Thursday, December 30, 2010

Roadtrip Part 7: Thanksgiving

I just realized that I have no photos of food on this Thanksgiving post. Food's important, but not the most important thing on Thanksgiving. I'd be happy eating pizza on Thanksgiving if I could be surrounded by friends and family on a four-day weekend. Although I might have to make some stuffing because that's my favorite part of the dinner and the only time I eat it during the year.

Ya, pizza and stuffing. With pumpkin pie for dessert. Talk about a carb overload.


My mom had the tables in the basement decked out beautifully. I love having fancy dinners on pretty dishes with flowers on the table.


The kids had a ball with my grandpa (my mother's dad). He's such a goofball around the kids -- they love being silly with him.

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Of course, the after-dinner lazy spells on the couch. (Actually we were there for a week and I'm not sure what night this was. It could have been any of them.) I don't usually take pictures of my kids' toys, but I was playing with the lens on my sister's new camera.

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There was lots of bundling up, blizzards, snow drifts, and daytime highs of 8. It was fantastic. (More on that later.)

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My parents have this mini pool table that's under a foot tall that the kids liked to play with. I love Carter's face in these pics.


Playing on grandma's bed.


Classic photo. Sophie's wild hair, Ivy without pants (again), and Carter with his finger up his nose. Love it.


I got this for my mom a long time ago and it hangs in her kitchen. So true. Thanks for a great Thanksgiving week mom and dad!

Roadtrip Part 6: Ivy Turns Two

I'm getting a little backed up and have a lot of things to post, so I'm going to cut back on my annoying commentary. I'm sure you won't mind, right? We're getting ready to move to Reno next week, so I'll fill you in on that later.

Back to my backlog...

Ivy turned two on Nov 24, the day before Thanksgiving.

11 - November30

Here is where I would do a little update on her development, interests, skills, etc. Sigh. I'm sorry second child, but I don't think it's going to happen here. (Luckily I've been writing things down in my journal occasionally.)

We weighed and measured her when we got back from our trip. She's 32.5 inches and just shy of 21 lbs. Still a tiny little squirt. And still eats like a champ.

My mom got her a bunch of dress up shoes and a crown. Those, along with the figurines I put on her cake were the favorite toys of the weekend (and perhaps the year. . . they're both still playing with them all the time.)



She wanted a princess cake so I slapped one together using random pans that my mom had and used this Pumpkin Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Brown Sugar Frosting recipe. Twice. As well as a batch of my favorite chocolate cake ever.


I snagged these plastic sparkly princess figurines when we were at Disneyland the week before.

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I think they were more excited about those than the cake.

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Blowing out the candles . . . (luckily I stuck wooden skewers in the towers or those would have blown out as well.)

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Still playing with the princesses while the cake & ice cream remain almost untouched.

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Ivy and Grandma Phillips. . .


Here's my favorite sequence of pictures . . .


First we have Ivy opening a set of little cars. (Yes, girls get cars, too!)


The next gift is a dress and some tights.


C'mon Ivy, get excited. (By the way, she looks adorable in it.)


Once she figures out what it is, she reaches back for the toys.


Not into clothes yet, I see.


She'll come around eventually. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roadtrip Part 5: Vegas

Back to our lovely little roadtrip. . .

Our next stop was Vegas. Steve wanted to check out an office there and our good friends, the Webbs, were nice enough to let us crash at their place for the weekend. We've missed them a lot since they graduated a year ago and moved from our little neighborhood.

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We all picked up right where we left off. Heather and I spent the weekend chatting about everything, and Sophie and Hallie played together like they'd never been separated. Hallie had a box of dress up clothes and Sophie was decked out with a dress, wings, crown, wand, and sparkly shoes at every waking hour we were at their home.

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Ivy and Gavin were older now and played right along with them. I'm pretty sure none of us encourages cross-dressing, but can you blame little Gavin who spent the weekend with three little girls?


We headed out to the strip one evening and found a few things that were free and family-friendly. (Yes, even on the strip.)

