Monday, December 5, 2016

thanksgiving in independence

Never mind that Thanksgiving was a thousand years ago and we are in full-blown Christmas mode around here--I have to document our great trip to the midwest for Thanksgiving.

André only got Thanksgiving off (new job problems), but that didn't stop Rhett and I from taking a trip to Missouri to see my missionary mom and dad. We loved seeing Nana and Poppy in missionary mode and fell in love with the charm of Kansas City and Independence.
Hallmark's headquarters are in Kansas City, and they have an amazing, free kids art studio full of all kinds of supplies and creativity. Rhett was more into dancing with Poppy, but we definitely snagged lots of art supplies to take home. And found this fun couch!
Fritz's! Rhett was obsessed (so was I). A train-themed restaurant where the food is delivered via ceiling train track and model trains? Yes please!

Making rolls with Nana.
Just the cutest senior missionary couple you'll ever see.
Nana teaches Rhett the beauty of art museums. I teach him the beauty of the pillar lean. 

Art history class throwback.
Independence Visitor's Center groupies. We went a few times and loved it every time.

We stumbled on a room to write letters to Santa at Union Station. Rhett was sad to let his letter go but excited to ask Santa for cool cars. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

just some thoughts

How is Thanksgiving seriously next week? Bring on the stuffing and pie!

It is taking all my energy to not put up Christmas decorations yet. I caved the other day and listened to Christmas music, and I'm slowly wearing Andre down--last night he said I could bring in the Christmas bins. A step in the right direction!

Potty training, man. We finally just went all in and Rhett is rocking it, but there are some days I'd rather not deal with it and just want to put him in diapers again. Constant vigilance!

The weather this fall has been unreal. I'm a little sad I haven't had a chance to wear a coat or scarf yet, but kids in shorts in November is pretty great. Too bad I have a feeling we'll pay for it this winter.

I'm writing this on my phone while Rhett is in story time and I can distinctly hear his laugh through the door. A sign of things to come.

Earnings season finished last week (praises!), so I have my evenings back. But how is it that I'm still scrambling to get everything in?

My new calling in young women's is a major blast from the past. I see teenage me in all these girls and am trying to not to tell too many stories that start "when I was your age..." It's a fine line between being the cool, young leader and still having some authority, you know?

This clock has been a great investment for Rhett's room. He's getting pretty good about not coming out of his room until the clock turns green, which is awesome because naps are now far and few between. 

But seriously, all that is on my mind is Christmas...just get here, already!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

little moments: october

 The fall weather is seriously killing it
Rhett becomes a chess expert whenever he sees a board--"move the horse over there. now the pointy one"
A studious man during general conference
preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch. Rhett didn't understand the concept and kept being amazed that all his school friends were there. 
 It's always a win when we find a lake in Colorado
Starting him young with a love of those terrible, cheesy face cut-outs.
"fashion blogging" after I realized my entire outfit cost a total of $10.
King Rhett on his throne.
Somebody finally got brave enough to ride the penny horse at the grocery store--it was a big day.
Trick or Treat Street.
I caught Rhett watching Sesame Street like this one day...glamor shot
Setting the stage for the attorney oath ceremony. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016


What a fun, action-packed Halloween. Rhett picked his costume for the first time ever (Nick from Zootopia) and was obsessed with it. As soon as he had his ears and tail on, we had to call him Nick. Not everyone knew who he was (one guy called him a businessman?), but the people who got it loved it. Our whole week turned into seeing what crazy things we could get Rhett to do while wearing a fox costume. 
Trick or Treat Street at the Children's Museum. Rhett scored some awesome (healthy?) treats and we even beat the crowds. Definitely remembering this one for next year.

