Pools and Parties

Oh, just some random highlights from our week:

Monday, we had a pool par-tay at Mark and Jeanene’s house to celebrate a belated Father’s Day.  I hung out with Clark while all the kiddies splashed, jumped, and swam.

We had a feast of hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled salmon sandwiches.  We had a blast!


I got to go shopping with my mother-in-law [twice] to help her prep for her upcoming trip to Europe.  I love prepping for vacations (even if they are not my own, I guess.)  I am one of those weirdos that researches everything and so it was so fun and exciting to help her get ready.  I am, however, a horrible shopping partner:  I have a habit of convincing people to get…everything.  I have that persuasive Fotheringham gene, I guess.

I scored these look-alike Kate Spade keds for $14.99!  So glad I didn’t purchase the real deal a few months ago…


We ate our weight in watermelon and popsicles.  Have you tried the real fruit pineapple popsicles?! 

Friday we had a birthday party / BBQ in West Valley for my cousin’s 30th birthday.  There were “mixed drinks” [Coke and Orange Juice for Zach] and quite the summer spread.



Later that evening we decided to stop at Valley Fair Mall on the way home to catch a movie.  We love WVC – where the automobiles all have the same characteristics:  spoiler, body kit, rimz.  You can take the girl outta West Valley, but you can’t take the West Valley out of the girl, I guess.


We had a great time going through old pictures after Cassidy’s party.  There was even one of me in her collection:  Halloween 1990, where I insisted on being a Ninja Turtle.  I believe I was that for three years in a row, actually…


Saturday was busy.  We had tons of chores and yard work to do, but fit in an evening date with our friends Chet and Danielle.  We dined at Pace’s [had our first Peach Rainbow and were over the moon] and then journeyed over to the 9th and 9th skatepark.


Obviously my husband made me lay on the ground so he could jump over me.  It’s just tradition, I guess.


Saturday late we realized we didn’t have anything for Sunday dinner the next day for the two of us.  So we rushed off to the ghetto Smith’s in Bountiful to get some essentials.  And some ice cream, too.


Sunday morning Zach and I attended church in my parents’ ward.  My dad was conducting and I was asked to provide the musical number.  I’ve decided this whole “singing in public” thing really is good for me.  It tests my courage.  In my younger days [even in high school] I was fearless and rarely got nervous doing these sort of things.  But lately, in my old age I guess, I am a hot mess.  I stress about it for weeks and then when it is finally time to walk up to the pulpit I nearly hyperventilate.  It went well, luckily, and I could relax for the rest of the sabbath.

Sunday evening I also received my Patriarchal Blessing.  I know.  A little later than most folks, but hey…there’s no time like the present, right?

It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had and I will remember it for the rest of my life.  I wish I could have bottled up the spirit that was there.  Just like that.  I didn’t really know what to expect and the whole experience absolutely exceeded my expectations.  I can’t believe it took me so long…

That night we celebrated with Zach’s favorite:  chicken stir fry and our own selection of ice cream.  It was the perfect ending to our busy weekend.


You’re Hot // Then You’re Cold

This week started out hot.  Literally.

For those of you who don’t know, I work in a sketch area in Salt Lake.  In the last six months we have had a police chase in our parking lot, found a package in a tree near our main entrance [it was drugs: poorly hidden and poorly packaged if you ask me], and a domestic dispute.  This week there was a fire.  Luckily it was outside of the building.  We didn’t even realize what was happening until a very colorful [and strung-out] man walked in to let us know that there was a car fire outside.


We were all glued to the window until the Fire Department showed up and made us all back away from the window in case of an explosion.  They had to inspect our building and everything.  I’d be lying if I told you that we didn’t all love the excitement and thrill of it all.  And on a positive note, nobody was hurt.


Also this week, Zach had two ice hockey games.  He is on two teams this year, which are in the same league, so we spent two of our evenings this week at the Olympic Oval in Kearns.  It will be interesting to see what he does when his two teams play each other in a few weeks…

I try to be a supportive wife and attend as many games as possible, but his games often cut into my gym time.  So, we have created a little ritual for ourselves.  When Zach has a 10:00 pm game we drive down south, grab us some dinner [this time it was Sakana Sushi], run random errands at Jordan Landing, and then head over to the Oval.


The Olympic Oval has an indoor track.  We usually arrive 30 minutes before his game is to start – so when he is getting geared up in the locker room, I make my way around the track.  It’s a win-win!  Yes, I am a hot mess of a spectator, but it works for us.


