring. And sweating. So hot and humid.

16. After graduating  from BYU Kyle found a job at Metropolis Design in North Salt Lake where he works as an Industrial Designer.
17. Check out Metropolis's website. Kyle designed it.

18. Kyle loves to go shooting, and doesn't do enough of it. We've gone to the shooting range together a few times and it's been a lot of fun.

19. Growing up Kyle played soccer. He still loves it, which is why he struggles to watch Hailey and her 4 and 5 year old teammates play. It's painful for him to watch. Someday the skill level will pick up. :)

20. Kyle loves to golf. He made the varsity team as a freshman in high school, but didn't play because none of his friends made it. Now I think he wishes he had pursued that a bit more.
21. Kyle has a soft heart. By that I mean he is always thinking of others. Even as a child Kyle was concerned about the happiness of those around him. His mom tells a story of Kyle coming to her crying because the other kids were fighting, not him. This is one thing I love about him, how genuinely concerned he is for others.
22. He isn't much a of a sweets person, which sometimes drives me nuts because I am. But, that changes when anything mint or dark chocolate is involved. 
23. Kyle has recently gotten into mountain biking a bit. He hasn't gotten out much, but over the past year, the few times he has, he raves about how much fun it was.

24. Our girls love Kyle. He is the fun one. Totally. Dad is awesome fun. 
25. Any sort of You Tube video culture knowledge I gain from Kyle. He is always update on the latest viral videos, and often comes home from work with one or two to show me.
26. His all time favorite movies are Jurassic Park and Independence Day.
27. Kyle can not fall asleep to a movie. It is physically impossible. His brain is too active.
28. He also has a super knack for remembering movies and movie quotes. After seeing a movie a couple of times he needs a few years break before watching it again, so hopefully he'll forget some of it. Which really doesn't happen. It can be years after he last saw a movie and he can still quote it.
29. Kyle is a fantastic cook. Just like he does with most anything, he just wings it and makes it up as he goes. He has a knack for knowing what spices and flavors will blend well together.

30. He's pretty much awesome. And my perfect match.

Happy Birthday Kyle! 

I love you. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Can you believe it? Hailey turns 5 today! Here's wishing a fantastically HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this girl! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Fall Day at the Zoo

Last month, while the weather was still warm, my mom and I took the girls to the zoo. It was an awesomely warm day (I ended up being too warm) and perfect for zoo browsing. The girls were so excited. Keira especially loved it. She was totally into it, pointing out the animals and making their sounds. It was so fun to see her enthusiasm and excitement over seeing the animals.

Keira's favorite stop seemed to be the seals and sea lions. She loved watching them swim by and play. They'd come and go and she'd say, "Where'd-they-go?" "There-they-are!". She pointed out their bubbles and pretended to blow some of her own. 

Hailey was our tour guide toting the map around, showing us where to go next. Her number one destination was to visit the grizzly bears.

She was fortunate enough to see one about as up close and personal as you can get. She sat distractedly next to the glass, looking at the map. One of the bears snuck up behind her right next to the glass completely startling her. She jumped up real quick and ran a few steps back from the glass. From my point of view it was pretty funny to see it coming.

 I just love Keira's tiny pigtails. What's even better are the wings that are left when she pulls them out. :)

We had a pretty fantastic time at the zoo. The girls were troopers. We forgot the stroller so they were forced to walk the entire way, except for Keira who was carried for a bit until we thought our arms were going to fall off. It was a perfect day to enjoy the warm fall weather.

I know I haven't posted Halloween pictures yet. They're coming. I need to play a little catch up first. I'm pretty behind on life. It happens. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Visit to The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

I often forget how close we live to the Great Salt Lake. We live just a few miles from it's shores, yet we never notice it. My mom and I picked a morning a few weeks ago and took the girls over to the edge of the lake.  We went out to Layton and visited The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve. It is a nature preserve on the banks of the Great Salt Lake where over 250 species of birds (between 4 million and 6 million total birds) migrate to and spend their summer there each year. 

The preserve covers a space of almost 11 miles. There is a boardwalk to travel along that winds through it. I don't know how far the boardwalk will actually take you, but we spent about an hour there wandering around. 

Sadly, we never did spot any birds. 4-6 million birds and we didn't see a single one!? That grass is pretty tall and thick. And apparently the best time to visit is in April and October. We went in September, so maybe just a little bit prematurely. We didn't see any birds (we did hear a few) but we did come across a fuzzy black and yellow caterpillar. He crawled down in between the boards before I could get a picture of him. He piqued the girls curiosity, so we stopped to watch him for a few minutes.

It is amazing how close to urban life this preserve is, yet you can stand in the middle of it and feel like you're in a whole different world. It is it's own kind of beautiful.

In the middle of the preserve is a 30 ft. look out tower. We climbed to the top and the girls ran around looking out from all the angles. Still no birds. Darn it. But the view was pretty awesome.

I tried to get a nice shot of the two of them in front of the tall grass. No such luck. When you're little you just have to be silly. It seems to be a requirement. Even if Mom wants one good picture. Just one. Oh well. 

We may not have caught sight of any birds, but we enjoyed our walk outside in nature. It was good just to get out and roam. We'll have to try again in April and maybe we'll have some better luck.


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