Okay so on June 15th I had surgery. This is me in recovery. Yea no make up and a hospital gown are just not attractive! But I survived and all went well and I was up trying to walk a little by that night. And I got to go home the next day where I was able to actually get some sleep. Don't even ask me about the inconsiderate roommate I had who left the TV blaring all night long!!! Grrrrr!!!
So after my surgery I took it easy for the first week and then kind of the second week but then it was time to go to Utah.
This is about 10 days after surgery. First time I had any makeup on and hair done in 10 days. That's a record for me!
Exactly two weeks after surgery and a day after my first check up we left for Utah, Salt Lake City to be exact and decided to do the entire drive in one day. We'd always broken up the drive by stopping in St. George before but since Jake's weeding was on Saturday we couldn't stop. I have to say the kids sdid extremely well! Maybe it was because I told them when I was a kid we drove 12 to 18 hour days in a hot car with no air conditioning with a dog in the bag hanging over the seat panting. I had nothing to do but stare out the window. Needless to say I think they were happy to watch movies and nap. We also watched a
multitude of fires on the way up including this one I had to get a shot of. At one point we were inhaling smoke and couldn't see anything just outside Nephi.
As soon as we got to our hotel we called the cousins and had them meet us. We took all 13 kids to Temple Square to walk around. Other than Uncle Dan whining about the walking, it was a great time. These are most of the 13 in front of the Salt Lake City Temple.
After several walking in and out of visitor's centers and buildings we let them run on the grass outside.
Teresa (Josh's sister) and I outside taking a rest.
My cute and extremely silly family in front of the temple.
David and his cousin Hyrum in the Church History Museum in the Kids section trying to build a temple.
This is a replica of Angel Moroni that sits atop the temples. We learned that he is basically gold leafed and has a lightning rod. (When I told Josh he thought I meant like he was holding it in his other hand...lol) We also learned from the guide that he visited all the temple sites that were to come in the American continent, at least that's what I think he said. Pretty interesting to think about.
This is the beautiful couple we came to Utah to see sealed for time and all eternity in the Bountiful, Utah temple. It was a lovely sealing and this is the eternal couple coming out after. (love the big smiles)
As a side note you know you are getting old when you see another young couple coming out and they look like 10 year olds!
The beautiful couple with Craig and Mary (Josh's uncle and aunt)
They had a lovely reception in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building afterwards and learned that we were the party people. Heeheehee
Dan and Dawn, and Teresa were at the table with us along with the Tong's (The Bishop of Craig's ward and good friends) We wrote down advice, good and bad for the lucky couple. Hopefully they'll know what to follow and what to ignore.
The next day we went to This is the Place, and had it practically to ourselves. We waited an eternity for the train to come around but then got to tour the little village all by ourselves as we were the only ones left on the train. This is one of the stores. We had a lot of fun talking to the kids about what pioneer life was like.
The next day we left the hotel and went to Uncle Dan's house. Taylur greeted us with a "What the heck are you guys doing here?" She's a spit fire for sure. That night we had a little family reunion on the Adams side of the family. We met at this cool park. This was a huge jungle gym kind of thing to climb. Of course the boys started climbing as soon as we got there.
They made it to the top quickly.
We couldn't resist and climbed to the top too. It probably took a little more work for us but it was super fun and I had to get a picture at the top. We had a great time visiting with family that we don't get to see too often.
That night I watched Dan's kids and ours while the others went to see the New Spiderman movie at the midnight showing. I didn't mind staying behind but getting up at 1:40 to give the baby a bottle reminded me of how greatful I am to be past the sleepless stage of life!
We took it easy the next day with family, relaxing, kids playing with cousins, playing games, and reading! The next day we went to Salt Lake City on our way up to Teresa's. We finally did a tour of the conference center which was amazing. This is the boys on top of the center facing towards the temple. You can also in the corner see the new fire that had started.
