september

Nov 12, 2018
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.  








Tags: septembercanyonlandsdead horse pointyurtneighborhood

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End of Summer festivities

Nov 5, 2018
Even though school started, we still had some summer to squeeze in before fall officially hit. 

We did our annual trip to Bear lake with The Rensink's and Holly.  




It was our best yet.  



Our campsites provided perfect beach access.  



Weather was perfection. I was worried about the wild fire smoke, but it proved not to be too bad. 



Kids were well entertained with catching fish and frogs, playing in the sand, floating, playing cards and pretty much just being wild.






Floating is harder than it looks.  






Brenden introduced us to a hike that lead us to an amazing and freezing mountain lake.



Feel things make me feel more alive than jumping into a freezing mountain lake.


Brenden and Paul were the only brave souls to do the rope swing. 


Even with the early and cold mornings, the trip was well worth the effort and lack of sleep. 



Love these people. 




Paul and Macey went backpacking to Silver Lake with Carmen and Blaine.




They had a blast. The hike was very steep and hard, but the girls killed it.




I love these girls so much! 




 

Macey and Carmen caught a million fish and had lots of stories to share when they got home.  




Life doesn't get much better than camping in the mountains with your bff and dads.









Kacie and I might of been a little jealous.  



The rest of August was spent getting back in our normal school day routine. 


Nothing makes Mine and Ruby's day like getting to hang out with the 3 little O'Neal kids.  


We have missed these best friends desperately.  


And we take advantage of anytime we get to spend with them.  


We got caught in an exciting rainstorm walking home from school.  



It was a blast and we laughed the whole drenching walk home.  


Last pool day



Ruby I go on lots of scooter rides and walks to pass the time while the other 3 are at school all day.



So, glad I have this one a little longer to go adventuring with. 




The kids are really starting to settle into the new neighborhood and we are finding we lucked out once again with pretty awesome people that live around us.  









Tags: summerbear lakeback packingaugust

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Back to School

Oct 26, 2018
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. 


Tags: oremschoolpreschool1st3rd6th
nana
The kids are doing so great and so are you!! Love Ruby's photo by the garage, she can only hold still for so long. My favorite is that Macey and Crew's best summer memories were coming to Nana & Pop Pop's!!!!
angie
I love Ruby's garage run-away picture! I can't wait to meet her IRL. I am over here sympathizing with you. It's great to get a big yard and a beautiful new house, but there are definitely trade-offs. For years now, I've been looking forward to Todd's military retirement - and our supposed move to Utah afterwards. But lately I've been just loving our ward (finally!) and feeling super comfortable at my kids' school. Like you said, knowing all the teachers, and everyone on campus knowing our family, and all my kids' names. It's a great feeling, and I've realized I don't necessarily want to give that up. Also, we've got great weather out here. We just do. It's, like, 20 degrees warmer here now than it is at my mom's house in Utah right now. So I'm feeling a little nuts for daydreaming about moving away. Anyway, I'm just saying your regrets/things you're missing/whatever are totally normal and I love you. Also, I thought it was really funny how you explained about Paul not understanding your first day of school cry tradition. Ha!

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August

Oct 1, 2018
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. 



Last pool trips.



Splash Pads





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.



and Playdough.




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.  


Nickel City



Bike Ride


and of course some more trips to the mountains.



 kids better appreciate these amazing summers they get to experience.  :) 

Tags: augustsummerback to school
Nana
What fun summer memories. So happy that Macey got to go to camp!

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Our Trip Northwest

Sep 1, 2018
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.  




AMAZING. 










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.  














Tags: redwoodscrater lakewashingtonbellinghamsummerroad trip
angie
Sounds awesome. I can't believe you did all that with just four days off work! Absolutely impressive. My favorite picture was your four kids stacked head to head looking out of a redwood tree. So fun!

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