Sunday, June 19, 2016


On Father's Day Mike wanted to head out on an adventure after church. So we packed up a lunch, changed into our adventure clothes, and looked up some trails on-line. 

We were excited to go visit Payson

First we visited the Grotto Trail which has a waterfall. Bonus!!
The trail was super easy. A short 1/2 mile hike. It's all flat with a small incline. There's wooden beams that make it easy to cross the rocky stream. So our hike was about 5 minutes! 
Seriously.... super easy!

When we got to the waterfall it was super crowded. It turns out that this is the hotspot for most Utah County families since the trail is so easy that little kids can do it without help. So we stood for a moment and moved on.

Mike went a little further on the trail, where most people don't continue due to it's high steep rocks, to see what was further. So while he ventured out I stood with our girls and played in the stream.

This was really odd for passerby's to see. People were walking on the large rocks so their feet didn't get wet. Us- we're at a waterfall so getting wet is part of the plan.
Ducati found this stick and started singing me some songs. ♪♪

I was wanting to take of picture of our girls and this is what I got. These girls have such a sense of humor that I wanted to remember their funny camera pose faces forever.

Lily was really excited to find tadpoles on the underside of this rock. She yelled so loud, "Mom take my picture with these baby toads."
When Mike got back he didn't notice anything of excitement so we decided to find our own trail.

 This lead us to walking down side trails, which lead to rocky stream, where we found ourselves under an overpass. Lily and Cati thought it was so awesome we were under the street.

Now we drove up further into the mountains where there was no cars, no people, just us. Just how we like it. We enjoyed our picnic and enjoyed the noises of nature much more. We seen robins and dragonflies everywhere around us. It was so amazing!

But we didn't not like how there was trash everywhere. So to motivate our girls to help clean up we promised them ice cream of they helped clean up this spot. And they took it to heart. Every single thing was picked up. Once we were finished we started our drive back down the town and they had us stop when they seen a large McDonald's cup thrown into a shrub.
We teach our kids to never leave behind their footprint so it's so annoying when others leave behind everything single thing.

For ice cream we stopped at Daley Freez. Support Local Business' when we can.
We got ourselves some chocolate dipped ones and a blackberry shake.

Apparently they are famous for their lime ice cream. It's like lime sherbet. So we weren't fans. But whatever. At least we can say we tried it.


But we couldn't leave without seeing the Payson Temple. We've seen it from the highway but it doesn't to it justice unless you see it up close. The way the walls circle out. It reminded me of the White House. The gates were closed to we only could drive by. It was still beautiful to see.

I love this state we live in. There's so much to see and experience. I'm thankful to have this opportunity to see another small part of Utah's beauty.

Being a Father

Fathers Day has always been hard for me. I was raised without a consistent father in my life. My biological father didn't have room for me in his new life. My ex-step father made sure to keep me at a distance. So here I am 32 years old without a dad.
Not having a father in my life has completely impacted me. That feeling of "not being worthy" has stayed with me for most my life.
I see and watch how Mike interacts with our kids and I long for those memories as well. I would have loved for my dad to twirl me on a wet kitchen floor. I would have appreciated driving with him to get a car part. I would have cherished eating Happy Meals with him. I would have loved being read too, given a lecture, or hugged. My list is endless.
What fathers do for their children is so important. I hope they realize their role as a father is so important. I never needed money, fancy clothes, or perfection. All I needed was his love and his time.
If you're a father and reading this; know you are making your kids better. Just by being by their side you're making their world so much happier.
I'm so thankful for my husband knowing and taking his role as a father so seriously that it makes me jealous. Fathers Day isn't enough to show my appreciation for all he does.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Solomon's Island

Something we learned about Maryland is that there's tons of beaches. Beaches are everywhere. But some of these beaches are private so this means finding free beaches can be harder than one thinks. But thankfully our brother-in-law is smart and knew of this place. 

Naval Recreation Center Solomon's Island. A private beach for military. Love it!!! 

This beach is on the Chesapeake Bay so the water temp was different from the Atlantic Ocean. That doesn't stop us!

Mike and Teagan using teamwork to bury Hailey.

This isn't the best photo but I wanted to capture this moment. Our girls were loving the opportunity to spend with their aunt that they were with her, by her side, most of our beaching time. I love that they can have this sort of relationships with their aunts and uncles.

I love my guy! He's so amazing!

Our family has a little weird fetish. We made up an imaginary land called Fartoptia! (Fart-topia) So every time someone farts, which happens a lot in our house, they are helping to build Fartopia. So while at the beach Mike and I made Fartopia. 

