Monday, July 25, 2011

How To: A Lewiston 4th

Stake out a great stretch of parade-front property and look adorable for the old folks' band:
Scout out the best suppliers:
Patiently wait out the non-candy throwing types {like mini horses driven by mini humans}:

Enlist someone like Jeff to shout something polite, but witty and attention-grabbing, into the megaphone so as to direct all candy throwing northward {sorry, folks on the south side of the street}:
Watch your head while taffy, Tootsie Rolls {sometimes frisbees and dangerously, bottles of water} are thrown:
Scramble and gather:
Survey the goods:
Make friends with a grown-up who will be helpless against your adorableness - this grown up will collect all the pieces that make it past the barricade of 5-year olds and add them to your stash:
There are few things that make my year like a 4th of July spent in Lewiston, Utah. After racing the parade into town {there is one street into town, and it's the parade route. don't even think about trying to get to the parade after it starts.} and a loop around the carnival "uptown," we headed to the farm for lunch, volleyball, soccer, 4-wheelers, homemade ice cream, swingsets, hot tubbing, delightful conversation among cousins and a staged photo with sisters. 
 {i adore this series of noah attempting to get one past the girlies...}
 {...and syd takin' him to town!}
{these gals mean business.}
This city cousin also attempted to drive a dirt bike on the farm. It looks so easy! A banged up wrist, scratched up hand and Phillips head {or as I like to refer to it, Wilson...} brand on my leg from an unfortunate collision in the corn fields later... I'm here to say it's not as easy as it looks.

 Oh, Lewiston - I'm in love.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mermaid Parade

For the past three years, Noah and I have intended to make the trip to the Island of Coney for the annual Mermaid Parade. Last year, I remembered 30 minutes after the fact. The previous year, we started the morning at the laundromat on what turned out to be the hottest day of my life. After standing guard in a windowless room full of machines that blow hot air, then carrying our piping hot laundry back home and up the six flights to our apartment, all I wanted to do was strip down to my skivvies and stand in front of a fan.

Turns out stripping down to one's skivvies and the Mermaid Parade are not mutually exclusive.

You've got to love any parade where the first float features an elected official warning everyone that if you offend easily, you should just go home now. {shockingly, the 4th of July parade in Lewiston, Utah started the exact same way.}

Don't worry, this blog is still safe for work and children {call over your coworkers and gather your little ones 'round...}. All photos have been carefully selected for their non-nudity qualities.

{one of NYC's most famous residents. who is this guy and why do i see him everywhere?!}
{modest mermaids. adorable.}
{this little gal stole the show. highlight of the parade, for sure.}
{i was actually trying to capture the flamingo hat and moved too slowly. little did i know i would end up with the greatest picture ever of these folks.}
{a little cranky and tired of crowds by this point.}

Jack of All Trades

I have a confession.

I have a {not so} secret love affair with close out stores.

Sure, I might find a great deal on pot scrubbers, fall in love with the brand and never, ever be able to find them at that store again. But I will have paid $.33 for them and I will still feel victorious. Such is the life of a close out store devotee.

I left my hair brush in Utah last week {ahh! bathroom items! i should have known. if there is anything our 118+ houseguests have taught me it's that the most commonly left behind items are bathroom items!} and I've been going out of my mind without one ever since {ps - if you saw me at church sunday, the missing brush is not to be blamed for that disaster. thinking hot curlers were a good idea on a humid day is to be blamed for that disaster.}

The problem is, I never think to purchase a hair brush when I can actually do something about it. I did remember Saturday night when I swung by Duane Reade, but $15 for a paddle brush? Como what?!

So this morning, I made a stop by Jack's World. In and out in less than three minutes. Not only did I find my brush for a whopping $1.99, I also came away with a basting brush {I've been needing one of those!} and a bottle of hair smoothing lotion {every time I run out, I feel like a chump paying $15 for another bottle, but I can't live without the stuff} for a grand total of $7.97.

Something about these 9am impulse buys made me self-conscious laugh at myself. When you need a basting brush, you need a basting brush.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Family Ties.

"What have we always said is the most important thing?" 
"Family. Right. I thought you meant out of the things you eat."
{arrested development.}

We've had a really wonderful week, one I plan to capture in greater detail in further posts. But first, an observation. 

Last night, as Noah drove south on I-15 and I sped along in a DC --> NYC bus, we realized something... between welcoming home Elder Furniss from the Raleigh, North Carolina mission, celebrating the 4th of July Lewiston-style and joining the "Oregon Barlows" for a wedding in Washington, DC, Noah and/or I have managed to see nearly every Barlow cousin, aunt, uncle and grandparent in the last six days. An impressive feat, considering I'm one of 32 first cousins and we span the map literally coast to coast. This doesn't usually happen over the course of years, let alone days. 

We had a really wonderful week, filled with Rileys, Furnisses, Ellsworths and Barlows (and all in-laws thereof). 

Glad to be blessed with such an amazing family.
{the sibs minus the Paces in front of "Grandma's House"}

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cleveland (Visitors) Rock.

The Ohio Riley crew came to town last month and we partied like rockstars.

Admittedly, my knowledge of rockstar life is limited, but I do believe it involves cramming obscene numbers of people into hotel room-like spaces, yes? Then party like rockstars we did.

They rolled into town at about 4am, so when I got up for work and went to sneak out at 8:30am, I expected all to be slumbering still. Not so. Ry and Ave were awake and reading {so studious...}, so I put the kibosh on all that reading nonsense with a suggestion that they accompany me to an emo-rock concert. Twenty-six minutes later, we were passing through Times Square on our way to hear Plain White T's perform on Fox's plaza across the street from my office. It was fun to be just hours into their NYC trip and already having a little adventure with two of my favorite tweens. Maybe it was the close proximity to the stage that lent itself to occasional eye contact, or maybe I didn't get much sleep, but one of those PWT's is pr-etty easy on the eyes. {Okay, I just looked them up and I think I need to take it back. Let's chalk my swooning up to sleep deprivation.}

That day also happened to be little J's birthday, so Noah and the crew spent the afternoon at FAO Schwartz and the playground and Central Park. Afterward, Noah, Jess and Ave hit the MoMA {where Ave was particularly delighted to learn they had Jackson Pollocks. she asked for them by name. is she not the raddest 10 year old you've ever heard of?!}, Ry and I had a lovely time at Times Square's Forever 21 flagship store and Cays took the two youngest to Toys"R"Us, where the birthday girl took a nap {this is how you KNOW you've partied like a rockstar on your birthday, when you are at one of the largest toy stores in the world and you can't keep your eyes open}.

We spent Saturday at the Museum of Natural History, where a stranger paid me the sweetest compliment known to man by telling me my "kids looked just like me." While I can't in good conscience take actual credit for their cuteness {they do have excellent genes, those girls}, I don't mind being compared to it.
These cute girls had us laughing the whole visit. For anyone who knows little A and her spunk, you know she kept us in stitches. My favorite part was her object lesson comparing Jesse to a geode. "Rough and ugly on the outside, but beautiful on the inside..." 
Caysie and Jesse spent a romantic evening on the town, while the two littlest Rileys hung with Uncle Noie at the park and the two older girls and I hit the town for shopping and ice cream {a must with these two ice cream aficionados}.

Sunday we picnicked at the High Line, then set sail across the harbor for a glimpse of Lady Liberty. 

We love this sweet family so much. Thanks for making the trip, sunshine gang!