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Sunday, December 31, 2017

the Holidays

It seems like my posts get further and further apart!  Jeremy had two trips this November.  One to a convention in Arizona to take photos.  They had a holiday get together and I was able to meet all the people that he has been enjoying traveling and taking photos with.  

Another trip was for a guys trip with my side of the family to Lake Tahoe.  With Spencer in the middle of college classes he sadly wasn't able to join them for the guys trip this year.  They ate, hiked and talked and enjoyed their time together.  I was grateful Jeremy got to get away and for the relationship the men in my family have.  If anything this year has taught me to value the relationships we have.

Of course these trips also coincided with Jeremy switching jobs.  So the pressure and time commitments have gone up.  He is excited for the adventure and new opportunities of it as well.

For Thanksgiving, Spencer came down and we all got to drive to Denver to spend the weekend with Daniel's family.  We ate, we played, we hiked and ran, watched movies, did crafts and just had an amazing time hanging out.  When we said what our favorite parts were, Spencer said just being able to eat and be around family, Jeremy said to just be able to sit around and relax, Allison said doing Black Friday shopping with Mimi and Robyn said playing.  I think my favorite part was just having nothing to do but enjoy being together.  We did some family photos.  This one made me laugh as Taylor looks like he is smirking.

Robyn and I put together a Bob Ross art project which impressed me with what they were capable of doing:

It was a wonderful much needed time with family and we had amazing hosts who handled sick kiddos and extra guests with always love and warmth.  None of us wanted to leave - especially as we took the long way home to drop Spencer back off at college on the way!

We had a sad event this holiday season with Jeremy's uncle passing away.  This is the last sibling of his mom to die.  Robyn accompanied him up to Idaho along with Jason and his kids for the funeral.  Jeremy had actually been able to go up a few weeks earlier and spend a day with Ron to say good-bye which he was grateful he had been given that opportunity.

We celebrated Jeremy's birthday with an early spin class and then out to breakfast.  He wanted to work an event that night as a photographer and eggs right now are his indulgence not cake so it worked out for all of us.  And Spencer and Robyn decided chicken and waffles are amazing.

I actually was there!

Spencer came down a week before Christmas just a few hours before the girls showcase for their theater company.  I am sure he planned it!  Allison even had her friend Kaori surprise her by being there.

December was full of choir concerts, club parties, field trips and all the other wonderful craziness that goes along with the season.  We got to do some fun date nights and catch up with old and new friends.

Jeremy treated all of us girls to new dresses for Christmas:

I loved having Christmas Eve on a Sunday.  On Christmas Adam (sat) we met with the rest of the Hall's to see a very, very different version of the Nutcracker.  Then we went back to Jason's house for nachos, truffles and Elf.  Robyn was very insistent this year that all the traditions happen and we realized that these traditions started right before she was born so she has never known anything different!

Then on Christmas Eve after an amazing sacrament meeting the Hall's joined us for dinner, presents and games.  Christmas Day was just an easy, fun time together.  We set up a double shot in our basement and have been having some fierce competitions ever since.  No one has been able to beat Jeremy.

We drove Allison up to the airport as she flew out to spend a week with my parents and then went and wondered through Temple Square to see the lights.  I love seeing the lights at Christmas time, remembering going there with Jeremy when dating and throwing my penny in to make a wish that we would get married someday and being grateful that we were sealed together in the temple.  Nothing like cancer to remind you that this life is temporary and being grateful for what is eternal.

Other big news is that Robyn got braces right after Christmas.

We have done the necessary evils of being off of school.  All the kids and myself visited the dentist.  Kids all got their physicals and shots.  Spencer did all his missionary medical stuff and we cleaned out rooms.  But we tried to fit in fun stuff like ice skating and trampoline parks, puzzles and lots of old psych episodes and movies, date nights and treats.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Fall has been full of family, changes and some trips.  Jeremy has been to South Dakota, San Francisco, and Arizona for some different work opportunities during the last two months.  He has enjoyed the challenges and handled the pressure and stress well, including the change to a new job at SQRD.  Lots of changes going on around here.

