Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 2 in Utah Pt. 2

Friday morning we joined more cousins at Seven Peaks in Provo. WE HAD A GREAT TIME WITH THEM! We are blessed with wonderful cousins all around.
Mostly the moms hung in the wave pool, lazy river, and kiddie slides with the littles while the big boys went on all the slides and Annie got her courage up and joined them, then gave Zane the courage to do one of the scariest ones because she was game to do it with him. (Remember her slooooow entrance to having fun?) Everyone was delighted to see my kids, which is always flattering to me. I love folks who love my kids! And I love kids who will pose for pictures!
Of course water and my non-fancy phone don't mix so I couldn't get as many as I'd hoped, and of COURSE I ran out of space before getting a group shot. Luckily, Ashley came to the rescue with these two beauties.
Time capsule pictures, thank you kids!
I went away feeling much less worried about the mysterious and scary (known to most as "fun") Seven Peaks land. I am my daughter's mother, after all. Thank you cousins, for a seamless introduction!
Saturday was spent at Gigi's House with yet more cousins. And not enough pictures. I'm seeing a theme.
 My dad couldn't take not being out in his garden anymore, and started to venture out there. A man cannot be kept from him produce, after all. And Jackie boy loves Gigi more than I thought was possible, and that's saying a lot! She deserves it, for all the hard work she does for EVERYONE in this family of mine. 
Sunday we went to church, then the kids and I wandered down to Mapleton to see old friends from Clemson. No pictures but such great food and conversation. Thank you Christensens!
Then Monday we ventured BACK to Seven Peaks with more cousins. No pictures but lots of adventuring, including Annie going on the craziest ride of all, and me almost peeing my pants while going down the ride Tina told me was "totally mild." As if! :) Anyway, a second successful venture, amazing for this family in such a short time period.
Then today it was back south, this time to Payson for some MORE cousin love! Lunch and play and happy talks for the mommies.
Marshall and Zane got along great, thanks to legos and the trampoline (notice the Payson Temple spire in the background). Directly after this picture was taken, Zane tried to do a backflip, failed, face planted, and got a bloody nose. His 10th this trip (I hope I'm exaggerating). "It's okay mom, the impact ones last way less than the natural ones." Great! So glad you've had enough experience to know that, crazy Zane!
Annie and Elise also thrived, playing in costume (Elise's idea) and organizing every available play area (Annie's new obsession--mother's daughter again, it's a little frightening).
And the little boys did REALLY went for 4 out of the 5 hours together, thanks entirely to sweet Joel and his willingness to share with Soren. The last hour got a little awesome (read: screaming induced), but I don't think that part will be remembered most. :) 
Thank you Ashley and family for such a pleasant and fun day together! As we drove away I couldn't help but snap a picture of the Payson Temple, so so close to them. Striking, that temple, with the beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds behind it. Utah, you sure are beautiful in the summer. Sshh, don't tell Clemson.

Week 2 in Utah Pt 1

 Week two recap! We have spent plenty of time in my parents' happy backyard: there are weeds to pull and veggies to harvest from the garden; frisbees to be thrown and thrown and thrown and thrown and thrown; cartwheels to perfect in the soft and fuzzy grass; and many fruit trees to wait and watch and drool over. This place is a place of beauty, shade, and deliciousness.
Thursday we spent time with cousins at the Seven Peaks Lehi Fun Center. Some kids might not be impressed with this place, but for mine it was filled with fun. (This is one of the perks of never taking them to fun places in our real life!) Here's Soren going UP then DOWN on his first carnival-like ride:
Sorry the DOWN is blurry--it was too good not to share. For the record, he went on this ride 17 more times, so I didn't completely scar him for life.
 Zane and Annie both had a GREAT time on the old climbing wall (apparently when Em used to go, this wall was much more colorful!). Annie, who's like me and generally shies away from the mere idea of any activity that might be enjoyable, ended up LOVING this climbing wall. Sure, we had to go home and get better shoes first (no flip flops allowed!) and she may have asked if she could just stay at Gigi's instead of returning, but mean mom forced her back to the fun. I think this time she was glad I did.
She was up that wall in like 30 seconds! 
 Soren was recently introduced to the hand held version of this game, so you can imagine his DELIGHT when he came across the larger than life version in the arcade. Lucky for me, he didn't know he wasn't actually playing that whole time he whacked the button over and over and over. Win win, people. Same on the dinosaur hunting game below. Arcades and (naive) 4 year olds are great for moms.
Cousins arrived and soon after the kids were scampering up the wall again. 
 Little boys tried black light golfing, which worked until it didn't. I sure thought it was cool, but I'm not sure people appreciated when Soren had enough and started running backwards through the course at about the halfway level, me hollering and chasing just far enough behind to be nothing more than a double obstacle. hey, maybe we spiced things up a bit!
 After that showing of crazy pantsness, Soren and I did NOT join the rest of the group for outdoor mini-golf, but instead went back to the blessed arcade for more (pretend and free) fun.
 We caught up with the girls for the merry-go-round (which Annie said was her first time ever being on one, what kind of a mom am I? I'm hoping to look back on my Disneyworld pictures or any world pictures and prove her wrong) and bumper boats.
A truly fun time was had by all, hooray! Afterwards, we had happy shave ice then went home and collapsed in the cool basement (or even if we didn't, that's what I wanted to do).
Phew! I think I'm done for the night, but stay tuned for Seven Peaks (twice) and other cousin fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Utah Week 1