Friday after work we made our way up to Bear Lake to meet my family.  Obviously I made Zach stop at the Grist in Brigham City before we could continue on for the last leg of our drive.  Zach never really enjoys it – calling it “just another Great Harvest”, but I beg to differ.  I realize I ate it multiple times a week in my college days, but nobody makes bread like the Old Grist Mill.  N O B O D Y!


I love Logan Canyon – the views are always breathtaking and it was perfect timing.  The sunset was gorgeous and we even spotted three moose making their way down to the river.


When we arrived at the cabin it was quite late and some of us were already asleep mid movie night.


The next morning it was chilly.  Too chilly to take the boat out just yet.  So we decided to take a drive around the lake for some ice and other necessities.


After lunch it finally warmed up enough for my dad to agree to launch the boat.  It was our first time boating of the summer season.  Some of us had been in their swim attire since 6:45 am because they were so excited…



There were very few boats out and about, which made it fun to cruise around.  Nobody wanted to get in the water due to almost 50 degree temperatures.  It took some convincing, but two of us eventually got in.


Technically, my uncle was pushed in.  But that counts, right?  I had convinced myself that I had to get in and swim at least once this trip considering I will be swimming in the same lake in three months.  My uncle warned me about how cold it was, but I insisted.  My brother and I grew up on a boat.  I have swam thousands of times in several different lakes before, but leisure swimming is much different that distance swimming.  I wanted to have at least one experience swimming in open water before this race.  So I geared up.


I don’t have a wetsuit for the race yet, so instead I wore my mom’s old waterskiing two-piece wetsuit.  It did the job.

When I first jumped in, I physically couldn’t breathe.  The water was so cold after I dove in that I had to remind myself to breathe in and out normally.  Usually in even in chilly water your body adjusts pretty quick, but I think it was a little too cold and my body just wouldn’t warm up.  So I decided to get moving.  Bear Lake is actually a very clean and clear lake.  It shocked me how far I could see down into the water.  Which was my first little hiccup.  I freaked when I could see a fish too close to me, which is something you don’t really see when you are waterskiing or wakeboarding.  I think I like having my head OUT of open water more than in and looking down when I can’t see what is around me.


After getting over my fish phobia I was reminded of two things.  1.  Breathing while swimming is really hard.  2.  Breathing while swimming in freezing cold water is miserable.  My family puttered around in our boat next to me for a while until I couldn’t feel my hands or feet anymore.  That’s when I decided to get out.  I didn’t swim that far, but it was something I had to experience for myself.



We didn’t spend too much time out on the boat after that and all made our way back to shore.

It was a short trip and we left that afternoon to head back home.  We joined some friends of ours at their house for a BBQ later that night and decided we weren’t ready to go home yet and topped off the night with a very late movie at the Gateway.  We saw the Internship with Owen and Vince, which was “aiiiight” if you were to ask Zach.

Sunday after church we spent the evening with my family to celebrate Father’s Day.  We devoured grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and watched the Spurs crush the Heat.


I dare you not to like my dad.  Everyone that has ever met him knows that he is his “own person”, but the best kind of person.  I want to be just like him.


I am so grateful for my father-in-law Mark as well, and am forever indebted to him for raising my husband and the future father to my children.

Happy Father’s Day!

Late Nights + The City That Never Sleeps

Our week was such a blast.  I don’t know about Zach, but I got very little sleep all week long.  We were up extra late almost every single day:  spending time with friends, playing [and observing] late night hockey games, and getting ready for our weekend in New York.

Monday night a bunch of friends came up to the Classic Skating in Layton for a late night game of roller hockey.  It was Iceland vs. Ducks.  The score was pretty even, so we settled the bout with a shoot out.


We had so much fun with this group of friends, we can’t wait to do it again!

skate 1

Wednesday I had a little swimming lesson with my new “swim coach”:  my dad!  Gary coached for years before I came into the picture.  I think he always wanted one of his offspring to swim, but Blake and I never really got into it.  All of my uncles [there are 6 of them] were champion swimmers.  Literally, records and awards and all kinds of fancy stuff.  I agreed to do a sprint triathlon with my sister-in-law Rachael coming up in September [I know…me…I can’t believe it either] and decided I better get a jump on things if I am going to be swimming in open water.  Within minutes of being with me he fixed my stroke and by the end of our session I had my breathing down.  Thank goodness.  Because I don’t care what my stroke LOOKS like, I just want to survive.  Breathing is a very important part of that, I guess.

