Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our last week in AZ - Part 1

We are back in California!  We are so happy to be back.  Life is easier and more fun when we are on vacation at our parents' house, but it is just so nice to have a routine.  To illustrate Violet's feelings about being back:  

Violet:  (first thing this morning) Grandma?  Grandpa???  GRANDMA?  GRANDPA?!
Me:  We came home to California!  Where do Grandma and Grandpa live?
Violet: Arizona.
Me:  Yeah! Where do we live?
Violet:  With Hannah and Sofia!

Haha, so although Violet misses her grandparents, she is also happy to be near Hannah and Sofia again.  We saw them at story time this morning, and she was delighted.  We also saw Elmo.  Can you believe I didn't take any pictures??

I have a few pictures left from our last week in AZ, and I meant to post them all today, but my flickr has run out of space for the month, so I will post them tomorrow when the new month starts.  Here are the ones I did get to upload:

Gardening with Grandma
They dug up potatoes and we cooked them for lunch!  Violet loved it.

Swim lessons
I know it's hard to believe after looking at those pictures, but Violet did about ten times better this time than she did last year.  She still cried right at the beginning, but then calmed down and answered Sister Hall's questions and did whatever she asked.  She even jumped (got dropped) off the diving board once and made her way to the wall!  It was a very stressful moment for Glenn and I to watch.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Zoo with Grandma

Violet has been to the zoo twice since we've been in Arizona, and she has loved it!  She went with her grandma and grandpa LeSueur last week while Glenn and I went to the temple, and then this week my mom, Glenn, and I all went with her.  I would say the highlights for her were the splash pad and the carousel, but she loved seeing the animals too.

(Violet squealed with delight and yelled "up and down!" the whole time on the carousel)

You may have noticed that in most of the pictures from this trip I am either absent, hiding behind Violet , or wearing my sunglasses.  That is because I seem to have had a bad allergic reaction (to Arizona at large apparently) and my eyes looked like this for the first ten days of our trip:
But the good new is, I finally went to the doctor and got some steriods and it fixed the problem in mere hours!  Such a relief, and now I can be in pictures again.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A playdate with Mia

I am so lucky that so many of my friends have little girls close to Violet's age!  One of my best friends, Courtney, came over with her little girl Mia this week so Violet and Mia could get to know each other a little better.

The clothes were soaked and muddy a few minutes into the playdate, so they got stripped off.  They looked so cute together, I couldn't help but take pictures!
We were playing around with the color feature on our new camera, and we got this amazingly sweet shot of Mia with her pretty blue eyes:
Of course, VIolet doesn't have blue eyes, so we only got this creepy shot of her red lips:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fun at Grandma and Grandpa LeSueur's house

Our trip is almost over!  We head home in about 5 days.  We spent the first week at the LeSueur's house, and then over the weekend moved over to my parents' house.  We are having a great time here, and I thought I should share the rest of the pictures from last week before we take too many pictures from this week!

Poor, poor Smores.  He is probably so happy we are gone.

This picture shows off the LeSueur's wonderful backyard the Violet played in all day long AND how cool I think the panoramic setting on our new camera is.

Ready for church.

Trying on mom's shoes.

Violet's cousin Ruby came over a few times to play, and Violet was in heaven.  She followed Ruby around copying her all day.  One time I heard Ruby saying in a really quiet, nice voice, "No Violet.  Go away please." and I heard a door shut.  And when I looked out in the hall, Violet was standing like an inch away from the closed bathroom door just waiting for Ruby to come out again.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A play date with Brooklyn

One of the first things we did in Mesa was have a play date with Kali and Brooklyn!  Brooklyn is only about 4 months older than Violet, and they had fun together!  They spent a lot of time with Brooklyn's awesome play kitchen, they colored, had a snack,  and played in the backyard.  Glenn and I were so jealous of Kali's beautiful backyard; how wonderful to have a place for kids to run around without having to go to the park!  Someday...
(Violet was obsessed with this velcro fruit and cutting board.  We are totally going to get her some for her birthday!)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A date in Payson, AZ

I found a few more pictures from the cabin, so I figured I'd share them before moving on to our time here in Mesa.  Admittedly, we have taken A LOT of pictures since we've been in Mesa, and I'm a little overwhelmed just thinking about sorting through them.

