Sunday, August 25, 2013

so just a few glimpses from the wedding...

I have a bunch of pictures from the wedding.
The set up, the bachelor party, the temple, the luncheon, the reception...
they are all on my laptop,
my sad poor broken laptop.
It's been "broken-ish" for nearly a year now. 
Ellie likes to stand on it every time I turn my back.  
And that "H" key has been gone for almost three years.  
But as long as I minimized the windows just right, I could still see enough on the screen to use it.
We babysat our friend's kids on Saturday, though, and their daughter slipped off the couch and fell across my laptop.
Now it's Dead dead.  

And so, for now all I can give you are the few pictures from the wedding that are still on my camera's memory card. 

 Waiting outside the temple for Josh and Alicia (Ellie calls them "Dosh" and "Yosh.")  

We had a bit of a crazy hour or so before the wedding.  Josh realized he'd forgotten the marriage license.  It was still at his new apartment...which is forty minutes south of my house.  The temple is another thirty minutes north of my house.
Kent and a few others were sent to retrieve it.  
The following events involved a "break in" and some big confusion/lack of communication. Someday it will be hilarious.  Amazingly, the wedding was only about 20 minutes behind schedule and Kent made it to the temple with the rest of us only moments before it started.  Whew.

We believe that marriage in the temple is done with the authority to seal a couple together for all eternity. Death cannot separate a couple (or the children born to them) that has been sealed in the temple. This sealing also includes great blessings and promises for their eternal joy and progress.
Temple marriage is a goal that we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive for all our lives.  Entrance to the temples requires great personal worthiness and a commitment to keep the commandments and follow God's laws.  
I can't even say how proud I am of my little brother.  To be there in the temple and see him sealed to Alicia was one of the most profound and special moments of my life.  
 This is the only picture I got of them after the ceremony.  I was chasing my babies around, and my super cute shoes were killing my feet.
 We decorated the luncheon with vases filled with rock salt, bare branches that I gathered from a couple of dead trees down the road from my house, and about two hundred white tissue paper pom poms.  
I wish I had gotten a better picture of the whole room.  It really turned out very pretty for something that cost less than $45.  

 We would not have been able to pull this off without all the help we had from my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Thank you thank you everyone!  
 My mom made peanut butter rice krispy hearts as the favors.  
 We served pulled pork sandwiches, potato and macaroni salads, vegetables, chips, and brownies with peanut butter on them.  
Alicia really likes peanut butter.
 Josh really likes Alicia.
 We do too.
The luncheon included a video slide show of pictures of the two of them growing up and then being together.  Kent made the video and I'm going to brag on him a bit because he did an incredible job.  He spent over 20 hours working on it--Kent never does a job halfway.  
I love him.

As Ellie watched the slideshow during the luncheon, she was naming each picture. "Dosh."  "Yosh." "Dosh." "Yosh."  
When the final part of the video started, where the pictures are of Josh and Alicia together, Ellie held up her left hand, and said "Dosh."
Then her right hand. "Yosh."
Then she pulled both hands together in the center and said "Dosh Yosh!"  
Darling girl!

 This is after the reception later that night.  On their way to a honeymoon in San Diego. They secretly stopped at our house after leaving the church and they tore off a bunch of those car decorations.
When we got home our driveway was full of confetti and our garbage can was full of balloons.  
My good friend did my hair for me for the wedding.  I loved it so much, I had to get a picture when we got home, changed into our pajamas, and went straight to bed-exhausted and very very happy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

the Wilcox visit

Asher, Jayden, Nicholas and Ellie

Several months ago I got a message from Cindy (their blog here), some of our greatest bestest friends from Texas. 
They were coming to Utah!  For a wedding! On the 20th (same as my brother's)!  

So of course we had to have them come see us.
We had a teeny tiny open spot in our weekend, from Saturday night until Sunday night, 
so they came.  They stayed at our house, and we had so much fun.
These are the kind of friends that we'll have forever. No matter how long it has been since we saw them last, we can still stay up late, eating ice cream, just talking and laughing.

