Sunday, December 28, 2008

5k with Sara

My Sara and I ran the Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving Day 5k. She's a marathon runner, so I know it wasn't much of an accomplishment for her, but I was so glad I did it. It was SO nice to get out there in the brisk air and get some exercise to justify the pie we know we'd be eating later that day!
She shamed me just a bit because she had a baby two months before. I'd NEVER attempt to run a 5k that soon after having a baby, but it's pretty safe to say she's tougher than.

Sara, thanks for getting me out there. Love you!
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Sadie and Ann

The day before Thanksgiving I was able to meet up with two of my dear friends that I've known since I was 15. Ann and Sadie both live out of state and I treasure time I get with them. We have the kind of friendship where I may not see them for years at a time, but when we're back together we fall right back in with each other; laughing, and offering me supportive advice, and passing our plates around to each other to taste all the yummy seafood!

We met at a restaurant for lunch where Ann gave me these and another pair of adorable earrings she made. (pictured below)
Sadie's sweet hubby, Sean joined us too. I'm glad he did. It's so nice to see them together and how happy they seem to be.
Check out the cute earrings we're all wearing!

Thank you, thank you, Sadie and Ann for making time for me!
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Sunday, November 30, 2008


I thought I should hurry and post my Halloween pics before December officially starts. Check the post date, it's still November for 4 1/2 more hours.

My kiddos wore a few different costumes over the 2 days of Halloween events because they just couldn't decide which one they liked best.

The pilot and pirate. This is what they wore at Nanos school while watching the parade. I'm diggin' the kids' mustaches, but the poor Black Pearl has seen better days...

Nanos and his best friend in their class. They are so freaking cute.

On our way to the church for indoor trick-or-treating. The kids love this because they know most of the people, and they hit the sugar-coma jack pot in less than an hour. Honestly, they walked away with several pounds of candy each.

Jojy looks so cute as Elvis!!!! He loved wearing it too. Even though he has no idea who Elvis is, he proudly declared it when asked. I also taught him to tell people "Thank yuh, thank yuh veruh much"- surprisingly he actually said it a lot and soaked up the laughter and attention. Not usually his thing, so it was even more fun for me to watch.

Bear as a "Wild Thing". Very appropriately dressed. ;-)

The baby "King Max" and his Daddy. Sure the baby is adorable and all, but look at Jeff- swoon! He is so handsome!

My niece as Minnie Mouse. Awwww. I especially love the cartoony shoes! I wish I'd gotten better pictures of her.

My nephews as Mario and Luigi. Why do I think mustaches on kids are so HI-larious? And yes, my mother made every costume you see here. She's pretty awesome.

These two pics were after our outdoor trick-or-treating with Jeff's family. I just love this costume, this is my third child to wear it because I love it so much!

We still have a ridiculous amount of candy left. I'm ready to throw it away. Thankfully the kids are good about it and haven't throw one fit about me mixing everyone's candy together or restricting it's consumption. Whew. My kids are awesome.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home made Apple Pie...mmmmm

Clearly, I've dropped the ball on blogging our trip. I'm going to take my friend's advice and create a web album, it will be MUCH easier and faster for people to view if they're interested. Moving on....

The other day after school Bear asked if we could make an apple pie. Um, I NEVER bake pies, but sure, let's give it the old college try.... er, whatever. Here are the results.

I prefer a peach, or berry, or chocolatey cream pie normally, but this turned out pretty dang good. Go us!!!
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Monday, November 3, 2008

The Food

When we decided to go to the Piazza Novana for dinner we had no idea we'd be attacked by restaurant managers as we passed their displayed menus. We got good at walking away after the first few, but then there seemed to be an all out battle between two of the managers. Looking back, it was kind of funny how the one guy kept talking trash about the other, but honestly it was stressful. And then after we'd made our decision, the other manager kept giving us the stink eye. Whatever dude, you lost, take it like a man.

