Phew! Just trying to document all of this Utah fun is exhausting. One week down, one week to go.
We spent a lovely Sabbath day with our friends, the Evans. They may have been embarrassed to introduce us to their new ward since this was the worst day of peeling faces for both Caleb and me. Even my own husband and children could hardly stand to look at me as the sunburned skin sloughed from my forehead and nose. Eek! But we had a great time going to church with them and later enjoyed a great Sunday dinner and visiting that lasted long into the evening.
We had gotten word that some of our cousins had arrived in town, so on our way back to Aunt Shauna's house that night, we stopped in to see them at the house they were renting for the next couple of days. The kids greeted each other with delight, then went straight to playing in the backyard, paying no mind to the late hour. Not long after the reacquainting began, Sam came into the house with blood covering his face. Evidently the seesaw he'd been playing on had met with his forehead, leaving an awful gaping wound. Within minutes, Lucy was rushing Sam to the ER while the rest of us knelt and prayed in their behalf.
Neither Jon nor I could stand the thought of Lucy being on her own (Jay would not arrive in Utah for a couple more days), so Jon dropped our family at Aunt Shauna's and then went to the hospital to offer moral support. Jon is a great guy with an innate calming influence...until needles, sutures and flesh wounds meet. That's his cue to leave. So he made sure Lucy and Sam were both OK but also made sure to exit before any stitching began.
Sam was unbelievably brave and was ready for Jimmer Jam camp the very next morning.
Caleb and several cousins attended Jimmer's basketball camp, held at the new Provo Rec Center. Caleb rated his experience a 10 out of 10. Jimmer played with the kids and talked to them about bullying. The kids practiced basketball drills and played a lot of 3 on 3. The final day of the 3-day camp was a 3 on 3 tournament.
This next photo was taken by the camp. Not sure how the kids were grouped, but most of the people in this picture are complete strangers. Cousin Connor is on the far right of the front row and Caleb is in the middle of the back row.
An action shot and view of the beautiful facility:
Connor defending Caleb's shot in the background while Jimmer talks to campers in the foreground:
After lunch at the insanely busy Cannon Center on BYU campus, we returned to the Provo Rec Center for an afternoon of swimming. The facility has indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, lazy river and more. So fun for the kids and dirt cheap.
We had moved out of my Aunt's house that morning and into a hotel. My cousin, Sara, and her family had come to town so we needed to vacate the house for them. It should be noted how fabulous my aunt and uncle are. They are so, so good to us, treating us like their own kids/grandkids. They opened their house to us for a full week and we really enjoyed our time with them. It could also be noted, however, that after a full week as house guests, it was also nice to just be on our own.
That evening, Monday, we returned to Aunt Shauna and Uncle John's house one last time to have dinner with my cousins. I had such a great time reminiscing and catching up with them.
On Tuesday, I went to lunch with friends from our old Provo ward. We started a weekly lunch tradition back when our oldest kids were tiny. I moved from Provo over 12 years ago, but that tradition lives on. Sometime in our lunchtime chatting, which included a good share of belly laughs, we got on the topic of PooPourri. I shared my testimonial of the product (I could seriously be their spokesperson) and next thing you know, they were all shopping for bottles of their own. One by one over the course of the next few days, they each texted me to thank me for my recommendation. I'm telling you, no one should ever go without it. :)
I said good-bye to my friends and met the family at the Wilkinson Center where they had gone for another round of BYU bowling.
We tried some posed shots but I think the candid pictures are my favorite:
Lucy and Natalie were on the same fashion wave length:
Before leaving BYU for the last time, we stopped by Legacy Hall to measure Alyssa's progress against the shortest athlete in BYU history. This is proof that she has grown:
Left: September 2012 Right: July 2014
The usually-locked door heading into the football headquarters was open, so we had a little look around.
Caleb posing in one of the film rooms:
On Wednesday morning, while Caleb was finishing up at Jimmer Jam, I met some friends for breakfast in the park. My friend Tracy, who now lives in Arizona, was in town and we were able to coordinate our schedules for a couple of hours of visiting. Stephanie and her two youngest kids joined us as well. The kids had a great time playing together.
Kennedy (Tracy's daughter) and Natalie
Alyssa and Lydia (Stephanie's daughter)
We had enjoyed 11 wonderful days in Utah County. We did so many fun things, but connecting with friends and family was easily the best part. Around midday, we said our good-byes and headed north for the family reunion portion of our trip.
Oh boy, are there stories to tell about that...