Friday, June 17, 2011


This is my 3rd post tonight. I love catching up but don't quite love it when I have, like, 3 different topics. Like I do right now. So I have covered camp and New Orleans. And now I have an announcement to make.
As soon as this house is sold BAM we're moving to New Orleans. That was the purpose of the trip this week. (And you thought I was just dying for a little Lake Pontchartrain action. Joke's on you!)

We found our (really just my) dream home this week.

Starting with the kitchen. Jack loved it, too. Look at those subway tiles and salivate.
I have a weakness for gas lamps.

Here is proof that I was really there. In my dream home.

My house is in a very old neighborhood (we are calling it "my house"). The cottage itself is 50+ years old (other houses we looked at are 100+ years old), but that's the charm of the neighborhood. I love the renovation. It is exactly what I would do. It is perfect.

We are not necessarily buying this house. That's what dream houses are. Dreams. But let's send out good thoughts so that we can move in, and you can come hang out with us there.

new orleans

This week Jack and I went with RJ to New Orleans. While New Orleans is where my husband resides part-time (seriously), I haven't been there since RJ was playing football and we were there for the Sugarbowl. That was fun. And this trip was fun, too.

We went to the "beach" of Lake Pontchartrain with Emily (RJ's cousin) and her babies Daniel and Maggie, and a few other girls Emily has gotten to be good friends with since she moved there. It was fun to hang out with her and her friends that day.

That's an alligator.

Right behind us. Totally fine.

We also went to the Audobon Aquarium downtown. That place is really cool. Jack loved it-- his favorite was the sharks. He told me.

He also loved feeding the parakeets. Poor Emily got pooped on. But it was all in the name of bird-feeding. She took one for the team.

(How can you live in the South and not have perma-greasy hair? Alabama is hot. And New Orleans is hot... intensified.)
Our last full day there, RJ, Jack and I went to the French Quarter downtown. It is one of my favorite places to go. Jack liked watching the horses in the streets.

And this was at lunch in the French Quarter that last day, right before I bought my new $5 sunglasses at the French Market. Love flea markets.
He is a cheeser. Eating his grilled cheese.

camp hulaco

Imagine you're sitting in a furnace for 4 days straight. Welcome to Girls' Camp! Actually, it was really fun.

I'm the laurel advisor in our ward and seriously love my girls so much. This might not be a great thing to have a leader say, but I didn't feel like a leader. Maybe it's because I'm also 17.
Aren't they so cute.

This camp is nothing like the one I went to when I was in Young Womens. Camp Hulaco (which is owned by 9 or 10 stakes in Alabama and Tennessee and other places I think) has: cabins, fans, bathrooms, showers, covered pavilions, refrigerators, and a kitchen where our amazing cook Tim Thomas served up gourmet meals 3X a day.
There's also a lake where the girls had canoe races.

...or sat on the dock wondering what might be lingering underwater. There's also this awesome ropes course, rock wall and retaining wall, and a 30-foot pole (maybe it's higher?) that you basically risk your life/sanity climbing and jumping off of. And there's a zip line.

(This is me and "my" cousin--RJ's cousin but she's mine too--Bayley. She's a cute little Beehive.)

I hate rock walls and I only got on it because the line for the ropes course was too long for my ADD.

I was in charge of the service project-- building benches. Really I just ended up making sure the girls used their power tools correctly. Until that day I had no clue how to build a bench.
Our stake has some awesome girls. Some of the girls are the only LDS person at their school. One of the girls is the only active Laurel in her ward. The church is true and it's amazing to see these girls living the standards despite the adversity they're faced with. Girls camp is a really special time for them to be with all their friends who believe what they do. They can come to camp and be completely themselves. Like having impromptu dance parties.
Or inviting special "friends" to camp.
Above: Meet Tina and Helga Elasmosaurus. I don't even know what to say.

Ironically, the last night is testimony night and prank night. And bring-out-all-your-food-so-we-can-binge night.
(See those pvc pipes? This cute, quiet little Beehive randomly pulled them out of her bag and totally lit up when she told us how to use them. She made marshmallow-shooting guns for girls camp. She is awesome.)

I really don't know how to express how amazing camp was. I got to spend 4 days with the coolest girls. I will never forget it.

But apparently my amazing week meant nothing to Jack. Because when I came home, I was acknowledged by a slight nod and fist pump. Like, Oh, hey mom.
Yeah, I missed you too.

So I thought he'd be excited to at least give me a welcome home hug...
Nope. Really, Jack? Have you already reached that point where hugging your mom is embarrassing? Did you even notice I was gone?

Monday, June 6, 2011

pensacola beach

Last week we took a little trip to Pensacola, Florida with RJ's aunt and uncle and their kids. RJ and his uncle Tracy had so much fun working while we were stuck at the pool/beach.
Jack made a little game of counting to three (mostly just sounded like un, un, UN!) and then jumping in to RJ. Below is Jack with his cousins Dani and Mya.
The South is so hot right now that you have two choices:

1) Sit in your basement with a cooler of popsicles and feel your skin soak up the humidity, or
2) Go to the pool.

We prefer choice #2. I know it doesn't look like we see the sun much, but pasty is the new tan.