Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When it comes to tradition, there is no place like The Bayou for friends and fun. We've reunited at said location for years. There's nothing like familiarity and sweet potato fries to satisfy nostalgia.

And that handsome fellow is one of my favorite people on the planet. Words cannot express how much it makes my heart sing that he will be returning to Utah more frequently!

There's another long-time friend, Nique. This girl is so exquisite that she can get away with wearing a snuggie out on the town; seriously, men eyed her across the room. Here you see her modeling that soft blue contraption only sold on infomercials.

This picture seems to be missing someone. It's rare for the three of us to be together without Michelle :(

Even so, we had a great time. I included this photo of Andre because he has such a great laugh. I feel like the funniest person on Earth when he's around!

Another blast from the past is Wendy, there on the right. She used to work with us all at that Italian restaurant, but now serves at The Bayou.

Later, I hung out with Andre at his room in the Sheraton. I wonder if he was looking out that window feeling sentimental about his old stomping grounds or whether the view was simply appealing...

Must've been the lovely view. I stepped on the balcony to try to capture the city lights in the background, but this was the best I managed. One thing will never change---we're both shameless posers!

After hours of fun (shopping at Fashion Place, walking to Red Rock, then trekking further to The Bayou) it was time to face that lonely hallway that would take me from one of my closest friends. I miss...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Believe it or not, Topie decided LAST September that she wanted her 4th to be a "Spiderman Birthday." 365 days later, she still hadn't forgotten, so I subdued my inner urge to dress up her party with flowers and princesses; instead, I granted her dorky (haha) little wish.

Speaking of last year, Topie was a timid little 3-year-old back then, but seems now to be coming out of her shell. Maybe it was just the princess bounce-house she hated, but for the life of her, she did not step foot inside it once in '08. 2009 had better prospects and all the kids (Topaz included) played for hours.

As you can see, Topaz gets TWO cakes. It is not the first year, it will not be the last. In my book, cake equals love.

Awww, the proud parents. Actually, I think the best gift for Topaz is that Micah and I cooperate to plan her such a great birthday together.

Here's cute Rachel, who showed up for last year's event as well. These days, it's about the only time I see this long-lost neighbor of mine and it's so nice to catch up!

Another tradition: the Christensen kids are all about messy-cake-face! Why? Because I taught them years and years ago much to their parents' chagrin. I am the best aunt ever!!! Today's model is Little Kevie---I may have mentioned that he is Topie's bestest friend. How could she not love that face?!

Mindi, here, is a mutual friend of Micah's and mine. As you can see, she's gorgeous, but little do you know, she's the best forward my soccer team has ever seen! Her little baby Justice was hands-down the cutest!

Don't be fooled by that serious expression. This toy was Topie's absolute FAVORITE!

Here's my favorite part: beating Spiderman's face in with a bat ;)

R.I.P Spidey...

What a relaxing place to be onlooking. My parents' porch is virtually surrounded by hummingbirds. My mom must have handed me down the gardening genes because she spends hours in her yard on any given Summer day.

This, I didn't quite understand. Topaz would open her gifts, then immediately run into the hallway to stash them. It seemed like she was petrified the other kids would take her stuff. Makes me wonder what her daycare is really like...

The Spiderman bouncer was booked out :(

But that didn't stop me from climbing in it with all the kids. It was so much fun! I want one for my birthday!!!

And Ammon, apparently, thinks it's fun to still play with his favorite aunt.

Favorite gift, in action. I can thank myself for picking that one out!

And finally, we have Julie and Jared being nerds as usual.

On a lighter note, I'm so glad Topie had such an awesome birthday! She was so happy and fun! 4 seems like it will be a good year. Every day I marvel (yes I said marvel) at how functional and independent she's becoming. I guess it's the same old song every parent sings, but it truly is fascinating to watch a baby/infant become a person. My little person is a good one. I think I'll keep her.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sneaky Snake

It's no secret that I fear very few animals in the world, least of all, snakes. I'd say my phobia is limited to 7 lb chihuahuas, but that's a whole different story. For the sake of foreshadowing, you see me here posing with Nommi, my nephew Ammon's beautiful python---she's seriously stunning.

That said, I must admit, I found it mildly disturbing when I caught a teeny little snake in my room the other day. Topie asked me if it was real and I distractedly said, "No," until I actually turned around and found it coiled on my rug. Do snakes and spiders secretly crawl on my face at night?

Luckily, Topie is well on her way to appreciating animals the way I do.

So to show our appreciation, we allowed "Snakey" to live and be free.

Goodbye, my little friend. No more sneaking into my room...

Family Ties

To finish up the summer, my parents, Topie and I met Julie and her husband Jared at Cherry Hill for an end-of-season BBQ. Anyone can see that Topaz's swimming suit was adorable, but the less obvious fact is that she has really warmed up to my parents in the last 6 months. So there you see them, Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Dave, who equally seem to adore the Tope-ster. Mondays are becoming a tradition, where my dad offers to take the young one out for ice cream. She loves it! And I love the extra help with the kidlet.

Not that our best-friendman-ship has dwindled. But we all know, moms need a break sometimes.

In this instance, floating down the lazy river was just what I needed. No effort required...