On Sunday they came to Church with us, had a quick pancake lunch, took a little drive into the canyon to throw rocks in the river, and then came home for a roast and mashed potatoes dinner.  

They didn't get to stay long, but we were so glad they got to come see us and our home here.  And I'm always happy to have my "we'll probably never see you guys again" fear from when we left Texas proved wrong. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the birthday

What a weekend/week/month/summer. 

This weekend looked like this:
Friday: Nicholas's birthday
Saturday: Alicia went through the temple, moving Josh and Alicia's belongings into their apartment, dinner out with the family, Dallin and Cindy and boys arrive
Sunday: awesome day with the Wilcox family, sprinkled with deliveries of reception decorations that needed to be stored at our house
Monday: wedding prep started bright and early, set up luncheon and reception, bachelor party, etc
Tuesday: The Day.  Wedding, luncheon, reception, come home and crash in bed.

It's been happy and fun and great, and very very very busy.

So let's get started with the birthday, shall we?

 I learned my lesson last year, and this year we made the birthday cake the day before the birthday.
Nicholas wanted to decorate the cake himself.  
I guess if I was a really nice mom I would have let him, but I'm still working on the "nice mom" stuff, 
so I sliced off the top of the cake, set it on a plate, and let him go to town.
I wish I'd taken a picture of the finished product. 
Four ENTIRE bottles of sprinkles, plus half of about six more bottles.  
He licked every frosting utensil I got out (after I was done using them). At one point he got frosting on his foot and he asked me if he could lick that too.  Um, no.  
He loved making his own little cake.  
Ellie loved it too--when we weren't looking, she climbed up onto the kitchen counter and snagged two giant fistfuls of sprinkles off of his "cake" and shoved them into her mouth.

Nicholas went to bed super duper excited that night,

and first thing in the morning on Friday he came into our room.  Giggling.  
We went straight downstairs to open a couple of presents. 

He got to open a nerf gun and poptarts.  And he ate the entire box of poptarts that morning.  All four foil packs. I think he was just so excited about the fact that I was saying "Yes" every time he asked me for another one.

You only turn four once, right?

 The gift reactions were priceless this year.

 My boy is just so cute.  
Why is he four already?  Can't I keep him little forever?
He also got to open his new bike (and helmet).  

Oh, and the holding his pants up?  He scraped his knees three weeks ago and still insists on holding his pant legs up to his crotch because he doesn't want them to touch his "ouchies."  I wish I could do something to stop the awkwardness, but I can't. Believe me, I've tried.  

 Holding up the pants and making a silly face at the park. 
 We got lunch from Wendy's as a special treat and took it to the park to eat.
When we pulled into the parking lot, Nicholas said,
"Oh yes, this is the park with the stinkiest bathroom in the world!"
Luckily, we didn't need to use them this time.  

It was beautiful there. We picked leaves off a low hanging branch and threw rocks into the dry riverbed. We saw a giant black and white butterfly. The kids were happy, it was warm and shady and peaceful and my heart was happy to have a moment of peace.
 That night Josh and Alicia came for dinner, presents, and cake and ice cream.
After we finished dinner and were about to open the presents I told him he must use the potty before we continued (I think it had been about ten hours since he'd last gone....seriously.) He dashed into the bathroom, closed the door, then threw it open again and said
"Guys. Remember, I'm excited!!"

as if we could forget.
 Nicholas wanted a cake that either had "googly eyes" or looked like the night sky. We went with the latter. 
On any other week, I would have gone a little more gung-ho for the cake decorating.  But he's four, he doesn't care, I had a carazy week going on, and this is the cake we ended up with.
 We ended the night with a little bike ride in the driveway as the sun set.  
 Ellie's pretty happy to get Nicholas's old bike. I'll be pretty happy when she learns to ride it on her own without needing me to push her.

Happy Birthday Nicholas. 
 I'm so glad you're mine.

