Our Matthew's birthday celebration was extra special this year because believe it or not this marked the 10th anniversary of his birth. We clearly have long-established traditions that our whole family loves, and this year was no different. I do wish I could put regular life on total hold every May the 5th, but of course that is never possible. I had PTA meeting that day and many other commitments, but we were still of course in Do Not Disturb mode starting at about dinner time. The busy day made it extra hard for me to be able to make a cake this year. I was happy to let that go, and it actually ended up being kind of fun. After I went and picked up dinner (from where else - Panda Express, my children's most favorite restaurant ever) and picked up our balloons, we all went to Gourmandise Bakery. Each of us selected a ridiculous pastry of our choice and we ended up with a cake box full of about 4,000 calories. That was good fun. Our park was again magically deserted on the warm spring evening and all went well with our dinner, our notes and our send off of balloons.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Ok ok...time to catch up on my last four months. Or so. I think the next thing to get to was our Spring Break. It was in the middle of April, and we did our best to fill up the week with fun things to do. Our first outing was to try out the Living Planet Aquarium on a Monday night. I had some doubts about doing this; I was expecting the Aquarium to be absolutely packed. It's open later that evening and has a discounted entry price. I figured it would be the worst time to go. However, my friend Emily wanted to visit the aquarium for the first time, and if you're not going to buy a pass, Monday nights are the only way to do it. Either buy a pass or go on a Monday. The regular entry price is extremely steep. I was very happy to discover that for some weird reason the late hours and low price drew no crowds at all. We felt like we had the run of the place.
Plus they were giving away free ice cream.
On a different day (who knows what day that was at this point. It feels like half a lifetime ago!) and with different friends we headed for the zoo. You know, I'm amazed by the zoo. How many times have I been there in the past 14 years? Sooooooo many. Barely worth blogging. I go at least a dozen times each year and yet somehow it's still a draw. I think it's partly because the animals are up to something different every time. You never know who will be active one time and hiding another time. Plus after all these years I feel somewhat connected to many of these animals. I've seen them grow up in some cases, like Zuri the elephant who was born the same summer as Emma was. Plus it just a nice way to walk, be with my family, be in a pleasant environment (as long as it's not 3:00pm in July) and enjoy some of the earth's beauties. So I keep going. I think since this spring break visit I've been like four more times. Ha! That's a worth-it membership.
In the Rocky Shores exhibit, which features the wildlife of the north west, there was a place to leave notes of support and condolences on the passing of Rizzo, a somewhat elderly female Polar Bear who had passed away due to kidney function complications. We really loved Rizzo. She used to put on a great show, swimming underwater then splashing up against the glass wall where visitors stood and cheered for her. It was really sad to lose her. My favorite though is that Emma wrote that she would always love and miss "Risotto."
About midweek I started feeling like this:
But I soldiered on.
On another outing with still other friends, we visited the aviary. I guess this family is just in to the animal world. Sadly, this day I seem to remember was rather more on the warm side and was a little uncomfortable. But still fun. These friends are so dear. I couldn't convince the boy to join us, which was fine. He needed a break.
Yet still I soldiered on.
We decided to get out of town and visit the St. Georgians before Easter. We loaded up on Chase's favorite Maverick hotdogs and hit the road
This picture of Chase and Iva might be one of my all-time favorites. We were leaving a restaurant and she just looked up at him and said, "You are very tall Chase." She is the darndest most darling girl. Sometimes I'm afraid I won't be able to convince my big teenager to go visit the house filled to the gills with little girls but the delights of Iva and Sam always entice him.
Friday we spent the day, Peter included, at the local reservoir. Lovely lovely day. It wasn't all that blisteringly hot in St. George yet but still warm and lovely.
We returned home in time for our regular Easter celebration which is that we dye eggs at the last minute. And when I say eggs I mean way too many eggs. This year though I made a discovery that was THE BEST thing ever. Are you ready for this madness? I DID NOT HARD BOIL THE EGGS. I loathe that part of egg-dyeing. Half of them crack. My kids are never satisfied with just 3 or 4 eggs; they love to express their creativity on the clean white canvas of an egg I guess. So then I end up with so many hard-boiled eggs that I just want to die. This year? I just didn't boil them. I skipped that part. And the eggs dyed up just exactly the same - no difference at all. I let the kids do like a dozen each. They were in heaven! Quite the collection. The big test was when I went to use the first colorful eggs in a recipe and....nothing happened. It was just eggs. No color in the food at all. I AM NEVER BOILING EGGS FOR EASTER AGAIN!!!!
We invited my dad and my nieces and our neighbors Bob and Tawnee over for Easter dinner. Emma and Romney made bunny-butt cupcakes. Thank you, pre-packaged baking kits.
Then we had our first-ever experience with real Easter magic. Turns out that my niece Kate and her boyfriend Cameron run a business raising rabbits. And one rabbit had just had babies. So after dinner they went and fetched a whole bunch of little easter bunnies for us. Oh my cuteness times a billion. If the bunnies could stay that size I would be all over owning one. Big bunnies are mean. I'm not a fan. But these little handfuls of fuzzy love? I wish. We even called up Emily and co. to come get some bunny-time too.
Too many pictures! I know! But can you blame me? It was so fun!