Saturday, July 25, 2009

Second Week in Utah

We started our second full week in Utah with a trip up the canyon after dinner on Sunday with Grandma, Gramps, and Todd's family. Ella loves waterfalls, so I had promised her we could go see a waterfall. Note to self, Sunday is NOT a good day for Bridal Veil Falls. It was jam packed with people. Ella still loved seeing the falls. She tried to put her feet in the water and was shocked at how cold it was. Audrey stuck her feet in too and Tom and I got together for a quick family shot.

Most th gang

After the falls, the lighting was perfect so we decided to take the girls up to the Provo Temple. It is the first time they have ever been on Temple grounds. You can tell from some of the pictures they weren't too reverent about it. It was so beautiful and peaceful up there.

We spent more time with family. My cousins Jodi and Jandee were kind enough to let us come up to the Mickelsen Family Farm after one of the day camps. Ella loved playing with the bunnies and we got to see all the animals like the chickens, goats, cows, and especially the horses. Jodi and Jandee let the girls have their first horseback ride and they LOVED it.

We met my cousin Marie and her kids and went to the Walter Wick exhibit up at the BYU Museum of Art. For those living in UT, it is free and only through Aug 1st. I definitely recommend it. Tom and I were both amazed. (In case you are wondering Walter Wick is the photographer that does all the I Spy books.) Tom was able to fit in some golf with his brother and BIL and I took the girls to the zoo with Tom's sister, Teri, her girls, Kris and Emily and their kids. Unfortunately I ran out of space on the small camera I took so there are limited pictures. Ella and Audrey both really loved the elephants and the giraffes. I think they loved the giraffes because you could get so close to them. I also bought the girls harnesses for the zoo. It was such a great purchase. We have used them several times now when shopping and they really do the job. I never thought I would put my kid in one of those until I had Audrey and then I realized you would rather have you kid safe and who cares what people say.
We had an adults siblings dinner at Tepanyaki with Tom's side. We all just laugh and laugh when we are together. Jessie watched the girls so we could go and I still feel like Ella just loves her from living with us. Audrey would only go to Jessie and was terrified of Danny! But Audrey is still warming up to people in general.
We also went to dinner with our NC friend Ben while we were out there. He is living in Korea teaching English. He and Tom are very close friends and it was fun getting caught up with him. We have missed having him around and we decided he hasn't changed a bit! Ben it was so good seeing you! I hope to see you again before your two years pass.
We had a BBQ with all our old Dentrix pals on Friday and then played cards that night. We forgot the camera that night too. You would think with all the camera junkies that were there that one of us would have had a camera.
Before we knew it everyone was coming over to say goodbye and we were packing back up for home. Thank you everyone for such a wonderful time. Especially Mom and Dad Hindmarsh for letting us stay for so long and helping so much with the kids while we were there. Now back to reality!!

First Week in Utah

Here is a little glimpse of our first full week in Utah (Sunday-Saturday). We were able to do lots of fun things while out spending time with the family. Scott, Simone, Tom and I went to a play that reminded me of the playhouse we went to in Yellowstone on our honeymoon. We went to dinner, Lindsey's birthday party, lunch with my dad and Julie, movies with Tom's siblings, a temple trip , and FINALLY got some good Mexican food. Ummmmmmm.. I wish I had thought to bring my camera more often. Ella and Audrey really loved their cousins, especially Chloe and Lindsey.
The girls also loved spending time in Grandma and Gramps' Garden. Ella is infatuated with watering plants and Audrey does everything Ella does so when would couldn't find them we would go look for them watering plants. Tom got some great pictures of Audrey while Ella was napping (one of the few she has taken anymore). Audrey is playing in the fountain, petting animal statues in the garden, getting mulch off her feet (she hated the mulch on her toes, but wouldn't leave the garden to get shoes on), and just having a great time exploring.

We also met the neighbor's new kittens and the girls spent a little time there almost every day tormenting those poor cats. I should have gotten THAT on camera!

The second weekend we were there, we had a Hill Family Reunion with my siblings. On Friday everyone got together at my dad's for a BBQ. It was fun having all the siblings together. Ella loved getting to know more of her cousins. She is so social that she just loved being around everyone. My dad and Julie have really made their basement kid friendly. They have this little room under the stairs with a cut out window in the wall and a half door. The girls used this room to escape from the "loud" boys!

