Friday, September 19, 2014

Emmett's first soccer game!

This is the first year we have signed Emmett up for any sort of extra curricular activity.  In fact, when I asked him if he'd be interested in playing a sport he flat out said "no." But, like any good mother, I decided to sign him up anyway!  This child will say "no" to anything that isn't about getting a new toy, playing iPad or eating chocolate ice cream.  Sometimes you've just gotta try something new!  His buddy from school was going to be on the same team so I knew he'd have a familiar face to help calm his nerves.

His team had two practices before their first game and it looked like barely controlled chaos.  Imagine cats running after balls of yarn.  Emmett seemed to do fine in the "drills" - dribbling the soccer ball, passing back and forth, running a short lap - but I was not really sure what to expect at his first game.

He sure looked the part of a professional soccer player though.  Their team, Juventus, is named after a professional Italian soccer team and is called "Juve" for short.  When we parents received the jerseys at the first team meeting we were puzzled as to why our children were on a team named after a juvenile correction facility, but hey at least they went for it with the black and white stripes, right?

The rest of the uniform was up to us, so I got him some black Umbros (classic), black and white soccer socks, shin guards and cleats that I bought for $5.50 at Once Upon A Child (booyah!).  

Intimidated yet?

This is raw, natural talent.

Theo, dressed in his Razorback track suit, was ready to show his support.

I took a short video of the game to give you an idea of how it all went down.  Keep your eyes peeled for Emmett who does his best never to touch the ball.  He kinda just trails behind the action a good 20 feet or so.  I also enjoy the little boy on the other team who decided to just stay in one place, even when the action came right to him.

So, yeah.  We cheered for Emmett just being out on the field and having fun.  I mean, I guess he had fun?  It's hard to say.  He would tell you he had fun, but half the time he was pouting out there because he "didn't score any goals."  I'm not positive but I think he may have to touch the ball first?  But maybe they didn't go over that in practice.  Regardless, he was a sad sack for much of the game.  

Whomp, whomp.

I like how everyone is blurry in this shot because they are all moving so fast to get to the ball,  Well, everyone except Emmett!  Haha!  He's moving just enough to avoid the ball.

Unfortunately, Juventus did not win their season opener.  The other team (the Goal Diggers!) had a tiny soccer phenom out there who scored like 12 times.  It was unreal.  However, the team rallied around the coach and gave a good cheer.  Way to go, Juvey!

Eric tries to cheer up the soccer star.

Well, at least he enjoyed the snacks!

Emmett and his buddy, Luke.  Adorbs.
The great news is that Emmett still has a good attitude about going to practice and games.  Sure, I'll get the occasional, " again?!!?!" but that's just Emmett.  Who knows, maybe he'll get motivated to get out there and touch the ball one of these days!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jackson Hole, WY

After our day in Yellowstone the weather turned from sunny and warm to cold and rainy.  We spent our third full day at the campsite, mostly inside trailers taking naps and watching college football.  There were periods of no rain and during those times we walked down to the general store and I'm pretty sure Emmett made it down to throw rocks in the water, too.

After a lazy third day, we planned to spend our last day in Jackson Hole, which is less than an hour away.  That morning brought more rain and cooler temps, but we crossed our fingers and hoped the weather would get better.  During our drive over the rain stopped, and we spotted a male elk lounging in the grass (see the horns in the lower left corner).

Our first stop was at a little ski village where you can ride a tram up over 10,000 feet! 

This is a picture from the inside of the tram, we had only just gotten going.

Once we got to the top it became clear that it was FREEZING!  I was definitely under dressed and I froze my keister off.  I think that Emmett was pretty warm, his jacket was heavier than mine.  Here we all are at the top.  Just look at those spectacular views of the Grand Tetons...oh, wait.   It was so cloudy you could barely see anything up there.  

Did I mention how cold it was?  We saw SNOW that day.
If you were brave/crazy you could climb some stairs to an even higher point and get exceptionally cold and see nothing but white clouds all around you!  I may look happy but I'm screaming on the inside.

