Saturday, August 20, 2016

1st Day Pictures

How about my big kids? Annie going into 3rd grade and Zane into 6th, which is middle school here! 
The only thing that seems to remain constant is my poor choice of picture location. It's too dark on the front porch in the mornings, Michelle. Find another location!
This year brings changes to the routine. Zane will get dropped off at the middle school by his Pops, both of them out the door by 7:15am (snort! That's my surprised mocking scoff!). Annie will be the only member of the family representing at the elementary school, until Soren joins her for kinder next fall. She's on the other side of the school with the big kids, but is happy to already be well acquainted with her teacher, who was across the hall in 1st grade. Since school has begun, Annie has been even more chatty than normal. It seems school brings out the social butterfly in our lady, and she goes on and on (and on) about her day and her friends and her activities and her teachers for those and the kids on the playground and..well, you get the idea.
Zane, so far, has remained the chill, logical Zane we all know and love. He doesn't like the first few days of school, but realizes why teachers have to do it. He has some familiar kids in classes, but realizes he will have to make new friends as well. It's been a bit dull, all his non-drama. :) He IS itching to get back in the pool though. Counting counting counting the minutes until he can get back in and SWIM.
And Soren stays home for a few more weeks until Preschool starts (after Labor day). He will be in the honeybee class. "Does that mean I will make honey all day?" Here's a sweet picture of him and Gramps to end today with. He asks daily when we're going to go back to Gigi's house. We all kind of wonder that.
Onward and upward we go!

Home Again + Party at the Lake

Annnnnnnnnnd we're home (thanks to Annie for this great out-the-airplane-window capture).
Just in the nick of time too, as school time and all its chaos has already begun and we are right back in the swings of things! However, after a really chill and rejuvenating summer, I'm happy to report that we all seem up to the task(s) so far. (Don't remind me that we're only 4 days in.)
After we returned home, but before the dreaded alarm clocks started going off before 7am, we snuck in a birthday party for one of Annie's favorite dance buds. This fella is an absolute jewel, and we feel very fortunate to have him around for partnering in ballet.
 The party was at picturesque spot on the lake, where the kids enjoyed the warm water and I remembered what humidity feels like. 

 We also enjoyed ICEE POPS (some more than others!) and cupcakes and just being in a beautiful spot on our last Saturday of summer.
My dad has gotten into a certain art app (Prisma) and I was stoked to send him a picture of where we were, knowing he would immediately be able to turn it into a work of art. He totally came through.
 Can you spot Annie? Yeah, me neither. But she was there and so were we (not pictured, doesn't make much of a difference here does it?) and it was a happy afternoon.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Week 5 in Utah (Yep, you heard it right)

