Sunday, September 26, 2010

Family Trip

As promised, more pictures from Utah (I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seats!). I'm surprised and disappointed that I didn't take more pictures.

We enjoyed our recent trip to Utah. There wasn't any real occasion for our visit. We try to visit my family in Utah twice a year (occasionally over the past few years it has been more frequent due to special circumstances), and we were due for a visit. Neal was able to take some time off of work, and we got an awesome deal on plane tickets. My family was anxious to see Austin (especially those memebers of my family who had not yet met him), and I was anxious to see everyone, show off my sweet baby boy, and let Sally play with her cousins to her heart's content. All of my pestering Angie and Hyrum to go out there the same time as us paid off, and they made the trip out, as well. It was great to be together with the whole family. I'm not sure when that will happen again, since my clan will not be going to Utah during the Christmas season this year.

The trip got off to an interesting start. Sally fell asleep in the car on the way to the airport and amazingly stayed asleep all the way to the security checkpoint.

We got in to Salt Lake late Wednesday night and enjoyed a low-key day at my parent's house on Thursday. I did get away for a while to meet some friends for lunch. Amazingly I was able to get together with my the three awesome roommates that I spent 2+ years with at BYU (Lisa recently moved back to Utah, Kathryn happened to be visiting, and Sarah is living with her parents currently until she gets married in October). Anna joined us, too. It was a lot of fun.

Al and her girls came over in the afternoon so we could bake cakes and let the girls play. It was delightful to bake with my sister while Sally happily played with Ada and Kate.

Thursday night we headed down to Provo to take Neal's brother Grant out to dinner (and left the kids with my parents). It was fun to visit Provo and remember the good ol' days when I lived there. We wanted to eat at the Bombay house, but ended up at Gloria's Little Italy. I didn't regreat it. Let's just say it is a good thing that I very infrequently have the pleasure of ordering "all you care to eat" pasta, especially when one of the choices is pasta drenched in some sort of cream sauce! Despite my hearty dinner, I couldn't resist a $1 scoop of cougar creamery ice cream at Spoons and Spice on the way out of the BYU Bookstore, where cougar shirts were purchased for the entire family.

The next day we hiked Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon with my mom, Ella, Abby, and Angie and Hyrum. It was surprisingly chilly, (I was grateful that I had brought my kids' jackets), but a lot of fun. Because we had no baby carrier, I carried Austin in my arms for a good portion of the hike, with Angie and Neal taking occasional turns to give me a break. Sally was carried mostly by Neal, but enjoyed riding on Hyrum's shoulders for a good stretch. Sally loves her uncle Hyrum!

The family pictures at the top all turned out fuzzy and unfit for posting. This picture of Neal and kids is not much better. Sally had a great time on the hike, but must have been cold at this moment--she doesn't look very pleased.

That night we headed to Spencer and Korrin's house to celebrate Abby's birthday (and my Mom's birthday, which would be the next week). Al and I frosted and decorated our cake, which tasted a lot better than it looked. It was fun to make, though. Next time we'll do a crumb layer of frosting first.

It was so fun to be with the whole family. I love seeing the little girls play together, and it was fun seeing Austin interact with the family, as well.

On Saturday we went to the fair that my parents' stake put on, watched the Cougars lose to Air Force, and ate pizza and played with the family again.

Saturday night was a lot of fun--several of my best high school friends and I had dinner together at my friend Sarah's house. It was after my kids went to bed (quite a late dinner), but it was wonderful to catch up with all of my friends. Abby went along, too, and it was fun having her there. I think all of my friends like Abby better than they like me--and for good reason, she is a lot of fun! Talking with friends and a sister, eating great food, relaxing in a cozy house, not worrying a bit about what my kids are doing--for me, it doesn't get much better than that!

On Sunday before church, we enjoyed pacakes and the stories I loved as a child. It was so fun to watch Sally sit on her grandpa's lap and giggle happily at Micky and the Giant in the classic "The Brave Little Tailor." I love Sally's giggle, especially when she has a hard time stopping her giggles.

