The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Weekend in Washington


D.C, that is. I promise my next trip will be to the west coast Washington. This time around (my first trip in about 3 years!) I went to D.C. with my good friend Marjorie to visit an equally dear friend, Amie. It was a weekend of "so"s:

"That was so delicious!"
"I'm so happy to be with my friends!"
"This is so beautiful!"
"This is so fun!"

It was all true.

Marjorie and I left Thursday afternoon, and with a minor delay in Cincinnati (the flight crew disappeared for a short while...hopefully not to the bar) we made it to D.C. around 11:30. Amie took us for a drive through the city. I have to say that D.C. is a magical place. As soon as I get there and see the monuments, so beautifully lit, I start to hear in my head the roll of snare drums (the most patriotic of all the drums, wouldn't you say?) and then the muted trumpeting of horns...you know, some type of seriously patriotic music accompanying me around town.

Marjorie is moving to D.C. in the fall and so Friday morning she spent with a real estate agent looking for places to live while Amie stopped in to work. Amie lives in Arlington, VA not far from the Marine Corps War Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. I went for a long walk around the monument and then on into the cemetery. I kept thinking that I should turn around and head back, but then I'd see another interesting sight ahead and I just couldn't turn back. Alone time can be so wonderful. I didn't even have music with me to walk to, just my own thoughts and a feeling of awe.

After Amie and Marjorie returned we ate some lunch (Amie had shopped at Trader Joe's, a grocery store sorely needed in SLC, for yummy things like good cheese, fruit and bread) and then headed out into the city. We started out at the National Gallery of Art. I'm so glad we made it there. As we had been planning the trip, both Marj and I decided that we didn't care if we saw a single D.C. sight - we just wanted time with Amie. Once we were there, however, we had a ball packing it all in. The art museum was a dream come true for me - Amie dropped us off to find parking and I dragged poor Marjorie from one gallery to the next finding all the art I wanted to see. I finally got to see a real Vermeer. (Joy!) I also enjoyed Mary Cassatt, Van Gogh and of course Monet, Raphael, Renoir, ....I was in heaven. Something about seeing all the art fills me with this deep ache in my chest - a fierce longing and excitement, quiet reverence, intense desire...I don't know. The girls probably thought I was nuts. And they were right.

Next were the botanical gardens (I'm so glad we made it there - it was a magical kingdom!) and then shopping in the nearby town of Alexandria. They have a riverside shopping district similar in some ways to Park City. Lots of unique shops. However, it wasn't long before hunger prevailed and we had to find a good eatery. We couldn't decide where to go until we saw a group of cops hanging out on the bustling corner - who better to ask? They pointed us to a pub with great burgers and sirloin sandwiches - may I say it again? So good. At the end of the evening, exhaustion radiated throughout the car, but I asked if they could please drop me off at the WWII memorial - I hadn't seen it before and didn't know when I could see it again, so I spent a nice few minutes walking through the crowded monument. There were some beautiful quotes. Of course, I had told Marjorie I'd call her cell when I was ready for them to pick me up, only to discover that I didn't have her correct cell number. I was afraid I was stranded. Luckily the girls spotted me on a drive-by so I wasn't stuck there all night. And then of course we didn't go to sleep forever due to much chatting, chocolate eating and the neighbors partying outside.

Saturday morning: our first stop of the day was at the local farmers' market where we enjoyed local arts (I got talked into dangly earrings and a beautiful periwinkle wrap that I will try my best to wear without feeling self-conscious) and home grown food. We found great peaches and raspberries to make into cobbler. We decided to spend the rest of the day in Annapolis, Maryland. Wow. I would have thought the whole town a fabrication because it was so darling. Really picturesque, and also authentic, which made it all the more charming. And I can now say that I've had the best crab cake sandwich on the planet. After Annapolis we raced into the city to the Museum of Natural History so I could pick up a gift for Chase. Someday I hope I can take him there. Then we stopped in at Trader Joe's and then to the mall to look for shoes for Marj. I think we were officially exhausted. So Marj and I read more while Amie worked away on her paper, and then we ate a late-night cobbler dessert. Man. Good.

