Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Brennan!

Brennan turned 23 yesterday. He's getting pretty old. :) Our celebration wasn't anything real great but Brennan took the day off of homework which gave us lots more time to spend together than usual. I thought that was pretty great.

I decided to attempt to be a cute little wife and take treats to Brennan's work for his birthday. I told my mom of my cupcake plans last week and she suggested making some rainbow cupcakes my sister had done recently. I thought it was a cute idea. Little did I know it was making my idea much more complicated. After shooing Brennan out the door in the morning I got to work making rainbow cupcakes, hoping to still make it to my job by 9. Well putting six layers in each cupcake is a little bit time consuming. It took me 20 minutes to do all 6 layers in only 3 cupcakes!! So...I cheated. I started just globbing the colors in, not really worrying about spreading out each layer.
Here is the finished product. Brennan thought I just had some sort of magical rainbow cupcake mix. What does he take me for??

I picked Brennan up after his classes and we went mini-golfing and played some arcade games. Brennan informed me that I was supposed to let the birthday boy win. Oops. :) After my display of awful birthday etiquette we enjoyed a delicious meal at Goodwood. So yummy! My sandwich was HUGE though. Check it out.
I ended up taking some of the chicken off. There was no way I was going to fit that in my mouth!
There's the birthday boy with one of his gifts from my parents, a game called Puerto Rico. It requires at least 3 players so if someone wants to play it with us we wouldn't mind...:)
I hope he managed to have a good day. He certainly deserves it. He works so hard for us, both at school and work. I'm lucky to have him.

Happy Birthday Brennan!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Colorful Weekend

We have had a very full weekend. It all started on Friday. Brennan had a test late on Friday so I picked him up after and we got Quiznos for dinner and then got his freebie birthday treat at Cold Stone. Yummy! We then hurried home to catch the UNI game against Michigan State. Unfortunately we had to witness a disappointing loss. It was a fun game to watch though! Then, as a pre-birthday present I agreed to see Sherlock Holmes with Brennan at 10:30. We are already too old for that. At least I am. I couldn't stay awake. And the parts of the movie I saw just seemed creepy. But Brennan liked it and I guess that is what matters! After not getting to bed until 1:30 in the morning, we had to wake up early so Brennan could get to work and I could run 10 miles. It was excruciating but I still managed to do it. Not sure I'm going to make it to 13 though...

On Saturday the fun and festivities only continued. Last year Brennan and I went to the Festival of Colors at the Krishna temple in Spanish Fork. The Festival is a Hindu celebration of Spring where you throw colorful chalk dust on each other. There weren't a lot of kids there last time but we thought it was something kids would enjoy. So at the last minute we decided to offer to take our nieces and nephews. We were WAY late but luckily they hadn't thrown the chalk yet. However, they were all out of chalk dust for us to buy!! I was so bummed and afraid the kids weren't going to have any fun without any dust to throw themselves. I mean with little kids it's not like we were going to get right in the middle of the mass of people, so without chalk of their own they weren't really going to get colorful. We were so blessed to cross paths with lots of incredibly sweet people though. The first was a man who must have noticed my lost and pathetic look with five little kids circled around me wondering what they were supposed to be doing. So he came and gave the kids the rest of his bag of pink chalk. Life saver!! Then Brennan ran into someone he knew from high school and she was kind enough to give us almost a full bag. Then a nice couple shared some much desired blue chalk with the kids. A couple guys came through with orange chalk and wiped it across all our foreheads while saying, in a great Rafiki imitation, "Siiiiimba". It was great! I am most grateful for the girls at the end though. We walked up to the top of the hill just to see if we could find anymore chalk and then we were going to head out even though some of the kids weren't satisfied with their level of dirtiness. And then these girls just squatted down and shared SO MUCH of their chalk with the kids. They handed out handfuls left and right of all sorts of colors.

I was so pleased with how the kids reacted to it. I was pretty worried that they were going to hate it and wonder what on earth Aunt Rachel had gotten them into. Mallory was a little worried when we first got there because there were so many people and it was so loud! But as soon as we got the chalk and started throwing she loved it! And little Henry just ate it up. Being the youngest, I wasn't sure how much he'd like it, but he clearly thought it was great. Pardon the large number of pictures to follow. They are just all so fun that I had a hard time narrowing them down much.

