Monday, July 14, 2014

The Fourth and weekend...

We had just returned from Chicago the week of the 4th and then it was the 4th... party, party, party!
We are usually in the parade but just didn't have the gumption to this year.  So, we lazily sat and watched.  I must say, it's a lot easier to just sit and watch.

 Especially, when you get to see princesses!!

This year, we shook it up a bit. We went swimming instead of a movie.  It was fun!  The kids loved it!



 The Rich's hosted us yet again but their redneck neighbors didn't make it home in time for their annual drunken firework show,  so all the boys and Taycina went and sprung for some fireworks.  

Water volleyball was a hit!

 That weekend we got together with some of our fave peeps and had dinner at one of our fave spots.  That's a lot of faves... These two are second cousins.  H was suppose to be born about a week or two before Allie.  Allie was born a month before H due to preclampsia.  They both lost their two front teeth within days of each other.   What cute kids!!



We went out to my brother's cul de sac of fire that evening.  It was fun!

They have baby birds in their neighbor's front yard.  So cool!


 Okay, so the night prior to this, Allie was all kinds of wrapped up in my arms in fear of the fireworks.  Wouldn't hardly go near them.  This night, one night later, she's out in the middle of them, playing around.   ????    How does that work??


 This little guy wandered into our backyard and stayed with our family for a few hours.  He and Sadie got along swimmingly.  They nicknamed him Rambo.  After a few run away attempts, we just let him go.  We figured, he probably knew his way home.
At least he had his freedom for a minute.  I'm so grateful for our freedom!!

Happy 4th of July!

A fun weekend!

 Treats at Harmons.  We had to explain to Allie that even though her name was on the coke, it wasn't her's without paying for it first.
 
Saturday was Lagoon!  Wahoo!!  Lots of fun and lots of sweat!  100 degrees is not fun when you're in the sun all day.  The girls and I got there about noon and stayed till about 11!  Fun, fun, fun!!!
 
The girls had just got soaked.



 

 
We celebrated Ellyse's 10th birthday with the family.  Thanks to all those that came!
 
Emma is adorbs!
 
 
 

 
We've redecorated Ellyse's room for her birthday this year.  She chose teal walls with black and white zebra print accents.
 
Before
After - Sort of.... not completely done yet.
  She's super into zebra's right now.  So....
 
 
 My attempt at zebra stripes.  Ummm,  if you squint real hard.... they TOTALLY look like zebra stripes. 

 Ellyse showing off her darling outfit giving by grandma's.
Ellyse's real birthday isn't until tomorrow but here comes the gushiness.  Lesee Lou, you are just the glue that holds everything together some days!  You're attitude toward helping others and being the peacemaker really makes our lives so much better!  I love you're girly girl life!  You can put an outfit together better than me most days!  You're love for shoes is truly a testament to girls everywhere.  I can't imagine our lives without you in them!  You are so beautiful, kind, funny, and loving!  I love you more and more each day!!  Love, mama.   Happy birthday sweet pea!

Sha Caw Ga and Milwaukee 2014

Chicago!  To be honest, I'd never have guessed a place like this would have captured a piece of my heart like it did.  Jason and Mark are currently on a trek to see as many ballparks as possible.  Chicago was this years stomping grounds and Kallie and I tagged along. 
 
I've never been north east of Colorado before now so, it was neat to fly in a different direction and see a whole new place.
 
Warning: Very long post and photo overload below.
 
The day we flew into Chicago, it was a cloudy cool day.  You can see the tall buildings peeking above the clouds below.  That was surreal.
 
So, Jason did most of the searching for our room and if you take a look at this link, you'll see what we finally decided on.
 
 
It looks nice right?!  We thought so too......Until we were in the neighborhood and getting closer to the address Mark's phone kept telling us directions to.  We kept looking around in hopes that there was a nicer neighborhood just around the corner.  Nope!    
 
 In retrospect, we probably should have looked up the neighborhood crime rate before booking the room. 
 
We found the place and sure enough, it was the same place we saw in the pictures.  We were hesitant in getting out of the car however, once we got past the FOUR locked doors to get inside, we felt pretty safe. ;)
 
It was right around the 4th of July and we kept hearing what we had to tell ourselves were 'fireworks' outside.  We just kept telling ourselves we were in an adventure.  We even looked into moving to another place especially after we found out there was a murder just a few blocks away.  
 
ADVENTURE!!
 
Oh, and then there was that night that the train dropped us off in an even sketchier neighborhood to catch the bus.  In the span of about ten minutes we saw a drug deal go down, a crazy lady screaming at some guy with a 2X4, and a lead pipe made it's way into the mix somewhere too. 
Pretty sure we pushed our way onto that bus faster than anyone ever had before. 
 
ADVENTURE!
 
We didn't end up moving.  We ended up finding a way around walking in our neighborhood at night.  Plus, you know, prayer.
 
 After all was said and done, and we walked away unscathed, the place worked out.  All four of us found the people around us to be nothing but nice. 
However, the tenant said there was air conditioning and there were only a few fans and a window swamp cooler in one of the 3 bedroom's.  We were on the top floor. Not fun.
 
The first night, we headed to Navy Pier.  It was that cloudy day.  It was so strange to not be able to see the tops of the buildings.
 