We spent Sunday morning walking through Arlington Cemetery, where we saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the changing of the guard. We also saw the Kennedy graves, which were so beautiful, surrounded by granite walls inscribed with the powerful and poignant words of the Kennedy brothers. I was especially touched that Jackie was buried next to two babies she lost. One was a son, who lived only two days and died only two months before her husband. The other, a daughter, was a stillborn baby. Her grave was marked only, "Daughter." I couldn't help but wonder if she ever got a name, even if it was only her mother who knew it. I had taken pictures of Jackie and John's graves, and even their son. I was almost going to walk away, but I couldn't go without a photo of little "Daughter" as well.

I really enjoyed attending Amie's church - the Arlington ward meets in a really lovely and serene building. I hope Marj is able to find a home in the area. The neighborhood was so delightful. After church was a delicious Amie-dinner, and then we rushed to the airport where we, after quite the comedy of errors in which I played the fool (thank you for the three separate stops, airport security!) very nearly did not make the plane. The trials of making the flight are enough for a blog entry all their own but I shall spare you the details, seeing as how it's unlikely anyone has made it to the end of this marathon entry as it is.

Thank you, dear friends, for the getaway weekend. Thank you, dear Troy for your support in going and for your great daddy-ing. The kids hardly knew I was gone. I must mention that we missed several people over the weekend - Carrie, TL, Emily, Eliza....you shoulda been there. And now I'm set for the next four years, right?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You Go, Indie-Go-Girls!


There's nothing like it. Sitting on a grassy hill on a breezy summer evening, listening to live music and watching interesting people walk the pathway in front of you. The sun casts a rosy glow on the beautiful hills above as the sun sets. You're eating great food (caprese sandwiches from Cuchina's, a favorite little deli in the avenues) and sitting with girlfriends in the summer air. I've been excited for weeks to go see the Indigo Girls with my good friend Misty (in red) and her two sisters Erin (white) and Kelly (stripes). Red Butte Garden is the perfect spot for a concert - it's just so beautiful and you can see well from wherever you are. The only thing missing was my friend Karen, a.k.a. KB, who is a fellow fan. I have great memories of road trips with her during which we put on the Indigo Girls marathon and sang along at the tops of our lungs.

This is basically what we did last night, for as many songs as we could. I have to admit I haven't kept up on the Girls' latest releases, so there were many songs to which I did not know the words. But there were lots of fun dancing songs anyway, as evidenced by my favorite character of the evening, whom I shall dub "Skirt Man" or possibly "Dances With A Skirt." What I learned about Skirt Man, thanks to several flips of his short little kilt as he repeatedly pranced by, was that he did indeed have undies on. They were tight and black, but they were there, and that was the important part.

Here are a couple clips of my favorite songs of the evening - sorry, you'll probably hear Misty and me "singing" along (more like laughing and yelling along, I think). Of course, Closer I Am to Fine (sorry, this one is sideways,) and a bit of the last song of the night, Galileo. I have to say, I did wonder if the Indigo Girls' hairstyles would change a little since they got started 20 years ago. The answer was no. However, nothing can take away from those great tunes and a fabulous evening. Thanks Y'all!




Monday, June 18, 2007

Daddy's Day Tops Off a Great Weeekend

What a nice weekend we have had.

This summer I'm trying to be proactive about doing a lot of fun things. We've received several calendars in the mail from places like the library, the farmers' market, the childrens' museum and the zoo, all full of fun things to do almost every day of the summer. I made these great big calendars on poster board to hang on the wall by the computer and we draw pictures or write down things we want to do on as many days as we can. Summer can seem long to me because I dread the heat a little bit. But now that I'm trying to find room to do all the neat things we can do, it seems like there's already hardly any summer left! And, I'm trying to enjoy the warmth while it's here. Come on, grass-is-always-greener-girl! It's been really fun to look at the calendar with CTP each evening, cross off the day and look ahead to what we're going to do.

The first big outing on the calendar was last Friday. I had drawn a large dinosaur on that day because my sister-in-law Kathleen and I were going to take our kiddos up to the Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park. We piled into her nice little mini van after lunch and made the drive. It's really a neat place, with some interesting fossil displays inside the museum along with a robotic t-rex and triceratops in a dark and atmospheric room. This room is the first place you arrive after paying your entrance fee. We visited this museum two falls ago when RAP was 6 weeks old. CTP wasn't quite three, and he was the first to run in that room. One glimpse of the roaring and lunging dinos sent him running. I was still coming up the stairs when I saw a terrified CTP literally leap into the arms of my friend Gina, who was the nearest familiar adult. He was so upset he stayed in the gift shop for 45 minutes. This time went better. Although he was initially alarmed, he was able to go into the room, clinging tightly to my arm. RAP also squeezed me a bit harder but was quite fascinated. The rest of the park is an outdoor maze of pathways leading around mounds and through leafy tunnels, filled with plaster statues of dinosaurs. Some life size, some not quite. I'm a bit of a dino-snob at this point at felt critical of some facts, but overall it was fun. And hot.



