Friday, October 30, 2009

Family Vacation!

Note: This is a pretty long post. No one will be offended if you don't read it. Except maybe Julia. But she is easily offended these days, so don't think anything of it.

Hey, remember when we went on vacation a few weeks ago? No? Well, we did. And it was great! We decided that we needed a family vacation, just our family, and since we aren't hindered by kids in school, we thought it would be nice to go in the forgotten month of October. Also, October is a lot cooler than August. A bit cool in the mornings, but better cool in the mornings than scorching in the afternoons. I felt like the weather was perfect the whole trip.

We headed out on a Wednesday night for Moab. Julia loved the hotel. Well, really she loved 2 things about the hotel: the old style phone (we had to unplug it so she'd stop calling people), and the big mirror. Who doesn't love big mirrors?

Then we got to spend Thursday and Friday at Arches National Park. Clark and I went there on our honeymoon, so it was fun to revisit all those beautiful arches. And we finally made it to Double O Arch! Last time we were prevented from finishing the hike due to a fiasco, which we don't like to talk about, let's leave it at that. But we knew that we had to make it a point to get that hike in immediately, since we've been waiting for 5 years to see it. So Thursday morning, off we went.

Clark and Julia at one of the O's:

A family photo at Double O (don't you think it looks like a thought bubble?):

And we decided hey, we made it all the way to Double O, let's head the last half mile to Dark Angel. Which is cool, but not as cool as the arches.

After all that we were about spent for the day (and starving), so we headed back to town, had some food, and cruised around downtown Moab.

Then on Friday we did Delicate Arch and some of the other small hikes (Balanced Rock, Windows).

Can you see our teeny tiny family?

Julia loved the "Tweet tweets!" This raven was RIGHT next to us.

And a recreation of our favorite honeymoon picture:

Clark at a Window (Julia sleeping, which she did for a lot of the hiking time):

Shannon at another Window:

At Balanced Rock, we decided that Julia needed to stretch her legs and get some real hiking in. (If you can call a paved trail real hiking, which I think you can do when you are 18 months old).

Mostly, she liked to sit on the side. It's like a bench made just for her!

Friday night we met up with Suzanne, who also happened to be in Moab for a zoo class, and had a lovely dinner at the Moab Brewery. Good food, even better company.

After dinner we got out of town and headed to Cortez, CO. Google said it would take about 3 hours. It took more like 2 (maybe even less than 2).

Saturday was spent at Mesa Verde National Park. I had never been there before, and it was amazing. To think of people building these homes in the rock thousands of years ago is incredible.

Clark was pretty brave to carry Julia in the backpack while going up ladders and through tunnels. Ok, lies, we let her walk through the tunnels (since they are still taller than she is), but nevertheless, Clark was a champ.

Julia was less than interested in what the tour guides had to say, but we managed to get through 2 guided tours and 1 self-guided house before we hit major meltdown mode. Apparently 3 days in a backpack, plus all the driving in the car, naps on the run, and no crib in our second hotel make for a cranky cranky kid. There were a couple of time outs and lots of tears. So when we got back to the hotel, Clark and Julia crashed.

And the next day we headed home via Four Corners and Page, AZ. Since Julia and I had never been to New Mexico, and none of us had ever seen Lake Powell. Once again, Google said it would take about 9 hours. It took us 7. A pleasant surprise, to be sure, but wow. 2 hours off? That's a bit excessive, don't you think? Anyway, we all got our picture taken at Four Corners:

Apparently Julia has the same problem I do: an extra-long torso. All these tummy shots make me realize we're going to need to get some bigger (longer) jackets and tops.

And now we can say we've seen Lake Powell. From the car. But it still counts for something. And the McDonald's in Page is really quite nice. In case you were wondering.

We were exhausted when we got home, but it was good to get out of town for a few days and spend time together as a family. (I love how I say that like we don't spend time together every single day. You know what I mean.) Hooray for vacation!

Julia Goolia

Here are a couple of random little things about Julia that I've noticed lately:

Every time either Clark or I starts playing the piano, Julia dashes off to the study so she can play the keyboard. And by play I mean hit the button for the demo song, and then dance to the music. And when the first song stops (before song #2 can start), she resets it to go back and play song #1. Apparently she's got specific musical opinions already. I'm not sure if she hates the music we play on the piano, or she wants to be more involved, but that is what she does every single time. Without fail.

