Sunday, July 26, 2015

Miami...I mean Pittsburgh

We had our last night in Utah. My wonderful sister Megan and her hubby Jared took us out to eat while their kids watched our kids. It made me all too aware of how much I was going to miss all these cousins and fun and spoiling and help. Ruth and Will were in heaven riding jeeps and playing all night and I was SOOO sad thinking that it was their VERY LAST night playing with cousins. They had grown so much! When I left, they were bouncing around on the trampoline, Ruthie pulling all sorts of tricks, Will wasn't crying that older kids were on (this took the entire trip to get to that point) and it was just so BEAUTIFUL. Sigh. We slept at their house because it put us one hour closer to Miami and my parents had been gone to Canada since we were at the cabin. So sad to leave.

Luckily, to brighten our day (which needed brightening, since we started at 3:50am) we knew we were headed to my brother Wyatt's house in Des Moines. It was really odd not having him around all summer, so I was glad to get a chance to say hi. Unfortunately, we got there super late. Fortunately, Wyatt and Lindsay Ann are the bomb and just stayed up ridiculously late chatting with us. It was an awesome night. So we slept in a bit later than we had planned and ended up heading out the exact same time as Lindsay Ann (who was headed to spend a few weeks at my sister's house in Pittsburgh.) We said our goodbye's and headed out the door. We pulled out of the driveway and Sterling said "Why don't we just drive to Pittsburgh?"

And I said "YEAH!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!"

So we looked it up and it only added about 3-4 more hours on our trip. We called up Lindsay Ann and asked her if we could join her road trip, and, because she is so awesome, she was just as excited as us!!! So instead of another long day of driving, we had an awesome day because we were so excited to surprise Kayli and because we traded kids back and forth between vans at every stop and that kept them much more occupied and happy. Good, good times. Also, we gorilla glued our side view mirror together, and that was pretty sweet.

We FINALLY found her place (Pennsylvania is so weird and windy and they have the tiniest little roads that you feel like you are going to fall off of) and then we sent Ruth and Will in with Lindsay Ann and her crew to see how long it would take her to notice. She noticed right off the bat (Ruth's red hair is hard to miss) and she was SOOOO excited!!! It was an awesome surprise.

Initially, we had thought we'd just keep driving the next morning. But that seemed like a big waste. So we stayed the day, played hard, and left that night and drove through the night. Stopped at a rest stop to sleep from 3-6am like we did on the way to Utah, and our kids did AMAZING that night. So glad we got that many hours behind us while our kids were sleeping.

 But back to Kayli's house:
So we had those pictures of Nicolas, Will, and Oskar, who are all the same age. But we were missing Wyatt! Wyatt is three weeks older than Will. 
The other pictures you can't really tell cause Will is slouching, but we determined he was slightly taller than Wyatt. 
Jack and Jethro on the motorbike.

Lindsay Ann, Kayli, me

Good times.
They have ducks. There was a lot of chasing.

We went to the most beautiful lake. At first I didn't want to go (tired and ornery, I know) but Hazel saved the day because she DID want to go, and I am so glad we went! 

Sterling, Lindsay Ann, Brett, Kayli
 That reminds me. Brett is my brother-in-law and he is an amazing biomedical engineer. But he works on cars as a hobby, a lot, a lot. Sterling mentioned something about our a/c (maybe? I don't really know the story--it could have been a gear slip, or a few other things or van is dealing with right now) and really had no intention of Brett looking at it, and within seconds Brett had the hood up. Which bought us extra time at their house. You can work on our van anytime, Brett! THANK YOU!

Jack and Orrin
Natalie is such a cutie. I can't believe how big she's gotten!
Cassidy, Hailey, Hazel and Jethro
Seriously. Cutest baby EVER. OH how I love that baby!!!!! 

Will, Jack, Wyatt 
I had to crop this photo because....
This photobomber in EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. It is hilarious. 

She ate a lot of sand, but she seemed super happy about it!
These two rebel cookie eaters. When they left to go play, Ruthie left a neat little stack of filling-less oreo's. That girl.

A day on the beach is not complete without a sand castle.

