Friday, April 30, 2010

Cherry Jubilee

Would you just look at that? Last night Regan came over and we were bored (she was not me, I always have plenty to do). We decided to make a cherry pie, so this is the end result. I made the pie crust and she weaved the lattice top, beautifully, I might add. We are kitchen divas! We enjoyed a warm slice of pie with ice cream after dinner. Yummy!

Flying Feet

This year Kenna decided to run track. She loves running, loves practice and loves running in the meets. She especially loves running in cleats and the first time she did it, she couldn't believe how fast they made her run. She kept saying they made her feel like she could fly. She is a funny girl.

Kenna at her track meet against Sky View High School in Smithfield on Wednesday. Doesn't she look cute in her stunning track uniform. 

She ran the 100 and 200 yard dash. It was a cold and windy day (temps in the hi 30's-low 40's). We were freezing. Her favorite part of the track meet - the cute boy holding the block for her!!! My favorite part was just watching her run. She wasn't the fastest, but I love watching her go.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Showers???

The last two days have been sunny, beautiful and warm. In fact, it was so warm I planted my peas and put out some new strawberry plants. 
Then we got pounded by a snow storm this morning. It was our typical April winter, we get those often around here. We get light snow storms off and on through March and April and sometimes even in May, and we always get one that has lots of water in it making the snow extra heavy. This wet snowstorm usually comes just when the daffodils and tulips are in bloom, weighing them down and breaking off the beautiful blossoms. I'm hoping my tulips, daffodils and bleeding hearts can withstand the snow! So ready to be done with winter! By the way, aren't April showers supposed to be rain not snow?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Busy, Fun Weekend

On Saturday we left Logan and drove up to Arco, Idaho for my nephew, Cade's, missionary farewell. Once we hit Darlington, (the town were I was raised, just north of Arco) we let Kenna practice her driving. We turned off the highway and Kent turned the car over to Kenna. It was about 3 miles of dirt roads to Gma. and Gpa. McAffee's house and not another driver in sight - good for us and Kenna. Kenna is a giggler by nature, and sometimes the more nervous she gets, the more she giggles. We listened to nervous giggling for three miles. She is an excellent driver, cudos to her for doing such a great job, even parking was "no problemo"!

Mom and I Sunday morning. Mom looked so cute in this pretty pink dress she bought for herself a few weeks ago. Pink is definitely her color. Considering what she has been through in the past few months I think she looks simply amazing and beautiful. I hope I inherited those good genes!

Mom and dad just before leaving for Cade's farewell. They may have been a bit exasperated with me for requesting "one more picture" before we left. It is always a race against the clock and they don't like to be rushed. Once they decide it's time to go, it's time to go!

A most handsome missionary. Cade did a great job on his talk. He was the last speaker and all during Sacrament meeting he was kind of "rocking" back and forth in his chair. Kent thought perhaps he was practicing muslim prayer hour. Come to find out, this never-being-able-to-sit-still is classic Cade, according to him mom. We had a laugh over how sweet that is. Lanell will miss that, I am sure. Cade is going to the Cinncinatti, Ohio mission and leaves for the MTC on May 12th. Our love and best wishes to ya, Cade. You will be an outstanding missionary!

Me and the love of my life. Kent has been the best thing I ever did for myself. He is smart, kind-hearted, gentle and most of all funny beyond belief. My life has been one big party since I married him. It has been a sweet ride. 
Cudos to me for making the best decision of my life - WAY TO GO CAROLINE!!!

One last note. The doctor told mom she would be scheduled for a CT scan and blood work next week. If her numbers are where the doctor wants them, he will give her a 12 week vacation from Chemo. Mom needs a break as these chemo treatments are getting more and more difficult for her. She needs time to rebuild her body. Please remember her in your prayers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Last NY Blog - I Promise

The day before I left, Nicki, Ariana and I went to visit another nanny who had invited us and a couple of other nannies over for lunch. April works for a family who lives on 7 acres just outside of Manhattan, the property is lovely with a 100+ year old house. The house was gorgeous and I especially loved the kitchen and the butler's pantry. I loved all the windows that let the light just pour in.

I would love to have this butler's pantry, but then, who wouldn't? Huge windows, tons of light, lots of fun seasonal dished and glasses. Tucked way back in the corner is an old charming sink original to the home. Loved it.

The last  day I was in Dobbs Ferry with Nicki, we made bread. It was quite an undertaking, but it turned out beautifully. I love the aroma of baking bread. We pulled it out of the oven around 2:00 and left for the airport at 2:30. We just barely managed a tasty treat before it was time to go. Ariana loved helping us with the baking and thought it was fun to butter the top of the bread. It was yummy. 