Also, the kid has touch issues. We went to the pumpkin patch on Monday, and started off at the petting zoo. Julia LOVES the animals, but she is very hesitant to touch them. Her friend Craig was in the pen with the goats while she was hesitantly putting her finger through the fence. And once she touched them, that was enough, she didn't need to sit and pet them. Just for looks, thank you very much.

I've been trying to have more structured activities for Julia during the day (especially since I've got a break from watching Isaac for a while, so she gets bored). I decided to make some play dough, just to see how it turned out. It was actually kind of a different consistency, but I thought it would definitely be fun to play with. Then I showed Julia, and had her touch it. I believe her exact words were, "No. No. No. Scary." So much for that.

Other things in the scary department: the vacuum ("Mama scary"), the lawnmower ("Dada scary"), (aren't you pleased that she has learned these gender roles already?) and the garbage truck. But buses are OK. In fact, buses are wonderful. She hears them in the distance and gets very excited about the, "BUS! BUS!" Even though sometimes it's not really the bus, it's the garbage truck. Secretly, I laugh inside every time she does that. Is that mean?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekly Quote 10/26/09

"So take me down to Birken Street
And maybe that's where we can meet
And maybe, but I don't know."

Peter B. in all his glory. New quote up!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Julia has started singing along with us lately. She will sing the first line of Baa Baa Black Sheep by herself, as well as the row row row part of Row Row Row Your Boat. And she'll fill in the words at the end of each line in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Also, she sings the echo on the Hello Song:

Thursday, October 22, 2009


While on vacation (which is another post entirely, a post which will hopefully exist soon), Julia surprised us by demonstrating that she can count to 10. So we spent a lot of time in Mesa Verde counting stairs and steps and rocks and birds. Lots of fun. I've been trying to catch it on video for a while now, but she would rather say, "Cheese!" and then run around to see the pictures on the camera. Finally I was inconspicuous enough to get it. To be fair, she rarely says 1 (you have to start it for her), and 2 and 4 sound the same (and sometimes 10, though she is getting better). But we were highly impressed and how she picked this up all on her own.

Sweet Sweet Squash

I mentioned before that my beautiful Butternut Squash was destined to become a lovely soup. Soup day was Tuesday. I peeled, chopped, and roasted that squash along with some apples, then sauted it with some butter, onion, garlic, added chicken broth, and then some cream for the final touch. Ohhhhhh, it was heaven. I've still got leftovers in my fridge, and I look forward to having soup for lunch (again).

And it turns out that 2 squashes (or is it 2 squash?) makes waaaaaay more than needed for the soup alone. So I made some Cinnamon Butternut Squash Muffins, recipe courtesy of $5 dinners. And, in fact, I had enough to make a double batch, so I've got a whole bunch of delightful muffins sitting in my freezer, waiting for those days when I don't have much time for breakfast.

And, because pumpkins are a squash afterall, and who doesn't love roasted pumpkin seeds, I decided that it would be fun to roast the butternut seeds. They are, in fact, delicious. And don't they look pretty sitting on my leaf plate? I knew I wouldn't regret buying that thing (even though this is only the 2nd time I've ever used it).
I feel so domestic.

And fall continues to be glorious.

Weekly Quote 10/19/09 (3-day-late edition)

"I can't wait to start singing and dancing and maybe even putting on the Ritz a little bit."

Well, it's Thursday. Kind of late for the weekly quote post. I was just going to forget it for this week, but then Clark asked me about it, and then I found out we have a Birken Street here in town (totally brightened my day), and well, I thought it was better late than never.

Last week's quote was from Glee. Sue Sylvester. Almost all of her lines are like gold. Sweet manna from the comedy gods. (Is that sacrilegious to say?)

New quote up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Things

Fall has finally arrived, and as such, I decided it was time to get some decorative squash to put on our counter. Which we will then eat. And love. Especially you, Butternut Squash. You are destined to be an amazing soup. Luckily, I just purchase this darling trifle bowl from my friend Holly, so I thought why not? Let's give the squash a bowl. I like how it turned out:

And then (and then!), I won something from We Chirp. Who I love, because a) they have fun giveaways, and b) they are as obsessed with Glee as I am. Guys. Glee. It pretty much rocks. And it's on tonight. If you haven't watched, I urge you to do so. Awesome music will be in your head all week long. Anyway, back to my winnings:

Good grief, how darling is that?! It's now sitting on my couch, in all it's lovely glory. Thanks to Heidi Devlin Design!