The kids and I enjoyed our annual trip to the Timpanogous Storytelling Festival.  As kids get older and schedules changing I am trying to embrace the idea that our whole family being together for events does not always occur and that I need to enjoy who is able to come and not stress about everyone not being able to be there.

Allison turned 16 and decided to spread the joy out over a week.  She had her friend Kaori who moved a half hour away come join us for a weekend.  It happened to be the same weekend Spencer came home to go to a friend's farewell.  So Jeremy drove Spencer to and from Logan that weekend plus took Allison and Kaori out for an all day photo shoot of Vocal Point at the Salt Flats.  Allison got her drivers license on her birthday.

Then Jeremy took her out for her first date of going to a shooting range then a fancy dinner at Sundance. Think your first date should always be your dad - show you the way it is to be done.  They had a great time.  (And she has gone on dates since with guys hopefully almost as amazing as her dad)

For General Conference weekend we had the Hall family join us for brunch and conference which was a wonderful way to spend the weekend.  Then we took a grumpy Robyn and the rest of us up to the canyon for some fall color therapy.  Amazing views soon chippered everyone up.  We have just decided that when the grump puberty genes start talking in our family we are just going to go ahead and do activities regardless of the fact that they don't want to.  It usually works out just great.

One weekend we checked in Taylor to respite and went up to USU for the day.  It was awesome to have our family mostly together again for some catching up time.  I am proud of how Spencer is doing as he does adulting full time right now.  We went to the agricultural BBQ fundraiser where we ate waaaaay to much, a USU football game and then up in the canyon for some fall color.  The day flew by and we just talked non-stop catching up on life.

Regular life of Jeremy doing fall portraits, choir concerts, school and homework, dance classes, piano, church stuff and date nights all fill our days.  I got to have a girls night of dinner, pursuing Bath & Body for new lotions and seeing Thriller, a very cool and eclectic dance performance.  It was a great night.  Two of my favorite parts was first when Robyn didn't know high school dance students dressed up as zombies roamed the theater until she ran ahead of us and we saw this little figure in the distance start screaming and running back through the parking lot with a "zombie" chasing her.  Second, when Allison turned to me after the performance and commented that is was a very cool night.  We are enjoying the late Sunday starts with Sunday breakfasts and Sunday night craft times:

Taylor's last school Halloween party as he graduates in May:

Over Fall Break, Allison 3 year dream of going to New York with her theater group came true.

They left Wednesday night at 11 on the red-eye and played super hard till they came home at 1 a.m. on Monday.  She saw 5 Broadway Plays: Wicked, Lion King, Anastasia (her new favorite), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and School of Rock.  They had dance, singing, and acting workshops.  She walked 10 miles a day (no joke) to see every tourist spot in New York, going to the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Twin Towers, Churches, Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, Amsterdam Theater, went to the backstage doors to get autographs each night, ate at amazing places and wore herself out having a great time with some amazing people.

While Allison was off in New York, I took Taylor to respite and Robyn and I flew to Denver to spend the weekend with the Denver Skeehan's.  Robyn was so excited she was up since 1 a.m. that day!  We did have to leave by 4:30 and she was worried she would sleep through her alarm.  So later that day she crashed for a 4 hour nap!

We got to watch Matthew's preschool fall performance, surprise Claire and Samantha at school for lunch, go to an amazing farm for a perfect fall day, go to a ward trunk or treat, attend Matthew's soccer game, breakfast at Kneaders, crafts and treats. runs in the preserve, picnic at a park and a night at the Cheyenne Zoo.  Robyn has been dreaming of feeding a giraffe and was giddy to be able to do so.  And we got to be there for Sammy's birthday.  It was an amazing retreat from everyday life where we packed in family and fun and loved every minute of it.

Then it was back home to life and school and the everyday happiness and crazy.  Where shopping for costume pieces at Target requires brownies and bubble bath recovery time, where we have ward Halloween parties and Allison wakes me up to tell me she made curfew and that she made it safely home.  Grateful for this life we lead.