Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Closing Out the West Coast Trip

Now that we've been home for a good two weeks, let me finish posting our travel pics. (Sorry it only takes me like a million years to never get caught up...but it's busy over here yo!)

Shae wanted to help Darin paint Ibu's house so I went searching in Darin's old stuff for a shirt that Shae could paint in and found this beauty. So funny to imagine Darin wearing a shirt like this.
I forgot to post these on my Utah trip, but I got to go down to the new Provo City Center temple while down in Utah. It was so beautiful. I really enjoyed driving around Provo looking at everything that has changed, like these massive buildings they are building as MTC housing! I remember them talking so much about these while I worked there, so it was cool to actually see them. As much as I talk about how I would never want to live in Provo except for school, it sure does have a special place in my heart.

 The last week we were in Pocatello they did another firefighter water spraying day. Shae was less in to this one than the first, but Belén went out and got wet, then demanded that she walk around the playground in her towel. Whenever I tried to take it from her because she was tripping she would melt down until I put it back on her. 

 1st grade teachers are celebrities in his book. Especially when they do one on one reading time with you in their classroom full of books. 
 Checking out the map and play equipment at the school.
 She always sticks her special kitty stuffed animal up to her face like this, nose to nose. So funny to see her do it with this bison too.
 After I took the above picture of Belén: "Mom, take a picture of me doing something cool too. I'll eat this rock."

 Building the rocket ship.

Not great picture quality, but this little scene below melted my heart when I walked past Ibu's bedroom the morning we were leaving to see her and Shae cuddling in bed together.
 Shae sleeping in the middle of no where on our way home, with ALL the stuffed animals. Not sure how he got Tabby away from his sister.
 Our last day of traveling we stopped in Kirtland for a few rainy hours. We tried to do a tour of the Kirtland temple...miraculously we made it through about 75% of the tour before we had to sneak out. I guess after being in the car for hours, being on a tour where they couldn't run around or touch anything wasn't the break the kids were looking for.
 Despite being in the car for four days straight, I loved doing it with this special one by my side (and let's be honest, we wouldn't have gotten very far if it weren't for him since he basically drove the whole thing while I manned the kids and the radio. P.S. We listened to Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan--hilarious and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand--total heart-wrenching story but so so so good, check em' out). 

 We then went over the LDS church sites and jumped on the back of a tour so that we could see the Newell K. Whitney store.
 Darin discovered one of his relatives in a book they had there (Amasa Lyman).
 Shae really wanted to play postman with the mail behind us like he had done at the Family Museum we stopped at in Iowa the day before. Sorry kid.

The best part of this tour was that there was a picture on the wall with the alphabet, but some letters were missing. Someone on the tour asked the missionary why letters were missing. She said, "I really don't know, I guess someone just didn't know there ABC's." As soon as she said that I knew what was coming...Shae popped up and said, "I know my ABCs!" He then immediately started belting out the ABC song to our tour group.

We were all SO excited to make it home after four days in the car. Belén still didn't sleep great in the car, but better than the way out, about 30 minutes of nap time per day opposed to 5. We were so grateful that our apartment was left in such good condition after subletting. They even left us some little toys for the kids and fixed a hole on our arm chair! What a pleasant surprise. We loved watching the kids act like they had never seen their room full of toys before. 

We had such a fun summer traveling as a family together! It was a blast being in Ann Arbor and we felt so blessed to be able to spend so much time with family and friends out west. Is the summer really almost over? Tomorrow is September! Whhhhahaaaaaa????

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Our last week in Poky we took a quick (day) trip up to Yellowstone with Darin's mom. (The day trip wasn't necessarily quick, just the fact that it was a day only trip, in case that was unclear :). I have some great memories of my family camping in Yellowstone back in 2002 so it was really cool to see it again and share it with my other family. 

We somehow managed to get in to the park without a map, but while we were driving we found a nice spot to get out and walk around to see some sites.

 Maybe I'm weird, but I thought the boiling mud was super cool. I mean, BOILING mud. The bubbles were so big and prominent. Sans kids I could have stayed there watching for a good couple of minutes. Fascinating. 

  Shae's "actually, maybe I shouldn't have done this face."

We got to Old Faithful right as it was finishing off and had to wait another hour and a half before it blew again, so we ended up being here for quite awhile. It ended up being okay because it gave us some time to check out the gift shops and let the kids run around.
 Sharon got the kids this Bison stuffed animal which they both just love. Shae sleeps with it every night now. He named him Gar-Jack.

 Snatched this crazy busy girl for a quick selfie while waiting. And man, our hair colors are completely different. Sometimes I think I see more brown in it, but then pictures like this say otherwise. 
 For some reason when I came here 15 years ago, I don't recall Old Faithful being all that exciting. I remember there being other geysers near by that were way cooler than this one. I was happy to see that it actually did fulfill my geyser expectations that day.


 After Old Faithful we let the kids sleep while we drove up North to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. So so so pretty.

I may have been pretty cranky at one (or more) points of this trip while squeezed between the kids with Belén pinching my arm like crazy, but I really needed this beautiful day in nature. It was such a good reminder to me of the majesty and power of God. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lava Hot Springs

One of the Saturdays we were in Pocatello was spent at Lava Hot Springs. We were so excited that Darin's siblings Amelia, Stephen, and Devin (and families) were able to be there too. We missed Derek, Linzy, Claire, and Eva so much, but it was so hard to get so many different schedules line up. Hopefully next time we can get everyone together.

Lava was a blast. The weather and water was perfect. Such a fun water park! 

 Feed me, now.

 Belén looooved this little kid indoor area. 

So much so that this is how she felt after we had to chase her down a few times while trying to sneek away to go back.
Shae liked it in there quite a bit as well. Especially when he was with Kyler. Oh boy did he LOVE his older cousin Kyler.

 More swimming in the big pool.
Kyler and Stephen were easily the most exciting to photograph.

 But little Henry was probably the cutest. 
What a doll.
I can't get enough of Wyatt's little glares at me while I tried to take pictures of him. 
 Then there's this one.
 It was so fun to finally meet Karen...and Henry...and see Devin after so long. So glad they could make the trip out!

 Shae and Wyatt marching on the towel.
 Oh these sweet cousins. I can't get enough!