As an aside, I also won something from Give Away Today, and it arrived yesterday, and I'm terribly excited about it, but it's going to be a Christmas present for someone, so I can't post a picture of it yet. Soon. Christmas is only 71 days away! ( I don't know if that thought makes me happy or highly stressed out.)

Halloween Preview

Oh, I can't wait!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekly Quote 10/12/09

"I shall have. . . . a Birthday Cake!"

That was from last week's episode of Community. Good grief, that was a hilarious moment. New quote up!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I need a favor. . .

Have you heard of Nie? The lovely blogger who was in a place crash last year, but she's alive and kicking, and I find her blog to be inspiring. So. I like Nie. And apparently Nie is going to be on Oprah. Oprah! I am so excited to see it! It airs tomorrow! Oh wait, I have one problem. . . . WE ARE GOING OUT OF TOWN TOMORROW. At the exact time that Oprah airs (4pm). Nooooo!!! So, I have a request: Any of you folks out there want to record it for me so I can watch it when I get back? Anyone? Please? I'll bring you cookies!

And let me thank you in advance. Or should I say, let Julia thank you in advance. She's become awfully polite lately, saying thank you all the time. Here's an example:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oh those boys are much too much. . . .

A little video to brighten your Monday.

Le Weekend

Ah, conference weekend. I do love General Conference. Unfortunately, Julia doesn't seem to love it as much as I do, so I was quite distracted during the 3 sessions we did watch. Though I did just listen to Elder Holland's talk again, and wow. Wow. Powerful. If you missed it, go, listen. You will not regret it.

Saturday morning brought the marathon to St George. Which means that Friday night brought a fair number of house guests to the Blockburger residence. We had my cousins come stay (they ran in a cross country meet in Cedar Friday, and then set up a watering station at the marathon), and the Adams family pitched a tent in our backyard so Emilie could run the marathon (in under 5 hours!! Go Emilie!). So we figured, having never been before, it was high time we headed to town to watch those marathoners cross the finish line. I had no idea so many people turn out for this thing. It was a party! People everywhere! Bands playing along the course! People cheering! Camp chairs lined up along Main Street! Dogs, strollers, balloons, lots and lots of people! It was a blast. So glad we went, even if we did miss the first session of conference.

Also, I apparently decided that conference is the time to bake, because I made a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting on Saturday, and on Sunday I made bagels. I was going through some of my old recipes and found one for bagels, so I thought, Why not? And they aren't too bad. Not the best bagels of my life, but not bad. They are just plain, so maybe next time I'll try to spice it up with some cinnamon and raisins, or poppyseeds or something.

And in case you were wondering, yes, fall has arrived here in St George, and I love it. Cool nights, mmmmm. Though Julia doesn't seem to love it as much, because she gets cold. And then wakes up. In the middle of the night. Multiple times. Which doesn't really mix well with my insomnia. And couple that with Clark's new early shift at work, and I basically woke up for the day at 2:45. Fabulous. Tonight we're closing the windows. Wish us luck!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Weekly Quote 10/4/09

"I've never been so lost,
I've never felt so much at home."

This was from the song I Woke Up in a Car by Something Corporate. New quote up!


10 years ago today (and by "today" I mean "the day before General Conference"), I met my dearest Clarky. It took us a very long time to figure out the day we actually met, but it was indeed the day before conference. Clark and his roommate Dave were at our apartment when I came home, either playing Nintendo or talking about it, I'm not sure which. Clark had already met most of my other roommates the weekend before, when I was out of town. And then someone (Andrew M.) came to tell us that there was a car stuck in the moat, so of course we had to go look while they attempted to tow it out. Many sarcastic remarks were made about the poor driver of that car. Then we went for a walk around campus, and Clark and Dave eventually invited me (along with the rest of my apartment) to come to their apartment for breakfast before/during conference.

I wouldn't say it was love at first sight. But we certainly were fast friends.

What a good day.