Wednesday, July 5, 2017

St George Adventures Continued

After our week of Anniversary and Rockville adventures, our fun was still not quite over! We got to spend most of the next week in St George at John and Lucina's house. Basically what that looks like for us is Stephen getting to golf every day with his dad while Lucina watches my baby, makes me delicious food, and chats with me all day long. It is the best.

June 30, 2017: Rory tried some cherries. I love her look in the last picture like she is personally offended by the cherry for being so gross.

Rory got a lot of time to play with her cousin Tanner (all a lot of her other cute cousins, too) but these two are only three weeks apart and watching them together is so much fun. There are so many things that Tanner does that remind me of Rory that I was just obsessed with him right from the start. He is so sweet and chill. I love the fish face he pulls, I love the way he shakes his head to dance, and I love that he and Rory try to casually eat each other with no hard feelings. This is them fighting for Grandma's attention and then having a hard time figuring out if they should listen to Grandma or Poppap as they sang, "Lalala".

 Rory also got to spend a lot of time swimming at Grandma and Poppap's pool. The first day, she LOVED it. After that, it really depended on her mood. Here's Madison, Rory, and Sydney swimming together, while Stephen sneaks up in the background to spray Rory. He would use the squirt gun to spray a stream of water on the top of her sun shade that would then rain down on her head, hence the wet floppy hat, and Rory squealed with delight every single time. She basically thinks that everything Stephen does is the coolest.

That night Stephen and I went with John and Ashleigh to see Newsies at Tuacahn- yes, that makes for two shows at Tuacahn in two days! A couple months earlier, I had gotten a text from Stephen while he was at work that said, "Thinking of doing a movie night. Would you rather watch Shrek or Newsies?" Well, I'm no dummy and I knew that those were the two musicals playing at Tuacahn over the summer and I was ecstatic. I think I answered that I would want to watch Newsies, because I've never seen the live musical. We went back and forth for a while talking Shrek vs. Newsies, and I assured Stephen that both would be good so it didn't matter which he chose. He finally responded, "Never mind, how about we just watch Moana?" I realized my brain might have gotten ahead of me and he really just wanted to watch a movie. So we watched Moana and had an awesome time! Then a month or so after that, John and Ashleigh group texted us to ask if we wanted to see Shrek with them on Saturday when we were all in St George. I remembered our earlier conversation and thought this was my chance to see Stephen squirm if he had been talking about Tuachan tickets. Before I could reply, John and Ashleigh quickly wrote back that actually they could only make it for Newsies on Friday. Again, I waited for Stephen to squirm, but he just looked at me and said, "I dunno, does that sound fun to you?" To which I replied, "Uh, duh." So we made plans to see Newsies with them and I was so excited. So now you can see why when Stephen told me he had tickets to see Shrek the night before I was doubly surprised! That's two musicals two days in a row! They were both so so good, but I may have enjoyed Newsies just a little bit more so I am so glad we got to see both. You just can't beat those big classic dance scenes in Newsies.

July 1, 2017: Rory is obsessed with John and Ashleigh's dog, Vienna. She gets so excited and wants to be watching her always, but she also gets little scared so she doesn't quite know what to do with herself. 

She was not quite so shy with her cousin Siena. Sorry I am raising such a bully, Siena.

 The new baby crew straight chillin: John holding Siena, Rory, Stephen in the background, Tanner, and Linne. Just missing their homegirl, Samara!

John, Siena, Florence, and Stephen. Cute brothers make cute babies!

 Rory and Tan Man teaming up on Stephen. 

We celebrated the fourth of July with Nate and Linne's ward who do a cute little parade down their street that ends in a pancake breakfast. It was a fun and delicious morning and Rory was a huge fan of the food. Also, the little red, white, and blue romper my mom got for her was just to die for. Of course, she was not having it for picture time, but it was still the cutest.

Madison holding Siena, Sydney holding Tanner, and Cooper holding Rory. 

