My sister Tracy had her second baby, my new niece Jesse, while I was on vacation in New Orleans. Good thing I had already been planning a trip to see her (and hopefully the baby) and attending my cousin Becky’s wedding the first weekend of June. I was able to stay for a week while everyone else stayed back in Utah. (Mom was home home with the girls during the day, then Elliott would come home from work and take over. I think they were both glad when I came home. I know Elliott was tired of the nighttime wake-ups that come with little ones.)
Two years ago I was also able to visit Tracy right after her first baby, Levi was born, and she was a superwoman. I didn’t help with much, as she had it all under control. This time around, even though my sister is still a superwoman, I felt a little more helpful. I think one of the best things we did was trade off naps in the afternoons. We didn’t even have to cook at all, as her Sunday School class brought meals every night (what a treat!).
Tracy and I went to Becky’s wedding together and were able to see lots of family members, eat tons of yummy food, and most importantly celebrate with Becky and her new husband.
Throughout the week I also was able to visit with old friends; take a day trip to Nebraska to visit my dad and stepmom; and spend lots and lots of time with Tracy, her husband Matthew, and the babies. Levi reminded me so much of my Piper and I enjoyed all the Jesse cuddles. It was a great trip.
Heber Valley Railroad
One of the things I thought would be so fun to do this summer was take a trip on the Heber Valley Railroad, a sightseeing old train which travels down Provo Canyon, along the river. I was able to get a great deal where all five of us went for $40 (normally $100) and planned a trip for a Sunday afternoon when Elliott would be able to go.
Looking back I think the girls were much more enthralled with the idea of riding the train. At the beginning they had a great time, but after about an hour they were ready to get to something new (the park where we would be turning around, snack time, etc.) The total trip time was three hours, so in hindsight that was a bit much (and I need to choose a shorter destination next time), but we managed to keep their attention most of the time and create some great memories.
Living Planet Aquarium
Visiting the local aquarium was definitely on our “to-do” list for the summer, but the stars aligned for us before our planned trip. First, the girls and I read Mr. Popper’s Penguins together at bedtime, then I let them watch March of the Penguins so they were pretty jazzed up to go see penguins in real life. Secondly, a local daily deal site offered half-price memberships (only costing me about $5 more to get an annual pass versus a one-time visit) to the aquarium the week before we were planning on going. Hooray!
The aquarium offers so much to see, including native species, jellyfish, sharks, penguins, and Amazon animals like piranhas. They had a great hands-on area where we touched stingrays, starfish, and crabs.
I don’t know why, but the bulls-eye at Target holds special appeal
It’s hard to fill mommy’s shoes
Having Kool-Aid for a snack (and red tongues to prove it)
Pushing Piper in the doll stroller
Wrestling with our sisters
Lily putting together a puzzle of the USA almost every morning