for a year! Ohmygoodness I still can't believe it and find myself saying "what on earth are you thinking?!?" every time I tell someone our year's plans. But the first month has gone smoothly so far, thanks to Katie, Wendy, Janet, etc. Highlights:
1. WE MADE IT from Iowa to Denver with absolutely no complications. Necessities if you're planning a solo road trip with two kiddos: an ipod loaded with books on cd for the driver, infant seat placed in the back middle, a very flexible right shoulder for binky hunting and placing, and a portable dvd player for the toddler.
2. Katie and Van treated us royally in Denver. We had a blast and filled our tummies and hope we didn't hinder their desire for children. It was also fun to stay with our family friend Wendy (Touchette) Mackay for a few days. Scotty's first heart-throb Angelina is as adorable as ever, and is still dusting him on vocabulary and social skills.
3. WE MADE IT from Denver to Utah! Honestly I doubted whether we'd be able to do those two trips without either a major breakdown (mom, not the car) or lots of money spent on a hotel somewhere. We've been enjoying Midway aka Heaven since the 4th of August. Aunt Janet's house really is a Scotty heaven: 3 horses in the back pasture who love toddlers with carrots, a GIANT tree swing, an endless lawn, an under-the-stairs play room complete with Scotty-sized kitchen, lots of tall grass to run through, a hot tub to go "swimming" in, a trampoline, a new playground, and Elky -- a perfectly aimiable and tolerant Golden Retriever who loves to romp around the yard and be tackled. We've had a blast. Here's my favoritest jewelery shop in Heber, Utah:
Scotty at the Gateway fountains:
4. Jer surprised me for our 5th anniversary and flew to town for the weekend. What a sweetie. If he had consulted me before-hand, I would have called him crazy and tried to persuade him to wait til the end of the month, but (of course) I was SO glad he came. We didn't stop the whole weekend for having fun. We even made it to the temple, which was a perfect way to celebrate 5 years of happy marriage. We're excited to see him again at the end of this week!
5. We went to Orderville, UT (hey hey hey) for our annual Tilton family reunion. It felt a little funny without Jer, but his family is a lot of fun and very helpful. Scott is the 2nd oldest of the boy cousins, and defintely the most brutish. I hadn't even noticed until we got there that he gets peoples' attention by bopping them on the back or shoulder with his fist. Too many cousins cried "aaaaaahhh he hit me!" by the end of the weekend. What a boy! We need to work on using names... While we were there we went to Zion's Canyon and the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon. Whenever I take a trip like that I'm anxious to die so I can ask to see the replay of how those rock formations came to be. So gorgeous. Here are all the cousins at weeping rock.
And here's Grandpa and his 2 -year-old grandson posse. ...way too little between my son and the grand canyon:
6. The Olympics. I was addicted. One night my cousin Heather asked her daughter Aunica (they live here at Janet's) if she had put her drink for the next day's school lunch in the freezer yet and she responded, "yeah, we put it in every night when Jennie starts watching the Olympics." Slightly embarrasing. My absolute favortie moment: Usain Bolt's 100 meter. I'd love to meet him in person. Oh yeah, and the opening and closing ceremonies. My other cousin commented that the London 2012 director would likely be having a heart attack watching...
We've visited lots of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. I had a reunion with my freshman year BYU roommates in Park City. We even met Diana, Cory, and Kevin at the zoo one day, which was oh-so-fun. I also just starting playing around on Wii Fit. Crazy fun. I was playing the soccer balance game and Scott yelled, "HEY! Stop hitting mommy, balls!" Can you tell I wasn't doing so hot? Here's the only shot I could get of Scott and Cory. Typical action pic...
Before we moved, we splurged and got a jacuzzi suite at a local hotel. It was the best decision we've ever made: there's nothing like ending a crazy-long moving day with a giant jacuzzi and king size bed. I also fully confess that I'm a nerd: isn't this a cool pic? We found it behind our bed. It's an ant-bitten m&m. Did anyone else not know that ants take circular bites?
Here's Dad giving Scott one last hug before we headed in opposite directions:
And here's Scotty getting his own baby ready for the cross-country trek:
This still feels very much like a vacation: I have to keep reminding myself that we're not going back to Iowa. We miss our friends and branch family there. We hope everyone's doing great!
Next week we head to Washington state for two months to live with my brother while Jer rotates in Tacoma.