We went to Utah to visit family at the end of May. It was a great trip--not only were we happy to be with family but we also enjoyed mild weather and beautiful mountain scenery.
We were in Utah during Memorial Day. On the Saturday before memorial day, my grandpa would go to his ancestors' graves and place flowers on them. After his death, my parents continued the tradition. They are on a mission in Canada right now so since we were in Utah, I decided to do it. I couldn't make it to all my family members' graves but I was able to decorate Grandpa's.
Grandma & Grandpa Wheeler's grave. I have to say...I now know why Grandpa would go on Saturday. The cemetary was so crowded. We had to wait in a line to get in. It was heartening to see everyone honor their loved ones who had passed.
Brynlie at the gravesite.
The kids in front of the grave. I think it was a good experience for them. They had a lot of questions...most of them morbid (about what their bodies looked like now, etc). ;) That's kids for ya.
Kamary and I. I loved the scenery with the mountains in the background.
Lauren smelling the flowers.
Alyssa reading the monument. This monument is how we found Grandma & Grandpa's grave.
After decorating the grave, we went back to the Smith's house and had a great BBQ with Grandpa Smith's famous bleu cheese/jalepeno burgers. We enjoyed visiting with everyone.
During dinner Hanna started having seizures so the next day we took it easy. Grandma & Grandpa took us to Dr. Suess's The Lorax and then we took a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Here we are on a path by the river. I have really missed being close to the canyons. It was so nice to be in nature and enjoy the weather and fresh air (dust free).
Hanna, Kamary & Alyssa playing by the river.
I used to have a lady take pictures of the kids for me. She moved and so I was just messing around to see if I could get some cute pictures of the kids that would be "wall worthy". Here is Brynlie.
Jason rock climbing.
Kamary was due to get yearly pictures taken so I took a lot of her.
This is Kamary's true laugh. So cute.
Walking on the bridge.
The next day, Hanna really wanted go to the Salt Lake City Temple. So Jason called and he and Hanna were able to perform baptisms for some family members that have passed away. It was a great experience for her. We went to Temple Square and hung out taking pictures and enjoying the day while waiting for them to finish in the temple.
More pictures of Kamary. She looked so pretty.
I like this one, even though her hair is blowing across her face.
She's really turning into a beautiful young woman.
Of course others wanted their pictures taken as well. Here's Kohler in true form.
Here's sweet Lauren.
I got one of the kids in front of the temple.
Lauren is being a warrior for righteousness.
We played around with forced perspective. We had a lot of fun. We had to move once in a while so others could take wedding pictures.
After Jason and Hanna were done, we went and toured the Conference Center together. Here we are on the roof.
Here we are in the conference center. While we were here, an organist was practicing Toccatta & Fugue by Bach. It's a piece I learned this year during Halloween. I had to stay and listen to it on the big organ. You could feel the vibrations. It was so cool!
This is a pretty typical shot of us trying to get a family picture. :)
The next day we headed up to Layton to visit Jason's sister, Lynette. It was a great day. Her daughter, Rachel was graduating from Layton High School and we were able to attend. It was a lot of fun and pretty surreal seeing that I was doing the same thing 20 years ago. That time flew. In the evening we had a celebration with all types of salads to eat. It was great!
We were able to go with Lynette and her family up the canyon to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. We love being up the canyon!
Brynlie on a rock.
Lauren by the river.
Kamary and her cousin, Marianne.
Hanna was mad that day so she refused to smile.
This is the look she gave me when I tried to make her smile for the camera.
Playing in the river. The scenery was so beautiful. I used to think that Utah was brown and ugly. I guess 9 years in Arizona makes me appreciate Utah's beauty.
Kohler and his cousin Curtis. They were inseperable while we were there. Both boys live in a family full of girls. I'm sure they are so excited to have "boy time" when they're together.
Jason by the fire.
Cathryn, Bill and Hanna hanging out.
Roasting hot dogs.
Brynlie eating yummy food.
Lauren and Brynlie climbing trees.
Kohler and Curtis
Cathryn loves the smell of campfire so she's waving her pillow in the smoke so it can smell like campfire.
We were being silly. Marianne's marshmallows kept catching on fire so we made a torch and did a pose for this year's Young Women theme...Arise and Shine Forth!
Kohler loves to collect things, especially rocks! Everyday in Kindergarten he would come home with a rock he had found in the playground. He filled this marshmallow bag full of rocks. Sadly I only let him bring one home.
Kohler showing me his favorite rock.
The main reason for going up to Utah was to see his brother, Wyatt, and his family get sealed in the temple. It was a wonderful experience. That morning, before the ceremony, Jason and I got in a fight. I didn't want to go to a sealing with bad feelings toward my husband. How counterproductive is that? Anyway, we made up and it ended up being a very spiritual experience for me. The sealer said some words and I felt like they were directed toward me. It really was what I needed to hear.
Wyatt and Janet were so happy. They both were beaming. And when they brought in the children...it really did feel like heaven.
Wyatt and his family coming out of the temple. They were so happy.
Jason and I. We just celebrated 15 years of marriage.
After the ceremony we all got together for dinner (of course...what family celebration would it be without food?)
Here is Wyatt's son, Colin, watching Hanna draw. He is a very sweet boy.
Lauren and her cousin, Madison. They were so cute together.
Kohler and Curtis. This is the formal picture.
Kohler and Curtis...silly picture (or should I say, real life picture?)
Lynette and Lizzie.
Lizzie's full name is Elizabeth Jane from Pride and Prejudice. I just LOVE that name. Usually in our house we call her by her full name, Elizabeth Jane, just because we love it so much!
Cathryn is a fashionista! I loved her outfit.
Cathryn watching Hanna draw. Cathryn and Rachel were so kind to Hanna. I really appreciated them accepting her for who she was (quirks and all).
Alyssa chillin'. She has it kind of rough. Everyone has a cousin their age except for Alyssa. She's too young to play with the teenagers and too old to play with the toddlers. Sadly, I think she kind of felt left out at times. :(
Cathryn and Lizzie.
Here are the teenager (or pre-teen) cousins hanging out and being silly. Kaylee, Valerie, Kamary and Marianne.
Lauren and Madison are playing like sleeping (or dead) princesses. I think one is dead and one is sleeping. :) They were in their own little make-believe world!
Our celebrations turned into a water fight.
With Jason in the middle of it all--of course!
Here is a picture that Hanna drew while on our trip.
We were so grateful to be able to go up to Utah. It was a busy but rejuvinating trip. It was great to see family and I felt like I gained better perspective on what is MOST important...FAMILY!!