Friday, August 21, 2015

Utah Vacation 2015

My mom informed me they were headed to Utah in August. Did we want to come along?

Well heck yes!

Not having to drive, being able to split the gas, and family visits made it an easy decision.

So we left for Utah.

And of course, despite medication, and assurances she would be fine, Lydia threw up an hour into the trip. All over her Uncle Kenny. You're welcome Kenny.

We realized the back of the van wouldn't be the best place for my kids, moved them to the front and proceeded without further incident, staying the night at a Best Western, and then finishing the rest of the drive the next day.

One of our rest stops, the second day of driving, included Shoshone Falls in Idaho. It was super pretty, and super sunny.

My kids found out first hand the strength of the sun when they tried to look at the camera, hahaha :)

It really was gorgeous. A little bit of beauty in the great, barren Idaho.

Boy were we busy in Utah. I was worried about sitting around with not much to do, but we had the opposite problem - we were going crazy trying to fit everything in!

One of the first things we did was go to This Is The Place Heritage Park with those of Brigham's family who weren't working during the day. There was so much to do and despite the heat we had a great time!

The kids made pioneer rings out of nails and hung them on ribbons around their neck.

We panned for gold.

We rode trains. Caitlin braved the little train with all the kids by her lonesome.

The kids rode ponies...multiple times.

And we did much more including visiting pioneer houses, making arrowhead necklaces, enjoy being treated to ice cream by Ashley, etc. It was a long, hot, exhausting, fun, adventurous day. Everything This Is The Place should be.

That night we attempted to go to a Bees baseball game, but the tickets were outrageous so we abandoned that whole route and wandered through City Creek Mall in downtown Salt Lake.

Lydia's glee at the fountain is amazing :) The kids did have a blast riding Trax and playing at the dinosaur play place in the food court.

Later that night the adults (minus Sam and Caitlin who were babysitter-less, and were greatly missed) saw a LATE night showing of the new Mission Impossible. I watched the movie with one eye open, trying to stay awake because I was so tired from all the fun we had earlier that day. This pregnant woman was worn out. It was a good time, though Ethan Hunt just CANNOT DIE!

The next day included a late lunch at Macaroni Grill with the adults again, and then we rushed to the Timpanogos Temple where my brother Kenny was getting endowed before he leaves for his mission to Honduras.

We were way late, and I drove like a mad woman to get to the temple before the session started. When Brigham and I rushed in and handed over our recommends, my recommend kept getting declined. We looked at the date. Expired.

:( :( :( ....a million frowny faces.

There was nothing to be done. I sent Brigham on in and tearfully sobbed my way to the car where I cried for quite some time. I had been to the temple a month earlier, and had no idea it was the last month before my recommend expired. I was devastated. I had only been able to attend one other of my siblings endowments and really looked forward to being with everyone in the temple for Kenny's.

After crying for some time I decided to kill some time at Deseret Industries looking for a few things, before I headed back and killed some more time playing Candy Crush on my phone. I thought I had pulled myself together...until my family all came out of the temple and the waterworks started right back up. I was so sad to miss it. Being in the temple with family is just one event that really MEANS something and that you treasure. Sigh. But I'll have eternity with them right? Right.

I took a picture of everyone who was able to attend the session, but in the picture with my mom and Poly, you can see that I was indeed there with Kenny at some point.

The next day we spent more time with Brigham's family and some of my family at the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. It was expensive to get in, but boy do you get your money's worth!  There is so much to see and do! My dad, Kenny, and I were having a blast together as adults.

Here Kenny is looking through glasses that makes you see backwards and trying to touch the two ends of the sticks together. He was terrible at it and it was hilarious. I wasn't too shabby, but I think it's from doing the back of my hair with two mirrors for so long. We agreed that if we lived in a backwards world, I would be the girl to go to.

My dad was such a cute grandpa with my kids, trying to get pictures of them on a zipline, and holding the fish food as they tossed it to the open mouths of the greedy orange and black fish. Although I joked about it with my brothers, I secretly loved how sweet it was.

And let me just spend a moment on these two rascals: Abby and Ammon. Six months apart (and probably six inches too) these two sure loved each other. I don't know that they were the best influences for the other one, due to the trouble they would find, but they were adorable together.

Ammon constantly asked for Abby and cheered whenever he found out she was coming along. They laughed and giggled and played so well together. And when we weren't looking, they ran off and found plenty of mischief together too. It's one of the things that I really regret about moving away from Utah, my kids not being able to play with their cousins. It makes vacations like these really special.

That night Brigham went to his dad's to spend the next day with him since he was off work, and I took the kids to my aunt's house for a family reunion.

My dad and all of his siblings were able to get together, which rarely happens, and it was great to see everyone.

The next day we visited the Bean Science Museum at BYU, and then went bowling.  I don't know what happened, but apparently all I need is a change of my center of gravity due to pregnancy, and a lighter ball than normal, to do decently.

I horrified Scott by getting a strike before him, and then traumatized him by beating my dad, him, and two of my other brothers.

Twice :)  I usually never even break 100, so I enjoyed every second of it and tried not to be amazed at myself.

Friday night the kids and I met back up with Brigham and we spent more time with Brigham's mom at a picnic at the park, until we had to move to her house to get out of the rain.

Saturday we spent the day running errands to get ready to head home the next day, and then met Brigham's dad and Nonie with everyone else at Chili's for one final dinner together, and then headed to Silver Lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Driving up the canyon, Brigham and I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains all over again. There is something just so special about them. It felt like coming home as I remembered all the day trips, hikes, and camping trips I've taken there.

It was chilly but beautiful, and the kids had a great time. Poor Madalyn fell off the boardwalk and into a bit of water, but luckily she was ok and her two uncles took turns carrying her wrapped up in sweaters and blankets.

