Friday, July 30, 2010

A Rockstar in the making!

I think Summer started singing before she started talking. Now, EVERY song must be sung to and EVERY melody must be danced to. We love our little Diva so much we threw out all the stops for her second birthday and ROCKED OUT in her honor.
I tried to make her invitation look like a magazine cover. Mike snapped this shot in Lake Powell and it captures Summy's rock star attitude PERFECTLY!
 For her party Summy wanted pink hair and the boys wanted green. I recently put a purple stripe in my hair so I figured they could have colored hair too. We had a good time getting everyone decked out. Everett always wants to play in my makeup so I let him wear eyeliner for the party. I think he looks like a member of Green Day. Not many three-year old boys get to wear MAC graph black. Ha ha ha.

 Guests arrived and were directed to the "PINK CARPET". I know it should be red but red didn't go with the theme of the party. Yes, I AM that OCD. lol Anyway, I put up a several tabloid pics as well as advertisements with pictures of SUMMER, the celebrity. They were so much fun to make that I could have made 100 more!
Who's ready to party? I love that she is all dolled up yet playing in the dirt! Is there any question she is my daughter?
 The colors for the party were pink, black and silver so the cake had to follow suit. I must say, I finally kicked fondants butt! We have had a love/hate relationship for a couple of years but now I think we have come to a compromise: I promise not to throw it against the wall if it promises not to be too sticky or break apart when I roll it onto the cake.
The girls enjoyed playing FREEZE DANCE more than the boys. That is probably why Zoe and Oakley won. I wish we'd gotten pictures of the first game. I called it "POP THE PAPARAZZI". We blew up a bunch of balloons and drew cameras on them. Since everyone at the party was a celebrity they got to POP the PAPARAZZI. They had a blast!
 Before we cut the cake the kids all got to make their own cupcake microphones. It was MESSY but oh so FUN!
Summy wasn't all that into blowing out the candles. She just wanted to eat the cake. Everett even blew out the candles for her.
I have never seen so much PINK as when Summy opened gifts! Pink dress ups, pink backpack, pink shoes, pink boxes, pink bags, pink tissue paper, and one Buzz Light Year (Whew!)

We always have such a great turnout for our parties and it makes me grateful we have so many people who truly care about us and our little family. No wonder Summer thinks she is a Rock Star! She is always being showered with love and attention. :)
Every celebrity went home with a SWAG BAG just like they do at the Academy Awards and other celeb. shin digs. Only I doubt Angelina goes home with Pop Rocks and George Clooney only WISHES he had a guitar shaped bubble necklace. Everyone even got an autographed picture of SUMMER. I am sure they will be worth a lot of money one day. ;)
 I LOVE THIS GIRL! Even when I catch her playing with her new Princess Vanity in the middle of the night. Although she is only two she is our family glue. We are all drawn to her sweet, calm disposition. Only she could get me to wear a princess crown and pretend to be Ariel. She is everything girl, but at the same time as rough and tough as any boy. I often worry that as the third child she is missing out on attention or learning experiences. In reality, it's just the opposite!!! Her brothers have taught her far more than I. In fact just today she pointed out an octagon to Mike. We were both flabbergasted! As sweet and small as she is I see immense strength in my little Diva. I know she has a great future ahead of her and look forward to seeing her reach her full potential.
What were we laughing about Jame? It looks like it was really hilarious and I can't remember.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Celebrating the 24th with BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS.

Our holiday began with an amazing run through the canyon (the SWEAT part) and then a refreshing dip at a pool somewhere in Utah County with the Burtons. You know how you tell your kids over and over NOT to run by the pool? Well now you all have a visual to go along with your future lectures. THIS is what happens!!!!!!!!!
Yep. Everett busted h is head WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE open and had to get staples (the BLOOD part). There are two things you should know about Ev: 1. He is the toughest little dude you will ever meet and 2. He loooooooves the ladies. He cried for about a minute and then he just flirted with the cute life guards as they tried to triage the situation. LOL They fell in love with him (and how could they not?). 
Only Ev would CHEER about being in the ER and getting stapled. 
Insticare is almost always a nightmare but being that it was a holiday made it even more chaotic! I tried to get Ev to hold still and look like he was in pain so we could look more urgent but, instead I chased him around the waiting room with a towel so he didn't drip blood everywhere. 
We were finally able to see the Dr. and Ev was able to get stapled up. I thought he would scream as the scrubbed it, shot a needle into it and then stapled it but he was just bugged by how loud it was. Then all he did was ask where his popcicle was. I love this guy.

