Friday, July 31, 2015

The boy who lived

Today is the day we honor the boy who lived.

When I got home from work Mariah and I decided that we needed to do something fun to celebrate the day. So we went to the store to get stuff to make cake balls and butterbeer, then watched Harry Potter 6. (We watched the first 5 this summer but never felt like watching 6, and we couldn't just skip it and watch the 7s so we just stopped watching them altogether. But today we muscled through it. For Harry.)

I may not be the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world, but I did enjoy all the books. They were a part of my childhood and I recall anticipating each new book and the adventures that awaited Harry, Ron and Hermione. I discussed and debated with cousins about who's side Snape was really on, and hypothesized about what everything all meant as we waited for the series to end and our questions to be answered.  The 7th and final book came out my senior (?) year and I went to the book release at midnight then came home and read the entire book that day. I felt real sadness when they were all over.

So I mean, how could we not celebrate him on this, his day of birth? (That and the fact that celebrating fun little things like this and donut day and sibling day and what not just give life a little more spice and enjoyment! Can I get an amen?)

It was kind of like our duty, after all.

We tried 2 different recipes for butterbeer - and they were both delish!

The butterscotch cream was delicious!

And how do you try butterbeer for the first time without taking a selfie? It just can't be done. 

We also made cake pops. And they are supposed to be snitches and Harry Potter. Although 2 of them look like Voldemort... I told Mariah that and she got offended. So don't bring it up, mmmkay?

That was all fun and stuff. But here's the part that gets embarrassing. I'll let the photos do the talking.


Happy birthday Harry!

And just for kicks:

This was the last time we honored this blessed day.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer 2015 - the "after" reunion

The reunion ended Wednesday morning, but the fun and adventuring sure didn't! My family, Tara, Tricia and the Steve Gunderson's all went to Grandma and Grandpa's from the reunion.

We watched all the lip sync videos again and Zaiden and Caitlan gave us an encore with some Katy Perry and Kenny Rogers songs.

Then we made cookies!

Caity and Zyler stuck around for the whole thing, spooning the dough onto the cookie sheets every 8 minutes

And eating it

Zaiden helped mix it all up then came back to eat!

Smart kid!

Tara and I went on a walk. I think I would rather go on a walk through Centerfield more than pretty much anything else in the world. Maybe because we go on at least one walk every time we go to Grandma's, (sometimes more than once a day), and those are always filled with pretty great conversation and catching up in the most beautiful country scenery, with farmland reaching to the mountains, with tractors, horses and farm sprinklers just off the long, dusty roads. And it sure helped that it was only in the 70's! Oh man I love that place!

That evening Tara and I went up to Provo to stay at her apartment. We exchanged old family photos and came across some real gems.

Then Jana came over and we talked the night away about life, missions, jobs, growing up, real life, and just society in general. And that was pretty much the best. I love those kinds of conversations; but I love those girls even more!

The next morning Tara and I made a huge breakfast and went on another walk. I'm always amazed and how beautiful the city parks are in Utah. They are far, far superior to AZ parks.

Then we met up with Rachel at a Thai place, Bangkok Grill, with the most amazing pineapple curry, and talked more about real life and jobs and politics and it was just as enjoyable as the night before. I sure love all these cousins of mine!
Rachel and Blake just bought a new house in Orem that they were busy painting and carpeting and all that other fun jazz that comes with buying a new house. So we went to get the tour! As we were about to leave Uncle Ken and Malerie showed up to help paint... so we went back to Provo to Tara's apartment to change our clothes then came back to paint the afternoon away.

We stopped when we thought we were done and convinced Rachel to meet us at the Provo food truck roundup for some grub! So again we went back to Tara's apartment, changed our clothes and headed to get some food! We all got food from different trucks so we could try a few things.

Then all too soon it was time to part ways; that's always the worst part. Tara took me to the Springville Seagull Book so I could meet my family as we headed back down to Centerfield for the night.
The skirt Tara didn't buy

Even though I only see these guys for a few days twice a year, they are still my favorite people! It doesn't matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, we can catch up as if we saw each other the day before. I really like that. And it just reminds me how blessed I am that they are my family.