Tuesday, March 10, 2015


We took a drive down to Utah (left the kids and continued to Arizona) last week!
(Sorry to all my Utah friends that I didn't inform I was coming ... I knew I'd be exhausted - 50+ hours of driving - so I decided to just spend the time in town with family)
We left on Friday (the 27th) afternoon and got back yesterday morning.
Nothing says welcome home like Aaron racing in to tell me, "Mama! The toilet got HUGE!"
... his way of telling me the toilet overflowed.
Nevertheless, we are happy to be back in our home and ready for some rest! It was quite the crazy trip!
We got to see Elder Wilkinson before we left to grab some of his belongings to take back with us.
We started out in the afternoon with our drive and had only gone for about an hour when the low tire pressure light came on. We figured we'd wait until we stopped for dinner/gas in about 30 minutes or so. We came to the Dalles and decided to take the kids to McDonalds where there was a play place for them to run around. They certainly had a blast!
 There was a crazy tunnel at the top of the play structure that would move as you moved inside of it. Audrey was a crazy climber and would go up there every chance she got. However, we were a bit worried about her going down the slide alone so we asked Aaron to go in the tunnel with her. He was a little frightened but decided to be brave and help her. He got part way in and Audrey shifted causing the tunnel to shake. Aaron's eyes welled up with tears as the fear set in. Shaking, he called to me (I had gone up top with them just in case) and said, "Mama, I'm scared!" I coaxed him to come back out and he replied, "But my sister's in trouble!" He didn't want to leave Audrey alone in the scary tunnel. What a hero! I promised him I'd get her out and I guided him to the entrance.
Audrey's first time with rootbeer. After the initial shock, she decided she liked it.
After dinner, we went to the gas station to fill up and to pump up the tires. As Eric filled the tire, he could hear the air leaking back out... uhoh. We called his parents (it's their van) since we knew they had gotten the entire vehicle looked at the day previous. Apparently the guys at the shop had patched the tire - though it obviously was still having problems. We looked at the time, 7pm. An hour after all of the tire shops in the area closed. Not trusting driving on the spare through the mountains, we opted to get a hotel for the night, get the tire fixed in the morning, and then head out again.
The kids were crazy hyper in the hotel, but they eventually crashed.
 In the morning, Eric went to get the tire looked at and we learned that the area next to the patch had also rubbed through and the tire needed to be replaced. Once that was taken care of, we rushed to the breakfast at the hotel and arrived 5 minutes late - the doors were closed. Luckily, one of the workers saw our little family and let us in anyway.
We were able to enjoy oranges and donuts and waffles with strawberries!
The rest of the trip went off without a single problem!
Eric checked our account and learned we had data left for the month so we allowed the kids to stream movies (given that the USB I packed that supposedly I had added movies to was empty...) and they took fabulous, long naps. We decided to enjoy the journey more rather than rush to get to Utah so we stopped and let the kids get out for lunch. Sadly, Idaho was cold and windy and we all opted to get back in the car after being out for only a few minutes.
Seriously, the drive was so much easier than we could have ever hoped for! The kids were fabulous and Eric and I really enjoyed having more time to talk to each other (rather than alternate as one sleeps). When we pulled off the freeway, Aaron saw we were stuck at a red light. He pointed it out to us saying, as he always does, "Gramma says you have to stop at a red light, even if you're late." I told him, "You're right - Rats!" and he replied, "Double Rats!!!" bahaha
We got in around 11 local time, but the kids were fired up and ready to play!

Aaron had 2 expectations about his trip to Utah. 1. Papa would make him toast. 2. He would receive a Flynn Rider toy. I informed my parents of these ahead of time so they'd be prepped. The first thing Aaron asked my dad when we got in was, "Do you have any toast?" haha! My dad also purchased a Flynn Rider toy (totally not necessary but absolutely adorable) for Aaron and waited for Aaron to bring it up. One of the days we were there, my parents turned on Tangled and Aaron, though excited to see the movie, exclaimed sadly, "There is no such thing as a Flynn Rider toy..." (we are working on what is real and what isn't since he has heard of ghosts and monsters) My dad was so excited to race around the corner and produce a toy for his grandson! Aaron was ecstatic and carried the toy with him everywhere for the rest of the trip!

In the morning, we attended Melissa's baby, Nicole's, baby blessing. What a sweet experience! Thanks for planning it for when we'd be in town!
Aaron and Audrey were both very against going to their respective classes so while we waited for church to end and the open house to begin, we took them to the field near the house we used to live in back when we were first married!
 We enjoyed our time at the open house and made sure to get some pictures!
The rest of the trip was super laid back. We visited Rachel and Tighe on Tuesday and played some games, but otherwise we stuck around my parents' home. Papa got Aaron an amazing racetrack to play with and even sent parts of it home with us! 
 It was absolutely freezing outside - snow and all - but that didn't stop my kids!
Audrey decided it was easier to land on your feet if you go down the slide on your belly.
We enjoyed a game of Dead of Winter with my dad and Lissa ... it was the first time we'd lost the game! Still fun though, I promise. Aaron also had a blast with my cousin, Garrett. Garrett tried to teach him all about different kinds of cars, but in the end, he was a jungle gym for my little monkey!
 Aaron and Audrey loved the time they got with Nonna and Papa! Audrey loved going back and forth between them - snuggling with each of them, requesting accessories, and stealing their food. What a little Diva!

 Audrey was very intrigued with Nicole. She and Aaron both loved to bring her toys, give her the binkie, and rub her head when she would cry.

Eric and I enjoyed lots of time together just relaxing, but we also loved spending time with the kids away from the normal stress of life.
Laura had fun taking pictures of Audrey with my camera. They make a great team!
 Aaron and Matthew were playing outside and I heard CRAZY giggling! I went to see what was going on and Matthew told me, "THROW SNOW!" Aaron would throw a snowball at Matthew and they would both laugh. Haha, I'm glad they get along so well!
 On Thursday, Eric and I headed down to Arizona. My family, obviously, did a great job keeping the kids entertained. We drove through the night Saturday night and got back Sunday morning. We slept for a few hours, stayed long enough to see my grandparents, and then headed out again to drive through the night to get back to Oregon.

 Luckily, the drive back was very uneventful. We drove to Eric's parents' home so they could watch the kids while we slept. We stayed there through dinner and then headed back to our quiet, clean home. It was such a fun vacation, but I definitely have no desire to get back in a car any time soon! Eric describes the thought of getting in a car as synonymous with getting in a coffin. I think we'll stay near home for the next long while :)

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