After the staples, he asked if he could go back to the pool. The Doc gave the go ahead so we went back and he made sure to tell EVERYONE not to run!!!! His cute lifeguard ladies were so happy to see him and you'd better believe he soaked up every drop of their attention. Silly boy. 
We have made it a tradition over the last few years to attend the Butlerville Days festivities in Cottonwood Heights. It is sort of a hidden gem in the valley. It is never overly crowded, there are activities for everyone, the food is tasty, the fireworks are amazing and the entertainment is.....well....pretty bad. Can't be perfect at everything right? 
Any event with cars is a hit with our boys.
A yoo-tah girl, a yoo-tah girl is she. 
We always try to meet up with Mike's fam and some friends to enjoy the amazeballs fireworks! (That's for you Lizy.) I still dream about living on the beach, but I am grateful to call Utah home. I can ski/board in the winter, hike and off-road in the spring, water ski all summer, camp in the fall.....For a girl who loves the outdoors, Utah is a pretty amazing place to live. 
After the fireball fiasco at the Stadium of Fire, I am happy to say noone was harmed during the show. Trace had to be talked down from the verge of a panic attack (the TEARS part) and then he sat back and enjoyed the show. I think it helped that Grandma and Grandpa always bring yummy treats. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The bombs bursting in air.......LITERALLY!!!

As much as I adore Halloween I look forward to Independence Day more than any other holiday. No chick flick can bring this girl to tears, but show me a flag or share a story about a military officer, or watch me read a historical novel and I sure come darn close. Chills all over!!! I am so in love with this country and for what it stands! I am grateful for all that was done to create this amazing nation. I know that God planned for the United States of America to be a blessed nation and has protected us along the way.
The Burtons slept over the night before the 4th so we could go to the Murray parade. What ended up happening was Charity and I went out until 11:00, stayed up till about 3:00 and slept through most of the parade. Troy and Mike should get an award for taking the little darlings all by themselves. :)
I never did ask Mike how Summy got these beads........
Red, White and Blue MAC style.
This year Mike's parents were FABULOUS and took us all to Stadium of Fire. It was a night of fireworks, Carrie Underwood, music, dancing and almost getting set on fire (more on that later!) One of my favorite moments of the night was when EVERYBODY stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance in unison. "Under God" included! Talk about chills. It was especially enjoyable because Trace and Everett know the pledge and sounded so patriotic. Summy pretended she knew it too. I get choked up every time I see this picture. I am so pleased my children have been born as United States citizens.
At one point all of the Eagle scouts in the crowd were asked to stand. I am proud to say I am married to one honorable Eagle scout! I have definitely gleaned from his knowledge and experience over the years. The fireworks went off with a bang and I mean a BANG!!! Fireballs shot into the crowd and I swatted one away from Tracy. I also had to pat out a small ember on my leg! A poor little girl in the section next to us had her hair start on fire and ended up losing a big chunk. :( Tracy was traumatized by the event and yelled, "I almost got shot!!!" Summer, on the other hand clapped and yelled "yay!" Ev was unscathed by the experience. This pic was taken MOMENTS before the blitzkrieg! Okay that is a little dramatic but Tracy was an emotional wreck! He doesn't even want to do fireworks on the 24th. He is also even MORE anti-BYU and blames the whole experience on the cougars. Though I am a Ute through and through I felt I had to defend them. All in all it was a fantastic evening!

It's an off-roading kind of Birthday for Tracy!

