Category Archives: Monthly Snapshots

August 2015 Monthly Snapshot

This month started off with a bang for me with NYC (if you haven’t seen my painfully drawn out recaps….here) and then the day after I got home, Ella and I hopped on a plane for a quick weekend in Wyoming for my grandpa’s 90th birthday party! We wish Dave could have come, but he had a test the day after the festivities, so if we had driven we would have made such a long trip to stay such a short time. So Ella and I decided to just make it a quick girl’s trip and fly one last time before we have to pay for her 🙂
                 
Ella got to see Grandma and Grandpa which she (and I) loved. My mom let her have any and all junk food and TV that she wanted. She’s not above buying Ella’s love.
This was the only group pic Ella was in, as she promptly melted down beyond consoling after this wonderful shot. But here are my grandma and grandpa with all of their great grandkids! I told Ella she was crazy to cry because she got the coveted spot on the birthday boy’s lap!

 

Ella got to hang out with her second cousins Kinley and Truman who are her exact same age! PS–I’m realizing that in every picture she has the same stone-faced, non-expression. I promise she is a happy girl! She just doesn’t emote for the camera.
I loved comparing these pics that are pretty much exactly a year apart. I think that high chair was my aunt’s as a baby! Gotta love the treasures you find at Grandma’s house!
I love my Grandma and Grandpa Hopkin. They seriously have so much energy for people of their generation! My grandpa still has a huge beautiful garden and sent me home with some fresh corn. We had a conversation about family history and he had all kinds of names and dates he was throwing out off the top of his head. And my grandma couldn’t be busier. She volunteers to do hair for the ladies at the nursing home, and many of them are younger than her! I hope I can be as spry as they are when I’m their age! It was a really fun weekend, seeing my parents and all of my cousins, some of whom I hadn’t seen in probably like eight or ten years. I’m so glad we could make the quick trip and celebrate my grandpa.
We got together with some friends who just had babies! These guys were all roommates before we all got married and it’s so fun to see everyone’s families growing. I think they were laughing because Evan asked if I have an iPhone 4 (I do) with the most incredulous voice.
Dave had some time off of school between summer term and fall semester so we tried to squeeze in some fun family outings during the day before he went to work in the afternoon. My sister in law Marcy mentioned that she had taken her nephews and little girl to Chuck-e-Cheese and they had all loved the little rides (“rides” is used loosely…like the little cars you put a quarter into….but they are the perfect size for Ella and Marcy’s little girl) so we thought that would be something fun and indoors since it’s so hot right now. Well….Ella freaked out on this one truck that rumbled and it was kind of a lost cause, until the very end when she decided she loved this trolley. I felt pretty classy hitting up Chuck-e-Cheese on a Monday afternoon but man was it a trip down memory lane. I used to LOVE that place.


I already posted this on insta, but we picked raspberries and I tried my hand at freezer jam! I was intimidated by the whole canning process but freezer jam was quick and easy so I’ll totally be making more. And Ella went nuts in the berry patch. We will most definitely be going back! She was literally running from bush to bush, frantically shoving berries in her mouth. Thankfully she didn’t make herself sick, and I thought it was a cool opportunity for her to learn that food grows from the earth (here I’m having this hippy dippy nature moment in my head and I can pretty much guarantee that Ella learned nothing of the sort). And don’t worry, we paid extra at the end since she ate so many berries before we weighed them.

Another day was spent up north, visiting our dear friend Christine and her new baby and then eating our way through Salt Lake. If you live in the area and haven’t already, PLEASE try Oh Mai. Seriously, the best sandwich of my life. And super cheap, too, for the quality. I’m salivating thinking of it right now!

 

We also grabbed donuts, hit up Trader Joes (it was a food-themed day, ok?) and took Ella to Liberty Park. I remember going there as a small child but had heard it was a great place for summer fun and I wish we lived closer because it was awesome! Splash pad, creek, aviary, huge playground, little rides, etc. Ella heartily approved.
And we finished things off with a morning at Bartholomew Park. I’m almost reluctant to mention this place because I am so in love with it and don’t want it to become over run and gross, but who am I kidding, I’m not exactly the informant of the masses on this blog, so what the heck. It’s this awesome man-made lake/pond that a benefactor built and donated to the city and it’s awesome!!! Nice shallow water, groomed sand, nice walkways, bathrooms, parking lot, etc. Ella can just putter around in the sand forever. I think it just opened this summer and I am already excited to go back next year.

And it wouldn’t be a true recap of our month if I didn’t mention that August 2015=naps from h***. Seriously, Ella probably napped like four times this month. Instead of falling asleep, she entertains herself in her crib with such tricks as taking off her diaper, climbing out of her crib (thankfully she hasn’t hurt herself and I think mostly scared herself from doing it again), chucking board books and her water cup, tearing her quilt off the wall, and prying her dresser drawers open from between the slats and putting on all varieties of clothes. It’s impressive, really. Good thing her mom thinks she’s got the face of an angel, or I’d be mad 🙂 I don’t think she’s old enough to give up naps, and she definitely falls asleep in the car/is crabby, etc. which leads me to believe she needs the sleep, so I’m not giving up yet.

