Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The MoMA

Last weekend was glorious.  No big plans were made, but things just fell into place nicely and we stayed occupied with some fun events.
On Friday I went with a friend to the Museum of Modern Art.  She had a pass, so I was able to get in with her without waiting in the line that was out the door, and I didn't have to pay $20.  Passes are only $75 and children are always free.  I am so tempted to get a pass even though we will only be here for the summer.  I think we would use it a lot.
They have a new children's area that was brilliant.  There is a brand new art program where the children use real paintbrushes and they get to paint right on the special computer screen.  They get to pick different brushes on the program, colors, and they can enlarge their canvas.  It's all of the divine highlights of painting, without the mess!  Caroline and her friend, Balthazar, sat and did this quietly forever. 
Can I order one of these right now please!?  For the airplane rides, road trips, and so I can cook dinner?
The docent said it's not out to buy yet, but I will for sure be anxiously waiting.
Olive spent most of her time at the light table where she just stacked all of the different materials there were to touch and explore.  All of the kids loved the watercolor filled blocks.  They stacked them, built houses and enjoyed them on the light table as well.
If you are there during lunchtime, I highly recommend the Cafe 2 on the second level.  They are totally 
kid friendly and have a kids menu.  My tomato, carrot and chickpea soup was also divine.

Outside in the courtyard there is a very soothing sculpture garden and fountains.  There is lots of shade and seating so that you can sit, relax, and enjoy your ice cream cone that you can buy out in the garden.  

I am relaxed just thinking about it again.  You can bet we will go back there.

p.s. if you are planning a trip, it is randomly closed on Tuesdays.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fleet Week

Week 1 has been a total success.  The transition could not have gone smoother which was so pleasing to Adam and I.  Our girls have been sleeping like rockstars, poor things are just probably so exhausted from everything, but they have taken it in stride.  
I have been brought to tears several times this week.  Not because things are hard, not because I was lost, and not because I just stepped in the gutter full of nasty smelling water with my sandal on.  No, it's been because people have been so nice to us!  People have offered to help me get down into the subway so many times.  The first time it was two ladies and they must have thought I needed some medication to help control my emotions.  I tried to thank them through my choked up voice, and they smiled and got what I was trying to say.  I guess I have been sweetly surprised that people in this bustling city take the time out to help someone.  
I have made the trek down the steps into the subway many times with Olive in one arm, our stroller in the other hand, and Caroline following behind.  We do it, but yes it is so nice to have the stroller in someone else's hands and both my girls in mine.

This week was fleet week which is held to honor the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.  Ships from all over the world visit New York Harbor each fleet week.  The Harbor is also where Lady Liberty stands and it was refreshing to see her again.  Seeing the Statue of Liberty is like seeing the monuments in D.C., it never gets old.  The girls and I hung out at Battery Park and enjoyed watching the ships sail past through the water.  They were spraying huge streams of water from a lot of the ships too, which the girls loved.
Here is the U.S.S. New York, with a tiny shot of Lady Liberty on the left.

At the park, they had a little tot zone where there were lots of toys for the children to play with.  It was so nice to be outside and have huge soft blocks, dress-ups, and bouncing toys to play with.  

There was a story time at the end too on the lawn.  The parks here are so cool, and I was worried we would have to search for things to do with kids!
New York has totally proven me wrong in more ways than one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Welcome to New York!

We finished up our time in Slc with a bang.  I am still wondering where 3 weeks went.
Adam and I had a way fun dinner in Park City and I think I enjoyed waiting to eat and playing tic-tac-toe more than my salmon and beignets. :)
The zoo was impressive, Hogel Zoo has really stepped it up!  The tigers were very active all up and digging around and pawing at their toys.  The carousel was a hit with all the kids of course.
Walking on the moon at the planetarium was fun for C, Liam, and Olive.  I love how Liam and Caroline have the exact same expression which was totally not prompted.  Olive is giving a shout out to the astronaut.
And we couldn't get enough of cousin time, here are 5 of the 9 boy cousins.  Mmwah!  We miss you already boys.

