Tag Archives: Cousins

Southern Salvation

I’ve been struggling this winter.

So much snow. So cold. No yard. Stuck inside. Ugh.

About 2 weeks ago my mom and I were due to go to Southern Utah for the Lights Festival in Mesquite, NV.  It was going to be a quick but very enjoyable and needed break from the Northern cold.

But it didn’t happen. Last minute we decided that trying to schedule our driving times between 2 big snow storms was not worth it. Sad face.

So we planned a make up trip.

My cute cousin Ryan’s wedding + an available home = perfect!!

The wedding was on Saturday so of course we had to go late Tuesday so we would have all day Wednesday thru Sunday!

The home we were able to stay in was one of the many of my uncle’s, FIL. Beautiful. Big. Free. Freaking awesome.

Just across the street was a trail into the red desert where we could hear frogs and crickets.

Rock collecting was the mission of the boys.

Sun basking was mine.

Wednesday after we did the short walk across the street, the boys were drawn (without blame) to the hot tub on the patio. Although it wasn’t warm yet they had a blast splashing around.

First it was rolled up pants and ‘don’t get too wet!’ to underwear and ‘who cares!’

After that we headed to Zions. Wearing the same shirt btw.

The boys fell asleep on the way so we decided to take a Sunday drive. I’ll admit the purpose of where we went was to catch a glimpse of a property for sale in Virgin that I’ve had my eye on. 100 acres for oh only 2.3 million! It looked like paradise. A girl can dream!

So off onto the dirt road we went! Google maps on our side we did our best to decipher where this place could be! About 30 mins later on the dirt road (a rough one at that!) we came to a fortress of a mountain with a pretty iron gate in front of a perfectly manicured gravel road that went up, up, up!!

Probably about 1 mile of switchbacks up the side of this mountain is was brought you to this property. Nope, we didn’t get to go up there. But it didn’t matter. At that point I knew that this is somewhere I’d never want to live. It was way too secluded.

So it was a memorable adventure. Without photos of course.

Zions was wonderful. We saw the 4 Patriarchs and then we did the back side of Emerald Pools. Ben was a champ. He hiked the entire 2+ miles all by himself! Apart from the last little chunk where Mimi gave him piggy back ride because his feet were wet and sandy (crossing river mishap).

William enjoyed himself most of the time on my back in his little carrier.

It was hard to leave but the time came and we headed to IN N OUT for some hamburgers (and shake for mama).

Thursday was a bit more rough.

Let me back up a bit.

Before we left for our trip I was determined and felt inspired to do my best at making it a ‘worry free’ trip. As of late I have been so over worrying. It feels as though worry has consumed my being so there is nothing left but all the horrible possibilities around me.

I have been making progress and getting better. And this trip to me was the perfect place to really put it into use.

Enter Thursday morning. Now, if you asked my mother she would tell you that it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was. We are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to worry. It’s a wonder we all made it as kids to adults. 😉

William was in the hot tub with his cousins (they came down the night before to spend some time). He had his floaties on and I was close by because I knew that he wasn’t perfect with them yet.

Sure enough I noticed (thankfully because it could have been SO easy to miss because he looked upright) that his mouth and nose were under the water and he just couldn’t get in the right position to get out of it. I ran over as fast as possible and those few feet felt like a few miles. I pulled him out and he was struggling. Panicking and coughing in a manner that was concerning…sounded more like barking/vomiting.

Immediately all the what if’s running through my mind. I had read stories of kids who died from second hand drowning. It doesn’t take much water..and chlorine can highly complicate it. Or that’s what ‘they’ said. How much did he get? How would I know? What if? What if? What if?

Worry-free goal down the drain. Flush.

The next hour I was in full fledged worry mode. I spoke with David on the phone. I watched him like a hawk. I read things. Maybe we should give him a blessing? Nope. My gut, whether it was the irrational worry side of me or not said to take him in.

