Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo at the Zoo!

On Saturday I was invited to go to the zoo with some friends.  The zoo was decorated with lights and sounds for Halloween.  They had several trick or treat spots along the way.  It was a lot of fun to get out of the house and check out some spooky animals!
The Stroller gang!  Melanie and Sadie, Necia and Ellie, Me and Elise. If you click on this picture you can see Elise and Ellie grabbing hands!  So cute- I didn't notice until I uploaded the photo.
Many of the animals were given pumpkins inside of their cages.  It was interesting to see which animals touched them, devoured them, and had nothing to do with them.  Milwaukee Zoo has some great animals.  Definitely a step up from Hogle Zoo.  They have lion cubs right now too but they weren't out for display while we visited :(
Here are some fish from the Amazon!
Elise went in her pink skeleton Halloween costume.  I didn't get a great picture of it on Saturday, but I will soon!!  Happy haunting everyone!  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grandma's Visit to Wisconsin

We had such a blast when my mom came to visit!  One day we headed out to Lake Michigan to check out the beach and have a picnic lunch!  It was a lot of fun.
I love this picture!!  Elise is so delighted.  I'm not sure if it is my mom or the wind or what, but she was loving something.  Cute!
Me and my best girl!  Lake Michigan is the largest of the great lakes and man it is huge!  If I didn't know any better I would have thought it was an ocean!  We tested out the water and it was cold but I would have happily slapped on wet suit and jumped in if that meant I could have gone water skiing :)
Around dinner time we went to a family farm called Apple Holler.  It is about 30 minutes south of Milwaukee.  I had heard from many ward members that this is a great place to go, so we decided to check it out.
We had a fun time looking at all the baby animals.  Elise really liked the baby goats.  She laughed at them and was very interested in them.
Another great picture of Elise and Grandma Marie!  Check out those cute pigs in the background :)

They had all sorts of fun activities for kids to do like hay bale maze, pony rides, apple picking, etc. It was fun but I think Elise would have enjoyed it more if she were a little bit older. We still had a great time.  After walking around the farm we decided to eat there.  Many of the dishes use things that are grown right there one the farm.
And to end on, our little flower Elise.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Busy Bags!

Have you seen a busy bag?  Essentially they are bags filled with all sorts of quick, small activities to keep your little ones entertained at home, church, travel, etc.  Who wouldn't want one?!  You can check out more ideas on Jens blog here.  My cousin Erin is spearheading this busy bag swap.  Hurry fast and get in on all the fun!  Click this LINK if you are interested in signing up!  You know you want to :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

When my mom was in town, we took a trip to visit Cedarburg.  It is a town about 40 minutes from Milwaukee.  If I had to describe it I would say it is a mix between Park City and Gardner Village. To be honest, it reminds me of the fictional town of Stars Hollow- if only I could have found Lorelai and Luke ;)  We had a blast while there and were lucky enough to have a beautiful fall day.
Here is a picture of my Mom with Elise.  They are standing in front of a mural of the town.  You can see the cute old buildings, bridges, and churches.
Here we are on the Interurban bridge.  You can read a little bit about the history on this plaque if you want.
We went to a fun store called Downtown Dough.  They have over 1,600 different cookies cutters.  I have just a few of them in this picture above!  My Mom and I spent some time picking out just the right ones!  I ended up getting a mold, not a cookie cutter.  I'm going to use it for Elise's birthday :)
Here is a cute close up of my mom and Elise.  She loved my mom's necklace as you can see...
They also have several fun places to eat!  We had lunch at The Vintage Cafe and a treat from a restaurant called Cream and Crepe Cafe.  They have entree or dessert crepes- we of course sprung for a dessert one!  It is beautifully situated along the river and has antique quilts hanging on the wall.  My mom loved that part!
 I love all of the fall colors you can see in this picture!
We did a lot of shopping while there! They have several antique stores in town so we spent a lot of time at those.  My mom found another antique pot holder for her collection and some other fun finds!

We left with a loaf of bread from a French bakery as well as a caramel dipped apple from Amy's.  It was the perfect way to spend the day!  If you ever are in Wisconsin, put this on your list of things to do!  The city has lots of different festivals and other fun community things to do as the year goes on so we will try to get to some of those during our time here.  It was a great day!

What I love about this girl!

 She loves bath time!  When I hold her to fill her tub, she kicks her legs and giggles she is so excited!
 The fridge is her most favorite toy!  I have to be quick when getting something or she'll be in there!
 "What, do I have something on my face?!"
 Look at the floor of this picture.  What do you see?  Yes, four binky's! She takes her binky's and when she is upset that you haven't come to get her out of her crib the moment she wakes up she throws them out on the floor! Sometimes in the morning we have quite the collection!
Love her so so much!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Craft Swap Show Off!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the homemade craft swap!  I can't speak for everyone, but I really had fun making my project and I hope it was well received :)  I loved getting the emails from everyone with the pictures of their gift!  They all turned out so well and I'm excited to share them now with everyone!!
  These were made by Emily Maxwell for my sister Natalie.  She made a necklace pendant, re-usable sandwich wrapper as well as a skirt and headband.  Arent' they darling strung up on a line?
Erin made these bow ties and bead and knot fabric necklaces for Shauna and her little boy.  She didn't even need to do the bow ties, just threw them in because she is awesome like that.
Here is Shauna's craft she made for Becky.  Becky said to make whatever Shauna felt like so she came up with this cute Halloween sign all on her own.  I love how it turned out!
Here is what Anna made for Jet.  They are tin can luminaria's that she personalized with Jet's last name.  A very clever idea!!  I love it :)
Nicole made this darling Halloween table runner for Anna.  Can't you just picture some cute pumpkins in the middle of this?
Natalie made this darling Christmas tree for Erin.  I love the colors that she chose and the red frame is a nice touch!

