Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cabin fever

This year my brother did something genius. Genius I tell you. When asked what he wanted for his birthday his only request was "time with the family", so way back in November my Dad got hard at work reserving Wasatch State Park's only two cabins.

First we chose December so we could enjoy snow activities, but moved it to March hoping for more snow. But with an early spring and weeks of mild temperatures, there was little snow to be found, instead we had glorious sunshine.
One cabin was for my crazy bunch, the other for my sibs. My dad and his fiancee brought their trailer and spent the night in that.

The kids were thrilled to play on their first ever bunk bed. They thought the cabin was the neatest thing ever and couldn't wait to explore everywhere. (When we were checking out the next day James got teary, asking why we couldn't just live in the cabin.)
They were being so silly and happy on the top bunk I thought I'd try for a photo. Anyone with more than one kid knows, getting them both looking at you and smiling is a rare rare gem. 
James wasn't grumpy, he just really didn't want to stop playing for a photo.
This one cracks me up. He has the worst forced smile ever and she looks like Chris Farley.
This one may be the best I got.
After a rough week with this girl she seemed to be cheered up.
Our hosts, who live only minutes from our home, but we don't see them nearly enough. An overnight trip was just the ticket to finally get us all together.
Wasatch State Park's Visitor's Center is right near this beautiful pond and playground. We spent so much time there. We took a long walk and explored the visitor's center from top to bottom. James kept going to see the taxidermy animals saying "I want to visit those beautiful animals one more time."
Both of my brothers were loving seeing these two kiddos in action. They don't see them hardly enough and they couldn't get over how much each had grown.

The views up there are stunning wherever you look, and when I found a pocket of golden light and my boy stood still for a moment, I snapped my favorite shot from our trip.

After far too long in the sun and cold air everyone agreed we must go get Mexican food. Looking at this photo makes me hungry. But also sad because I seem to get plenty of photos of my kids, but none of my brothers. Must fix that. 
After dinner we discovered the most amazing bakery located at the same restaurant. I swear we paid for something, found something else that looked good and paid for that, over and over like 6 times in a row. It was hilarious. I choose a huge sprinkled sugar cookie for the kids and James's half was gone in record time. Juliet, however, didn't think to bite the cookie. She was more interested in licking off the sprinkles.
Earlier in the afternoon we had found the most perfect little stream. Nice and shallow in areas and nice and deep in others. What made it the most perfect was its abundance of big round rocks. Earlier James and his uncles had dammed the river with rocks to make a big deep pool. He was so excited to take Daddy back to throw rocks. As you can see, we got some spectacular splashes. (Side note: I love the time change. Light at seven pm?!! LOVE!)
Goofy and all smiles.
Forty five minutes later she's still licking her cookie...
The sunset was beautiful, clear and cold.

As we relaxed with my brothers (my sis was unavailable), my Dad and Tracie, E spotted some wild turkeys off in the distance.
E and I are sticklers with bedtime, but since it was a special occasion, we let the kids stay up laughing and playing with their uncles and Grandpa until eight o'clock. I know, big deal. ;)
Finally we bid farewell and made it back to our cabin with two very excited not-at-all-tired kids.
Only moments later my dad came knocking. "The full moon is on the rise! Come out and see!" So out we went to watch the perfect circle of a moon inch slowly into the sky. Since my not-at-all-tired kiddos were not-at-all-tired they decided to make the picnic table a stage and sing to the rising moon. And dance. And act completely and utterly heart melting. As I stood there watching the moon I realized, this, this is my life. I am raising these two. I get to experience things like this with them. I will treasure that memory forever.
And in action. In the above photo I edited out the houses on the hillside, but you'll notice them here. These kids of mine are goofs!
Back inside we changed into jams and they still were not exactly acting tired.
Soon lights were off and somewhat soon both kids were asleep. Success! The both slept all night and quietly peeped at seven am, saying "is it morning?"
And the sunrise was just as beautiful as the sunset. Cold. Oh so cold. But so beautiful.

James was beyond thrilled to find a "perfect strong hikin' stick."
After using the stick to break apart what little of the snow remained we wandered over to the river to find it covered in the most beautiful intricate ice I've ever seen.

James was entranced. He expertly climbed on every rock and every log so he could use his big stick to crack the ice.
Juliet was clearly not too happy about the cold. So she and Daddy went back to the cabin while I got to spend an hour exploring the frozen river with my sweet boy.

Sometimes when your focus isn't just right you still add the photo anyway because it is too darling to pass up.
Better, but not as sweet as above.
He was as happy as I've ever seen him. This boy is in his happy place out in nature.
Mostly I just obsessed over the ice before James could break it up.

Up the river we went, walking, stopping, taking it all it.
Never did he slip or fall, which frankly surprised me.
Tongue to the side for ultimate concentration.
Back near the cabins I finally got a shot of James with his uncles. These three are thick as thieves and laugh and laugh when they see each other.
After bags were packed and cabins were cleaned we headed to downtown Heber for breakfast. Chicks is a famous diner style breakfast joint.
Although classic diner food is far from my favorite, there really is something so charming about small town diners. And the breakfast burrito was quite yummy!
All too soon it was time to say goodbye to some of our favorite people in the world. Happy birthday Brandon. You are a genius. Let's do this every year, ok? Love you.
We are wiped.


  1. All of your posts make me want to visit Utah. It looks absolutely beautiful! (although not quite as beautiful as your family. ;) )

  2. Lovely photos! I spy a Jellycat bunny in the last one!

  3. So fun! I think I may just have to look into staying there at some point when grandma or grandpa are in town. Great pics!


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