So off to instacare we went. Got there and the line was slow and so non-urgent. I felt uncomfortable.  So back into the car to the ER.

My only other experience with the ER was when Ben broke out in hives late at night as a baby. We didn’t know what they were. My experience here was as positive as it could be. I wanted to run away but knew that I couldn’t.

The doctors and nurses were amazing. They told me that I did the right thing (at least I think they did) and ended up doing a breathing treatment for him. After having that they wanted to monitor him for 2 hours. So that’s what we did!

Another champ right here. No crying at all except to tell me he was really hungry.

Meanwhile brother was with his cousins having a blast at a new park.  An amazing park. A dinosaur park with a life like volcano and a train!

The next day we went back so William could experience the fun and Ben was more than happy to show us around and of course ride the train again!

The doctor said I should look out for pneumonia that could possibly set in a day or two after but luckily as predicted he was just fine.

Thank you Heavenly Father.

I’m still trying to figure out what my lesson was supposed to be thru all that.

I feel like I did a pretty good job with not worrying after that. It was all about fun and memories. Suckers at Christensen’s, Children’s Museum, cartoons on the big screen, dinners at restaurants and more!

The wedding on Saturday was wonderful. I had never been to the Las Vegas temple and in March it was just perfect. I had the littles so I couldn’t go in for the ceremony but it happened so fast that I really didn’t mind.

Look at this cute couple. They don’t get much cuter than that.

I love my family all so much. It’s always great when there is an event like this where we can see each other for a while.

We just did nap times in the car mostly.

After the delicious luncheon we headed back to St. George but first we had to stop in Logandale to see Rob and Chelsea’s new place! And we ended up staying waaaay later than planned. But hey, I wasn’t worried right? 😉

I even let my kids jump on the raised trampoline at 8 pm in the dark, unsupervised. Roll around in the dirt? Sure! 8:30pm? Whatever!

But just like my brother pointed out these will be memories forever in their minds that they just cant help but feel happy about.


Sunday was church in our old ward which was nothing like we expected because it has changed too much. Then lunch with the family up at Grandmas house. More catching up and connecting with loved ones.

Did I mention my joy ride in my Brothers rental?

Ya, he rented a brand new mustang for the trip. He left it with his wife for a few hours. She was in the shower for a few minutes. I was revving down Dixie Dr.

I figured if something happened to me my SIL could say that I didn’t ask her to take it…she didn’t know! HA!

Oh what a beauty.  I do have a weakness for nice cars. I blame it on growing up with boys.


Monday morning we were doomed to be heading back to Logan.


My mom graciously saved our souls for one more glorious day. Afterall we hadn’t even been to Snow Canyon yet!

Monday morning we went on a short hike with some family. The familiar smell of sage and red dirt was like manna to my soul. Why do I love this place so much?!

This day we did do real nap times and boy oh boy did they need them!

After that it was back to Snow Canyon to play in the sand dunes!!

Really, if William was given the choice to do only one thing for the rest of his child life it would be dirt. Anything to do with dirt or sand. Just as long as he’s playing in it. It would be a toss up I’m sure between that and coloring or drawing though.

I do have to throw in this funny story though….

Monday afternoon before we headed to the dunes I wasn’t feel all that great.  A week of eating the way I was (restaurants etc) my guts were feeling it. So I asked my mom if she would stop in the nearest store to get me some fresh ginger I could chew on.

At this charming little market near Snow Canyon out the door comes this cute store clerk with a ginger drink that he swears by….Kombachu. There in the parking lot in my car he lets me look at it and tells me all about how it comes from fresh ginger and how it’s carbonated so it helps with indigestion etc. He was even going to open it up so I could try it! It sounded perfect! So I said, “I’ll do both!”

On the way out of the lot, I unscrewed the lid and took a swig. EH. Something was weird. I screwed the lid back on and looked at it closer. This is what I saw…

Notice the paragraph at the bottom?!