After church we enjoyed a family dinner at my grandparents' house. I love my grandparents' house and was so glad to have the chance to be there, as they are building a new home and have sold their house. It was fun to be there with them one last time. My grandma (Sally's namesake) is very sweet and make pink cupcakes with gumdrop decorations for the little girls, and her famous chocolate cake for the rest of us. Needless to say, Sally enjoyed her treat...

as did her cousins! Amazingly, the girls all stayed put for the picture and even attempted to look at the camera. I have the cupcakes to thank for keeping them glued to their seats.

Sweet little Austy had a lot of fun exploring and probably ate a fair amount of leaves while we enjoyed the evening on the deck. He also enjoyed his grandpa--almost as much as grandpa enjoyed him!

Monday came and we got ready to head home, but not before an afternoon at Alison's house. Neal had a get his Wii time in, and Sally was all excited to play with Ada and Kate's toys. Thankfully Ella and Grace joined us so the cousins could get in one last play time. Sally was in heaven in Ada's room, playing with baby dolls and dressing up as Minnie Mouse and Snow White. Here are the cute "big girls" coloring, while the "little girls" (Kate and Grace) napped. Thankfully Austin slept at Al's house, as well, so I could sneak off to lunch with Al and Angie.

All-in-all we had a great trip. I regret not making it to Al and Tyler's house for games with the rest of the siblings any of the evenings (we really missed out, but were pretty tired), and not spending more one-on-one time with Neal. At least we had our Provo trip. But I can't complain--we saw family and friends, enjoyed nice weather, and our kids were great.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We recently returned from a fun trip to Utah to spend time with my family. We enjoyed a short hike, among other things. More info. and pictures will follow. This post is just to get a picture out there to make me feel better about my previous two posts containing no pictures.

Honestly, does Abby even look pregnant in this picture? I find it hard to believe she is halfway through!

The Lost Petersons

Neal and I enjoy watching a good series together. During the Christmas season right after Sally was born we had a lot of free time and a little baby that slept a lot. With the help of Neal’s family, we discovered the “Horatio Hornblower” series (a BBC work) and dove in. It was at times cheesy and predictable, but fun just the same. We enjoyed the down time together, and would work together to get things done around the house and with Sally so we could start each next episode. The next Christmas season we got into season 1 of “24”, which I initially resisted but ended up getting hooked on. Over the past few years we have also taken on “The Lost Room” (a short series, something that Neal’s mom lent to us), “Crusoe” (an NBC mini-series), “The Winds of War” (an ABC miniseries from the 80s), “The Flame Trees of Thika” (a British miniseries) and “Love Comes Softly” (from Hallmark, and the only series we never finished).

Our most recent series of interest is “LOST”. I’m not sure why we started, but after just one episode of season 1, we both wanted to continue. While we didn’t watch every night, most evenings we’d watch at least one episode (and sometimes two or three). It was fun looking forward to that time together in the evenings, and fun to talk about the story and characters together. We were both motivated to take care of our responsibilities as quickly as possible in the evenings so we could have more time to watch together. After season 1 was over, we took a few months off and then tackled season 2. While we both really enjoyed seasons 1 and 2, we’ve decided not to continue with the rest of the seasons. In addition to feeling guilty about spending so much time in front of the tv night after night, I didn’t like turning a blind eye to the raciness that was starting to creep into the show just because I wanted to see what happened next.

So now, without watching “LOST” in the evenings, our evenings feel a bit, well, lost! They are certainly a lot less fun and a lot less predictable. It isn’t that we currently do nothing together in the evenings—we do. We enjoy crossword puzzles, working on our finances, playing games, or just talking, but we also commonly get pulled into our own responsibilities and interests and spend less time together than we’d like. I work quite a bit for my job in the evenings, and Neal always has things he can do for work—such as reading the millions of medical journals/anesthesia textbooks that the department would like him to read. I suppose we are just in a bit of a rut right now and the solution is just planning (or a good dose of fun spontaneity, which neither of us have ever been great at), but often lately while I’m sitting at my work computer realizing that the evening has slipped away without much spouse time, I long for the evenings with LOST on the tv, Neal and my side, and a bowl of ice cream in my lap.

While I could take the easy route, (cave in and go get season 3 from the library), I’m looking for ideas and suggestions about other series that are not quite so long (or addicting, or racy), but more especially about other ways for Neal and I to spend time together in the evenings that we’ll be as excited about as we were about “LOST.” Any ideas? (Ideas involving exercise are especially welcome. Goodness knows I need more of that!).