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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Time for a deep breath

First, the GOOD pictures are coming.  Today you just get my few tiny camera ones until Jeremy can catch a breath.

Last two weeks have been a lot of fun and now I am ready to nap a bit.  For the fourth of July the kids and I went to Colonial Days on the 3rd to walk through the different booths.  Spencer and Allison both tried to pretend they were too old for such things but ended up having a good time in spite of themselves.  And then our neighbors had a enormous night of fireworks in their front yard that we all watched.

 Jeremy had several photo shoots that week so we left Taylor and Jeremy enjoying a well deserved sleep in.  The three kids and I left at 5:45 am to drive down to Provo for the Freedom Run.  They each ran a mile (couldn't convince them to do a 5k).  Robyn who was full of tired tears and whine beforehand took off like a shot as soon as the race started and I didn't see her again until the finish line.  They all thought getting a medal, shirt and treats was pretty awesome.  Their first race, I was proud.  It seemed way too short but then I never thought a year ago I could convince Spencer to actually run a mile so baby steps.

Then we walked down to the parade to sit with some friends who graciously saved room for us.  I get a text from Jeremy saying that Taylor had a blow-out everywhere and that he hoped we were having a better time than he was!

I had planned for the 4th to be a relaxing day for Jeremy so after coming home and resting a bit we went to the movies giving Jeremy some time to work on photos and Taylor a nap.  Taylor must know when I leave as again, blow-out everywhere.  Then just to make sure I didn't feel left out he included me in his day of fun when I got home too.  It is a good thing really but it sure made for a smelly house right before...

Our neighborhood of fire.  Water balloons, lots of parachute fireworks, kids running everywhere and just visiting.  We are never sure exactly who will be able to come but it always turns out to be a fun event.
The next day:
was spent recovering and packing for a week long trip to Montana.  It takes a lot of work to go somewhere for a week without stores or much running water.  Jeremy great man that he is took Spencer on a photo shoot that night with him and returned with cheesecake.  One for the night before we left and one for the night we got back.  Pure husbandly wisdom.

Then it was off for a week of Hall family vacation.  Jonna's family was unable to join us but Jason's family came.  We left at 4 am (no that unfortunately is NOT a typo) and drove to Helena.  On the way we stopped in Idaho Falls to visit with Jeremy's uncle, aunt and cousin and have breakfast at Smitty's a local tradition.  Helena we parked in the hotel parking lot with our RV and used Jason and Kelly's access to the pool and their shower to clean up and relax.

Sunday we attended a really small ward and enjoyed their testimony meeting.  They have 3 Aaronic priesthood holders in their ward, made me realize how blessed we are with where we live.  Then it was another drive up to Augusta and then out to Gibson Dam.  We ate lunch there and played in the water.  Kids learned how to dunk themselves in snow melt and how to stick their hand or head in the water rushing out from the dam.  Jeremy and Jason shared stories the whole trip about things they did in these different places growing up.  And we got acquainted with the first billion or so flies of this trip and learned what a deer fly was.  I am going to try to forget that part of our trip, flies never, ever went away although lots of insect repellent and smoker sticks helped a lot.

Then we went up many miles of washboard roads to Jeremy's grand-pa's cabin.

We had to park the RV a 1/4 mile down the road and then walk up to join Jason and Kelly every day.  Rocky came with us this trip and was in heaven running up and down the trails and swimming in the lakes and rivers.  Then he would painfully walk over to a nearby dirt pile and collapse in exhaustion to sleep.

We went to rivers and waterfalls to play and swim.  Jeremy introduced Spencer to Double Falls (and no to my brother's question Spencer did keep a pair of shorts on).  One day Jeremy stayed with little girls and Taylor while we hiked Crown Mountain. His dad's and his grandpa and grandma's ashes are scattered there.

On that hike at the top we went up a mountain side of avalanche rocks and shale where you had to be pretty careful.  Spencer and Garion were full of self-confidence about their ability to handle this.  Spencer:"We aren't professionals yet, but we are pretty dang good" Garion:"yep".
On the way down Spencer, Garion and Allison slid down some snow.  Spencer, sliding down full speed right into some rocks while we yelled for him to slow down.  He stands up going woohoo!  that was awesome.  Allison slid down carefully and then started going really fast.  She ends up doing a bear crawl position backwards all the way down.  The most graceful slide I have ever seen.  She has the snow burn road rash on her legs to prove it.

Click on the photo of Spencer playing the guitar to get a sample of his playing.  He has been practicing all summer to get ready to play the guitar in the evenings at the cabin.

On Thursday we drove to visit with Jeremy's step-grandma Deanie in Helena and then off to Yellowstone.  On the way we stopped to tour the Lewis and Clarke caverns.  It is a two hour tour of these immense caves.  You have to slide on your bum to get through caverns, bear crawl a lot and maneuver a bunch of close corridors.  It was pretty amazing.  And Jeremy spent that time with Taylor and the dogs taking one for the team yet again.

Thursday night we arrived really late but roused the kids up Friday to take a shower and get rid of a week's grime then it was off to see Yellowstone.  We hit all the tourist sites of Old Faithful, paint pots, geysers etc.  It was beautiful and very crowded.  We had to show the kids these things once but if we go again I would focus more on the hikes and playing in the lakes etc.  And our big hiccup of the day is when someone tried to squeeze past the trailer.  His doors did not survive the experience which led to insurance reports, meeting with the police etc.  Jeremy stayed calm through the whole experience but it was definitely a rocky end to the trip.

We all had to run to make it that evening to see 7 Brides for 7 Brothers at Playmill theater.  They were super accomadating because half of us arrived late (Jeremy in a police car) and us running over literally.  I had to carry Taylor in as his stroller couldn't fit but he enjoyed the show enough to sit without help for most of the show.  They did an awesome job.  Then we headed off to shop for a few souvenirs and get some pizza.  Saturday it was up before the sun to head back and clean everything out, hit the grocery store, clean the office and collapse in our beds.  Great vacation all around and now we are all ready for some down time.

A big reason that the trip went so well was Jeremy working on his super dad status.  I refuse to drive the RV so Jeremy drove a lot.  He carried Taylor in his arms or in his stroller up, down and over trails that were not accessible at all.  And if Taylor couldn't come he stayed with him.  He dealt with RV problems and fixing them, deer flies deciding they really liked him and all the other things that come up in a trip.  Traveling with a RV was fun and easier than camping in a tent but it is still a lot of work and he took on the brunt of it.  I doubt our kids even realize the strength it takes to be a dad sometimes but someday it will hit them - probably when they are 40ish with kids of their own.