My mom says, “Too bad you read the label you would have had a lot more fun tonight!”


I said, “I thought it smelled funny!

Holy cow, I almost got drunk in St. George. That would have been a funny story to tell the hubby when I got home. And no, I’ve never had alcohol before so I really would have been drunk.

So instead of getting a buzz in the dunes I just chewed on my piece of non alcoholic ginger. And felt much better.

The glorious sun eventually went down behind the mountain and we dragged ourselves home. A simple dinner of carrots, bell peppers and yogurt with oatmeal was had and then bedtime.

The next morning was cleaning time and getting read to leave. For real this time. William hid in the closet. I wanted to join him. Do we have to!!?

It was a wonderful time and really was my salvation at a dire time. It breathed new life into me and I am grateful for that. Next time I just have to bring my husband so I don’t have to miss him.

Thank you MOM for an amazing time!

California Dreamin’

We got back from our Newport Beach California “vacation” a week and a half ago. Maybe you are wondering why I put “vacation” in scare quotes. Well I’ll tell you why.

Unfortunately this trip could not be defined to me as a vacation. I guess technically, if you were to look up the definition of vacation yes it would be…I did in fact vacate my permanent place of residence for a period of time to participate in recreation or whatever elsewhere.

But to me a “vacation” is also something oozing of relief from current cares and a time with significantly less stress than you were experiencing at home…a recharging of batteries.

Now don’t get all offended. Especially my family. I did have some serious moments of recharging and relaxation…but truthfully they were fleeting and oh so short; overshadowed by the stress and worry accompanying the trip. And yes these small moments were worth every bit of stress.

I’ll just jot it all down and get the negativity over-with asap. There was the 12+ hour drive with restless kids, a potentially carsick teenager and a ticking time bomb of a husband with all his back and hip problems. The struggle of familiarity of food and trying to be healthy so we all felt good, the outbursts of not feeling good because of said food, trying to keep the 3 Sherwood ghosts from frying like dried worms on a sidewalk and from being swept into the strong ocean currents constantly! Oh ya there was a shark sighting! Sleep oh essential sleep…just yikes. Cooking and cleaning too! Hello that’s not a vacation! Random and seriously unfortunate spout of Lucie throwing up (poor girl) and then of course all the car troubles! More on that later! But now for the positive stuff! Cuz it really was fun amidst all these things!

It started out with a night at Grandma and Grandpa’s and the kids pulled out their legos. It was a family affair. Plus we love visiting this home and the people in it.



When we got to Vegas David was in dire need of deadlifts which are the like the one thing that make him (and his hips) feel better. There was nothing to be found by way of platform and barbells around so we got creative and tried to deadlift the back end of the cars. He got them up but he couldn’t straighten out his hips at the top which is the crucial part so it didn’t really work. 🙂



We ended up going to a local gym on the way out for about 20 mins so he could deadlift. And it worked! He was miraculously good for the remainder of the trip to Cally!


And so were these boys.


This is me attempting to relax and read on the beach. Fleeting. I don’t think I ever got past chapter one.


Toys in the beach house were ALMOST more entertaining than the beach. Almost.


Walk from our house to the beach…not far at all.








Watching the sunsets







Lucie and Lachlan were champion boogie boarders. And they had fun doing it.


Sandcastles of course!!


Papa taking a turn!




We tried to make planking and push ups a nightly tradition. Can’t decide if sand makes it harder or easier!







Olive makes the cutest photo bomber ever!img_20160928_182523






Twirling in the sand!




And we all fell down!


“Mimi, will you take me to the water!!?” William







Our last few moments in the sand and water. It was bittersweet for me. And on the way home our trusty Acura decided to give up the ghost in none other than ‘Death Valley’. It’s like the most unoriginal thing ever. But man did it make for good memories.


