I'm not sure how long it will be until I take those quotation marks away. Brandon feels even less settled than I do since he got in town Thursday night and we left on Friday for an extended Reynolds reunion, camping style, at Yuba Lake until yesterday. Let me tell you how fun it was to go digging through unpacked boxes to try and put together camping gear for six. But you know Brandon did the worst of it - he's the gear man, I just do the laundry and gather the food. Man, am I glad he's back.
(About feeling unsettled, I told Brandon that Stockholm Syndrome sets in on about day 5. Just kidding, Utahans. I'm liking it here. I'm sure I'll like it even more once we start putting down some roots. I'm so impatient, it's ridiculous. We haven't even finished unpacking, haven't started school or work, haven't been to our church here more than once. What do I expect? A neighborhood party just for me?)
Blogs are interesting things, because no one goes out of their way to post bad pictures or write about the boring or even depressing parts of their lives. Personally, I like to blog because it forces me to focus on the positive things in my life, even if it's just the things I learn from the hard stuff, or the one happy moment in a really rough week.
So keep that in mind as I post some dreamy pictures from beautiful Utah over the last week or so. 90% of my life these days is endlessly moving STUFF from one spot to another with four bored children who gravitate to screens like flies to poop. (And I am ABSOLUTELY cutting the cable again now that we've had it for a grand total of two weeks. Honestly, as long as there is hulu and netflix, why pay for that garbage and risk exposing your kids to the trash that is on around the clock! And if it's not blatant trash, it's mindless, shallow, pop culture idiocy. Ask me how I really feel . . .)
So, here are a few pictures from some of our recent adventures. (But I still haven't found the cord to my nicer camera so I'm afraid some of my pictures will end up stuck in the abyss of iphoto once I finally get around to uploading them. Especially some of the better ones from last weekends camping trip. The sunrise pictures, the campfire pictures, the group family pictures . . . oh, well.)
(Could I put anymore things in parentheses?)
I took the little girls to a storytelling of 'Robin Hood' at the dinosaur museum last week while the older two ransacked the gift store. I don't know who was more surprised, me or the storyteller, when 2-year-old Rachael raised her hand to go up and get outfitted as Will Scarlet. Look at this expression:
Elizabeth as Maid Marion in disguise. Of course, she held out for that part.
The dinosaur museum (Museum of Ancient Life) is actually part of a larger 'park' called Thanksgiving Point, and I must have been really desperate to avoid unpacking that day, because I talked the tired kids into going over to 'Farm Country' to see the animals and all the rest of it. It was much more extensive than I thought, but we all had a great time with the help of a little ice cream.
That teenage girl back there is raking up horse poopy. I was walking through there in my flip flops, and let me tell you, I needed to do some serious shuffling through the grass afterward.
Helloooo! It's Iowa, but with mountains, dry air and no bugs! What's not to love?
This picture is not staged - I just happened to catch it. He had no idea that llama was there.
We've decided when we do buy, we want enough land that we could get some of these 'Japanese' chickens. Along those same lines, Kate just about has us convinced to buy a Newfoundland when we buy a house too. First it was, 'we will never, ever get a dog', then it was, 'maybe a cute little Pomeranian or Maltepoo' and then tonight I caught myself reluctantly agreeing that a big, cuddly, protective, loyal Newfoundland might actually be kind of nice.
Next thing you know, we'll be listening to country music.
I gotta get me one of these for the unfinished basement:
On to the Yuba Lake family reunion and my dearth of pictures, held hostage in my other camera.
Couldn't resist a tent picture since most of my waking hours were spent in there! Actually, the first night Brandon gave me some Tylenol PM, cousin Jalene gave me earplugs, and I also had the forethought to bring my prissy eye mask. That little combination made it hard for me to think straight until about 10am. I rarely take any kind of 'drugs' at all, so apparently two Tylenol PM is too much.
The next and last night I opted out and enjoyed staying up late with Kate, Will, Brandon and some cousins around the campfire, looking for shooting stars. Southern Utah is pretty "middle of nowhere", so the Milky Way was thicker than I had ever seen it.
Cousin Tim had all the little girls on a 'train' making choo choo noises.
Not sure what Elizabeth is doing here, but it's got Tim on the alert.
Kate, Jane, and Helen on the boat.
Me and my munchie.
Elizabeth, Pen (Penelope - her "new best friend") and Helen
Bathing beach beauties:
Brandon's dad has one brother with ten children and gobs of grandchildren, and a sister with four children and a bunch of grandchildren. Most of them made it to the reunion. A few came and went during the weekend, but at most we had 60 there at once. Highlights of the family reunion:
Seeing everyone, catching up, the large group meeting on Sunday morning together.
Fishing. (Will and Kate)
Sleeping to the sound of crickets.
Surprisingly clean and light camping showers and bathrooms.
Water fun, namely the rented wave runners with Kate and tubing with Elizabeth and Will on my lap. (I basically ate their life jackets the whole time.)
Jalene's homemade buttermilk syrup, three varieties: original, coconut, and amaretto. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!! That stuff was unbelievable and she sent the leftovers home with yours truly, I think simply because I couldn't stop raving about her amazing sauce.
The strange feeling of driving north to go home, instead of south. (Brandon)
So even though we've put away our traveling gear, I feel like it's time to start living like a tourist again. It's no L.A., but there really is a lot to see and do around here.
And we're all getting excited for a real fall again.