Sunday, June 24, 2012

Utah Trip

 Oh...the annual trip to UT.  We love it.  I have so much fun getting to spend some great time with my family.  I love the weather, and by the time we are done with school, I am ready to pretend I don't have a "life" to manage anymore.  This year, we started with a "girls" trip to Paradox, CO, and enjoy some sewing while we were there.  I wish I could say that I was the one that made this super duper hotsy totsy apron, but that was my cute cousin Sierra...she is awesome (and not really my cousin...but my cousins daughter...but she felt like a sister)!  The apron was super cute, and I can't wait to get one made special for me in the mail ;).

Paradox is full of fun..and part of the fun is ranch fun.  So, we all went out and ran in the sprinklers.  Truthfully, I didn't run, i took pictures, and I avoided things like....getting cow poop all over me.  I know, I know, I totally missed out.  Luckily, I had enough fun watching everyone else get crazy.

Maddie didn't plan on running in the sprinklers, but she couldn't help it, and got herself just a little wet.  She loved laughing at her other cousins...getting all wet and crazy dirty.  I have to say, I loved seeing my cousins children.  It warms my heart to see little parts of my cousins, in their sweet kids.  I just LOVE it!

And, yes, while we were there, we sewed.  We sewed and sewed, and made jewelry (and I learned that I should stick to quilting).  Spending this time with my cousins, aunts, and family makes we wax nostalgic.  Our family has been so close all growing up, I love all of them dearly, and I feel so blessed to be able to share a little bit of our lives together.

We were lucky to see some of our friends from Tucson while we were visiting.  The McBride's moved to UT a year ago, and Mitchell and Brenna were great friends.  They have the same birthday, shared the same baptism day (which just happend to be their birthday), and they love playing games together.  I am glad we got a chance to get together and catch up.  It's ones of life's ironies...their family is all in AZ, ours is in UT...but here we are.

We spend some time at a place called, Get Air.  The kids jumped and jumped on trampolines, and loved jumping into the pits.  I even took a turn, and did a couple flips.  I was happy to know I can still flip, and be crazy, yet I am fully aware that I am not longer a kid.

The parks in UT are beautiful.  Everything is green and lush right now.  It TOTALLY makes me home sick, in a big way.  It's kinda crazy to think that kids can actually play outside during the day!

We also went to the Planetarium...the kids all had a blast!

My favorite day of family togetherness was going to Park City and riding the Alpine Slide, the Alpine Coaster, and other goodies.  I took Noah on the Alpine Coaster, and my cup runneth over.  Here is my baby, so sweet and innocent.  He has no idea he is supposed to be scared.  We start going down, and he is silent.  I take it easy, I don't want him to freak out, and I definitely want him to have fun.    When we got to the bottom, he said..."let's do it again."  So, I take him again....and this time, he says he is scared...but when we go, he tells me to go faster.  I can't express how much I loved doing this with him.  Experiening a first with my children is one of my absolute it.    We rode it a few more times, and each time he wanted to go harder and faster.  I love it, love him!

Here's Grandma...she works so hard to make everything fun for her kids and grandkids.  All the work, just might wear her out.


While Maddie was in town with us (she left after a week to attend girls camp), she and Jessie were joined at the hip.   This is how cousins should it.
 Grandpa liked the Alpine Slide WAY more than the Coaster.  Even though the coaster goes faster, and is wilder, Grandpa likes the DANGER side of the slide.  He likes that you can fall off....he's wild.

Elizabeth and Emma had so much fun spending the day together, conquering all the fun rides.

I love that when I get back home, I get to visit my friends.   Jodi is the best to take some time out of her schedule to come and visit with me.  I sure love all the friends I grew up with.  They are a SERIOUS blessing to me.  I love them all dearly!

And, here is where I realize I didn't take enough pictures.  We did a bunch of stuff while I was there.  But, without a camera phone (which I have back now by the way), I don't have all the little moments.  But, I have these.  I loved my trip back.  Coming back home is always a little bitter sweet.  


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Beware...this isn't short.

I'm far away from the father of my children, and very near to my own dear father.  