Sweet relief!  There was a little shack at the top that sold hot chocolate and waffles.  That hot chocolate really hit the spot.  

The view as we came back down the mountain.

After the tram we grabbed a late lunch and then some of the big group headed downtown.  The square in Jackson Hole is immediately recognizable because of the arches made of antlers - it's also the site where we witnessed Kenni proposing to Sara almost five years ago!  Sophie and Maddie reenacted the whole thing; it was like being there all over again.

We did the touristy thing and bought some Jackson Hole merch and enjoyed the really nice day that it slowly became.  We also took a picture with an elk.  

Here's our attempt at a family picture under the arches.  Emmett was over it and I promise Theo is somewhere under that blanket.  Not the best family photo, but we tried.

That pretty much wraps up our vacation!  It was a fun time and a great opportunity to see some family and wrap up the summer.  If you want to see all the photos from our trip they are in the August photo album.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful

On our second full day of camping we headed out to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.  It was an hour plus drive to get there, but the scenery was beautiful (although I don't think Theo or Emmett really cared).  We reluctantly obliged Eric's Grandpa Bob and made as many stops as possible. ;)  Actually, it was my request to stop and take photos at certain landmark signs.  I want to have documentation for our family (you know I love a good photo op) and it sort of broke up the drive a little to get out of the car and take a quick photo.  Sure, you can take a plain old photo or you can have a little fun with it!

Please note who jumped the highest.  (I don't think Eric knew it was a competition.)
We took a quick pit stop at the West Thumb Geyser Basin and walked a lap around the trail.

In all his years coming up to Yellowstone, Eric's Grandpa said he'd never seen birds by the pools!

The water was beautifully clear blue and HOT.

The colors are so vivid.  We were there on a gorgeous day, too.
We finally reached Old Faithful and ate a quick picnic lunch where Emmett had some quiet time among the trees.

After we ate we walked/drove to Old Faithful but half of us missed the geyser going off!  Barb and I were trying unsuccessfully to find a parking space and Eric was trying to find us.  So, we had about an hour and a half to wait before we could see it go off again.  It wasn't that hard to pass the time.  There was a museum exhibit with info about the park and Old Faithful.  We walked around to see the different geysers and then grabbed a prime seat at the lodge and ordered some ice cream.

You've got a little on your mouth, ah yep, yep you got it.

I wanted to get pictures of Emmett and Old Faithful.  He entertained that notion for about 30 seconds and then all bets were off.  Luckily I did get this shot of him which is halfway normal!  

Some of you may not know that Eric and I have been to Old Faithful before, early in our relationship.  In fact, I think it's been over ten years (!!) since we went.  Eric and his family have been countless times, although Eric is the first to admit that he did not fully appreciate the natural splendor of the park when he was younger.  I think that's definitely what we saw in Emmett while we were there.  He was much more interested in, say, a chocolate ice cream cone than the geyser.  But it's a pretty magnificent backdrop for your dessert experience.

On the drive back we stopped a few times, once at this waterfall (I knew I'd forget the name of it) which was beautiful.  

But it still didn't quite hold a candle to this cool caterpillar!

And speaking of wildlife, no drive through the park is complete until you've spotted your first animal.  We got pretty close to a female elk right off the road eating some grass.

We took one last pit stop at the Yellowstone sign.  What you can't see from this photo is that both boys had meltdowns here.  Emmett was upset that we took a photo without him (even though he said he did not want to take a photo).  So Eric took him out and grabbed a selfie with him to try and smooth things over.  Meanwhile, Theo woke up in a terrible mood and I had to get him out of his car seat to calm him down.  

Eric knew it was a competition and he brought his A-game.  

If you want to see more photos, visit the August photo album.  I'll post about our day trip to Jackson Hole soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Grand Teton National Park and Colter Bay

A few weeks ago we said goodbye to summer in a spectacular way - camping in Wyoming!  Eric's family always camps out in the Grand Teton National Park at Colter Bay.  They go trailer camping, which is like the best of both worlds - you get to be outside all day and also cook in a kitchen and sleep on a soft bed.  In other words, it's about the only time you'll find me excited to be going camping!