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After looking at the lion exhibit at the MGM, we went to the M&M store.


And the Coke store.


Running into Hello Kitty was a highlight.


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After leaving Vegas, we headed to Salt Lake, but got stuck overnight in Beaver, UT, because of weather conditions and freeway closures. Notice there aren't any photos of our stay in Beaver? Ya, that's how memorable it was.

After a brief two-hours at my grandparent's house in Sandy the next day, we decided to go right on up to Idaho. Good thing because there was a nasty blizzard the next day.

To be continued. . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dr. Steve

I'm going to break from our roadtrip report with a couple of big announcements...

1. I would like to introduce you to Steve Perry, D.C.. (And soon-to-be C.C.W.P. - Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner) Steve was done in September (and got his diploma), but graduation ceremonies weren't until December. (They only hold them twice a year.)


The next photos are the reason why I need to take a photography class. Once I'm out of natural light and in strangely lit areas, I'm helpless. I practiced on 5 or 6 people before Steve went across the stage, trying different settings and this is what I ended up with.

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Lovely. Sigh.

Graduation attire kind of fascinates me.


I've always wondered where the robes and funny hats came from. The robe Steve wore reminded me of something from Harry Potter.


Sophie liked the tassel.


Here we are on the day we've been waiting the last seven years for: graduation. We're officially real people! (We're 30 and 31, so it's about time, right?) Yikes. All of the hard work and long hours at school and clinic have paid off. And he even finished with honors.


The Perry clan came out for the big day. (His brother Michael, Amanda, and little Layla on the left, Dad & Mom Perry, our family, and Aunt Kimi on the end. Ivy just woke up, in case you're wondering. I guess the ceremony wasn't entertaining enough.

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Everyone had to have their own pictures. Steve's Uncle Ron and Aunt Kathy also came with Steve's cousin Scott. (bottom right)

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A few of Steve's favorites at the school: Dr. Donaldson (Dean of the Health Center, also LDS) on the top, Dr. Hawkins on the left, and Dr. Hiliker (Steve's clinic faculty advisor) on the right.

I'm really proud of Steve. I love that he found something to pursue that he's passionate about. How many people can say that they truly love their career? Of course, he has lot of work to do ahead as he starts working and eventually opens up his own clinic.

And that brings us to our next announcement. . .

2. We're moving to Reno, Nevada.

Steve got a job with a doc (Dr. Cliff Fisher) who has an upper-cervical (Blair)/full-spine office. We actually stayed at his house one weekend in October so Steve could check out his office. We didn't expect him to offer Steve a job because he wasn't sure if he was ready to take on another associate yet (he already has 4 other docs working for him). But he called us on our way to Vegas last month. And within a few weeks we got the OK.

(Side Note: Steve had to talk to the doctor's business coach after his phone interview with Dr. Fisher, and toward the end of their conversation he told Steve, abruptly, "I don't need to talk to you anymore. I like you." Then the business coach called Dr. Fisher back and told him he'd be an idiot not to hire Steve. I agree. But then again, I'm sort of biased.)

Steve starts mid-January. We're moving out there the weekend of the 8th into yet, another, little apartment (AHHHHH!), but that's only because we're planning on buying a house sometime this spring. We think our move will be longer than the typical year-long associateship, so we're taking the plunge.

I've never felt a burning desire to live in Reno. Ever. But it feels right. I'm excited to move on, but I start crying when I think of all of the dear friends we've made since we've been here. (And some who've left already.) So I don't think about that. Otherwise I'd be crying all the time.

So please don't make me cry until January 8th.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Roadtrip Part 4: Hanging in Anaheim


We found a hotel in Anaheim that was pretty nice and a kitchenette, which we wanted because we stayed there for about a week. They were having a special where you buy a night and get a night free, so we got 6 nights for the price of 3. Not bad. And our little "hacienda" looked like it came straight out of old Mexico. In a good way.

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Steve had appointments set up to meet with doctors all over the LA area. Most days he took the car and we hung out in our little room.

