- I got to see my entire family, all of us together for the first time in years. It was a beautiful thing. I finally got to meet my nephew, Faces, and Buddha had a blast playing with his cousin, Beatbox, whenever he came over. In fact, Buddha attached himself to Beatbox in such a way that when Beatbox had to go home, Buddha would cry and cry and carry on as if the world had ended (his probably had).
- Taking tons of pictures.
- I told Buddha that Ratchet makes legs for people whose legs have been cut off. He asked me, "Does he make them hairy like their other legs?"
- Following Faces around snapping pictures incessantly and finally winning the competition to get "the face" on camera. I WIN! I RULE! I'M AWESOME! Where's my $50, Unkey Dino? :) j/k!
- When leaving to run errands, Buddha said to me, "I just want Uncle Ratchet to come in our car because I love him and his cut off leg."
- Playing games with the family after the kids went to bed at night. Okay, if I'm being honest, this really only happened twice. Most nights we intended to play, but everyone was exhausted by the time all the kids had zonked.
- Receiving a wonderful surprise in the mail from my extremely thoughtful husband. He bought me a new 50mm lens and had it sent to my parents' house. I love it! It is an amazing lens. Check out the crazy depth-of-field capabilities:
- While sitting on Ratchet's shoulders, Auntie asked Buddha if he missed his daddy. He responded while hugging Ratchet's head, "Yes, but I love this daddy, too."
- Sunday dinner. I've missed Sunday dinner at my parents' house. Pot roast, mashed potatoes, strawberry shortcake. Mmmm.... Good food, crazy company, random conversation. It doesn't get any better.
- Watching the popcorn popping on the neighbor's apricot tree...and getting lots of pictures of said popcorn.
- I got to witness my parents' transformations each morning from Utahan to Eskimo as they dressed for their morning walks.
- Taking tons of pictures.
- Visiting Jacqui, Jonathan, and Katelyn. Anytime anyone asks Buddha who we saw in Utah, he says, "Granny and Grandpa...and Jonathan!" I also got some great maternity pictures of Jacqui. She's beautiful!
*Incidentally, Bugga is just one week older than Katelyn here, but he outweighs her by tons and is more than a full head taller than her! She's only 17 lbs. and he weighs 27 lbs. already! Ahhhh! I have brutes for children. :)
- Unkey Dino playing with the boys, taking care of them, changing their diapers, feeding them. It was priceless...truly. He's a gem. There is one lucky girl out there just waiting to find him and when she does, I hope she realizes just how lucky she really is.
- Hanging out with Lisa F., Lisa I., and Kathleen up in Eagle Mountain. Unkey Dino came along and was great at entertaining the kids while I, yep, you guessed it, took pictures and chatted away. Typical me.
- I quizzed Buddha with this random question and was tickled with his spot-on response: "When Mommy says she's hungry, what does Daddy always say?" Answer: "Starving." So true.
- Swimming at the Lehi Legacy Center. That was awesome. I love that place. Bugga has no fear. It was hilarious to watch him flopping all around in the water, coming up spluttering and laughing at the same time. Buddha was cautious, but enjoyed himself. Every time the huge bucket would spill its contents, Buddha would cover his ears and watch, fascinated, until the last of the water trickled out.
- Seeing my friends, Lisa, Jacqui, Kari, and Evelyn, even if it was just for a few minutes. Sorry friends!
- Taking Nate and Emily's engagement pictures at the "castle" behind Utah State Hospital. They are a really fun couple and I had a great time. I hope they did, too.
- Picking up The Chief from the airport and watching the boys climb all over him with joy the next morning. They love, love, love their daddy! Bugga couldn't get enough of him and Buddha wanted to go with him wherever he went.
- Did I mention that taking tons of pictures was a MAJOR highlight of this trip?! :)
- Going to the Provo Temple with my mom and sister. It had been a while, a long while, since I had been to the Temple. It was wonderful and emotional. I've been needing that.
- Checking in with Unkey Dino after each of his dates.
- Playing with my cousins Zack and Brooke and Jake and Ember and their kids. They adopted The Chief and me into their family and invited us to all their family get-togethers when we had no family in Utah. We love them! Thanks for a great time you guys!
- Unkey Dino and I spent the entire vacation trying to figure out what a "fox car" is. According to Buddha, it's a car with a black stick in the back (an antennae), but he must discriminate further because sometimes when I see a black stick on the back of a car I'll ask him if it's a "fox car" and he'll say "no."**
*Since first writing this, we have discovered what a "fox car" is. Apparently the "stick" Buddha is talking about is the stripe that runs horizontally across the back of the car underneath the license plate. It can also be found on the front of the car...or so he says. :) Here is a picture for you:
- Getting a family picture with our entire family.
- Unkey Dino making crepes and me eating waaaaaay too many. So good!
- Playing with the neighbor girls, Faith, Charity, Grace, and Hope, and taking their pictures. Very photogenic, very wild, very fun!
- I drove into Utah County only to be greeted by a raging blizzard. I left my sunny, 70 degree weather for this???
- Getting a family picture with our entire family. Yep, that's right, all Hell breaks loose when we try to work toward a common goal and cooperate with each other. Don't think I'll try that again any time soon. :)
- Cafe Rio. After discovering Cotijas here in San Diego, Cafe Rio just doesn't stack up anymore.
- Cleaning up vomit. Changing runny diapers. Waking up all hours of the night with sad, sick little men. Infecting the entire household with the 24-hour flu and having to cancel play dates.
- Getting stuck in massive traffic once through Vegas on our way home. Let's just say that it tacked another two, maybe three hours onto our already insanely long drive! Note to self, do not drive back from Utah on a Sunday again.
**For those of you who don't know, Buddha has this little quirk about him that has been around for a while now. As we drive along having conversations with him, Buddha will often be interrupting his own train of thought with a muttered, "Down car, I'm just kidding," or "Down truck, I'm just kidding," or "Fox car, I'm just kidding." I have no idea how it started or where it came from, but he does it all the time. I've worked out what a "down car" is as well as the "down truck," but I'm still working on the "fox car." He's very good at slipping it into the normal flow of a conversation without even breaking stride. He can pick up right where he left off talking. It's hilarious!