The kids ran around exploring, and wanted their picture taken on everything. We tried to say no, but they were too darn cute together.

And if I talk about Ammon and Abby together, I have to mention these two girls in pigtails together. Holding hands wherever they went, they chatted, and giggled, and were two sweet cousins enjoying every second they could. When we had to say goodbye, Lydia cried for quite some time because she was so sad that it would be so long before she saw Emmy again. It broke my heart. It's really rare for Lydia to cry like that, and I knew it must really be upsetting for her to get so emotional.

We gave everyone hugs goodbye and sadly parted ways for another year. It's always hard. We love our family so much and wish we could return to the days where we lived close and spent lots of time together.

That night we met up with Nonie and DJ and family, and saw the Murray Festival fireworks before we headed home to bed to wake up and leave at 5:30 am the next morning. We made good time home...until we got stuck in traffic due to an accident and spent two hours going two miles. We only had an hour and a half left to get home before we got stuck in more traffic due to another accident, and quickly pulled off the freeway for emergency bathroom situations and one little boy stinking up the van, sending everyone into laughing hysterics because we were so tired that everything was either laugh or cry. At the gas station we found that everyone that had been stuck in the traffic had the same problems. It was crazy.

But we made it home and we were safe, tired, and everything you can be after traveling.

We ate at so many delicious places, did so many fun things, and saw so many people we loved. It was one of the best trips to Utah we've ever made.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tappana Times: Summer Activities

I thought that since we didn't have any big trips planned this summer, I was in for a boring summer. Boy was I wrong. We've had so many different visitors and activities that I've been busier than ever! Here are some of the things that we've done in July.

We spent the day at a church campground near the Nisqually River. We were able to canoe in the creek.

Swimming was also an option, but honestly the creek was hardly moving and it looked pretty gross. It wasn't enough to persuade me to get in.

Brigham did decided to enjoy the rope swing...after he was dared, that is.

We took a short hike over to the actual river and decided to take the plunge there. It was cold, but enjoyable.

The campground was great with archery, a slip 'n slide, playground, volleyball net, and much more so that I didn't get too many more pictures because I was busy having fun. We filled our day with activities, a dutch oven dinner, and more. In fact we did so much, my poor little guy made himself comfy in a camp chair, and slept through dinner.

He was disappointed that we didn't stay over night, but this tired/sick preggo woman was glad of it. We'll have to go back and truly enjoy camping. It was an excellent site, and not too far away from home.

Awhile back, Brigham won concert tickets off the radio to a One Direction concert for me. He had no desire to go, and my sister, who is a big fan, flew up to Washington to go with me.

We started with dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory downtown and then headed to the concert.

We were only four rows from the very top, and the people on stage were like tiny, little ants. But that didn't stop us from having a good time. IconaPop was the opening band. I enjoyed their new music, but then we had to wait an hour and half before 1D came out. Ugh, it was long. They needed more openers or something.

Those boys do have talent, and they did great. Sadie and I did agree that they could have had a little more wow during their concert, especially after waiting for so long. Some more pizazz. If you can fill an arena like they can, you think they'd really put on a show. But it was still good, and it was fun to spend a night with my sister.

While Sadie was in town we also spent the day at the zoo and took the customary picture with the monkey statues.

And went to the kid festival at Lake Wilderness Park.

It was SUPER hot at the kid's festival, so we didn't stay long. But we did stay long enough for the kids to win prizes (Ammon won the jackpot with his hat, which he is adorable in), throw balls at the dunk tank, make a craft, visit the booths, and slide down the water slides.

We also attended my cousin Dana's wedding last month.

It was beautiful and the night was perfect with family from out of town, good food, and fun.

Although it rained, us Washingtonians know how to keep the party going. Ammon was obsessed with the umbrellas. I do say, he did look adorable.

We also had the cutest little framed place settings that we got to take home with us.

At the wedding, my cousin had a photo booth that she rented. We sure made good use of it. Prepare yourself for picture overload.

My favorites were the ones where we squished all of my siblings that were able to attend in with my family.

I just really love these people. And these pictures. You can tell we had fun.

Of course, in July we found out the sex of our baby boy, and announced that we were expecting to the world Facebook.

The same day of our ultrasound, after visiting Brigham's work, I ate lunch with the kids at a nearby park with a river right next to it. The river was so shallow that I decided to take the kids on an "adventure" and walk the whole way across and back.

Although it was shallow, the current was still pretty fast, and as it pulled on our calves Ammon declared, "I don't think this is a good idea." I reassured him we'd be fine.

When we arrived at the opposite bank of the river, where the water was deeper than I thought, we began to turn around, and the next thing I know my daughter is screaming bloody murder.

Trying to figure out what's going on, I see her flip flop merrily floating away. The way she was screaming and riling her brother up to scream with her, you'd think her foot was floating away with it.

Calming them down to just crying, and with everyone staring at us, I climbed out of the river, ran down the side, climbed back in to retrieve the flip flop, and went back to my kids who were still hysterical over a dumb $1 shoe.

Lydia sobered up and exclaimed, "Thanks Mom, you're the best mom ever!" and as we proceeded to walk back, Ammon stated, "I knew this was a bad idea." I laughed my head off, and smiled at the adventure I hadn't bargained for.

In between all that excitement, we've just been doing normal summer stuff.

I felt proud of myself for finally feeling decent enough to make a real dinner of homemade pizza.

We had a fun family night eating dinner in the living room and watching a movie together.

The kids think I'm just the greatest when we do this.

We take quick trips to the lake to escape the heat.

And the kids enjoy running around and chatting on our dead, dead grass in their nightshirts until I call them in to bed.

July was busy, but obviously good. We started August off with a fun impromptu trip to Utah, so stay tuned for that!