We made it and it feels good to be settled again for the second time in 3 weeks!  The travel went without a hitch.  It was worth the l.o.n.g. delay when we traveled to Salt Lake to get this sweet travel day to New York.  On our second leg of the flight, the plane was practically empty.  Adam and I each took one little sweetie pie and took a row each.  They didn't sleep, but they had room to just be, and just being was nice.  I may have even snuck in a little cat nap which was a nice surprise.
Caroline and Olive were a delight to travel with.  Little C brought Whiskers, her little kitty, and made sure she was safe the entire day.  She even buckled Whiskers in with her on the airplane and carried the kitty in her "pouch" whenever she walked somewhere.

Once we arrived in New York we rented a car so that we could get all of our luggage to our place.  Our GPS ran out of battery on our way, but luckily my many times of watching the movie Elf came in handy and we just followed signs to the Lincoln Tunnel.  When Adam asked how I knew how to go that way, I said, "Cause that's what Buddy does.....'and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel'."
It was so nice to have a car because we made two trips to Target to stock up on all of things we could think of that we will need for the next 11 weeks.  It took two trips because Caroline and I went on one trip together while Olive slept at home with Daddy.  The carts were beyond full and I was carrying a big box of diapers in my hand.  It was then time to check out.  It felt good to get all of that done in one day!

The next day was Sunday and we walked along Central Park two and a half miles to get to church.  It was a nice cool day and it was exciting to explore our new city.

Caroline and Olive went on their first subway ride and C couldn't have been more thrilled.  Now she begs to go on it everyday.
(blurry sorry, moving trains aren't conducive to good pics)
Let the exploring continue!  More coming soon...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Dazzling Jewel Party

I should have known that when I took this picture of Caroline when she was 2 and all glitzed up, that one day she may beg for a jewel party.  In a month she turns 4 and has been talking about a jewel party for almost a year.  She has also been praying about it for about a week, "Please bless my jewel party.."
We had the party early so we could celebrate with all of our family before we leave for New York on Saturday.  It is funny that it was a jewel party and she has 9 boy cousins!  They were able to enjoy the sparklies too though.
We kept the menu simple with a jewel cake, ice cream, and pink frosted cupcakes with gems on them.
There was a table set up so guests could get fancy for the event.  Most of the real jewelry came from my wonderful grandmother Gigi.  She has some serious jewels and pulled them off well when she used to wear them!

To help all of the boys get involved we did a treasure/jewel hunt in the backyard.  They loved the gold coins, ring pops, and even the rings that were the booty!
Caroline was overjoyed at the sight of the big gem on the cake.  She hasn't stopped carrying the gem around since the party.
Caroline with another big jewelry lover, Gigi.  Gigi was sad because she forgot to wear her "firecracker" earrings.  We were just so glad she was at the party!!

Jamilyn and Nathan had just rolled into town looking very dapper.  I was so glad that they got into the fancy feeling of the party.

Even some of the guys got into getting glammed up.  
(J please don't hate me for posting this awesome pic :) )
Joyful Olive had an assortment of bangles on all night.  She is following right behind her big sis in the jewel loving department.

I loved being here to have the party with family, they are unbelievable to be around.  Thanks everyone for coming and for frosting yourselves for this very special event!

Monday, May 16, 2011

to sum in up...

Two weeks have already sailed by here in Utah.  The first week was a bit of an adventure filled with lots of airport time and antibiotics.  When we arrived at the airport and got settled at our gate, there was an announcement that the flight would be delayed....SIX hours. Luckily, Adam promptly got on the phone with customer service and rescheduled our flight because by the time we left, others were having to stay overnight in Houston or other cities.  The six hours together in the airport was actually a lot of fun.  We loved being all together all day and it was so nice having Adam with us, so we made the best of it.  We ate an early lunch at Five Guys, which turned out to be a good choice.  They were rockin' to the oldies music and our girls couldn't help but move to the tunes.  Olive bouncing up and down in the highchair, and Caroline with eyes closed and arms striking poses in the air.  They were entertainment for all that were eating their juicy burgers.  We were there for over an hour.  Other fun was found on the moving sidewalks, with the flags from each country and state hanging from the ceiling, and our little girls made friends with about 200 people saying hello to everyone.

