Thursday, June 26, 2008

Are you going to San-Fran-Cisco?

We just did! Here's a pic of Claire and me leaving for our first trip without Nate! (He's out of town for work. :( ) Let's just say it will be a while before I vacation with Claire without him.

We had a bit of a family reunion. You see, my grandma grew up on Alcatraz. The prison. I know, sounds a little crazy. Her dad was a guard there and she lived there for seven years, ages 3-10. She would have to ride the ferry everyday to get to school and back. Well, for her 76th birthday, she decided it was time to visit again. She rounded up her three siblings and about 30 members of our family to come along. It was an awesome experience! We got an incredible private tour from three of the guides. We even had a San Francisco news crew covering the story. KSL also ran a story, which you can see here. (Watch for me pushing Claire in the stroller!) So fun!

Here we are listening to my grandma tell stories of growing up in an apartment just like this one.

Grandma with her eight kids (my mom is in the front with the pink jacket).

Group shot

Grandma and her four siblings: Uncle Leo, Aunt Priss and Uncle Bob. They are standing in front of the fireplace of their actual apartment.

We found this picture on the wall during the tour. You can see my great grandpa!

After the Alcatraz tour, we did a little sightseeing. Have any of you ever been to Lombard Street? It's this crazy switchback road that is lined with beautiful flowers. We saw a huge Suburban driving down it! Crazy!

The next day, we headed up to Muir Woods to see the Redwoods. The trees were gigantic! Claire was finally able to just run around and I let her get as dirty as she wanted.

My sister, Angie, and her son Drew, Claire and me in front of a tree that is over 1,000 years old.

Claire telling Drew that he couldn't go behind the fence.

Me and my little girl

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge

Claire and Drew while we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge

Claire and Drew got to bathe together every night and I swear it was their highlight of the days. Claire would kick her feet and splash and Drew thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.

On our last day, we drove down to Monterey and went to this amazing aquarium. I wish they had something like that here! Claire was entranced by the fish!

They loved feeling the starfish.

Claire kept trying to touch Dory from Finding Nemo.

We officially found one of Claire's favorite places on earth at this aquarium. It was this little walled-in area that had a big water bed-type play area. She could run all over, fall down and never get hurt. Once we had to leave, she pretty much cried the rest of the time because she wanted to go back so bad.

What a fun and memorable trip! I'm so grateful I got to learn a little more about my family histroy!
And don't worry - we're headed to Rawlins, WY again next week to visit Nate, so I'm sure I'll have some fun stories to tell. Hopefully I won't saunter into another AA meeting...we'll see...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Swim class 2.0

Swim class seriously rocks. But what rocks even more is taking swim class for the second time. Claire loves it, I get to socialize with friends and she gets so exhausted from it that she usually takes a 3.5 hour nap afterwards. It's great! Here's a group shot:
I just love Claire's awesome belly in this pic!
If she's not laughing or squealing, Claire is usually saying "Woah, woah..." all during class. That's exactly what she's doing here.
We're doing another session next month! We're obsessed!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To quit or not to quit

That was my question. In fact, it had been my question for the past few months. Since my photography business has really geared up, I have been far too busy. Too busy to cook dinner more than once or twice a week. Too busy to take Claire to the park as often as she'd like. Too busy to respond to emails and voicemails in a timely matter. Too busy to ever just sit down and relax with my husband. A couple of weeks ago, Nate and I watched a 48 Hours investigation on polygamy and when it was over I turned to him and said, "When was the last time we just sat down and watched a TV show together?" The truth was, it had been months. Too busy.

So I made the decision that even though my budding business was just starting to gain momentum, I would cut back a little. I would limit the number of photo shoots I did per week. It was starting to work, but it was not what I wanted. I needed to cut something else in my life.

Here enters my job at a local non-profit. I have worked there for over three years and have truly loved (almost) every minute. Once Claire was born, I cut my time back to 12 hours in the office a week. It's been perfect. Claire has been able to have weekly playdates with her cousin and it’s given me some time for myself. And if any of you have ever heard me talk about my job, you know that the people I work with are awesome. Really, there isn't a better bunch of co-workers to have. It's like The Office reincarnated.

But, something had to go, or we might never have a home-cooked meal again. All these questions started coming to me like: will I feel self-fulfilled? will I still have an identity? now instead of being too busy, will I be bored to death all day everyday? am I selfish for wanting to work? what about all those suit jackets and black pin-striped pants I own? will they ever be worn again? when will I ever work in a professional environment again?

Now, in steps my insightful and supportive husband. He says: of course you will work again; no, you are not selfish; you will still have many identities; you still have photography to keep you plenty busy; we can go out on date nights and you can wear your pin-striped pants; just think of all the time you can spend with Claire, just playing and doing nothing. That was the clincher. He always makes things all better. That's why he's the best husband ever.

So, after many hours of deliberation and prayer, the decision had been made. My last day is tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The last few weeks, Claire has been obsessed with "boons" or as the rest of us like to call them, balloons. Every grocery store we go into she will point at them and say "boon". So the other day Claire and I went to a baby shower at my work and there were tons of pink and yellow balloons. During the clean-up, one of my sweet co-workers gathered all the "boons" together and brought them over to Claire. We ended up stuffing as many as possible in the trunk and taking them home. This was Claire for the next few days...

She would get all tangled around the string and stuck in them. She kept saying "oh, oh." Her hair was sticking up in every direction. She was in heaven!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fun at the park

My sister and I met at Liberty Park last week so the kids could play. It was a gorgeous day! We had fun feeding the ducks...or should I say Angie, Drew and I had fun feeding the ducks? Poor Claire had a Cheerio in her hand when a duck came up and BIT her hand trying to get the Cheerio! She looked up at me like, "Why did I deserve that?" and then proceeded to cry for about 5 minutes. I feel even worse because it struck me so funny that I couldn't stop laughing! I had tears streaming down my face! :)
Then we headed over to the water park and I'll let the pictures tell the story of Claire and Drew's first fountain experience...