Sunday, July 30, 2017

Pioneer Day

Last Monday, we celebrated Pioneer Day in honor of our ancestors who crossed the United States to settle in Utah! It's fun to read about family members who endured such terrible conditions so they could continue their religious practices. Ryan is a direct descendant of Thomas Ricks and Tamar Loader Ricks, and I'm a direct descendant of Alexander Neibar!

There is a traditional temple-to-temple run in Provo that my mom was trying really hard to make me and my sister go to with her and I very reluctantly agreed for her to pick me up the next morning, way too early. But I had kind of hurt my ankle a couple nights before trying to pop it haha. So when I woke up with my ankle feeling really tender and hardly able to walk, I was pretty happy to have an excuse to get out of running. #notarunner but I was pretty sad that I had to cancel plans with friends to go hiking.

Luckily, after walking around the house a little for the morning, my ankle started to feel better and pretty soon it didn't bother me at all. Everyone probably thinks I was lying, but it really hurt! haha 

So we dressed us as pioneer-like as we could and set off to do something fun.

Provo put on a big celebration with lots of booths, games, pony rides, and other fun things. It was SO crazy packed, but we had fun seeing all there was to do.

The girls made whirly gigs, and then we sat and listened to an animal presentation. It was really fun watching the presenter pull out animals and talk about them.

We were lucky to even have done any games, with how many people there were. We didn't even attempt to go stand in line for the pony rides because the line was ridiculous. But the girls had fun roping bulls and tossing darts.

I didn't even realize there was a whole pioneer museum at this park, so it was cool to walk through. It was incredibly hot though, so we'll have to go back another time and spend more time reading and enjoying the set up. 

We left the park to eat some lunch at the Indian Palace. 

After some good, long naps, we went to my parents' house for their annual neighborhood pioneer day celebration. All the neighbors gather in the cul-de-sac and bring out chairs, and tables, and their grills, and lots and lots of food. The girls loved playing around and eating all the sweets within their reach.

Jane was SO cute in her little dress. This was one my grandma handed down.

There was a little face painting station and Norah was ecstatic about getting her face painted. But the line was going incredibly slow, so she stood there for a long time. I felt bad, but she didn't seem to mind, and perhaps it's just helping her to learn patience haha. 

After 40 minutes, she finally got to the front and immediately started telling the artist what colors she wanted. It was adorable. 

I love this picture so much. Face painting pictures are the best.

She loved it, especially the lipstick part. ;)

The kids all gathered round for a candy launch, and Jane didn't want to miss out on the action.

It was so fun chatting with everyone and eating yummy food. We had to take off to get ready for our trip to Spokane. As soon as we got in the car, Norah said, "Phew! That wasn't too bad." haha 

We are all looking forward to doing it all over again next year. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Albion Basin

I've heard of Albion basin over the past year, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I kept seeing beautiful photos taken there, that I started really wanting to go check it out. I'm a part of a few photography Facebook groups, and everyone said that parking is a nightmare because spots are so limited up by Cecret Lake and the wildflower field, especially in the evenings. So I kind of gave up hoping and thought I would just check it out another time, even if it meant no flowers. But then yesterday I checked on the weather forecast and saw that it was supposed to be cloudy all day, so I decided to go after all, thinking I would just make it before the super busy time. 

I texted my friend, Heather, who is also a photographer, and we decided to go together and carpool up to take pictures of our kids. She picked me up and we played tetris with the carseats until we could fit all six of our kids in the back. 

We pulled up to the entrance booth and the worker told us that it had been crazy busy all day, so after debating for a bit, we didn't even try driving up further to find a parking spot. We parked by the resort and decided we would hike up, hoping that the flowers weren't too far. 

We slathered ourselves in bug spray and tried to minimize what we wanted to carry, which meant tripods were left behind (I'm glad Heather came because that would have meant I would have needed to bring my tripod if I wanted to be in any photos). 

We walked down the stairs and started on the trail when one of the kids announced they needed to go potty. So I kept an eye on everyone while Heather took her to the bathroom, which was luckily right there. I snapped a couple photos while waiting, and then turned around to see Jane's hands covered in thick mud. I rushed to grab her hands before she got any more on her dress and saw a worker hosing down some plants at the top of the stairs. We cleaned her hands up a bit, and her dress wasn't too dirty, but as soon as Heather walked out of the bathroom, I realized Jane's diaper was suddenly filled to the brim. haha so I ran back to the car to change her, and on my way, I overheard someone else exclaim they had to go potty too. So Heather rounded them all into the bathroom so we could get it all taken care of and finally get on our way. 