Monday, August 12, 2013

grammer and papa's visit

The week of the 24th of July, Kent's parents came to visit us.
The kids loved having them here.  Every time Kent's dad would come back from running errands or whatever, Ellie would run to the door yelling "PAPA!" and jump into his arms for a big snuggle.

It's so lovely to have visitors.
A few highlights:

The Pioneer Day Festival
 The hand-crank siren on this antique fire truck was too loud for Nicholas. (what isn't too loud?)
The festival was so fun-pioneer cabins and demonstrations and indian teepees and contests-we're definitely going back next year!

Later that afternoon, the kiddos ate out of watermelon bowls while Kent and his dad built us a sandbox!

The finished product.   We are loving it.  Our favorite game so far?  Building sand castles and shooting them down with the nerf gun.

And speaking of nerf gun...
Grammer helped Nicholas do this one afternoon:
 Every so often I catch him trying to do this by himself again.   Crazy crazy boy.

 As a belated birthday present, Kent's dad bought him what he's been wanting for years.
A supersac lovesac.   Perfect for Kent's movie room.

We also took Kent's parents up into the canyon for a picnic, Teresa and I went quilt shopping for her new cabin, did fireworks in the park for the 24th of July (while the kids and I sat in the car and Nicholas screamed--fireworks are too loud, of course), ate at the waffle truck, and went to Kent's cousin's wedding.

Thanks so much for coming, Mom and Dad! We had the best week!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

kids in the dirt

Only moments after we arrived.  She was still clean at this point. Notice the white parts of her shoes are still white.
By the day we left, those shoes were almost all the same shade of gray/black.

Aaaand, only an hour later.

These kids were filthy. I went through wipe after wipe after wipe, constantly cleaning tree sap off their fingers and dust/mud off their faces.
But oh goodness did they have fun.
It got so much worse when she'd cry, because she'd wipe her wet face with her dirt-blackened hands.
Sometimes she even had a perfect handprint on the side of her face.
It was pretty awesome.
My mom taught Nicholas about how her brothers used to pick these and use them to bonk her on the back of the head while they hiked.
Super fun trick.  
And as a note, I'm quite looking forward to being a grandma.  They get to teach kids all the really fun stuff.
Little girl tennis shoes at day three.

He sat down right where he was and took off his shoes and socks anytime he felt rocks or dirt in them.
Then he'd call for me to come to him because he doesn't know how to put them back on yet.
His shoes have mesh sides (something I didn't realize until this past week....)
We did this little shoe removal/replacement thing probably seven or eight or thirty times a day.

Camping with littles is no easy task.  
But oh how it is worth it.  They love it.  Rocks, sticks, dirt, and no one telling them to come inside?  Kid-heaven.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

tony grove

 Every year (nearly), for as long as I can remember,
and even before I can remember,
my family has come camping at Tony Grove.

This is a place where my heart feels at home.  I can walk around this campground and remember staying in almost every single spot.  We have decades of family memories from this place.
Tony Grove is a place like no other.  Secluded, quiet, a beautiful little lake, hikes and caves and pines and wildflowers and streams and the smell.  
Oh the smell.  It's that mountain/pine/forest smell but combined with the flowers and the plants and sage--it's completely unique to Tony Grove.

Our tradition is that as soon as we turn into the campground, we roll all the windows down in the car and just
Take a deep breath of that heavenly Tony Grove smell.

And in the late afternoons, the sun dips past the mountains and there are a few hours of beautiful twilight.  It cools down and the light is soft and the lake water is like glass.  We put on our jackets and start the campfires and sit with our camp chairs in wide circles while the night comes on.

The thing I love most about Tony Grove, though, is how I feel when I'm there.
At peace.  In quiet.  Away from the bustle and chaos of everyday life.  The children are happy (and dirty!).  The world is a simpler, more heaven-like place.
Surrounded by family, enveloped in memories, and oh so close to loved ones who aren't with us.