Jerome added to Fartopia, not by farting, but with this dead ray he found. It's like a guard standing at the entrance and only those who pay the toll, of farting, can enter in. Sophia said she'd never do that. So we kicked her out of Fartopia.


Haha! Getting 9 kids and 4 adults to smile at the same time is a challenge. So I'm just going with this photo. :)

Mike is making one of his sand pools he usually makes everywhere we go. Aurora, Teagan, Landon, and Sophia wanted to experience their uncle's pool so they kept it to themselves. It's funny since the Bay is 2 feet away from them and they just want to stay in this little poo. That's fine. At least they got to experience it.

After sand and sun we headed back "home" to show and begin our packing. In the process of packing this gave us more time to spend with family and soak up every second we could.

We hugged everyone goodbye. Then rehugged everyone again. As we drove off Aurora, Sophia, Teagan, and Landon chased after our van, waving good-bye. Aww! That just left me in tears. We weren't even to the airport and I was already texting Angela.

It was such an amazing vacation. We seen and witnessed things that many people never have. We walked in places that held more history than any other place in this country. But what was more memorable was the memories we made with our family.

Of Aurora singing so loud to each song on the radio. We still can't listen to some song without reminiscing about her. The way Teagan and Mason acted towards eachother. Mason held him while we walked around DC and Teagan started to fall asleep on him. The way Sophia would tell me, Boo-she, and squeeze my cheeks. The way Jaycob would roll his R's at us or scream to be held. The way Landon's eyes light up when he seen the magician find a card. The way Mike and Jerome acted like kids all over again, '' Are you afraid of a forth grader?" (inside joke) The way Angela and I just chatted everything. It was just so much fun to be around them. This vacation left an everlasting imprint on us.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

D.C. Day 2

Today we went our separate ways. Angela and Jerome had things to do for the ward party. So we went back to D. C. to finish off our bucket list.

We started with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We walked through the lunar module. Seen the space suit of Buzz Aldrin. Seen the exhibit of the Wright Brothers. Our kids might have understood everything they seen but this opens up a world of homeschool lessons to later on.

Our kids were thankful they did not have to fly on this type of plane.

We also seen the Amelia Earheart plane. Because Mike is related to her as well. He has greatness in his veins.

We left and moved onto the one place we just had to go. The National Archives Museum. This is the place where the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are held. This museum is open only for certain hours so we couldn't miss it. Due to no photography being allowed inside this special memory has to be preserved in our hearts, mind and this blog. 

Doing our research we found out that Mike is related to several of the signers of these documents. So while we waited in the lobby and waited for our turn our excitement and appreciation grew increasingly. When it was our turn to actually see those signatures from our ancestors.... it was amazing. Almost as if they were looking down and seeing their posterity right next to their signatures.

 After this we ventured into another Smithsonian. The National Museum of Natural History. Walking around we seen so many cool things. Fossils of prehistoric dinosaurs and sea creatures. Mummies. Skeletons. And then we found this place. The Butterfly exhibit.

After paying for our tickets we waited anxiously to go inside this little room. The butterflies were flying everywhere. We were instructed to look down before we took a step since the butterflies like to sit on the floor.

The worker let our girls hold butterflies on paint brushes. These made their day.

 Hailey was excited to hold the paint brush as well. Then butterflies started to land on her. On her shirt, shoes, hair, legs, etc. We're not sure why but they were attracted to her. It was like a scene from Enchanted with all those flies around Giselle. 

Mike even got a butterfly kiss.

After this we headed left D.C. to meet Jerome and Angela at their ward party. We met some of their friends, their ward missionaries, and one old lady who told Mike the next day while at church that first she didn't recognize him even though he spoke with her for a good 10 minutes. Then tells him that having tattoos must be hard for him. Ummm.... No it's not hard. Whatever!

The kids played games, enjoyed the slip-n-slide Jerome made, ate yummy foods, and Lily set her personal best record of 3 minutes hula hooping.

Afterwards we headed back "home" to relax and enjoy some family time. Hailey absolutely loves Jake. She was constantly holding him.

Teagan and Mason were BFF's most the time.

It was so fun to see our nieces and nephews become more comfortable with us. From the first met and standing in the doorway, just staring at us to climbing all over us. It was so fun to be able to play with them.

Landon was climbing on Mike just giving some cuddles. It was so cute to see Mike bonding with his nephew. I love it!

 But late nights lead to a bunch of tired kids. So all the kids went to bed early which left us grown-ups a chance to chat until the early morning.