Friday, August 24, 2012

Our Utah Visits

In the past month I was lucky enough to fly twice to Utah.  The first trip was literally a 48 hour trip--very quick.  I left Mila with my mom and niece Hannah, so I knew she would be entertained and cared for.  I flew into the Provo airport, spent the night with the Klains (who were about to leave Provo for over 2 months), taught all day at EFY on BYU's campus, met up with my in-laws for the night, and then flew out the next morning bright and early.  I'm not going to lie, it was so nice to fly solo for a change and to have 48 hours just to myself.  I could really enjoy my time with friends and family.  Even though I stayed up late in order to catch up with everyone, I felt rejuvenated when I returned.  

My second trip to Utah, just a week and a half later, was so I could teach at Education Week.  I loved the chance to teach the youth again, especially these youth.  The youth that attend Education Week are something else.  If you want to gain a testimony of how choice the youth of these latter-days are, attend Education Week and listen to their testimonies.  AMAZING.  Anyway, I sure hope they invite me back for a third year.

I tried to make the most of everyday we spent in Utah.  I apologize to those who we didn't get to see.  Here's a glimpse of some of the things we did do while in town.  
BBQ and swimming with some of my Johnson family.  Adelaine was so cute and instantly grabbed Mila's hand when we got there and showed her where the toys were.
BBQ/Birthday Celebration with the Smiths, Wrights, and Mr. Hardy 
  
Mila is really into "Ring Around the Rosie" right now, so we got the boys to join in on the fun.
I met with our movers and finally had all our "stuff" packed up and shipped to DC!
After seeing amazing pictures of Highland's splash park on Instagram (thanks Marcus!), I knew I wanted to take Mila to it.  So, we invited some of Mila's old playgroup buddies to meet us there.
 (This picture was caught right before Mila fell straight down on the rock.  Whoops.)
We also visited Riverwoods' splash pad twice during our visit.  During one of our visits, Mila had a chance to finally meet Jakob Fisher.  Wish I would have taken a picture with his mom, Lydia!  I'm so so glad I was able to see you Lydia!
One night we went and visited our cousins, the Wilcoxs, and Whitney was kind enough to take Mila for a ride on their bike.  Since then Mila is fascinated with bikes/motorcycles.  She looks for them as we drive and demands rides.  We definitely need to invest in some type of seat for my bike once we get to DC.
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Just before we left we hit up Brick Oven for dinner with the Wrights.  Mila and Owen relived the old days by playing back at the Wrights place afterwards.  It was so nice to have a friend so close that I could just push my stroller over to her place to give Mila some play time with another kiddo.  I miss that.
Mila also soaked up lots of time with Chase's family.  I need to be better about taking pictures, especially when she's enjoying moments with family.  While we were there, Mila practiced calling everyone by name.  She now says, "Gigi," "Papa," "Tah-lee," (translation: Karlee) and "Jordi" (translation: Jordan).  I can't get over how cute it is when she calls her soon-to-be new uncle "Jordi."  This video is of her at the airport as we were leaving Utah.  She apparently was adamant about saying Jordan's name.
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We aren't sure when we will be in Utah again, sadly.  Hopefully, those we missed seeing this time we can catch the next time.  Or, anyone and everyone is welcome to come visit us in DC!!!  You know you want to ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Updating...Smith Family Reunion

Trying to manage a toddler solo often results in me not taking a lot of pictures.  However, thanks to my brother, I have a few pictures of our family's gathering in Texas last month.  With twelve cousins around, Mila was thoroughly entertained.
 The cousins introduced Mila to a classic toy--Legos.
Part of our festivities included hitting up "Amazing Jake's."  Under one roof you can eat, rock climb, go-cart, ride a carousel, play mini golf, and more.
Mila enjoyed riding the carousel with whoever would take her.  She also tried to learn how to golf in order to impress her father.  I, on the other hand, enjoyed the rock wall as well as racing go-carts against my brothers, nieces, and nephews.
Of course we had to make time for swimming and a BBQ.
We ended our time together with a surprise Retirement Party for my mom at the local Italian restaurant, Luigi's.  After almost 20 years of teaching, my mom retired.  I am so grateful for all her years of working and for the amazing teacher that she is by nature.  She teaches Mila through her interactions daily.  I am so happy she's retired now so she can have the freedom to visit family more often!   
Never a dull moment when the Smiths get together.  These gatherings are too short and too infrequent.  Here's hoping we can get together again sooner than later.