Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Fourth in Fort Worth

I'd like to promise, there will be shorter posts in the future... I just can't do that. 

We spent 4th of July weekend in Fort Worth again this year. It's fun to spend the holiday with family. 
Before everyone got there, Aaron's mom gave Kade and Aaron their birthday gifts. 
The swimming happened. A lot of swimming. Also, Max looked like a ninja turtle in his floatie. 
Water fights happened. Relaxing happened. Eating happened. 
Then everyone got ready to go watch fireworks. 
We played with glow-sticks and watched fireworks. It wasn't too hot, it was perfect!
Tadd slept through the whole thing. We learned later, it was probably for the best. 
The next day we went to the zoo. Max was in full character. 
Kade's favorite bird/animal is the Eagle. 
Later that night we did more fireworks and some sparklers. Max and Kade loved it. Tadd, not so much. Turns out they scare him. A lot. 
Tadd preferred the glow-sticks. Way less terrifying. 
We had a dance party and then decided to have the kids swim for the glow-sticks. It ended up being just as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids. 
It was a nice weekend away! We loved celebrating our country and feel so grateful to live in the United States. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Road Trippin'

A pretty big item on our bucket list was our road trip. We packed the car up and headed for Utah. I had a lot of work packed into a week including a wedding in Idaho so we thought we would make a family trip out of it and try to see as many family members as we could too. It is supposed to be a 20 hour drive. With three kids... it was more like 25. Luckily we were able to break it up. 

Our first "stretch our legs" stop was at the Lubbock, TX LDS temple. We'd never been there before and it was minutes off of the freeway so we stopped. It was a much welcomed stop for Max. 
We travel in pjs so we definitely looked... comfortable. 
Really late on Saturday night, we arrived at the Lauritzen's. My Uncle Dave and Aunt Tricia were out of town but my two cute nieces were there and we got to spend a little time with them in the morning. Tadd is terrified of the bulldog-Roscoe. But I think he warmed up to him a little bit. 
Then we went by Grandma Lauritzen's house. She was at church and we were so sad we didn't get to see her. She was sad too. 
One of my favorite "stretch our legs" stops was a rest stop in Colorado. It was so beautiful and had some trails around that we explored. 
This next photo was a tourist attraction in itself. An Asian tour bus stopped shortly after we did and there were probably four or five of them sort of following us around taking pictures of our family... creepy? Yes. Also, hilarious.
We were beyond thrilled when we finally passed the Utah state line! 
I don't even know what time we made it to the Grierson's house in Springville. But it was late. We were so excited to finally be there!
We went and visited with some friends and old neighbors and Kade got to play with his best friend, Christopher. They were so cute together. Kade still says it was his favorite part of the trip. He misses Christopher so much!
The next morning, I had a photo shoot in Tooele so we headed that direction. It's a ways out there but it was at least a pretty drive!
Aaron and the boys were so patient through all of my photo shoots. I hope they still had fun. 
We also got to stop by the Salt Lake Temple! Tadd was sleeping, unfortunately. But Kade and Max got their picture at temple square!
We went to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. It has the world's largest display of mounted dinosaurs with 60 complete skeletons!
There was so much to see and do at the museum and we were able to spend a lot of time there. The boys loved it! 
The boys got to learn about erosion in the most fun way possible, with sand, water and toy dinosaurs. We could have spent the whole day there. 

And when I say boys... Aaron is included in that. 
This spot was a hit too. They got to "dig" for dinosaur bones. 
Max was especially disappointed when we left. 
We went to dinner that night with Uncle Mark, Aunt Jeny, Tara and Joe. We went to Tucanos and I failed to take photos. Lame. But Kade lost his tooth while we were there and he was SO excited! He went to hand his tooth to me and the tooth dropped. I thought I saw it drop onto the floor so Kade frantically started looking everywhere. He was touching every single white thing on the floor. Ew. An employee was going to come sweep everything up to hopefully help the (incredibly embarrassing) search, when I spotted it. On the table. Phew! The tooth fairy came and he tried so hard to stay awake. 
We sure have missed soft, thick grass. More than we thought we would. 
We got to see the progress they've made on the new Provo Temple!
I got my haircut! I've desperately needed it cut and it felt so good to finally have a new do!
While I was getting my haircut the boys all went to the new Provo Recreation center splash pad. 
Aaron's biggest "must have" in Utah was L&L's Hawaiian BBQ. Craving-satisfied. 
We went hiking around Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. The weather was beautiful but hot. Once we got to the water, it felt SO good. Nice and refreshing!
I had one more photo shoot before we headed up to Idaho. During that photo shoot the boys threw rocks in the river. It's something they'd been wanting to do since we had gotten to Utah!
I had a wedding in Idaho so we headed up to Boise. We were lucky enough to get to have breakfast with our favorite sister missionary, Sister Clegg, and her companion. Sister Clegg was one of my YW in Provo, she was also our go-to babysitter (she even traveled with us) and she's basically our family. We were so excited to see her! 

The boys hung out at the hotel while I worked the day away. They went swimming, watched the Disney channel and took naps. 
Our hotel was directly across the freeway from the Boise Temple. Obviously we had to stop for a picture there!
On our way back down we stopped in Rupert and drove by my old house. My family lived there from 1995-1997. We loved that house!
When we finally got back to Springville, we went with Mark and Jeny to visit Grandpa Lauritzen's grave. I was especially happy we were able to do this during our visit. 
The boys helped clean it off so it would look just right when Grandma Lauritzen went to visit the following week. 
Our hosts for the week! We love Aunt Jeny and Uncle Mark! 
When Max was 6 weeks old we took the picture on the left. Now he's 18 months and we took a simliar picture... on the right. Mark is 6' (something tall)''. I'm pretty sure this will be a traditional picture that we take. 
It was time to head home. We got back on the road and headed back toward Colorado. When we got there we met Dave and Tricia and their cute girls, Dayna and Courtney. We picked up Grandma and went to the Steak and Shake. (Super delicious shakes ps. Which is a necessity if "Shake" is in the name of your restaurant.) We enjoyed our yummy dinner with them and headed back to Grandma's house where the boy's played in "Grandma's closet" for a while before we forced them to bed. It was nice to spend some time with Grandma. 

On our way out the next morning we took a spur of the moment detour into Garden of the Gods. It's one of my favorite places in Colorado Springs and I wanted to take the boys there. There are a lot of awesome rocks to climb over and hike around. So we did. The boys got some energy out. It was good. Here, a stranger offered to take a picture with all 4 of us. I think it's the first one from the whole trip. We are next the the balancing rock. Kade thought it was awesome. 
The weather on the way home was pretty spectacular. We saw just about every type of weather possible. Clear skies, cloudy skies, overcast, rain, thunderstorms, hail, snow... all of it. It was very eventful and made the drive far less boring. 

Our trip (just about) ended with this beauty as we drove through Lubbock, TX. We still had a few hours to go but it was the perfect ending to our fun family vacation. 

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