Fourth of July Camping

A few weeks ago for the holiday weekend, we went up North to spend time with friends. We went to our usual favorite spot in Flagstaff (you can read about more of our camping adventures here and here). When we got there, we headed over to the Priest Draw climbing area so Jordan could get on a couple of boulders. It had been a while since he’s been able to climb (he’s been more into to mountain biking lately), but he did great, like usual! 😉  And Buddy was SO excited to watch Dad!


Jonah kept wanting to get on the rocks and try routes. And use the crash pads as a trampoline. It was the cutest. Jordan also helped him climb some of the smaller rocks a little bit.


Little man was such a trooper. He got into some stinging nettle or some plant that he had a bad reaction to… his legs were SO red and bumpy. It broke my heart. He still just kept trucking along playing with our friends’ dog, Molly, and making friends with new people that came to climb there. One of my favorite things about him and something I admire a lot is how social he is… the kid can make friends with anyone! He has no shame or shyness and just loves people, in general. It is the sweetest.


After Priest Draw, we went back to our campsite and made some MREs for dinner. Not long after, it started raining on us. Of course! Thankfully, my hunky man had made me a super soft and comfy bed to sleep on in the Element, so all three of us just opened the back and snuggled in there, listening to the rain and thunder. It was heaven! It poured pretty heavy most of the night…. we backed the tailgates of our two cars together with our friends, folded up the seats, and all had a pow wow in them. It was a nice way to make lemonade out of lemons and at least get some fun hang out time. There were these huge and prehistoric-looking flying bugs that kept dive bombing us and our lantern that we had hung up. SO nasty. I’m not normally that afraid of insects, but once one flew directly into my hair and made that weird buzzing noise in my ear, I was kind of done for the evening.

Buddy and I slept in the car, and Jordan used the tent. When we asked Jonah earlier if he wanted to sleep with me that night, he said, “No, you too BIG! Daddy is smaller!” Out of the mouths of babes 🙂 We were all so exhausted, we had a nice rest.

The next morning, we had breakfast and headed over to meet up with our good friends, Ammon and Jes, and their family at the parade in downtown Flagstaff. It was sunny and maybe a little too warm, but I think it made us a little nostalgic for small town living. Down in the Valley, it’s way too hot and big to do anything too exciting on the Fourth… you mostly just try and watch fireworks from inside of the car in the air conditioning somewhere. Jonah waved his little mini flag the ENTIRE time and was really excited to see the remote control cars going over jumps and the fire truck that sprayed us with a hose. He also was SO excited to see his friends Emma and Adele (or Miguel, as he called her… hahahah). This picture of them warms my heart.

IMG_0261Later on, we went with the Barkers to a BBQ in their friends’ beautiful backyard and got to enjoy the nice weather. And eat apple pie, which is obviously the best part! Buddy kept disappearing into their house and looking through all of their rooms, which was cracking me up. Seriously, no shame! We had a really great weekend, and I’m so glad we all got to spend such a fun time together celebrating our country. Maybe it was just the pregnancy hormones, but I kept getting choked up during the parade and feeling really teary and proud. I’m just so grateful for our lives and my sweet family, and I know we are lucky to live here. ‘Merica!



IMG_1107Our annual cookie decorating competition. My aunt makes TONS of sugar cookies, and a couple nights before Christmas, we frost them all. It’s part torture and part holiday fun! It was stiff competition, but Jordan was crowned the winner of the most beautifully decorated cookie this year. All I can say is, next year, it’s going down/it’s on like Donkey Kong.


I don’t have a lot of Christmas pictures to post (bummer!). Honestly, 2014 was kind of a rough holiday season for us. The month of November was a doozy, and it seemed like I spent most of December busy and stressed out. I hate to say it, but I just did not have the Christmas spirit (when it is usually my absolute favorite time of the year). Thankfully, the closer to the 25th it got, the more I tried to forget about presents and parties and focus on what the holiday really is all about. It definitely helped to put more of my focus on Christ’s birth and the happiness that it brings me. We had a really uplifting lesson/activity in at church in Relief Society about Mary and her struggles and joys while carrying, giving birth to, and raising the Savior, and it came during a time when I really needed it.

Every Christmas Eve of our marriage, we have been celebrated with a lot of family. This year, we stayed here and in our home and just spent it together as the three of us. We delivered cookies to our friends and neighbors, watched movies, and just enjoyed the evening. It was SO NICE. Even though we love a good shindig with our extended families, it’s going to be hard to top spending a quiet and magical one at home as our own little unit!

We felt so blessed this year. Our families and friends went above and beyond in the generosity and supportive departments. Our sweet next-door neighbors even brought us over some Christmas lights and yard balloons to put up. Jordan was in school, and we didn’t have a lot of time to go shop for them/decorate. Jonah was in HEAVEN, and his favorite part of the day was when we got to blow up our Santa and penguin balloons in the yard.

All in all, it ended up being a fabulous holiday season, and we are so excited to start a new year!

IMG_1108My favorite picture of Great Grandpa and little man wearing his Rudolph nose.

IMG_1037My cute little husband and his prize winning cookie. He looks so full of joy!

Thanksgiving Week


We went up to Utah for Thanksgiving! We always love visiting Jordan’s side of the family up there, but usually we only have about 4 days to get through A LOT of friends and family (like, 9 siblings and a million nieces and nephews worth). Those trips are awesome and we will get in some family time anywhere we can, but we usually end up leaving more exhausted than when we came. This time around, we stayed in Bountiful for almost a week and a half, and it was so nice to just relax and enjoy our break. Jonah got to play in snow for the first time (because it was FREEZING!), and we just had oodles of fun. Highlights were visiting Temple Square and seeing the lights, eating at Crown Burgers, playing with Sammie, and me making three times more stuffing than I needed to because I have no idea how to cook for more than about five people. Oooops.


Our favorite part of any trip to Salt Lake… ‘Cause, really, what is better than a pastrami burger and french fries with fry sauce?


We stayed with Jordan’s sister, Angela, and her family. Which meant we got to cuddle with their Shih Tzu, Sammie, for a week. It was THE BEST. Buddy was in Heaven.


Jonah AND doggy snuggles!? This is Jordan’s, “I’m the luckiest man alive and my heart is melting” face.




Saturday night after Thanksgiving, we went with some of our family to the SLC Temple lights. We went on one of the first nights that they were lit, and it was really warm, so there were a zillion people there. We didn’t last long. It was so nice to be able to show little man where we were married, though, and start off the Christmas season right.
15603688673_4aea59ed6f_oLove my sweet boy! He had about had it at this point. Obviously.


All in all, we all really enjoyed spending time together. With Jordan in school, that time is few and far between these days. We felt really blessed to take a break together and reconnect. So thankful for the holidays!