Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Break in St George

 This year we spent the week of Spring Break in St George.  Derek's brother and his family flew in from New Jersey and met us in St George, and we had quite the week together! 

On Monday we spent most of the day at Snow Canyon.  We did a few hikes and let the kids climb all over the rocks (petrified sand dunes).

 Ethan was a major trooper and carried Chase all over the place when Chase refused to go in the baby carrier we had brought. 

 We all really enjoyed the hikes and the scenery, but when we got back (we had rented a condo together) the kids were ready for the pool! 

 That evening we enjoyed a wonderful late Easter dinner together, prepared by Derek's mom.  The condo had plenty of room for all of us to sit and eat, it was perfect for our needs.

The next day was our day at Zion National Park.  We decided to do the Emerald Pools trail first, and Buzz and Susan even went up to the lower pool area with us. 

At the middle pool the kids hiked around a bit, and found a cave that we hadn't seen before.  Chase had finally fallen asleep in the baby carrier, so Jill and I decided to go to the upper pool ahead of everyone else since it was taking me much longer while toting around a sleeping toddler. 

The upper pools were spectacular, as always, but it was much more crowded than normal.  That didn't stop the kids from wading around in the water and playing in the sand though.

 We enjoyed lunch at the Zion Lodge and relaxed a bit.  Our second and final hike of the day was the River Walk trail.

 It was really fun seeing how much fun the kids were having being together.
 On Wednesday we went on a Safari Jeep ride.  I didn't really know what this would entail, and it ended up completely different than what I had expected. 

I found a youtube video that looks really similar to what we did:

It was CRAZY, but the kids loved it!

We had 2 vehicles rented, this army truck, and a dune buggy.  Only 3 people fit in the dune buggy, and everyone else went in the army truck.  The ride was CRAZY!  We went up trails that felt like we were going straight up the mountain, and climbed enormous rocks.  In one section the tires were spinning on the rocks and it really felt like we were going to roll over backwards in the truck.  At that moment I wasn't too sure that I'd be enjoying the rest of the ride, but thankfully the driver was very careful on the vertical drops we took on the way down, and we made it back safely.  (Although it didn't help my confidence in our driver when he would look back to answer questions and didn't look at the road for what seemed like a VERY long time!)

 I have to admit that the views at the top were awesome, we had a great view of St George and all the surrounding cities. 

 Thursday was our last day together.  Mark and Jill and kids had to head back after lunch, but Derek and Mark took the kids (they did leave Chase) and went back to Snow Canyon to do one last hike. 

 They said it was the best hike they'd done at Snow Canyon, sounds like they had a lot of fun!

We stayed in the condo one more night and enjoyed the pool again, even though it had cooled off quite a bit. 
Friday morning we headed to Las Vegas.  Derek had a business lunch scheduled, so we dropped him off and headed to the outlet mall.  The kids both ended up getting shoes at the Vans outlet, so I guess it was a successful trip.  After Derek's lunch we picked him up and headed to our hotel. 
 We let the kids do some games at Circus Circus, enjoyed a buffet, and saw some of the few kid friendly stops on the strip.  The Bellagio Fountains:
 The Eiffel Tower:
 And we also saw the volcano erupt at The Mirage. 
The next day we headed back up to St George and had lunch with Derek's parents before heading home. 
The traffic on the freeway came to a complete stop and we ended up deciding to take a little detour which ended up taking a lot longer than we had anticipated.  This was our view during that part of our trip:
We hadn't seen snow like this all winter! We were trying to get back to I-15 through one of the canyons and had to turn around because we didn't have chains for the van. Thanksfully we were able to get the next highway that got us back to the Interstate and we finally made it home.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Design Center

I still need to do a blog post about our Spring Break trip to St George, but that will take quite a while, and I don't have time to do it quite yet.

The Monday after we got back into town we had our appointment at the Design Center. To pick out basically EVERYTHING for the new house we're building in Saratoga Springs.

I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had a little apprehension about not being able to pick things that went well together, and being overwhelmed with all the choices we had to make. It ended up being a lot easier than I had thought, and the designer that worked with us helped us to pick things that were really cohesive and worked well together. He also helped us to decide on those things were really wise to upgrade, and those things that we could easily change out ourselves, or could wait until later.

The design center was quite large. But not everything was available to us, since not every builder offers the exact same options. Here's just a small sample of what the design center had to offer:

There were also several kitchen and bathroom showrooms, flooring, wood (fireplace and staircase) options, it was endless. We even had to decide where we wanted our electric outlets, cable outlets, phone jacks, etc.  Wish we could have thought about those a little more before we had to make a final decision!

We had been told to schedule 4-6 hours for our appointment, but our builder had just barely switched over to this design center and things didn't go quite as smoothly as normal. We ended up being there for EIGHT HOURS! Thank goodness for my mom who watched Chase all day. In the end we were really happy with everything that we picked, even though we ended up a little higher than we were hoping since we HAD to have several of the upgrades. Here are a few of the choices that we made, hopefully we'll still love them when they're actually in the house!

I'm so excited to see the final product. I just wish I didn't have to wait so long!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Where did my baby go?!

Chase turned 2 today.
How in the world did that happen?

We had a little family party for him today. I think he enjoyed all of the attention. Here he is ready to blow out the candle:

"I did it, yay!" (Actually Ethan did it, but Chase didn't notice.)

He wouldn't eat the pizza (he is SO hard to feed, he just won't eat sometimes), but he definitely enjoyed the cake.

And he had fun opening presents.

Char and Andrew gave him this book of colors and he was going through naming all the colors. But he doesn't call the colors by their real name, he calls them by the name of the Wiggle who wears that color. It is SO funny! So for red he says "Murray," yellow is "Greg," blue is "Anthony," and purple is "Jeff."

Julia and Daphne enjoyed builing a "temple" with Chase's new blocks.

And Chase enjoyed his new elephant book too, since he's still in love with "ehmoots."

We love you little Chase!!

PS So we sold our house and have to be out by the middle of May. We have decided to build a house in Saratoga Springs, and will live with my parents for the summer until our house is done.