Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Favorites

I have not blogged in a while--you will find out why at the end of the post. So, I thought I would get back into the groove with a few of my current favorite things.

Fountain drinks.
Don't judge me. I know Diet Pepsi is bad for me, and sometimes I try to cut back, but I am addicted. I keep a stack of cups in the car--you know, because if I am going to consume this crap I figure the least I can do is help out Mother Earth and recycle.

I realized how much of an addict I am when we were in New York and I was scoping out Times Square for a gas station--any place with fountain drinks. They were hard to find. Apparently people prefer bottled water and Starbucks.

Little Bee.
Just read this book on our trip to New York. It was a great read. It tackles tough issues like immigration and global industrialization and life in Africa. It is a sad book and I loved it.

Iron Man 1.
My parents borrowed our copy of Iron Man and it made me think to watch it again. So, I put it in while I was doing the drudgery of my life, aka: laundry. Um, hello! I forgot how much I liked that movie. (Robert Downey Jr. ain't so bad either.)

It also helped me decide that, no, the kids won't be allowed to see it. They have been asking to see Iron Man 2--because they market these adult movies to kids. That is a "no" as well. Sorry kids.

(This is starting to feel more like a confession than a list of my favorites.)

Five Guys.
I have written before about my love/hate relationship with red meat. I will go several weeks or months without eating it and then suddenly all I want to eat is a hamburger. But, it has to be a good one. My favorite lately is at Five Guys. I have taken Jessica there twice in the last three weeks--as much as I like the burger, I can't eat the whole thing, so we share one. It is evil and I am just happy it is far from our house.

Our new iMac.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday Craziness

Saturday is crazy day. It's the day we spend running around and watching games at the ball field.

Yesterday we had three games at the same time. Mike coached the first half of Andrew and Bev's soccer game. Andrew didn't play soccer. He was playing flag football on an adjacent field. Mike coached the second half of football. Halfway through the games, Christian ran to his soccer game. At one point I stood on a little hill between the three fields and I could see all three of them.

Bev is in the distance playing goalie.

Christian is in the distance warming up for his soccer game.

Andrew is over there playing flag football.
Then, because we hadn't had enough chaos, we went to Costco. Christian loves the "examples" he gets to sample. We hadn't been in a while, so our carts were full. Andrew, our worry-wart, future financial analyst, checked the receipt and declared that it costs a lot to raise kids.
As I was cleaning out and organizing the pantry and fridge, Mike did yard work and the kids decided they should play in the mud from the field.
I heard them squealing in the backyard as Mike was spraying them off.
I am glad they have Mike, because I would have told them "no" on the mud fight. It's just that I view the work involved for me in their fun. I get to clean that mud out of their clothes and hair and ears and toenails.

It was worth the work. They had a blast.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

have to share

My bro-in-law Doug posted this in a comment and I received it from two other friends. It combines two topics I have blogged about lately--the love I feel for my van and rap music, yo!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New York City Trip, Part 2

I was excited to come home. I missed the kids. But now, I miss New York.

One of my favorite places was Ground Zero. There was not a lot to see because the site of the Twin Towers is all fenced in. They are working on the memorial.

This is Freedom Tower. It will be 1776 feet high.

This picture was taken at the 9-11 Museum. It shows what the World Trade Center will look like when reconstruction is complete.
Where the Twin Towers were will be two huge pools/infinity fountains. The other buildings will be built around them.

On Saturday, the annual AIDS walk took place. It was in Central Park and I didn't get a great picture of it, but I could not believe how many people were there. It was really cool seeing that many people out for a cause--I am a sucker for a good political or social protest.

I could have spent an entire day in Harlem--and also in Greenwich Village. Maybe next trip.

We took a water taxi ride out to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The last day of the trip we went to Central Park and then did the observation deck and the Empire State Building. The view was amazing. After visiting Seattle and now the Empire State Building, I want to watch Sleepless in Seattle.

Other fun adventures from our trip:
Seeing Wicked.
Eating in Little Italy.

Shopping--American Girl Store, FAO Schwartz, Anthropologie. We got the kids some fun surprises.
Riding the subway. Maybe it was because I was stuffed up, but I didn't smell urine once.
I am now readjusting to real life. I miss Mike. I got used to spending all day with him. I also got used to walking all day and eating yummy food.
I have now had to reaquaint myself with my vaccum cleaner and broom and washing machine. I am back to homework and carpool and baths and bedtime.
Going on vacation is great, but it's always nice to come home. Home to open spaces and fresh air and occasional quiet. But most of all, it's nice to come home to my rascals.

Monday, May 17, 2010

New York City Trip, Part 1

I am still hooked on that song--mostly the song part, but I must admit that I am a fan of the rap part too. There is some rap that I appreciate--you know, the "high class rap" that lacks foul language and cop-killing, women-hating messages. I really think most of us (whether we admit it or not) love Ice Ice Baby and Bust a Move. I will leave my essay on rap for another day.

Mike's annual work trip was to NYC this year. It was a great time. I had been before, but this was Mike's first visit.

We stayed in Times Square. This is the view from our room.

