The Main Event for September was Nana and Pop-Pop's visit
They pulled into the new house just as neighborhood outdoor movie was starting.
Not only were they seeing the house for the first time, but they got to meet a lot of our new neighbor's too.
Although, I know even they missed our old neighbors.
Crew had his first soccer game.
We took them to Provo Beach Resort.
Up to Big Springs.
And there was of course lots of book reading and game playing.
Then we headed down south and introduced them to one of our favorite places, Dead Horse Point.
I think they enjoyed #yurtlife.
Miles could not wait to go mountain biking with Pop-Pop
Watching the mountain bikers from the yurt deck going off on their big ride.
Miles even had a big crash into some prickly pear and still went out riding the next morning.
Nana and I stayed back and played many thrilling games of Spot It and Go Fish with Crewby.
There was of course lots of hiking and exploring.
We were so happy we got to show Nana and Pop-Pop one of our favorite Utah places.
This trip I learned I cannot jump high and Paul can.
And we actually got a family pic!
I'd say that was a successful trip.
The rest of the month was spent mostly hanging around the house and neighborhood.
Can't beat 70 degree days!!
There is constant games of 4-square in the driveway.
Ruby is learning to ride a 2-wheeler
This was my driveway one night when I was headed to yoga.
I called Paul over to herd all children out of the way. He entertained them with yoga poses, so I could safely backout.
We are really settling into and loving this new neighborhood, but that doesn't mean there still aren't tears shed about missing our old neighborhood and school.
Macey was having a particularly rough week missing all her old friends, so we had Tajen over for a late night. It helped fill the hole in her heart (and all of ours too).
We are glad all our friends are still close by.
My parents brought me my old desk my grandpa made. Macey has put it to good use and I love seeing it in her room.
One of the most exciting events for me this month was getting to join the elite "Mom Hiking Group"
Ruby's preschool schedule was made to fit around dance with friends and this hiking group. Our friday hikes are just as amazing as I dreamt they would be.
Ruby and I are slowly figuring out this curly hair thing. We both were having a good hair day at the same time, so we had to document the occasion.
We also finished our backyard this month. But, that deserves a photo dump post of it's very own.
End of Summer festivities
Back to School
We had our annual Back to School Dinner.
Brown bag lunches, like always. Easiest tradition ever and one of of the kid's favorite. The best kind.
There were LOTS of tears the night before school started. Especially for the 6th grader. Change is hard. I was worried the morning would be rough, but they luckily got it out the night before and it was mostly smiles.First day of 6th grade!!!
In Utah 6th grade is still in elementary school, so we moved this poor girl away from her friends that she has had since kindergarten for her last year in elementary school.
It was heart breaking. She is always my child that cannot wait to go back to school and this was the first time ever she wasn't. It was a weird feeling for her and hard to wrap her head around.
So, I bought her this amazing Ravenclaw backpack to help make up for it. :)First Day of 3rd Grade
I have been shocked, and pleasantly surprised, with how well this kid handled the move to the new house and now starting at a new school.
I requested some kids he already knew to be in his class and we had met with his new teacher a few times last school year and had a few school tours with the principal this summer. It paid off, big time. Not that it's been easy, it just hasn't been the all out screaming and rolling on the ground situation that I imagined it would be.
Plus, while we were in the midst of sobbing and comforting kids the night before school started, I got a text from his beloved 2nd grade teacher.
She texted to wish Miles a great first day of school and to tell him that she loves him and knew he'd do great at his new school.
His little face lite right up and he settled down and went to sleep after that. I then went in my room and cried and wondered why in the world we decided to move. :) First day of First Grade:
of all the kids, Crew has adjusted going to all day school from half day kindergarten the best. He is just loving it. And I am jealous of his teacher.
I underestimated the amazingness that is living 1 block from the school.
Life changing and the main thing that makes me know I made the right decision not to stay at Suncrest.
It has been hard switching schools. Hard on the kids and really hard on me. I miss knowing ALL the teachers, the staff, and the kids. I miss all the teachers knowing my family and all of kids names, even Ruby. And I really missed having my friends to talk to on first day of school drop off, plus we missed the party Suncrest would have on the first day of school, OES' welcome was pretty lame. :)
We are learning change is good though and that we are so lucky to get to know more amazing friends and teachers. Although, we still do like to go back to Suncrest and hug and visit some our old beloved teachers. It makes my heart hurt sometimes, but our new school is pretty awesome too and it is growing on us.
I didn't have time to be sad though, Ruby had big plans for our day together.
I don't think she missed them at all. :)
We celebrated an awesome first day of school with some of our old and bestest friends from Suncrest, by going to a splash pad.
And then Ruby started preschool the next day.
She loves it, even though she still cries almost everyday at drop off.
Paul thought it'd be a good idea to go out to breakfast after we dropped Ruby off. I just wanted to go home and cry in private.
Paul's not familiar with my first day of school routine. :)
I am grateful for amazing teachers, staff, and new friends that are helping to make this another amazing school year.
This was the only pic I could get of Ruby.
Whenever August hits I start to feel the pressure to squeeze every last ounce of fun and adventure out of summer. But, at the same time I am exhausted of having children around me 24/7 and of sand and wet towels and neighbor kids and kids asking for food ALL the time, but then I remember this fact and we power through. :)
Macey spent the first week of the month at Clear Creek.
She went with one of her bff's Carmen, who ended up getting the stomach flu and had to come home and then thankfully made it back up before the end of the week.
It was an emotional week here for me, as I didn't know how she was doing up there alone. Worried she was sick, worried she wouldn't make any friends.
Luckily, they sent us an email each night with pictures from the day and I would scour them for Macey's smiling face.
It all ended well, Macey had an amazing time, made a bunch of new friends, and it was good practice for me to let her out into the world alone. And you cannot beat a week in the mountains surrounded by this.
An experience I hope she never forgets.
And a friend I hope she keeps forever.
We did our last trips to the pond
this particular day Crew entertained himself with garbage others had left behind. Kids a genius.
This is for sure one of my Utah summer happy places.
Weather finally cooled off enough that we could venture to parks
in the morning.
I tortured these 6 by making them walk the few blocks to the park.
Popsicles waiting at home was the only thing that got them through.
We finally got to check out our new school's playground
. It passed the test and the kids approved.
So many scooter rides
around the neighborhood.
So many board games
Paul hates Chalk the Block
and I love it, so my homeless looking children and I ventured over and left Paul at home.
Paul and I also celebrated our 15th anniversary
?!? Time is a weird thing. We are not old enough to be married for 15 years, but here we are.
We went all out and celebrated at Dave and Busters in SLC. We ate greasy food, played lots of video games and bought the kids prizes with our hard earned tickets. A quite romantic 15 year anniversary. :)
There were a few items left undone on our Summer To-Do List that we needed to check off.
- Late night with Penelope
End of summer outdoor neighborhood movie.
and of course some more trips to the mountains.
kids better appreciate these amazing summers they get to experience. :)
Our Trip Northwest
We decided last minute we needed an adventure and Paul had 4 days off for 4th of July. So, we quickly planned a trip to the Redwoods, Crater Lake, and then Bellingham.
Redwoods was probably was on my favorite places we have taken the kids so far, other than the insanely long and twisty drive there.
horrible dinner stop at a tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere and crazy hot.
We didn't have to camp and could stay in a hotel that was 5 min from the park entrance, which was quite convenient. Plus, Ruby puked in the bed the first night, so it was quite a relief to have clean sheets to put on and a place to do laundry in the morning.
We did Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek.
There was never a shortage of tree bridges to walk on.
or trees to look at.
We even found an unexpected lunch/swim spot. Kids had a blast jumping off the little bridge into the river, even though we had no towels or bathing suits.
Best place we found was Fern Canyon.
Plus, this sign was everywhere, which everyone found quite entertaining.
Fern Canyon is one of those places that makes the entire trip worth it.
And we were actually prepared with water shoes for everyone so, we were able to hike much further into the canyon than most of the tourists and had the place to ourselves.
Then right outside The Fern Canyon Trail was the beach, which made for an amazing lunch spot.
I remember visiting the giant Paul Bunyan Statue when I was younger, so I was beyond excited when I realized we were going to be driving right by it.
We then headed up to Medford, OR...This turned out to be the kids favorite night of the trip. We ate at Big Bear Diner, which was in itself a huge event for the kids. We never take them to sit down restaurants. Then a nice couple paid our bill, which the kids thought was the about the nicest the thing in the world. After that we had the entire outdoor pool to ourselves and since the water wasn't actually nasty, I swam too. Then they had their own hotel room (connected to ours).
Since we were semi close to Crater Lake, we figured we should stop, since we didn't know if we'd be back this way.
It was FREEZING when we first pulled in.
Luckily it warmed up as we made the trek down to the lake.
Water was freezing. Kids had intentions of swimming, but no one could be convinced to go any deeper than their knees.
Miles has been buying these animal field guides at all the national park visitor centers, so anytime we come across some sort of animal on the trail he pulls them out and identifies them for us. In this picture we are looking at a lizard.
Then we made the trek up to Bellingham through horrendous Portland traffic and all our kids vowed they never want to see Portland again. :)
Bellingham was my kids #1 thing the entire summer.
Even if we made them hike 5 miles after hiking the previous 3 days. :)
Just a reminder, this is not a National Park. This is just Bellingham. it is obvious everytime I go back why I have trouble seeing the beauty that is here in Utah.
Ruby whined the ENTIRE way up and down. Most she has ever whined. We ended up abandoning our other children at the top and take Ruby back down to the car since she wouldn't stop screaming and crying and people were trying to enjoy this incredible view.
Luckily the other kids were fairly content to be hiking with some of their favorite people.
One of my Bellingham requests was to get out on Lake Whatcom.
Just as paul and I were about to jump in the water to double knee board the boat died. So, we got to row back instead.
The rest of the time was just non stop cousins.
This trip was good for all our souls. I miss these people and this place. it felt good to be back and get to soak it all in for little bit.