On Saturday we planned to visit Anderson Library for a Hawkwatch presentation. A cute and certainly granola-loving gal (she nearly walked off the screen of a Simpson's episode - she was such a perfect stereo type of a bird-lover) was there with a guitar and a bird. She sang silly songs, passed around plastic replicas of bird parts and even dressed CTP up like a hawk to demonstrate qualities of a raptor. CTP was thrilled. There were only three families there - I was surprised because it was a 100 degree day - you'd think more people would come to the cool library on a day like that. Anyway, the kicker was that she had a live hawk with her to show. CTP was really hoping to hold it, but alas, it was not to be. My favorite part was at the end during a Q&A time, CTP thought it good to bring up raptor dinos vs. raptor birds. The other kids were asking questions, but CTP made this comment, "Rapter Dinosaurs actually BEND in the middle." Huh? Even the presenter seemed stumped as to how to respond. Thanks for that, buddy. Of course I thought he was charming. I'm so glad we're taking advantage of all our community has to offer.

Daddy's Day was nice. I gave Troy a leather necklace with an "M" bead on it for Matthew. We've been working on getting some jewelry made to remind us of him, and it's taking a while. So in the meantime I thought he'd enjoy that, and I think he's happy to wear it every day. CTP gave him (you'll never guess) a dinosaur to play with. Isn't he thoughtful? I spent the day cooking for my in-laws - we really had a nice evening with them. It was so much cooler out that we ate on the back porch, and my friend Becky and her family joined us for a scrumptious chocolate truffle cake for dessert. Here's my new favorite salad recipe:

Mixed greens, your choice
Cut up chunks of watermelon
Crumbled feta cheese
Avocado
Red onion - sliced, marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then grilled until caramelized
Some tangy vinaigrette.

Yum. Happy Father's Day to all, and to all a Good Night.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ups and Downs

This is RAP:



This is RAP without a nap:



Incidentally, she was wearing jammies that had the word "cutie" embroidered across the front. Indeed. The jammies were the problem - she liked the pants and wanted to wear them on top, which I was not able to help her with. It brought to mind the verse,
"There was a little girl
who had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good
she was very very good
and when she was bad,
she was horrid."
That is my child. Eventually a couple times through "Goodnight Moon" and her favorite goodnight song (There was an old Lady who Swallowed a Fly... don't ask my why that's her favorite. It just is.) helped her settle into sleep. And then mommy went for a long hard walk. Alex was happy.

We had a nice weekend. Well, I did. I took the kids for this monster walk and ended up at a park we hadn't been to before. The weather was perfect, RAP had fallen asleep in the stroller, and CTP was playing happily. I sat down and stretched out in the sun. CTP sat beside me, also stretched out in the sun and said, "Mom, isn't today just beautiful? I mean, isn't it just gorgeous?!?" "Yes indeed," I replied. Of course, on the way home he complained that he was thirsty and I didn't have a drink for him. When he asked me why not, I told him that I made a mistake. "I'm sorry," I said, "I'm just not perfect. I make mistakes sometimes!" He replied, "No you don't, mom, you're pretty!" Awww. Thanks CTP. Not that pretty is the opposite of mistaken, but I'll take the compliment from my sweet son anyway.

In the meantime, Troy was at home unclogging our extremely clogged sink. We had tried the drano thing, several times, to no avail. Finally, after CTP spent an afternoon playing in the backed-up water with an army of plastic carnivores, it became obvious that more effort would be required. Luckily it didn't take Troy too long to take care of the problem. After cleaning out the pipe he displayed an impressive catch: 3 hairclips, 2 earrings, 2 pennies, 1 pair of tweezers, 1 pimple popper, and 1 human tooth. (That last one belonged to my niece, Mary Grace, who was very distressed after losing a tooth at my house - she dropped it down the drain while admiring her new negative space in the mirror.) I guess there was also the usual presence of gunk and hair ("A tremendous buildup of filth and muck!" Name that movie....) but we don't need to give details on that. Anyway, hoorah to Troy for fixing the sink.

