Friday, June 30, 2017

Lucy's Birthday!

We've pretty much been celebrating Lucy's birthday all week, and with her party on Saturday, we aren't going to stop until it's over! On Monday, we drove down to Spanish Fork to look at a car for Ryan's brother, since they are in the market, and so we stopped at a little milkshake diner and got some ice creams.

We rarely drive as far south as Spanish Fork, so we took our time looking at the scenery and enjoying the nice weather. We made our way to Salem and stopped at a pond to harrass watch people fishing nearby. 

Once the girls had thrown an adequate amount of rocks into the water and scared all the fish away from the fishing bait, we herded them back towards the car, where they ran around and rolled down the hill.

Norah was especially loving rolling down the hill. 

It was a perfect evening, and we went to bed ready for Lucy's birthday the next morning. 
Ryan woke up early to go to the gym and then stopped by the store to get donuts and sausages (per Lucy's request) for breakfast. 
He woke me, Norah, and Jane, and we got ready to go in and sing to the birthday girl! Her reaction was so funny.

Norah was SO excited it was Lucy's birthday and tried so desperately to convince Lucy to ask for a trip to Kangaroo Zoo. I think we'll have to do that for Norah's birthday.

Lucy was thrilled at getting a warm cup of milk and a donut for her "pre" breakfast. By the time Ryan finished making sausages, eggs, and french toast, everyone was over the idea. oh well.

Ryan worked from home for the day, so I took the girls to Moyle Park to visit some friends from our ward who dress up and give tours and tell the story of their grandfather. As a teenager, I used to go with one of these same families every week during the summer to This Is The Place Park and dress as a pioneer to volunteer and give tours/direct activities. It is still one of my favorite memories and it makes me want to start up the tradition with my own girls. 

We dipped candles first and Norah was good about telling Lucy where to go after each dunk.

Don't be fooled by the look on their faces, they actually really enjoyed it! haha. 
There were some dress up pioneer clothes, so I dolled them up and then promptly sent them to churn butter. ;)

Lucy looks especially cute (and grown up!) in this photo as she patiently watches Norah take her turn.

Norah really wanted to go try walking on the stilts, but I was helping Jane eat some lunch, so I told her to go and I would watch. She was nervous and so Lucy held her hand and they walked together. :)

Everyone gathered round to try the butter on bread.

After their fascination with washing the clothes, I decided I'm going to pull out my two galvanized tubs and set up our very own little washing station in our back yard! haha

Proof that Jane was with us. She mostly walked around or clung to me, but she loved playing peek-a-boo behind this fence. 

I had to rip the girls away from the laundry station and head back home, dusty, dirty, and hot. They loved it and we want to go back again!

After nap time, we all headed out for an early dinner to Lucy's Pizzeria, of course.

They had these little coloring "pizza pans" for kids and Norah went right to work. We called it her centipede pig. She's getting to be quite the artist, and I'm always impressed with her work!

We took a long drive and ended up at a little snow cone shack!

We finally ended the day by stopping at the dollar store for Lucy to pick out some toys for her upcoming party. I pointed her toward the water gear and they loved squirting each other until it was time for bed.

Jane wasn't quite as amused.

It was a fairly typical day, but Lucy had such a good time, and we sang "Happy Birthday" whenever she requested it. Now we just need to finalize the last few preparations for her party tomorrow, where we will have lots of friends and family members come to celebrate and love on our sweet THREE year old! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Under The Sea Mermaid Shoot!

Though I've started doing more lifestyle photos of my girls, I think I'll always have a special place in my heart for cheesy themed photo shoots. After doing Jane's and Norah's birthday parties back to back, I was more than happy to take a little break from party planning. But now that it has been 6+ months, I've been excited for another one, especially since we are doing a mermaid party! I wanted to make some little mermaid skirts for the girls, but I had never worked with performance fabric before so it was really a process of  trial and error (and help from Facebook friends😉) before getting them together. It was so fun though and now I want to make something else! I wanted a beach little headband to top it off, but was feeling the time crunch of getting photos done so I could send invites within a reasonable time frame. 