My mom and I have adopted a new saying this week. "Remember when I arrived 95 years ago?" or "You know, 95 years ago when you first showed up!" It's been an epic visit, full of family, friends, beautiful weather, hopefully enough work to pay for our room and board, and lots and lots of food. Goodness! Greatness! Such, such fun.
Our last week was a little more fluid and less documented than the previous ones. My mom had a colossal toothache which turned into an insane root canal (so in short, she'd been a silent warrior in the days prior); Brandon finished all his chores and went home (Annie cried when he left and he tried to console her by saying she'd see him again really soon; and then she cried harder because she doesn't ever want to leave); we went to another seven peaks park (pass of all passes paid off for the 5th time); we saw friends from Wyoming and Florida and Clemson and were basically overwhelmed by their awesomeness; we prepared for Logan and LOVED our last weekend there; and now we are back in AF and everyone's trying to talk in code about leaving because again, Annie. 
It's been a great summer.
Here are the pics, in semi-correct order.
We actually got to see these folks in their new home a couple of times, but this was the first picture I snapped. Oh, how we miss them in Clemson, but seeing them in their new space just seemed right.
Sunsets out their side yard aren't bad either!
You know you're someone special when your dentist's office sends you an edible arrangement! Here is Gigi's, and although her mouth was too sore to even try one bite, the rest of us thought it was delicious.
RIGHT before B left, we squeezed in a lunch with dear friend Crystal. So glad she could fit us in between finals and full-time working! I love when Brandon's in a good enough mood to take a selfie. Thanks for that too, Crystal!
Seven Peaks SLC (old Raging waters). Soren loved the "American Inja Wawiah" ride:
Later that afternoon, we managed to squeeeeeze in one more visit with old friends, Floridians-turned-Montanans. They basically drove 10+ hours to see us. Okay and to go to a family reunion. But they came a day early to accommodate our trip to Logan, and I so appreciated it. Jenneka and I caught up while the littles played in the play place and the big boys invented a "dice" game using mints and cheerios. It was quick, it was delicious (hello Chik-Fil-A dessert menu), and it "filled my cup" to overflowing (don't know who I'm quoting, but you get the picture). I've gotten a lot of those moments over these past five weeks, and I feel very fortunate to know and love many different, wonderful individuals. 
Friday we made our way to Logan via Brigham City. We dropped Zane off with cousins (to see the Weird Al concert at Red Butte that night) and picked up Maryn, who accompanied us. She got to be in my pictures, yay! Zane doesn't know that he owes her one.
Turkey steaks at Maddox in Brigham, a definite family tradition. Gigi likes to tell us how her dad used to sell his trout to this restaurant way back in the day, then sneak in and order it to see how it tasted!
We also stopped by the Brigham City cemetery to find our most prominent story-wise ancestor, Barnard White. This guy came from England in fancy attire, and by the time he headed into the Salt Lake Valley, was eating his leather boots to survive. And that was just the beginning! Very cool to be there with both my mom (his great granddaughter) and my kiddos (three greats grandchildren!).
(Soren gave us a super pose that moment, which I appreciated!)
A few of you would really like me to expound on the Weird Al concert, wouldn't you? "Incredible" was the word Zane used, I think. Those pants are incredible, I know that. Jon sent more pictures of ridiculous costumes to instagram; I'll try and snag those for posterity.
Back to Logan! We stayed with our dear C family buddies again. Not sure I will ever be able to take enough pictures of these kids together:
Love 'em so much in fact, we made them join us for our family reunion on Saturday in Merlin Olsen Park! But not before we stopped by the Gardener's Market Saturday morning with my sweet aunt Ginger:
Ginger hadn't been with Soren for 5 straight weeks and was actually quite charmed by his funny sayings. Things like, "Ugh, my paw (hand) hurts!" or "My Elbow feels tired!" when he was ready to leave. Ginger reminded me to write those things down! Continued thanks for this blog and a place to do just that. And for folks who love my sweet, turkey pants Soren.
Okay, here's the reunion! We did things a bit differently this year, after a full decade up Hyrum Canyon. A bit simpler, a bit shorter, but with all the same folks we love. And my grumpy 4-year old, who'd used up all his charm that morning at the Gardener's Market.
We met together at a pavilion and ate and mingled and ate while our kiddos played in the teeny tiny stream nearby.
Aunt Chloe, a new American citizen, baked this cake in honor of her status. Ginormous! (and generous, which is what my autocorrect insisted upon just now!)
I've taken two jumping pictures this trip. Maryn has won both times. Right after this picture, Zane slipped on that blue balloon, popped it, and fell right on his bum. Wish I'd kept snapping pictures!
Did I mention Soren's grumpiness? That is, until he discovered CHEESEBALLS. Oh good gracious, I'd forgotten these things existed, and now they are my son's favorite things. He woke me up this morning saying, "I want CHEESEBALLS!" Not until after 8am please!
I'm pretty sure they don't sell cheeseballs in South Carolina (wink, wink!) so I really hope he got his fill.
(Gotta love how both Emmy and the Logan Temple played photo bomber in this one above!) Speaking of, here's a driveby shot. Looks a little warmer than the day I was married in it almost 15 years ago when it was SIX degrees outside!
And here's the picture we wait for each year. Dave, Dan, Mark, Larry, Walt. Except in this case, Walt, Larry, Mark, Dan, Dave. I was going to flip the picture to get the right l-r birth order, but then we would have been confused because my dad's right leg would have seemed booted, hee hee.
I LOVE THESE MEN, AND THE FAMILIES THEY HAVE CREATED.
Oh, and I love this Ashley lady too. Enough to agree to a squinty-eyed, morning farewell picture this morning. One in which my tendril overtook her eyeball. See folks, I canNOT be trusted.
Actually no, I can't end there. I also completed my first KNITTING project this weekend, with help from the dear lady above and Tina the master-in-disguise knitter who rekindled her flame with the same hobby this week. Double score! And now Annie likes it too, mainly because someone other than me got her started! Triple score! 
Meet R. Bob Owl (R stands for Rocky because he looks like he got punched in the eye), our newest softie friend:
This might be my last post for Summer in Utah 2016. WHAT A MONTH IT HAS BEEN! Clemson (for whom Soren has been cheering in every Summer Olympic event thus far) here we come!