Happy Birthday Cole!!

Ol' blue eyes turned 4 today. FOUR! He's such a cute, funny little dude. He was so excited for his Birthday. I blared 'Birthday' by The Beatles this morning and we all went in and woke him up. I tried to dance with him in the kitchen to the song, but he didn't like it. Tell me, when do they start liking that? I'm not giving up by any means, but c'mon now...

Now that Cache is in school all day, Cole gets a little lonely, so after breakfast (white powdered donuts and chocolate milk) Cody and I took Cole and his little friend Jack to Blikenstaff's Toy Store and to lunch.

These two are SO cute and hilarious together, not to mention color opposites.
With their treasures!
Now, originally I had planned on taking them to McDonald's or Karl's Jr. or anywhere that had a fun playplace, but where did we eat? Macaroni Grill. Yeah. We took our 4 year old and his friend to a chi-chi Italian restaurant because we're fancy like that.

After we picked up Cache from school, I started on the Birthday cake while the boys played. They took a bath (they do that), watched 'Shrek' and ate popcorn and rounded off the day playing with play dough. Best day ever.

Now...let's talk about the cake, shall we? I baked two cakes, took one out of it's pan and left the other one in it's pan while I ran to rehearsal real quick (yes. rehearsal. another post. moving on). See, mistake number one, peeps - don't leave a cake in it's pan while it cools. It makes removing said cake a total nightmare. What are you left with? A crumbly, fall-apart mess.

Here is where we get real, kids. Most lovely mothers make beautiful Birthday cakes for their children. They post pictures of these gorgeous, meticulously decorated pastries that look like they could be for sale at an upscale bakery. I don't fault these women for showcasing their masterpieces, why shouldn't they? What you normally DON'T see are the failures and the ghetto muffins that most of us try to pass off as cakes. So what am I going to do? I'm posting my cake failure, for all of the blogging world to see.
Oh that's right,
every horrendous angle.
Dudes? HOW AWFUL IS THIS CAKE. I'm not sure 8 bowls of frosting could have made this cake pretty. I mean whaaaa?!?! It looks like I ran over it with a bike and covered it with melted Hershey bars. It looks like a chocolate-covered chunk of concrete. Good laws, friends...this is just inexcusable. The top layer literally broke in half when I took it out of the pan, which just started a chain reaction of other chunks breaking away to find a happier home. No matter how much frosting I bathed it in, no matter how cruelly I begged it...it would not help me out. It's an ugly cake. The kind of cake that hides in a dark corner at a school dance. Even shrouded in darkness and littered with Birthday candles it was still a mess. Hooray that it tasted great and my son is 4. Bullet. Dodged. (well, sort of). See? Feel better?

We opened pressies which included these snappy cowboy hats...

How I love this little man. He is my tough little boy who is stubborn and funny and loving and obsessed with sugar. He is our joy and I love him more every day. Happy Birthday, dude!!


Here's what I know...

1. I love Summer. I do. The weather is marvelous and balmy...but I'm over it. SO ready for Fall.

2. Hopefully I'll get to take an early peek at my baby this week and find out what we're having!!

3. I think Pinterest is bad for me.

4. Starting to narrow down my options for my Halloween costume this year. All of them involve me wearing a large, roomy sheet.

5. Grumpy, mopey people bug me.


First of First of First

My firstborn started his first day of first grade! Craziness. How cute is he?

It was so fun getting him ready this year, buying new pencils and glue. He was beYOND excited for school to start, it was all he could talk about. Now that he has started, all he can talk about is how long school is. Ha! So true, my son.

This is one of his teachers, Mrs. Mac (he has two this year - Mrs. Mac and Mrs. Whipple).
Cole starts Preschool in a few weeks which means I'll have both kids in school. A few hours to myself! Which means some interrupted nap time. Awesome.



Last weekend after Church we took the boys up to the cabin for a night. We haven't been up there all year...it was time. I love the Jolley cabin and it was fun to be there with just our little family. As soon as we drove up, we found a family of deer underneath the cabin...

Look at the baby! It still has spots!
The boys were loving this little hut.
There's a rope swing that the boys can't get enough of. Dear Cody got a work out.
...because he LAUNCHED them in the air.

Before it got too dark we decided to go for a drive. LOOK! Look what I spotted!!
This moose was ginormous.

We had a really yummy dinner (corn on the cob from Grandma Doreen's garden - win) and then went to bed. We didn't sleep too well due to the super loud thunderstorm outside. We woke up a lot to the sound of rain or the loud slap of thunder...awesome!

The next morning we got up early and headed out. But not before I spotted yet another daddy Moose.

You have to realize the huge amount of pride I felt. I never spot anything. Cody is the one who can spot a deer from thousands of yards away. He's always like, "Ahhh, see up there on the ridge? There's a family of deer...oooh, even a young buck. Haha, they are having lunch and playing with butterflies."

Hopefully we'll get up to the cabin a lot this Fall, it's so pretty up there. And the meese better watch out! I'll be watching...


What I'm Loving Wednesday

Yeah, that's right - I'm doing yet another WILW. I haven't blogged in a week. There are things I need to touch on. But FIRST! What am I loving?

Well...a few pieces of furniture. We'll start with this one.
My dearest Sara was in town and I met her up at Ikea yesterday for a quick shopping trip. We bought some super cute things but before hitting the check out I noticed this little lilac cabinet and began to swoon. I love it! I want to put it in the little alcove by our front door for shoes and the like. Here's the thing, originally we were going to put a bench there with shoe baskets underneath and coat hooks above, etc., but how can I pass up this lovely little cabinet? Can I just put a chair next to it? Is that too much?