So on Friday evening, I scouted out a pretty pond, rushed home to make dinner and simultaneously hot glue the headbands together so we could take pictures before it was too late and past bedtime. Ryan was sick, which meant I would be taking pictures by a pond...past bedtime...yeah, it crossed my mind that it was a bad idea, but I really didn't want to go early morning before the light was too harsh, and I really wanted to get it done soon. So I hyped it all up with Norah and Lucy and had them practice their "Ariel smiles". 

"Lucy, when I say, 'show me your sweet Ariel smile,' what are you going to do?"
*smiles perfectly*

I thought we were set and they would be perfect angels. 

We pulled up to the pond, which was completely deserted just 2 hours earlier, to a crowd of 20+ people getting ready for an extended family photo shoot. But they were off to the side of where I wanted to take pictures, so I tried to get everything out and rush over before anyone snagged it. 
But I had a trunk full of stuff, and a stroller, and a camera, and 3 toddler to strap in the stroller. So when 2 trucks screeched to a stop right behind me, and 4 shirtless, cigarette-in-one-hand-fishing-pole-in-the-other men sauntered out directly toward the rocks I intended to use, I wasn't exactly in the right position to go shoo them away. So I mumbled under my breath and really considered going to my less than ideal back up spot or come back in the morning. But I figured I went to all this trouble already and there just had to be another spot that would do. 

By this time the large family group was starting to migrate in the same direction I planned to go .5 seconds earlier, so I zoomed over and started speed walking in front of them to have first dibs on whatever spot I liked best. Haha so classy, I know. 

I found a little sandy, beachy spot and started getting Lucy dressed into her skirt. And in case you are wondering, all that prep talk about smiling sweetly like Ariel? Yeah, she didn't care one bit. Normally I can trick them into at least looking my way, but she turned on her selective hearing and didn't even flinch when I tried all volume levels of calling her name. She kept yelling and groaning at me and saying things like, "you're bothering me! Leave me alone! I hate you!"  

Since I was trying to get them home for bed time, I was feeling the pressure of getting everything quickly, which is why I was adamant about her cooperating.

After a few minutes, I got her to cooperate a little bit, but she was still really mad at me for even trying to take pictures and she just wanted to throw rocks and keep her back pointed to the camera at all times. 

So I stripped her back down to her regular clothes and belted her in the stroller and shoved on back to the car, so mad that it didn't go the way I envisioned and sad I didn't have time or patience to get all 3 together. Then, as we trekked back to the van, I saw that the men had left to another spot to fish and the rocks were open I barreled over there before someone else could steal it again, and got all three girls dressed. By this time, you better believe I was a sweaty, scary mess. Norah even had little beads of sweat on the tip of her nose, it was so hot. 

A few days prior to this, when I had finished Jane's skirt, I tried it on her and she did NOT want anything to do with it. She just cried whenever I pulled it out. But by golly, I hadn't gone to all that trouble of learning to sew it for her not to wear it after all. So I was nervous that she would throw another fit when I pulled it out, but she was so calm and actually hadn't made a peep the entire time. She didn't even bat her eyelashes when I slipped it on her. Phew.  even when she completely face planted it while trying to walk in her skirt, she went right back to playing. 

I was exhausted and it was already past their bed time by 30 minutes, so I brought up the possibility of chocolate chips, and that seemed to work a little. I had them jump around and hold hands, and they were happy to do it, but ended up popping a couple seams in their skirts. So I guess it's a good thing we did a test run so I could fix it before the actual party. 

I said it was time to go, and was putting my camera back in it's bag, when Lucy tried to take Norah for a stroller ride, straight toward the pond. I jumped up and caught it right before plummeting into the rocks, and possible into the water. 

My skin was melting off by now, so we plowed back to the car and I stripped them all down, too tired to put their regular clothes back on for the car ride home. 

They each got a single chocolate chip and a quick bath, then I plopped in bed and vowed to never do something like this again...until I saw the pictures. I was really surprised that I loved so many! These ones are my favorites, but I have whole file full of others. :)