Times Square is quite the place. The "Naked Cowboy" was there, singing his heart out for tips. There were two guys with signs that read, "Free Hugs." There was a beggar that advertised on his sign that donations went to fund his "booze and pot."

However, there were not nearly the freaks there that used to be. The New York clean-up has worked.
We did a few bus tours because there is more to see than can possibly be seen in a few days. This is a shot of Times Square from the bus.

The billboards are HUGE. This was a most beautiful one for Target.

Friday night, we went to a Yankee's Game. The new stadium is amazing.

We watched the game from the suite and ate yummy food. Oh, and they played that Jay-Z/Alicia Keys video at the beginning of the game.

I started feeling sick before we left. The plane ride there was miserable, but Tylenol and Advil got me through the days. I crashed pretty hard at night. Mike got me throat medicine and some Diet Pepsi and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and that helped my recovery.

We could not have done the trip without our parents. Mike's parents took the kids for the first part and mine took them the last part. We are so lucky to have them. So are the kids.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Well, our Jazz are done for this season. Mike and I realized that we will have to get the next season of 24 on DVD because soon there will be no more Jazz games, Survivor, Biggest Loser and Modern Family (my favorite.) I have to have something to watch while doing laundry and exercising in the torture chamber and vegging after the kids are in bed.

Back to our dear Jazz.

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Jones, Mike and the kids get the chance to go to the games. Mike and Andrew went Saturday night (what a heartbreaker!) and Bev went with Aunt Karen tonight. Jessi has no interest in attending. When asked if she wanted to go, she responded that she would rather go to Cafe Rio with Mom. Christian also recently announced that instead of Jazz games, he wanted to go fishing on his dates with Dad. Andrew and Bev, however, love going.

They always go see Grandma at the game, and then they get a treat. They come home with loud clappers and face tatoos. They also come home with fun stories of drunk fans, old crazy guys on Trax and a replay of the half-time show.

Fun stories...and some pretty great memories.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Minivan Love

We just returned from our first (and longest) road trip of the year. We drove to Seattle to visit my sister Melanie and her family. It was a great trip. Being in the car for the 14-hour drive, I got to thinking about our van.

As the kids get older, I seem to spend more and more time in the van, In fact, sometimes I feel like I spend more time in the van than I do at home. Stay-at-home mom--ya right!

For as much as I love the van, we never really named her. (At one point Christian decided to start calling her "The Tank," but that didn't really stick.)

But, love her I do!

When I got pregnant with Christian we got to thinking about getting a van. Andrew was four and Bev was two. I loved our Explorer, but going from two children to three was going to make car seats a challenge. I don't know why, but I was hesitant to get a van. I think it had something to do with accepting the fact that I was becoming one of them. You know, one in the force of minivan-driving Mormon moms.

We bought it new in August 2003 from Karl Malone Toyota. I immediately loved it--the automatic sliding passenger side door, the DVD player, cup holders galore, a big bucket trunk area that fit everything including a monstrous double stroller.

My love for this vehicle has not waned. As the kids get bigger, it is nice to have all of that space. We love all of the plugs for charging various electronic devices. I love that I can run a day of errands (including Costco) and fit it all of the purchases in the back. I love that I can fit all of the kids, their stuff, and even a few friends and not feel squished. I love that it is paid off.

We have some great memories associated with the van.

We brought Christian home from the hospital in the van. We brought Jessi home from the airport in the van. We have had some great times going places. We have had some great conversations in the van (and only a few fights.)

I have memories of Delores and Roberta in my van that first year. Of trips to Social Security, doctors appointments and the Bishop's storehouse.

Nowadays, she and I frequent the school, Costco, Harmons and Target. You can also find us parked at the Rec Center, tumbing, karate, the soccer field. We also frequent Rio and 7-Eleven.

She is not the cleanest vehicle around. On an average day, you will find pretzel crumbs under the carseats, plant soil in the trunk and lots of half-empty water bottles in the cup holders.

She now has 90,000 miles. She has taken us on many roadtrips--Seattle (three times now,) Moab, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Fish Lake (almost every year,) Yellowstone, San Diego.

She has taken us on camping trips, fishing, to the Uintah's and up the canyon for hikes and picnics.

She has taken many carpools, gotten us to many a soccer game, many doctor's appointments and many, many errands.

She has taken me and my friends to dinner and consignment shopping and to Smart Cookie.

She was in an accident about a year after we got her. Mike had Katie, Courney and Tyler in the car with him and Andrew and Bev when somebody ran a red light on Redwood Road and hit them. Andrew was five and as they were waiting for the police to come he exclaimed, "Everyone get in your seatbelts or they'll take Dad to jail." (They were in their seatbelts when they were hit.) The van was repaired and worked as good as new.

She has been puked in, peed in (Hey Randy, remember that trip to Seattle?) and has experienced more spills than I can remember.

We have had very few repairs/issues with her. She is a low-maintenance sort of gal.

I think back to my resisting her introduction into my life, and I think what a silly younger me I was. I now have plans to drive her forever (at least until all the kids are out of the house and I get me a red convertible Mustang.) If I had to get a new car right now, I would buy her all over again.

Here's to many more years with my precious travel companion!