Here is a photo of Brian's most recent opera, The Italiana Girl in Algiers with Utah Opera. The month has been a blur because usually when we are home we are on vacation so it was strange to have an entire month of work and sleep in our own bed. The show went well, it was well received and funny. Brian was sick with three different things during the rehearsal period which was less than ideal. It is one of the harder tenor roles and to deal with illness on top was not fun. But he did great. The SL Tribune said of him: Stucki navigated his fiendishly high, florid music with skill. We enjoyed getting to know some of the Utah Opera people and hope to seem them around since we live here. Brian made a killer Banana Cream Pie for some of his colleagues. We will have to get together for more pie another time.
Now we are off to Arizona next week for another Barber of Seville and some nice time in Tucson and Phoenix. We are excited because we have some good friends in Tucson and our apartment complex has a heated pool and is next door to Trader Joes. We will be all set.
The photo above is from the SL Tribune article.
Colin is sandwiched in age between Kristy's boys so we had ages 5, 4, 3 (and two 1 year olds). The big boys really did amazingly well and the majority of the time played well together. We hope they can have annual meeting of their Boys Club. Just this morning Colin and I were talking about our time in Philly and he said "it was a special time."
After Logan Circle, we walked a few blocks up to the Love Fountain. There were some cool skateboarding tricks for boys to watch. Our little boys entertained themselves by playing an extreme version of ring around the rosies.
We spent last Sunday afternoon running around the Logan Circle Fountain. We played in this fountain last summer and I really wanted to take the kids there to run around again. On the airplane Colin and I were talking about things he remembered from our time in Philly. He recalled fondly playing in this fountain and wanted to "swim' there again. No water this time, but still fun.
I also wanted to play here because I thought it was a place that might keep Jane contained. I thought she would not be able to climb out over the fountain edge. . It worked for a while, but she was soon out and running towards the street.
In the sun, it was nice enough to shed coats. Colin enjoyed borrowing the boys super hero wear all weekend.
We love Central City Philadelphia.
Kristy lives next door to the Franklin Institute, which is always amazing. She is a member so we were able to have the kids run around a few exhibits for about a half hour inside. Jane was trying to throw herself into the water exhibit (she is covered in a blanket because she got her coat very wet), so 30 minutes was fine with me. I would like to spend more time there kid-free sometime.
One of our favorites at the Franklin is the huge model of the human heart. When we were there this summer Colin ran through it many, many times. The exhibit also introduced us to the TMBG's song "The Blood Mobile". With Colin's love of cars, thinking of the blood as little cars moving through the body is very exciting. It has been helpful to teach Colin about what foods are good for his bloodmobiles, and how too much sugar makes his bloodmobiles go crazy. We have even already had a talk about diabetes.
Central City Philly is their playground.
Kristy lives in the former Board of Education building from 1930. It is a great building with many, many beautiful details.
We were lucky to be in Philly on their first nice day of the year.
Colin and the older boys having a good run around.
Jane will probably be embarrassed someday by her bath time with 4 boys but for now, she just loves a bath. It is hard to believe that Kristy and I have made these five totally new little people. Next time Brian and I are expecting I want to make a shirt that says "I'm so crafty I make people".
After the mass bath time, we headed over to the Smith Memorial Playhouse, which is basically a mansion of toys with amazing playgrounds outside. The house was built to be a playhouse as a memorial and opened in 1899. It was amazing! I love old homes and there were fun things to do everywhere, and totally free! Another must for visiting Philly with young kids.
The basement was a trike track, complete with a traffic light. Colin (trike rider on the left) always dutifully waited for the green light.
Jane found another shopping cart. She had tantrum after tantrum when we had to move from one room to another. A nice man gave her a big handful of candy which quited her right down. Oh my.
Kristy's sweet one year old. James and Kristy make beautiful children.
Snack time at Smith. Kristy was always very on top of good snacks for kids.
Stairway detail, it really is a gorgeous house.
I still have many, many Philadelphia photos to post, but we realized today is the 7th anniversary of when Brian and I really started dating. Today was the first time we held hands and had a little kiss. I was in graduate school in SLC and Brian was in Chicago and on March 12 I left on an extended Spring Break to explore things with Brian. It is an easy date to remember in Utah because 7 years ago when my mom was driving me to the airport, the radio program was interrupted to announce that Elizabeth Smart had been found. A special thanks to Brian's brother Dan for telling Brian that he was probably in love with me, and thanks for Brian for realizing too. I need to write down the whole drawn out story, since it took 10 years. It is similar to When Harry Met Sally but with no pre-marital sex. Brian was recently entertained by going into my old email account and reading all the emails I got from friends when we started dating. We had a lot of amazed friends that something was finally happening with us.
To celebrate the 7 years, we had an alone date to Ikea in middle of the day, ate Ikea pizza and bought some of those yummy chocolate marshmallow things. Brian also took the kids so I could go shopping alone (one of my birthday wishes). I spent some good time at a favorite thrift store as discount shopping relaxes me. Happy 7 years Brian!
On my birthday, Kristy and I headed to the Philadelphia Children's Museum that is called Please Touch. I have been to a lot of kids museums across the country and out of the country and there is nothing like the Please Touch Museum. I would even love it without kids.
Not Colin's most photogenic moment, and Jane was struggling to get away from me, but cute enough.
Both Colin and Kristy's second son wore Superman pajamas, which was very helpful for quick spotting of the kids. Colin had such a great time with Kristy's kids and I hope this was just the beginning of life-long friendships. The first thing Colin did when we got home was to find and put on his own Superman shirt. He said he was ready to go back for more sleepovers.
It was brave of Kristy to have us all come, and it was so fun to catch up.
Kristy's cute baby playing with bees.
Jane robbing a bird's nest.
Jane is in a tricky stage where if she does not get her way, it is a major melt down. Here she is trying to take the little shopping cart out of the shopping area. She does not like me getting in the way of her fun. The melt downs can be pretty spectacular, especially since she can make her self nearly pass out when very upset. It is hard to be 21 months old.
The kids and I are just home from a fun and crazy birthday weekend in Philadelphia with the lovely Kristy Roser Nuttall and family. I have many, many photos to post from our adventures, but thought I would start with the evening before we left. For my pre-birthday, Sue Anne and Jeff came over for some great Thai food and Trifle. Shockingly, Jane loved the cream. Leave it to Brian Stucki to have milk fat loving children.
Our kids LOVE Sue Anne, and we do too. She is back to Europe and I am sad because we have no plans of when we will see her again this year. Hopefully it will be sooner than later.
Colin enjoyed Jeff's iphone. It was a fun night, and a great send off for the big weekend.