Our final weekend together was spent with more family and friends in and around Logan. On Friday, we got to picnic lunch and hike up gloriously beautiful Logan Canyon with our Clemson-turned-USU buddies (what a treat!), who some of us also stayed with.
I'm going to sneak in a few more moments here, first from our earlier evening together on the tramp in Lindon and then of Soren's fascination with all things Jared:
I've never been so thankful to both my family for embracing dear friends and my friends for embracing dear family (and family and family and family). Three cheers for everyone. My heart was overflowing.
Now, the cherished Stone brothers' reunion. This was the 9th year! There was a record amount of people there, and yet our hosts handled it all beautifully and the day progressed seamlessly, like it always does. Thanks Cory and Maria, with a special shout out to aunt Halli for kids crafts and one million pancakes.
There was a pool for the little buddies which Soren and Asher frequented despite the freezing temps. They laid claim to opposite sides of the thing, then proceeded to bomb each other, SHRIEK when bombed, then bomb back (SHRIEK!). Great entertainment.
Here's Annie with one of this year's crafts: it's Olaf and he likes warm hugs! Annie loved this, and the other crafts: a foam necklace and dog tags.
The brothers, doing what we all come to see them do. Sit, chat, dream of fishing, chat about fishing, repeat. Some even escape and go fishing for a time. Then they come back and, of course, report. I just love these men! They are my people.
And here's more of those family people I just love. All day I was painfully aware of my own inability to be in more than one place at a time. Many of these folks helped watch, chase, kayak with, jump off a bridge with, etc, one or more of my children while I watched, chased, kayaked with, etc another. Notice I didn't say "jump off a bridge with." I have my limits. Anyway, thank you thank you thank you. You all know who you are.
Holy moly that's a lot of Stones! Truly a wonderful day together. As I drove back down the canyon after saying goodbye to everyone, I was overcome for just a moment with the happy weight of it all. All those folks, knowing and loving each other because of my two grandparents (both looking down now from heaven, smiling, chatting about fishing, etc). It was a definite "happy to be me" moment.
Logan has that effect on me in general (as shown here from Uncle Dave's backyard).
Our final morning in Logan was spent in our other grandparents' (now aunt Lonnie's) backyard (down the street from our Clemson-turned-USU friends, crazy), eating yummy brunch treats and catching up while our kiddos biked and razored (big kids) and fought over toys and cried (Soren, Asher, Lo). When the littles couldn't take it any more, we said goodbye and drove away, hearts again full after many new moments of adventure and fun together.
Not too many days later, after saying hurrah for my dad's retirement and seeing grandma and grandpa Ross once more, the kids and I headed home. Another end to another cherished summer.
Upon reflecting back over this (epic, as always) trip, I think I realize more than ever before just how much work it was for everyone accommodating us along the way. If I haven't said it enough yet, thank you. We love to be with all of you. We see the sacrifices you made to have us. We appreciate it. What blessings you all are to me. Thanks for a buoying me up, as you always do. Much love, many hugs.