Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Act 4; Scene 37: Happiness

If you're keeping up with my blog, you know that we recently vacationed to California, thanks to some generous friends. On the drive home, Robert and I had some time (LOTS of driving time) to talk about things. One of the questions was, "What was your favorite part of the trip?"

This led to a lot of comments like, "I loved how Tommy loved the train and thought the train robbers were cool!" or "My favorite was seeing how much Tommy loved the water even though he was scared of it at the same time," or "He really enjoyed the show at Knott's Berry--I loved the sounds he was making as he watched it!" 

I realized that all of our positive comments about the trip revolved around the things that Tommy enjoyed. Really, almost the whole trip was based around things that we thought would be fun for him--playing at the park, the kiddie rides at Knott's Berry, the ocean (he is a complete water bug), the children's discovery museum, playing with friends, etc. And boy did he have fun. It was our best vaca with the babe so far! We all had a great time.

We all had a great time because we are happy when he is happy. Making him happy is what we wanted to do the whole time. This brings me to my point: we are happiest when we are not focusing on what will make US (ME) happy, but what we can do to make OTHERS happy.

I was reading a book a few weeks ago (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe) which is partly about a middle-aged woman who is unhappy with her life. Anyway, as the story progresses she inadvertently makes friends with a little old lady at a nursing home. There is one part near the end of the book when this middle-aged woman brings her nursing home friend a surprise dinner of buttermilk biscuits, fried green tomatoes, sweet corn, and lemon pie--the meal that the old lady is always talking about. She says that watching how excited her little friend was to get the surprise meal gave her a great deal of real happiness. Rather than all of the clubs she had attempted to be a part of, products she had tried, and theories she had tested, this simple act of planning and making someone else happy is what brought her genuine happiness.

President George Albert Smith said that "our eternal happiness will be in proportion to the way that we devote ourselves to helping others." I think that this applies to our earthly happiness, as well. The more we seek to help others be happy, the more happiness we will find ourselves. We are told over and over to lose ourselves in the service of others, and our own problems will become light. The light bulb flashed for me about this when we were reminiscing after our trip. 

So...go make someone happy! And maybe the light bulb will flash for you, too :-).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Act 4; Scene 36: Our Trip to LA: Day 6

  • Delicious granola for breakfast
  • 9am sacrament meeting at the nearest church
  • Tried to see the Dixie Sears Invitational Art Show
  • Unable to get into art show (doors not open till 12!), so walked around the small garden area and played with Tommy
  • Lunch
  • Drive home to Lehi!
(Ok so I only included this day because of the cute pictures--but so worth it!) :-)

I think he is telling us about the airplane overhead

So you want me to stay still for a picture, do you??

 And that was our trip! If you made it through all of the posts you are a trooper :-)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Act 4: Scene 35: Our Trip to LA: Day 5

  • Get up early to hike to the Hollywood sign
  • Realize that it will take hours to actually hike there, so
  • Go to a lookout point on the trail, and explore the Griffiths Observatory
  • Feel like the greatest show in town--Tommy waved and growled at everyone. And every single person on the path pointed at us/him and waved hi and were so tickled to see a toddler! Not what we're used to back home, where babies are everywhere.
  • Go to Hollywood Blvd to see the stars
  • Can't find the stars with signatures, so walk down a bit of the stretch to see what we can 
  • Pack up and head to St. George
  • Relaxing night in real bed with pillows (joy!)

"Smile for the camera, Tommy!"

panorama behind the observatory

The observatory from the trail
What handsome boys!

Why Reese Witherspoon? It was a star on the path of someone I know and like well enough--had to get a pic with what I could find!

The Pantages Theater

Here is my favorite! Had to snap it fat at a crosswalk or I would be in the picture!
This is the strange rock formation that is on the hill by the Summers' apartment

Did I mention we had a lot of naps in the car? Good thing he likes books!
 We did try to fix the drooping head as often as possible--but inevitably when we looked back it would be back in this same position. Poor kid.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Act 4; Scene 34: Our Trip To LA: Day 4

  • Play time outside
  • Visiting the Children's Discovery Center--a free resource center with TONS of toys, learning activities, a giant slide, books, all sorts of amazing things!
  • Naps!
  • Zuma Beach
  • Watching dolphins play close to the beach! Amazing! 
  • Home made curry--yum!
  • Watched Frozen (which we were both pretty disappointed with)
love how Tommy is pointing where he wants to go and William is pushing

trying out the sand

the breathtaking landscape

Just before the waves pulled him down--he wasn't scared of the ocean waves yet

Tried to get him to help build the sand castle, but he only wanted to stand in the water

This is what we did nearly the entire time. Stand where the waves would wash over our feet. For an hour.
Becca and James chillin' on the sand

I just love his little footprints in this one
Mr. Joe Cool and his side kick
Wish we could have been at the beach longer!

Act 4; Scene 33: Our Trip To LA: Day 3

  • Wake up at 3:30am and not go back to sleep (new house/toys/friends too much like Christmas for the babe)
  • Boys watch movies and play with toys before breakfast
  • Go to Knott's Berry Farm
  • Tommy sings the Dinosaur Train song (ride ride ride ride ride! part) on the train
  • Eat famous fried chicken dinner with famous biscuits and boysonberry pie
  • Experience horrible LA traffic on the way home (took us an hour and a half to get to the park--and three hours to get home!) 
William (3) and Tommy with their slinkies

Long car rides. Poor drooping head.

This is my fave because he is really excited about Charlie Brown's hat. He kept yelling "hat! hat!"

On the train with Dad
Train robbers!

Attempting a selfie of us on our second train ride

Act 4; Scene 32: Our Trip to LA--Day 1 and 2

Day-by-day bullets of our most recent adventure:

  • Leave for St. George
  • Visit art gallery with Dad's paintings
  • Tommy serenades us with beautiful piano songs
  • Eat delicious soup and ice cream sundaes
  • Visit with Mom and Dad Center
no pictures. sorry.

  •  Long drive to LA
  • Chuckle that they sell showers at Whiskey Pete's, our gas station pit stop. "Shower customer #32, your shower is ready"...
  • Arrive! And immediately go to park and play (which we had to drive 15 minutes to get to! crazy!)
  • Dinner at Stone Fire Grill, a local favorite of the Summers' (whom we stayed with)
  • Visit with dear friend from high school and enjoy delicious shortcake dessert
picture of friend from high school...i forgot to take one of all of us there!
again no pictures! dang it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Act 4; Scene 31: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What is a strange, random holiday good for but strange, random holiday food?

Here are our items of the day!

Rainbow cupcakes.

the divided batter--all but purple which got cut out of the shot :-)

Layering the batter

topped with mini m&ms and presto! 

The pot of gold is the great feeling you have in your tummy after eating the cupcake. So good! 

Tommy had a good time helping me make the goodies.
We also had kiwi popsicles. They are easy and so yummy! Just slice up kiwis and stick a tooth pick in each slice, then put them in the freezer. They had so much tangy sweet goodness they didn't need anything else. They will make a great summer snack!

Thomas and I also celebrated by going to the dinosaur museum (which also has an ocean display). Nothing says St. Patrick's Day like a giant shark head...

Happy St. Patty's!