Wednesday, July 25, 2012

June Wedding

 Leave it to Taj to find a "twactuh" and bum a ride on it. The teenage boys operating this loader (not sure if that is the right name for it. I call everything like that a loader-shows how much I know about heavy equipment!) were so nice to take Taj up on there and let him check things out. I'm pretty sure he thought that was heaven.
 Love this picture. You can really see that attitude of Taj's come alive whenever he wears a pair of shades and you let him think he's in charge like Uncle Brian did by letting Taj hold onto the handle bars on the fourwheeler.
 Auntie Marci and Haivi baby
 Can you spot Lewis Lodge? Too bad we hiked in the wrong way, could've had a MUCH closer look! Leave it to the Nielson clan to learn things the hard way. Oh well, at least we had fun doing it!
 Haha-it was very windy!

Why would I title this post "June Wedding" you say? Well there is an explanation, just not a single picture to back it up. My youngest sister Macee got herself wedded to one Roman Black in June. So now my little sister is Macee Black and has joined the young and married club. It was the quickest wedding I have ever been too. There was no reception and the wedding ceremony and luncheon took all of about two hours and the happy couple was gone! We all stood around a little dazed and wondered to ourselves if they actually just got married. It felt something akin to a planned elopement (correct terminology? who cares!). Basically they told us the date and time and we all showed up and then they were off. My parents are nearly empty nesters now with four out of five kids married and one set to graduate high school in two years. It's crazy how family dynamics change once everyone starts moving out and getting married and having kids, oh wait, I'M the only one having kids. Why is that? My siblings are definitely a little behind! So I will post some pictures of my beautiful little sis and her handsome groom as soon as I can!

Kanab Country

 Taj and Brannon went on a trail ride with Hayes, one of Brannon's younger brothers as their guide. Brannon and his brothers grew up in the saddle and I know if we lived closer, Taj would too. He loved it. I am always telling Brannon that Taj is a country boy at heart.

 Joey Jill (Haye's daughter), Haiven, and Taj

As you can see from the pictures, Haiven was quite the drama queen the ENTIRE time we were in Kanab visiting Brannon's family. She cried if you set her down, she cried if you barely bumped her, she cried if you looked cross-eyed at her or if a stranger said "hello." I really didn't mind it however because I got a lot of snuggle time with that little chica every time she had a melt down moment. You can see in the last picture Papa Clint is getting snuggles after cousin Joey tipped over (in the pictures above) and bumped Haivi's head. That of course set both of them off crying. Oh I love my little Haivi, drama and all. Girls are so much fun.
Taj on the other hand could not get enough of Kanab. Papa Clint and Grammy Tad have all sorts of fun things to explore like horses, a goat, an old broken down tractor, a trampoline, about a dozen hound dogs and their kennels, hound puppies, and a closet full of toys. We traveled to Kanab a few weeks ago to take family pictures, so as soon as I get some, you can be sure to be wowed by the Morse fam in full country attire. It was completely natural for Taj and Brannon and even little Haivi looked so cute in her little denim wrangler dress. Me? I did my best to fit the part, but probably came across as more department store cowgirl. I still really like the jeans I bought from Reams though for the shoot, even if they do have a lot of bling on the pockets! We love going to Kanab to visit Brannon's dad and brothers and his wife's family. Hopefully we get to go back again soon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New York Minute