Later in the day we had a BBQ at John and Lucina's. Stephen grilled up some tri-tip, chicken, and fresh garden veggies for us all that turned out amazing. Rory had a pretty grumpy day, but her grumpiest moment was when all her food was gone. She was teething pretty hard and bit everything in sight, including Stephen's nose.

 After dinner we hit up the after party at Nate and Linne's house for games, desserts, and fireworks. The girls made us all delicious sno cones while Linne set up glow in the dark bowling. We attempted to put Rory down to bed unsuccessfully many times, until we finally gave up and decided to just let her party with the rest of us. The glow in the dark bowling was so cute and fun. Coop got so into it he lost his pants. Besides the sno cones, Linne made an adorable flag fruit spread with a delicious dip and some chocolate covered pretzels. Nate and Linne's house has the best view of the town's fireworks and this year did not disappoint. And again, Rory stayed up for the entire thing because I am a good parent.

We spent the next morning packing up and getting ready for our drive home. I caught Rory and Stephen being adorable together during her morning bottle.

One of my favorite parts of the week was watching Rory eat in this high chair. For whatever reason she preferred to sit way far back slouched down in the chair, and then she would hoist herself up to grab a piece of food, and then lean right back down to eat it. It made me laugh every single time. 

 Rory slept most of the way home, and so she was rewarded by getting to drink water out of a big girl cup when we stopped for lunch. She loved it. It's the little things.

We love St. George and luckily we always have lots of good reasons to go back!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Anniversary Trip

 On June 27, 2017 we celebrated our two year anniversary. I know, TWO WHOLE YEARS. And they said we'd never make it... 
Stephen took some time off work and we planned a getaway to St George. Even though St George is usually only 5 degrees cooler than Phoenix, trust me, you can feel the difference. 
We drove to Las Vegas on Sunday night after church. We got the audio book of Atlas Shrugged, which is one of Stephen's favorite books- I've never read it before and we are still working on it so no spoilers!- and that kept us busy and alert on our drive. Rory slept the whole way and will therefore forever be our favorite child. We made it to John and Ashleigh's house pretty late in the evening, but were still greeted by John and Vienna. I was worried how Rory would handle Vienna since the only other dogs she had seen in her life she had totally flipped out, but she LOVES Vienna. John was playing fetch with her and Rory thought it was the funniest thing in the whole world. 
Monday morning Stephen woke up early to buy us some Pink Box donuts and John and Ashleigh made delicious french toast. After eating way too much, I stuck a couple more donuts in plastic to go bags and we took off for St George. 
We went straight to John and Lucina's house to drop off Rory so they could watch her while we celebrated our anniversary. Stephen had made hotel reservations for us but he wouldn't tell me where. We drove up the cliffs with the big D on them and he said, "Do you have any idea where we are going yet?" I responded, "This is the way to Nate and Linne's house..." and he said, "Yep! You guessed it! We are staying in their basement and the girls are going to make us dinner tonight." It didn't sound like the evening I had anticipated so I was trying to act excited when Stephen kept going past their street turn off and said, "Or we can just stay here instead." 
We pulled up to the Inn on the Cliff and it was gorgeous. Here is the view from our room: 

There was chocolate waiting for us on the bed so obviously I was in heaven. The Inn also has an attached restaurant so we got all fancy for our dinner reservations that evening.

We started with Italian sodas and some crispy Parmesan fries. They were both delicious. Yes, that giant fry appetizer was obviously meant for a much bigger party than the two of us, but I've never been a quitter. It was so nice to enjoy a dinner just the two of us. We are not big on eating out, and when we do it's usually drive thru Chick-fil-a, so to be at a fancy dinner with no baby to worry about was such a treat. 

My dinner, noodle purses filled with pears and four cheeses in a cream sauce with spinach and tomatoes

Stephen's country fried chicken and potatoes. 
 I was so stuffed, SO STUFFED, that I couldn't even THINK about eating the cazookie they offer on their dessert menu. Oh well, guess that means we have to go back to try it next year.