So, in years past we have done a race car party, a monster truck party......this year Trace wanted an off-road party. I came up with all these plans for a Baja 1000 themed shindig but Trace opted for a Moab theme instead. Fortunately we had gone to Moab recently so I had a few ideas fresh in my head.
On the invitations I had mentioned we were "going to Moab" and must apologize to all those who thought we were REALLY going to Moab for the party. LOL I thought having the address for the ward pavilion was clear enough. I wish we could have gone too.
Tracy's party was a day after we came home from Powell so I decided to not have the party at our house knowing it would be covered in boating/camping gear. Having it at the church worked out perfectly because we laid out a "slickrock" bike trail in the parking lot and had the kids bring their bikes and scooters. Easiest party game EVER!!! The kids had such a great time we had to BEG them to come eat cake.
I thought it would be fun to have the kids paint their own petroglyphs but it was SOOOOOO windy only a few kids got to try it. Most of their pictures blew off the table-AS DID THE PAINT! Ha ha. At least it was washable paint.
Pinatas are so fun we have them at most of our parties. I was grateful I had a hot handyman to rig up the pinata creatively when there was nowhere to put it.Tracy's cake was super easy this year. It incorporated all of our favorite aspects of Moab: off-roading trails, hieroglyphics, and Delicate Arch. The wind kept blowing over my motorcycle man which left me quite displeased. :(
SPOILER ALERT:Cutest nephew ever!!!!
Is he not simply adorable? Tracy has been telling people he has a new little brother. It has raised a few questions but I would be happy to claim him as my own.
We celebrated with family at a separate party and the cake turned out much better second time around-HOORAY!
Unfortunately for Trace, on his ACTUAL birthday he PUKED all morning! Poor guy. He kept saying, "This is the worst birthday EVER!" He felt better as the day went on and even went swimming.
I cannot believe I have been a mother for six years. I enjoy Tracy's insight daily. Whether it's , "Mom, judges are principals for grownups" or "Legos are broken toys we put together", or "Wow mom, it's amazing you are still alive after 30 years".....I could have a blog solely based on his "wisdom". Look out kindergarten, here comes Tracy! I am just glad I will be one hall over so I can sneak a peek once in a while. I couldn't ask for more in an eldest son. Love you Trace!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lake Powell...because one good campout deserves another.

No matter where I travel or by what I am awed, Lake Powell always leaves me the most breathless! Something about the red rock makes me happy. The warm water allows cold water wimps like me to ski all day. The clear night skies allow me to see millions of beautiful stars. The sandstone arches and formations make me wonder about the landscape's geological history (Geek alert!). I could go on and on and on.....
Lake Powell has always been a special place for Mike and me. It was where Mike told me he first loved me. Never mind my response was, "No you don't!" In my defense, we had only been dating for about two weeks. Besides about a month later we were engaged anyway. LOL
We haven't made it down since having kids so we were excited to introduce them to the wonder of Powell this year. We were also excited our awesome friends, the Elletts, were able to join us. We are even more excited they are still friends with us after Everett puked all over the boat and gave everyone the stomach flu. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!
The trip wouldn't have been the same without Mike's dad joining us. If you were to look up "Grandfather" in the dictionary and add a ton of awesomeness you would have Ted Bollinger. He is the coolest Grandfather a kid could ask for and by far the best FIL I could ask for. He was a trooper for putting up with SIX little ones. They all flocked to him and there was one point he had them all out on a tube and us parents thought about ditching them just to get a break. We opted not to, but the kids were all calling him Grandpa by the end of the trip. :)
Just chillin' on the boat. It is baffling just how much STUFF five adults and six kids can accumulate! It was a tight squeeze till we found our camping spot. We always have a good time with the Elletts. Our kids are about the same ages and we all LOVE the outdoors.
They have three ADORABLE girls so Summy was in heaven. Ev was in heaven too. He followed Kiera around and kept telling me he was going to marry her. Lil stud. As the oldest in the group, Trace took it upon himself to order everyone around. He's lucky he got little opposition. Except when he tried to boss Mommy around. THAT didn't fly.