Anyway, on Saturday morning at the cabin, Glenn's parents offered to watch Violet while Glenn and I went on a date!  We drove to Payson, and did the only thing we know of to do on a date in Payson:  went bowling!  We actually both love to bowl, and honestly almost only do it when we are at the cabin.
We got to the bowling alley right when it opened, at 10, and we were literally the only people there.  Like even the sole employee kept going outside to talk on his cell phone, so we really had the whole place to ourselves.  We had a great time; it was one of the best dates we've been on it ages.  And as a cherry on top, I broke 100 on all three games!  I'm the score on top.  You'll notice I beat Glenn on the first game!  
He normally is much, much better than me, so that was a shock.  He made up for the second game.  The scores for the other two games were Glenn: 146 - Afton: 107, and Glenn: 145 - Afton: 123.  (123!!! That is the best score I've ever gotten by far!)

Of course we were happy to see Violet when we got home.  She picked me these flowers!
And she was obsessed with these blocks for basically the rest of the time we were at the cabin.  I don't blame her, they are pretty awesome.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend at the cabin

We are in AZ visiting our families for a couple of weeks, and instead of driving to Mesa when we came from LA on Thursday evening, we drove straight to the LeSueur's family cabin in Pine, AZ!  The cabin is one of my favorite places in the world, so I loved getting to start our trip there!

The drive here was horrible.  I won't complain too much, but let's just say I will never drive here on the same day Coachella starts again.  We were literally in traffic from LA to Coachella.   It tacked on about two hours to our drive, and we were already driving two hour farther than we usually do to make it to the cabin, so we were in the car for 9.5 hours and VIOLET NEVER SLEPT.  Ugh, it was a long night, and no one was in bed until 1 in the morning.  Violet is still catching up on sleep (which is kind of awesome because she has slept through the night for three nights in a row!)

Despite being awake the whole time, Violet was actually a really good sport in the car.

I love this video. (She is snapping along to the Muse song Glenn and I are belting):
Getting there was a relief, and the next morning we all went fishing!  Violet spent most of the time in Grandma's lap, of course.  Touching the fish grandpa caught gave her a thrill though!

The creek wasn't as well stocked as usual, but Glenn and his dad still caught these three fish.

Now we are back in Mesa, and having a great time!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Success: Veggie Burgers

I have tried making veggie burgers in the past.  As you may remember, they were ok, but not great.  They always just tasted too bean-y, like I was eating a bean burrito instead of a burger.  Well, then Glenn got me this book for Easter:
And I found a recipe in it for the most delicious looking mushroom-brown rice burger.  The recipe was definitely more involved than other bean burger recipes I have tried, but I was hoping the extra work would pay off.  Well it did!  These burgers were awesome!
We ate them on English muffins with spinach and tons of avocado.  The recipe made six huge patties, and as proof that they really were good, Violet ate a whole patty all by herself!  The texture was perfect; they didn't fall apart at all, which is an issue I've had with bean burgers in the past.  

(Note to Annie [because she has this cookbook and might actually make these soon]: don't skimp on the fennel seeds.  It makes it taste like sausage!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

French Braids

The last few days I have successfully FRENCH BRAIDED Violet's hair!  Which is an amazing feat, not because french braiding is so hard, but because Violet never stops moving.  Behold:
(so. much. sass.)


Friday, April 5, 2013

At the park with our new camera

We go to the park downtown at least once a week.  We have a few friends that we met at story time at the library that live downtown, and we usually meet them there.  Yesterday I brought our new camera and took pictures like crazy!  

(Also, I have included another video of Violet climbing a pretty tricky ladder.  I really took the video just to show Glenn what she could do, but I figured my mom and Courtney might like to see it too.  So if that sounds really boring to you, feel free to skip the video)
(hanging like a monkey is Violet's favorite way to show off right now)


Eleanor's mom actually took this picture, but I think it is hilarious.  Poor Eleanor; She REALLY didn't want to be in this picture :)

And here's the video: