Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Exploring Moab- Dead Horse Point

Though it was by no means a rough winter this year, it's always nice to get away to some place a bit warmer.  So when RB found out he had a three day weekend, we did some very last minute packing and hotel hunting and managed to make a quick trip down to Moab.

Since our last biking attempt wasn't what I'd call a huge success, I was a little skeptical about trying it again.  I, of course, was out voted though, so we located some "warm up" rides on the Moab Brand Trails.

Despite being on only a balance bike, Theo was able to manage the entire trail.  Pretty impressive since he basically ran the whole time.

Seeing that we all managed to survive the first day, we decided we were ready for some "real" trails at Dead Horse Point National Park.

The boys rode like champs.  Despite making a wrong turn somewhere and ending up on an 8 mile loop instead of a 3 miler
--big parenting FAIL right there--, everyone made it out alive...
  It was a loooong day of biking.

It was pretty enough to be worth it, though.  And with just the right amount of "fruit snack power-ups" everyone finished smiling.

***Full disclosure: This last pic was taken somewhere in the middle of the ride.  They most decidedly did not look this happy when we finally finished.  At some point along the end of riding Theo kept repeating, "I'll never make it.  I'll never make it.  Am I dying, Mom?"  ... but I choose to remember it this way instead.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


You may not know this about RB, but he kind of likes The Ohio State Buckeyes.  So when they made it to the first ever National Championship, it wasn't long before he figured out a way to make this happen:

And of course, he managed to get a few fellow fans to sit next to him--

namely, Anthony, Sidney, Opa, Uncle Wayne, and cousin Spencer,

Timmy from the good ol' BYU days,

and Jake from our Columbus days.

The littler fans back home wanted to join in the excitement too, so  I agreed to let Calvin invite a few buddies over for the game.  

Calvin proved to be an amazing party host.  
He supplied all of the decorations:

Carefully thought out the half-time entertainment:

 And created a menu that seemed to go over well with his guests:

As four little and one big boy told me before going to bed,
"It was a good night."

New Year's in St. George

For New Years this year we decided to head down to St. George with our good friends, the Crocketts.  They have four little boys as well, so it was pretty much a non-stop, how-can-we-wear-them-all-out weekend.

We started off by hiking around Snow Canyon:

The sand dunes were definitely a hit.

Despite this:

and this:

 The Crocketts lived in Columbus with us, so when the Sugar Bowl came on, it was time to head home and change into more appropriate colors.

It got a little intense at times but, luckily, there was a happy ending.

And then it was off to "bed".

We finished up the trip with checking out dinosaur tracks and doing a little off roading.  

It turns out, our Sequoia isn't all that great at being off road.  So we mostly just watched and let our boys take turns in "the cool car".

 You're welcome little boys... the next trip is going to involve a musical and museum. 
Ha, right. sniff. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Christmas in July

Yes, it may be July now, but there are a few things I want to remember about this past Christmas.  One being that our boys were the perfect ages to REALLY get into it.  I think we were on Christmas countdown the day after Halloween.

In an attempt to make the move here to Salt Lake as easy as possible, we brought as little as possible.  Meaning very few Christmas decorations.  These little artists were happy to make up for what we lacked.

As we unpacked our fake tree and started decorating it, I noticed Malcolm staring at it a bit concerned.  He didn't say anything until it was all finished...

"So, mom, I thought when we put the ornaments and lights on the tree it would look bigger.  You know, like a regular Christmas tree?"

It's amazing to me the things they don't notice at times and the things they DO notice.  He got over our shrimpy tree eventually, well, pretty much anyway.

Each year RB's family does a hand made gift exchange.  While our family has become notorious for giving calendars and quilts, we decided to mix it up this year.  Here are Aunt Julia and Uncle Chris with their brand new, hand crafted nativity set.  The boys were very proud.

And perhaps one of the biggest highlights of all this Christmas, for this family anyway, was staying up late and watching this:

Noah's Baptism

The same week we moved into our house here in Salt Lake, this little guy turned 8.  

Trying to set up his baptism was a little chaotic, but it all worked out in the end.  

It was a wonderful night.  We were so touched by all of the family that traveled so far to be there that night for Noah.

 Oma and Opa Jones

Grammy and Grandpa Liljenquist

Here is one of my favorite pics, so grateful Grandma Alyce made the trip- four generations of Joneses:

 and of course, The uncles and Neves cousins always make it a party...

worth remembering:

In an attempt to play catch-up on the blog, I was sorting through our pics from this last year.  Between the shots of smiling little boy faces and grotesque mid-surgery hips and knees, I kept seeing photos like this:

and this:

and realized, I should probably document this little beauty, seeing that it means so much to one of us.

The dreams for this car started way back in med school with RB's fellow med student and good friend, Jason.  They had it all planned out.  After residency they would get together, head out to some dealership, and tell the dealer something along the lines of, 
"We'll take two, please.  Here are our demands..." 

I'm not sure if either one of them thought that would ever really play out, but when Jason joined a practice 20 minutes away from us in Pennsylvania, it almost began to seem possible.  Then, mother nature stepped in and helped the process along.  Sending these hailstones:

to beat down on our trusty twelve year old Golf.

After insurance claimed the Golf totalled, two happy little boys ran off to the nearest Audi dealer they could find.  I wish I had a picture of them together, but here's Jason playing it cool in front of the dealer:

Needless to say, everything worked out exactly as planned.  And they lived happily every after.