Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Solo trip to Utah

Wow, December is already gone and now it's almost halfway through January!  I don't know about you, but December was incredibly busy!  Looking back I planned things a lot better for December/Christmas of 2012.  In 2012 December was a fun month with activities interspersed here and there.  I felt "in control" of the month and its activities. One major lesson I came away with from this past December is that come December 1st, of any year, no house projects!  I had family coming in town for a few days before Christmas, with my parents staying through Christmas.  It made for a good deadline to tackle projects, but after many days of constant action and even two all-nighters--never again, thank you! I need to take this experience and learn from the mistakes.  But what did I know?  It was our first Christmas in our "first" home.

Now on to the pictures and more dialogue.  I love tradition and it was great yet again, repeating those Holiday traditions.  For several years Lee and I and sometimes the kids too, listen to the audio version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Now that the kids are older when we do listen to the book again, I definitely want them in on the action, not just in for one chapter, out the next.  Last year we veered from tradition slightly and saw a play of A Christmas Carol.   We really enjoyed it.  We went again this year, also in lieu of the audio version.  We met up with our friends, the Dollers, who also came with us last year.  It was pay-what-you-will night, which I loved.  But this year our seats weren't as good.  But hey, sure beats paying $18 a person to attend!

It was raining while we waited outside.  Thankfully we had a little coverage from the building's eaves.  Lee also bought our first ever umbrellas that night--two of them.  They came in handy too, but we definitely had to make sure the kids didn't poke a passerby's eye out.
Dec 6 2013 A Christmas Carol

Sunny and me
Dec 6 2013 A Christmas Carol (2)

That Sunday church was canceled.  There was an ice storm and it did get pretty nasty outside. 
Dec 8 2013 Cal

Dec 8 2013 church canceled

The kids scooped up some of the ice "pellets" outside.  I had some water flavor stuff that I got at Sharp Shopper for about  $0.25.  It was a good idea and the kids enjoyed it.  I wasn't so thrilled when for some reason a few of the kids kept dropping their red slushies in various parts of the house.
Dec 8 2013 Haley

I thought Haley's science experiment was cute. She was determining which water would melt an ice cube first.
Dec 8 2013 Haley experiment

After the ice storm and canceled church, the next night I drove up to Lois' and left Elden there for a few days.  I then headed out to Utah by my lonesome to help my sister Stephanie who just had her first baby-a girl. I thought about going out to Stephanie's, but probably the first part of 2014.  I found such a great price on a non-stop, round-trip ticket (about $275 total!), that I couldn't resist going out earlier than anticipated. After I bought my plane ticket I went ahead and got a rental car reserved too.  I felt like I should wait, but I went ahead and tried to get a good price on priceline for a rental car.  Come to find out, you can't get a refund on your car rental if you do it through priceline.  A couple weeks after I rented the car I decided I didn't want one, but I was stuck.  Should have listened to the prompting!  Well, Utah had had some crazy weather a few days before I arrived.  When it came time to pick up my rental car they said that because of some storm damage my car wouldn't be ready for three hours! At first I was slightly annoyed and then quickly realized this might be my way out of a car rental!  I called priceline and told them my car wasn't available when I came to pick it up and requested a refund...and they gave me one!  YAY!  That worked out really well in the end, and was a nice blessing! 
Dec 10 2013

