Thursday, June 09, 2016

Vacation 2016 Part 2: Utah fun with my sisters

When we pulled into Utah on Tuesday afternoon, my darling niece Evelyn was hopping up and down with joy in the driveway waiting for us!! We were so happy to see her!! We had a great time that evening with my sisters Ruth & Elise and their kiddos (Evelyn & Caleb for Ruth, Pierce for Elise--Ruth's husband Jordan was in NYC and Elise's husband Paxton was at a client dinner). It was SO nice to catch up with my sisters! After Elise left Ruth sent me out for a run...I went up the canyon a few miles and it was so darn gorgeous. I turned around just short of this park but we went back with the kids a few days later so I grabbed a pic of it then--gorgeous! But boy was I happy for that downhill--pregnancy + very little sleep + altitude was a killer combo. I was flying on the downhill though. :-)

The next day I got up early and did my run, then once the kids were up we ate breakfast, packed up a picnic lunch and headed to Thanksgiving Point. We ended up going to three of the four museums there--the Museum of Curiosity, the Museum of Ancient History, and the farm.

The Museum of Curiosity was SO cool--the kids were immediately entranced by this multi-story rainforest exhibit where you could climb up into the "canopy" via lots of rope bridges and ride all sorts of exciting slides down. I was super jealous and wished I was about a foot shorter. But we did find this sloth exhibit that measured how long you could hang upside down...

And so we decided we must take a turn. Even in my skirt. 

I was the weakest. :-) I would blame it on that whole six-months-pregnant thing, but...I have no upper body strength, so that's the real culprit.

This isn't a super-clear picture, but it's the only one I have of the 3 of us from this trip (we were taking pictures of the kids in an illusion exhibit and this one happened to go when the illusion light was off, so it reflected our image). I love these two girls so much--Elise (holding Pierce) on the left, me in the middle, and Ruth (holding Caleb) on the right. 

And here's the illusion exhibit we were waiting for. Bodiless Pierce!

Bodiless Evelyn!

And bodiless Nathan!

Thanks to their newfound interest in illusion, courtesy of Luke the Magnificent's birthday magic set, my kids had read up on this recently and knew exactly how it worked--they were pretty darn excited to see it in action!

We also found this awesome room full of huge Legos. 

The kids literally could have spent all day in there--they built a two-room house and dubbed it "Decker Manor" (my maiden name).

After the Museum of Curiosity, we ate our picnic and then headed to the Museum of Ancient Life, which was super cool and I can't believe I didn't get any pictures! Probably because Elise and I were obsessed with hunting through every exhibit for the 14 tiny gnomes that were SUPPOSEDLY hidden around the museum. We did not find a single one. Not one!!!

And then we went to the farm, where all the kids rode the horses--except Isaac. I have no idea why. He offered to ride the horses if I would take him to Wendy's and buy him chicken nuggets, fries, and a Frosty. deal. 

So so fun--but so exhausting! We headed back to Elise's house and the kids watched a movie while the moms basically laid on the floor and wished there was someone else around to make dinner and take care of everyone.

It's hard being an adult sometimes...but somehow we managed to rouse ourselves sufficiently to veeeerrry slowly make dinner ( took us 1.5 movies to make dinner) and then we went out to the playground by Elise's house to eat our deliciously decadent cookies, which Caleb basically used to paint himself and Ruth. It was quite impressive.

The following day we drove up to Salt Lake to visit Temple Square. It was a beautiful day weather-wise but not such a beautiful day behavior-wise...I don't know if it's just that I was super tired, but I had a really hard time being patient with some of the behavior that day. I kept reminding myself that they were missing Neil, that they were tired too and out of their normal schedules thanks to both being on vacation and also just barely out of school, but man oh man, it was still hard! I did a good amount of crying behind my sunglasses that day out of sheer fatigue and frustration.

