August 20, 2017

 ^^^ my boys in front of the big map at the MTC. it was pretty crowded so this was the best picture we could get. when they first walked up Peter pointed straight to Saudi Arabia.. the Stefan tried to get him to point to Belgium/The Netherlands, but those chubby little arms are only so long.

Yesterday was a good day with my boys. In the morning I went for a run and Stefan got a hair cut and after some running around getting ready, we all went down to Provo. We dropped Peter off at his great-grandparents' house for a nap, and Stefan and I drove down the hill to the temple where we were married. We hadn't been there for a while, and it felt good to be back. Once we were done there we went back to find Peter awake and playing with Stefan's grandma and it was the cutest thing ever. We tried to go to an early dinner at the Creamery, but their grill was closed for renovation so I guess we have to drive back down once it's done. I will always love the Creamery and will bawl my eyes out the day it is inevitably torn down for something bigger and better, based on BYU's track record. Anyway, we found dinner somewhere else and then headed to our tour of the MTC! The shuttle was only one hundred million degrees and Peter was ready to be out of his stroller before he ever got in it, but we all made it and ended up really enjoying the tour. It was all self-guided, but they had missionaries stationed around making sure you were heading the right direction - the fun part was that the whole Dutch speaking group was out when we were there so Stefan took the opportunity to catch every single one of them off guard when he started speaking to them in the language they are still trying to learn. Some of them handled it better than others. ;) I think it was fun for Stefan to be back and reminisce, and I admitted to him that I felt kind of left out of it all. I told him I wanted to be a nineteen-year-old girl bopping around the MTC, but I guess I'll have to be a sixty-year-old boppin' around instead. I'll take it. After that we met up with one of his best friends - from his mission! - for ice cream, and baby Peter got his very own cone for the first time. What a day!


August 08, 2017

July was a rough month. The roughest. On the first day of the month my best friend Meg lost her husband, Michael. Everyone - everyone - who knew Michael loves him so much. He is the funniest, kindest, most generous, caring, adventurous, (kinda sassy) guy. He and Meg (but Meg says it was all him) loved to host parties. When Meg told us Michael had been planning to throw Harry Potter a birthday party this year, well I was already making plans in my head before she finished the sentence. 

We had so much fun honoring (Harry Potter and) Michael that night. We all took the official quiz to get sorted in our houses, played some trivia, ate and drank lots and lots and lots of sugar.. seriously so much sugar. So many good wizarding treats and drinks! I don't even have pictures of all the decorations (Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom, spiders leading you up the stairs, "third floor corridor" sign blocking off the room I legitimately didn't want people going in because my decorating mess was being hidden in there..), treats, and costumes - people went all out for this and it made me so happy. We already have lots of plans to make next year's party bigger and better!

^^^ THEY DRESSED UP AS BROOMSTICKS. They're also getting married soon and if anyone didn't already think these two were perfect for each other, I think this picture seals the deal.

^^^ Draco Malfoy in the flesh

^^^ a Cornish Pixie and Luna Lovegood melting eeeeeveryone's hearts

^^^ Sybil and the Pixie. Okay this girl is the best because she admittedly doesn't know a lot about Harry Potter, but she came totally dressed up and brought little sorting hat treats and let us tease her all night long and I just lover her.

^^^ I found a really simple butterbeer recipe on pinterest and after all my worrying about it, it turned out pretty yummy!

^^^ we never even cut into this.. so many other treats

^^^ DOBBY! Stefan has requested Peter wear this costume on a regular basis because he looks SO CUTE.

^^^ Cat and James MADE CHOCOLATE FROGS! They also made the coolest "polyjuice potion" and "liquid luck" for us to drink - they were all glittery and seriously magical looking.

I truly do not have the energy to type out everything I could say about this party. If you're looking to throw your own party, Pinterest has never helped me more! Also don't feel like it's going to be mega expensive - so much of this was paper and printing things off and using what I already had. I just think Harry Potter is the coolest. What other series can bring people together like this!? It's so magical. The most magical. I love Harry Potter. Plus this was such a good way to say SEE YA, JULY. Here's to the next few months getting better and next year's party coming quickly.


