For YEARS now Paul has planned a fly-fishing trip to Montana with his dad every August, only to have something come up that makes the trip impossible. So I was glad that he was finally able to fulfill his ambition to get back to his favorite fly-fishing spot and spend a few days there on the river with his dad. Paul took the nice camera with him so the only photos I have for this post (about my and Clara's adventures while daddy was off fishing - he will have to do a post of his own about his adventure) are from my iPhone.
And just to forewarn you, there will be gratuitous photos (well, at least 2 or 3) of me in a bathing suit later on so you may want to either: A. Stop reading now and close the browser as the content of this post may be unsuitable for some viewers, or B. Rapidly scroll through the post to satisfy your curiosity, you naughty rascals, then come back and pay attention to the most important photos.
Before we left, Paul spent a couple nights getting his "craft" on tying flies. Paul impressed my dad and won my hand in marriage thanks to this skill alone.
Before Clara and I left, we went to a local toystore to pick out the perfect Schleich animal figurines for cousin Lily for her 2nd birthday since we were going to be there to give them to her in person (her birthday was the 20th). We got her the Asian male elephant and the male giraffe. I LOVE the Schleich animals. But they also make dinosaurs and knights and princesses and soldiers, etc. Clara studied medieval battle tactics while she waited for me to check out.
My parents had NO clue that Clara and I were coming to Utah. My mom knew for a long time that Paul was going and I hemmed and hawed about what I was going to do while he was gone - maybe go to Disneyland, maybe just stay home and sulk, etc. Really, I didn't decide for sure to go until about a week before he left when I realized my friend who lives in Auburn was back from North Dakota and I could stay with her the first night and shorten my total driving time by 3 hours on the second day. So when Clara and I rolled in Tuesday night and Clara ran into the garage where my dad was painting, it was a big surprise. My mom was down at Jennie's (I told Jennie in advance so that she could come stay at my parents' house while we were there so that we could maximize our time together) and Jennie texted me when my mom left so we would know when to expect her home. I am horrible about keeping secrets so it was a big deal that I pulled this off. Basically, I didn't talk to my mom once I made the final decision to go because I knew I would spill the beans.
Anyway, we did a lot of fun things during our short time there. We took the girls to watch the dancing water fountain with lights and music at Farmington Station one night after dinner. They enjoyed splashing together.
The girls also had fun painting together.
We went to the Layton wave pool, which freaked Clara out unless she was in the little inflatable raft that Jennie fortunately had stashed in the back of her minivan and was able to bring in. Every time the buzzer sounded and the waves came on (for about 5 minutes on the half hour) Clara would start sobbing and cling to me. It was sad and hilarious and I totally didn't expect that reaction out of our little daredevil who typically isn't afraid of much. I love this picture of my mom walking in with all the girls holding hands. They all clearly adore Grandma Cece.
At least Clara thought it was fun sharing the raft with Adelaide when the waves weren't going.
Afterwards we went to Café Rio for dinner, then stopped at the Sweet Tooth Fairy for birthday cupcakes for my mom and Lily. I found a new favorite - the Raspberry Limeade cupcake - although I still LOVE the Salted Caramel cupcake too.
I texted this picture to Paul since I knew it would make him jealous. He loves his grilled steak burrito enchilada style from Café Rio. We petition the Café Rio Facebook page on a regular basis to open a restaurant in the Bay Area.
It was fun being there for my mom's birthday. I made salmon and Jennie made a German chocolate cake and my grandparents and aunts came over. The girls enjoyed helping grandma open her presents.
Then Lily, Clara, and Emma climbed up on Grandpa. Somebody really should have held Adelaide up in this picture too. I know I am biased, but aren't these the cutest cousins you have ever seen? Everybody comments on how darling it is that we have a true redhead, a brunette, and a blonde in the mix, and it is looking like Adelaide will bridge the gap between Emma's color and Lily's color by being a true strawberry blonde like her mommy.
My aunt Renita read books to the girls before bedtime.
One day my sister Jessica had a bunch of her friends from Provo come up to the house for food, games, and swimming at Farmington Pond. Jennie, my mom, the girls, and I all decided to go to the pond too. We ALMOST didn't wear our swimsuits because pond-swimming? ew. but actually we were really glad we did. The water was lovely and we had so much fun.
Jessica showed me how it was done on the rope swing. It didn't look so hard but when I got up there, it totally freaked me out. Mostly because I was afraid I wouldn't have the arm strength to hold on to the rope long enough to swing out to where the water was deep enough for me to drop in without fear of breaking my leg or anything.
So first I bided my time letting other people have turns at the swing while I took pictures on my phone and played with the girls, swimming them out into the middle of the lake by turns while they sat in the inflatable pool toy.
Grandma even waded in so we could take a picture with ALL the girls (minus Adelaide again, who was asleep in her carseat on the bank).
Finally I decided I had stalled long enough and decided to attempt the rope swing. My first jump from the base of the tree was not scary at all. I actually climbed to the higher spot first and froze up, so Jessica told me to try the lower level first to get the jitters out since that is what she had done.
The problem with starting so low is that I couldn't reach high enough on the rope so I basically dragged through the water. It wasn't at all graceful and I hope I didn't embarrass Jessica too badly in front of all her friends.
But I immediately got right back up and climbed to the higher spot, which I am guessing was maybe 12 feet high? and jumped right away before I could think about it.
And I was pretty proud of myself for doing it. Feel free to have a good laugh at my expense for posting this picture. It was SO much fun though.
When it was time to go, Jennie and I swam the little girls across the lake in the little toy raft since we had parked on the opposite side and trekked in and didn't feel like trekking back. It wasn't far, but the girls liked being ferried across and Emma threw a fit that she only got one crossing.
After cleaning up, Emma did my hair for me. She was very serious about it too and when Clara took over Emma patiently explained multiple times to start brushing at the top and then go down (something that Clara still hadn't grasped). Thanks to Emma's tutelage, I am looking forward to fewer split ends and snarls from Clara's vigorous brushing of my hair in the wrong direction. I read books to Emma to prolong the pampering.
I'm very sad that this is the only picture I have of little almost four-month-old Adelaide from this trip. She is SUCH a cute and happy little gal but she only likes catnaps during the day. One time she woke up from a snooze and I held her because Jennie was getting ready. After not too long of me bouncing her, she fell back asleep in my arms. You guys, there not a whole lot in the world that gets better than this. Little Lady (my nickname for Adelaide - well, not mine alone, but the one I like to use) is such a snuggler and she liked nuzzling her head right up under my chin. So sweet.
My mom was awesome and did the 12 hour drive home with me on Sunday so that she could go to Clara's gymnastics class on Monday. I had forgotten that I had ordered a 40 lb. box of pears that got delivered while we were gone so she also got roped into helping me bottle pears, something I had never done on my own before.
It was a whirlwind trip and we are glad we got to see my side of the family while we were there. But we are also glad to be back home with Paul. I'll see if I can talk him into doing a write-up of his exploits on Rock Creek in Montana next.