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Sunday, April 11, 2010

It stinks to come back from vacation

Dear Family and Friends,

Last night I decided that returning from vacation just stinks. Sometimes I return from a trip excited to dive back into projects and real life. But not this time, nope, no way. Last night we got up at the unearthly hour of 3 am to drive back from Arizona. Between long pit stops, 2 road closures and having to retrieve Jeremy's truck from the airport we didn't arrive home till 6 p.m. Utah time. Taylor was so grateful that Meredith was there waiting for him. She took him for a walk, laid on his swing with him, fed him, gave him a bath and tucked him in - all while he smiled away. The rest of us cleaned out the van discovering just what Robyn had been doing with her crayons and markers in the back seat. Jeremy broke out the cleaners and vacuum and attacked the debris. I ran to the grocery store for Benedryl to combat the allergic reaction Robyn had break out all over her body from eating said markers and crayons. Then while Meredith tucked in some grumpy kids Jeremy and I went over to clean the office. We didn't think taking our kids to learn that jobs don't take care of themselves was worth the tantrums that would entail. Then we ate cereal for dinner and crawled into bed. It was sort of a long day. I don't think kids thought it was so bad. Spencer informed me that long road trips were very relaxing. You get to read books, watch movies and eat lots of snacks and junk food. I had to agree that when you put it like that it really doesn't sound bad.

This post is picture heavy so be for-warned. Two weeks ago was mostly spent getting ready to go. We planted our peas and potatoes and did all the laundry. Robyn and I ran over to BYU for some ranch dressing for Mimi and we decided that it was worth the trip. Think it will become a regular thing. Especially as Robyn discovered the creamery doesn't just sell salad dressing:

Jeremy drove down with us to Phoenix last Saturday. He had set up his phone so we could hear conference. We heard the morning session but by the afternoon we were in a no cell coverage zone. We drove down through Las Vegas so we got to see the Hoover Dam which was very cool. They are devising a new road across that looks extremely precarious. Arrived in time to head to a park with Daniel, Mimi, Claire and Sam to play and have a BBQ. It was just what we needed and even brain dead as we were, it was wonderful. Claire running through the water sprayers at the park. It seemed that almost every park we went to had a water feature.

Easter we spent enjoying an amazing brunch while watching conference. I use watching loosely but there were moments of quiet where talks were heard. Then we were able to join with Mimi's family for an outdoor Easter picnic and egg hunt. Our kids and us had a wonderful time. Fred and Robyn even had put together a basket of goodies for our kids. Jeremy was able to stay for the food and hunt and even to snap a few pictures but then he was off for the airport to fly back to snow and coldness.
Monday Claire was under the weather. So the kids and I headed off for the Phoenix Science center. It was more geared towards older kids and our kids explored all afternoon. They laid on a bed of nails, dissected a cow's eye, learned how to make a fire ball 6 foot tall and took part in an interactive hurricane where rain pelted them in the face.
Tuesday we spent the day at the zoo enjoying the warm weather and all the animals. The Phoenix zoo is very spread out so you walk a lot. Ended up with some very happy but tired people by the end. Taylor didn't feel so well the first half of the vacation but by half way through he was soaking up the sun and was happy with life.

Wednesday we went to Claire's gymnastics class where Robyn and Allison got to join in on the fun. Then we went off to a train park to eat lunch, play on the playground, and write a little kiddie train around the park. Then the kids and I went off for a few hours of playing at a nearby park and stocking up at Trader Joes while the girlies and Taylor took a siesta. Spencer felt a little odd man out this trip surrounded by so many little girls. But he was able to retreat with a good book and to the hammock whenever he needed a break.
Thursday we went to the Children's museum. It was more for little kids and Spencer was at a loss for the first part. Then he managed to shift his thinking and took over restocking the grocery shelves and building a tree fort that would be strong enough etc. To cap off the day we visited Mimi's favorite frozen yogurt shop. The kids licked their cups clean.

Then after a break back at Mimi's house we set off for something pretty amazing. Daniel and Mimi (and Fred and Robyn) had arranged for Jeremy and I to stay at a nearby resort overnight. So Thursday night we all went swimming in their pools (yes there were 6!! pools) and ate nachos. Then Daniel and Mimi bravely drove all the kids home while I went to the airport to pick up Jeremy. We had a wonderful, relaxing time and Daniel and Mimi managed all our kids so graciously. They came back to meet us Friday mid-day and we spent the day at the pool. 87 degrees has never felt so good. Taylor laid with me in the shallow end, happy as a clam. Allison taught Robyn how to swim so she can move through the water now. Can't breathe yet - but baby steps. For Easter Spencer and Allison got prescription goggles. It sure makes a big difference in their confidence, especially Allison. When you wave her over, she can actually see you now. None of us wanted the day to end so we stayed till sunburn and shadows started to form. Then we returned to pack and have a last BBQ.

It was a perfect spring break. I won't mention the grumpies that occurred at times because that is just life and I conveniently try to forget them. I will remember: running on the deseret hills by Daniel's house and loving the low altitude; eating so many yummy goodies that I need to restrict my diet for a LONG time now; Robyn teasing Claire with a big smile on her face ("Can you hide my kitty so Claire can't get it? Nope, put it on top of the bookcase, really high." turns to Claire a few minutes later "Claaaaireee, what's on top of the bookcase Claire? Can you see it?" all done in this teasing syrupy sweet voice); Robyn and Claire getting ready for bed tonight and Mimi looking for giraffes in their ears and blow drying their hair; staying up too late to watch New Moon with Mimi; and just having a fun time with my kids and family. It was great.

Did I mention that my kids and I really loved playing with Sam?:

And that Mimi taught Allison to make the best ever chocolate dipped strawberries?:

Thank you Daniel, Mimi, Claire and Sam. We had a wonderful time, Heather