*a la vuelta - Utah

On our way back from Tahoe we [well just us girls] had a week-long layover in Salt Lake City. It had been way too long since we'd seen all our dear friends, and so despite the fact that it would be at the end of an already long vacation, that it would be without the help of Ben, that it would cost more than we can afford, I just had to do it. And it was so so worth it!!! We made such wonderful forever friends during our 6 years in Utah, I am so thankful for them and miss them as much as ever.

We stayed at the twins' house - Vera's BFFs since birth.  We spent her 7th birthday here and took a picture remembering how we took pictures of their first time together here at Red Butte 6 years before. Pretty amazing how they've grown!!! geez I'm getting all teary now - it took me 30 minutes of perusing old blog photos to find below picture.

sighhhh we used to live less than a mile from the new Whole Foods at Trolley Square. I suppose it's a blessing that we're so far now... financially.  Anyway, I stopped there to get some things for Vera's bday and Ruthie took her first shopping cart ride.

What a fun 7th birthday we had with old friends, the morning spent at Red Butte and the afternoon with cupcakes and playing with her best buddies:

We met at Cafe Rio [ohhh I miss their salads] with another great friend, Dale, who's known our girls since they were born. Well she knew Vera since she was small - always my little buddy working at the Food Co-op :)

So awesome to see our neighbor Graham - we were too lucky to live next to such an amazing family. Shoot, I was fine starting out this post, now I'm getting all sad again.  I don't have a picture but was just so incredibly happy to be with Jen and Bryan sipping mojitos and catching up at their kitchen table and then later in their wonderland of a backyard. Another sigh.

back to Sam and 'Mimi's. These kids just played and played. and played.  Convinced here that if you are nice to bees they will not sting you...

Had dinner down in Draper with my sister in law and niece. The girls were so excited to hang out with their big cousin, Katie, now a freshman in high school!  She was 7 when we first moved to Utah!! Crazy.

Seriously, these kids were troopers traveling so much.  My cousin calls this the "unicorn of naps" when all 3 sleep at once. This lasted about 10 minutes, but was pretty magical all the same.

Tia moved up to Park City about a year after we left. So great to see her.  For about a year after leaving I couldn't talk about her without choking up - such a special part of (mostly) Vera and Edie's childhood.

400 East reunited:

more play:

such a fun surprise that these two hit it off and had such a good time together. Edie is a little funny with new friends, especially those she views as younger. But she and Jubilee were so cute together!!! Edie: Let's pretend we're going back to Boston. Jubilee: When I'm in Texas I will missss you!!

I can't deny that certain restaurants and meals were high priority while we were there.  Finally got my almond croissant at Tulie one morning :)

It was really wonderful getting to be at First Presbyterian for church on Sunday. So many changes even since we left, but still so many wonderful and familiar faces.

I hope to never forget how stinking adorable Oliver was, especially when he first met Ruthie. He was so excited throwing big books down at the feet of the baby :)

Here is one of the attempts at a shot of all seven of our kids. Jenny had a picture of the two of us also, I need to get it... Anyway I am so thankful for such a kindred spirit of a friend I have in her and for the beautiful friendship our kids have together. Big sigh.

I was pretty anxious about traveling with all 3 by myself, especially with the logistics of flights and baggage and a rental car with three little ones - all by myself.  It was definitely exhausting, but totally manageable and most definitely worth it. I mean even if the baby fusses some on the airplane, it's only part of one day of your life. I came to a point where I literally didn't care one ounce what anyone on the airplane thought if my baby was fussy [she really wasn't that much even, but I wasn't anxious about it].  I do want to remember how wonderfully God answered my prayers for the last flight. I knew it wasn't realistic to pray they would be perfect for the flight. I prayed that despite how tired and grumpy the girls were after 3 weeks of travel, that I would be calm and patient. I found that I wasn't tired - even though Ruth only slept one hour of an 8 hour travel day, that even after waking repeatedly with her the night before, I had plenty of energy and patience for Edie and Vera.  God is so good.  So thankful for all of it.

*Ruthie turns 1/2

Ruth turned 6 mos two weeks ago now [taking me forever to get caught up!].  I felt like she came home from our trip West a totally different baby - sitting up, eating solids, falling asleep on her own for naps, taking long naps, riding in shopping carts [ie. carriages here in NE], sitting in high chairs....  the only thing that really isn't any better is her night-sleeping.  She wakes up usually 3-4 sometimes 6 times.  I usually let her cry to sleep if she wakes before 11pm...  I really don't want to let her cry all night but I also can NOT keep waking up like this!  Other than her nights, she is such an incredibly easy and happy baby right now!!  I think all the travel really made her very flexible. I do still have a suspicion that Vera was an easy baby but that I was so obsessed about her naps and my own independence etc...

She was around 16 lbs at her 6 month appt. I think 68% - don't feel like getting up to find the printout...  Anyway, we are all just so in love with this little bug!!  Here is our little smartie just after nursing in Harvard Yard a couple weeks ago:

this was at Tahoe - a little before 6 mos when she was still a little wobbly - I just love her smile here:

almost time to put the mobile away - all 3 babies have loved this and it makes me sad to take it down for *probably* the last time. 

She's not eating a ton of food yet, but does really well with it!  I like the idea of the whole "baby-led weaning" approach to solids, but am too wary of choking. I've been giving her little bites of things though instead of always purees and she does really well, doesn't seem to have an issue with texture. She seems to love carrots especially and after every bite does a little jumpy dance in the highchair :)


*tahoe 2014!

We got back a week ago from our big trip out West.  Already seems so long ago.  Ben got to take a class at Harvard this summer [colonial history of New England], and so was only able to join us for 6 days in the middle of our trip.  I've traveled quite a bit without him, but this seemed the longest and I missed him a lot.  Not just for the sake of help with the travel, but just for our family to be together!  

Here we were on the 3rd and last leg of our trip - I saved the movie for the very end to make sure everyone was "good" the whole day - works well that way!  It actually went really really well - I was pretty exhausted, but it was definitely manageable.  All three girls were champs and people are really so helpful.  The flight attendants on this flight even offered me a glass of wine - with a straw :)

made it!  First dips in the water with the cousins:

meeting Uncle George:

The older girls were all so nice to mine!

Tahoe sunsets are so beautiful!!

We got to see Boone!! He's still living with my parents - happy to be with his buddies.

Can't right this picture... Ruthie and her best baby friend, Avery [Tamara's baby - 3 weeks older!]

playing with Tyler who is almost 18!!

A friend lent me this ring sling and it worked like magic to get her to sleep!!  I wanted to take a picture of her every time, it was so adorable.  It was so helpful on the plane and any time we were away from the house.

I love this scene!

Vera's friend, Greta, from our time in Carson. They had so much fun together.

Look how tall Jamesen is!! She's taller than me, I still cannot believe it.

Edie had this super clever idea to keep her feet clean. She brought a bucket up from the lake with her shoes in it and then when she got to the pavement she dumped the water out on her feet. It was so cute!! Personally, I like to keep sand on my feet as long as I possibly can - it's always been one of my favorite things [well just with Tahoe sand].

These ponies were available to ride one day in South Lake Tahoe. Edie said she wanted to but once we got closer she was either too nervous or too shy to even look at it. So funny.

Long power outage one night - my mom cutting vegetables here by lantern light and Sarah outside cooking the spaghetti on the grill!

first boat ride to Emerald Bay!

she loved all the attention from everyone - lots of loud, happy growling noises :)

picnic at emerald bay:

just realized I don't have any pictures of Ben! I'm sure I do.... will add later hopefully.