Monday, June 13, 2011

Battle Creek Falls

A few weeks ago in May, spring briefly made an appearance. We decided to make the most of the nicer weather and take a short hike/walk (that we had previously trekked two years ago) to Battle Creek Falls.

It was significant for a number of reasons, but especially because this was the first trip where Oliver walked on his own instead of being carried. He even carried his own backpack like his sister--all at once awesome (because he can do it himself without our help) and terrible (because he can do it himself without our help... mothers know what I mean).

So now for the obligatory pictures.

Oliver carrying his backpack.

Don't they just look adorable?

I even made it, and Evan didn't have to hold my hand(!) although I did have to stand in the water to get close enough for this shot. Walking in dust with wet shoes = gross.

Lena accidentally dropped her apple and it rolled down the hill into the water. I picked it up and returned it only to find Oliver had 'accidentally' dropped his, too, and then Lena 'accidentally' followed suit. They thought it was hilarious. This is me telling them off... I love how they are just laughing at me.

This is Oliver drawing in the dirt a la Toothless/Night Fury in "How to Train Your Dragon" (Mummy, look! I am Toothless-the-dragon! I'm drawing in the dirt!). Below is a clip from YouTube with the corresponding scene, and here is a link to a slightly more legal but not animated synopsis of the clip Ollie was enacting. (Slightly off-topic... that movie is awesome, and our whole family loves it. That particular scene is magical and makes me want a pet dragon. Also, I think it rivals Disney's ability to tug at heartstrings. End tangent.)

My favourite picture of the day.

And these are some of the other pictures I took, one of which I used for the Project 52.

The end.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Paris Anyone?

Want to win a trip to Paris for two? Yeah, me too.

Although I realize my statistical chances of winning are diminished if I share the giveaway link with you, I am willing to gamble my extra entry on the fact that the few and limited readers of this blog won't be inclined to enter. I mean, I am doing it because I am nice. (Probably a bad gamble...)

So here's to nothing!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Week 19-22/52

Week 19/52
Theme: Window Light

Well, to start things off I need to break my own rule per the last post on "jaunty angles". What can I say? Rules are made to be broken. However, I will add that I personally don't feel like I have to keel over sideways to view this pictures properly. But maybe that it just me being defensive.

Anyway. Window Light. I knew for this theme that I would have to find a different way to use window light. We live on the third floor and the windows are very nicely shielded from rain and snow by an overhanging roof. But unfortunately it blocks a significant amount of light too. We also have massive trees blocking the bedroom windows, and they are covered in very pretty, but light obscuring, leaves right now. So, not much indoor window light to speak of. Apart from a dinky kitchen window that gets the brunt of afternoon sun. I did actually take some pictures of an interesting flower using that window light, but everyone submitted flowers. So I went with this. This is an office building near our place of residence that has floor to ceiling window sections. I liked the modern, urban vibe. And the dirty windows, because dirty windows are much more fun to photograph than clean ones.

Week 20/52
Theme: Spring Fever

I am jealous of places that actually experience spring in all of it's glory over an extended period of time. Here in the desert spring is 2-3 weeks of whacked out weather, during which blossoms appear haphazardly and then disappear after a week from snow, high winds, or fluctuating temperatures. And then, *boom*, it's summer. Blah. I miss spring. But, there is nothing quite like grass growing, and hay fever, to remind you that summer is on the way pretty soon.

(BTW, have I mentioned that I love Lensbabies? Because... I do.)

Week 21/52
Theme: Need for Speed

I confess: I didn't actually take this picture in the week 21 time frame that was appointed by the Project 52 people. But Evan and I were busy in Arizona looking for dwellings. And it was close enough, so it counts. Right?

You may need to click on the picture to see that it is, in fact, an ant. My challenge to myself was to narrowly focus and to see if I was quick enough to catch these little creatures. Most of the time I wasn't. They are fast little buggers. (Ha!) I have lots of rear-end ant shots. And see that sliver of focused space? It is about the length of an ant, which is practically nothing. But I did it. Once. Yay me.

Week 22/52
Theme: Reflection

Oh boy. Did I mention that we were in Arizona last week? Yeah. We drove from Utah to San Diego to drop off our children with the grandparents. Then we drove out to Phoenix, and were stunned at how absolutely boring the drive through the desert is. Even more boring than driving on I-15 to California, if that is even possible. Then we looked at houses in 100F heat. Houses that had no airconditioning turned on since they are vacant. Then we drove back to CA. Evan then drove back to Utah by himself (with the dog), and I stayed in San Diego with the kids and drove back to Utah with my MIL a few days later. We pulled off the road in Barstow for a kids toilet break and when we came back the front tire was destroyed. Completely flat. Like, should-have-exploded-on-the-freeway flat. We were driving on the rim. 30 minutes, one car repair shop, and one spare tire later we were back on the road backtracking to Victorville to the nearest Costco to get another spare tire just in case. Then we had to head to St. George. Arrived in St. George at about 1:30am and checked into the hotel only to find that they hadn't given us a wheelchair accessible room. Moved to another hotel where we checked into a room that was accessible, but then we found out it it only had one bed, for MIL, me and two toddlers. Not going to happen. (By now it was about 2:30) Back down to the front desk where we demanded that they find us yet another room that was handicap accesible but that had two beds as we requested. The only room was a two bedroom suite. Oh well--their problem. In the mean time, Lena came up with Marriott's new ad campaign slogan... Rooms that are beautiful and beautiful, with beds that are so creamy, and fluffy.

And toddlers are bed-hogs.

We finished up the drive later that day. But with all of the sitting in a passenger seat I had lots of time to reflect on the desert. And to look out the window. And the side mirrors provided a slightly alternative view. The convex mirror was about as interesting as it got. But I did enjoy driving through farm country in Utah. I love the end of May and early June in Utah because it is not quite hot enough to be hellish, not cold enough to be miserable, the mountain tops still look pretty with snow, but the rest is green and vibrant and alive. This time of year makes it worth living here. And as a side note, one day I want to own a farm, in the way that wine chateaus own vineyards but leave the working of the vines to the serfs. Why? Because it is a romantic idea that would make Marx turn in his grave. The end.