Tag Archives: Everyday life

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.
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!


Childhood Unplugged


I have to start by saying that I borrowed the title for this post from an Instagram account that I love called Childhood Unplugged (not affiliated in any way, just a humble, no-name fan). I’m not sure how I came across the account (probably trolling the “explore” section, let’s be honest), but I have been inspired by their mission to make “a conscious effort to encourage our children to get back to the art of play.” The gorgeous pictures they feature of kids playing sans any sort of electronic device have stuck with me for the last few weeks. I have nothing against technology, obviously, as I am sitting here typing away on a laptop. And I don’t even expect that our kids will never use an iPad or watch TV, I just don’t want technology to be their definition of fun. I know it’s a big part of our world today, but I don’t want it to be our whole world.

Last weekend was our annual family reunion with Dave’s side of the family, and this year we gathered at Bear Lake right on the Utah/Idaho border. As we approached the lake the weather was getting stormy and cold and I was internally lamenting that it probably wouldn’t be much fun to play outside that day, which was a shame since that was our only scheduled day to actually be on the beach. Well, I guess I was wrong because sun or no sun, Ella was completely and totally enthralled from the second her little toes hit the sand and she made a beeline for a bucket and a shovel.

This was her first time on a beach and we could barely drag her away to eat a lunch that included Doritos (so you know she was serious).

I love these pictures because you can see the succession of the weather/her filth level. Thankfully, what started as a super cold. windy, rainy day got progressively warmer and played through the entire thing.

Finally, swim-suit level warmth.

I don’t know if there has been another activity in Ella’s 21-months of life that has kept her this interested for such a stretch of time with no interference from me. She played for four and a half hours, through lunchtime and nap-time. I was totally in awe that she was just doing her thing, totally oblivious to the fact that she would be totally expected to be in meltdown mode at this point under typical circumstances.


As the afternoon wore on and she got dirtier and dirtier I couldn’t help thinking that these are the sort of classic kid moments I want her to experience as she grows older. No electronics, no manufactured stimulation, just a little gal, outside, exploring the mud and water. Childhood at its finest!


More on the reunion later, I just wanted to get these pics up while the thoughts were still fresh