And to end on a nice note, RAP did get a nap on Sunday, and was very difficult to wake up, partly because she's quiet and nice while she's sleeping and I just can't quite bring myself to do it.



P.S. I just finished a book I just loved: "These is my Words" by Nancy Turner. Thanks for the suggestion, Misty!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bedtime Conversation

C:
"Mom?"

Me:
"Yes Chase?"

C:
"Did Dinosaurs have warm heads?"

Me:
"I don't know, honey."

C:
"You don't know a lot, Mom."

Me:
"I know."

C:
"But you do know a couple things."

Me:
"Thanks, C."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Not Really Hungry Now

CTP:
"Wow mom. Are you cooking meat? Are you cooking COW meat? That smells really really good. That smells as good as a cow!"

Monday, June 04, 2007

CTP in Five Chapters

Chapter One: Dinotopia

Have you heard of this book? It's incredible. Beautiful illustrations and a really fun concept of a father and son discovering, after being washed ashore an island following a shipwreck, a society where dinosaurs and humans have lived in harmony for generations. About five years ago a made-for-tv movie came out based on the book, but updated to a modern pair of brothers who also washed ashore following a plane wreck. We've rented this movie from the library a couple of times and we've checked out the book several times as well, pretty regularly over the past 3 years. I don't know what clicked for C about 2 months ago, but Dinotopia suddenly became his main topic of thought, conversation and play. Just ask his cousins, especially Hannah. I think if C asks her one more time to play Dinotopia she's going to run away screaming and pulling out her hair. I have actually now offered to PAY her to come play Dinotopia with C because he loves it so much. I finally decided to just buy the dang DVD, thinking that he could watch it occasionally instead of always asking us all to play it with him. You're wondering what I was thinking, right? Me too. His efforts have doubled. He has a stuffed dinosaur that used to be named Topsy-Turvy the Triceratops. However, there's a chasmasaurus (similar to a triceratops) in the movie named "26" (don't ask) and now poor Topsy will forevermore be called 26. Here's C grinning from ear to ear on the day his DVD arrived in the mail.

Chapter Two: First Summer Vacation

Here's CTP at his last-day-of-school water party last Thursday. Let it be known that we have ADORED Miss Patti - she is the neatest teacher. We found her through our friend Marianne, and although she lives far away from us in the Canyon Rim area, about 15 minutes away, she was so worth the drive. Next year we're going to attend a pre-K class closer to home, and I'm just so sorry that we're not going to Miss Patti. Luckily the school at Bennion Elementary was recommended by several friends, so I'm sure we'll do great. But it's hard to leave Patti. Also, I've only just started to get to know the other moms. I guess all winter long at drop-off and pick-up times we just sat in our cars and watched our kids come and go. With the warming weather, we're actually getting out of our cars and talking. I've gotten to know two moms in particular and we've had some really fun play dates. I'm just about the only person not returning next year. It would have been so fun actually knowing the other people. I even considered taking C there again next year despite the addition of one more day a week, but then we thought that at Bennion, C might be in a class with kids he'll go to kindergarten with, which is certainly not the case now.

Chapter Three: Prepositionally Challenged

Picture this. I'm sitting at the computer, which is next to the bathroom door. C comes running up in a panic, announcing that he has to go to the bathroom. He likes to keep me informed. He runs into the bathroom, yanks down his pants, and has at it. Then he says, "Ooops! I think I tinkled ON the potty, not IN the potty!" I look over. Indeed, the lid remains closed, though the deed has been done. Thank heavens for antibacterial bathroom cleaner.

Chapter Four: The Rematch

S came to town. You know, S, C's cousin, son of Adam & Whitley, sibling to L (the disappointingly non-Flash sister), the one child who seems to raise C's sense of competition more than any other. They had a showdown at my folks' house. Guess what. They did great! They played dress-up ("We're being GIRLS!!!"), played Twister, ran around the yard and played in the hammock. I don't think they had a single duel. They probably just didn't have enough time to really get going. My dad got really creative with the Twister game, what with C and S not really knowing left and right just yet. "Put your belly button on yellow!" "Put your armpit on green!"

Chapter Five: I didn't quite catch that

Today. Five p.m. I'm fixing dinner while C is sitting on the kitchen table with a giant green glob of playdough we just made and he's stuffing little dinosaurs into it and pretending to dig them out. He says, "Look Mom! I'm exhibating dinosaurs!" What? The award for creative combination of two words into one goes to my son, CTP.