Here we are! We traveled west on the 4th of July. Aren't we festive with our flag shirts?
Did you know my kids are older than other kids? Our plane travels were easy compared to some of the poor families with truly small children. Oh, those plane rides to Salt Lake City.
Anyway, I brought my real camera with full intention of using it! But when I went to upload pictures last night, there were (count them) exactly 4 pictures from our first week here. Fail, Michelle! Oh well, at least they are good ones. For instance:
 And (thanks Jonas):
 And my two favorite looooong-haired ladies:
So that was our first night at Gigi's! But actually, that was our second night in town, our first being that one big, fancy holiday day. You know, the one with fireworks. But let's face it, I was too tired for such shenanigans! Luckily for my eldest son though, an extremely long game of RISK allowed him a chance to stay at his cousins' house overnight that first night:
and enjoy fireworks as any 11 year old should. Thank you cousins!
 Okay, so the next few days flew by (as my first week usually does), but here are some other fun moments captured. Hulas and swimming with adorable little cousins:
 We spent the weekend with our favorite used-to-be-Clemsonites. These guys have embraced all 500 hundred of my family members like family of their own and I tell you what, that is something really special.  I should have taken more pictures of the adults! I should have taken more pictures period! These are all from friend Ashley's phone, thank you lady!
Our first evening there, we attempted a dinner up Logan Canyon. We thought this was all the kids, but turns out, one was having a consequence. Oopsie.
Before we left, we packed sandwiches and snacks like good soldiers but when we got there, every parking space and every picnic table was reserved and/or available only for a price! As if! So our relaxing dinner and mountainous hike up third canyon became speed dining and a visit back down at grassy first dam. Kids didn't know the difference.  Or at least, they didn't let on that they knew the difference.
And look, 10 kids!
My little sweetie loved another little sweetie at this house, and followed her around incessantly. We couldn't get her to stay on the bed too long when turkey pants there was still awake and wiggly, but I took this pictures for proof that it happened a little later (at least for a little while). This is now his new favorite picture. Thank you Nina.
 One more thing to document here: FROZEN JOY, a musical based loosely (or entirely) on that one popular disney movie from a few years back. The two girls below (Annie being Hans, Lucy Anna) were the masterminds behind it and the rehearsal task masters (like 4 hours on the first day and 6 on the second), but everyone chipped in by the end with music, applause signs, choreography, special effects, etc. And the production itself was something like 37 minutes long (or however long the full soundtrack cd was...maybe longer, I'm not sure....sometimes felt like longer.....but it was all worth it to see Greta pose at the end of "Let it Go" and Asher shake his tutu-ed hips in "Fixer Upper." Not to mention Annie as Hans...and Kristof...and Olaf.)  
Cute kids, great weekend. At one point I said, "Let's get a shot with all the girls." "AND ME!!!!!!" shouted Asher (post getting kicked in the head during rehearsals and getting a black eye). You got it, dude. 
Right after this adventure, we spent a glorious couple of hours with my cousin Maria and her sweet family, but darn it, no pictures. Then Monday we had a yummy lunch with Aunt Ginger and Uncle Jim, but again, no pictures. Double draws. And yesterday, wonderful hang outs with Cami and kids. And you guessed it, no pictures. Oh well, we still did them all and had wonderful moments together. Additionally, if any of you are reading this nearby and would like to try to add to our adventures (with or without pictures, you choose!), please let me know, we're here a little longer.
Happy first week in Utah!