Alrighty, for those of you so upset by my short posts because you love our little family so, so much, don't worry--two long posts are coming your way! (And hopefully my memory will be a little better for these two.) Here is the first! Here goes!
So, one person I have missed like crazy since I've been in Miami is my best friend Sheri! She and I, every time we are in the same vicinity (we often find ourselves in different states or continents), have had so many adventures together. In the summer of 2012, she and her husband moved from Taiwan to South Jordan, only a few minutes from where I worked at Challenger. I spent every lunch break with her, and we did everything together from Pilates to geocaching to making Christmas ornaments over those lunch breaks. She is just one of those people I can hang out with at anytime and do anything and still have so much fun. She is awesome.
We spent almost our entire pregnancies together, and then I moved to Miami right before she had her baby! I was so disappointed that I couldn't be there to help her and to meet her sweet little Harper. Since I've been in Miami, we've talked often on the phone and of course she always tells me how Harper is doing and how she acts and what she is learning and everything there is to know. I had been dying to meet little Harper ever since before her birth, so when I found out I was going to Utah, seeing Sheri and meeting Harper was one of the things I was most excited for.
And it totally lived up to all my hopes and dreams! Sheri and I were able to do a lot together when I was there. We spent time at my mom's house and at her house, went on a hike, attempted to make some copycat See's Candies butterscotch squares, and mostly just played with the babies. Harper is so cute and happy. She likes to wave her arms and shriek a lot, which scared Ezra, but it was really cute.ere are the pics:
Harper had never played with a doll before coming to my mom's house. She loved it. She kept giving the doll kisses and squealing.
Every time Ezra rides next to another baby in the car I can't help but take pictures. There is just something about multiple babies in their carseats.
Here are the pics from our hike! I took so many because I knew Tanner misses the mountains and thought he would be happy to see them even if it were only in an email. You will notice my sister Sydney in these pictures! She is another one of the reasons I was so excited to come! I have missed the girl so much! I still can't believe she'll be 14 this year and going into high school. She was soo good with Ezra. Ezra kind of has a fear of females (I'm the only one he likes a lot of the time), but after a few days of being patient with him, Sydney became one of his favorite people.
We hiked to the ruins of this old settler's home. It was really cool to see, although only two of the walls are still standing.
We also found this really cool tee pee thing someone made out of sticks. It was actually pretty stable, so we all played under it.
The other best thing about going to Utah was seeing my brother Banks, his wife Nan, and their son, Max! Banks has lived in Thailand for the past few years, and the only times I've seen him since then were at my wedding and at his. Of course, we were both so busy that we didn't get much time to spend together. I have been looking forward to seeing them ever since I heard last summer that they'd be coming to the States to visit. Their plan was to spend a couple days in California, then about two weeks in Utah, and then their last two weeks in California. Tanner and I were going to see them for those last two weeks. When our plans changed so that we could attend Tanner's sweet grandpa's funeral in Utah, I decided just to stay there while Tanner flew back to Florida and took his finals. That way I could be out of Tanner's hair, and I could spend the whole two weeks with my mom, Stefan, Sydney, Banks, Nan, and Max. It was such a good decision. I had the best time.
Max is adorable. That's been said thousands of times by everyone who sees him, but I just have to say it at least one more. He turned one on May 2nd in Thailand, or May 1 in the US, which makes him exactly three months older than Ezra. When we saw him, he was walking around, which was so fun to see, especially because it helped prep us for Ezra. He is tall and skinny, has a lot of straight, black hair, and, at the time we saw him, had two little bottom teeth.
It was so cute to see his little personality. He had just learned to clap when you say, "Yay!", smiled everytime we give him a toy or food, loved jalapeno Cheetos and other spicy food, and got really jealous everytime Banks picked Ezra up or showed him any attention. He would hold his little hand out to Banks and yell, "Eh!" Of course, we all loved Max. He was such a sweet little buddy and we've all missed him this past month.
Ezra and Max became little buddies very quickly. Ezra sometimes is a little weird about other babies, because he doesn't like people getting in his face or touching his hands, but Max gave Ezra lots of space, so Ezra liked him.
The first day that everyone was here, we went to D.I. and Costco. Banks and Nan wanted to pick up some things to keep them warm in the snow the next day, and to buy some things they couldn't get in Thailand for the same price.
Max and Banks coming to see what we were up to.
Max fell asleep in the shopping cart at D.I. It just might have been one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Also, Grandma loves her grandbabies. She was in heaven the entire trip.
Max got some cute new snowboots for his first trip to the snow!
Ezra loved Aunt Nan.
Here are Max and Ezra enjoying their new toys from D.I. Sometimes the cheapest things are the best things.