Just looking at it makes my mouth water. Didn't the loaves turn out beautifully!!!

This was a bitter/sweet morning for me. I loved being in the kitchen with Nicki and Ariana, but I knew as soon as it was over I would be heading to the airport, which meant saying good-bye. I had just a few tears before we left, but saying good-bye to Nicki was harder than I thought it would be. Once she dropped me off and left, I was okay. Thankfully, I had other things on my mind (getting through security and getting to my gate). I was sad to be leaving Nicki, who knows when we will see each other again, but at least we have the capability to communicate on a nearly daily basis. It makes the parting easier. Plus, I was excited to get back home to Kent and the kids. Vacations are fun, but it's always nice to come home too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 4 and 5 in the Big Apple

Day 5 - Mary Poppins
I won't even attempt to go through the events of this evening, except to say Nicki did an excellent job driving in Times Square, she was under a lot of stress. The plan was to drive to the city, go to dinner at yet another of her favorite restaurants, then hail a taxi to Times Square. We had the wrong address for dinner and ended up missing our reservation and didn't have enough time to eat anyway, so we just got in the car to drive closer to Times Square. Nicki was very frustrated at this point, as she wanted to show me a really great time in the city (again). The whole parking thing was just crazy. We were in Times Square before we knew it and we were aghast to think the meters were charging us .50/12 minutes. We were too frazzled at that point to figure out it was much cheaper than the $50.00 parking lot we found a few minutes later. It is much better reading it from Nicki's point of view. Click here - it is funny and entertaining. From my point of view, I didn't care that we missed dinner, it would have been nice, but I was just happy to be with Nicki going to Mary Poppins. This is a must-see. I loved it much better than Wicked and even Mama-Mia. (Hard to believe, I know).

Day 4 - Sunday
Sunday was my day to meet everyone in Nicki's ward and all her friends.  So here we go from left to right: McKay, Nicki, Josh (I think, and apologize if I have his name wrong), Stacey, Ethan, Barrett and Alli. This is a fun group of young adults and I love that Nicki has an association with these kids. They were great. 
After meetings we stayed at the church for "munch and mingle" (only in  a singles ward), then went to the Murphy's house for games later. McKay works for Brother Murphy and they were out of town so had asked McKay to house-sit. Having the gang over was an approved activity (I think). We played a couple of games that required fast thinking and it was apparent that my mind was the oldest one there, as I had a hard time keeping up with these young fresh minds. This was a going away party for Ethan (blue tee shirt). Ethan is from Providence and Nicki just happened to run into him in the city one day when she first moved to New York. She knew him from high school. That day he invited her to a party with his friends and also to attend church in this ward. Funny thing is, Nicki was fasting and praying that weekend to find a place to go to church where she felt she could find friends and a good social network (prayer answered!). Ethan has been working as a "manny" out there and now he is on his way to Scotland for a week of fun and frolic, then back to Providence to visit his family, then off to Alaska to work on the docks. He is one cool, adventurous guy.

Ethan is the one who introduced Nicki and McKay (more on that later), hence the sandwich hug. 

This is McKay impressing us with his "man skills" (tearing a paper towel). It is not a man-bra!!!

Day Three - The Big Apple

Got up early Saturday morning (not too early, I am on vacation, after all) and headed to the city. First order of business - brunch at Alice's Teacup (one of Nicki's favorite places). The best eggs benedict I've ever had and yummy rooibos tea to warm our tummies. It was still a bit nippy in NYC.

I have a lot of pictures of me stuffing food into my face on this trip!

Walked to Tiffany's, looked at very pretty diamonds, felt very out of place. Went to Rockefeller Center, ate some more (my favorite, black licorice bridge mix at FAO Schwartz).

Walked around Central Park

Loved the city

Hung out at Times Square (around 5 p.m.)

Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (a very New York thing to do)

Freaked out at the fact that there were only these insufficient looking slats between me and a perilous fall to the water below. This photo is very deceptive. The water looks like it is just a few feet down, but in reality, it was hundreds of feel down - scary, nervous.

Admired the beautiful architecture of this bridge.

Convinced and threatened Nicki she should only sit on this part of the bridge, not STAND on it! (Much traffic and water below, no safety net).