You may recall that we went camping with Eric's family last year near Sun Valley, ID, over the 4th of July.  And you may also remember that a certain little boy absolutely LOVED it.  He was so excited to go again.  He only had to wait the entire summer for it!  Sorry, buddy.  I think it was worth the wait, though.  There were endless amounts of rocks to throw in the water, for one thing!  Plus, he was excited to fly again.  He is too young to fully appreciate the natural splendor of the parks, but he does love a good discussion about animal scat (poop).  We packed a lot in our 4 days so I'm going to break up the trip into a few posts.  

First of all, we had a direct flight into Jackson Hole, WY from Dallas.  This was a game changer and a big reason we decided to head out there this summer.  I'm not saying that the boys weren't great on the plane, but even in the best scenario you're still flying with two small kids and it's stressful just imagining what might happen.  Also, poop.  There's always poop.  

Post-poop, everyone's in good spirits (or at least pretending to be). 

The second we stepped off the plane it was like, yes.  YESSSS!!!  70 degree weather, beautiful sunny skies, a slight breeze.  It was heavenly.  Especially coming from a summer of 100 degree temps.  We had to drive about 45 minutes to the campsite but a highlight was seeing this huge herd of buffalo roaming right next to the road.  I couldn't stop staring out the window at everything, it's all just gorgeous.  Emmett wouldn't stop asking me to look at a game on his iPad, so we clearly had different priorities.

Once we got to the campsite though he was in his element.  He and Eric hiked down to the lake that night to throw some rocks.  The next morning he was at it again, this time in the "Whee-Hoo" that Karen and Kirt rented for the weekend.  He liked riding in it, but not pedaling because he's tired and it's hard.  ;)  

This was the scene just a short walk from the campsite and a place that Emmett would probably want to be all day every day.  He loved throwing rocks and asking Eric to throw the big rocks for maximum splash.  The body of water here is Jackson Lake.

Theo loved it!  To be fair, he does love most things.

I think he just made a particularly good throw.

Later in the day some of us headed over to Jenny Lake to go canoeing.  Sadly, you have to be five years old to do that, so we had to scrap that plan and regroup.  It ended up being for the best though because I don't know how well Emmett would have done in a canoe where he had to sit still and stay put for at least 30 minutes.  We ended up walking the trails around Jenny Lake and finding a little spot for Emmett to get wet and, you guessed it, throw more rocks!

GG Bob, Boppa and Emmett walking the trail.

With Lakes Jenny and Jackson nearby I was basically royalty.  Emmett knows.

A spot where I asked Kirt to stop on the drive back because the water was so smooth and still.
I know I wasn't familiar with trailers before last summer, so I took this panoramic picture of Eric's Uncle Greg and Aunt Shelli's pimped-out trailer for those of you who are wondering what it's like.  Of course, this is like the cadillac of trailers with the faux brick wall and flat screen TV (that's college football we were watching) so it's not a completely accurate depiction of what it's like, but they are doing wonders with trailers these days!

Late in the day we walked through the campsite to the marina and explored more rocks and studied how they look when the hit the water (spoiler: AWESOME!).  It also gave us a chance to break out Theo's baby sunglasses, which is a major WIN for all people involved.

When Eric's cousins Sophie and Maddie showed up (along with cousin Chris, not pictured) Emmett was in hog heaven.  People to play with him!!!

The last night I went down to Jackson Lake again because the sunset was looking pretty good.

Boppa and Theo tried to stay warm, although you can tell by his nose that it was pretty chilly!

This was from the day we flew back, the sunset driving through the Grand Tetons.  The clouds were so low it was incredible.  It was the perfect ending to the trip.

I uploaded all of the vacation photos to the August photo album, but I will definitely post more of my favorites this week.  


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