Trick or treating at the outdoor store, as you do. Rhett loved the games in every department and we loved the chocolate.
Our most unique and wonderful Halloween was Andre's attorney oath ceremony--the perfect way to pre-game for trick or treating. It was very official with the state supreme court and then Andre got sworn in and can wear the official pin and then the law school threw a reception and hit us up for, pretty good all around. And now we have an official lawyer in our house!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

a week of fall fun

We are soaking up the season as much as we can! It's crazy that October is almost over.
Last week at story time the kids painted coffee filters, which the librarian turned into hot air balloons on the window--Rhett was so excited to find his masterpiece. 
We finally took advantage of the library's museum pass and took a trip to the Nature and Science Museum--5 kids four and under and two adults is no joke, but the boys had so much fun together. 
Halloween festivities have begun! Rhett was so excited to debut his Nick costume for the mall carnival/trick or treating. Most people knew who he was "that fox from Zootopia", but the old ladies were confused and one guy called him a businessman. You can't win them all, I guess. I still think he's super cute! 
Yearly trip to the pumpkin patch! We snuck it in right before they closed, which ended up being the perfect time to go. Rhett's favorite part was the hay maze--he did it at least five times!
Our fall tradition four years running--crazy we've been in Colorado this long!

Monday, October 17, 2016

temple cultural celebration

Right after we moved to our new ward, I got a phone call from the bishop asking if I wanted to help with the youth cultural celebration for the new Fort Collins temple. Not really knowing the youth or what I was getting myself into, I jumped at the chance.

After months of rehearsals and meetings, things finally came together for the performance on Saturday, and it was amazing! My grass dancers said it was the best performance they had every done, and it showed. I seriously had tears in my eyes the entire time. President Uchtdorf was treated by a rock star (naturally), and was seriously so much energy and a strong spirit in the stadium. We're all still on the cultural celebration high days later.
Final number. The set was a quarter-scale replica of the temple that transformed from a military fort--so cool!
Opening of our Native American dance
and the grass!

For your enjoyment, here is a good view of our dance. Here are highlights from the cultural celebration and dedication, and the whole thing is here

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

book chat v.5

More books! I'm in two book clubs now? (Thanks, Relief Society), which has totally upped my reading game and pushed me to new things. Here are some recent-ish reads.
Funny in Farsi is vignettes and humorous stories from the life of a girl who moved to the U.S. from Iran. A super quick read, and I found myself laughing at her crazy stories (it also helps that I totally see a lot of my Grandpa Balzaretti in her dad). I learned about Iran, I cringed when her adolescent descriptions hit a little too close to home, and I loved it. I'm in the middle of the sequel now, Laughing Without an Accent, and am having a little more trouble getting through it, but it's still good.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gets an automatic review boost because it's set in Seattle (the Where'd You Go, Bernadette? treatment, if you will). Knowing the area definitely helped me love the book more, but I still would have enjoyed it if it had been set somewhere else. The author's imagery is fantastic. The book bounces back and forth between WWII and the 1980s and does a great job at showing what the war was like for people at home. Plus, there's young love. It drags in the middle but overall was great. 
I took Attachments on our cruise way back in May, and it was the perfect ship read. Light, fluffy, not much real content. The entire thing is told through emails, which is usually totally my jam, but I didn't love it that much this time around. It's a good beach read, but not one that I would go back to again. I honestly can't remember much about it a few months later (not even the characters' names), which isn't a good sign in my book. 

Demon in the Freezer, the smallpox book. This will keep you up at night wondering if Russia is getting ready to infect us all with its not-so-secret stash of the disease. It also provoked some great conversation and made me feel really smart. In fact, this week I was interviewing a pharmaceutical start-up man for a freelance gig and I wowed him with my knowledge of smallpox. So thanks, somewhat creepy book. 
I've previously declared my love of The Selection series, but The Heir almost made me take it all back. It's the next generation princess, and she is terrible. As in, completely the worst. Add in a bunch of boys with weird names but no personalities and it makes for a pretty dry book. At least it was easy to read and I could imagine her wearing beautiful dresses? (But yes, I totally did read The One, the sequel to this one, as soon as it came out. Gotta finish the series, you know?)

I'm getting soo close to being first for the library holds of Miss Pergoine and HP and the Cursed Child--both perfect for Halloween! 
What should I put on my list next?
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