26 July 2010


Summer wasn't nearly long enough. Now with school starting, our slow days and spontaneous outings will start thinning out, until the holidays fill our calendars once again. Something I both look forward to and dread. We did have a fantastic summer though, and for the most part, stayed right here in Utah. Do we not live in a wonderful place?

Here are a few of our 2010 summer memories...

We hiked to Timpanogos cave and had a great time. The kids were surprisingly perky for the entire thing, and Alice loved her ride. We all decided we don't do nearly enough things like that. Something to work towards.

And Alice's close-up...

After the tour, the kids lingered and helped the geologists sort through dirt for a while. They were both completely fascinated.

Are these not the most tired, yet happiest hikers you've ever seen?

We LOVE Freedom Days in Provo. Definitely one of my favorite celebrations of the year. We enjoyed another great reptile show, crafts, bouncy toys, and cousins. These two are so sweet together.

Neither Jack nor Jane could leave without a wooden sword. Sometimes I wonder what Jane would be like without a big brother. She's such a fun mix this way.

We spent a couple of days in Rexburg visiting family and BYU-I campus before meeting the Hillmans in Island Park. We were excited to see Uncle Rand, but he may have regretted the visit the next day.

Aunt Jana made us feel so welcome, as always. We love how we feel in their home. We talked about buying an acre from them so we could live next door. Oh, the fun we could have.

Although, Rand might not love me after I make him sing me to sleep every night. Isn't that what neighbors do?

The kids loved the pools at the hotels. Although Alice enjoyed watching more than actually swimming.

Is she not the most precious thing you've ever seen?

We had a great visit with Grandma Max. One of my favorites, actually. I wish she lived closer.

The kids played for Grandma (or you could call it my cop-out on practicing for the day. Hey, they're playing, right?)

We attended a concert in Harriman State Park in conjunction with Mountains and Strings that I used to help with. It is the most gorgeous concert setting I've ever witnessed. We listened to Jenny Oaks Baker, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, and with plenty of room for the kids to listen and wander.

Oh, I love that place. Plus, Alice took her first steps during the concert. She's still working on it, but making progress!

Can you beat this view?

We've discovered the best dollar store item EVER. Jack and Jane spent hours in our backyard catching bugs, observing, and letting them go. (I love how Jane has her arm wrapped around Jack.)

I was even surprised to discover one day when they each had a friend over that the friends were playing together because Jack and Jane had decided to catch bugs together instead of play inside.

We love that we have ready-playmates right across the street. They've saved us many times when we need to switch things up a bit with the friend dynamic in our house. This day we just let them frolic through the sprinklers. Jack said this was "the best day ever". Really? All I need to do is turn the hose on? Done.

We enjoyed a Bankok ward gathering in Mapleton at our dear friend's home. It was fun to see so many families and catch up a bit. I've missed so many of our Thailand friends. Mary Jane has always been such a great friend, it was a treat to spend some time with her and her girls after not seeing them for a year.

Jack picked up right where he left off with the twins. They were wrestling, climbing trees, and eating all the desserts.

A few days ago, we were reflecting on our summer and Jack said, "Mom, what about our summer fun ideas envelope?". I checked the side of our fridge and sure enough, there was the envelope we had filled with ideas, coupons, free passes, etc in anticipation of summer break. How did we do? Well, the envelope hadn't even been touched. Full. I guess we weren't lacking ideas on how to fill our days.

Is it terrible I'm already counting down until next summer?

What do you love to fill your summer with? Anything your kids (or you) couldn't get enough of this summer?

05 July 2010

Oh, Peter

Every once in a while something comes along that helps me remember that I can do more than just change diapers, wipe counters, and fold laundry. This was one of those weekends.

While Jeff was home being super-dad (or should I say super-super dad), I got to run away for a few days and play in a small orchestra with none other than the Peter Cetera. Who's Peter Cetera, you say? To be honest, that's what I thought when I was first asked to play. Then, like any normal person would do, I googled him. Then I got excited. (although in this picture, I think he looks like the villain in the first Spiderman movie)

I spent Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday, in rehearsals and concerts in Logan, UT and Sun Valley, ID basking in the talent of some seriously cool musicians.

From the left: Gene (guitar), Peter, Kim (vocals, percussion), Bruce (guitar), and Boh (piano).

Logan was fun, because as I've said before, I LOVE Logan. Plus, it was fun to walk the halls of my old stomping grounds and remember when my violin was a fifth appendage. I did love those days. Plus, I got to stay with my cousin and his wife, who I completely adore. We stayed up too late talking, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Plus, their daughter is the same age as my Alice, which helped with the withdrawal.

I'd never been to Sun Valley before, but hope to go back. The venue there was incredible. A good part of it was covered in these cut rocks that actually play a tone when you slap them. This is my friend, Sara, demonstrating.

I really didn't take many pictures, but I got a couple during our Sun Valley sound check. This one is from where I was sitting.

While the band was doing their sound check, I sat in the audience and dreamed of what it would be like to tour around the world (they just returned from South America) making music. You can see the venue a bit better from here.

I was kicking myself for not getting a picture of Sarah and I when Boh (the pianist) joined us on our trip to the deli for dinner. We talked at length about his schooling, touring, and time spent playing for Rascal Flatts. I couldn't believe how down to earth he was. He was so friendly with everyone, learning our names, and even gave me a big ol' wink during the concert.

I also wished I would have gotten a picture with the guitarist, Gene, because I know he's going to be famous soon. He won me over when he busted out an amazing version of the Beatle's Lady Madonna. I told him later that I wanted his album, and he assured me he was working on one. If I wasn't already in love with his style, while he and the band were waiting around on stage he started into a James Taylor song. I was dying.

Peter, in general, was about what I expected: a fabulous performer. He did not disappoint. It's clear he knows what he's doing and the audiences loved him. LOVED him. Even male voices were shouting "Go Peter!".

I would have loved to see that show. If I would have been in the audience, I would have been looking at the violinists thinking "I could do that. How do I get to do that?" like I usually do. The difference was, this time I was doing it. I seriously wish I could brush this off like it was nothing because I do it all the time. But I don't. I'm a mom. I've played gigs here and there, seen a few famous faces (Willy Nelson DID wave at me during the Olympics gig, and I did get to "pretend" to play while Harry Connick, Jr. was serenading the audience to the pre-recorded minus track, and such), but this seemed different. I loved watching how the band interacted, how they doodled on their instruments, and how they laughed at musical humor. I was super impressed with how humble they all were.

I wish I could say I've done a million of these, but I haven't, so it really was something I loved. Even half-way through the Sun Valley show when my teeth were chattering from the cold, I was still excited to be a part of it. Even when I climbed into my own bed at 6am to go to sleep for the night and the kids came in at 6:15am, I was still happy I did it.

So now, who's next? When is James Taylor coming to town? Did I already miss Michael Buble?

Anyone YOU would love to see the behind-the-scenes?