Monday, July 14, 2014

Utah Vacation

Although we were just in Utah a couple months ago, the two weddings took up much of our time and we weren't able to really visit with Brigham's family. So when Brigham's brother announced a baby blessing we decided to take another trip down to spend some quality time with other family we've been missing.

We also found out that Taylorsville Dayzz - our favorite - was the same weekend, and left half a day early so we could attend the spectacular firework show. So Friday night we left the second Brigham got off work, drove for seven hours, spent seven hours sleeping in the glorious Motel 6 in Ontario Oregon, and then drove the final six hours to Utah. That left the evening for us to spend carousing Taylorsville Dayzz.

During the firework show Ammon was absolutely terrified, screamed at the top of his lungs with his hands clamped over his ears, yelled at the fireworks that he didn't like them and to go away over and over, curled up in the fetal position in my lap, shaking all over, and finally resorted to his original coping mechanism: sleep. He was traumatized.

Lydia, on the other hand loved them and enjoyed dancing with her cousin to the background music during the display.

The next day was baby Ruby's blessing and I love seeing her similarities to my own Lydia. I should have taken pictures this day since someone-who-shall-not-be-named isn't very good at picture taking (*clearing of the throat* Ashley) and I don't have any blessing pictures of beautiful Ruby to show off, but alas, I didn't, so just imagine the cutest little thing with hints of Lydia in her sweet baby face.

Monday was spent with Brigham's mom and family at a park in Lehi, along with Brigham's old YM Pres that came to visit.

We had some family pictures taken and the kids loved playing with each other.

The next day we had lunch at another park and that night we had a fabulous temple night together, just the brothers and wives. It felt like old times together and it was wonderful.

Wednesday was Caitlin's birthday and we had a fun night together in the mountains, just adults again. The grandparents are always wonderful, volunteering to watch the kids so we can have some adult time together.

Brigham's family was nice enough to let my brother and sister come along with their spouses so that I can see them while we were in Utah too. I loved having both sides of the family together. So many people I love together.

We each had fun telling our stories of how we met and we ate good food and enjoyed the camp fire.

Thursday night Brigham took me out for a birthday date. He was a sweetheart and made special preparations at a restaurant, since I have certain diet restrictions right now, and made sure that I would be able to eat there. So we ate at Texas Roadhouse and then shopped around at Valley Fair Mall. We then hurried and caught a showing of Divergent at the dollar theater there, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would.

The next day was my birthday! Oh, and the country's birthday too, but really that's NBD. So we woke the kids up early and headed out to the nearby Murray city parade.

Ok, in all honesty, I love the 4th because of more than just my birthday. I'm sure that it makes the day more special, but I really do love celebrating this country and those that have fought for it. At the parade I couldn't help but get teary-eyed as we listened to the stories of the veterans as they passed by on floats. So inspiring and so incredible. I'm so grateful for all that I have because of people who have sacrificed their lives to make it possible. I love being able to show my pride in those people and this country. Best day of the year.

After the parade we had another family dinner that night at Dan and Nonie's. Barbecues and family: nothing better on your birthday....expect maybe fireworks.......but..... yeah :)

We had an impromptu family picture taken that turned out to be pretty amazing (thank you Scottie). And then it was firework time.

If you'll notice all the generally happy kids and keep on going down the line...until you get to Ammon. Yep, even though the fireworks were much smaller he still had a hard time. He really really really hates the sound of them. The sound just freaks him out. Like shaking head to toe. He was having a grand ole time with the poppers and had gone through two boxes....until we told him they were fireworks too, trying to encourage his acceptance of fireworks in general...and then he wouldn't touch the poppers at all.

While we were watching I started comparing the popping sounds to food (think snap crackle pop of rice krispies, and popcorn popping for the bigger sounds) and it actually helped calm him down and he was able to enjoy them by the end. That kid loves food. And he actually ended up adoring sparklers. Oh little kids and fireworks. I love it.

The next morning we left early to head back to Washington. It was a grand trip.

At times it was exhausting.

But we had lots of family love.

And got to see people we've been missing for quite some time.

I'd say the trip was rather great. I'm already wishing we could visit again.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Jammin' In June

Here's a couple of the random shots that I have from last month of fun times we had:

Ammon refuses to keep his shoes on outside, no matter how many times I tell him otherwise. I'll put his shoes on and he goes outside and takes them off two minutes later. And the beauty bark around here just isn't feet friendly. Therefore, we have a serious sliver problem that has to be taken care of regularly. Fifteen slivers in each foot makes it quite the operation.

Uncle Ryan had a birthday and turned a whopping fifteen. Oh to be young again.

The kids spend a lot of time outside with dad "long-boarding"....or at least their version of it.

We went to Maple Valley Days Parade where Uncle Ryan marched with the marching band. He gave up his clarinet playing to hold the sign, to our disappointment. Ammon got so much candy it was ridiculous. He shared with Lydia who opted for a birthday party she was invited to, rather than the parade.

We also started a hiking group with the stake. Every other Friday we try a new hike out in the area. The kids are giving a thumbs up for making it to the top of the mountain on our first hike. Though they were afraid of snakes, bears, and snails (none of which we ran into) they did good. And we even saw a chattering squirrel that was terrified of us and yelled at us to go away. It was quite the spectacle.

And here's the view from the top of that mountain. You can see Mount Ranier really well. The kids loved throwing rocks and thinking of names for the hike (this one was dubbed the Squirrel hike).

The next hike didn't go so well and we named it the Dead-End hike considering we couldn't figure out which way to go (no one in the group had done the hike before, and the map we had was worthless), ran into a dead-end and had to just turn around head back to the car. There was nothing really to see, it was long, hilly, and rocky, and Ammon cried the entire second hour of the hike until we made it back to car. Poor guy wasn't only getting over a cold, but also busted a hole through the front of his shoe with his big toe. He did not like his sock getting muddy and wet. It was the longest, worst hike. Hopefully the ones in July will treat us better.