Monday, August 20, 2012

Birthday, Family and Friends

While Chris was at a conference in Toronto, I spent the week in Herriman at Tiffany's house.  I actually arrived at their house 12 hours before they did and after finding a Sacrament Meeting with the kids, and settling in at Tiffany's, the kids and I had Sunday dinner at Chris' parents house.  I wondered if it'd be weird being there without Chris and the whole time I just felt right at home.  I love it there.

Tiffany and I chatted, did laundry and unpacked from our camping trip for the first few days. For Pioneer Day we did a morning "hike" up to this big boulder at the base of the foothills near their home. At the boulder we told the true pioneer stories of our Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather, John Pidding Jones (Or is his Hyrum? We never did figure that out). His trek from England to Cedar City was so exciting and tender. I'd love to put together another kids book about it.


Later in the afternoon we went to the Herriman Reservoir with all the kids and played in the water.  It rained and thundered on us, but we stuck it out under towels and had a nice time once it cleared up again. I loved playing frisbee with Sarah, Jared and Tiffany.  We finished off the day by bringing Grandma Dixie some chocolate dipped strawberries for her birthday!

I've decided if you're going to be away from your husband during your birthday week, the best place to be is at your sister's.  Tiff, Todd, Jared, Ashley, Sarah and German spoiled me the whole week by watching my kids for me at various times, making a yummy dinner and cake and just spending lots of time with me.  I honestly hardly felt the burden of single parenthood.  We had a yummy family dinner with my cousins Emily and Carli: smoked salmon, rice, salad, rolls and fruit. Also I couldn't decide what kind of cake I wanted and Tiffany humored me and we made two! Coconut cake with lemon filling and cream cheese frosting, and Coconut cake with Chocolate Mouse filling/frosting.  They were both super good, but I think my favorite was the lemon.

Gwen was afraid of Todd for most of the time until he won her over by offering to help get her nails painted!  One afternoon I tried to take my kids and Andrew for a bike ride and we went to a shaved ice stand (Hawaii has forever changed my definition of this treat and set a SUPER high bar of tastiness) that ended up being almost 3 miles from Tiffany's house, 1 way. The return trip would have been ALLLLL uphill. I called Tiffany and she rescued all the kids and their bikes and drove them home. It was all I could do to pull an empty trailer back. I'm not sure what I was thinking in the first place.


Ashley and Tiffany were perfect shopping and pampering buddies as I got ready for the kidless Hawaii trip Chris and I were taking the next week!! (pictures and details coming on the next post).

Chris did his best surprise for me by organizing my first ever professional massage! He got in from Toronto the day after my birthday in the morning and he told me he'd like to give Tiff and I a break from our kids for a bit later that day before the family birthday dinner. Maybe we could go shopping. I happily agreed and really loved the fact that he was so happy about doing this for us. Especially since he wanted to do it for Tiffany too.  He was just SMILING so big about it and a couple of times as it got closer and closer to dinner time, said, "shouldn't you guys be going now, if you want to get back before dinner?" He was so helpful in getting us out the door and was just so darn happy about it all. I chalked it all up to his being gone all week and missing my birthday and he was just probably happy to do something for us.  Maybe he was going to set up a surprise at the house while we were gone.

Tiffany was so sly about it all. I told Tiffany we should invite Ashley to come shopping with us and she dutifully called Ashley (who knew about the massage) and Ashley had to make up an excuse of why she couldn't come.  In the car, I saw Tiff pull out a piece of paper with writing on it, but kinda trying to hide it between her and the door as she drove (it had directions to the place). I thought it was just her shopping list and that she had to hold it funny since she was using one hand to drive.

I continued to jabber on about exactly what kind of things I wanted to get and I called Chris to ask him to check what size of shoe Charlie has since I was going to get him new ones and He asked if we were at the store yet. I told him no, we're still driving but he could just text it to me. Which he did. :) It wasn't until Tiffany slowed down and was driving like she was looking for something in the middle of this older residential area that I asked, "Where are we?"

"Surprise!" Tiff says as she pulls up to some random old house. "Chris paid for you and I to get an hour-long massage!"

I couldn't stop laughing. Chris actually managed to pull off a surprise! It probably helped that he only had 4-5 hours of being with me before it. The massage was awesome and sooo relaxing. I almost fell asleep once.

The fun week was topped off with a weekend with our dear friends, the Katz and Lewis Families. It was strange how normal it all felt even thought its been a year since we've all hung out. The Katz's still have the same furniture and the kids quickly fell into old habits of favorite games like flips onto the love sac. :) Amanda may hate me forever, but Chris and I introduced Peter, Joni and Aaron to Ninja Destruction. We had so much fun playing it for, what felt like hours the first night. Blood was definitely drawn on most people and I bruised my wrist...Peter and Aaron hit hard! We made our signature Chocolate Almond Cake and spent a day at a really beautiful lake, hiking around it, fishing from it and playing on Peter and Amanda's slack line.  I can't tell you how many times we've explored some type of nature with these people. It gives me that feeling of "everything is all right in the world."

Our last day together we went to a big splash pool with two water slides. Then Amanda, Joni and I went to a Zumba class together. Again, "everything is all right in the world" when I'm exercising with those girls. I love them tons and hope we can make time to spend some days together like that again.


Anonymous said...

Such wonderful times! The pic of the kids tongues is priceless! YEah for geneology!

MandaMommy said...

Yay! I'm so glad we made it happen! Now to wait for the next time we see you...December, right?? :o)