Thursday, June 26, 2014

Park City Vacation!

We spent last week in Park City, Utah, hanging out with Pappa, Susu, Amy and Holten. The time flew by and we had so much fun experiencing everything from snow (in June!) to hiking to a couple of road trips.

We were the first of the bunch to arrive in Salt Lake City, so we ate breakfast at a local coffee roasting company and then toured downtown SLC before heading into the mountains. Gray insisted daddy put gel in his hair and I think it makes him look a lot older.

We found a short trail while we were driving through the mountains, but after a few minutes of hiking we decided we were not properly dressed for the cold, howling winds and headed back to the car.

There was also a local artist and farmers' market a few blocks from our hotel. Gray made a few crafts, including a "pot holder" which he sewed on a hand-crank Singer. 

Finally it was time to pick up Aunt Amy and Holten from the airport. Reunited at last!

We made a beeline for the hotel where the boys swam for hours before bathing and watching a movie. 

We celebrated Father's Day at In and Out Burger on the way from SLC to Park City. It doesn't get much better than burgers and shakes for this crowd!

We took the scenic drive to Park City (much to Susu's dismay) and stopped at this awesome overlook called Guardsman Pass.

We also happened across this guy on the drive to Park City. He was right at the entrance to a neighborhood and seemed to be posing for us to take a picture. 

Enjoying the street art at Park City

Checking out the climbing wall during another local street festival

Normally, these fellas love the hotel swimming pool, but they were more obsessed with the jacuzzi tub in Pappa and Susu's bathroom. They asked for a bath every day!

Learning the art of shuffleboard

We drove over to check out Sundance one afternoon and it was my favorite part of the trip. The boys didn't seem to notice the gorgeous setting, they were more interested in climbing and jumping off this boulder.

Pappa and Susu with their boys at Sundance

Sisters and their silly boys

I could have stayed at Sundance forever. Pictures just don't do it justice.

Back in Park City, we also checked out Olympic Park where they held several events for the 2002 Olympics. These were the ski jump venues and there were also luge and bobsled tracks nearby (see below). 

We went hiking one day while Pappa and Susu took the boys swimming. This was at the top of a 10,000 foot peak near Guardsman Pass. So beautiful!

This was the view from the top. We made it!

As we were checking out the shops on Main Street in Park City one day, it started snowing! We ended up getting about two inches. Then the next day it was 70 degrees. Bizarre! 

Michael took the boys on a road trip to Dinosaur National Monument which was three hours away. They came back extremely excited and I think it was one of the highlights of their trip. 

They couldn't believe they got to touch the "old bones."

Checking out the petroglyphs

The boys also earned their junior ranger badges and got stamps in their national parks passports. So much fun!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swim Buddies

We've been enjoying lots of playtime with friends this summer. A few weeks back, we kept Cora and Claire for an afternoon and had so much fun hanging out with these adorable sisters. It's always so interesting to hang out with little girls since I live in a boy's world.

The girls tolerate my presence but they absolutely adore having Michael's attention. From sitting next to them at the kids' table to playing pirate ship in our living room chairs, everyone wanted "Mikey" (as they call him) to be with them at all times.

Enjoying a strawberry popsicle treat

Making up pirate ship games in our swivel chairs. Could a few more folks fit in one piece of furniture?! (Disregard the half-way remodeled built-ins in the background, more on that soon)

We also recently hosted a swimming play date with one of Gray's kindergarten classmates, Stella. Apparently she is not his girlfriend, but they have plans to get married someday. Stella's mom and little brother Ben also joined in the fun. It turns out they live within walking distance, so I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them this summer. 

Ben wasn't very fond of the pool, but had a blast with the bubble gun

Stella and Gray drying off

Making up games to entertain themselves

We are very fortunate to have so many kiddos close by who are around Gray's age. It is always entertaining to see them interact and watch their imaginations at work.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our lil' ball player

A couple of weeks ago, Gray attended a three-day baseball camp with the coaches and players from one of our local high schools. He has been interested in baseball for quite some time, but refuses to hit off the tee so we pitch to him in the backyard until our arms are tired.

While he's a good little hitter, I've refused to sign him up for a team until he learns to catch, field and run the bases. I figured this camp would help him learn some basics without having to commit to a full season. He enjoyed every hot and sweaty minute of it.

They learned all kinds of techniques for hitting and fielding, and he even got to wear daddy's old baseball pants. He felt like the big time!

At the end of the camp, they passed out medals for the boys who scored first, second and third in various contests throughout the camp. Gray brought home two medals, but was more excited to be given his very own baseball shirt that matched the varsity players and coaches.

This one is a bit blurry, but he finally found joy in hitting off a tee.

One of his hits during a practice game on the last day of camp.

He got a couple of good hits that day and even made it to second base. 

He had a short stint playing first base and then rotated to the outfield.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Adventures with Nana

Summer is off to a very busy start and I can't believe it's already June! We enjoyed a trip to Houston over Memorial Day weekend and then Gray unexpectedly stayed with Nana and Popper the following week.

Michael and I enjoyed a few child-free days, taking advantage of dining at some of our favorite restaurant patios around town. It's amazing how relaxing dinner can be when you aren't having to remind a child to eat between every bite. We also ran errands and stayed out past nine -- crazy! As enjoyable as it was, we were missing our boy by the weekend.

Nana drove Gray back last Saturday and is staying with us for two weeks to help with Grayson since he's no longer in day care. The two of them are inseparable and are so worn out by the end of the day that Nana goes to bed shortly after Grayson. We are all very lucky she's here.

They go to swim lessons every morning and for the next few days have baseball camp in the afternoons. Earlier in the week they also hit up several events at our local library and managed to work in an ice cream run and pancakes for lunch somewhere in there. I seem to meet them coming and going.

Nana, Michael and Gray have also been good sports as I've tried out a few new dinner recipes from Pinterest. I'm tired of our same 'ol dinner routine, but I'm sure they will all be thankful when we order pizza or something more "normal" this weekend.

Here are a few pictures Nana has captured during their recent adventures:

Drawing frogs in his sketchbook

Lining up with his classmates before his first swim lesson

Riding the carousel at the Houston aquarium 

Gray & Nana exploring the aquarium

Spiderman and Popper

Riding the train at Hermann Park

His first ferris wheel ride overlooking the Houston skyline

Playing Legos with Popper

This boy can't keep up with his Nana!