And I have to say that that little cat was actually really awesome! Never really made a sound, super cuddly, playful, and just had the cutest face. Brooke and Robert are not real big pet people, but they agreed to let the cat hang out for a few days until we found the owner or a new home for it. The kids took the liberty of making it a lovely home out on the balcony and after one day it was pretty much a part of the family.
It only got in the house a few times. Totally on accident, I'm sure.
Best Katniss that turned out to be a Peeta: The kitten
Closest call of almost giving away the neighbor's cat to the SPCA: Me. Turns out that the stray kitten actually belonged to the neighbors who were on vacation. Well, that could definitely have been awkward!
That Monday was July 4th and Brooke and Robert organized a huge Utah family get together. Seriously, it was amazing. They did so much work and thought of EVERYTHING.
The day started with Swedish pancakes. There was silliness!
There was a huge gathering of Henries and Sweeneys! (In Robert's amazing new house :)
There was cotton candy!
|Aunt Teresa majored in confectionery studies, so she got to man the machine|
|Come to me, my precious|
There was unbridled patriotism!
|Merrill and Chase, we salute you. Literally!|
There was dodge ball! P.S. Karl Sweeney does not mess around with dodge ball. And he does not show mercy. Doesn't matter if you're eight years old.
|You're going down, Eryn|
There was a slip and slide!
|The hills are alive with the sound of sliding|
There were s'mores! (With incredible views of the mountains, I might add)
There were pull up competitions!
There was LOTS of double shot!
There was standing around looking cool. Nathan can't help it.
There were water balloons! Yes, those things really work and are AMAZING!
There was soccer!
|Bring it on, old man|
There was tons of food! And tons of candy :)
|And lots of patriotic decor|
There was ladder ball!
|Find the balls, win a prize|
There were sparklers!
The day ended with some of us out on the second story patio looking out across the valley and seeing fireworks of all varieties and colors exploding in every direction. If I lived there, I don't think I would actually drive to see fireworks the rest of my life. It was absolutely incredible. So the award for Hostess with the Mostess is Brooke! A million gold stars to her for all her hard work all day long. It was a great day :)
We did so much the rest of our 8 days in Salt Lake that I honestly don't know how to even recap it all. But hey, that's never stopped me before! Let's do this!
Marley, Marley, bo Barley. She was a hot commodity all week. I have never really seen Jacob "like" a baby. Ever. But he was all over her like stupid on Hillary.
We got to try a food place called CupBop. It was like a Chipotle-style Korean bbq noodle bowl thingy place. Yeah, that makes sense. I thought it was really good and the kids even ate it! Which is weird because it wasn't cereal or some type of nugget.
Robert and Brooke's house was so new that they hadn't even gotten any window treatments yet, so I slept with a blindfold all week. Luke was funny about his sleeping. He seemed to move around every night but I was shocked at how the last few nights in a row he chose to sleep in front of the gigantic downstairs window where he would be utterly destroyed by the sunlight in the morning. He didn't seemed phased by it whatsoever. Maybe he is part cat? Maybe he's the greatest actor in the world? Maybe he was unconscious? Who knows.
So yet another amazing feature of their house is that not 100 yards from their backyard is a creek that you can tube down....when the water is the right height. We gave it a go, but unfortunately there just wasn't enough water to support us on the tubes. In the end we mostly just walked the creek, but we still had fun. Cindy and I even went again together and it proved to be a good activity for Cindy and Michelle to do by themselves the next day.
|So cold, but so refreshing|
|Big Moroni? Meh.|
And you know what else this trip had? Well, yeah, it did have ridiculous photobombs by Robert,
But what I was actually referring to was: HIKES!
We hiked Bells Canyon (otherwise known as "Nature's Stairmaster") in Sandy. The good news is that we didn't really bring much water or know that we would be hiking for 4 and half hours, but there was a totally rad waterfall at the top. So, you gotta sort your priorities.
|Tara, the hiking robot|
Best Face that Prompted Some Sweet Chimney Sweep jokes: Luke!
|Good Luck will rub off when ee shakes hands wiff you!|
Lucious was a total trooper on that hike. There were several hikers who passed us on the way down that saw Luke and congratulated him on making it to the waterfall. It was much longer and steeper than we had planned, but he made it! And in the end he only totally scraped his leg and lost his new CTR ring. Win! Cindy made it as well and did an awesome job. I was very proud of both of my kids for sticking this one out.
We also went hiking somewhere in the mountains, Utah. Yeah, I seriously cannot remember where in the world we were. But I do remember winning the award for Best Car Sickness Performance in a 4WD Minivan. Thankfully there was no upchucking, but it got a little dicey by the time we made it to the trail head.
|I should have been the driver....uggg|
Our final hike was to Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove. Luke and Cindy turned into maniacs and didn't let the freezing glacier water deter them from hiking glory.
Jacob also showed his totally crazy side by removing his shoes and walking around the creek BAREFOOT. Seriously, if you didn't know, Jacob wins the award for 38 year old man that has feet like a newborn baby. He pretty much never goes barefoot or even wears flip flops, which is saying something for a Florida guy. It's so weird.
|I'm sorry, feet! I still love you!|
The kids obviously have zero problems with shoe removal. Actually, their problem is shoe wearing in the first place.
I am going to have to stop here and just be proud of the fact that I finally finished another blog post, despite the fact that I have been doing a ton of home improvement projects AND that I got picked to be on a jury this week. Yeah, see how awesome this post just got?