Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fishing, Hiking, and Jet Ski's, Oh My!

After Michael and Anne's wedding, we decided that they shouldn't be the only ones who got to go on a little vacation. The rest of the family needed a week off to recover. I mean, being the groom's sister is a lot of work, after all! (Any excuse for a vacation, right?!) We got to stay in a house big enough for all eleven of us in Midway, UT. With the few pictures I actually took, I'll let you in on some highlights...
  • Fishing with Grandpa at Jordanelle Reservoir...the fish weren't very hungry the first day. Parker reeled in his Sponge Bob fishing pole every 3 seconds just to make sure.
  • But at least one fish was hungry later that night in the pond by the house...and the Sponge Bob fishing pole caught him! Parker couldn't sleep all night because he was worried that his fish was in his room "wiggling." A poor, dying fish was almost more than Parker could handle.
  • But that didn't stop him from going again. The next day, all the kids caught fish. We cooked all TEN for dinner! (They were yummy...but we had rotisserie chicken just in case!)
  • We saw Park City and the Wasatch Mountains from way up high on The Flight of The Canyons gondola ride.
  • We rented a jet ski at the windiest reservoir ever...Jordanelle! Luckily they let us come back another day after the weather turned for the worst on the first try. We tried to brave it out, but after Joe took me for a joy (death) ride through the choppy waves, I was done. Round 2 was much better...even Parker loved it! (But it didn't beat standing on the beach throwing rocks with Blake!)
  • We cried, we laughed, we played lots of "Heck, Fire and Darnation," we went on morning walks and bike rides, and we ended the week even more sleep deprived than when it began (darn kids who don't know the meaning of sleeping in!).
  • For me, the week was a solid reminder of just how much I love and need my family. My kids loved playing with their cousins and Grandpa and Nannu...and nothing made me happier than watching them play. (Too bad the newlyweds missed out and had to spend their time on a dang cruise!)

We love you guys! Come again soon!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rock of Ages soundtrack review

It's no secret that I am a huge American Idol fan! After my personal crazy-audition experience, I've felt a certain connection with the show. As dorky as it sounds, it is my show. So when given the opportunity from the One2One Network to review the new Broadway musical starring American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis, I jumped at the chance. And I have to say...I was kind of disappointed. The music was fun. I enjoyed rocking out to the old school goodies, but the dialogue drove me crazy! Granted, the only time I really listen to music is either while working out, or while in the car with kids in tow. This time, I had the kids with me. While my 3-year old loved the LOUD music, I personally cringed whenever the music stopped. There were several conversations involving foul language, and topics definitely inappropriate for small ears. So I have to be honest...I would probably prefer an album with the songs from the musical without the added conversation. As much as I want to give a positive review (because of my love of all things American Idol), I can't. Don't buy it. But here's a list of the songs if you want a good mix without the junk:

Just Like Paradise / Nothin' But A Good Time
Sister Christian
We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands
I Wanna Rock
We're Not Gonna Take It
Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Wanted Dead Or Alive
I Want To Know What Love Is
Cum On Feel The Noize / We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)
Harden My Heart / Shadows Of The Night
Here I Go Again
The Final Countdown
Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)
High Enough
I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Can't Fight This Feeling
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Oh Sherrie
The Search Is Over
Don't Stop Believin

Monday, August 3, 2009

Raubel Reunion 2009

What seems like just a few years ago (in 1998), I graduated from High School. I moved to Utah to go to BYU. My sophomore year, I went on a little study abroad to the Dominican Republic. I'm pretty sure one of the reasons I was destined to go there was to meet Rachel and Aubrey who were also in the program. (Of course the reason wouldn't be to actually learn Spanish...pssssh...that's what college was for). I HAD to meet these girls. When we got home, I lived with Aubrey and Rachel and their other friend who would also become one of my best friends, Eleisha. And thus was the beginning of RAUBEL (Robyn, Rachel, Aubrey, and Eleisha...four names in one! Get it? Dorky? Fine.)

I must still like these girls, because THREE years ago, we chose to have a little reunion over the weekend of my 26th birthday. Two of us had teeny, nursing babies, but we didn't want to miss out on the fun. So we brought them along. We celebrated, and I left even more sleep deprived than when I'd arrived. This year, over the weekend of my 29th birthday, we had another reunion...this time in Vegas. And my present to myself was to LEAVE my children home! I couldn't miss out...friends like these are hard to come by. A weekend away with these girls was just what I needed!

We ate. We shopped. We laughed.

We ate some more, and laughed some more. (What's on your shirt, Rach?)

We sweat. We swam. (And no, Michael, I didn't come home with a spotted tan, thank you very much!)

We saw the latest Cirque du Soleil show, The Beatles LOVE show. We loved it!

Did I mention that we ate? My new favorite chips and salsa are in the Isla Mexican Kitchen at Treasure Island. My favorite birthday dessert continues to be at the Cheesecake Factory. We were even good girls, and went to church...only to find out that it was the Spanish branch! Fitting, since Spanish is sort of what brought us together in the first place. (Even Eleisha, although she doesn't speak it! Her and I wouldn't be friends if I didn't!)

Rachel is getting ready to move her little family to Australia. Here's hoping that our next reunion is somewhere down under!

Problem is, I may never again be able to bribe anyone to watch my kids. While we were gone, my sweet mother-in-law and hopefully-still-friend, Kandis watched my kids while Joe worked.

Kandis made it look like she had a fun day by taking these pictures in our backyard:

But what you don't see is that Avery actually threw up all day long, and Parker decided that he didn't want to poop in the potty anymore. Kandis is going straight to heaven!

Joe's weekend wasn't much better. So thanks to RAUBEL, Mom G., Kandis, and especially my amazing husband Joe for giving me the best birthday present ever...time for ME!

And after one day back...I'm ready for another vacation! (I know, poor me...)

Let's do it again soon, girls!