Tuesday, September 9, 2014


not-so-secret confession: I'm kinda a bad blogger.. It's been well over a month since I updated this space! Which is a bit of a shame, because I have plenty to say! So here is my jam packed / super mega long / blog catch up / what I did this summer post!

So where did we leave off? [ scrolls through blog ] Oh right, welcome to JULY!


well honestly, really THESE. TWO. MONTHS.

The rest of my summer was insanely busy! As in, barely-had-time-to-sleep busy. As in, where the heck did July and August go?

July began with my most memorable 4th of July yet. Patriotic feelings, swimming at the pool, dinner at Alamexo the newest, swankiest Mexican place in town (patriotic, right?!) and then an evening of firework shows + lighting fireworks with friends. My hands down favorite moment was belting out the "Proud to be an American" song with my friends as we cruised the streets post-firework show.. Things may have gotten a little TOO patriotic, if you know what I mean!
I went to bed at 1am that night smelling like fireworks and good times. 
And then I was awoken at 3:30am by my mom, "jessica, the police are here, the roof is on fire." 
I hopped out of bed, and opened up the front door to the erie scene of a police car parked in the middle of the road, lights flashing, but no noise other than the rustling of leaves in the warm summer breeze. I found my mom and the police officer at the side of our house right as a fire truck pulled up and multiple firemen (and a woman! yay, equality!) hopped out. It took a while for me to get the story, but apparently while I had been out for the night, my family lit off a ton of fireworks with my younger siblings and they put all the remnants of them in this one trashcan right next to the side of our house. And something or multiple somethings had not quite stopped burning, so a police officer happened to be out on an unrelated call and stopped when he saw a column of smoke coming from the side of our house. Unfortunately he made the mistake of opening the trash can, which just gave the fire the oxygen it needed and turned it into a small inferno.. 
The police officer had a fire extinguisher in his car, but it didn't tame the flames at all. But luckily we had a hose nearby that he found and he was able to control the blaze till the fire department arrived. 
AND they inspected the roof for us, and despite the smoke pouring into our house, no part of the house caught on fire. SUCH A CLOSE CALL. And apparently we are a family of deep sleepers, because the smoke nearly filled our house, the police man was pounding on our door and no one woke up.. one of my brothers was already awake, so he answered the door and woke up my mom, who in turn woke me up. The emergency response people were there for at least 45min so I woke up some of my siblings and told them to go outside and check out the action, but most of them couldn't even comprehend what I was saying! only 1 sister came out with me and dutifully instagrammed it! 
^^ the "after" shot of the former mighty trashcan. we had to give a copy of the police report to the city so that they would replace our trashcan, but that involved us putting it out on the curb for 2 days.. people would literally reverse their cars and get out to take a picture of it! haha apparently incinerated trashcans aren't that common.. #murica

oh and how I wish I could say that this was the most exciting thing that happened this summer! or even that it was our singular close call with the fire department.. but we in fact had MULTIPLE more fire incidents this summer.. including a burnt field, and another time where we evacuated the house at 3am. But I'll save those stories for another time! 

WORLD CUP anyone?! I'd been rooting for Germany since before the cup even began, so you can imagine how stoked I was at the results! DEUTSCHLAND for the win! But let's be honest, they truly were the best team there. I knew it, they knew it, and moreover they proved it! So it wasn't a huge surprise of a win, but I sure had world cup fever for a few glorious weeks there. 

I went every Saturday I could to the Downtown SLC farmers market! It is one of the best, packed full of delicious fresh produce, baked goods, homemade recipes, food trucks, handcrafted goods, etc! My favorites were the fresh berries, homemade pies, mint limeade, middle eastern food tent, brick oven pizzas and Crumb Brothers multigrain bread. 
I am salivating right now just thinking of it all! 
They also have a professional trapeze bar set up in the park, so we had a little family fun with that one! I was the only one in my family able to swing myself over enough to do a flip, so #humblebrag

we had a ton of thunderstorms in Salt Lake this summer, which is super unusual (climate change, guys!) but on the bright side, we had some incredible rainbows. This is what our street looked like after one of them! 

