Phew! We had a marathon day today, and I am looking forward to going to bed as soon as I hit “publish.” It was a great day–and I hope the summer is filled with days like today–but my huge, pregnant self is tired!
I made waffles before the girls woke up so I could feed them breakfast in the car en route to Target. I lost my swimsuit bottom last week, and I can’t exactly go swimming in just a top…but at Target, I found an entire replacement suit for $6.36! From there, we raced to the gym so I could swim some laps. All the travel time recently made me feel quite desperate for the swim. It felt so good.
We then headed straight to Salt Lake where we stopped by Trader Joe’s for our picnic, and then we met Chelsea and her kids at Red Butte Gardens. We wanted at least one last visit before my membership expires, and it was fun to go with Chelsea. She is a dedicated gardener, so she could really appreciate the gardens.
The kids napped in the car on the way home, and when we arrived, I fed them popcorn and strawberries on the porch. We then headed downstairs to read books in their new play room. I snuck out as soon as they started playing with their toys. I napped for an hour while they played and crafted the whole time! I felt so pleased that the basement redesign is working as planned.
Afterward, Abe taught a great lesson on the priesthood and how our family will be together forever because we were sealed together in the temple. We all drew pictures of ourselves, and Abe made our pictures into a paper chain to show that we are linked together.
The kids then ate ice cream and went straight to bed. This is the first time they’ve been in bed (and stayed there) before 10 pm in…months? It’s been a while. I feel hope that between the basement, the kiddie pool, and all of the community activities going on, we can tire them out like this regularly and get them back on a reasonable schedule.
I came back from Yellowstone reformed. In the past, I’ve always thought of Yellowstone as a rather macabre national park; the smoking earth, charred trees, and empty green fields never quite excited me the way other national parks do. Honestly, up until this weekend, I thought Yellowstone was completely overrated.
But. But. This weekend transformed my attitude toward Yellowstone. We saw so many beautiful, amazing things! Maybe I’ve never visited Yellowstone in the spring before–and there lay the problem. In the spring, the greens are so intense, and, well…I’ll just have to throw up our pictures. I’m not talented enough to think of words that could describe everything we saw.
And then here are the pictures with people in them:
We also had so many other amazing vistas that we didn’t take pictures of, but at least this captures some of the highlights. We had a wonderful time, and even though my ankles are swollen from the travel and my back feels kind of sort of broken, it was worth it.
I couldn’t blog last night because we were up too late setting up the play room, and the night before we were up because Mary inexplicably would not fall asleep. While I was rocking her, I found an enlarged lymph node on her neck and fell completely apart because I imagined it was something worse. We ended up sleeping with her that night, and everything was better in the morning.
We leave for Yellowstone today, and I’m not sure about the internet situation there. I hope it’s good! Abe is late for work, so here are the pictures from the day before yesterday and yesterday.
Happy birthday, Grandma! By the time I called, you were in bed. I am so sorry I didn’t get to speak to you in person on your birthday, but I am going to call tomorrow. I love you, and I hope you had a peaceful, beautiful day. I’m sending you birthday love!
We had a great transition home after our trip. The weather morphed from spring to summer while we were gone. When we arrived last night, we could smell the Salt Lake and see a full moon. It was a clear, warm night, and we felt happy to be home.
Today Lydia had camp at our neighbor’s house. The theme today was “space,” and she crafted Earth, the sun, and an airplane. Afterward she had fun with all of the other kids playing in the neighbor’s pool.
Afterward, I had to go to school for an exit interview. Since it’s right next to IKEA, I made a stop to get things for the play room and craft room. When I got home, I found Abe working on the garage and the girls playing in the front yard. They had all gardened together, and then Abe let them ride bikes while he organized the garage.
Then Abe and I put the girls to bed…and set up the craft room at 10 pm. We finished at midnight. We still have yet to paint one of the walls with magnetic chalkboard paint, and I am considering putting an easel in the nook, but otherwise, the craft room is done. I stocked the bins with enough crafts to get us through the summer, and I can’t wait to show the girls tomorrow.
Right now we are at LAX waiting for our flight home from one of the best family trips we have ever taken. Every day felt perfect. Abe and I feel refreshed and totally in love with our kids and our little family.
On Sunday, we went to church on the south side of L.A., and afterward we drove to the Santa Monica National Recreation Area to get our National Parks passports stamped…and to hike around (quite possibly in that order of priorities).
We had no idea what the Santa Monica National Recreation Area was, but we discovered that the part we visited used to be the estate of King Gillette, inventor of the Gillette razor blade. It is currently infested with rattlesnakes. I am not exaggerating. For our entire hike, we heard a literal chorus of rattles on both sides of the trail, and even the grounds of the visitor center had so many snakes that Abe took a picture of one slithering right outside the front door.
But the rangers assured us that these snakes are very laid back Southern California rattlesnakes; the only people that get bitten are young men trying to grab the snakes. They aren’t aggressive like other rattlesnakes, and unless you step on them, they leave you alone. We decided to trust the ranger on that one and actually learned to somewhat enjoy the sound of the rattlesnake soundtrack on our hike.
After we had lunch, we drove to El Segundo to top off our rental car and have ice cream in the car while the girls napped. Abe talked about how all of the funerals we attended this year have changed his perspective and goals, and we felt so grateful for the opportunity to be alive. This trip felt like such a gift.