On Saturday we went to Lagoon with all the Hill siblings. My dad and Julie weren't able to make it due to some health issues. Tom and I decided that it would be better to leave Audrey with Grandma and Gramps for this adventure. She loves to play hide and seek and Lagoon is way too hard to try to keep track of that silly monkey. When we first got to Lagoon, India took a "shortcut" through the water fountain at the entrance. Ella decided to follow along. I was trying to get her to put her hand in the water when we got surprised by an extra set of water sprouts that drenched us. Ella was NOT happy and I was worried it would ruin her trip to Lagoon. I was certainly wrong. We got to the first ride and she was hooked. She loved all the roller coasters.
The first few pictures are of kiddie rides. Ella rode this whale ride at least 20 times. (There weren't lines at the kiddie rides so we pretty much rode everything as much as they wanted.) The last picture in the row is Erik (in black) scrunched into the boat ride with Garrett. (You may have to click to enlarge some of the pictures to see Ella's pure happiness.)

Ella with her Dad on the Boat ride, then driving her own bumper car.

India and Ella on the swing ride. Then with Emily on the cars then boats.
On the Carousel. It is 100 years old!

This was my favorite ride. It was actually quite fast, especially for Ella's age. All the other cousins her age hated it. Only the big cousins liked it. Tom took Ella on first and as they got off she turned and said "Daddy, that was scary. Let's go again." I love that she had such a great time on all the rides and enjoyed the day with all her Hill cousins.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Around the 4th of July

We started our trip out to Utah on July 2, late. We got in at 11:30 pm UT time, so about 2:30 in the morning our time. Both girls fell asleep on the flight, but by the time we got to baggage claim they were both up. Ella was so excited that we hadn't even gotten to the car by the time she started asking how far until Grandma's house. Ella stayed awake the whole drive down and was so happy to see Grandma. It was almost 2 am before we got to bed (4 am Eastern). I am not sure we will try that flight again.

July 3, we got settled in, then met Lorilee and Carl for dinner at Happy Sumo. Somehow Lorilee convinced Tom and I to run in Freedom Festival Run with her, Carl and Carl's brother Ian. I am still not sure how we got roped in, but once we agreed, we committed to see it through.

Early on July 4th, we got up early and left the girls with Tom's parents. We headed for our races! I started in a different place then Tom, so he had to drop me off but our ending location was the same. Tom was running a 10K, while I ran the 5K. I am not going to humiliate myself by posting my time here, but I did okay for not training for two weeks before. I DID get beat by two kids with prosthetic legs (hey they wouldn't let a guy compete in the Olympics with a prosthetic leg because they say it gave him an advantage right?) BUT I beat my best time so I was happy. I waited at the end line looking for rest of the group. (I was the only one running a 5K.) Tom did great. He didn't beat Lorilee, but he DID beat Steve Young.

Tom, me, Ian, Lorilee, Carl

Us "running"

After the race we headed over to the parade. Our SIL, Simone's parents, have a home on University and the Hindmarshes always head there for the parade. It is a prime location and is always PACKED around there. Ironically we ended up sitting right next to my old roommate Nikki and her family. It was fun to see them there and catch up for a few minutes. Tom's parents met us there with the girls and my dad and Julie also came to watch with us. I told my dad how much the girls like flags, so he brought a package for everyone to play with. Audrey liked the flags nearly as much as the parade. Ella said her favorite was the Fire Trucks, but she sure seemed to like all the bands and especially the huge balloons.
Me, Audrey, Scott

Dad, Julie, Jessie, Ella

After the Parade, we headed home for naps and then all the Hindmarshes got together for dinner. UMMM. Ella and Audrey immediately loved all their cousins. Everyone is a cousin, Aunts, Uncles, 1st cousin, 2nd cousins, etc. They loved all the girls their own age.

Lindsey, Reece, Ella, Chloe Gavin, Tristan, the girls

Danny, Jessie, Simone

Everyone watching "parachutes"

Later, we headed over to the BYU soccer fields to watch Danny win a game, then we moved onto the field to watch the fireworks from Stadium of Fire. It was a great night and our girls LOVED the fireworks. I was happy they weren't scared at all.
More of our trip to come. I have to go resize the rest of the pictures to upload them :)