Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 No wonder I am months behind on my blog.  I just added 55 photos...55!!  That's because every memory is just as good as the next.  August was literally NONSTOP for us.  What an amazing month!

We started with a summer trip to Midway, Utah. 

 We stayed at a condo at our favorite hotel, Zermatt.  It was the Petersen's (complete with Cody,) my parents, and our little family.  The kids were in heaven!!
 We had dance parties, swam multiple times a day, and really enjoyed the town and various attractions it had.
 The photo on the bottom right is a circular road that leads up to a memorial.  The kids loved biking down the road on their bikes (pictured below.)  Also, it just happened to be the county fair weekend, so we all lined up as suckers do and blew some cash on rides for the kids and cotton candy, but the cotton candy was money well spent.

I have never in my life seen a photo with two cuter creatures than the one below.  I love this photo, one, because I want to steal that puppy.  Two, because I consider Lydia to still be in the puppy stage of life, so this photo just tugs at my heart strings. 

 We had a fantastic RZR ride up and over the Unitahs.  To say it was beautiful is an understatement.  Then we went to Strawberry Reservoir where we stayed for a picnic and some rock tossing.
 After 4 VERY eventful days we left Midway and headed straight to the airport to pick up our niece from Portland, Kendyl.  Lydia couldn't even stay awake for the thirty minute card ride.  The girls are thrilled to have a "K" cousin staying with us for two whole weeks!
 First stop, Temple Square.  She had never been, so she got the full tour, and I mean FULL.  We had over an hour tour spent in the conference center, Ryan and I found it fascinating...the girls, weeeellllll, they were good sports.

 The girls all slept the whole way home.  Church history really takes it out of you ;)
 For the next two weeks we jam packed as many adventures as we could to show Kendyl a good time.  We enjoyed lots of bike rides up in North Logan and around the Utah State Campus. We went to the cemetery to see the "Weeping Lady" and to see if her tears were real, despite how much we tried to convince Lydia that nothing was scary, she still found her way to our bed that night. 
 The Caspersons were also visiting for their summer trip so we had a lot of "mixed" activities.  One of which was an amazing trip down the Onieda Narrows river.  The kids all loved it and were so brave!  I can't believe we haven't done this with her sooner. 

I worked a few nights so Ryan was great to take the girls out on various adventures.

On to Lagoon.  We finally decided to take Lydia with us and show her what it was all about.  She was in HEAVEN!  It was so fun having Jessica join us as well.  Between Jessie, Kendyl and I, we were all able to take turns going on the fun rides while making sure the little girls had fun on the kiddie rides.  We also brought Milly along so the girls could have more cousin time together. 

 After walking straight on to all the rides we were ready to spend some serious time at the water park, one of my most favorite aspects of Lagoon. 

 I'm sad I didn't get any photos of  Spencer's baptism, but here is one of the little girls afterwards.

Annie took the girls one day to have a "tea party" of sorts with a lunch date at their most favorite place ever....Chuck-a-rama.