July 2015 Monthly Snapshot

I know it’s probably the most over-used seasonal declaration in all of bloggerdom (except for statements about loving fall and pumpkin products), but this summer has been SO crazy! But so much fun. July was no exception and we had a blast with family and friends and just enjoying a good old Utah summer! Utah summers truly do make up for a freezing winter. I love living somewhere that really has all four seasons (I’m looking at you, Alaska).
We started off the month with a last minute little getaway to a cabin with some great friends. The kids had a blast playing, there was plenty of lounging and good food to be had, and my very talented friend Kait snapped some pics of the kiddos in front of this gorgeous backdrop.
Seriously, if it weren’t for Kait I would have no quality pictures of Ella. She’s taken basically every frame-able photo over the past year and a half.
Don’t be too fooled by the sweetness because second later my child was literally choking me:
After all I’ve done for you, Ella!
These kids are just the sweetest buddies.
“A-done!”
We spent the Fourth of July with the Keslers again–they can’t shake us! Our town is just the best on the Fourth. We are so lucky that we live close enough to just walk over to the parade in the morning, as opposed to people who camp on the street overnight. It also helps to have a pregnant woman in your party, as kind people let you sit in their saved area and have front-row seats.
*Photo cred goes to Kait, again*
Ella loved it but it was HOT (which I seem to forget every year….duh) so we didn’t last the entire time. Another reason I love living within walking distance!

 

 

We got suckered into buying a ride on the Ferris Wheel at the carnival down the street since it was the only ride that Ella was big enough to go on, and when we did the math we realized we paid $12 for all three of us to ride that stupid thing! I couldn’t believe what a rip-off it was but Ella seemed to have fun as evidenced in the above picture–she was quite entranced, haha! But from here on out I’m sticking to the $1 carousel at Provo Beach Resort!
Aaaaannnd I’m realizing that I am wearing these lovely Jorts in every picture in this post. I guess I’m a Mormon mom and it’s summer, so why not dress the part?
Then the girls got to try their first sparklers, and they decided that laying on the concrete was their best bet for fireworks viewing. Haha they don’t look that comfy to me. Silly girlies!

 

We hit up Hee-Haw Farms for their summer activities and it was SOOOO fun! We had been once before, last fall, and I had been dying to take Ella back now that she’s a little older. They have a ton of activities geared towards younger kids, and a lot of stuff that Ella could participate in, which is hard to find sometimes since she’s still so little. I’m not being paid to say any of this stuff–I just love this place and the owners are super nice. When we were there the lady in charge made sure we got to do all of the activities that we were interested in, and even did a hayride just for Ella and one other little girl. Totally worth checking out if you live in Utah Valley!
The day we went was “cow week,” and they had a little class about cows, and then we made our own ice cream, which Ella loved.
She could play in this corn box for the rest of her life. I kept having to warn her, “ok, five more minutes until we have to go,” but she conned me into like half an hour haha.
The only thing I was bummed about was the fact that she freaked out when we tried to get her on a pony ride. She loved it last time, but she was younger and I think less aware of danger 🙂 So we just basically accompanied the pony on a walk around his pen.
I already posted a little about the Yamashita reunion here, but here’s another pic of Ella with some of her cute cousins. She loves and gets attached to older girls!

 

 

It was Cow Appreciation Day and so naturally we had to participate. Three free meals?! Made up for the $12 we spent on that flipping Ferris Wheel.

 

 

We also got to hang out with my sister-in-law Marcy and her cute little Elise when they were in town for a few weeks! Try as we might this was the best shot we got of both girls….ahh, toddlers. But I am so happy these girls have each other. They will be the best buddies growing up since they are so close in age.
And that’s July! Here’s to one more month of summer!

 

June 2015 Monthly Snapshot

First of all, thank you for all of your comments on my last post! Be sure to enter the giveaway (seeing as this is my first giveaway ever, your chances are really good!)!

Second of all, if you love One Direction as much as I do (or even a little bit, because I love them wayyyy more than is healthy or normal for a 26-year-old married mother) you need to check this post out. It’s….important.

Now then, where were we? June flew by and was so busy but SO fun! Dave and I were just saying that we always think we don’t have many plans for the summer and then it gets here and it is always way busier than we had anticipated. With all of the family events and people passing through Utah each year it just adds up to us being all over the place. But I love it and wouldn’t want it any other way! There’s plenty of time for being bored during the winter.

I already mentioned my family coming to visit here, but in case you missed it, that was a big part of the first half of our month. My mom and little sis Tess came to visit and we had a grand old time with them….

…OBVIOUSLY
Like I mentioned in my other post, my sister Tess was here for French camp and so I got to go be her support team at the end of camp performance since my mom had already left at that point. So naturally it was my job to take pictures of her with an eyeliner beard, playing Javert in Les Mis. It was the least I could do since the whole family couldn’t be there.
Visits to Utah mean visits to Kneaders, and Ella was more than happy to help Tess polish off the whipped cream from her French toast.