But at least I was smiling here! I love this room so much--it's so beautiful and peaceful and I love listening to the little audio recording talking about who Christ is. This is in one of the visitor's centers on Temple Square. It's so nice to have a place where the kiddos can go in and feel some of the peace and holiness that is in these beautiful buildings, since they're not yet old enough to visit the temple itself (and anyone can go to the visitor's centers, Conference Center, Tabernacle, etc.--you don't have to be a member of the church!).

We sat at the foot of the Christus for quite awhile and I took some of my very favorite photos from the whole trip. I loved seeing how tender my children were with their younger cousins and how much they enjoyed their company. 

Evelyn really adores Juliet and was her shadow the whole trip--once Juliet picked up a baby Evelyn was determined to do the same, even if the baby didn't exactly want to cooperate!|

I love, love, love this photo. So happy I caught that hug.

Kiddos all lined up in front of the Salt Lake Temple--if only Addie was there! She arrived a couple of days later. We would have had a great photo for my parents!

Probably no surprise that Nathan, Luke, and Isaac ended up very very very wet.

Gorgeous Ruth with her children, Caleb and Evelyn. She and Jordan were married in the Salt Lake Temple and it was fun to reminiscene about their wedding day in 2007 and Elise and Paxton's in 2013, also in Salt Lake! (My parents were also married there in 1981...pretty cool!)

Kiddos near the doors of the temple in one of the gorgeous little alcoves. It's so amazing to me that the pioneers built this BY HAND.

One of my favorite wedding photos of my parents is on this little rock thingie...the kids weren't nearly as enthusiastic when we tried to get them to pose. :-)

I borrowed a stroller from Ruth with the intent of plunking Nathan in it--not so! He took one look at the other strollers, realized that the babies were riding in them, and decided that he was a big boy and his stroller was for waterbottles. (I did eventually strap him in it at the end of the day, but he mostly pushed it around until then!)

We spent a fun hour in the church genealogical museum--they had this amazing little exhibit upstairs especially for kids. Ruth, Elise, Isaac, and I had a pretty mean game of tanagrams going on while the other kids entertained themselves with all sorts of fun stuff.

Perfect timing with the camera!

End of the day...everyone was definitely starting to wilt!

My baby sister with her baby! Elise is the one I remember most vividly as a baby, even though Rosalind is younger, because I always used to go pick her up from her still blows my mind that she and Rosalind have their own children now!

Luke made it about two minutes into the ride home before conking one point he sneezed like crazy and his glasses fell off, but he stayed asleep!

The next day Elise flew to Wyoming for Paxton's brother's graduation, so Ruth and I were solo! We took the kiddos up the canyon for a hike in the morning--it was a really beautiful day. I was SO excited for Neil to arrive that night, but there ended up being this huge mess with his flight and he didn't get in until the next morning. I was pretty bummed about it. :-( (And my run was really crappy that day was hot and I threw up.) But Ruth treated us to Bombay House for dinner that night, which was amazingly delicious! Neil and I used to live behind Bombay House when we were first married and living in Provo, and we could smell its tantalizing deliciousness every day but we were always too poor to eat there--that was back in the awesome days of our $20/week grocery budget. So any time we've gone back to Provo and eaten there it feels especially exciting. :-)

Jordan flew in from NYC that night (he and Neil were originally going to meet at the airport and drive down together...darn!) and the next day we all headed up to BYU and wandered around a bit with the kids. It was crazy to see how much it has changed already! I'm totally pushing for my kids to go there--we LOVED it--so there was a lot of unsubtle "When you guys are students here you can do xyz" stuff going on. :-) And of course, ice cream at the Creamery. Sooo yummy.

I have tons of pictures from our hike later that day with Neil after we were reunited with him--hooray!--and had dinner with his family and had a great visit with everyone, but I will close out with this last photo from Saturday night when Jordan and Neil were both back & Rosalind and Chris had arrived--hurray! As you can see we were all pretty darn energetic after all that traveling and ready to chill in the basement...haha!

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