Saturday, December 26, 2015

Utah Trip - October 2015

Because of Gavin being born and all, we didn't take our annual Utah trip in the summer. However, we can't go more than a year without seeing siblings and cousins, so we decided on October. I'm happy it worked out so well. The weather was gorgeous (this Texas mama worried it would get cold, so a big sigh of relief) and we had fantastic time with family and friends.

This is what you call a two year old seasoned traveller: 
 A visit with Great Grandpa Rich.

 Here are the kids playing in Great Grandpa's pumpkin patch:
 There were still a ton of tomatoes ripening. Oh, glorious day! Garden fresh ripe tomatoes!
Sadie was mad.
 Unca Jon met us there to pick out a fat pumpkin and to hang out with us. It was so good to see him and, of course, cousin Jo.
Wheelbarrow rides!

 Those are cute girls.

 Grandpa Rich took the kids out on the four wheeler a couple of times. Tessa LOVED this. It was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for her. I don't blame her; they are fun.

 I don't know how he does it, but babies like to nap with Grandpa.
 Fantasia in the media room/the kids' bedroom during our stay:
 I really need to pay more attention to pictures on trips, but I'm all over the place with kids. We didn't get a picture with cousins or Grandma Rich, but we'll take what we've got and try again next time.
The kids with Grampa:
During our stay in South Weber, we were able to see my siblings and their kids, whether at the park and feeding ducks or pizza and movie night. We also had a fun barbecue with Sandy's kids one night.
 We drove up to Preston to see Great Grandma and Grandpa D for lunch. We were only there for a few hours, but we had a nice visit, and Gavin introduced himself.

 We got Square Pumpkins from Arctic Circle for the kids. This made me so happy! I LOVED Square Pumpkins as a kid. It's a Utah thing.

 After we left Preston, we stopped in Logan for Aggie ice cream, but mostly to see Jenny! It was way too short a visit, but I consider it a blessing to have had it at all.
After Logan, we zipped to South Jordan to have dinner with my dear friend Krista and her family. I love that woman. We have been friends for so long, and for that I am grateful because she's one of a kind, and clearly generous and patient if she was willing to have my whole zoo over for the evening.
We then got back to the McBrides! Just in time to get ready for bed.
We got the kids' pictures taken while we were in Utah because the prices are oh, so much better than here in the Dallas area. The studio was at Gardner's Village, and they had the witches out for Halloween. Hooray!
I will post the pictures of the kids separately, but we were happy with them.
Afterwards, Gma and Gpa McBride and Jake took the kids around and then back home so I could have my lunch with my group of awesome friends.

 A picture of the friends you ask? Good grief, I can't believe I didn't take one. Shanna, Adena, Katie, and  Bonnie were able to come hang out at Archibald's. What a great visit. Although we missed Bethany, Erica, and Ashley, we had a much needed quality visit. I've been so blessed with wonderful friends in my life.
Vacations get exhausting:
 I don't know.
 We were able to go out one night with all the adults on Jake's side of the family while the cousins partied back at the Blacks' house. We ate at our friend Chad Pritchard's restaurant, Oregano, and yum. Also, really great company is the best.
Another day we met and went to the newly remodeled Church History Museum. The cousins are fun to watch and take such good care of each other.

 We had lunch at Liberty Park and played around.
 We went for a walk around Silver Lake one day and took family pictures. Paige had reached the end of her rope and made it clear to everyone. Eesh.

 I guess Sadie chose the walk to get grumpy. Proof below! What fun, what fun tired children! Thank heavens for patient, helpful, and understanding family members who soak in the cuteness when it comes available too.

 Since the whole family was together, we had a Thanksgiving meal together. Talk about warming my heart! What a sweet and wonderful idea from Darcy and a focused and happy way to spend time with each other.
Uncle Matt made a point to get Sadie to finally warm up to him. Mission accomplished.

 What a blessing to have Jonathan fly in from Seattle and Abby home from college so EVERYONE could be together.
 My cartoon character:
Jake was also able to have lunch with a couple of friends while we were in Salt Lake, and we were able to have dinner with John and Liz Furness and their kids. That was a long overdue visit, and we picked right back up where we left off. Those Furnesses are stellar.

End of Sept./Early Oct. 2015

Gav the Mav:
 SMU Law Library on our way to the tailgate dinner:
 Watering Gramma Lori's flowers:

The Jensens came to town! Sept. 2015

We try for an annual visit with our friends the Jensens. This year felt like it may have to go by the wayside with a new baby at our house, but the Jensens, being as awesome as they are, came out to stay with us. Hooray! The kids get bigger, but it's just as easy to have fun and hang out with Alan and Dianna as it always was. That's a definite sign of solid and treasured friendship.
We decided to do things in Dallas that we wouldn't otherwise.
One of those things was to visit the Dallas Aquarium:
 We had a great time. There was more to see than just aquatic life, and there was plenty of that as well.
 Naomi and Sadie are really close in age, which is fun. Naomi loved our dress ups and insisted on wearing this tutu to the aquarium. We get it. We've had plenty of those days too. Plus, it's a great tutu.

 I've said it before, and I'll say it again --Sadie is a cartoon version of herself. I could sit and watch her all day and be completely entertained.

 The manatee!

 In the tunnel of sharks...

 Sadie's face. I'm telling you.

 During nap time one day, Alan and Jake took the oldest kids to Kidmania. ALL of them had a blast winding through the netted tunnels and going down slides.
We went to have dinner at Medieval Times! This was late for kids, but so worth it.
All the children in front of the castle:
A few who didn't mind posing with the king and his creepy beard:
 Our side of the long table:
Go Blue Knight!!!
Dianna, Peter, and Isaac.
 Dressup play at home:
Some down time after the Plano Balloon Festival breakfast at the Black's home.
 We also took plenty of advantage of our neighborhood pool.
We had yet another wonderful visit with our friends and look forward to next time.
Tuckered out from all the fun: