Sunday, October 14, 2012

Utah: Part 3, And That's A Wrap!

Toward the end of our trip, we got to visit Temple Square and the new City Creek Mall in Salt Lake, and my kids LOVED seeing the temple and playing in the fountains and smelling all the beautiful flowers. We all did. Temple Square is nothing short of gorgeous and uplifting, and it always brings back the happiest memories of our wedding day. 

One of the biggest reasons we came to UT as a family in the first place was to meet up with these two handsome guys--my dad and Uncle Matthew! I love them so much, and I'm so glad for the time we were all able to spend together. My kids adored them both, too. I wish I had gotten some more pictures of what a fun uncle Matthew is, but I didn't! Oh well.

Just a few hours before we needed to catch our flight home, we were able to meet up with my sister Lauren and family who'd just arrived in UT. I'm glad our trips overlapped, even if it was just for an hour or so! Actually, we ended up missing our flight home! But I consider it a tender mercy that Will and I both thought our flight time was an hour later than it actually was. Had we gotten the time right, we probably wouldn't have gotten to see them at all!

All of my kids adore Grandpa Tracy. Juliette was certainly smitten with how he would tickle her face with the end of his pen, count her ribs, and just be the fun-loving wonderful grandpa that he is. If only they saw more of each other!

This picture below on the left is of Isabella playing with Cole, who she lovingly refers to as "Coley" here at home. "I miss "Coley!" and "When are we gonna see Coley?" are things I hear often around here. :) I think she made a special connection with him in that short hour they spent together. And all the pictures of my dad with my kids melt my heart. I love my dad. What a good, good man he is.

There's Miss Annabelle below on the right. She and Juliette really hit it off, too. It's fun that they're old enough to really remember each other and play with each other. Juliette calls her "Ammabelle" and we all can't wait for this little doll and Aunt Emma to arrive for a visit this Friday! It's like me and my sisters never get to see each other, I know.

At this point we should've been racing for the airport to head home, but instead we tried for a quick family picture. Obviously, someone wasn't too enthused. I don't care, though. It's us, and I just like seeing the five of us in the same picture once in awhile!

To sum things up, I'm so grateful we made this trip. Traveling with little ones isn't always easy, but I always come home feeling like it was worth it, especially when getting together with my family is involved!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Utah: Part Two!

For the second part of our Utah trip, we stayed with my cousin Aleece and family because my dad and brother Matthew arrived, so there was no longer room in the inn at Em's house. Plus we're always looking for an excuse to stay with Aleece and Jeremy. They are so sweet and welcoming, and they don't live too far from Provo where all the action with my family was happening.

And can I just say that I loved having Will and the kids with me. I've been to UT several times without my family in tow, so it was really nice to have them with me for once! And they were in heaven surrounded by second cousins galore.

One of the major events of the trip was meeting up at my grandparent's house for a mini-reunion and picnic. I have so many wonderful memories in my grandparent's backyard, and so again, it was awesome to have  my own kids there, doing the same things I used to do--rolling down the hill, climbing the apricot tree, and picking apples, to name a few. :)

We sure are blessed to come from such a wonderful and loving Allred family. I loved our time together just as I always do! Next up, Part 3!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Utah Trip: Part One!

When we heard that most everyone in my family was going to be down in Utah in August, we couldn't not go! Even though people came and went at different intervals and we only got to spend an hour with Lauren and family, it was still so wonderful. For about the first week, we stayed with Emma and her sweet crew and we truly had a blast! Emma is an amazing aunt/sister and stellar hostess and we all just love the heck out of her. She and her pregnant self even helped me keep my goal of working out for a half-hour five days a week while I was there. Seriously, the night our plane got in, we were doing lunges and sit-ups at 2am. We joked that we weren't going to waste a single minute of our time together.

The very next morning she made all of Isabella's dreams come true and put together a lemonade stand with some of the neighborhood girls. It was too hot to stay out there much more than hour, but in that hour, I think we made $12! And the kids truly scored in the "looking cute while gobbling cookies and chugging lemonade" department.

It's a bit of a blur to me what we did between Day 1 and Day 4 or 5 when Will arrived (probably because many nights we stayed up practically all night watching Downton Abbey). I know there was swimming, lots of running around in their fun backyard, getting Uncle Christian settled in his new dorm, throwing a "Ready to Pop" baby shower for Em's sister-in-law, Ashley, and even a bit of shopping without the kiddos! :) We stayed busy, that's for sure!

When Will arrived one of the first things he did was take Liam and Isabella to hike Y mountain. I suppose Juliette and I should've gone, but I was being a wimp. Again, watching Downton Abbey in the wee hours really can zap you. I don't know what it was, but I really didn't want to go! I do regret it, though. I should've been on that little adventure. They had a wonderful time and for the rest of the trip they couldn't stop pointing at the Y and marveling that they climbed that high.

Here's some mild evidence of what fun the cousins had together running circles and jumping off anything and everything:

And I must mention that we are all pretty huge Annabelle fans! Juliette can't stop jabbering about "awerplanes" and "ammabelle," and Isabella pretty much dissolves into tears if you even mention Annabelle's name. Annabelle is so darling and smart and beautiful and brave. I keep telling Emma that there should be a children's book series called, "Annabelle." Kind of like the Madeleine books or the Fancy Nancy books... she's got so much personality!

Oh, I just love cousins, and every minute I get with my family! Are you ready for Part 2?



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