August 02, 2017

^^^ when the crowd cheers so loudly for so long and you keep trying to start your speech but they just keep going and going and going and going and going - and this was before the show even started

We went to Canada! Because Stefan is the coolest ever! Last year Stefan started getting into writing as a hobby. He wrote one really fun short story, and had started working on some other projects, too. Sometimes he would bounce his work and ideas off friends, and one of those friends.. is named Denny. Denny loves music and is so so so good at writing it. This guy wrote us a song for our wedding gift! Toward the end of last year, Denny came to Stefan with an idea - he wanted to write Sherlock The Musical, and he wanted Stefan to help him. 

Denny is from Cardston, Alberta, and they have a really great theatre (and I can spell it that way because they spell it that way... Canada) up there that puts on three musicals every summer. The theatre already had two shows picked when Denny told them he was going to write a show and pitch it to them. At first I think everyone was excited by the idea but maybe had an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude - because honestly, I kind of did! But then I listened to these two guys on all their many, many video calls, and something really great started coming together. They finished one scene and one song completely and were ready to pitch them to the theatre board, but then the date kept getting pushed back. And we started feeling like, even if they pitch it and the board likes it, will Stefan and Denny have time to finish it? But then they pitched it, and the board liked it, and Stefan and Denny finished it! In total they worked on it.. five months, six months? 

But once it was finished and the people involved were reading the script and it was chosen to be performed, it kind of caught fire! Everyone was so excited to put it on. People really believed in the show and poured their whole hearts into it. Also people love Sherlock Holmes. Stefan kind of kept me in the dark a little bit.. I hadn't read the script, didn't know the story - and then Denny kept us both even more in the dark, only giving us a few updates even though he was at basically every rehearsal. So it was crazy for me to be almost completely surprised by the whole thing! 

And the show is sooooooooo gooooooooood. It incorporates a lot of classic Sherlock Holmes characters and cases, but the main plot itself is all original. The whole script and one hundred percent of the music were all these guys. The music is so fun, kind of poppy - not like your classic musical. The writing is smart and clever and funny. Honestly, the costumes and staging blew me away. It was hard to know what to expect - we knew the theatre was small but it's also really well known for putting on great shows. THIS SHOW IS SO GREAT. So many really talented performers, but honestly the guy playing Sherlock stole the show for me. He was perfect. 

It was so fun to see Denny be a hometown hero for a night - not that he was only a hero for a night, but I only got to see it for a night - and really sweet to see how everyone wrapped their arms around Stefan, too. We stayed so late at the theatre that night talking to people who loved the show. The three hundred seat theatre was sold out on opening night, and all the shows since then have done really well, too. And other theatres are already asking about it! I know Stefan and Denny have some changes they want to make, some songs and scenes to add - so after a little editing I hope the show can start traveling around!

And yeah, if you're wondering what it's like to be married to a guy who is good at literally everything he tries I'll tell you it's a little frustrating sometimes, but mostly really fun to be a part of. I am seriously so proud of Stefan, and so happy for him and excited for him and still kind of wondering where did this come from but also learning to never be surprised by any creative thing he does because he is so good at it all and I love to watch what he comes up with.

Oh! And on top of all the excitement around the show, we also got to spend a little time exploring southern Alberta. We drove from Utah to Cardston in a day and half, spent a day and a half hiking and eating and walking and celebrating Canada Day! and watching Sherlock, then another day and a half to drive back home. A short trip, but a gooood trip. And you guys, Peter was the best! He hardly slept at all in the car - I'm talking two twenty minute naps a day!? - but he was so nice, and just watched his Baby Einstein and ate snacks and played with toys. He needed to get out and do some wiggling of course, but overall he was actually unbelievably good. Once we made it back home I realized he went to sleep in a different place every night of our trip - hotel on the drive up, hotel in Cardston, babysitters' house, hotel on the drive home. And yeah, I left my baby with a stranger in Canada! Honestly pretty proud of myself for that one. She was the sister-in-law of a girl I knew my first year at BYU. So random, but it totally worked out and we were able to enjoy the show stress-free. 

So usually on our trips or on holidays now I feel like I kind of have to choose whether I'm going to do pictures or video - it's too much for me to do both. These are really the only pictures I have from the trip, but I put together a video of the rest of our fun in Canada so if you want to see that just click the VIDEOS link up at the top of the page!