Took the subway (very NY again) back to Grand Central Station, caught a train back to Dobbs Ferry. How can Nicki look so perky - we were exhausted. 
We walked all day and I thought we had covered tons of the city, but when we got home Nicki showed me on a map where we had gone. On a map the size of an 8.5x11, we only covered about the diameter of a quarter. Very big city that is going to require many trips to NY to cover it all! Check out Nicki's very fun version of this day here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Finally, the BIG NYC Trip!

Yipee! I get to blog about my fun trip to New York. After a long day of flights from SLC to LaGuardia, I finally got to see Nicki around 8:30 Wednesday night. (What was I thinking, no photos). Thursday morning we got up and went for a lovely walk in the neighborhood, and what a gorgeous neighborhood. I saw beautiful homes like this

and this (not the best photo, but you get the idea)

and this

and my all-time favorite (at least in this neighborhood) this. I think I loved it because of the somewhat Third Empire French style. Loved this house. All of these homes sit on amazing properties too.

This little beauty is Ariana, the two-year-old Nicki takes care of. At first I thought she was cute, but nothing to get too excited about, but by the end of the week I was in love with her and her cute little ways (uncontrollable wild curly hair and all). No wonder Nicki loves her job. She will be killer-beautiful when she grows up. Her father is Pakistani and her mom is a blonde from Boston - great gene pool, don't you think?

Dinner that night with Kelly and Munir (nicki's employers). They have a professional Pakistani chef that cooks for them and we ate the most amazing yellow lentils (beautiful color, bright yellow - my favorite. Now I get to not only wear and accessorize with it, but eat it too - what could be better). All I can say is we Americans eat yummy, but dull looking food. It is pretty bland too, comparatively speaking. Loved all the food I ate in New York. As far as getting little gifts for everyone here at home, I can buy almost anything here in Utah that I can buy in New York, except for the amazing ethnic food. That is the one thing I would have loved to bring home to my fam. I wish I would have taken more/any pictures of the food.

Day Two - Friday
Another gorgeous walk through another part of the neighborhood and more beautiful homes. We got home and showered/dressed and it was time to pick Ariana up from pre-school. After lunch she went down for a nap and we were able to have some girl-time shopping at Woodbury Commons, the biggest outlet mall I have ever seen. I found a cute dress and handbag at the Liz Clayborne shop, reasonable priced, and asked the lady to put them on hold, then we shopped around a bit more. Went to the Coach outlet just for fun and carried around a handbag that I loved for about 30 minutes. However, I didn't get it ($200.00) b/c I already have a really cute one that Nicki got me last year for Mother's Day. I thought about getting the new one and putting it on a shelf, saving it for next year, but that would never happen and I'm a one-handbag-at-a-time kind of girl. Besides, it was kind of pricey. Sadly, I put it back on the shelf. I miss it. We left Coach, went to Godiva and got so excited about buying chocolate that I completely forgot about my "hold" items at Liz Clayborne and left without getting them. I miss those, too! Nicki did buy a cute scarf (notice scarf in hair) at Coach for $12.00 - what a bargain!

That night when McKay (Nicki's honey) got off work, he came over to Dobbs Ferry (where Nicki lives) and we went to Lefteris, Nicki and McKay's favorite greek restaurant. Again, amazing food. Ya, that's me stuffing this ginormous gyro (pronounced g-y-r-o, not hero, as is said in Logan, UT) into my face. I was stuffed for the next 16 hours, seriously. I even ate the rice-stuffed grape leaves and loved it! This kind of activity explains my lovely "jelly-roll" in all full body photos of me. But if you're gonna have one, eating good food is the best way to go!

Can't wait to blog about our next adventures. By the way, if you want to see more photos and get an idea of the trip from Nicki's perspective (funny and much more brief), check out her blog by either clicking on her name at the right, or click here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

St. George Temple and other St. George sites, Zion's National Park and Kolob Canyon

St. George Temple

Jacob Hamblin's home. Jacob Hamblin was the first Mission President in St. George (I think) and he was also very instrumental in keeping the indians in a peaceful mood.

The first jail in St. George. Unfortunately, the city or the church sees no need to preserve this building and it currently sits in the middle of a small shopping district and is being "improved" to serve as yet another small shop.

Our hike on the East Rim of Zion's National Park.

I think this is Angel's Landing - not part of our hike this time, but we are going back in the fall to do this and The Narrows. Can't wait.

Kolob Canyon sits just in the northwest corner of Zion's National Park. It was my favorite part of the park. When we go back in the fall, we are planning some fun hikes in this canyon too.

That's us hiking in a bit of snow in Kolob Canyon.