This is actually on top of the conference center which is huge. This is amazing considering it looks like a field but in actuality is at the top of a very large stadium like building. It's the flora and fauna that was native to Utah when the pioneers arrived.
This is the next day which was the fourth of July. We had fun barbecuing and playing games at Teresa's. Then we went to a local park to watch the fireworks. We were so close I was afraid some would come down and land on our heads. Seth and Lauren were okay with their head gear. (Neither one of them likes the loud booms)
Somehow I ended up surrounded by children.
On Teresa's Pinterest account ( I won't sign up, I don't need anymore ideas in my brain) she showed me a website for girl's hair ideas. I learned several new braids which I was excited to try out. This was a flower braid. Dawn allowed me to use her long hair to practice it. Very cute!
We headed back down to St. George after the fourth. We actually went to the pool the same day we drove down. They have this amazing rec center that is the size of a warehouse and has everything including a huge pool complete with water slide, playground set in water, lazy river with it's own set of whirlpools and a ton of fun. I couldn't go swimming, bummer, but the kidlets had a blast.
I finally figured out how to do a french braid and make it a dutch braid instead. I'd never been able to figure it out before. It's a cute braid on Lauren's hair
Okay so I'm a dork but I did a messy 5 piece braid and was very excited about it. It's kind of hard to do on yourself but I figured it out. The next day Josh and the boys and Mike and his kids went up to the slot canyons and had a great day hiking. Next time I'll definetely be along for the trip. But Danielle was kind enough to take me shopping for the day. I had several stops that can be made easily in Utah but not so easily in California. We even went out later without the kids and did a little shopping. That night we got a babysitter and went to dinner just the adults. That was a nice break!
So the next day after all that we were on our way home. We had one final stop to visit Grandma Rees at work and then headed home. We had a great trip, visited a ton of family, had some great times, and became even closer as a family. I came away from this trip realizing how greatful I am for my health, and how amazing my own family is. I have the most wonderful, awesome, amazing children in the world and feel so so so greatful that I get to spend time with them and that I as a mother enjoy doing that. You need to have money in life to survive but the things that bring real joy and happiness can't be bought!
Okay so be forewarned these are our family pictures and there are so many that I love that I posted a bunch. So turn back now if you do not want to see my adorable family ;D
They did a nice one but I just love this silly one where they all struck a pose. Below is the cute one.
My cute girl and I...can I just say again how much I love having a daughter???
My handsome men. How could anyone not love those faces. I don't think I'm going to like it when they start dating!!!!
Josh and I got a good one this year...and Josh wasn't even making any faces!
I can't believe how much David has grown, in all aspects of his life. He's extremely intelligent, very patient with his siblings, always does awesome at school, growing in his spirit as well, and just the biggest little kid that a mother could love!!!
Paul is my photogenic one. He never takes a bad picture and always looks handsome. I worry about him and the girls. He's the enforcer in our home, good and bad, and wants everyone to follow the rules. He loves his dad and doing anything outside or in the garage with his dad. He has great spatial abilities just like his father. Oddly enough he's the only one who has any of my coloring. Go figure!
Seth is the biggest bundle of happy energy that you will ever meet. Needless to say he always has to be doing something which sometimes lands him in trouble. He is very bright and learns things immediately after exposure and retains everything. He loves elephants and has a memory like one as well. We didn't realize he needed glasses until halfway through the year after a screening came back. Now he can see and what a little cutie pie in his glasses.