 We had a fantastic day at Bear Lake, minus the point where Lydia got lost and we were all BAWLING our eyes out.  It ended on a very humble and spiritual note that brought our family closer together, so at least that's something.
 After two weeks of hikes, parks, movies, parties, drive-ins, adventures, eating out, bikes rides, swimming, and shopping, we finally had to return Kendyl back to the rainy land in which she came from.  It was so great having the chance to get to know her better and to further that bond that the girls have with their Bundy family.
 Other highlights from the summer were an ice-blocking day with the Activity girls.
 A personal letter sent in the real, live, old fashioned mail box from the girl's aunt Kylee with a picture and letter just for them.  It was like Christmas.
 A trip to Spoon Me in Ogden, I miss it dearly.
 Okay, you may think it's time to wrap summer up now that school is beginning, but nope, school is just another adventure in our continued summer events.  We start the night before school with a Father's Blessings.  It ends with Emma and Ryan both sobbing into each other's arms confessing their undying love for one another.  This whole experience that happens every school year is truly one of my most favorite moments as a wife and mother, which is odd, because it really has nothing to do with me.
 The next morning we get up early and make Emma her absolute most favorite breakfast, then serve it to her in bed.
 Then we paint her nails, do hair, dress up, and head off to start the best school year she's ever had (we say that every year.)
 Well, on day two of the new school year Ryan and I farmed the girls out and joined my mom for a whole day of learning at the BYU campus for education week.  We didn't learn about calculus or American History, but the things that were personally inspiring to our hearts and souls are absolutely priceless.  I vowed to myself to make some changes.  I was at a class called woman, wife, mother.  I wanted to put my face in my hands and sob my eyes out.  I was truly inspired to how I personally can master it all, and I have put that into practice, and the difference in my life is remarkable.  I am so thankful for my devoted parents who gave Ryan and I the push we needed to make this day happen.
 After our education day my dad picked the girls up and met us in SLC and we all stayed the night and got a hotel.  We walked down to the Gateway for some great food and enjoyed the city, simple as it may be, it is technically a city, and that's enough for me. 
 The next morning Emma and I got up to do our first 5k color run.  It was THE best!  You start out clean and white.....

 .....then along the way you get all colorful....
 ....and you end up like this.

 I have had some priceless moments as a mother, this experience with Emma was definitely one of them.  Emma just has color and life pouring out of her.  She literally lights up a room and fills this family and home with so much happiness and GOODNESS.  There was one point when we were running and it was a temporary down pour, a lot of people hurried and put their jackets over the heads or ran under trees, but we just kept running, with our arms stretched out and splashed and danced our way down the course.  This was JOY.  I couldn't ask for a better friend to celebrate life and health with than this little girl of mine. 
 Ryan and Lydia waiting at the finish line, Lydia was very concerned about getting dirty, she was NOT interested in having chalk thrown on her.
 I just have to say how much I appreciate my VERY supportive parents.  They have always encouraged us as little girls to be active and to push ourselves and to live a healthy life.  I am so thankful for their support in this weekend and being there to give my girls the same encouragement they gave me in my youth.
 After our very yummy breakfast at the hotel we all headed up Big Cotton Wood canyon for a beautiful hike.  This was an amazing weekend that I had been looking forward to all summer, and it was even better than I had hoped.

Emma loves biking to school in the morning.
 Although school is in, we didn't stop swimming and soaking up the sun.  Here the girls are at my parent's pool while my mom let them fuel up on chips and cookies.  What are grandparents for if not to bend the rules?
 Ryan and the girls.  What can I say?  They ADORE their dad.  Every night after we have family prayer we end it with our family cheer, which then has to be ended with a tickle fight between Ryan and the girls.  It's tiny little 5 minute blocks of time like this that I know the girls will always remember. 
 Speaking of Ryan and the girls, here's something strange and creepy for you.  Ummmm, the three of them have a pet spider.  Say whaaaaaaat?  Yes, it's true.  This is a cat spider, lives outside our back patio door.  He's actually pretty awesome and keeps the bugs out of our house, stays in the same spot every night, and he's not poisonous.  Well, every night Ryan and the girls would go outside, catch a couple moths, then throw them on the web, and watch "Spidey" spin the moth up and eat him, then retire back to his corner for the night.  Yeah.  Creepy.  However, it's been a highlight for those three and an activity they are all very proud of.

 Before the pool closed for the summer we went one last time after school one day.  We had the place to ourselves, it was awesome.  Emma finally got the courage to go down the straight slide, and clearly Lydia was thrilled to stick with the twisty slide.
 Dave's Killer bread + avocado + garden tomatoes = YUM A TUM TUM!
 Yep, summer still on.  We let Emma skip a day of school so we could go to Bear Lake for a weekend and have the place to ourselves.  Talk about perfect way to end the summer. 

 Meanwhile, I am LOVING having this little sweetheart to myself.  She loves to go to the mall and ride the little rocket ship, and she also loves to pose by that pillar at our house.  I can't believe this is my last year having her home with me.  I don't know what I'll do without my constant little shadow.