Monday, December 30th: We were back on the road by 10, (after watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse twice in the hotel that morning). We didn't make great time, but it didn't matter since we'd done so well the day before. In the early afternoon, we stopped at Wilson's Arch, which is right before Moab. We'd been there a few times before when we lived in Utah, but we hadn't been in almost five years, when Tyler was really little. It's such a pretty thing, just right next to the freeway, and we always see truckers and FedEx drivers pulled off to see it too. Tyler and Jamie had a ton of fun running up the side, and I was terrified the whole time that one of them was going to slip and tumble all the way back down to the freeway. Tyler was pretty frustrated at how tightly I was holding onto the hood of his jacket. Jamie didn't mind so much, but she was bothered that she couldn't build a snowman with the ice that was under the boulders. We had a Swedish/Norwegian family (I couldn't tell which language it was) take a picture of us all together on the arch. We finally got back on the road, and listened to podcasts until it was dark, and we finally pulled out of Spanish Fork canyon into Salem, Utah around 6pm. All of our GPS devices failed with the mountains surrounding us, and we were so lucky that Kendy and Brady came up right behind us coming home from Orangeville. We just followed their van back to their house. When we parked in front of their house, Meggie ran out and gave Jamie a huge hug, which Jamie initially pulled back from, and then decided it was okay. Those two little girls have been joined at the hip all week. They are total opposites, with Meggie so bubbly and outgoing, and Jamie slightly reserved and cautious, but they get along so well somehow :) We got settled in, and went right to sleep pretty early.
Tuesday, December 31st: We spent our first morning in Utah right: we went sledding! There's an old Indian school called Peteeneet with an enormous hill that blasts Christmas music for the sledders during the holidays. Brady and his three oldest kids took us there, and we were sledding for a good two hours. Everyone else was tired out at the end except Matthew and Tyler, who would have stayed for two more hours if we had let them. We made the mistake of taking Jamie down the biggest hill first, and afterwards, she didn't want anything to do with it, not even the little hills. She and Meggie played on the playground instead while everyone else went up and down the hill tons of times. When we got back, Brady took McKay and Tyler to a Cajun place for lunch. While I was hanging out with Kendy, I realized it was New Year's Eve, I had completely forgotten. All of us were pretty tired, so no one had any grand plans for New Year's celebrations. In the evening, McKay and I took our kids up to Provo to visit my Aunt Judy and Uncle Delbert, who were having an Eatough family dinner. We only stayed for a few hours, but it was wonderful to see them again. They were pretty much our adopted parents while we were at BYU. We would have dinner with them at least once a month, and they lent us their car when we crashed ours and were shopping for a new one. We had a fun time, and as usual, we learned some new random science facts (they all have PHDs and Masters degrees in sciences), and showed off our (McKay's and mine) general ignorance. They were very pleased to hear I am starting nursing school, though :) When we got back to Kendy's, we tried watching movies to stay up, but nearly everyone fell asleep (except Matthew). My kids and I snuggled on the couch, and Brady just slept right on the floor :) At 11:45, I carried Jamie downstairs to her bed, and then just went to bed myself. McKay tried to wake me up for the countdown, but I didn't bother. There were lots of fireworks going off in the neighborhood, but all I remember is being bothered at the noise. I'm so festive :) New Year's Eve is always a bit of an afterthought for me following Christmas.
Wednesday, January 1st: After sleeping in late, McKay and I packed the kids up in all their snow gear and headed up to our old stomping grounds at BYU in Provo. Of course, it was a holiday, so most of campus was closed, but we drove around and saw all the new construction. I cannot believe how nice the dorms are, and that they actually fixed up the botany pond!
We found this sweet stained glass window near our first apartment together.
We went to J-Dawg's for lunch, of course, and it was as amazing as I remember. Extra banana peppers, please!
Thusday, January 2: On our second day of touring Utah, we packed the kids up and drove up to Salt Lake. We visited City Creek, the Beehive House, Temple Square, the museum, and the Lion House. The kids had an especially good time at the museum, fishing off Nephi's boat, and dancing with senoritas :) It was a really, really full day, and we were all super tired when it was finally over :)
My great-great-great-great grandfather was born on the Brooklyn, and named after the ocean he was born in, John Atlantic Burr.
Friday, January 3rd: We took it easy during the day, still feeling pretty exhausted from the two previous days. Matthew and I started baking a cake for his baptism the next day. He was pretty darn excited about it. McKay and I headed up to Alpine that night for a wedding, McKay's friend Wendy. I had only been to Alpine once or twice before, and it is so pretty.
Saturday, January 4th: Saturday was Matthew's baptism, and so many people turned out for it! Utah wards have got the baptism routine down pat, it was a machine! All the primary kids sang "I Am A Child of God" together, and as soon as Matthew was actually baptized, Tyler shouted out loud, "Now Matthew won't be bad anymore!" It was so funny :)
Jamie and Meggie both have a hard time with their L's, but differently. Jamie says them with a W, and Meggie says them with a Y. So, little is "wittle" or "yittle" :)
Tyler and Matthew were playing rough with Kevin once he and Cindy flew in from Texas, and apparently nailed in the eye:
Normally, when all the cousins are together, Matthew tends to have the worst luck and winds up in trouble, but it was our little guy this time :) Kendy was unapologetically relieved that for once, it wasn't hers :)