So we got to Utah, our luggage didn't, but it did come at 2 am that night.  Then the next day I just felt off.  I figured I was just exhausted from packing and traveling.  Well, a swollen neck and fever later, I was receiving an antibiotic for strep.  Strep is such a beast, it had me down for a week, and we were lucky that everyone else stayed healthy!  (Minus Caroline throwing up all day on Mother's Day :(  )   I attribute some of my recovery to Cafe Rio that we had on Cinco de Mayo.  I knew it was addictive, but I didn't know it had medicinal effects.

A solemn thing that occurred was Adam's sweet Grandma Beckstrom passed away the day before we left D.C.  We were so grateful to be here for the funeral and all of the family events.  Although she passed peacefully and she is not suffering anymore, it's just hard to not long for that incredible, hard working woman to be around us.  It was a funeral filled with inspiring storied to make me want to be more like Great Grandma B and to keep family ties strong.

The next week went much smoother and it's been filled with nephews playing baseball, the zoo, sleepovers with the cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents soaking up the joy that Caroline and Olive bring, old friends and good eats, and lots of sunshine!

me-jenny-hailey (ava)-lauren-gretchen-rachel

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clark and Kate visit!

The week before we left to come to Utah, my brother and his cute wife came out to visit!  We are so glad that they were able to come and celebrate Clark graduating from business school!  The girls couldn't get enough of their fun aunt and uncle.  
If Clark and Kate were ever not around, Caroline would say, "Mom, I just want to play with them every minute."  They are really fun to have around and I was feeling the same way as Caroline.

It was a busy week preparing to pack our home up and with Adam in finals, but we managed to pack in some fun exploring.  They went to Gettysburg on the day that Caroline had her follow-up doctor appointment from her surgery.  
The following day we went to Arlington Cemetery and enjoyed walking around in the warm rain.  Adam had his last final of year two in law school and then we got to sightsee all together!  We had a picnic by the White House and we stayed a very.long.time.  All of us kept commenting on how nice it was to just be.  To just sit in the weather that is so perfect that you can't feel anything on your skin.  It was not too cold, and not too hot.  
Having Adam fully there with NO tests weighing on his shoulders and looming over him was the BEST!  
We are so proud of our daddy and how hard he works and also how much he does for us.

Olive had us laughing until tears were streaming down our faces with all of her silliness.  Clark and Kate especially loved her chin down to her chest and glare up at you face.  I have yet to catch it on camera.
If you want a workout, forget running or yoga, just go to the tidal basin by the Jefferson Memorial and get on a paddle boat.  Our legs were burning trying to get through those white caps.  Ok, so it doesn't look that rough, but it was windy!  We were so happy that we didn't get stuck.
While the girls napped the rest of the gang went to the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and saw the place where the  House and the Senate meet.  We had fun at museums and riding the merry-go-round on the mall.  
When I dropped them off in Old Town, it was so fun to say, "See you next week!"  
We can't wait for more fun in Utah!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Boy Oh Boy! A Mustache Bash

This baby shower was so much fun to plan.  It was for a dear friend and doors-touching neighbor Miranda.  She is having her second little boy this summer.  I loved getting to help plan it with the creative party planners Brooke and Amy.

Here is most of the gang donning our finest staches.  Turns out it was pretty natural to keep that stache in place.  They just kept finding their way to the place right under our nose.
We did a milk and cookies spread which was very fun to dine on.  Luckily we had some fruit kabobs to help even out the sugar rush!
The clear jugs were perfect for the colorful types of milk.  
Are you drooling over the cookies yet?  Well, if you had tried the homemade oreo cookies you would have for sure.  Gooey, soft, chocolatey, creamy goodness.
We had blocks for baby Eliot that everyone was able to paint little pictures on.  I am so far from an artist, but it was so fun to do these!
"Name that Stache" was a little trickier than we thought, but someone did get them all right.  We had ten different famous staches to guess.  Do you see any you recognize?
We also had people give us a baby picture of themselves or their hubby so we could try to guess everyone.  I love seeing pics of friends when they are little.  Can you find me or my darling Mr. Beckstrom?
Since the mother-of-two-boys-to-be has all of the boy clothes she could ask for, we decided to pamper her with a day to the spa from the group.  Doesn't that sound divine!?
All of the guests left with their stache in hand, some leftover cookies, and a mustache cookie cutter for a favor.