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The girls liked the balcony a lot. We started to get a little batty toward the end, so we found a park to go to one morning that Steve was free.

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It was probably the strangest looking park I've ever been to. It had a massive concrete bridge/pathway that stretched the length of the park. And the outside of the park looked like a gravel pit (only it was solid concrete, not a pile of gravel). We decided it would be the perfect park to play hide and seek in.


After being in LA for a week, we decided that, although the weather is nice, the traffic is horrible and we wouldn't want to have to deal with commuting through it.

11 - November22
Next Stop: Vegas :)

To be continued. . .

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Roadtrip Part 3: Disneyland


Ah, Disneyland. The only place a person would spend over $200 to stand in line most of the day. I have to admit -- I'm not a huge fan of Disneyland. I've only been twice, but both times were at a busy time of year. I'm willing to give it another chance, though, on the off-season. What I really don't understand is why couples go there by themselves without kids? If Steve and I were going somewhere by ourselves, Disneyland wouldn't even make the list. (Unless it was free somehow.)

That being said, we still had a pretty good time. The girls loved it.


This is my favorite photo from the day. And only partially because Steve has a nice-looking tush. To me, this photo says, "Daddy of girls." Ariel was carried all around the park that day and sometimes she got in the way. She fits very nicely in back pockets.

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Our first stop was this princess fantasy-land place where some generic princesses (and princes) taught a bunch of little girls how to curtsy, and dance a little.


And then all of their dreams came true -- the reason why they were excited to come. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White came out.

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They came out on the stage and dance around, did a little maypole thing with all the little girls, then left. I was so excited for the girls!

Sophie suddenly bursts into tears. I couldn't imagine why she would be upset. She says, "I wanted to give Sleeping Beauty a hug!" My heart almost broke for her. Unfortunately Aurora didn't make anymore appearances in the park, but we did get to meet three other favorites . . .

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Ariel was my favorite. She spoke in a high-pitched "princess voice" and was so sweet with the girls. I'm really glad Ariel was there because Sophie had been talking for weeks about wanting to show Ariel her Ariel doll.

Ariel commented on the teacup on Ivy's shirt and told them that she loved going to Minnie's house for tea because she always made her seaweed tea. Because Minnie knows it's her favorite. Where do they come up with this stuff?

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Belle was also really sweet. Jasmine, eh . . . looked like she was trying really hard to have a good time, but you could tell she was having a rough day or something. And she could have shown a little less cleavage, I think.

Oh, and Ivy really acted excited up until she saw the princesses. Then she pulled her poker face while we were snapping pictures. Stinker.


We didn't want to lug a stroller around all day, so the girls often ended up on our shoulders. I like that we're getting past the baby stuff. (And it makes it harder to want to get back into it. . . )


We went to meet the big cheese himself.


At least she didn't cry.

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The girls really wanted to sit in Mickey's car. Oh, and Minnie left soon after we got to her house.

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Ivy decided our next route.

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Taking a break in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle -- starting to get a little loopy and tired.


Mom, trying really hard to love Disneyland.

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Tinkerbell was Ivy's favorite. She pulled her poker face until we asked the girls, "What does Ariel say?" Then they started singing, "ah - Ah - AH, Ah - AH - AH!" When we turned to leave, Ivy walked back over to Tinkerbell with her arms outstretched because she wanted a hug. She didn't do that with anyone else.


What the heck am I doing?

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11 - November21

I finally got some of Ivy smiling while Aunt Kimi was playing wither. I think she was getting sleepy. Because in just a couple of hours she ended up like this. . .


Conked out in front of her burger at the Rainforest Cafe. Poor thing.


She woke up in time to have a bite of "THE VOLCANO". Brownie-ice-cream-caramel-whipped-cream heaven. With a sparkler on top.



The night ended with the lighting of Sleeping Beauty's castle (complete with LED icicle lights) and some fireworks.


(Kind of reminded me of outer space photos.)

To be continued. . .