You guys, I really just love it there so much.
I know it's ironic, since my last post was about how much we love Arizona, BUT, the only thing that could get us to leave AZ for good, would be a job offer in Idaho. It'd be pretty impossible for me to ever turn that opportunity down. My heart is just so happy there.
Garrett's little brother Nathan was coming home from his mission, so the whole family made a little reunion out of it.
First of all, I just have to mention that I DROVE there, all by myself. Well, three kids and me. We needed to save Garrett's time off for a couple upcoming trips, so the kids and I went a few days before him.
16 hours in the car with a baby, a toddler, and a preschooler....I was nervous, but it was actually surprisingly easy. I don't know why, but for some reason my kiddos are superstars in the car. We made it to Leah's in 10.5 hours, stayed for a day, and drove 5.5 hours the next day to Idaho.
The whole trip was a dream, and we loved every minute of it!
-A PIT STOP IN UTAH TO SEE LEAH & FAMILY
We were only able to stop in Utah for a little less than 24 hours, but we enjoyed every second of it! Belle and Anderson, the cousin twins met, and LOVED each other, of course. And Beck, Greyson, Rae, Nash, and Rae just had the best time playing together! It was the perfect kick-off to our fun cousin week! We love that Taylor Gang.
-NATHAN COMING OFF THE AIRPLANE, OF COURSE.
I may have had a small panic attach as we waited for Nathan and I began to imagine Johnny leaving for 2 years. Oh my gosh, that is not something I am looking forward to. Seeing Denise and Nathan hug for the first time was the sweetest, saddest, happiest, most tender little reunion. Literally, everyone cried. After hugs all around, a few pictures, and getting released by the stake president, it was almost as if he had never left! It is SO good having him home! And all his little nieces and nephews just can't get enough of him.
-OLLIE'S AND CHARLIE'S BIRTHDAY PARTIES!
Both Ollie and Char had birthdays while we were in Idaho, and being there to celebrate with them was a treat. There was even a piñata which was pretty much the best ever.
Ollie got a scooter for his birthday, which started a little obsession from all the kids. They literally wanted to scooter 24/7 and that's nearly what they did. Those four little kiddos scootered the heck out of that cul-de-sac, only stopping when the neighbor's brave cat made an appearance. It was the cutest little scooter gang I ever did see.
-TAYLER AND RYENNS SOCCER GAMES
Tay and Ry had Saturday morning soccer games, so of course we went to cheer them on! It was so fun watching them play and hearing Rae, Johnny, and Madden shout, "Go Tay!" and "Go Ryenn!" from the sides. After the game, we couldn't help but play a little soccer ourselves. Seeing a trail of cousins chasing after "Uncle Garrett" and "Uncle Kyle" made my heart swell and break at the same time. Oh, how I'd love to live a little closer to family. Those sweet little giggles coming from the kids as they tried to steal the ball from the Uncles put a smile on everyones face. I couldn't help but join the fun!
-SHOPPING & PARK-ING
Our cute little town has the coolest outdoor mall nearby, so of course we had to take our whole gang for a little shopping-lunch-play date there. There's a fun park and fountain smack-dab in the middle of it, which made for a perfect little break for all the antsy kids who weren't having much fun shopping. Rae, Johnny, and Charlie pretended to be trolls and ran around fleeing from the "burgens" the whole time. They even divided up the park into "trolls land" and "burgen land." We all laughed watching their imaginations run wild. Every hour the fountains would synchronize with a fun song, which of course prompted a fun little dance party! Afterwards Ollie and I had a moment just walking around with his little cheek resting on my shoulder. Who knows if the kids will remember it for very long, but it was one of my favorite moments of the whole trip.
Anytime we go to Idaho, it's guaranteed that we are going to have awesome food. And we all know that food is my love-language. Denise's awesome cooking + a pantry stocked with all the good stuff + awesome restaurants + Nothing Bundt Cakes (allllll day errrrry day) + grilling with Kyle & Jade.
-BELLE'S BLESSING & NATHAN'S HOMECOMING REPORT
More on this later, but I had to mention it, because it was for sure a favorite!
Things got a liiiiiiiiittle heated, but game night with the Frame Gang was definitely a highlight of our time there. Code Names + boys against girls made everyone's competitive side come out. Lots of laughs, a swear word or two, and a pinch of cheating....SO hilarious and so fun!
-POPPY, PENNY & BELLE
I am 100% certain that these three baby girls were destined to come to Earth together. And truly, my heart could burst with love for each one of them individually. So getting them ALL together for the first time...it killed me in the best possible way. Of course it was a lot of baby babble, spit up, grabbing each others hair bows, and rolling all over each other....but I am certain that they will have the best time growing up together. These three will never be short on love...or best friends. There have never been three luckier girls.
A JUST A FEW OTHER FAVORITE MOMENTS:
So. I love Idaho. And I love our families there. I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself, "This is what the BEST memories are made of!" When I think of my own childhood, I have scattered memories of swimming and beaching and playing cards and enjoying holiday dinners with my dear cousins. They are a part of some of my most treasured memories. And to see my own children writing their own memories with our sibling's and their kiddos, it brings me the sweetest joy and satisfaction. I hope they remember glimpses of scooter gangs in the street, playing soccer with their uncles in the grass, cousin hugs that ended in doggie piles on the floor, dance parties in front of the fountains at the park, and tidbits of stories and hide-and-seek and puzzles and bedtime tickles. Idaho has a real real real good thing going on, and we love when we get a chance to make a few memories there!