I chopped off all my hair this summer too! Honestly it was at my waist for over a year! And I've slowly been cutting it a little shorter every time I came home, but I decided once and for all that I needed a change, so I chopped off that last 8 inches and haven't looked back! For me, this is practically a pixie cut! But I love it. 

we didn't spend nearly enough time at the pool this summer, but every time we went it was divine. 

Why was it so busy? THIS (^^) Everyone, meet our new home/kitchen! I loved it from the moment I laid eyes on it! In every way it is perfect for our family of 12! It is spacious, but not too spacious, it is newly renovated but still has its old fashioned charm (built in 1909!) and best of all it has a kitchen that takes up almost the entire main floor, which is exactly what we need, since every family spends 90% of their time in the kitchen anyway! I get warm fuzzies inside just thinking about this place and my love for it! But it sure wasn't easy. Selling our old house, packing up, moving here and unpacking was a 9-5 job every day for a whole month! But we made it! Only 1 mile away from our old house, but it is a completely different vibe. We love the neighborhood, the people, the house, everything! 

It actually looks better in person, but I think that photo gives a pretty good idea! <3 

So, thanks to the new house, I got my interior decorating / design vibes flowing! I feel like decorating a new home takes at least a year to get things how you like them, so we've got a ways to go! But I made some solid progress. This isn't the best photo, but it gives you an idea of what my new room looks like. I've been begging my mom to let me paint the walls white (I'm an unrepentant minimalist) but she has yet to concede, I'll keep ya updated. But in the words of one of my best friends: "it is like a grown up bunk bed" haha.  I live in the basement of the house and the raised part of the room is actually built around the original foundation. Once I found a suitable "stairs" solution, I've loved my elevated bed. Like I said, still a lot of work to be done, but it's a cool space!
we took a family field trip to the zoo, (actually two field trips) and I'm still not over how this lion was just belly up against the glass having the best nap! Out of the whole massive enclosure, he chose to take his nap right by the glass and was completely unbothered by our selfies. 
we also went to this bird show which I thought would be the lamest thing of my life, but turned out to be super entertaining and cool! It literally is my new favorite thing to do at Hoggle Zoo, so if you are ever there, check it out! This is Maxwell looking very patriotic after the show with a bald eagle named freedom! 
and this (^^) was from our second zoo venture the next week where we got to help create a playtime activity for the gorillas. After spending a morning with them and doing some research, I now am a huge fan! Gorillas are so human-like it freaks me out!  They apparently are wicked smart too! Have you ever heard of the Gorilla (named Koko) that communicates via American Sign Language? Most gorillas in zoos know some basic signs, but this gorilla is actually fluent and even invents words. SO COOL ( click here and here to learn more) 

Another rainbow spotted, this time in front of our new house! 

one of my new favorite things about the neighborhood is this MASSIVE park that is just a few blocks down the road from us! It has a biking path, running path, a lake with paddle boats, some water features for kids to play in, volleyball courts, a tennis school, a swimming pool, a ferris wheel, and more! This is me and Ev doing some bike exploring. 

we also did some hiking, because Utah is the best. But more on that in a different post. 

And to round it all out, I give you the best twin pic yet! Sass for days. 

Thanks for following along! I still have a bazillion more photos and stories to share. 
So watch out! 

xx  Jess


  1. It looks like you had a great summer! I'd love to hear more about hiking and general life around Salt Lake. I've never been there, but would love to go.

  2. Thank you for making my day! I've laughed so hard that it hurts! Time + Tragedy = comedy Looking back on the summer...the whole thing seems incredibly funny! Thanks for making all of our dreams come true...We planned, we set goals, we made lists, we compromised, negotiated, and worked like there was no tomorrow...and WE DID IT! YAY! A NEW HOME FOR THE TRIBE! (p.s. painting your room is still a "no") xoxo