Anniversaries call for selfies because let's face it, we are only getting older and fatter. 
 We regrouped after dinner and let our stomachs do a little settling. We had plans to go to Rockville the following day so we stopped by Nate and Linne's to pick up a park pass and got to chat with her for a little bit. I rallied and decided I had room for dessert after all. We went to Iceberg for a little milkshake. I had been there once or twice before and I remember the shakes being bigger than I expected. When I told Stephen I wanted a mini size he looked at me incredulously because I never want a mini size, but he shrugged it off and followed my lead. As soon as we got our shakes we kept saying over and over again, "THAT'S a mini!?" They were delish.  And ginormous.

Stephen will tell you only ice cream can make my face look this happy.
We went back to our hotel with our giant milkshakes in hand and Princess Diaries just so happened to be on TV. I sat in bed and ate my gargantuan dessert and watched my movie and cuddled with my husband (and ate his shake too) and realized that life will probably never get better than this moment.
Basically the moral of this story is that after two long years of marriage, Stephen has learned that food is the key to my heart.

Being married to Stephen is truly better than I could have ever imagined any marriage being. I felt like as a realistic person, I grew up thinking if I can get someone to marry me that is strong in the gospel and nice to me and my family, I will have it made. It would be great if he were handsome and funny, but that seems like asking a lot so I'm cool either way. So then I meet Stephen and I was like; gospel- check, nice- double check, handsome and funny- CHECK and how on Earth did I hit this jackpot?!? But it doesn't stop there. Stephen is good at everything he tries. Seriously everything. It would be annoying except for the fact that I'm the one that always benefits from it. He can play guitar so well! I knew that when we were dating, but he will seriously learn any song that I want him to in like twenty minutes. It's insane. And that's with a broken finger that doesn't work anymore. And he's handy! I never expected to have a handy husband. He keeps fixing things around the house and coming up with new projects and I am amazed at what he can do every single time. He even has an eye for decorating. It's sweet because he says he will always defer to my judgement, but the few times we have disagreed about where something should be in the house or what would look good, he's usually the one that ends up being right. He can cook, and he's very good at it. I get more practice than he does nowadays so I think I am finally catching up, but the first half of our marriage he was so patient with me as I ruined meal after meal. How frustrating for him, because he would have been eating great if he was in charge of meals, but he never once got upset over it. And he even took me out for ice cream for dinner on days where I'd made something that was inedible. He's romantic. The first time (Yes, there have been several since) that he came home with flowers for me I was baffled because I was like, "What? Why? How? Who died??" And they were 'just because' flowers. Basically I could write a novel about all the reasons why my life is better now that Stephen is a part of it, and maybe someday I will because I recently thought of a title for my autobiography and it's too good to waste: I Can Look Good or I Can Get Stuff Done- But I Can't Do Both: The Kylie Earl Marsh Story

Back to our trip!

We got up the next morning and toyed with the idea of going to Kneader's for breakfast, but we had been spending a lot of money on food already, so we decided to give the complimentary breakfast at our hotel a try. They brought it right to our room and HOLY COW it was so good. Fresh fruit yogurt parfait, hard boiled egg. Tillamook cheddar cheese, homemade cinnamon roll and orange juice. As dreamy as our entire stay was, I really think we talked about this breakfast the most of all.

After breakfast we went to our temple to do a session. The last time we went to the temple together was before I had Rory, so it was really wonderful to be together in that special place again. We walked by our sealing room and I got butterflies remembering how I felt in that same place two years ago!

After the temple we went back to Stephen's parents to pick up Rory. Several times during our anniversary date Stephen asked me if I missed Rory. I told him, "Honestly, I don't because I know she is having the time of her life with your parents." John and Lucina love to sing songs to Rory, show her cute videos, read books to her, and just love on her all day long. And I was right, she didn't even notice we were gone.

This is the face of a child who did not miss her parents even one little bit. 

And who can blame her? 
After spending a little time with John and Lucina, we took off for Rockville. This time was Rory's first time at Rockville (not in my tummy) and we were all pretty stinking excited about it. 

John and Lucina came up with us to make sure the house was ready for us and to show Rory the persimmon tree they planted when she was born. 

Rory's first Rockville trip!

Wednesday: We decided to head into Zion to try to do some of the smaller hikes with Rory. Shout out to Ashleigh for letting us borrow her awesome Ergo carrier- I'm a huge fan. Well, Zion was PACKED! It's awesome that so many people are in to National Parks, but stinks for us because there was absolutely no parking! We drove through the park, and it was still gorgeous seeing it that way. We ended up pulling off to the side of the road and taking a little walk right from there. Rory fell asleep right away, but it was still nice to get out and about. 

 After a little nap time and relaxation, we went out to Oscar's Cafe for dinner. We went here for our anniversary last year, and it was just as delicious this year. Rory loved staring at all the other people and the flies loved my hair so it was a good night for everyone.

When we were looking at the menu I saw the dessert options and said, "Ooo, they have a brownie sundae." Stephen replied, "We are getting the carrot cake." Stephen is not a plan for dessert kind of guy and we usually only order dessert if I want something so I was seriously so thrown. Stephen was looking forward to dessert! We are rubbing off on each other. And the carrot cake at Oscar's is seriously amazing. 
Must. Eat. Cake. 

At dinner, we were discussing our plans for the next day, Thursday, and we were going back and forth on whether we should stay the night at Rockville again, or if we should head back to St George. Out of nowhere Stephen said, "Well, we have tickets to see Shrek the Musical at Tuacahn tomorrow night, so we should head back to St George tomorrow. Happy anniversary!" The tickets came as a total surprise and I was so excited! This all really happened by the way, my life is just really this cool. 

After dinner, we took a little walk down to the bridge to get some pictures and work off that cake.

One of the VERY best things about Rockville, even though there are so many very best things, is that Stephen makes me a s'mores fire every single night. He makes me the most perfect little roasting fires and I eat as many s'mores as I want. And true love means not keeping track of how many s'mores the other person eats. 

Thursday: We opted for a lazy sleep in morning, and Rory for once obliged! We woke up late, took a morning nap, and just hung around the house. We also watched The Fantasticks which was fun because I had never seen it before. John Marsh does a great rendition of "Never Say No" so I have been wanting to see the show ever since.

We decided to try our luck and head into the park later in the day hoping that the crowds would die down as the day got hotter. We were right and we had no trouble finding a parking place this time. We hopped on the park shuttle and headed toward the Emerald Pools trail.

Though it was nice to have the park less crowded, we were there during the hottest time of the day so I was instantly terrified that Rory was going to get dehydrated or heat exhaustion or something horrible like that. We took lots of water breaks and kept her in the shade as much as possible. I was also terrified that I was going to slip and fall while wearing her. Basically, I didn't truly enjoy the hiking experience until about halfway through when I handed her off to Stephen.

 Rory prefers to hike with her head thrown back so she can see all the nature around her, or check out the other hikers, or maybe because she's up against our gross sweaty bodies- I dunno, it's one of the above. Whatever the reason, It's adorable and people kept stopping to ooh and aah over her. It was a fun hike and Stephen and I are in complete agreement that Rory is the coolest baby ever. She is so much fun to hang out with.

After the hike we had to hustle home to get packed up and head back to St George to make it to Shrek the Musical on time. We made it back to Stephen's parents house with about 15 minutes to get ready and leave for the show. It was a little crazy, but the show was so much fun to watch and we had an awesome time together. The leads for the musical were SO talented, as was the entire cast, but the staging was definitely interesting without the rotating stage they used on Broadway for the original (which I saw on my senior trip to New York.. twice!) They used live horses in several scenes that were gorgeous so that was a really awesome addition.

We snapped this picture as we were running to our seats. 

When we got home Rory was asleep in a pack n play upstairs so Stephen got to pick her up and bring her down to our room, which is basically his most favorite thing to do in the whole wide world, so it was safe to say it was a great night for everybody!