 


 
 The next day, we had made plans to take the architectural boat tour.  It was one of the highlights of the trip.
 
Just take a minute and scroll through all these magnificent building's.  There were so many that were just amazing! The skyline itself is gorgeous!
 Trump Tower
 
 Millennial Fountains

 Tribune building.
 Trump Tower
 A bridge in the upright position.
 The future site of three skyscrapers that will block one of the river's best views.
 Cool apartment building
 The bridge that is up will stay up forever due to it being so low to the ground when extended.

The Sear's or Willis Tower.




 This is underneath the Willis tower.  Those things that look like balcony's at the top are the Skydeck.  They are made of glass and you can pay a bunch of money to wait in a long line and finally get to step out onto them, if you're into that sort of thing. 
 Cool apartments that 'tip their hat' to the corn cob buildings earlier in the tour that I didn't really get a picture of.
 The tour guide lady, which all four of us thought Erin would be spectacular at doing, didn't mention this building but I thought it was pretty cool looking.  This is right around the site of the great Chicago fire.

 She said something about the V in the title but I can't remember now why.
 The tour guide's fave building.  The picture turned out so much cooler than the actual building itself.  That sounds bad but do you see the bulls eyes? I don't remember seeing those in person.

 The tall skinny building was suppose to look like a champagne bottle.  It was built during the prohibition period.  The top is made of real gold.
 In the distance, you can see the water spanning across the river.  Pretty cool.
 After the tour, Erin had suggested we go eat Chicago style pizza at Gino's??  We were walking there and we came across this building that had pieces of things from other parts of the world in them.  Someone should really tell them, it's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...not Mormons. ;)

 Check out the mural on this building.  Why oh why are there not murals like this on buildings now a days?
 Overall, the people we came across in Chicago were wonderfully nice people!  I took this picture as a reminder of the friendly spirit we felt from them. 
 Miracle Mile.
 Wrigley field turned 100 this year.  In celebration, the city has Wrigley type benches all around the city.  Here are the two boys enjoying themselves a Wrigley bench.  Behind them was the entrance to the subway. That was a first for me.
 Millennial Park.






 This was interesting.  They had two towers, one with a male's face, one with a female's face.  They faced each other.  There is water streaming down the two towers and a bit of a puddle type thing kids can play in in between the towers.  After expressing several different facial expressions, the two faces make a kissy face and water comes out of their mouths.  ????? 


Here's a video that shows it going on.  The kids loved it.
 Kallie and I did some other things while the boys went to the most of the games.  We did join them at Wrigley for one.  It was pretty cool but I didn't like the smell of beer and sweat that seemed to permeate where we were sitting.

 Two of the things Kallie and I went to while the boys were 'baseballing it up' were the Chicago Temple and the (Stupid) Horticultural domes in Milwaukee.
The temple was nice.  Weird that is was all one level but very nice.  We luckily made it just in time for the session.
Sunday, we drove to Wisconsin.  I was blown away by the beauty of the land!  Around Utah's freeways, there are a lot of dead dry fields.  Wisconsin was nothing but green.  It was breathtaking!
 
 Milwaukee seems like a big city that would have plenty to do. We must have chose the most boring of them all.  These bad boys had all kinds of plants in them.  The plants themselves were interesting but not having a tour guide really made it unimpressive.  Kind of a waste of 7 bucks.
 
The following are pictures I took while inside the domes but since there wasn't a tour guide and some of the signs were confusing, I can't tell you about any of them.  I just took the pictures because they looked cool is all.







 This is Veteran's park in Milwaukee.  It was fun to see their skyline and some of their cool buildings.

 Kallie and I saw this thing in motion.  The passengers have to pedal and drink at the same time.  It was pretty funny to watch.
 Milwaukee's city hall.  Spectacular building!!  It took up an entire city block.
 We drove back to Chicago that night after dinner on the river walk in Milwaukee.   The next day we had reservations at the 95th floor of the John Hancock building for lunch. 

  We figured we got the best deal in town.  Most of the things that take you to the tops of these sky scrapers are at least 18.00, then you have to wait in line for sometimes hours.  We got in a very short line for the elevator that took us all the way to the 95th floor  in seconds and we got to sit and look out for an hour plus,  lunch to boot. All for around 18.00.  Best deal if you want to see the skyline from above.



 



We made our traditional trip to Ghirardelli ice cream shop.
The town's water tower.


That night the boys had one more game scheduled.  The forecast said 100% chance of rain but the boy's insisted on going. We dropped them off and headed to the movies.  In the meantime, a severe thunderstorm rolled in.  The game was rained out and the boys spent most of their evening in a McDonald's watching lightning hit the John Hancock building.
 
ADVENTURE!
 
When we got out of the movies, we picked them up and headed back to our 'lovely' condo.  None of us had ever seen anything like that before in our lives! There was so much rain coming down at such an accelerated rate that we almost had to pull over.  I drove under an underpass and it was like going through a small river.  The wiper blades couldn't really keep up and the streets were completely flooded.  It was nuts! 
 
Luckily, we made it safely home...remember how I mentioned prayer earlier?  I took some footage of the storm. 
We flew home the next day and again, flying over these mountains was so cool for me.  I grew up on the east of these mountains and was always curious where those airplanes were headed when I'd look up. 
Allie lost her other front tooth the day we flew home.  It was great to see our girls once again!!