Sunday, June 28, 2009

My first Wedding Cake

So, I got to do my first wedding cake this weekend. It is for a friend of mine that I went to college with...Sara Busch. And I was so excited about doing it. I was so happy with how it turned out! The three tiers got progressively darker in color. And, I just thought it was a beautiful cake.

While we were on the way to the wedding, the bottom layer (remember I said three cakes) just started to fall apart. I almost started crying...but, I think I was too tired that I just didn't. I was devastated, frustrated, etc. But, at least we were able to save the top two to present and the bottom was still very edible.

So, I definitely learned from this experience. I will never NEVER transport a cake this big when it is all together.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recent Cakes

This for our friend Andrew. He just graduated from college...and he loves golf!

This cake is for my friend Nadia's little boy Noah. He turned 3 recently and LOVES Thomas. But, he actually likes Gordon better and so Gordon got displayed on the cake!

This one is for my sister-in-law Melissa's SURPRISE birthday party.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keely's 18 months!

Keely turned 18 months old yesterday. (It doesn't seem possible!)
She has gotten a little more chunky. She weighed in at 23 pounds 11 ounces. And, measured in at 32 3/4 inches. That puts her into the 40th percentile for weight and the 85th percentile for height.
Keely is talking up a storm and is starting to get back at her brother. She especially likes to pick on him in the car while we are driving!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our Last Day

So, obviously it is a lot harder for me to find the time to blog when I am at home.
Our last day in Vegas was great, too! Now, I just have to try to remember what we did 2 days ago.
We started our day again with a more than good breakfast. The day before, I had seen people getting blueberries and I thought I would ask if it would be possible to have blueberry pancakes. So, they made me special blueberry pancakes (blueberries that they had to take out of the freezer and thaw). When I got them, they had put blueberries on top also with whipped cream! Wasn't expecting them to be so beautiful...but, I thoroughly enjoyed them!
After breakfast we hung out in our room and played some more Hand and Foot. (We love this game!) And, then headed out to the pool for our last time of hanging out in the sun. I actually got a little pink on this day because we could just feel that the sun was more intense. (But, I can honestly say that I am the darkest I have EVER been in my entire life!)
After we were out at the pool we signed up to be shuttled down to The Strip at 5:00pm. So, we played more Hand and Foot while we waited for the time to come. We had wanted to go down to the Stratosphere, but that is on the complete opposite side and so we didn't get all the way down there. But, we did do about 5 miles of walking around quite a few malls. We went through The Forum shoppes at The Caesar. We also watched the moving statues performance. This side of The Strip was much classier, definitely not as trashy! The buildings on this side were so ornate. They were beautiful to look at!
We decided to grab some dinner on the way back. I am always in the mood for Mexican and so we were going to get some at a place real close to the hotel, but on the way back we saw Bahama Breeze and decided to go there, since we have never been to one before. It was incredible. We got onion rings and split a coconut shrimp dinner. Yumm!! I also got a Mango Beach. It was Mango slush with Pina Colada mix in it. So incredible!
On the way back to the hotel we were still trying to think of something little to get the kids. We had seen a t-shirt that I absolutely loved for Keely but we didn't end up getting it. It said Potty Like a Rock Star. So we stopped by the neighborhood CVS and were hoping to find some t-shirts there. Long story short we got Tyson some "treasures." He is very into collecting little things for his treasure box. So we got him some dice and poker chips (that turned out to be chocolate). And then we got them some poker chip gummy candies to split. Who needs another t-shirt anyway. *Side note of the day: While we were out we saw a whole bunch of police cars and an ambulance at the corner of the street. We were trying to see what was going on and didn't see any cars involved. We found out that a pedestrian had been hit. Definitely not an unbelievable thing!!*
When we got back to the hotel we went in the hot tub for one last time and then headed up to the room to "quickly" pack and head to bed. (Packing always seems to take longer than it actually should!) We were probably asleep by about 11:30 and had to be up by 4:30 to catch our 7:00am flight. Not enough sleep!
Our flights back went well. We had a 2+hour lay over in San Fransisco. But it went quickly, of course.
OUR TRIP WAS SOOOO WORTH IT!!! But, it is definitely hard to get back in to the reality of our busy lives again!