I wish, so much, I could do something special to help celebrate the amazing FATHER Bj is.  WOW.   He impresses me all the time with what a great dad he is.  Just today, he drove to Phoenix, and waited at the airport for nigh unto 2.5 hours to pick up our daughter (who flew for the first time as an unaccompanied minor).  He didn't want her to have any opportunity to feel insecure, or for something unexpected to happen.  This is the kind of man he is.  I am also amazed that he is willing to make a 2 round trip drives to UT just so I can visit my family.  He takes care of us, and does it with a smile.  I am blessed, and grateful.  Thank you Honey!

So, what makes Bj so special?    I looked through the photos I have taken throughout the years to illustrate what a great Father he is.

 He goes above and beyond.  It was Mitchell's birthday, I was out of town, and instead of making a regular cake (or buying one like many dad's might do), he made a three layer ice-cream cake.  He definitely goes above and beyond the call of duty. 

 He is the FUN one.  It is well documented in our family, that if you want to do something fun, you should ask Dad.   He is the one that will plan big camping trips, and bring all the gear you want.  He is the one that will plan and carry out fun family activities that take all day.  He is the FUN one, and we are all grateful to have a FUN one in our family.

  He is HANDY!  All Dad's should be handy.  Okay, that is my personal belief since my own dad was super handy.  I am grateful that for all our home improvement projects, Bj has been the go to guy. He has lost sleep thinking about how to make something perfect.  I can totally count on him to be amazing, at all times, and in all things, and in all places. I love that he teaches our children these skills.  I love that a few weeks ago, he and Mitchell took apart the downstairs toilet to get a toy Noah flushed down.  Bj is special (the good kind).

Loves playing with the kids.  Even when he has care taking responsibilities, Bj still finds time to have some fun, and be a good dad at the same time.  I love it.

 He is INVOLVED.  He has been the coach every year our kids have been in soccer.  He is so patient.  So kind, and so loving.  I love that my kids have the chance to learn about sports through him (they surely won't learn it from me).
***Look at Lizard...trying to avoid the little boy attempting to hold her hand.  Cracking me UP!

He LOVES them.    Oh my goodness, Bj loves his children.  He adores them.  He takes time for them.  He makes sure he is home to enjoy them each day.  When other fathers want to be alone on Fathers Day, all he wants to do is to be with them.  I LOVE THAT! 

He is FUNNY.   Well, he thinks he is.  He tells the kids all his favorite jokes, and works hard to make them laugh, and laugh, and laugh.  He loves this, and they love HIM!

He is a worthy Priesthood holder.  I love that our children can always count on Bj to take care of them.  He leads our family to choose the right.  He is always worthy to give them blessings for health and spiritual needs.  This is one of the greatest blessings of our lives!

He LOVES me.  He shows our children what it means to love.  He takes care of me, and teaches my sons what it is like to be a good man and husband.  He shows me tenderness, and my girls know what kind of man they need to look for when choosing a spouse.  He is a good example in so many ways.  He is loyal, kind, fun, and unafraid to show me affection.  I love the man he is.

He is HUMBLE.   So, not everyone in Bj's family will agree.  But, truly he is humble. At the end of the day, when he reviews his choices....he is so humble.  He sees all the ways he can improve, he makes goals to improve, he tries to be patient, and apologizes for his mistakes.  When it is so easy to be proud and unteachable, Bj is willing and happy to admit his mistakes (not that he ever makes any mistakes), and gets to work.

This Fathers Day when I am far from him, I hope Bj knows what an amazing Father I think he is. 

Bj, I love you.  Thank you for giving me 4 amazing beautiful children.  Thanks for making me a mother, and being the father I always dreamed my children would have. 

And last, but not least.  My own sweet Father.  Oh my goodness, I love him.  This is the man that worked so hard to teach me all the lessons of life.  
He taught me to take responsibility for every choice I made.  EVERY CHOICE.  If I was sad, angry, happy, or was a choice.  I love that lesson.  
He taught me to keep my word.  To be honest in all that I do.  
He tried to teach me to care little for others opinions of me (still working on it).  
He is an example of true love.  When Lizzy was suddenly fighting for her life, he was on a plane in hours to be by my side (even though I wouldn't show or share my concern).  He acts tough, but he has a heart of gold.  
When all other parents disliked teenagers, he embraced us.
He taught me about boys, how to avoid them, how to dance with them, how to take their arm, and what they are really thinking.
He taught us to think for ourselves.  To question, and be honest about our conclusions.
He taught us to do hard things.  To stand up for others, when no one else will.

I am so very grateful for the Father I was blessed to have.  Thanks Dad for being the best father I could ever dream of.