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Monday, July 25, 2016

Pioneer Day Weekend

If you live in Utah, July is a pretty great month when it comes to celebrations - plenty of parades, fireworks, picnics, and non-stop fun.  I've tried explaining to the kids that Pioneer Day is a celebration of Utah, but with flags and fireworks, they still keep telling me how exciting it is to celebrate Happy Birthday America.

Tim and I were able to start off the weekend with a night out to Sundance.  We had a work event that included a picnic dinner and then the play, The Music Man.  We arrived a little early and had some time to wander around the grounds for a little bit - it has been awhile since we have been to Sundance and I was reminded how beautiful it is.  Thanks to my parents watching the babies, we were excited to be able to wander and enjoy the atmosphere without kids.  The play was fantastic - it is one of my favorites and this production was especially fun.  

This summer has brought several longtime friends back to the area and I have loved being able to reconnect with friends.  Sunday afternoon we went to Santaquin a little early so that we could spend time with my friend April Sames Bryant, along with her husband Shawn, and kids.  April and I grew up together and spent so much time playing in my back yard that it seemed like the perfect place to reunite.  She and her family have been living in England for the past three years and I have satisfied my travel bug vicariously by watching their adventures.  They had just returned home to Arizona when sadly April's dad Paul passed away.  I wish they would have been visiting under happier circumstances, but I was happy to be able to spend some time together and introduce her to my sweet little ones. 

Today, Monday was the State Holiday and we stuck with tradition and went to the Fiesta Days parade in Spanish Fork.  The parade was fun - plenty of fire engines, baseball teams and high school marching bands. We were lucky enough to score a shady spot which made the whole event even more enjoyable.  Sometimes it feels like a lot of work to make it all work, but watching my kids experience and enjoy it makes it all worthwhile.  Once the parade was over we were all too hot to spend any more time at the park, so we wandered around and the had lunch together.  By the time we made it home everyone was hot and tired which meant afternoon naps for the entire family.  The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, but it just felt so nice to spend time together.  Weekends like this make it tough to go back to work and the responsibilities of every day life.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pool Party

This summer the kids and I have spent a lot of time at the Provo Rec Center pool.  They have the perfect section for little ones and for me there is nothing better then water and sun with my babies. The kids and I had talked about going on Friday, but when the kids found out that Tim could come along if we went on Saturday, there was an immediate change of plans.  The only thing that could make the afternoon better would be to invite the cousins to join us for the fun.  We were so happy to have Ada, Miles, Gavin, Sammy, and Calvin with us for the afternoon.  The kids had so much fun playing together - they raced from the kiddie area, to the wave pool, to the slides and seemed to love each area equally.  I loved watching them all play together.  It did stress me a little to make sure that we knew where everyone was, but Cory joined us so between the three adults, it wasn't too tough. The kids really just wanted to be with each other most of the time so they were pretty easy to track.  As we were leaving we decided that we definitely need to plan another Saturday afternoon party.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fourth of July Weekend, 2016

This year the Fourth of July fell on a Monday so we were able to extend the "birthday celebrations" over several days and activities.  The kids don't really understand the significance behind the holiday, but when we tell them that the festivities are our way to say Happy Birthday America, they are more than happy to join the party.

I started Friday morning off with an early run - 13 miles.  At several points along the way I could see the hot air balloons that are launched each morning during the Freedom Festival.  They are one of my favorite sights and definitely worth taking a walk break to really appreciate.  

Friday morning Tim and the kids spent some time at Scera Park where they had a Colonial Festival as part of the celebration of freedom.  The kids told me that their favorite parts were the flags and guns.  Sounds like we are raising some pretty traditional Patriots!  From the Colonial Festival, they went straight to Costco where we met for hot dogs and pizza - and really, what's more American than that!

Saturday night we went to the Stadium of Fire.  The last time we went was about five years ago and I usually think it is too big of a hassle to bother.  But when we heard the entertainment was Tim McGraw, all inconveniences were quickly forgotten.  It also helped that our kids are old enough to think it is fun.  I don't know if I have turned into a patriotic sap or what, but I really just loved the whole thing and spent most of the night thinking that going to the Stadium needs to be our new yearly tradition.  The funny thing is that Tim felt the exact opposite - way too much work for something he could watch on TV.  Hopefully the entertainment next year will be as exciting as it was this year so that it will be easy to change his mind.....

The kids loved being at the stadium and were in amazed by the staging before the show even began.

One of my very favorite parts was when the skydivers came in with the large flags.  The kids couldn't believe that people were coming down from the sky - and carrying a flag - even better.  Kind of strange for me, but I didn't get any pictures once the show started - no Tim McGraw, no fireworks, no party.  I was so wrapped up enjoying the moment with my people that I didn't want to worry about my camera or anything else.  Don't worry, I have plenty of images stored in my memory - sometimes the very best kinds of pics.  

We started some new traditions this year which I guess helps make up for the fact that we skipped almost all of our normal traditions.  No Freedom 10k, no parade, no movie, etc.  By the time Sunday night came around, the kids were cranky and completely off schedule, and Tim and I were so tired that going anywhere the next day just sounded like too much work.  So, we all slept and then spent most of the day hanging out and catching up on little projects.  Luckily Tim did get a few great shots to start the day

Monday night we did meet up with my family for burgers and "fireworks", really just poppers and sparklers but they still brought plenty of excitement.  I may be permanently banned from ever bringing fireworks again....the sparklers I brought were a little too much like firesticks and most of the kids were a little terrified.  Unfortunately, the sparklers would drop pieces of hot ash and both Calvin and Luke ended up getting burned (clearly I should have made sure Luke put on his shoes since he actually stepped on some of the hot ashes).  There was a lot of screaming, and a lot of laughing, and even though we skipped a lot of traditions, it was definitely a Fourth of July to remember.