The Wall of Sports at New York-New York

(I think) The Brooklyn Bridge

The inside of the Miracle Mile Shops.

The fountain inside the Miracle Mile Shops.

No need explaining.

L'arc De Triumphe.

The lobby of our Hotel.

Elvis and Priscilla along with the fish in the pond in the lobby.

Part of the Venetian.

Fountain outside of the Venetian.

Looking down towards the Stratosphere tower.

Some art that looked like we were being invaded. This is another mall.

Inside The Forum (another mall).

Trojan horse inside The Forum.

Again inside The Forum.

Fountains outside Caesar's.

Looking at our swimming pool and towards the Hard Rock Hotel.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Three Days into Our Vacation

Day three was loaded with fun!
We headed down for breakfast at 10:00am. (We had gone to bed so early the night we decided to sleep in, since breakfast is served later on the weekends.) Breakfast was yummy once again!
After breakfast we hung out in the room and played Hand and Foot or while again. Then we got ready and went down to the pool in soak up some more sun. I went in again, but just my legs (and I think it was mostly just up to my knees.)
We then got ready to go grab something to eat. And, guess where we went....In-N-Out. We had a very later lunch. (Before we left we arranged for shuttle to the Strip at 4:30. While out for lunch we also walked over to Von's (Safeway) to grab some more water.
We got back just in time to slap on some more sunscreen and catch our shuttle down to the Strip. We walked around for a long time. We first went to New York-New York and walked around through the shops and restaurants. While doing so...we ran into some people we know from Damascus. Gaila and Scott Collins, along with their three children Jenna, Britton, and David, left the same day as we did and our headed on an almost 9 week cross country trip while the kids are on summer vacation. It was totally cool to run into people we knew, especially when there are soooo many people you pass all the time.
Okay, so our whole purpose in going to New York-New York was to ride the Manhattan Express. And...we did. After paying $14 per person (we could have paid $600 and got married on the roller coaster...that's including the minister)..we sat in the very front (we had to wait longer, but totally made the ride better) and rode The Roller Coaster. Let me tell was fun. We hadn't been on a roller coaster since...well we can't figure it out...but it has been years (and I think at least before we had children...and Tyson is 4 years old!) Let's just say we had fun. Luke and I LOVE roller coasters. The Manhattan Express has a 204 foot climb before we droppred 144 feet (almost straight down), which got us going around 67 miles and hour. The ride also had one complete loop and also a spiral where we were hanging sideways. What a thrill! *Side note: The public restrooms in the New York-New York were beautiful!*
After riding the roller coaster we headed to walk through the Miracle Mile shops. We watched a fountain show in there and walked through the mall. By then it was already after 7:00 and we were starting to get hungry. We walked and walked and walked and tried a place called Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers. It was very good...I think partially because we were so hungry. We walked across the parking lot to Target and got some ice cream and then walked back to our hotel. We got back shortly after 9:00 and just hung out for a while. We actually showered because our feet were black from walking so much...dust...and I don't know what else. Plus we sweat on and off all day since it was close to 90. We just felt dirty!
When all said and done we got in about 10 miles of walking again today. (And in flip flops...our feet are hurting!!)
And, here we begin our next and final day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our Second Day in Vegas!