This two pictures are what I made for Emily M.  I wasn't smart enough to take one picture with both of them in it, so now you get two.  I made her a Thanksgiving table runner and some headbands for her girls.
Nicole was lucky enough to receive this beautiful jewelry hand made by my talented SIL Becky
And last but not least, Jet made this burlap wreath for me!  It was a wonderful surprise!  I've been wanting an all purpose wreath for our door but I've been way to cheap to buy one!!  I have loved coming home to see this on our door!  Thanks Jet!

Everyone did such a great job and I definitely want to make a lot the the ideas that were shared! People that participated were scattered around the country.  We had people in Maryland, Texas, Wisconsin, Utah, and Colorado.  I hope everyone liked what they got!  Thanks for playing :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Grandpa Watkins

I finally stole these pictures from my Mom of when she and I went to visit her Dad with Elise.  I think these photos are so sweet! My Grandpa (age 95) was delighted to see Elise.  He kept laughing and told me she looked just like a little doll!  He asked to hold her and we took these cute pictures. 

It's pretty rare that a 95 year old sticks around long enough to see his 99th descendant!  What a legacy!

Family Get Together

One of my best friends happens to be my cousin, Holly. Holly is one of the most talented people I know and very fun!  Holly and her husband, Brad, are in medical school as well and it has been a lot of fun to talk with her about the whole process.  They are a year ahead so it is great to talk to someone who has just been in my shoes and have someone to relate to.  Her husband goes to Georgetown so they live far away but this summer before we moved, Holly was in town!  We decided to have a Taylor/Galbraith girl get together!  It was a lot of fun! Here are some pictures we took!
Here are Holly and I with our little girls.  Me with Elise and Holly with Lilia.  Holly and I are only a month apart (and a foot apparently) so it is fun that we both have little girls!
Both Nicole and Natalie were there too, as well as Holly's sisters, Wendy and Melissa.  Here are all of us girls with some of our babies.  It was a fun get together and I hope it isn't too long before we can do it again, even though we are scattered across the country.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Intramural Softball

A few months ago a friend of Zack's asked if I would join their intramural team for the medical college. They asked me because they needed another girl for intramural rules to keep it even on girls and boys.  I told her I hadn't played since I was in elementary school but that I would give it a shot!  It ended up being a lot of fun. We made it to the playoffs where we played our best game ever and we should have won if the other team didn't cheat.  Oh well, it was still a fun time!
Here is our team photo after our sad loss in the playoffs.  Elise was our team mascot- they even got a shirt for her!  Everyone on the team besides me is a medical student.  They all adore Elise and anytime a softball got the tiniest bit close to her they would all yell "Watch the baby!  Be careful of the baby!".  Don't worry, Zack had her safe and sound every time but it was cute to see how much they care about her.
Here is a family photo of us.  You can see Elise's team shirt she is wearing.  Our team name is Day Old Bread and Elise's says Hunny Bunny. Very cute.  One of the team members made up our name.  I guess it has something to do with the day old bread that Jimmy John's gives away at the end of the day that they can't use. Apparently it is better to use that bread after you have drank a lot of alcohol because it absorbs it better.....this Mormon girl wouldn't know anything about that of course.  But I thought you'd like an explanation about the different name.  They are playing soccer now and Zack is the one in our jersey this time. He is doing a great job and has a lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Our Life Lately

It has turned to fall in Wisconsin!  It is absolutely beautiful!  I do miss seeing the mountains in Utah but I can't complain about fall here so far.  We had rain almost everyday last week so the sunshine and warm weather is a welcomed surprise this week!  Next week my mom is coming to visit and I have a lot of really fun things planned for us!  I haven't done any of them so she and I will get a real Wisconsin experience this time!  I will have lots of stories and pictures to post from that soon!
Today Elise and I enjoyed the warm weather by heading out to the park.  I know that winter is just around the corner and I have a feeling it will be brutal so we are trying to get out a lot and enjoy this weather while we have it!  I let her crawl around in the grass and pull it up and pick up leaves and branches- she loved it.  She also loves to be pushed in the baby swings.  It is a lot of fun!
During conference breaks Zack and Elise discovered a new game. It is called, "give mom a heart attack".  He would let her crawl to the edge of the bed then catch her.  She loved it and would giggle as he chased her to the edge and caught her.
I planned a fun date for Zack and I the other day.  We haven't been on a date in a long time and it was much needed.  We don't have money for a sitter or for eating out anymore so it was just a simple date at home. I have found a couple of fun dating websites that helped inspire this one. Some of them are pretty cheesy but there are good ideas to be found or great ideas to get the ball rolling.  Zack really enjoyed this one too!  I made mozzarella sticks, chips and spinach dip and some very yummy punch for our food. I even dipped the edges of our drinks in sugar with a lime on the edge- go me!  I think it's the little things like that that help a person feel extra special.  We had a fun time!
I have been craving Cafe Rio for some time now and tonight I am making a copy cat recipe!  I haven't tried mine yet, but this is the same recipe that we used at Elise's blessing but I didn't make any of the meat or anything so I'm not sure how mine will turn out!  It smells delicious though so I am hoping for great results!  The closest Cafe Rio to us is about 1,000 miles away, so it will have to do!