Molly kept standing up and taking one or two steps all over the place. She is getting too, too, too big! 

Love the sand teeth!
Standing up. She is SO methodical about walking. Much more cautious and sturdy than my other two. She stands up like this every time, not holding on to anything, then stands for quite some time, then takes a few steps, then slowly lowers herself down and squats and balances for a bit before sitting all the way down. It's so cute and hilarious! I love her!
Sterling saw that headband and acted all annoyed, but I told him Will was playing with a truck, so we're all good. Haha. 
Kayli's flower garden.
Kayli fed us a DELICIOUS dinner (she actually fed us a pretty delicious lunch too!) with vegetables out of her garden, and then we had to say goodbye. First though, a picture of all the kids (there was some major dress up going on):
Back row: Cassidy, Talmage, Hailey, Jethro, Hazel, Ruthie, Natalie
Front: Orrin, Jack, Ethne with Molly, Wyatt and Will
It was SUCH a blast to stop there! Thank you so much for having us Kayli! (since, ya know, you knew about it and everything) I wish wish wish we lived so much closer! 

With that stop, I got to see every single one of my siblings this summer! And Ruth and Will got to spend time with ALL of their cousins! YAY for family! Yay for our Utah trip! It was so great to enjoy EVERYONE and build so much stronger relationships for my kids and their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. Family is the best. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ogden Temple

We spent the day that we would have visited the baby twins, packing. It was quite boring. I cut Sterlings hair. We got an oil change for the van. And then we stopped by the Ogden temple so Sterling could see how beautiful it was! We let Ruth and Will run up and touch it. They thought it was the greatest. I think it's the greatest. I'm still a little sad it's remodeled and not quite the same as 'my' temple. It's where I went as I grew up. But I love it now, too. It is incredibly beautiful. The stained glass is amazing. The grounds are amazing. I love to see the temple.

Ruthie touching it, so sweet. 

I should be a temple photographer. It's fun!

Yes, I really did just post that many pictures of the temple. It was beautiful. The day was beautiful. Being with my family (even outside) was beautiful. The mountains were beautiful. The sun was glorious. I whittled down the number of photos, trust me. 

The Cabin!

The cabin is one of my very favorite things and I was SO SO SO glad we were able to fit it in. It gets a little crazy keeping my three little ones occupied, but it went pretty great!
Boys. So many boys. Marlowe, Jaxen, Kaleb, Will and Sterling. 
Ruthie and Will on the trail. Cutest little hikers ever. 
I also think the lake is one of the prettiest and most serene places ever. 

Ruthie got to 'walk' Monica's dog and she was pretty proud of herself. I am too, actually, that is a big dog!

My kids never want to smile.  

This is completely Marlowe.
Will also walked the dog, albeit not quite as competently, but he was just as proud! haha.

Sterling carried Will like this almost the entire hike home. He was SO tired, poor boy.

My favorite part! We even did a few songs after tinfoil dinners and s'mores. OH! AND! Mom had some bananas which meant I made banana boats and they were SOOOOO delicious!

Unfortunately, one of the twins got sick, and then my kids started getting sick, and we bagged the last day at the cabin to go home. And then we were supposed to go see the NEW baby twins, but since I had stayed up an ENTIRE night at the cabin listening to, and maybe freaking out a little bit over, Molly's breathing, we didn't get to see them one last time. I was so sad, but not sad enough to get preemie's sick, that's for sure! They still have runny noses (it's been a week!) although it's not affecting their breathing at all.

Oh yeah. Also on the last night Will fell and bonked his lip into the corner of the fireplace. It cut into his gum and bled pretty nicely, but healed up really quick. I have a photo on my phone of his bruised gum I'll have to upload. Poor little guy. 
Yay, everyone in a picture!
Grandma Cindy and Ruth and Will. Molly was sleeping in the van. Love this photo SOOO much though!!!
We had such a great time, even though it was cut short, and I am so glad we got to go! We relaxed, played a few games, and chatted. In years to come I hope there is a lot more game-playing, but unfortunately this year we were 'overwhelmed by underwhelmers' as my dad used to say. Someday. It was still such a great time. I am so glad we got to spend the time with everyone!