It's hard to remember everything that we did yesterday.
I woke Luke up at 8:30 so we could go to breakfast. (We have a free cooked-to-order breakfast as a part of our stay here at the Embassy Suites.) We didn't know what to expect, but it was very, very good! We both had an omelet, and I think that it might have been the best omelet that I have ever had!! And beyond the omelets that they can have sausage and bacon and pancakes and french toast. Then in another room you can get yogurt with or without granola, fruit, oatmeal or cereal, coffee and juices, pastries, toast...I am sure I am missing something. Let me just say that we were not expecting our breakfast to be so yummy!
After breakfast we hung out in our room for awhile while our food settled, and then we went down to the exercise room. I had planned to do a short run yesterday and a longer run tomorrow. Luke was gracious enough to plan to do the runs with he talked me into running the long run yesterday evening. So, in the morning we ran 1 mile on the treadmill and then lifted for a while.
We then went out to the pool and just enjoyed the sun. They always have music going out there and it is just so relaxing. I did go partly in the pool yesterday. Not a recommended is SO COLD!!
We came back in and got ready to go to a very late lunch (2:00pm). I wanted Mexican food and so we walked over to Cozymels. It was very good. (We had had Cozymels before, almost 5 years ago, when we flew down to see Melissa, Luke's sister. She was living in Frisco at the time and we had dinner in Grapevine, after getting off the plan, with Luke and Melissa's Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin.)
After lunch...I called Luke's mom to see how the kiddos were doing. They were both awake. Keely had woken up during the night and wanted me and Mom just told her that I wasn't home and she went right back to bed. (Yeah!) So they are doing well. I don't need to worry about them. I talked to Keely for awhile and she, I could tell in her voice, was so excited. Tyson didn't want to talk. I am glad that they are doing well and aren't being horrible for their grandparents!!!
We took a nap yesterday...and I actually was able to fall asleep. It was rejuvenating and I had a hard time getting out of bed. I don't think I have caught up on my sleep yet.
After nap we played Hand and Foot for awhile (it's a card game). And then we got ready to go run at the worst part of the day for me to run. I do not do well running in the evening. We ran right around 6:30 and it was still in the mid 80s. We are directly across from the UNLV track and so we ran over there. It was NOT a good run! We did right under 4 miles. I guess when you put me back on a track I run much faster than out on the streets or sidewalks because we were running around a 7 or 7 1/2 minute mile for the first 1 1/2 miles. We then walked a lap. I was soooooo thirsty but didn't have any water to drink. We finished out the run...but, I was not happy with it. But, I guess with the sun beating down on us and the wind blowing and not being used to the extremely dry air...I shouldn't complain. And...we did almost 4 miles (plus the 1 mile from in the morning). While we were walking back from the track our fingers were swollen like little sausages and it hurt to bend our fingers. WE NEEDED WATER!
As soon as we got back we got ready to head down to the Strip. We wanted to go down at night to see all the lights. It is crazy how alive Vegas is ALL THE TIME! We walked down because there wasn't a shuttle anymore at that time. There is so much construction always going on in Vegas. Right now there is a huge, new casino that is being built. It is so weird to look at because of the angles that it sits at. We walked around a lot. We had an ice cream cone a the McDonalds on the strip. It is amazing to see all the signs. McDonalds, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens...every ordinary restaurant or store we passed on the Strip had bright flashing signs too. We saw the fountain show that's in front of the Belagio, very beautiful and amazing! We walked some more. We did go into M & M world. It is a 4 story building. Four floors of all sorts of M & M products that are WAY over-priced. They sell all sorts of colors of M & Ms in this store for only $12.99 a pound! :o) Wow all the sights we saw on our walk! And all the smells we smelled on our walk!

Hard Rock Cafe (We are staying right across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe.)

The Harley Davidson Restaurant

Hotel Paris

New York-New York

The fountains at the Bellagio.

So since we hadn't eaten any dinner and since we had walked for hours on end, we were getting very hungry on the way back to our hotel. We decided that we would WALK over to In-N-Out again since it is somewhat close to our hotel (only another 1.5 miles+ round trip). So, at midnight we split a meal and a shake. Not a good meal to eat right befor going to bed! But, it was good and it did fill our bellies.
We are trying to figure out if we want to go on the roller coaster outside of NewYork NewYork or to a show. Or if we should just do both. I will let you know what we decide in the next blog.
I am sure, by the end of the day when everything was all said and done, that we easily walked/ran 10 miles.
We turned in at about 1:30am...way to late for me...but, at least I did sleep in more than usual! I don't think that Luke and I have gotten to hold hands as much as we did yesterday. This trip has been such a nice treat!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Vegas so far...

...has been very relaxing.
I was MORE than exhausted yesterday. Three nights with not good sleep or not much sleep took a toll on my body. And the little room on the plane to try to fall asleep only produced a kink in my neck. So, on top of me being with a kink in my neck...I was nauseous part of the first flight and the majority of the second flight. We experienced quite a bit of turbulence. I have never felt like that on a plane before! Luckily shortly after we landed it was gone. (We each received a $100 voucher for our next trip for some reason that I didn't hear.) *Just another little side note: On our second flight we sat by a grandmotherly woman who was going to San Fran to visit her 86 year old mother. We got to talking and long story short...she thought we were teenagers...not almost 29 year olds, and was astounded that we had not one, but two children!*
After standing in the taxi line for probably 10 minutes...we finally got on a taxi. The line was amazing. There were 12 places for taxis to pull up to and we were almost constantly moving up in line. But, it takes a while to move that many people through! Wow!! We had a horrible driver. He was constantly breaking and then flooring it and then breaking. So after going a little shy of one mile and paying $10.90 we arrived at our hotel. (Not the best first experience for Luke.) We were able to check into our hotel room right away...right around noon, even though check in wasn't until 3:00pm. So I unpacked everything and then we started looking for restaurants because I desperately needed some protein. We learned (thank you google maps) that there was a In-N-Out about .7 miles from we went!! So yummy. Plus, we got a little exercise and we got to walk through the UNLV campus. (We are staying at the Embassy suites...and our room is beautiful! Not one, but two flat screen tvs!)
After lunch we "took" a nap. Luke fell asleep for a few minutes and I tossed and turned until Luke's phone rang and we both jumped. (I had drank caffeine at lunch...not a good idea if I want to take a nap!) So, we decided to head out to the pool! Luke said that the water was very cold. I don't know, I didn't try it. I hate being cold! (Maybe today I will jump in.) We layed out in the sun and just enjoyed being with each other and talking.
We went to PF Changs for dinner. It is walking distance away. So we dressed up all perdy (and we didn't take a picture :( and had a most scrumptuos meal!)
Of course THE game was on last night and we had to watch it. And, I actually got to watch it! We watched for a little while after dinner and then headed down to enjoy the hot tub. Obviously it is too warm (it will be in the high 80s while we are here) out to enjoy the hot tub while the sun is out. But, there was a nice breeze last night and it felt wonderful!! We finished the game when we got back and then turned in for the night...just before 10:00.
I cannot say that I am not missing my children. I miss them a lot. It was harder last night when I was really tired and am usually tucking them in. But, this break is awesome!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

So...I forgot to have Tyson go to the bathroom before he went to bed tonight. So a little while after he was in bed, he came out. I immediately knew why. But...
...he also went on to tell me that he was going to have nice dreams tonight. He had several nightmares last night. Most of his bad dreams have monsters of some description in them. So, he went on to tell me that he is going to have lots of good dreams tonight. And, the monsters are all going to tell him that they are sorry for scaring him last night.
What an imagination!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another Conversation

After church last night, the kids and I ran some errands before we picked Luke up from second service.
We stopped at the mall for a few minutes and when we stepped outside the car, we were met with an overwhelming stench (for the city anyway!). It smelled like silage.
Anyway...we were walking into the mall and Tyson said, "Mom, my nose stinks! My nose is so stinky!!"
I told him it wasn't his nose that was stinky it was the air that his nose was smelling.
He contemplated this and said, "It sure is stinky!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tyson's Imagination

Tyson is so very imaginative. And thankfully, most nights, he isn't waking up with dreams...anymore. But, I can tell he is starting to figure out many things in life, and how sentences are formed, and how we can choose different words to express how we are feeling and what we see, etc.
While driving to work last night a short conversation between Tyson and me started:

T: Mom can you open my window?
M: Honey, it's very warm out and I have the AC on.
T: But mom, I want to smell the sun!
M: You want to smell the sun?!
T: Yes.
M: Okay, but just for a moment and then we need to close it again.
(After allowing him to have it open for a minute, I closed it back up.....and)
T: Mom, the sun smells so beautiful!

That made me smile and it still does. I am not sure what he was smelling. Or perhaps I am just not as imaginative anymore. But, I appreciated this little conversation!