Thursday, April 26, 2012


We had a special treat this last week. Valerie decided to cut her Oregon trip short (bad for them) and come to Utah (good for us). As soon as Stella heard the news she was already acting like the event planner that she might one day become. She had all sorts of activities planned out for Nellie and her during their stay.

Besides all the hanging out and letting Nellie and Valerie catch up on their nap times, we had some small adventures. On Friday we went to the aquarium and lunch with Grandma Sallay. Saturday we made a trip to South Jordan to G&G's house and then went to lunch with Grandpa Sallay.

Sunday we went to church and then Sugarhouse Park to feed the ducks after our naps. It was crazy busy at the park and, um, the ducks were NOT hungry so we didn't stay that long. Stella did take a minute though to put her toes in the stream and then the girls played at the wild playground for a few minutes. Then we went home and had everyone over for dinner.

On Monday Stella planned for us to take Nellie on the pony rides at Thanksgiving Point. She is an old pro by now and she loved showing her cousin the ropes. Nellie loved riding the ponies. Stella decided to try riding an actual horse this time. I told her she could, but warned her that she had to HANG ON with no "giddy ups" or "yee haws." She thankfully did not fall off of the tall horse. The girls also had fun playing in the little jail and dance studio that they have at the farm.

There was also a lot of lounging around and sharing cartoon mornings throughout the week. And in the evenings the girls loved to go out and drive in Stella's car. And Nellie loved attempting to control Stella's tricycle. (Stella has finally mastered that thing after having it for over three years--it helps that she is finally tall enough to reach the pedals.)

After being gone from their house for two weeks, Nellie and Valerie were both ready to get home, but Stella still cried sad tears as we pulled away from the airport after dropping them off. She loves having people stay at her house and sharing her favorite activities with her guests. And Stella loves Nellie.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Ashley is doing an "AvaMart" theme for her birthday announcements this year so she wanted to take pics of Ava shopping. Grocery stores don't like you to have photo shoots at their stores so we had to do this kind of on the down low at Target. With all of the annoying people out doing their shopping, Stella wanting to distract Ava, and me feeling like I was breaking the law...these factors all combined to kind of stress me out. But we got some cute and sassy ones of Miss Ava.

Our girls:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We often hang out with Heather on Tuesdays. We normally go to the aquarium where I never take pictures because the lighting is terrible and I just want to have fun, but I could not leave my camera at home when Heather invited us to ride horses at Thanksgiving Point.

Stella was so excited, but I was very nervous that they would freak her out and that she wouldn't want to ride them. Though as it turned out, that was the least of my worries. The worst part of our visit was that it is Spring Break in Utah County and so it was way busy. It was a very long wait to ride the ponies, and Heather has little patience so she started to try and bribe Stella with treats and promises of a future visit. Well, Stella wouldn't even make eye contact with her in fear that we would leave before she got to ride a pony.

She was adorable when it was finally her turn, and the reaction on her face when she got to her pony was priceless. Even the lady that works there who is kind of jaded by watching kids ride ponies all the time kept telling me how cute she was. (Who can blame her?)

We also saw baby lambs and other fun animals, and we went on a "hay" ride. Stella is ready to visit again and wants to bring all her friends now that she is a professional cowgirl.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


This year Easter was on our 8th anniversary, and also my mom's birthday is April 9th, and also it is Easter. So it was a busy day today. We managed to celebrate like crazy.

Yesterday we dyed some eggs. Stella had never done this before and we were hoping to have Ava with us, but Ash was sick all week. We still had fun and the whole process fascinated Stella. She is a very talented egg decorator.

Stella knows all about the Easter bunny even though this is his first year making a stop at our house. Stella was so excited to wake up and find her basket. Inside was a "Fur Real Friend" bunny. Stella and I saw the commercial for them a few weeks ago and she had gone crazy laughing at the bunnies hopping around, so I made a call to the Easter bunny and told him to bring one to Stella.

As soon as she checked out her basket we went egg hunting. I found a special surprise hiding with one of the eggs: a blue Tiffany & Co. bag. I assumed it was for me since it is my anniversary and all. Brent was a real cute sneak and got me an infinity necklace since it also looks like an 8 turned on its side, and it has been 8 wonderful years. Stella was awesome at finding her eggs and then I got to open my present. It was a great morning.

Stella's Easter dress was kind of a stunner this year. I got it at Janie & Jack while it was super on sale. I thought it was so adorable and special that it deserved its own photo shoot so we stopped at Temple Square on our way to my parent's house to do just that. This photo shoot was, for the most part, on Stella's terms. She decided where she would stand/sit, what kind of expression she would make, and if she was interested in any of my ideas.

When Ava got to Grandma's I got them both to hold still just long enough to get a picture of the girls in their beautiful Easter frocks.

So a little while ago my dad bought not one but two motor homes. Which of course (enter sarcasm here) he totally needed. Stella and I were the first ones to see the huge one and I about died when I saw my dad pull up to my house in the biggest motor home they allow on the road. It felt so big inside and Stella and I kind of loved it. I am not a camper, but I love the insides of motor homes. We went on a drive and Stella honked the horn and she couldn't wait to share it with Catchy-Cy and Ava. We took the boys for a drive in it while they were here, and today Stella told Ava (you'll have to imagine her very deliberate accompanying hand motions) "We took Catchy-Cy on the bus, and Daddy thought we were going to die...but we didn't."

So since today I had my camera and my dad sold the motor home yesterday, we took some pictures of us on a drive in the motor home. It has nothing to do with Easter, but here they are. (Brent did not go on this drive, to avoid death.)

Look how tiny my dad is compared to the large motor vehicle:While we were on the wide open road, the Easter bunny made a late stop at Grammy's. The girls had tons of fun finding all of the chocolate eggs.

I made my mom a sugar cookie cake with these amazing sugar cookies that I love. Ashley got the award for best present by giving Mom a tulip painting that she had made.

I spent the rest of the night looking at Tyler and Courtney's wedding pictures and when we were finally done with that we had to call it a night since Stella had had a very busy Easter day.