Monday, February 21, 2011

Best Valentine's Present Ever!

It's been almost 21 months since Luke and I were last able to get away for an overnighter sans children. Thank you so much, Cristie, for making this happen!
Luke took me to the St. Regis Deer Valley. Although it is a Park City hotel, it is actually located in Wasatch County. We were happy to keep it local!
Can I just say I've never had a more luxurious experience? The hotel is actually built on top of a mountain, so after leaving your car with the valet at the base, you ride a funicular (with heated leather seats) up the mountain to the actual hotel. The tracks almost reminded me of a roller coaster - but an infinitely smoother ride! The views were stunning.

We loved our room with its juliette balcony, fireplace, and gorgeous view. Keep in mind that a Park City hotel is going to have a slightly rustic, yet luxurious vibe - lots of leather, exotic skins, natural tones - whereas the St. Regis New York is more glamorous. They really design the aesthetic for the destination. See that little red dot in the center of the mirror? That's a 17" television (activated by remote), in case you don't want to miss the news during morning ablutions.

The heated outdoor pool was exquisite. (You can see it from our balcony.) We visited it after dinner, in the dark, while it was snowing, surrounded by flocked trees and twinkle lights. Truly amazing. We loved sitting in the hot tub, watching the snow fall, and feeling it turn into rain on our faces from the heat of the steam.

The J&G Grill carries the best-loved items from Jean-George Vongerichten's restaurants across the country. Luke and I shared the rack of pork for two - hands down the best meat I've had outside of bistecca fiorentina in Fiesole. The hotel library was stocked with beautifully bound books and board games. (We took Trivial Pursuit and a Zane Grey novel up to our room.) They served warm drinks (including divine hot chocolate) in the afternoon and we enjoyed their creme brulee oatmeal bar in the morning. How does that work? Well. You top creamy steel cut oats with brown sugar, and using the same torch that you would for dessert, you caramelize the sugar. Then add your choice of toppings: macerated fresh berries, dried apples, bananas, golden raisins, cinnamon, dark chocolate, dried cranberries and blueberries, maple syrup, cream or milk.

Dino loves pushing things around the house

Friday, February 18, 2011


I walked into the kitchen, and Laurel was sitting at the table with a pen and piece of paper.

"What are you doing, Laurel?"

"Writing a thank-you note for you."

"Oh, that is so nice! What are you thanking me for?"

"For the service you do for me."

"Mommies do lots of service."

"You do too much service."

And that is why Luke is taking me out of town this weekend. Mommies and daddies need breaks!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Top Parenting Books for 2010

I've been meaning to mention these forever.

1. Reading Magic by Mem Fox.

Great treatise by beloved children's author on how to get your child to LOVE reading. Such an easy read and really motivating too. Many thanks to Eliza for the recommendation.

2. How To Get Your Kid to Eat...but Not Too Much by Ellyn Satter

I received this book when Laurel was born, but hadn't read it until a few months ago. An excellent read on how to get your child to eat, without causing neuroses. Love this!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

License to Wolverine

I guess we're real Utah residents now. I need to get down to the Y to get a BYU license plate surround - then add on a Kennedy School window decal and one for UT too. We have too many institutions of higher ed between Luke and me. Oh, and the reason the UVU license plate won out over my alma mater: Luke is on the UVU alumni board, and there is a UVU campus in Wasatch County - all part of the economic development!
Speaking of college, I saw this shirt yesterday: "CTR - Choose the Red - Utah". Clever.

Laurel's Cowboy Antics

Yes, Tennessee Ernie Ford's "man of mud" song is what Laurel requests when she's playing cowboy.

Laurel plays dress up with Dino.

I'm sure not for the last time in his life. Bummer being the little brother.

Laurel Learns about Volcanoes

We had a volcano lesson in January. Luke had a blast designing one and Laurel was flabbergasted by the baking soda/vinegar combination. The eruption scared Dino.

Our Little Southie

What a bruiser - I'd hate to get mixed up with him on a day the Sox play the Yankees!