He also prepped me for the inevitable: getting kicked in the face.  I have a friend who attempted her first tri and got kicked in the face by some random person within 30 seconds of the swim leg.  Her goggles got knocked off, she swallowed a bunch of water, and quit.  So my dad devised a clever plan.  He would make me swim my laps and out of nowhere he would dive over to me and rip my goggles off.  It totally and completely shocked me every single time, but he taught me how to rotate over on my back and kick, adjust my goggles, and turn back over.  He also taught me how to “sight” in open water, which will be helpful when it comes time to doing this in the lake.

I seriously adore my father.  It was so fun to spend time with him in the pool and watch him do what he is really great at.  He even got out there and swam some laps with me – which at 53 years old still made me feel like a complete amateur.  Two of his strokes = six of my strokes.  Not even kidding.  We plan to make this a regular thing.


Thursday evening I met up with some of my design friends for dinner.  A sort-of picnic dinner.  The weather was perfect and we all met at Liberty Park and brought our own to-go meal.  It was so nice to catch up with these friends, I really don’t see them enough.  We missed you AJ!


Later that night I took the red eye flight to New York to meet Zach.  I really don’t mind flying alone.  I usually read a book or watch a movie on my laptop but I had big plans on this flight: to sleep.  I had had so many late nights previous I was hoping to completely zonk out after take off.  Unfortunately, I sat right smack dab in the middle of the rowdiest crowd on the flight.  Five “twenty-somethings” on their way to the Dominican Republic.  I cringed when they sat down next to me, but it turned out we became fast friends due to a common denominator:  we all had the same neck pillow.  We made a whole thing of it – taking pictures, discussing quantum physics.  The whole nine.  I did manage to fall asleep on my tray table as well…I think it was when they were discussing the “meaning of life” and “reincarnation” and stuff.


Friday morning I arrived to a New York in the midst of a complete down pour.  Zach was waiting for me at our hotel in Times Square. We weren’t going to let the weather dampen our spirits, so we decided to switch our plans around a little.  We rarely make concrete plans on vacation, especially in New York.  Call us crazy, but we have an automatic game plan every time we go to NYC:  sporting events, shopping, and stuffing our faces…with everything.  We did all those things this trip and so we weren’t disappointed with the drizzle one bit.


So naturally our rainy day turned into a Shake Shack for lunch and then shopping in SOHO kinda day.



We managed to hit up all our usuals:  Zara, Supreme, UNI QLO, Madewell, and Topshop…and all before our dinner reservation.  We decided to stop at Cafe Habana for some Mexican grilled corn at the recommendation of a friend.  Zach is a sucker for grilled corn and it did not disappoint.  Especially paired with an old fashioned Coke.  No, this wasn’t our dinner.  Just a pre-dinner snack, if you will…


We wandered through a few more shops before heading back to our hotel to drop off our bags.  That’s when it really started coming down – we even got flash flood warnings on our phones.  The streets quickly starting flowing [with water and people] and we made our way back to Times Square on the subway.  After a quick change into dry clothes we left again for our dinner reservation at JP Clarke’s.


After a really delicious meal [the best fish I’ve had in recent memory] we decided to take a cab to Pinkberry for dessert.  It was like the froyo angels were smiling down on me: they had my favorite flavor, peanut butter.  The last two times I’ve visited Pinkberry they didn’t have it, and I think I scared the server when I squealed for joy at the sight of the little peanut on the flavor board.  I admit it wasn’t the best choice considering the weather, but we both were pleased with our decision.  Even if we were wearing outerwear while consuming it.



The next morning we were overjoyed to see the sun out of our hotel window.  We felt we hadn’t completed our mission in SOHO – so we went back for round two.



Yes, my dream boat of a husband managed to survive nearly two full days of shopping with me.  That’s not all we did, though.  We stopped for a snack break at Georgetown Cupcakes.




It definitely lived up the hype [it was our first time], but Zach still prefers Sprinkles.  I, on the other hand, wanted to buy two more red velvet cupcakes and take them back to the hotel.  I didn’t.  But the frosting.  They would make a killing if they just sold bowls of frosting.

For lunch we stopped at Delicatessan and split one of their famous mac n’ cheese dishes with their ‘award winning chicken thigh sandwich’.  I don’t know what award it won, but it was really good.  The truffle fries were a hit as well.


It turned out to be the most beautiful day and we thought it would be appropriate to head on over to Central Park.



We went to the boat house, dodged the hundreds of bikers and joggers, and observed all of the entertainment.  This included the rollerbladers.


Zach would not takes his eyes off them for a second and couldn’t keep his laughter to himself.  He would bust up every time one of them would fall and would give them stylistic points.  He only took his eyes off of them for a brief intermission, when he got a churro.

Later that evening we made our way over to Chelsea for our dinner reservation at Co.  I had heard great things about their pizza and we made it a priority this trip.  Their margherita, the simplest item on their menu, was our absolute favorite.  No wonder it won some obscure award, it was the best New York pizza I’ve ever had.



We had to walk a distance back to our subway stop and on our way there happened to notice a cookie joint I had spied on a friend’s Instagram feed.  Insomnia Cookies: open until 3:00 am and my favorite treat of the trip.  I couldn’t decide which flavor to get, so we split a s’mores and peanut butter cup.  Let’s be honest, I ate the majority of both, but it was totally worth the stomach ache.  Thank you Lindsey Reese!


Our last day we couldn’t break tradition: we stopped at the Red Flame for breakfast.  We almost didn’t make it due to the Puerto Rican celebration going on.  They had a parade and everything, and it made our meal that much more entertaining.



After breakfast we made our way through the crowds of scantily clad Puerto Rican women and hopped on a train to Queens.  We were lucky enough to find killer tickets on Stub Hub last minute for the Mets vs. Marlins game at Citi Field.  I had never ventured over to Queens on purpose [we’d been on accident once before, but that doesn’t count].




It turned out to be another beautiful day, and I am so glad we spent it cheering on those Amazin’ Mets!




We didn’t come out with a win, but we thoroughly enjoined our ballpark grub and got to see two Taylorsville Warrior alumni out on the field.  [That’s Brandon Lyon out there pitching].  Gotta represent for the Ville.


 It was a quick trip, but we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend together.

New York – you are always good to us…and we love you.


Let’s Get Together

Even though it was a short week due to the glorious long weekend, we enjoyed every bit of our time together with our family and friends.  I actually love weeks that are packed full of get togethers:  it makes the work week fly by and the weekends even sweeter.

Tuesday we had an Arrested Development party at our house with some of our neighborhood friends.  Ask my college roommates:  I was obsessed with this show freshmen year.  When I found out the Martineaus and Reeds liked the show as much as I did we had to have them and their darling boys over to celebrate the release of the new season on Netflix.  Obviously there had to be themed refreshments…




And our guests brought “mayo-neggs” and Uncle Oscar’s brownies.


Zach played on two roller hockey teams this year and one of his teams made it all the way to the finals.  Wednesday was his championship roller hockey game.  Sadly, they were robbed of their gold medals and trophy – but were pleased with a solid second place.


Friday was our date night.  We had plans to see a movie and go out to dinner – but plans were changed when Zach’s friend Chet and his lady friend Danielle invited us to head on over to Wendover with them.  If you know Zach you would know he can not say no to Dover.

The Montego Bay treated us fair.  We didn’t win big, but we did enjoy a delicious dinner at Taco Time and purchased a slingshot with an eagle’s head carved into it…


It was Danielle’s first time in Dover and I think it is safe to say she enjoyed herself.  Not to mention that Chet got three Blackjack hands in a row.  Yes, there was a victory dance.


Saturday I drove up to Park City with the women in Zach’s family for a girls over-night in Park City.  We started at the Tangar Outlets and then moved our way over to the Alpine Coaster.  Where we shredded it, of course.



Excuse me:  Girls Weekend and one adorable little gent. 


After a fancy pants dinner we made our way over to our hotel.  From 8:00 – 9:00 pm they had a s’mores bar and hot chocolate out on the main deck.  We roasted our mallows on one of the fire pits and scoped out the pool situation.


We spent the wee hours of the morning by the fireplace in our room and chatting up a storm.


Sunday I had to leave early for a baby blessing and then afterward attended another little get together.  We planned a Junior High Reunion.  Yes, you read that right. Not HIGH SCHOOL reunion, a Bennion JUNIOR High Reunion.  A group of us were totally inseparable in our middle school days.  Some of us have know each other for over 15 years.  We had a pot luck dinner over at Andy and Brittney’s crib where we reminisced about all the ridiculous things we did [and our parents let us get away with].




I don’t see all of these crazy cats from the Bobcat Den very often, but when I do…we laugh for hours.  And that’s exactly what we did until it got too dark to socialize outside and we all had to head home.  Thank you Brittney for not busting out the old BJH photos…I had a rough go with my look in junior high, alright?  Most young people are kind of “growing” into themselves around this time, ya know?  Especially me.  But not all of my friends.  They were all bombshells at the age of 12…when I was still learning how to put on mascara and tweeze my eyebrows.