The food was good. Amy Waldron was right, everything tasted good, everything was beautiful. However, my absolute most favorite thing I ate was bruschetta (I got corrected on my pronunciation of this word "brew-sketta"). I LOVED this more than anything. I had a few different kinds, and all of them were exquisite. There isn't any in these pictures because it was always quickly devoured.

The were two other foods I loved. #1- The tomatoes. NO WONDER these people have so many foods based around tomatoes. If they tasted like this in the U.S., I'd eat them at every meal too! For those of you that know me, or even read this blog, you'll know that I have some issues with tomatoes, so you may understand how good these would have to be when you hear me say that I ate a tomato like an apple. It's true. I did. Even I was surprised.

#2-Gelato. MMMMMMM. So good. We ate this stuff every day. No joke. There was a gelateria at every corner! We never had to walk more than a block to satisfy a gelato craving. These people take their ice cream very seriously.

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I'm not sure why, but I just couldn't get over the image of this beggar woman. She had small religious cards you could take in exchange for your donation, and when I gave her some change and took her photo up close she smiled sheepishly. Her face was scared and her jaw and teeth appeared painfully crooked, but her eyes were so sweet and kind that I just kept thinking how beautiful and honest she seemed. I can't say that for a lot of the people that were begging. She was somehow unique- she fascinates me. How old is she? Is she married? Where is her husband or children? Where does she get those cards? Why does she have to beg? I'm actually very frustrated that I didn't get a better photograph.

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Another history lesson...

This is the Pantheon. It was originally built in 31 bc, and then destroyed in a fire in 80 ad. The current building was rebuilt in 125 a.d. as a temple to all the pagan gods. In 609 a.d Emperor Phocas gave the building to the pope who then converted it to a Catholic Church. It is still being used as a church to this day. It is the oldest and best preserved building in Rome.

Just like all the amazing Roman sites, it sits among restaurants and buildings in the center of the city.

In Rome we also visited the Basilica Di San Pietro In Vincoli (Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains). We wandered the streets looking for a church until a nun pointed out that it was right behind us. It wasn't labeled and it didn't look like any other churches from the outside, but I was taken aback as I stepped into this surprisingly vast building. This church is special because it houses a shrine which displays the actual chains that held the Apostle (or saint) Peter before his execution in Rome. It's other unique possession, which is the reason we actually wanted to find it, is the impressive sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Colosseum

I was surprised that many of the famous historical sites are not set atop a grassy hill like I imagined, but rather are squeezed in among the busy city streets and apartment buildings. They are part of the background of everyday life. My first view of the Colosseum was from inside an insanely swerving taxi. We came screeching around a busy corner and there it was towering above us. It honestly made me gasp, and then the taxi driver paused from his phone call and looked up from the planner balanced on his knee to tell us what we were looking at. Amazing.

The facade of the Colosseum is pocked with holes. A guide explained that this structure was once covered with marble, and decorated inside with columns and statues, but all those things were ransacked and removed hundreds of years ago to be used in other buildings and upperclass homes, leaving it permanently scarred.

What you are looking at in this photo is what is left of the Colosseum. This building was built in 4 years by 40,000 slaves and was completed in 80 a.d. It once seated around 50,000 spectators and has been estimated to have housed the public deaths of somewhere between 500,000 and 750,000 gladiators, criminals and slaves. I always thought that these events took place on a dirt floor, however they actually constructed tunnels and cells below a wooden floor (which has been partially reconstructed to show were it was).

Too much information? Sorry if it is, I was just so excited to learn all this stuff!
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Italy, October 2008

For all those of you that have asked: Italy was perfect. Each thing I saw and experienced seemed to outdo the last. My close friends and family know that I'm a fascinated by history and I love museums- what place could be better??? There were times that I was so overwhelmed by an ancient site or breathtaking art that it brought tears to my eyes. I know that may seem nerdy, but I don't care. My sweet mother and father in law were a delight to be with. I love the way Jeff's dad plans trips: non-stop-see-it-all.

We started in Rome, got to Florence in the middle, and ended with Venice. On top of that, we hit about a dozen or more quaint towns in between. The towns and countryside of Tuscany were gorgeous, no wonder so many movies are made there.

