Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Harper has been taking a Smart Start Soccer class this summer. She has loved it! She is also, thanks to some good sports genes on her daddy's end, really good at it. I can't wait to watch her play on a team next spring.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Summary of June

June was good to us... 
We had our first ride of the summer (it was amazing).
We also met Papa Dave's grey Colt (he's adorable).
Harper finished up ballet for the year (stay tuned for the official pics).
Harper had her dance recital (she was adorable and now wants to be on the stage, by herself, with a microphone, so that she can sing and dance and everyone can watch just her).
We made some cute Father's Day ties in preschool (I stole the idea from Rachel Zoe's instagram).
We spoiled Colt for Father's Day (because he deserved it, of course).
We had a great time at Miss Utah week (we always do!).
One of our girls placed in the top ten (go Mallory, aka Miss Panoramaland!).
Harper started swimming lessons (she loves them).
I fell in love with Lena Dunham and her show Girls (seriously, I'm OBSESSED).
Hazel napped and begged for treats (looking as ridiculously cute and grinchy as ever).
Whitney and I planted a garden (I treat it like a newborn baby).
We hiked many times (it was awesome).
We celebrated Cash's birthday (he is the cutest nephew/cousin ever).
And I decided to audition for a choir this fall (because I miss singing).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday Night Hike Club: The Salt Lake Overlook

Last Friday, we finished up our work day and headed up Millcreek Canyon to do a little hiking. We were pretty done for after a long week, and Harper was with us, so we didn't want to do anything too difficult. We decided to go to the Salt Lake Overlook. Roundtrip, the hike was about 3.5 miles. It wasn't too steep or rocky and there was a lot of shade and a nice mountain breeze to keep us cool. Basically, it was perfect- just what we needed to end a crazy and tiring week.

I think the thing I like most about hiking is that all of my favorite people (well, almost all of them) like it, too, and even more so, they like doing it together. I'm really glad to share this little hobby with Colt, Harper, and Whitney (and this time around, Julie).

Hiking up Millcreek is a really great experience. It's so green, the trails are soft and relatively easy, and the air is crisp and cool- it almost makes you believe you're not in Utah anymore, like you drove up the canyon and wound up in Oregon or something. It's refreshing and I really love it.

Harps insisted on bringing Julie. At first, I was against the idea because I didn't think Harper would be into carrying her for more than a few minutes. She actually surprised me by holding her or letting her ride on her shoulders for a lot of the hike. 

When she wasn't with Harper, Julie hitched a ride in one of our backpacks. Luckily, she's light. I don't enjoy having any unnecessary weight in my pack (I'm a wussypants, there's no doubt about it). Colt, on the other hand, is always trying to add weight to his backpack (that's how he gets in shape for hunting season).

Whit and Harper found a little lizard at the top of the trail and Colt did his best to catch it so that they could have a closer look. The little guy was too quick, though, and got away before Colt could grab him.

I am quite proud of Harper. She is a much better hiker than I would have ever been at her age. She doesn't complain or whine. She welcomes the experience and takes in everything she can and talks our ears off while she does it.

The lighting wasn't optimal so you can't really tell from these photos but the views from the top of the trail were stunning. This overlook would be the perfect place to watch a sunset.

Harper wanted to collect some leaves for leaf rubs. We did them last fall in preschool and she really got into the whole process. I love that Harper is so interested in art and creating. It's something about her that didn't come from either Colt or me. It's just her thing and, having grown up as a pianist and singer in a house with the two least musical people on the planet, I can appreciate that.

Now we just need to choose a place for this week's hike. Suggestions?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Four and a Half

We wanted to give our moms and grandmas updated photos for Mother's Day so we booked a session with Ryan from In a Trance Photography

We did the photos by my in-laws' house. They live on the most quaint private lane in Cottonwood Heights (Harper actually thinks they live in a magical forest). There are trees all over and lots of little whimsical spots, making it the perfect location for photos. We actually had our engagement photos done there in the winter of 2010. The lane is beautiful during every season but it is especially so during springtime when everything is green and wildflowers are in bloom. 

I love the photos that Ryan took. I feel like he really captured the adorable little Harper that we all know and love. My favorite thing about them is that none of the smiles or poses seem forced. She looks happy and comfortable in all of the images, and the all of the smiles are natural and genuine. Ryan is a talented photographer and is a pleasure to work with. You can check out more of his work or get info on booking a session by visiting his Facebook page

The last two are my personal favorites. Her smile lights up my life and I am completely in love with each and every one of those adorable little freckles. 