I had a fun time in Utah.  I watched/babysat the baby, let Stephanie sleep in a few of times, cooked for Stephanie, and did some cleaning and laundry too.  My brother Roger recently moved to Utah and lives close to Stephanie.  I didn't really have any plans to go anywhere or do much, so I felt very loved when Roger and Brittany-his wife-made several efforts to see me and spend time with me.  It was stressful being gone and arranging for the kids to be in different places.  Elden had a great time at Lois'--THANKS Lois!--and the rest of the kids hung out with Lee.  Several weeks ago Lee ripped out our carpet in our front room/dining area/hallway.  While I was in Utah someone came in and refinished the floors.  I'll post about that later.  They look amazing!  The problem was while they were being refinished Lee and the kids couldn't walk on them for four days.  It worked out well that Elden and I were gone during that time because it would have been weird trying to figure out what to do during the day.  Maneuvering around the house was tricky too. More on that later also. Lee was great and had the kids at his office two afternoons after school.  We paid the kids to "babysit" themselves while at his office.  Lee said that went okay.  The other two days my neighbor was awesome and watched the kids after school.  One of our friends even took Clark and Cal to scouts for us.  The whole kid arrangement thing was just plain stressful, but it worked out really well.

My first night there Roger and his family came over.  It was so fun to visit with them!
Dec 10 2013 Lexie

Miss Maggie!
Dec 10 2013 Maggie

I loved holding her.  She is such a great baby.
Dec 12 2013 Maggie

Dec 12 2013 Maggie (2)

Look at that cute nose!!!
Dec 12 2013 Maggie (3)

One night I went and hung out with Roger and Brittany.  I got to their place about 9pm or so and stayed till about 12:30.  It was so much fun.  One time Brittany, her girls and I went to the outlets in Park City for a little shopping. That was a lot of fun too, thanks for inviting me Britt!
Dec 13 2013 Outlet malls Lexie

Dec 13 2013 Outlet malls Lexie Ruth Riley

Dec 13 2013 Outlet malls Riley

Dec 13 2013 Outlet malls Riley (2)

I never got a picture--I should have--but the Saturday I was there I met up with my cousin Heidi and we attended one of the live sessions at the Salt Lake Temple.  That was so fun and great to be with Heidi.  We walked over to where her family was parked and chatted for a little while.  It was fun seeing her new baby too...now several months old!

That night Roger and Brittany picked me up and we headed to Temple Square. And of course it was super busy!
Dec 14 2013 Temple Square Riley Lexie

A street view, but wow, their lights are amazing.
Dec 14 2013 Temple Square (3)

Dec 14 2013 Temple Square (2)

Roger and me.
Dec 14 2013 Temple Square Roger Ruth

I lucked out and got to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert with Roger and his in-laws.  It was sooo good.  I think my favorite part was the organ solo.
Dec 14 2013 Roger Ruth Conference Center

More pictures with beautiful Maggie!  Steph and I had fun watching HGTV while I was there (we no longer have cable) and eating yummy treats.  Andy made some great shortbread too while I was there.  It was fun hanging out and talking with Steph, seeing her condo and all the remodeling they've done.
Dec 14 2013 Ruth Maggie (4)

Dec 14 2013 Ruth Maggie (3)

Dec 14 2013 Ruth Maggie (2)

I flew home on a Sunday, arriving back home close to 8pm.  I saw this water dispenser in the airport.  Never seen one of these before! It was great being back home, despite the crazy schedule that lay ahead of me. Lee was awesome taking care of the kids...especially with the floors being redone!  Thanks Steph for letting me come out!  Thanks Roger and Brittany for including me in so many things! I have lots of other events to post about.  Hopefully they will be forthcoming very soon!!!
Dec 15 2013


Dannyboy said...

I'm glad you could go visit your sister and help with her new baby. How fun! I totally understand about it being a lot of work to coordinate the kids' schedules while you're gone. Sometimes that makes it not worth it to me to go away. But once I'm finally away, then it's great. And I had to laugh at the beginning because I felt the same way about our December - it was too much. I also said I will never be pregnant and remodel a kitchen again in December! What craziness. I'm looking forward to some calm now and hoping future Decembers will be project-less as you said! I know it will always be busy though, especially with Marie's birthday on the 16th.

andyandsteph said...

Thanks for coming out Ruth and for all of your help! I hope it wasn't too stressful arranging everything with the kids. We felt very loved!

BWei said...

Loved all these posts--amazing work!! And that pic of Shanna on the floor asleep cracked me up.