 Side note: I was wearing the lovely tie-dyed tee pictured in the background along with workout leggings and no shower on this particular breakfast outing and we ran into my Spanish teacher from five years ago and he shockingly recognized me (probably not for good reasons….I was late basically every day). But then I realized that a ratty t-shirt and no makeup was basically my uniform that term (I signed up for an 8am everyday Spanish class during SUMMER term for some inconceivable reason). so I was probably a spitting image of my old self.

I talked about my trip to Oregon here, but one thing I didn’t mention was that we had to say goodbye to Ella’s beloved aunties at the end of the weekend (and my parents; boo) as they were going home for summer term. It’s SO great having them around more now that they are back from their LDS missions, and not just because I have two free babysitters at my beck and call. Because we actually like them too! Good thing (for me and Ella) Fall semester is only like 7 weeks away!

We checked out a few splash-pads with Ella’s favorite buddy. It’s so fun that she’s actually big enough to enjoy them this summer! Last summer I just sort of parked her by a smallish stream on the outside and she would gingerly touch it every now and then.

We headed down south to St. George for a weekend to see Dave’s sister and her family while they were visiting from Alabama. Dave’s parents live in St. George but they are on a mission for our church in Australia right now (more about LDS missionaries here) so it was a little different getting together without them there but still fun! Usually all of Dave’s siblings (there are six of them) try to gather in St. George for a week or so during the summer since they are all scattered all over the place, but this weekend was just us, one of his brothers, his sister, and their families. 
If you are not familiar with Utah, St. George is in the southwest corner of the state and it is hotter than hades during the summer! We decided to do a little picnic and hike up in the mountains about 45 minutes outside of town and man was that a good plan as we watched the temperature on our car thermometer drop from 115 to 90 degrees. It’s a little ridiculous that 90 would be considered cool but it’s all relative I suppose.

Love that this pretty, forest-y spot is so close to the desert and red rock. I truly love St. George. It’s so close to so many fun, outdoorsy spots and my ideal city size. Does someone want to pay us to move there? I should would ‘preciate it.
We did do plenty of swimming too, though, since that’s basically the only thing you can do when it’s hot enough to bake cookies on the pavement.

And that’s how Ella felt about saying goodbye to cousins. Poor Emi (holding Ella) had just gotten her wisdom teeth out but she was a total trooper and kept up with everyone all weekend. I am pretty sure I was on the couch eating ice cream and watching Nicholas Sparks movies the entire week after mine came out (and I was 23 at the time….) so I was suitably impressed.
Aaaaaand that was June. Bring on the fourth of July and Harry Potter’s birth month!

Monthly Snapshot: May 2015

I feel like I always have a bunch of random pictures on my phone from events that I want to document, but don’t really warrant their own blog post. So I’m just going to do a little wrap-up post each month. Capeesh?

We went with my sisters to the Payson Temple open house early in the month. The temple is gorgeous and it was so fun to see the unique design and think about how much that temple will bless the people living in the area. But the funniest moment of the day came when I was scrolling through the pictures and noticed that Ella was photo-bombing this shot of me and my sisters….and she’s got a little smile on her face so she clearly thought Dave was aiming the camera at her, as usual. Mommy’s little narcissist.

 
We got to have some playdates with our favorite little Emma and Ella is obviously as in love as ever 🙂



 It wouldn’t be a new month without some new, destructive tricks from Ella. She’s really really into trying to climb into her crib right now, and reason can only suggest that climbing out will soon follow. So I’m holding onto every day where baby-prison still works with all my heart.

 She kept trying to climb over the stroller and getting high-centered on the wheel which was, of course, hilarious. I love the blur of her frantically-kicking legs.

….and I guess pulling off her sheets and mattress cover is part of the naptime routine now. Great.

I finally cut my hair (it had been needed for a while) and when Anne got in the car the next day we realized we have the same hair now. #twinners. It’s not weird at all.

We got to attend Ashley’s baptism and Calvin’s blessing (our niece and nephew). Ella was being her usual shy self so she would only agree to a picture with Ash if Daddy was holding her.

 Ella’s not amused! Save me mother! She obviously needs to have some more cousin time so she’s not so standoffish.

More family fun followed when our nephew Micah graduated from high school! And I tried my hand at the classic money/candy lei. When did that become a thing? Like, what do leis have to do with graduating? I don’t get it, but I like it.

Ella DID decide to finally warm up to Miya at graduation….

….but she’s still working through some stuff with Taysen. 
The month of May was super rainy by Utah standards! Which is good for the earth and whatnot but we were SO excited for it to finally be warm enough to swim! On Saturday we were the very first in line for the pool but the rec center peeps told me we had to wait for a few minutes to enter until the lifeguards were at their posts. People behind me were getting all kinds of antsy and whispering passive-aggressive things like, “I’m not sure what we are waiting for here.” Like I was just standing there waiting for fun. Ella was just like, “I can’t even with you people.”
All in all May flew by and we are so excited it is finally warm and sunny. Bring on summer!