After we were all thoroughly sweaty (and partly covered in mud), we finally started walking up the trail. 

We probably only walked about a quarter of a mile when we came to a pretty little clearing with some flowers. I tried to scoot my girls off to one side so Heather and I could trade taking pictures of each other, but it proved a little harder than we anticipated. I don't think I'll ever learn to lower my expectations of how photos will go. haha

So I snapped a few of Heather and her kids, and then we let the kids roam a bit before walking up to explore some other pretty places.

It was SO beautiful!

I don't know how to keep shoes on my girls. They immediately came off once they wandered into the flower field and then they complained nearly the whole time about their feet hurting. haha

As we walked up the trail a little further, Lucy was adamant about her shoes staying off. They were jelly shoes and she kept whining about dirt and poky things getting in the holes. She kept sitting down in the middle of the dirt trail and refusing to walk any further. I was already carrying Jane and my chunky camera, so I just kept walking and hoped she would change her mind...which she did. phew. 

We decided to go back down to where we were at the start and Heather would take some pictures of us. I was getting really stressed because the trail was steep and close to a drop off and water (and Lucy kept inching closer and closer to the edge. ugh.), so we decided to just go back down to where we were at the start and Heather would take some pictures of us. I tried SO hard to get my girls excited about just looking around at the flowers while they stood next to me, but I think by this point they had already had their fill. 

But we got a few and I love them! I just wish Ryan had been here so it would have been complete.

My two babies. <3

I normally hate bribing my kids for anything, but I knew they were tired and really hungry and I really wanted just a few pictures of all of us, so I mentioned ice cream and Norah came sprinting haha. She's my girl.

Everyone was so dirty by the end, but I was so happy to get a few photos of me with my girls. We crammed back in the car and made it home at the same time as Ryan. I was going out for the night so I changed my clothes and trotted straight back out the door, leaving Ryan with bedtime. oops. Definitely didn't mean to come home so late. The girls had ice cream and Oatmeal for dinner (ha!), took a bath and went straight to bed. 

And now I have a goal to check out at least one more new place in the mountains before Summer's end. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Steel Days Celebration!

On Saturday, we woke up and got ready for the city parade! Lawn chairs and blankets had been lining the street for days, so we weren't sure if we would get a spot at all, but luckily we were able to squeeze in on Main Street and enjoy it! We brought out step stools, and that was the best idea ever. It helped keep the girls contained and let them rest between running and picking up candy. 

Last year, we had sat on the tail end of the parade, and a lot of the floats had been out of candy by that point, but since we were at the very beginning of the parade this year, there was plenty to spare. 

It was fun to see Jane enjoy it. Last year she was so tired the entire time since it was during her morning nap, so I was loving watching her this year. 

The girls were all so cute scrambling to pick up candy. They would immediately pop the candies in their mouths once they picked them up, so we had to eventually cut them off and just have them stash their candy away for later.

There were so many fun floats to look at. The girls loved the beauty and the best float, and we saw a float for a community play of Annie, which we really want to go see now!

Later that afternoon, we went to the annual picnic in the park where they have so many fun activities! We started out with face painting, and Norah picked out the exact same one as last year. The princess crown, of course. 

They ask that kids be at least a year old to do the face painting, so this was Jane's first time. I picked out the peacock option for her, and she was so good sitting in Ryan's lap. 

Lucy wanted to be a giraffe. She kept talking to the artist and was very interested in the large hoop earrings she was wearing. 

I have a very similar picture of Norah from last year, looking cross eyed as she watched the artist paint on her face. haha

They loved looking at themselves in the mirror, and tried to steal it as we were leaving the painting booth. haha

Maybe next year I'll convince Ryan to have us to face painting as well. ;)

It was pretty hot, and Ryan was saying that his stomach was hurting, but I really wanted to enjoy the night before heading back home so early. So we let the girls have at it on the bouncy slides and  houses.

Jane even got in on the action for a little bit, until the girls followed her in and started taking over haha.

We didn't end up staying much longer, but since we had done the neighborhood swim night the evening before, it was probably good we went home and got the girls to bed on time. I'm so glad we have fun celebrations like this to look forward to!