Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Last Hurrah of Summer

The last week of August was bliss! It felt like a vacation to me, even though the furthest we traveled was to my parents' house (40 minutes away). My brother Thom and his family arrived late on a Wednesday evening and stayed the night at my parents' house. I gave them Thursday to recover, then went over to my parents' house on Friday morning, feeling really anxious to see everyone again/for the first time. The last time Thom and Sarah were here during Thanksgiving of 2008, Sarah was pregnant with their youngest (we'll call him J), so I hadn't met him yet. Things have definitely changed since 2008. Cassie and L (the oldest- turning 6 this week) just adored each other and loved playing together- I guess girls just have a connection. A is probably the sweetest little boy in the universe. He called me a princess, always wanted to hold my hand and kept requesting to sit by Aunt Emily during meals. He wasn't as impressed with Trevor, or as he called him, "Uncle Man."

Thanksgiving 2008:
August 2010:

I think my parents were in heaven.

Although, Dad got a little tired when they babysat while Thom and Sarah went on an overnight date.
On Friday evening, we had a birthday party for L and A, complete with horse pinata (for A), princess cake (for L), and presents! My mom even got a small gift for Cassie so she wouldn't feel left out of the festivities.
Saturday was the main event: adorable baby Lexi was sealed to her adoptive parents, my brother Vaughn and his wife Christie. I really can't describe how joyous I felt to be there. I just kept thinking about how precious our children are to us and what a blessing and joy and privilege it is to be a mother, especially knowing my children are sealed to me. (I can say "children" now, right? Because I've felt the one in my tummy, and he/she is definitely alive. So "children" it is.)
Then on Sunday, Vaughn blessed Lexi (again, a very sweet experience) and we had a big family picnic afterward. We got a picture of everyone together, minus Lexi, who was taking a much-needed nap. And the picture is horrible, but we're all together! And don't worry, we had a professional take pictures of us later in the week.
On Monday we went to downtown Salt Lake and took the kids to a children's exhibit at the Church History Museum. It was fun and FREE. The highlight for A was riding on the "train" (Trax). Can I mention again how sweet he is? He got a stuffed horse for his birthday and named it "Baby Lexi."

On Tuesday we went to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point and had a little picnic outside. And there were big rocks near our picnic table, so of course the kids had fun climbing and jumping.

Tuesday night was our family photos, and the genius photographer bribed the kids into cooperating with the promise of candy at the end. It worked!

L and Cassie, the best of friends.

Cassie rode in J's car seat with L and A wherever we went, so J always rode in Cassie's car seat in our car. He didn't seem to mind, and L, A, and Cassie always insisted they be together. Cassie adored playing with her cousins and still talks about them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer Adventures

Lots of pictures and not too many words. I had to get caught up somehow!
We spent the 4th of July in Centerville with my parents. We went all out and participated in most of the festivities this year: a magic show, jazz concert and fireworks in the park (Cassie's favorite part was the chocolate-covered frozen banana we bought her), then breakfast in the park the next morning (during a fiddling show by my mom's violin students) and the parade. It was cold in the morning!
But not in the afternoon...

We took advantage of the Monday work-holiday (since the 4th was a Sunday) and went to the zoo. Cassie liked the giraffes. (Giraffe is the word that lost me the 6th grade spelling bee. Never again.)
On Pioneer Day (you know, the 24th of July), we went to Oakley to be with Trev's family (I think this will be a yearly family reunion). We always have fun when Trevor's family is together, especially on the 24th.
Trevor talked me out of going camping in August and instead we stayed in a hotel and went to Arches National Park (a.k.a. HOT). The weekend we chose was perfect- all national parks were free! But like I said, it was pretty toasty. Good thing we brought lots of water.

We wore Cassie out.

We met our parents in Provo at the end of August to celebrate Trevor's graduation. We were a week late for the actual graduation ceremonies, so we made up our own: dinner at Carrabba's. (Cap and gown courtesy of my mom, who had to buy hers when she finished her degree a few years ago. Who knew it would come in handy again?)
Ah, classic.
I had been waiting for the end of August all summer! My brother Thom and his family flew in from Pennsylvania to be here for a very special occasion. My brother Vaughn and his wife Christie were sealed to their adopted baby girl, Alexis. This deserves it's own post, so you'll just have to wait!

My parents were feeling grandchild-withdrawals after Thom's family left, so we were happy to oblige them by joining them on a Labor Day picnic and hike.
Other items of note:
New table and chairs! $160 on Craiglist. As Cassie would say, "Oh yeah, baby."

Cassie is potty trained! It was quick and almost entirely painless. She was definitely ready. No more diapers! At least, not for the next 6 months.