The little treasures of Colorado and the area we live in just continue to be discovered. The park near our home has this awesome creek that is perfect for little smooshies like mine to play in on a warm summer day/evening.
They love it there so much we had to go two days in a row.
And what's better than summer rain storms that you can play in?
And there, somewhere amid all the summer activities, in a quite moment before dinner, I looked over and realized that my first baby is growing up way too fast as well!
Can someone make it stop? Please?
Then off we went on a road trip to Utah. It has been way too long since we got to make that *amazing* drive through Wyoming.
But when we saw this view, it was all worth it.
This is a huge reason we moved back west. I love love LOVE that we are within driving distance to SLC!
Cinderella Park from my childhood has been revamped and the kids loved it as much as I did as a kid.
(and yes, I realize we are in BIG trouble with this one!)
Justin and I had been training for the Provo River Trail Half Marathon. I think Justin wanted to run this particular race so he could kick his original times trash.
Once again it was a chilly start, a beautiful run,
and a great feeling to finish!
We had a great cheering section this year!
We both beat our previous times, but that really wasn't hard to do since we were still getting into racing back then and well also, I was pregnant technically the last time!
Weirdest thing though? I got the same exact shaped blister in the same spot as last time I ran it! A place I normally never get blisters! Must be how I run the course on all those twisty, downhill canyon roads!
Afterwards we had an AWESOME day up Provo canyon at a place as kids we called "the Castle." Our kids loved it as much as I used to, and it was just so fulfilling being there with my siblings, their kids, and some of my closest friends!
We just sat and watched all these cousins playing. And They. Played. For. HOURS. And still we had to drag them kicking and screaming away.
Their oldest cousin Jacob is a rockstar when it comes to playing with kids. This 17 year old is seriously the best! He entertained all of them the entire time. Man we are going to miss him when he leaves on his mission.
Afterwards we enjoyed a KID FREE dinner!
My kids had more fun with more cousins: Splash-pads and ice cream trucks! Now summer is complete!
Then keeping with my tradition, I pulled together as many mission friends as could come and had a mini reunion with my mission president at Brugges for some authentic Belgian Waffles.
The waffles are incredible, but the conversation and the company are always the biggest treat! We really could have stayed there all night. Even getting kicked out of the shop and out of our seats wasn't enough to motivate us to leave all that quickly.
I just love these people! All of them! What magnificent individuals they each are!
This awesome reunion was followed the next day with another great reunion. But this time it was with some of the girls I grew up with. I love to get together with these ladies and see and hear all the magnificent and even difficult things they have done with their lives. They truly are an exceptional set of women!
Thank goodness I was able to see these folks a bit too before we left town!
We played at Grandmere's a bit
and then made our way up to Timpanogos Cave.
Man, I hadn't done this hike since I was probably Sage's age! I definitely didn't remember the trail being that long, that steep, or with so many cliffs that would threatened the lives of my over energetic children!
But we survived the hike (even with Justin and I having to take turns piggy-backing Nouvelle up and down the mountain), and we thoroughly enjoyed the caves!
We cooled off our sore muscles by swimming at the poo. Unfortunately, I think for the kiddos this trumped all the fun we had had hiking, since the pool not only had a lazy pool and whirlpool, and tons of play structures, but also an indoor waterslide! The kids could NOT be torn away!
Horribly, at the end of such a magnificent day I received word that one of my dear, dear friend, Shirley, had passed away earlier that day. This came as crushing and extremely devestating news. It's never easy to deal with death, especially when it is some so precious to your heart.
We had two days left in Utah so I knew I'd make it back for her funeral.
But before then, I had to find a way to enjoy a most look forward to hike. Our favorite hike: The Subway, down in Zion National Park, still managed to be incredible even with Shirley's passing weighing heavily on my soul.
It was a fun group to hike with and also fun to see what the recent flash floods had changed about the hike.
This slot you swim through now has a log jammed almost entirely blocking the way. That tiny crack of light under the log? That's what we had to squeeze through, while swimming through freezing water and pushing your backpack along with you! How fun!
What a beautiful, aweinspiring hike!
And to add a little excitement to the hike, I nearly stepped on this rattlesnake! Luckily the guy right behind me saw it before he walked past! Freaky! Now THESE snakes I could do without!
This was such a fun trip to Utah; full of family, friends, food, activities. It was wonderful.
Though I must admit that trips to Utah aren't quite as good as before, just because so much of what I love about it there I now have out my front door in Colorado! It's actually a nice feeling. A nice feeling to not dread my return home, but to actually look forward to it in some ways!
And back we drove; feeling full, and happy, and yet also sad at the same time. To me that makes it the perfect trip.