Last time we were at RAINBOW BRIDGE the trail had washed away and we couldn't get very close. I was happy we were able to hike right up to it this time around. Even Summy made the journey albeit mostly on Daddy's shoulders. Trace was ecstatic when the ranger showed us a Dilapasaurus footprint and I was ecstatic when they sprayed us with their water bottles. It was scorching hot!
We found a great little campsite where a short hike lead to a pond of tadpoles. I ADORE frogs so I got really excited about them. Trace is my little science buddy so he got excited too. I am so glad we can be nerds together. :)
Who doesn't love roasting marshmallows by a good ole campfire? We were lucky to be entertained by Everett as he told heart stopping ghost stories in his sweet little voice. We also had an appearance by Brett Michaels........wait.......oh it's just me! Ha ha ha.

I found this little gem on the boat and simply HAD to ski in it. It was too tight, itchy, smelled funny, had only one collar and was TOTALLY uncomfortable. Still, I paid my respects to the 70's and sported it it while boarding until it took my breath away. No I am serious! I couldn't breathe and had to get out of this thing.
The skiing was FANTASTIC!!! I have never wake boarded so close to the canyon walls! I didn't realize just how close we all got until we watched the video later. We skied hard and CRASHED even harder at times. Still worth it. :)
The best darn flagger this side of Bullfrog! Summy loved her life jacket so much we had to force her to take it OFF!!! We also had to PRY the flag out of her hands when nobody was actually in the water.
Well Powell, once again you have mystified me and made me long for the next time I get to enjoy your warm waters, your sandy beaches, your beautiful scenery.............sigh. Till next year.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A camping we will go.........

I have to say some of our fondest memories are from our camping trips. We kicked of summer this year with an adventure which took us to Green River, Goblin Valley and Moab. We were very excited Bubba and Tiffany were able to join us.
The first place we checked out was Goblin Valley. None of us had ever been there so it was a visual treat for us all! It is true what they say about GV, it really DOES look like another planet! It was a ginormous playground for all of us as we climbed over the "goblins" and shared what we thought they looked like. Some were more G-rated than others. ;) I also think this is where Summy gave Tiffany the name, "Tinky", by which she has been called ever since.

We even had a Sasquatch sighting!
Oh wait! It's just Everett.
The next stop on our outdoor adventure was Little Wild Horse Canyon. We hiked through deep canyons with sandstone walls that were spectacular! I even made time for some yoga. lol
I am blown away by the beauty found in our state. I am often so wrapped up in the business of life I take for granted the fact I am surrounded by beauty in all directions. And there has always been something about the desert that makes me happy. Perhaps it is because I think I am cold-blooded. Seriously, I am ALWAYS cold and am perfectly content in triple digit heat!

Back at the campsite the fun continued. I cannot tell you how grateful I am Summy likes the outdoors. However I am even more grateful for her ability to maintain feminine grace while covered in dirt from head to toe. She carried this truck around calling it her "truck purse".
Everett is our anxious helper. Whether it's laundry or setting up the tent, he is willing to lend a hand and smiles the whole time. :) He has his daddy's contagious smile and his sweet little voice brightens all our days.
And finally Tracy, our car guy. From the time he was a tiny little dude he has had a love of all things with wheels. Mike made this dune buggy when he was younger and now Trace takes it everywhere to test it's "off-road abilities". He is growing up way to fast but I am so darn proud of him!
Since marrying into the Bollinger family I have learned they are never far from technology. Even in a TENT!
Camping is definitely one of my favorite past-times. I hope Summy continues to enjoy camping as well. I was always jealous of the Boy Scout's camping trips and hated the so-called "camping" in Young Women's. No offense! I foresee some rugged adventures for my daughter and me in the future. I foresee some shopping trips thrown in too. ;) We must stay well rounded right?
Our adventure continued with a stop at Tuscher Tunnel.
Then we were off to............MOAB! And I am happy to announce that my Disco came home with neither body damage nor we didn't get stuck in a rushing river bed! I call that success. And one more day of happy marriage. JK
We spent our final day exploring Green River. We went to a geyser, unsuccessfully searched for dinosaur bones, got a flat tire, and discovered a beautiful sandy beach.