I took about 700 photos. Wanna see 'em all? Hahaha. I'll post a few photos of each of the best things we saw and did in the next few posts.

For me, this was a dream come true.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary to us!

Jeff and I have been married for 10 YEARS! (Yes these are photos from our trip, and I love them!)

I am still smitten by my husband. I even think he looks adorable walking away from me.

Ah, Venice- Wedded bliss.

We took this photo on a cliff top town overlooking the Mediterranean, called Vernazza. We were at the highest peak on the ruins of a castle at sunset. It's one of the most romantic places I have ever been. I'm so glad we found a spot to set up the timer on the camera and get a smoochy shot.

There are a MILLION things I could say about how wonderful my husband is. We are perfectly suited for each other and I'm so blessed to be so happily married to him.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One more day!

Today is my last day to get everything ready for our trip. I'm losing my mind trying to think of everything I need to get done for Jeff and I AND our four kids. Jeff and I are packing light and I think we have everything, but the children are much more complicated because I have to pack them for our 12 day absence and arrange for them to go back and forth between FOUR different caretakers. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Okay, so wish me luck! I won't be back on here for a while! Arrivederci!

(A shout out to my brother, Rick, who took these photos in Italy when he went a year ago.)

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So many choices...

We pulled out the Halloween costumes the other day in an attempt to decide what to be for Halloween. We got no where, but it was really fun.

Bear and Jojy both liked Cap'n Crunch...

Gabey and Bear are the perfect ages to fit in to "Max the King of All Wild Things" and a "Wild Thing"

I fear the police officer costume held little appeal this year... too bad, cause it's one of my favorites.

Jojy tried on the bat, but was less than enchanted, so we lent it to his "twin" cousin that's the same age who I hear LOVES it. Good.

Bearbear loved the Jack Sparrow costume. I think he may use it. However, the full size Black Pearl that my mother and brother constructed to be worn with this costume, might drown him. I think we'll skip that part.

Jojy wore this last year and still loves it. I think I'm ready for him to move on and use some of the other billion costumes we have that are frankly, much cooler.

Gabey Baby actually loved wearing the costumes and even left the hats on. WEIRD. Is he the cutest little werewolf you ever did see????

Fortunately for Nanos he almost always gets a new costume every year of his choosing. Unfortunately for Nanos, being the oldest means no costumes from previous years actually fit him. Except for this awesome Indiana Jones costume (he didn't want me to take this picture of him trying it on with a green shirt and jeans instead of a white shirt and khakis- pretend for his sake please), which he still likes.

This isn't even all of them! Elvis, a Pilot, The Phantom of the Opera, The Planter's Peanut, etc, aren't even on here. If anyone wants to borrow a costume, just ask... :-)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Full weekend

This weekend was exhausting! I'd much rather spend my entire weekend bumming around and sleeping in, but that never happens. Even if I don't have plans my kids are all "Mommy, I want breakfast", blah, blah, blah- what's with kids and needing to eat? Lame.

First off I took the kids with me to my In-law's house for a big day of cooking freezer dinners. While the women slaved in the kitchen, the men went to do some home improvement construction at Jeff's sisters house. It was totally fun and exhausting, but I left with 10 dinners for my freezer, so it was worth it. A BIG thanks to Susan for organizing the whole thing.

That night, although I felt like I'd rather die than stand up ever again, Jeff and I went to see his sister, Elizabeth, in the musical Nunsense. She played Sister Robert Ann and she was fantastic. The show was so funny. Not only was she in the play, but she was the musical director as well. She's a busy woman. Yay Liz!!!

After church on Sunday we jumped in the car and drove to Price to see Sara's new baby. Awwwww! Sheryl came with her family and we brought dinner along as well. It was so nice to hang out in her new huge house and take turns snuggling the baby.

We crawled into the house, threw the kids in bed and felt like we wanted to slip into a coma. What is it about long drives or plane rides that are so draining?

We survived the weekend and actually had a lot of fun.
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