Baby cuddles. Were there ever two cuter cousins? Do these pictures even really need captions?
The next day, we went for a picnic in the snow. Most of the roads were closed off still, so the place we went to didn't have that much snow, but there was enough to play in. It was both Max's and Ezra's first time in the snow, and it was really cute to see how they reacted. They'd be happy and playing one second, then crying the next because they had realized how wet and cold their bottoms were.
Ezra sported a Mohawk for the snow day.
We had a little picnic in the parking lot.
Grandma with her babies
Again, babies and carseats--melts my heart!
Another fun thing we did was go to Thanksgiving Point's Tulip Festival. I had never been, but Sydney told me it was really cool so I was so happy to go. Diana, Violet, and Porter came as well. I love Diana and was so happy to get to spend the day with her and my niece and nephew. I couldn't believe how big Violet and Porter have gotten! They are so cute. It was so fun to see them and all the flowers.
It was a little chilly. Good thing Violet looked so cute in Grandma's jacket :)
She helped me showcase the especially pretty flowers.
I loved these boys together. That water fountain was a thing of wonder and amazement to them.
We were also able to eat an Easter dinner with my Aunt Sue and our cousins! Their downstairs has been made into a little people paradise, complete with a playhouse, swing and slide, cars, and a whole toy room. Ezra and Max had a great time with their second cousins Drew, Amelia, Sophie, and Graham. I'm sure you're sick of hearing how everyone was so cute by now, but come on, all of these kids really are so cute. I wish all of my siblings and cousins and everyone I know and love could all just live in one little community and we could see each other every day if we wanted.
Ezra's favorites were the playhouse, the swing, and the slide. He has a thing for opening and closing doors (Do all babies have that or is that just some weird thing he does?), so he just sat on the threshold opening and closing the playhouse door and crawling in and out, in and out. That was pretty awesome. The other kids came in to see what was so cool.
Then he loved the swing. Sophie was nice enough to push him.
And the slide was a big winner. I can see years of future sliding for this boy. Drew followed Sophie's helpfulness on the swing and was nice enough to push him down the slide.
That Saturday and Sunday, we did all Easter things. We went to Rice Village, where we found some giant Easter eggs. The boys loved them. We also went to a candy hunt at Smith's, which the boys were mostly just confused about. And we had our own Easter egg hunt at the house, again with Diana and Austin and their littles. It was a great weekend.
Ezra and one of the giant eggs at Rice Village
Sydney was a huge help at the Smith's candy hunt. Basically, the Smith's people had roped off a little section, COVERED it in candy, then let all the kids from 1-2 years in (Ezra and Max were a little young but there were plenty of other babies that snuck in as well.). Both boys were so confused. There was candy all around them but they just kind of looked at us not knowing what to do. Of course, they eventually started picking it up. Max went mostly for Dots and Ezra went for suckers. When they had something in their hands, we helped them put it in their baskets. By the time most of the kids had gone, the Smith's people came to clean up, and they let us just scoop up all the candy and put it in their baskets. Max and Ezra left with more candy than most of the older kids. Then we brought it home, put it on the kitchen table, and we all ate it that next week.
Max and Sydney were pretty pooped from their morning adventures.
My mom got Ezra and Max matching outfits for Easter. So they looked pre-tty spiffy!
The kids had so much fun finding eggs! Needless to say, Violet and Porter dominated. Max kept getting distracted. And Ezra kept going for dandelions instead of eggs.
It almost looks like he's going for the egg here.
Fake-out! It was a dandelion all along.
Everyone, big and little people alike, had a pretty good time. The egg hunt was a lot of fun.
Afterwards, we came inside and just relaxed!
The last big thing we got to do while in Utah was visit with our cousins Brittany and Brad and see their sweet kids. Jake, 6, has been my buddy for a long time (we became really good friends this last summer as we got to spend a lot of time together), so it was so good to see him and get some more Jake cuddles, but one more baby I hadn't met before was little Chase, Brad and Kellie's son! He is two months older than Ezra and so cute. I was so happy to meet him. Max, Chase, and Ezra were all about the same size. All four boys had a great time playing together, and I only wish we could have spent more time with them!
Our Utah trip was so much fun. I felt so blessed to be able to see Tanner's family and spend time with them, not in spite of the sad event of Grandpa Coleman's passing, but especially because of it, and to see mine as well. I am so grateful for the reminder of how many close ties we have in this beautiful world and how special each of them is. I love my mom and am especially grateful to her for all her goodness and the hard work she put in to make the week special for all of us. I am thankful for my stepdad and for his kindness and for putting up with all of us and our noise for two weeks. What an awesome trip! I can't wait to go back.