This post is so late, it is almost embarrassing to even post it in the first place. You can probably tell how my life has been since having my baby girl, child #2, because everything I do or attempt to do is late. I however am going to be nice to myself and at least give myself credit for trying!
Back in May, on May 22nd to be exact, I took a little business trip to New York City all by my lonesome. New York was everything I expected it to be, only 10 times bigger and it smelled like the bottom of a garbage can and kind of like the sewer, especially when it rained, which it did the entire 24 hours I spent there. I stayed at the Hotel Carter which happens to be right on Times Square or rather kiddie corner to it. Hotel Carter is a one or two star hotel complete with cockroaches, cracked walls and ceilings, moldy bathtubs, creepy closets with no carpet, and cold showers. My room also happened to be right across from the elevators, three of them. The majority of patrons in this hotel were young European and Asian tourists and young people like me with a shoe string budget. I thanked the heavens that there were no bed bugs or no creepers trying to bang down my door in the middle of the night. I took the quickest shower ever the morning I woke up, pretty sure I beat a record somewhere for fastest cold water shower. It's weird when you feel warmer AFTER you turn the water off. I will never forget Hotel Carter, nor will I ever stay there again. I knew it would be bad, but I knew I could tough it out for one night.
I was originally dropped off at The Carlson and knew I was in the wrong place when a butler opened the door for me and carried in my luggage and escorted me to the front counter. I tipped him a couple bucks for that, probably the worst tip he's ever gotten. I was just doing what I've seen in the movies, only I had dollar bills in my wallet and was hard pressed to find anything larger than a $5. When they asked for my name, I knew they wouldn't find it in their computer judging by the marble floor. I sheepishly showed the nice man at the computer my hotel reservation and hotel name I had scribbled on a piece of paper. I was WAY off course! He said that my hotel was far away. What he should have said was that armpit of a hotel is located in  an industrial alley frequented by bums in the shadows and large buildings with creepy sirens that sound off all night long, the kind of sirens you would hear before an impending apocalypse and by big guys saying "Hey Baby." Gives me such warm feelings when I think about it.
I tried to make the most of my 24 hours in New York and I went to Mama Mia the night I flew in and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe on Times Square. The next day I woke up early and found the building where my meeting would be later that afternoon and then I walked my socks off. Never occurred to me to take the subway, which I regret because I'm sure that would have been a great adventure! I do like getting lost because I always find cool places. I walked to the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, almost made it to Madison Square Garden (before my bleeding blisters finally got to me), walked Fashion Ave in the garment district, and got swindled in a tourist trap shop. I walked by a few hot dog stands you always see in the movies and had some guy yell obscenities at me while I was resting my feet sitting on a bench. I turned around to see if he was talking to someone behind me, but found only a large potted plant. Welcome to New York I guess! I've decided New York is one of those love it or hate it places. Me? I loved it and I can't wait to go back and explore a lot more of that city!
 At Mama Mia. I think I was the youngest person there. The theater was packed full with middle-aged people and busloads of Asians. I sat by a nice older woman with a son my age. She and her sister were so nice to me, they even offered to walk me back to my hotel.

 Times Square the night I got in. Had to buy a $5 umbrella off a hot dog stand because it was pouring.
 Some guy offered to take my picture. It was very nice of him, but I started to worry he would run off with my camera after he took about 10 photos, haha! He told me he wanted to make sure I had one at every angle. Thanks camera guy, but no one needs to see me from every angle!

 Empire State Building-paid $20 bucks to ride to the 80th floor to the lookout-worth it I'd say!

 At the top of the Empire State Building-very awkward trying to take pictures of yourself with a big bulky camera and 50 other tourists watching you do it. Felt like an idiot.
 Grand Central Station

Hotel Carter-don't ever stay there if you don't absolutely have to!

My meeting went very well and I was so thankful because it made the whole crazy trip worth it. I met with about a dozen fashion editors from various magazines and blogs and actually had In Style magazine pick up one of my dresses. I don't know for sure, but I am hoping to see it featured in their pages in the fall. I also met the owner of Shabby Apple and other Emerging Designers, so that made the trip worth it in itself. I also met the publicist team and helped them set up for the press event. I worked myself into a sweat putting together garment racks and steaming about 15 dresses. By the time the event actually started, I was red-faced, big-haired (humidity makes my hair huge and frizzy!), and sweaty. I looked awesome...not! Good thing they were there to look at my dresses and not at me!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Grandpa/Grandma Greats

I could NOT get a good picture with both kids looking at me in any of the photos I took of them with Great Grandpa Johnson and Great Grandma Johnson. I do however LOVE them anyway. These pictures are real life. They show the chaos of having two small children and I love it.

Swimming Lessons

 Haivi and I were bored, so we took some candids while Taj was in his lesson.

 First day of swimming lessons and looking like a stud! One young woman saw him strutting into the rec center for his lesson and exclaimed, "Now that's my kind of man!"
 1 minute into swim lessons.
2 minutes into swim lessons. I think he is a little like his daddy.

Taj finished his last day of two weeks of swimming lessons this past Friday. He successfully learned how to blow bubbles in the water, front float, back float (both with help), kick his legs in the water, and move his arms about. So he pretty much did everything he does in the bathtub. I think they could have done a little more with him, but at least now he is a little more comfortable in the water. We will be back again next year! In the meantime however, I'm sure we will be back to this place a few more times before the summer ends!