Thursday, March 21, 2013


For Labor Day fun we headed south of Denver to Roxborough State Park. It's a beautiful spot for hiking among some gorgeous rock formations.  Unfortunately, we picked the less stroller friendly trail and it was blasted hot.  We still enjoyed a beautiful time, a picnic along the way, some sketching in the shade, and a slushie as soon as possible afterward! 

Family Pictures

New person in the family means it's time for a new family picture! It's good for me to do this every year anyway, so I remember all the effort and hassle that goes into making your family look fabulous for one afternoon!  Believe me, I felt your pain.  I'm so glad to have these though.  I even took all my favorites and put them in a small Shutterfly book, which turned out great. 

Our favorite part of the afternoon was when the kids were on the other side of a hill and a passing biker just saw Gavin and I getting our picture together.  He hollered "Congratulations!" Made us feel all young and just newly engaged again!   

Many thanks to our friend Brindisi for most of these.  The ones I'm not in, I took. 

End of Summer

The girls were having fun making fairy houses in the backyard.  Turns out they are the perfect size for Polly Pockets. My favorite part, in this picture below is the stone sofa - very Flintstones.  Best part, it kept them entertained outside for ages! 

And now, before we know it, it's time for Eleanor to go back to school! Can't believe she'll really be in 4th grade.  I have so many memories from that time on, it makes me anxious to make sure she has lots of good ones! We came up with a brilliant plan to motivate her over the summer by buying a bunch of fun accessories for school (aka - this sequined beret) and having her write a list of goals.  As she accomplished her goals, she earned the fun things for school.  Very successful - I'll have to try it again next year.

I guess all this back to school prep just wore Maggie out.  Too cute not to share!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Girls

My girls are so cute together.  Every few months, I try to sit them down and capture a couple pictures to prove it! Can't believe Maggie is 4 months old already!

I made this picture for a client and loved it so much I had to recreate it with Maggie.  I had it printed on canvas to hang in her room.  I love it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Utah Trip

We took a trip to Salt Lake before school started again. We have so many people we love in Utah, family and friends, it's always a busy trip! 
Grandpa and Grandma Payne took some time out of work to meet us downtown for breakfast!  The girls loved the City Creek fountains.  I love Kneaders.  We seriously need that in Colorado! 

Grandpa also got us into the Church office building, where he works, so the girls could see the view from the roof!  That was awesome!  
Temple Square was so beautiful and full of flowers.  I know it looks refreshing and cool in this picture, but it was 100 degrees outside and might toasty!  We found our way inside the Church History Museum where they have an awesome children's exhibit. A Mormon Children's museum, complete with play kitchen to "feed the missionaries." Dress up clothes to learn dances from ancient cultures, blocks to build towers and Nephite cities, and much more.  They had a great time in there.

We were timing our trip to make it to the extended Payne Family Reunion. We don't often get to see all of Gavin's aunts/uncles and cousins, so that was a fun time.  Here we are introducing Maggie to Great Grandma Payne and Gavin's Aunt Liesl.
We were also lucky to spend time with our good friends the Apezteguia's, who joined us at Leatherby's, as well as the Allreds and the Todds! If you had to move away, we're glad you went somewhere we can come and visit often! 

Happy Birthday Honey

I know it was hard for Gavin to move out of the early thirties, but we tried to smooth the way for him by having a lovely birthday celebration. 
With his fantastic cooking skills, it's getting harder to think of something extra-special to make for Gavin's birthday!  OK, well, he made most of this.  Lamb shank with a balsamic glaze over butternut squash and risotto.  Mmmm, so good.

 As a gift to me, or so he says, Gavin got me this amazing book.  If you're into baking, this is the "go-to" textbook to hone your skills.  Advanced Bread and Pastry.  It is a bit intimidating, but you can learn how to bake just about everything you've ever thought of and much, much more. 

So, Gavin requested something from the book for his birthday dessert.  I chose a Strawberry Frasier.  It is a chiffon cake infused with a citrus glaze layered with strawberries and pastry cream.  So, even if it doesn't turn out beautifully, it should still taste good right?  The cake fell a little, as our high altitude is not too friendly on cakes, but it still turned out OK and tasted good.  Labor of love, just for you honey!  Happy Birthday!

The Rockets Red Glare

We had a fun Rocket-themed 4th of July.  The girls helped me make confetti to stuff these fun paper rockets, which we hung outside.

This is the point where she pulled the string and no confetti came out, so I was called upon to shake it all out.  Thus, no pictures of confetti falling.  Ah well. Worked beautifully, but next time, more slippery confetti.

We also had some friends over to shoot off air-powered rockets.  It was a blast, pun intended, and the kids loved seeing how high and far they could go.

Maggie was happy to celebrate Independence Day too!  Love those smiles.