Lauren is my little angel...well she looks like one anyway right?! She is getting so big and just loves to help me with anything. She thinks cooking and folding laundry are fun! She's a girly girl who loves to have her nails done and buy new shoes but she can hold her own with her brothers. She's gonna be a tough cookie like her mama. She's a bit of a firecracker but I don't know where she gets it from...(feigned innocence)
Last picture I promise. All these pictures were taken in my dad's front yard and this last one in the back. I love the arbor he built around his grapes. With all the green it looks really cool. He's a hard worker and runs himself to the ground (even at 70 doing more than most 40 year olds) and then has the audacity to tell me to slow down and not get so stressed. Sure dad I'll do as you say and not as you do(wink wink) I love my dad! And I would be remiss if I didn't throw a shout out to Leigh for helping me pick out coordinating outfits that don't match...from the wardrobe I already had on hand. I always buy new outfits for pictures and usually do dress clothes but decided to do pictures in June so opted for casual coolness. These were taken about 10 days after my surgery so I wasn't 100% yet and hadn't even been out of the house so I couldn't shop. So Leigh helped me pick from our clothes and I have to say they couldn't have turned out any better if I had actually gone shopping! And of course thank you to Heather Gibbons (photographer extraordinaire). She always gets the best family pictures!
Okay so before I begin this post which is dedicated to my friend Julie, I had to throw in this crazy picture. Before I start explaining the basket and the title of this post, the aforementioned baskets were made for a double bridal shower at work for my Principal and her Secretary, ahem Administrative Assistant, sorry. At the bridal shower I wore my new shoes that I'd just gotten which were aquamarine slingbacks, studded with a bow. Anyhoo I got distracted by them whilst talking pictures at the shower, so I thought I'd throw in the picture.
Okay so the last school year, we began the year and when our secretary came back with a ginormous diamond ring we found out she was engaged. Then after Christmas break the principal came back with a ginormous diamond too, so we had a double bridal shower.
Hmmmmm so what do you get your boss and secretary for a bridal shower. It's a second marriage for both and it's a work function not just friends. So that makes coming up with ideas very interesting. We could have played it safe like everyone else and gotten them a gift card but we are not the safe types. Be scared, be very scared if you are getting a gift from us...
So I came up with this idea to make a basket of cooking stuff. Seems simple enough right...but we packed it with enough double entendre and cooking stuff to fill it it! And we made two.
So the title was "Let's Get Cookin'" and it was separated into steps with little recipe cards attached to each item.
Step 1-Ambiance- It was different food scented candles.
Step 2-Uniform- They were aprons wrapped up.
Step 3-Refreshment- It was a bottle of sparkling cider.
Step 4-Ingredients- There was hot fudge, fresh honey, and whipped cream.
Step 5-Tools- There was some cooking utensils, a spatula, and a nutcracker.
Step 6-No explanation needed- Cooking oil and a 10 x 10 sheet of plastic.
Step 7-Clean Up- Bath salts & bubble bath.
Step 8-For skipping steps 1-6- Restaurant Gift Cards.
So we had a ball putting the basket together and these are my cohorts (well almost all). I love being creative and coming up with things like this and this one was A LOT of fun. Sounds good to me...let's get cookin!
So I've been wanting to take the kiddos to Legoland for over a year now. There's a special teacher discount coupon that I had last year and didn't get to use. SO this year I decided to make it happen! So on the very last weekend we could possibly use it in May we went! We couldn't afford to get a hotel or stay the night but I was happy that we finally got to go. A family of 6 gets expensive for anything! Seth had just gotten his glasses and we were laughing at how much he now looks like David.
This was by the dinosaur when we first got there. There are so many cool things to see and do there and we went on a beautiful day.
Harry Potter and Hagrid, how exciting! Okay so I'm easily excited these days but Hagrid made out of legoes is pretty cool.
Of course the huge Star Wars section was a huge favorite of my family. Suprise suprise!
They had a line of independent statues and each child got to pick which one they wanted a picture with. I love the Ewok too!
Of course Yoda is pretty awesome too, not suprised Paul picked him.
I think Seth copied David but they both liked the Ewok.
Of course my cutie pie picked Princess Leia, because she's awesome!
Dad had to take a picture by Darth Vader and his posse.
Awwww my whole cute family. I have super handsome boys and one cute little girly-girl. I'm a lucky momma!