Friday, June 19, 2009

We're Back!

Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? We've had a big week. We were at a family reunion in Utah since Monday. Also, Adam's sister had her baby on Saturday morning before we left, so we were excited to hold him and see the new family member. He's adorable and tiny.

The family reunion was a great vacation, one with a healthy mix of big family time and our small family time. We left on Monday at 7 (which meant we got up at 5) to catch a thankfully nonstop flight to Salt Lake. Katrina was as excellent as she possibly could have been. She only had trouble midway because she wanted to fall asleep but her car seat wasn't as reclined as it normally is, so she struggled a bit. We arrived at last, and got to visit my parents who are serving as missionaries at Church Headquarters. They took us to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in South Jordan where we were able to walk through it as part of the Open House before it is dedicated. It was a very pretty temple! After that we wandered around Provo a bit before heading up the canyon to the cabin in Heber where the reunion was. I'll post some pictures after I find the DVD with all of the pictures people took. I'm pretty sure it's in Adam's bag in the car, with him.

The first night was a little crazy. We were so exhausted. Katrina, even though she was tired too, and must have been confused by this day that wouldn't end, did really well with all of the noise and attention she received. She also loved walking around everywhere, especially right under people's feet. I was freaking out a little all night because there was a set of stairs I was afraid she would fall down. We kept trying to teach her how to go down stairs on the two steps between the kitchen and living room, but she would scoot down one and then go face first down the other. So I was very nervous about her falling down the large staircase. We finally rigged up a baby gate with one of the tables, which worked except when we needed it at family meals. I was much happier after that. She also figured out how to climb stairs on the other staircase, but she didn't do that too often, so I could follow behind her and save her when she got tired of climbing.

Our second day was mostly free time. We headed out to the grocery store for diapers and didn't get back home until after 3! First we decided to just drive around and ended up looking at huge houses in Midway and then finding this fun place called Memorial Hill. We had to circle it several times and it had awesome views of the whole valley. We also checked out a cemetery and just had fun driving around. Then we got a call to join everyone else in a short hike farther down the canyon. We agreed, even though we had only eaten M&Ms and Jelly Bellies all morning, since we thought it would be short. Turns it it took a long time to get there, and was on a super windy road deep into the mountains. The hike around was short and pretty, but we had to head back quickly just to go get food! My brother entertained Katrina in the back seat, and she went from giving him wary smiles (he has long hair and intimidates some small children at first) to absolutely loving him. We did have to stop for a few minutes after she got into a screaming fit. That happened a couple times this trip. We figured she must have been fed up with her carseat and just needed a break. Hey, I would too!

That evening and Wednesday morning were mostly family time. We always have a family meeting and we also celebrated a handful of June birthdays with decadent pies made by my brother. Oh, and then we had to orchestrate the family picture. I had kept my camera in my bags because it is so big and I didn't want to carry it around, but it turns out we have the nicest camera! So it took the pictures. That afternoon we decided to explore Park City up the road. We didn't actually make it to Park City because we got distracted by Olympic Park. We walked through a ski museum and got to watch aerial sky jumpers practice. During the summer, they train by skiing and snowboarding into a pool! We got some cool videos from that.

Wednesday night was the incident that I'm sure everyone will remember the reunion by. My nephews play hockey and about half the family decided to drive to the older one's game in Salt Lake. I really wanted to go, but Adam and I were still on Eastern time and we got wiped out each day at about 9 or 9:30. Most of the cars were about to leave, when we realized that my brother's van was absolutely stuck. This driveway was horrible. Fitting everyone on it was difficult enough, without the fact that it was so steep and it was rainy! We were afraid our rental PT Cruiser wouldn't make it back up, and I saw several other Hondas and Hyundais and other cars struggle too. But in order to make room, the van had been moved forward to the very bottom of the hill, and with all the rain, well, the front two tires were absolutely stuck. All the able bodied men tried to push it out, but that didn't work. We had my dad's truck, but no one had keys. Luckily it was unlocked and we were able to locate the key to his metal box in the back that had ropes. The only other car with 4 wheel drive was my uncle's rental Yukon. Adam and my grandma tied the knots and the Yukon and my brother got ready to back out. At first they tried to just pull it out, but it wasn't quite enough, so they reversed at the same time and the van popped right out. There were many cheers all around!

Yesterday was the last day, and it was mostly traveling. We left the cabin at 11 and drove to Salt Lake, but stopped in Park City first to see what it was like. We would have loved to have gotten out and walked on Main Street, but Katrina was asleep. So we headed to Salt Lake. We walked around Temple Square and tried to go to ZCMI Mall to eat at the food court. Umm, that mall isn't there anymore. When did that happen? So we ate at the Lion House and headed back to my parents' apartment. They took us on a tour of the translation part of the Conference Center! It was really cool to see what goes on right underneath the balcony floor. They have fifty or more translation booths and my parents explained the process that goes on to translate each talk at General Conference or for any other event (like the Stake Conferences that are broadcast). It's way impressive. We got to see a couple of rooms full of servers and other equipment that monitor everything going on. I'm sure it's quite a production come General Conference! After that we headed to the airport.

The flight back was not as nice as the one over, even though it was about an hour less time in the air. Katrina was super hungry and ate most of her food before the plane took off. She kept complaining and we had a hard time entertaining her. We had had pretty bad turbulence on the way over, but this was so much worse. The whole plane was rolling from side to side and we were bouncing around in our seatbelts. The flight attendants in the aisle just had to sit down on someone's armrest and stay there for maybe ten minutes or more until it settled down. Katrina finally fell asleep when there was less than an hour left, and slept through the whole landing. I wish I could say we were able to go straight home, but after we got our luggage we had to go on a 20 minute or so shuttle ride to long term parking. We finally got home at 12:30.

Katrina slept until 9:30 this morning. We were woken up at 7:15 by a chainsaw outside our window chopping branches off our our bushes. 7:15! With a chainsaw! It lasted forever and I wanted to kill somebody. At least I got to go back to sleep, but Adam had to go to work. He has a campout tonight. No rest! I hope he doesn't get sick. The other bad thing is that we have no food. I really stretched my imagination to give Katrina breakfast (graham crackers, a cheese stick, and applesauce). We will be going shopping with the stroller sometime today.

Katrina just told me she wants to take a nap. I'm not sure she understands that sign quite yet, but I put her down anyway even though she's only been up for an hour and a half. I like teaching her sign language! It's so fun to communicate with my baby.

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