Waited for our tow truck a little over 2 hours while we sent our kiddos off with Mimi and Papa. Tow truck took us to the rental car place where I jumped out and not so easily rented a car to take us to Ogden. But not before we emptied our car and tried some last ditch efforts on our car that were unsuccessful. We drove tired eyed to St. George and crawled into bed.


Next morning we packed the kids in the rental and headed home. Before we had to drop Lucie off in Salt Lake we were lucky enough to meet this cutie at a gas station in Beaver and have some fun with him.



Instead of renting another car in Ogden to Logan my awesome brother came and rescued us with his big ol truck…transfer all the stuff…again!!!

All in all a pretty fun time for the kids. I need to learn how to relax a little more on vacations because not taking them in not an option.

Despite my blog title I’m definitely not California Dreamin right now. Just Dreamin. 🙂

Thanksgiving Indeed!

This year we had 2 wonderful Thanksgivings!  Actually I think we had two Thanksgivings last year too!  Lucky us!  We spent Thursday afternoon at David’s professors house with his family and a couple of other graduate students from China.  It was lovely.  Friday we went south and spent the afternoon with my Uncle Joe and his family, little brother and his beautiful wife and my Grandma and Grandpa.  So fun!  I took some pictures, wish I would have got more and wish I would have gotten any from Thursday!

I am so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing people, family and friends and acquaintances.  My relationships with those around me make the happiest. (Especially when I get to snuggle a brand new baby! So beautiful!) I can’t wait to be able to see and do more with everyone.

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In other news, we got our Christmas tree and it is pathetically too big for out little apartment.  I think David tried his best to tell me at the store that it was too big but I was adamant.  He was right.  We had to chop a foot or more off and it’s still massive.  I feel like a girl that bought 7 in heels and can’t walk right in them….but they’re oh so beautiful!  hehe

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We are definitely excited for Christmas in this house.  William has no idea obviously but Ben definitely does!  And the best part is it came just in time because since we’ve been having a hard time with completing potty training (been having #2 accidents for about 5 months) we decided to pull out all the stops and threatening Santa’s absence at our house this year if he didn’t poop in the potty did the trick!! Yay! Call us horrible.  But if you’ve been through it maybe you’d understand how desperate you get.  It’s AMAZING the difference not having to clean out poop from underwear everyday it makes in my mood!!!

Yay Christmas!!!  Yay Santa Claus!



Last week Ben’s cousins came to stay for about a week.  Beckham is 3 weeks older than Ben so they had lots of fun!  But he even had fun with his older cousins Logan and Liam!  The day after they left when he woke up in the morning he looked around and said, ‘Liam!’  He misses them for sure.

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The Sunday after they got here we celebrated David’s birthday and of course it was all the more fun with these guys!


And I just have to throw in a few of these..

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Oh! I can’t handle the cuteness!

The boys had tons of fun with David’s spiffy new racecar.  He even let the boys drive it! (with help of course!)  Their favorite was to walk down to the church parking lot so they could go really fast!

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A night at Mimi’s grill of course!

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Love this boy.  He and I had some time away from the craziness to go shoppin.


I hope these two are buds for life

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The second exciting thing for the week was the bridal shower for Mericar!  I really did have a lot of fun planning it and being crafty which really isn’t like me (maybe I don’t know me very well!) My mom wont admit it but she helped out a ton.  So did my cousin’s wife Ginny (cute banners!), my aunt Kelly whose beautiful home it was held, my other Aunt Cathy whose drawers I emptied and stole and many other helping hands! Oh and course Pinterest!

I really had never done anything like this before so I feel sorry that Mericar was my guinea pig, there are certainly lots of things I learned but I guess that’s the point right!  It was fun and memorable and I just still can’t believe that my littlest bro is getting hitched.  Weird.

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I already love this girl and I can’t wait to get to know her better (we haven’t had the time!)  She is very lucky to be able to call Brian her husband and if she is who Brian chooses to call his wife then I know she is just spectacular.