I really can't believe that we are nearing Harper's fifth birthday (we have booked a magician for her party and she is so excited). Five just seems so old. Harper hasn't been a baby for a long time but I feel like when she reaches the big five, her babyhood will really and truly be over (like maybe she will start riding her bike without training wheels and stop thinking that grandma lives in a magical forest kind of over). It will be the end of an era for us and while I am excited to see what being a big kid will bring for Harper, I sure would like time to slow down for the next few months. There will be plenty of time for Harper to test her five year old wings. For now, this mama bird needs her baby snug in the nest for just a little while longer.

I can't say enough how glad I am that Harper missed the deadline for 2014 Kindergarten by being born in October. I am really looking forward to having her at home for another year. Being her first teacher has been a joy that I will never forget. Her mind and her creativity amaze me on a daily basis. I am blown away by how quickly she picks up on new things. I have loved watching her learn and change this past year and am looking forward to our second year of preschool together.

What I really love is that, even though she is coming on the big FIVE, she is still the same Harper that she has always been. She is still my silly and stubborn little lady that loves to snuggle, play, and create. She has always been equal parts sweet and sassy and I hope that she always will be.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Friday Night Hike Club

A few weeks ago, Colt, Whitney, Chase (Whit's brother), and I hiked Lake Blanche. It was a Friday night and so I jokingly added the hashtag fridaynighthikeclub to our photos. We hiked again the following Friday, which made it seem like we were almost a real club. After hiking a third Friday, we decided to just make it official and become The Friday Night Hike Club.

Nerdy? Maybe. Most likely, actually. I'm not too  worried about it. I just love that I have a group of people around that would rather spend Friday night climbing mountains instead of getting fancied up and going out. Don't get me wrong. I love going out. I just usually find myself too tired to think about heels or anything involving much effort once Friday night comes. Our weekdays are busy and exhausting and there is no better way for me to reset after a crazy week than with a hike.

Lake Blanche is probably my favorite hike ever, even if it is kind of a bitch to get to. Doing it in the springtime while there was still quite a lot of snow was fun. My goal is to do it at least two more times this year.

Our second hike of the year was to the Bell Canyon Waterfall. Harper joined us for this one and was a champ! She hiked two pretty steep miles up to the waterfall without one complaint. She definitely earned the pink Camelback that she's been wishing for. 

Last Friday, we hiked to The Living Room, which is above Red Butte. I'd never done this one before. I liked it a lot. The views on the way up and at the top were amazing! It is set up sort of like a real living room. There are rock chairs for people to sit on as they enjoy the view or listen to a Red Butte concert. It's pretty cool.

I love living in a place with so many beautiful hikes, views, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains. I can't imagine home being anywhere else (we all know I'd have a hard time living without the Salt Lake County Library system anyway) and am glad that my Colty feels the same way. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I've got a pretty good lineup of books for the next little while. I'm so excited about all of them. The only problem is that I don't know what to choose first. The copy of The Monuments Men (by Robert Edsel) that I have from the library is due soon and I can't renew it because it's requested for someone else so I might just start with that. Have any of you read it?

Right now, I'm finishing up I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I decided to read it again in honor of the passing of Maya Angelou. Have you guys read it? If not, you should. 

With Harper:
Harper and I are about half way through The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. She is liking it and is catching on rather well considering the maturity level of the story. I don't know that we will move through the rest of the series right now. We will have plenty of time for that later, once Harper is a little older. 

I am thinking of trying out the Ivy and Bean series with her next. I haven't read it. Have any of you? If so, how are they? Are they entertaining? How is the vocabulary? I don't really want anything that has storybook vocabulary in it. Harper (and every other kid I know) is too smart for anything that has been dumbed down. She deserves a well written book that challenges her a bit. 

I would love any other suggestions that you parents and teachers out there may have for novels to read with Harper.

Oh, one more thing...

My cousin,  Amy Harmon, who is a USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author, just released a new book. It's called Infinity + One. I'm planning on reading it tonight. You should read it, too (just pretend you are in the Diligent Joy book club). Check it out here. Come back and let me know what you think and, if you have time, leave her a review on Amazon. I know that she personally reads every single review that is left for her books, which is pretty cool, if you ask me.