You may remember me gushing about the fact that I wanted to paint my piano yellow.
While I still think it would look super-rad, I have had a change of heart. Why? Because of this little emerald.
Could. you. die. I am obsessed with this couch. Look at that color! And it folds into a sleeper! I can't very well have a green couch and a yellow piano, could I? So the piano will remain the same and this lovely jewel will be the shining focal point. Until, of course, I find something shiny that takes my attention.


What I'm Loving Wednesday

Good laws, how long has it been since I've done WILW? Too long. So, what am I loving?

My neighborhood.

That's right. I went there. My neighborhood RULES. We were invited to a big BBQ in the cul de sac behind our house. Everyone brought something to grill and something to share and it was so much fun! It was great to just sit and visit and eat. Not to mention that my neighbors might be the greatest bunch of people in the State. We do this every Summer, such a cool tradition. So while you may have thought that your neighborhood was cool? I'm here to put those thoughts to rest - my neighborhood wins. Move here already.


In stitches.

It was only a matter of time, really. I mean, I have two boys. Chances are I'll be in the ER at some time or another. That time has come - Cole got stitches.

Bless his little heart. He and Cache were playing at a friend's house and Cole fell backwards and hit the back of his head on their fireplace. It wasn't a horrible gash or anything, but it certainly required stitches. Cody was on shift but was able to rush over to the home and pick up Cole, I was close behind and I picked up Cache. We met at the ER where our friend Chad was working (yay!) and he got us right in. Cole was doing so great, he was laughing and making jokes...I'm sure the sucker helped. When it came time for the stitches he wasn't too thrilled with that, but he handled it like a champ and it's healing up great.

Me? How did I do? Not well. He'll be fine, it's me that will be scarred for life.


Patch Powell Property

I. Love. Lake. Powell. Even more? I love going to Powell with my family. Our (some number or other) Annual Family Powell Trip this year was a raging success! So, so fun. So, so relaxing. So, so marvy.

We all arrived late Tuesday night sans Scott and Andrea (who were arriving the next evening). Wednesday was super mellow - we just ate and rested, we worked on the boat and finally headed out on the water to do some surfing that evening. Marty and Jess brought their new baby girl, Penny. How cute is she in her life vest?

I married a cowboy.

It was seriously the most beautiful night...these pictures don't even capture how pink everything was.

We wakeboarded and surfed until the sun went down!
Scott and Andrea got there Wednesday night and Thursday morning we set off to find a beach. We actually parked in almost the exact same spot as we did last year - up in Dungeon Canyon. The water is so high this year that a lot of our favorite beaches are covered, but fortunately we found a cherry locale and stayed there all week. We wasted no time in getting out on the boat.

Marty tried getting up on the surf board without the rope.
It didn't work out.

Sad story? I have NO pictures of our fun times on Thursday night. We had a dance off between couples to 'Just Dance' and it was HILARIOUS. My parents even got in on it, they dance a mean Charleston. Rest assured, it was epic. And it's probably best that I don't have photographic proof.

Friday was yet another lazy day that was totally dominated by this miserable puzzle. Andrea is always so great at bringing a challenging puzzle for us to do, but this year I think she went too far.
It took us forever to finish it. There was much murmuring and swearing.
We deserved a reward, so we took a boat ride to the marina for some ice cream.

The gnats are always a problem, but for some reason they were relentless at this beach. We hung this lovely lamp in the kitchen every night...
While listening to the sizzling deaths, we played some fantastic tunes on Guitar Hero. 'You Give Love A Bad Name' is always a boat favorite, and this year we rocked out to 'The Final Countdown' which we were all singing and laughing to. Ah man, I love my family.

Saturday we headed out to find a cool canyon hike. And when it comes to buns, size doesn't matter.
Turns out our hike was under water. But not to be discouraged! It made for some beautiful pictures and a fun ride up some really narrow canyons...
The tiniest frog in the world!
Back in his wee hole.
Marty, our fearless explorer...
...was actually feigning fearless.

Cliff jumping!

When we got back to the boat, Rich and Randi were on dinner so we did some evening surfing.
Cody is the cowboy, so I guess Scott is the bandit?

Sunday we had a family lesson taught by my Dad. He's a wise man, friends. The lesson was really great and we had some wonderful spiritual moments on the top of the boat. It was just incredible! I mean, really. I can't even convey how grateful I am for my wonderful family. LOVE them.

We did some crafting during the afternoon. Andrea and Randi brought some tea towels and we spent a few hours painting and sewing our own designs. I must do this on my own, it was so fun and how cool to create your own towels for your kitchen?

Our finished towels:

Monday we headed back to the slip, Scott and Andrea had to leave that day. We stopped at the marina for some treats before sending them off. Mmmm, lime pops.

Some weird old dude...

The rest of us didn't have to leave until the next morning, so to extend the fun as long as possible we went out on the boat and did some surfing in the channel until it was almost too dark to see.

The sky was awesome.

I love Rich's face in this picture.
Jess and Penny!

We watched 'Sherlock Holmes' before going to bed. The next morning we packed up and cleaned the boat. Right before we left the boat I had to take some pictures of the water...peoples, it's so beautiful.

My heart just ached, I hate the thought of leaving the Lake and not going back until next Summer. I have to find a way back! I have to go one more time! These trips are so important to all of us and we all look forward to them every year. I love Lake Powell. I LOVE MY FAMILY. I love this trip.
(PS - I just called my Dad about available dates for the houseboat... looks like I'll find a way to the Lake one more time after all!!).