Sunday, November 16, 2014

Doggett Reunion in the rain...

Once upon a time, a very long time ago we moved to West Virginia for the first year of residency. I don't talk about it very often because it gives me PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) when I reflect back on living in a place that I couldn't have imagined. I honestly had no idea in my Utah bubble brain that places like that existed in America.  They deep fried their bologna sandwiches. They call the carts, "buggies" in an accent that you have to train yourself to understand. We literally lived in the middle of absolute nowhere in a house the size of a hamster cage. We drove away with a moving truck on Liv's 10th day of being alive. It was all very awesome as you can imagine. Me, with raging post birth hormones and emotions still using an ice pack with a 10 day old screeching baby moving away from my dream job, every friend, family member and thing I knew and loved.  Let us not dwell on the negative because there was one bright shining star of redemption that lived right across the street.... The Doggett family.

When I met Tara she was 7 months pregnant and they were living in their own hamster cage with Casey in his third year of residency.  I honestly feel like meeting Tara was like meeting a helicopter during the Titanic.  Their boys were Liv's protectors and her very first friends on Earth.

 When Casey graduated and they moved back to Washington, there was clearly no point in staying in West Virginia so we transferred to Denver (also a modern day miracle and evidence that Heavenly Father knew I would shrivel up like a social barnacle and die in that "wild and wonderful" place) and we promised that we would get together someday when we both didn't qualify for WIC and live in a crazy town.  Well, that prophecy came true.  There was a medical conference in Seattle and it was a no brainer. An epic reunion was in order.  It was so funny to go from this:

 To This:

 Liv and Arianna who could barely sit up when we last saw her were now both capable of talking like an adult and throwing a great tantrum.  It was so fun to see Elliot, Levi and Arianna again.  Grace obviously had no recognition of anybody but she was thrilled to be there just the same. We loved every minute of being in Spokane and then heading to Seattle.

We stayed in downtown Seattle and could walk to the Space needle and anywhere we wanted to be. We rode the monerail, went to Pikes market, ate heavenly Thai food, went to the childrens science center and saw as many sights as you can see when you have 5 kids under 5.
 (Liv was really into reading her map the whole walk over to the science center.
 Being at Pikes market did not inhibit Grace from having a fabulous tantrum right on the floor.
 We rode a ferris wheel over the pier and it was just as delightful as it sounded. Liv was thrilled.
 I was completely mesmerized by the human statues.

We soaked up every second in the rain. Touching sea anemones. Authentic pizzarias. More cultural diversity than Liv has seen in her whole lifetime. Umbrellas. Laughing. Eating Chocolate molten lava cake in the hotel lounge. Levi asking if the homeless man was real. Chipotle. Swimming in an lukewarm pool for hours. Butterfly pavilon.

Grace had some very clean sleeping quarters.

We absolutely loved Seattle. But even more than that we love the Doggett family.  You know you are real friends when years can pass and it feels like you just hung out an hour ago when you see them. This may have been the first reunion but it will not be the last. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Em and Cole come to town...

Em moved to Arizona. I have to write it so that my mind will hopefully one day fully process that implications of that news.  Em moved to Arizona. It felt like she was as permanent as Macey's grocery store in Provo because she had been there for so long but suddenly Nick got a new job and BAM they were moving. Not moving, moved. They are currently wearing sun screen and playing with lizards next to their pomegranate tree while I am digging around finding socks for Liv to wear on her hands because I can't find any gloves for the snow.  Anyway, even though she had only been away three weeks, she decided to come for a week to stay and it was heaven. As usual.
 Unless your arms are amputated, nails is a classic activity that is timeless as bras. It just has to be done any time there is a gathering of females. It's just the way it is.

Since American Falls doesn't have many world renowned sights and activities, taking them to the pharmacy was a big event for us.  It was delightful. I would say the Rockland Pharmacy is by far one of the top 2 highlights of things to do in this town. We are clearly still working on Grace's forced smile...
 We also had the honor of being chosen as the chili cook off judges at the scarecrow and chili feed auction so we gave Em and Cole a taste of the town and they were thoroughly impressed.  

 It's safe to say that there is no one my girls mutually adore more than cousin Cole.  We are all very well trained professionals at lurping around and staying in our pajamas so that is precisely what we did...

 We also went to the big city and did a little shopping.  I wanted to put my hand over my heart when we walked into Targets hallowed halls.  It had been far too long.

 We also discovered a pumpkin patch that puts commercialized Cornbellys to shame. We found the real deal, saw off your own, take a tractor to the field pumpkin patch and it was the most quintessential fall thing I have done thus far. Observe.
It looks fake. But its real. Idaho crisp fall air, green tractor type of real. It was so delightful.
It even came complete with "dig for your own potatoes" in a bin. I'm telling you, this state gets better every day.

 In case you can't tell, she doesn't have a black eye, she is a puppy. Free face painting was only the beginning of our perks.
It was fall at its finest.  We finished by picking up Wingers salads for dinner and then after the sidekicks were asleep we watched Shark Tank and then just talked about nothing. And there's nothing I love more.  
It always feels like too long until we see them again.  Cole will give Grace the emotional support she needs in the meantime...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Polish Party in the Lovely Deseret....

I just ripped off the whole month of October from our calendar and it didn't even have a thing written down because it went too fast. We kicked it off by going to Conference in Utah where Garrett had a Polish mission reunion.
The Polish was really fun....for everyone that spoke Polish.  We did sealings before the Polish.  All the Elders (former) were in heaven.  All the wives had glazed eyes since we sat for 2 hours without understanding anything.  I think I feel the spirit and concentrate much better in English.
While the men all went to Priesthood we went with the ladies to Riverwoods...
We made wishes in the fountain, ate chocolate apples at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory (if you haven't partaken of such a dessert, you must make all the necessary sacrifices to do so).
We also enjoyed Bikenstaffs childrens toy store where you can ride a rocking horse the size of a real pony. It smells much nicer. And the back isn't sweaty. I like horseback riding except I have always had a problem with the fact that the horses back is disgustingly sweaty. Lets get back to the recap and not linger on sweaty horses.
We spent the night at my grandma Harris' house.  I know everyone loves their grandma but if you met my grandma you would feel raging jealousy that she isn't on your family tree.  There's not a better 85 year old anywhere. She's more entertaining than watching a redbox and has the most delightful personality of anyone I know.
Coming to Utah is always  a treat but one of the added bonuses is the fact that Liv and Grace basically feel like they are at Disneyland. In fact Disneyland might be a bit of a let down because I don't think Micky would be nearly as interested in giving them attention as my family is.  Liv loves being in charge and had the whole family hold up these ripped pieces of paper. She didn't have a plan, she just liked the power and had everyone pass them back in and then after she had collected them she passed them back out... you get the idea.
Liv's face in this photo accurately depicts her feelings about being at my moms house.
Em and Cole flew into Provo on Sunday so Grace was beyond delighted to have her best friend back.  

Even though I didn't grow up in Lehi and have lived in 4 different houses in the last 4 years, it always always feels like nowhere else on Earth to pull up in the driveway and be home.