2017 Schedule!

Elephant Gifts

My birthday is on June 22nd.  Please send gifts to…  I kid.  

I had a summer birthday.  It was usually a few days after school ended.  I always felt so cheated.  I was so jealous of all the kids that got to celebrate their birthdays during the school year.  Jealous in a spiteful way.  Nice cupcakes Jane, you big jerk.  That sort of thing.  

The third grade is Isabelle’s first year of real honest to goodness school.  And she has been looking forward to her birthday since the first day.  Looking forward and planning.  

“Do you think the school will allow a rented elephant?”  

“Sorry.  What is that now?”

“You know, for my birthday.”

“Hmmmm, well, I’m not sure it’s ever come up.  Also, I’m not sure you can rent an elephant.”

“Well, let’s ask.”

Birthdays are parties in this house.  I always felt so special on my birthdays.  My parents did such a wonderful job of celebrating us on birthdays.  And I have really tried to do the same for my kids and my gorgeous Wendy.  

But maybe I’ve gone over the top when my soon to be nine-year old thinks there is a good chance that an elephant is showing up to school on her birthday?

Eventually Izzy was convinced to have a more subdued day.  Cookies and cupcakes for classmates.  (No doubt there was a little summer birthday boy in class eating the cupcakes through a grimace.)  Then we went to pick her up at precisely one o’clock. (She wanted birthday wishes from those not in her class.)  Then the zoo and her soccer game. And for the birthday meal?  Chuck-o-Rama.  Because that is how we do.

Happy Belated Birthday you precious, precocious beautiful girl!!

Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer

BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah

The dragon with a beard

What is a normal present for an eight year old girl?  Let me google that real quick.  Thinking is overrated.  BRB.  

Well, as of 2014 it was the Harry Potter book set, Game of Monopoly,  Karaoke Machine and Chess Set.  If PopSugar is to be believed.  (Hint: I’m pretty sure it is.  I mean, Monopoly people.) Isabelle is not a normal eight year old girl.  At least, if PopSugar is to be believed (I’m beginning to have my doubts about it now.)

Isabelle had one specific request for her birthday.  A kitten.  Now, I know what you're thinking, Um, Tyler, that is very normal.  Good point.  But wait, there’s more.  

We went to the animal shelter with Izzy and Isaac to adopt a cat.  We found an amazingly cuddly furry cat.  She loved the kids and was so snuggly.  We brought her to the front to bring her home.  

Then something very odd happened.  My theretofore under appreciated ability to breathe was severely lessened.  My eyes got super itchy.  

Turns out Im highly allergic to cats.  How did I not know this?  

So instead of a really nice cat, I got a really sad little girl.  It was heart breaking.  

So I asked her what she wanted instead of a cat.  She replied immediately, “A Veiled Chameleon.”  My first impression was that a chess set might indeed have been a fantastic gift.  I felt outmaneuvered.  

One does not answer Veiled Chameleon to the question of what one wants without some forethought.  I almost suspected she had brought her own allergens to the shelter.  

So Wendy and I searched for a Veiled Chameleon.  We found one but according to its breeder they are not a fantastic reptile for a first time reptile owner.  

We informed Isabelle of this, she replied immediately, “Juvenile Bearded Dragon.”  (A Lumbersexual Lizard, nice.  If you don’t know what a Lumbersexual is, google it.  You’re welcome.)  Well played little girl, well played.  

Wendy and I researched the Bearded Dragon, and it seemed like an excellent first reptile. They are hardy and are okay being handled.  We brought him home on her birthday while she was at school.  It was Izzy’s first school birthday ever, but that is a story for another day.   

She arrived home and set her backpack down in  her room.  She spotted the terrarium, and let out a giddy screech.  She was so happy!!

Wendy and I beamed.  Well done Madame.  Well done Sir.  

I shared an interesting fact about the Bearded Dragon, “Did you know that this guy can get to be two feet long?”  

Belle grasped her heart, gasped and took three steps back from the creature.  

“Would you like to hold him?”

Belle grasped her heart, gasped and took three more steps back from the terrarium.  

She calmed down, “What does he eat?”  

“Live crickets.”  Belle Immediately teared up.  I hugged her and she started crying hard.  

Maybe next year We’ll get her that karaoke machine. 


Photos from Phoenix, Arizona.


Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer
Salt Lake Utah   Lifestyle   Photographer

BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah

It's so amazing!

I never, EVER thought that I would homeschool our kids. In fact I really looked forward to having them both in school. All that time to myself? Yes please.

But friends, as you know, when you tour around constantly there is no elementary school following you around, so here we are, year 4 of doing it ourselves!

One thing I was pretty excited about teaching our kids eventually was about reproduction. Yes. Sex ed. You heard that right. I'm sure my mom is rolling her eyes right now. That's because when I was the age for sex ed, I was completely horrified by the subject and even flunked out of the class. This makes me chortle to no end. 

No but really, Tyler and I have both been very frank with the kids about bodies, growing up, reproducing, etc. I think as a result, they are both very good at asking questions about these types of things. In fact, at age 5, Isabelle and Tyler were strolling down a cafe-lined street in Paris when she asked him, where do babies come out?  He gave her a frank reply and she shouted loudly "WHAT!?"

We gave them sporadic little lessons here and there, but I was always on the prowl for some sort of book or whatnot that I could sit down and read the facts out of, and then let them explore on their own. My friend in DC gave me this book randomly one day and there I had it... the perfect book.

"It's So Amazing" does a great job of helping kids learn about what happens to their bodies through puberty (omg did I just write that word on my blog?) and the story of how babies are born. It's just done really really excellently and in a very kid-friendly way. My kids read it for fun because they find it fascinating. Great illustrations, cartoons, and information. Well done, authors!

Anyway, there is my random homeschool mom tip for the day. You are welcome? Tee hee?

*ps if you think this post might be sponsored, then LOL


Photos from Phoenix, AZ.

Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer
Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer
Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer
Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer

BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah