Tuesday, January 7, 2014

To the Provs and back again

Our last full week in Utah we spent in Provo, visiting lots and lots of old friends and not taking nearly any pictures, sadly.

On Saturday the 28th after Charity's marathon wedding, we headed down to my best friend Austin's house to spend the night. I can't describe seeing her again as anything but refreshing and soul-satisfying. We stayed up late into the night talking, and then she and I shared her queen bed with Lulah while Tim and Atticus took the floor. I felt a little guilty keeping her up with a nursing babe, but I do not think she minded too much. On Sunday, she packed up to move (we helped a little) and went to our old ward, the Provo Peak 7th Ward. Of course, we got the time wrong and ended up in another ward, which was weirdly enough Jon and Tallia's old ward (the boundaries were changed and now they meet in our building). We saw a few old friends [Bethany (from Cairo)! Kiera (from pizza night)! Marilee (from our first married ward)!] and we ended up just sending the kids to nursery then and not returning later. We helped Austin move some furniture and then we headed over to the Robbins home for dinner and to spend the next few nights since Austin's boyfriend came into town unexpectedly. We had a few play-filled days hanging out with Eliza, Ezra, Elliott, and the Barbie Dream House, going to McDonald's playplace and playing at the park behind their house.

He is really not sad here, just grumpy about having his picture taken.

Atticus says: "my favorite season is slippery ice!"

On Tuesday morning, we met up with Tim's high school friends Mario and Wendy, and their two boys Ethan and Xander, at the traditional meeting spot of Ikea on kids eat free day. After a traditional Swedish meatballs meal, we walked around, grabbed a few things and chatted about life and academia and religion and kids. They are two awesome people, and we can only hope they move to Madison one day. Post-Ikea, we headed back down to meet up with Austin and Trevor to get her keys because while they went to St. George we stayed at her new, hip studio apartment.

Cuddling on the couch watching advertisements.

This is Ikea, not Austin's cool hip studio apartment.

We tried to have a nice New Year's dinner, but Tallulah puked at Rice King so I took her home before our food even came. Atticus and Lu started coughing a few days before and it's persisted until now. Darn polluted air! We ended up having a rough sleeping night, and then went to see a movie at the dollar theater the next day. We saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and while I actually enjoyed it, I think kids' movies nowadays are wayyyyyy too face-paced for a toddler and preschooler though Tallulah mostly slept and Atticus only got scared a few times. I can't stand that slapstick, semi-violent comedy animation stuff, drives me nuts. After the movie, we hung out with our friend Maddie for a few hours then headed over to the home of our old bishop/professor Dan Nielson to visit him, his wife Jenn and their super-cool teenagers. We ate a delicious Indian meal team-prepared by Dan and Jenn, and then sat around and chatted until our kids could not handle being alive any longer. They crashed on the way home and we collapsed soon after.

In Austin's comfy sleeping nook having some down time.
The next day, the Lees were arriving back from Salem where Casey's mom lives. They were "getting ready to leave" at noon, so we packed up and headed over around 1:30 or so. We made a few stops here and there for lunch and other things, arriving around 3, thirty minutes after they were "heading out the door" -- we figured we would play for half an hour or so on their playground until they got back. They pulled in about 4:30 or so, and by that time the kids were luckily worn down and we weren't too cold. We had a nice relaxed dinner of Papa Murphy's and our kids fell asleep really soon after. Atticus was sooooooo excited to see Annabelle Grass, but I think ended up playing with Will more. Annabelle seems way too old compared to the last time we saw them, and Will talks more than Atticus. We had a few really relaxing days with them until it was time to head back to Mountain Green.

My kids were too distracted by the immense number of toys to sit down and read a book.
Annabelle took to Tim right away, and I know Tim loves her. Also, they are both showing a little belly, which is adorable -- 

The second night we were there a couple Casey met on his mission spent the night too. In the morning, Tallulah (who was asleep when they arrived so had never seen them before) walked right out and jumped on top of the man (on the left in the picture) laying on the ground. It was SO FUNNY. She is not intimidated by tall bearded men.

We stopped in Salt Lake on Saturday night to meet up with my Aunt Linda, Uncle Rand, cousin Jeremy and his wife Leslie and their two kids Lucy and Will. We met up at the Discovery Gateway children's museum and Linda used her passes to get us in. It was SO much fun, probably one of the highlights of our trip (as we were getting in the car Atticus said "I want to go to those peoples's house, they are the best"). Our kids played great, they are great people to talk with, and the museum was the perfect location for a meet-up. Lucy was opposed to eating out (she wanted to get over to her cousin's house for a sleepover, I don't blame her!) and since we had two toddlers with us, we opted for a quick dinner at Costa Vida (which I still do not think is nearly as good as Cafe Rio). We chatted for a while but too quickly it was time to get my kids in the car and sleeping. We thought about staying the night at Linda's and going to the UU meeting in Salt Lake, but we were ready to be (somewhat) settled again.

Overall, our kids were pretty decent on the whirlwind visiting trip, but you could tell their patience was thin and they were getting grumpy more quickly than usual. We are here for a few more days and then it's back to Madison, and we are pretty ready to be home again. Three weeks was a long time to be away and not in our own space, though we could not have asked for better hosts and friends. I am glad we came though, if not for anything else than the simple fact I was feeling nostalgic and homesick for Utah and now I remember why we moved to Madison. I will not miss the inversion, or the monolithic cheap stucco houses, or the breast implant ads, or the weird-o made-up kids' names. I will miss all of the above-mentioned people, and I wish I could somehow convince all the awesome people we are friends with to move to Madison. 


  1. So glad I could catch you guys while you were here, even if it was brief. Time to plan another trip to Madison!

  2. That sounds so exhausting!! Traveling with kids is one of my least favorite things, though I'm sure you guys are pro by now.

    And you are so right about Costa Vida.

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  4. It was nice to see you all for a bit . Every time I see those billboard ads, I want to replace them with my own. I would keep the slogan "100% natural breast augmentation" but there would be a huge picture of a mother breastfeeding her toddler instead.

  5. It was nice to see you all for a bit . Every time I see those billboard ads, I want to replace them with my own. I would keep the slogan "100% natural breast augmentation" but there would be a huge picture of a mother breastfeeding her toddler instead.

  6. It was nice visiting with you for a bit at wedding celebrations. Every time I see those billboard ads I want to replace it with my own. I would keep the slogan "100% natural breast augmentation" but there would be a huge picture of a mother breastfeeding her toddler. - Best all natural breast augmentation. : )