Love you Mericar!  Thanks for squealing with joy when you walked into the shower.  You were the only one I aimed to make happy and it made me happy!


William’s Blessing Day/Weekend

We drove down on Saturday morning to Salt Lake.  Sunday was the big day that William and his cousin Jax would be blessed at the Ehlert home.  So once we got to Salt Lake we headed straight to my hair appointment where both Ben and I got our hair cut.  Me for the first time in a looooong time and Ben for the first time ever!  It was about time.  Here is a shot that shows his hair before…
Got a mini mullet goin on!  So anyway I got a few inches chopped off, a few layers and some swooping bangs.  And Ben got his big boy hair cut.  Barely more than a few strands cut off but he looks like such a big boy now!!
Once we were finished and looking all fly we did a little shopping at the Gateway and then got to go shopping at Sams for the Sundays festivities!  We then went to the Ehlerts and had a fun evening with family celebrating Dan’s birthday.  Wish I had gotten some pics!  We were lucky enough to get Lucie too and I guess while we were getting our hair did and stuff she was with my parents and other cousins and was playing in a big pond with dogs and stuff…sounded like lots of fun.
Well Sunday brought relaxing and rejuvenating church, prepping meals, afternoon naps, family pictures and finally baby blessings and lots and lots of family and friends!  Oh and food!!
The actual blessing of William was beautiful.  Always makes me cry.  And it was such a wonderful way to do it.  Especially with his cousin Jax getting blessed at the same time.  Made for a really full house but it was so worth it. And of course how could we ever thank the Ehlerts for hosting such a thing?….again!!  They are such amazing people to let us invade their home.  We love you all and appreciate you so much!  It was a weekend that we wont forget!  Missed everyone that couldn’t make it!

I love weddings! I hate goodbye’s!

We had another great weekend.  David took his last final on Friday morning and when it was over he was noticeably more relaxed.  I kept asking him if he was OK because he was so mellow and quiet…he kept telling me he was just relaxing and chilling. 🙂 I am glad…he deserves it more than anyone.
I am sure that the dreaded departure was part of it too…even though we tried to ignore it and just have fun we knew that come Sunday morning we would be saying goodbye for 10 whole days!  We didn’t want to say goodbye.
BUT! We still had some fun.  Friday night was Aunt Cathy’s surprise birthday party which was hosted by her two daughters and husband…a complete success! She had no idea!  Lots of yummy food and visiting with fun people!
The next day was wedding day!  We were able to witness the sealing of these two and it was beautiful! And such a beautiful day!  We didn’t mind one bit waiting outside for them to come out!  Congrats you guys!  You are such an awesome couple!
These two pics are out of order (I stole them from Aunt Sharon…thanks Aunt Sharon!) This is Ben at the wedding luncheon at Magelby’s….yummm.
And this is that night at the reception with all the cousins that were there.  So fun.
Now we’re back to the temple in the morning where the tulips were in full bloom and so beautiful!  Ben loved to smell them and said “mmmmmmm” after each one.
MY boys
My goofy brother supposed to be taking a picture of us but instead decided to throw this gem in there.
Me, mom, Jenna and Aunt Pam (Mother of the groom!)
My brothers and dad..and beautiful Becca too!
Later at the luncheon Papa fed Ben some carrot cake…a highlight I am sure.
It was 3 hours past Ben’s bedtime but we decided to wait until the dancing started so we could dance one dance together. 🙂 After all he was leaving in just a few short hours and we don’t often get to dance for reals!
Miss him!
On Sunday morning we woke up at 5:30 and were out the door by 6 to go to the airport.  We got checked in pretty quick even though the line was long and there were a lot of people there, and then we, yes we, waited in the security line.  I stayed as long as I could and ducked through the security tape at the very last moment.  As I was walking away sobbing I realized that I had his phone! Oh no!  I ran my pregnant self as fast as I could back over to the line and squeaked his name as loud as my sobbing voice could…man I am sure it looked like a scene from a cheesy romance movie!  I barely caught him before he went through the screening thing and he had to weasel his way back through the crowd and grab his phone…we stole another quick kiss over a few stands of security lines and then he was gone again and I sobbed.  People were staring.  I didn’t care.  I waited by the stairs until he got all the way through and I couldn’t see him anymore…then I cried even harder and walked away.  More people stared.  I still didn’t care.  When I got to the car I cried even harder…the ugly cry and finally found a way to drive home.  Dramatic huh?  Well that’s us.  Our favorite place to be really is with each other so this next week and a half is going to be rough.
Well when I got home we did the normal Sunday things but we also got to spend some time over at Natalie and Joe’s.  It was fun for Ben to be around his cousins even though he was shy up until the very end.
Ben and Beckham…handsome boys!  Wish I had gotten more pics but everyone was moving so fast I couldn’t snap any…hopefully we see them again soon. 🙂

Spring Break 2013

****I just realized I never posted about Spring Break!****
This past weekend and week was such a fun filled one.  On Saturday we got to drive to Salt Lake for my cousin Mikele’s farewell.  On Saturday we met up with one of my best friends KC and had lunch/dinner at our favorite Salt Lake spot called PHO HOA.  It is delicious.  Rarely do we pass through Salt Lake without stopping there.  If you get the chance I highly recommend it. 

After filling our bellies (most the way) we headed over to my aunts house and met Clark, Jenna and Brian there where Clarky cooked a delectable meal of steak kabobs and asparagus.  Yum!  It was fun hanging out with family.  Then we proceeded to have a VERY rough night with Ben, up every hour it seemed screaming etc. Fun fun!  But we got through it.  The next morning we got ready for church and got to enjoy a beautiful farewell for Mikele who is going to be an outstanding missionary in Chile.  I am so excited for her and love her.  As do many many other people it seemed!  The ‘after party’ was probably the biggest one I’ve ever seen!  So many people coming in and out to wish Mikele good luck.  Also a great time visiting with family and relaxing with good food of course!  Thanks Stephensons! 

Around 3 in the afternoon we decided that we’d probably better get on the road on the way to St. George!  We had a 4 hour drive ahead of us!  So we packed up including my beautiful cousin Melanie who came with us and headed out!  That drive is always a little rough even if Ben did do a good job but it was totally worth it!!!  What an amazing week!  It was perfect in every way!  We stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Stephensons which is up on a hill and was beautiful as we took morning and evening walks or just chilled on the balcony.  It was so great to visit with G & G Stephenson while we were there in the mornings and evenings.  I love them so much. 

We also spent some time with my G & G Sharp which was wonderful and definitely not long enough.  We love and miss them too.  The rest of the time was spent with Rob and Chels and Ben’s cousins.  It was either playing in their amazing backyard or hiking or swimming!  So fun!  The weather was perfect and so wonderful.  I even got sunburn!  Yay!  I’ll take it because it’s been years and it will probably be years again until that happens again! 

Ben enjoyed being outside immensely.  I think he is born to be outside.  When we were inside he wanted to be outside and when we were outside he wanted to stay put.  He stayed up past his bedtime frequently and got dirty playing in the dirt and jumping on the tramp, letting Scooby the dog slobber on him…the list goes on and on.  So fun.  It truly was hard to leave.  Usually after vacation I am pretty ready to come home but not this time!  Part of that had to do with the fact that I loved Grandmas bed!  I slept better there than I do at home!  Don’t you worry I got the name of the mattress and will be looking for one! 

Oh how wonderful it was to have a break.  Ben and I had David all to ourselves everyday all day for 5 days!  Ben was in daddy heaven.  He didn’t want anything to do with me that whole time! And I completely understand too!  He just loves his daddy and was enjoying his time with him.  I love it…and I love my boys…including the one that is kicking me from inside.  J