The whole gang. What cuties!
Rationing the small amount of chalk we had at the beginning. See all the eager hands though?? Makes me smile.
Check it out while you can!! Gavin's smiling! This was before he remembered that every party is supposed to have a pooper and this one clearly didn't..he took it upon himself to play that role. :)
Who is that hooded figure sulking in the background????
The whole gang back at the car. We did a lot of dusting off to try to save Stacy's van. I hope we did a decent job. Thanks for letting us use the van Stacy!!
Henry. He has the cutest smile. Ever!
So I just had to get a picture with him. :)
Me and Brennan. I love him. And so appreciate his more than willing attitude with all of my crazy ideas of things to do with the kids. I couldn't do it without him.
Mia's very colorful hair. She was quite proud of it.

Well I don't think the parents were too excited for the mess they had to clean up when we brought them back. In fact, I'm sure they weren't. But the kids seemed to have fun and I try to remember that that was why we did it. I sure love these kids and I'm grateful for once that I was the youngest and for the opportunity it has given me to have special relationships with them.

I made Brennan's favorite, Better than Anything cake, and we celebrated with my brothers later that night.
Mallory looks worried that he won't be able to blow out all 23 candles.
I just had to include a picture of the new little guy. I love him too. If you can't see it, his shirt says "my aunt rocks". I didn't have anything to do with that....;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is there anywhere we can start a fire?

We welcomed the coming of Spring this last weekend by going camping. Yes, there is a distinct possibility that we are suffering from insanity. We didn't really have a plan at all, just camping. We had no destination, nothing. Brennan's brother Callan and his girlfriend Aubrie ended up coming with us, and suddenly we felt very lame for not having any sort of plan. So we drove south to Spanish Fork Canyon but the campsite we wanted to go to was gated off. Then we found a place that was open but unfortunately there were no fire pits, which would make for a extra cold, not to mention food-less, night. I was starting to get stressed, fearing that this would be the worst outing Callan and Aubrie had ever been on and feeling incredibly foolish for not having a better plan. So Brennan called a Parks and Rec number and was talking to a lady about different options. I reminded him to mention that we needed a place where we would be allowed to have a fire. He proceeds to blurt out, "Is there anywhere we can start a fire?!" Maybe it was my high stress level, but I really found this quite hilarious. Hearing my laughter, Brennan modified his question to "Where can we cook a fire?", igniting even more laughter from me. I seriously quoted these two questions for the rest of the trip. His first question just made him sound like a creeper who wanted to start a forest fire somewhere but for some crazy reason was asking for permission. And the second one...well I'm not sure why he would want to cook a fire. But I appreciate him for lightening the mood for me. :)
Here we are at our destination at last. It was cold, but we had a good time. It was actually warmer once the sun went down because the wind finally died down.
Here is Brennan enjoying a s'more after we had foil dinners. All ideas of eating more healthy went out the window on this trip. We had a little bit of dinner and then three desserts. S'mores, banana boats, and peach cobbler.
Here are our happy camping buddies. Callan introduced us all to banana boats. They were very delicious!!

Here I am in the morning. I slept in my jeans with sweatpants over them, two pairs of socks, a tshirt, a sweatshirt, a stocking hat, and then my sleeping bag over my face. It really wasn't bad, but I think I am the only one that would say that. I think I got more sleep than anyone else. Brennan said he kept getting worried about me and would have to check to make sure I was still breathing since I was wrapped up so tight. But I was. :) We woke up in the morning to frost all over the inside of our tent so if we hit the walls at all it was like it was snowing. Unfortunately, all of our firewood also got covered in frost so the boys were unable to get a fire going in the morning. It was SOOOOO cold. So we packed up without making breakfast and just headed home. Not the most exciting camping trip ever, but still more successful than it could have been. I certainly had a blast and it made me excited for lots more camping endeavors to come. In warmer weather of course.

Monday, March 22, 2010

St. Patrick's Day!

Recently I was talking with my sister Mara about holidays at home. We came to a mutual consensus that in a lot of ways the smaller holidays, like Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's day, were some of our favorites. Our mom would go all out for these holidays. For St. Patrick's day she would always make reuben sandwiches, green jello, and green juice. She also bought paper plates and napkins to match the holiday. For whatever reason we loved this. I think it was because these holidays were for the most part not celebrated or recognized. So we still had to go to school and all that junk, but it was still exciting because she still made it a special day. So pretty much what I'm trying to say is that I have the best mom in the world. :) I'm not nearly as good as her at these things, but on St. Patrick's day we did make reuben sandwiches, green jello, and some very unappetizing green kool-aid. Thanks mom for wonderful traditions for us to carry on!