Friday, September 30, 2011

mommy daughter date + best friends

Bella and I are lucky enough to have our best friends Michelle and Brianne right across the street from us. Brianne is also the only girl in her family besides her mom Michelle, which is only a tiny reason why we get along so well. So whenever something uber girly comes around we all jump on it. Our latest girls night ended up being an overnighter far from home, and the girls even got to miss school. We traveled down to the tip of southern Utah to the Tuacahn Amphitheater. And when I say amphitheater, I mean a natural red rock one - AMAZING! So it was outside in the oh-so-warm night air with the stars twinkling overhead in the middle of nowhere (Ivins, UT).

Best friends - Bella and Brianne

The play that brought us here - The Little Mermaid!!

In our seats soooooo excited, and if we would have known how over-the-top, crazy amazing it was going to be, we would have been jumping up and down on our seats. I had heard great things about it, but I just thought, yeah, The Little Mermaid, of course it's good. Little did we know about effects... Just imagine - the lights turn on, and there in the distance you see a waterfall which begins to flow toward you, cascading over the red rock and then it hits the stage!!!! and then cascades over that!! It started with that and ended with fireworks - I'm not joking. And all the inbetween was just as jaw-dropping, and completely just lovely and entertaining. I was SHOCKED!! I still sit here stunned thinking about it. I could never have imagined anything so well done. Going into this I thought we were paying a little much for a children's play but by the end I was thinking we did not pay enough - now that's a rare treat.

Bella and the glimmering bronze King Triton!!

P.S.: Next year they are doing Aladdin and I'm bring the whole fam. You just might want to meet us there.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day of Rest

Well maybe it was not a day, but it sure was a full afternoon and evening.

I just may be waking up to these dirty dishes in the sink, something I usually hate. But not tonight. I'm in love.

My honey took care of kids and made a healthy fulfilling veggie meal.
I sat and read. Finished a book actually. I updated my goodreads and Matt made dessert.

He even cleared the table!!! Which is not all that rare to receive three exclamations points, but I'll be honest. It's pretty darn exciting that he is just going strong like the energizer bunny.

And now my perfect man is simmering his homemade tomato sauce, all fresh from the garden and putting kids to bed at the same time. And here I sit typing away........
Tonight's snuggle will include some garlic stained hands and a new book for me.

p.s. my editor just checked my blog for me and was all over that dirty dishes picture, claiming he was just going to do those!! He is emptying the dishwasher right now..

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beatty Roundup 2011

Our planned Beatty family camping trip fell through the cracks this year, much to everyone's disappointment. But Matt being who he is was able to whip up another to accommodate every single person in the family and wash away the old "it's too far!", "i don't have enough money!", "i can't get enough time off work!", and so on. He shortened and moved it closer to a place where he doesn't need a map to know where we're going..... our own backyard - southern Utah!!! (thanks be to Adie and her infectious enthusiasm for wanting to come here, and helping set the itinerary.)

We started off in Snow Canyon State Park. And much to everyone's surprise and delight it was not a million degrees when we woke to the desert sun.

My little mountain goats climbed up to the pioneer names, I think being so high up was starting to sink in with Bell.

While I was all the way down there - a little freaky.

We roamed the very surreal petrified sand dunes. And though it was all fun and no work the sun was now shining at full force which just seemed to zap any energy we had. Everyone was beet red.

In our heat-delirious state we decided to concur and select what seemed at the time like the hottest hike of all time. Up the remains of an old volcano, covered in black lava rock.

making our way around the rim

Orion was quite disappointed to find that there was no fiery hot lava bubbling away in the center of the cinder cone.

blistering hot Ade and Bella at the top!

Our next stop - the cool, wet, Virgin River in Zion National Park. I don't think any of us have ever looked so forward to water before. We were lusting for it and eyeing it the whole drive in.

The sweet water woke us right up and brought us back to life.

The sun may have had lasting effects on these three though.


and then they decided to make a puzzle

Our trip in Zion seemed to center around water. Emily and Joey, at Weeping Rock. You can't tell but there were boatloads of people. So to kiss the crowds goodbye we went to our friends' "secret swimming hole."


a cool hidden green gem all to ourselves

Heather and I taking flight for a moment

As soon as the first person jumped in Bella knew she wanted to also. Problem was, she was also very afraid. We all encouraged her but she didn't budge. And then she cried. So I told her to forget it and move on already. She refused and when we least expected it she yelled "I'm going!" and ran and jumped!!!

which also caused this guy to big brother up

Chillin and living the dream.... until the "secret swimming hole" became not so secret. But it was a marvelous thing to have for a while.

youngest to ...

... oldest. We had an awesome time. But awesome or not, it was time to move along.

We moved on to Red Canyon on our way in to Bryce. This was the first place where we were able to get a double site. We celebrated by preparing loads of food and a game of trivia (thanks of course to Heather and her love of trivia, and Jarom provided the amazing information from his National Geographic Kids magazines)!!

cute couples unite!! Em and Joey

Heather and Darin

Mikie and Amber

girls at Fairyland Point

starting our first hike in Bryce Canyon National Park

The earth's first artist - the earth itself. Orange and blue complement and contrast each other equally.


Down we go, through Wall Street

making sure we don't leave Papa in the dust

glowing orange

feeling so small, at the bottom looking up at these huge defiant Douglas firs stretching up out of the abyss

I want to keep a little orange dust in my pocket, doesn't it look so magical?

feeling like we entered a Dr. Seuss book

And all the way back at the top, you just can't get enough of the view.

We had two nights at a double site in Kodachrome Basin State Park. We came in with the full moon.

another desert (Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument) and another swimming hole - Lower Calf Creek Falls

thank you heaven, I have been blessed

The hike in was ever so hot and long. But we stayed and played long enough to be able to enjoy the hike back, naming flowers and finding old Indian ruins and rock art.

A lonely side trail to the hard-to-reach (and hard-to-find) Hundred Hands pictograph panel. Quite a sight. I wish I knew the story behind it ...

Our last day was mostly driving, but before hitting the road we went out, WAY out to Grosvenor Arch in the middle of the monument.

Everyone followed us home, where hot showers and real beds awaited. Darin was sweet enough to play the Wii with the kids, and they didn't mind that he was half asleep.

Can't wait till we are all together again. To see what other adventures we can dream up.