Ahh... the rest of our summah vacation was lovely. Let's take a look to see what all went down. Here's the first half, in case you missed it.
::: My 10 year high school reunion. Go LPHS.
In high school I was on the student council (student body secretary), and when they saw that I had registered to come to the reunion, they asked me to help Lindsey Lou-hoo with the "activity" portion of the evening. hA! It was a fun excuse to catch up with my Loucy and think of ideas that might work for the night.
I have to say, I was a little hesitant about how the whole evening would go down---I haven't been in touch with several people over the years, I was worried that I'd forgotten so many people's names, I wasn't excited to show up super pregnant---but really, I thought the night ended up being really fun. I wasn't able to catch up with a few people that I wanted to because I was having such a good time chatting it up in the corner with old pals. But overall, I think it was a nice night and for all you who didn't come, do it next time!Here we are doing the game portion. Lou had a bunch of trivia about the year we graduated and we had the tables be teams. If the team thought they had the correct answer they had to run up to me as I weaved my way around the tables. I was a little nervous when some people came racing toward me (I thought for sure I'd be bulldozed), but alas, I didn't get knocked flat.
Chatting with Lyssa afterward. A little known fact is that we were friends in high school, both worked at the BYU copy centers in college, and then married boys who attended the same dental school in San Antonio. Amazing! And, our names are Melissa and Lyssa. We were MEANT to be friends. Here we are sporting the pregnant look.
In honor of those fun high school days, I found a few gems from my junior and senior year. For the record, I was one of those people who loved high school. Do I want to go back and do high school over again? No. I quite enjoy the life I have now and am glad to be done with some of the traumas and dramas that comes with being a teenager... but really, I have very happy memories from my high school years. So much fun, take a look back and see some of those happy memories (these ones just happened to be on my hard drive here in Texas)...
(we had a paint fight before we went to a date dance. that was fun and messy. love those friends of mine.)
new year's eve one year? is this why we dressed up, girls? hA!
high school graduation
off on our way to Heritage Tours (a three week bus trip to all the significant LDS church history sites)
posin' it up in Rachy's yard
Madrigal Dinner (with the a'cappella choir)
more fun on Heritage Tours (we had our swim suits on... duh!)
Did you know that Sarah and I went on to be roomies at BYU for two years? Yeah, she is a keeper. Love that girl. So, of course it was lovely to reunite ourselves again at the reunion.
Given our past of "darling" pictures together, it was only appropriate to whip out a few more goodies while her husband, Bryce, was taking photos with my phone. Love that girl. My poses? Not as much.
When we got home, I realized that Aaron and I hadn't taken any shots of us together that night. We were both Knights at LPHS, after all. So, we took a few self portraits before we went to bed. He was such a good sport to come along with me.
The kids, as always when we're in Utah, were in good hands that evening. Here they are sharing a mattress zonked out.
::: The next morning, we moved our suitcases and other stuff over to the Wood residence to finish out our trip. Get a load of their awesome new kitchen remodel! Do you love it like I love it? There are a few more peaks later in the post.
Uncle Tyler is so fun. Playing with cousins, Krieg and Max, is pretty rad too.
Celebrating Max's birthday.
Adam and Kate came to join the fun from AZ. Fun fact... both Kate and I are having babies in September. It was nice to have another pregnant family member to sympathize with.
Uncle Ty and Grandma Wood.
Same sleeping composition, different house. We were genius!
Aaron snuck a few pictures of the sleeping kids during church (this never happens). Definitely note worthy.
::: My dad took the day off from work and the Snyder clan (minus Jesse, he was working) went up to one of Em's favorite restaurants, Ruth's Diner. We got breakfast and it tasted pretty delicious. It helped that the weather was perfection too on the patio.
We ordered the teddy-bear pancake for Tillie and Calvin, and wouldn't you know that Cal flipped out when we tried to get him to EAT the bear (duh, mom! it would mess up his face). So, he threw a nice little tantrum when I tried cutting off his ear. HA! I guess, I understand the psychological dilemma he had going on in his little brain. So funny, yet so sad.
From there, we headed over to the aquarium in Sandy. We'd heard several great reviews, so we were excited to finally take the kids. In the end, we realized that we've been spoiled by Sea World for all these years (again, duh!). When we pulled up we were a little skeptical... it looks like it was a converted old grocery store. But, for what it was, they did a pretty good job. And, the kids (of course!) had a fabulous time.
I was shocked at Cal's bravery as he leaned right over to touch "Mr. Ray!"
It was so fun to have Papa join us on the adventure!
posin' it up in the gift shop. I think that mask on Calvin is pretty great.
::: That very same night (if my memory serves me correctly) we took family portraits with the Snyder crew. It was pretty cool that EVERYONE was there. Em from Boston. Becca and our little family from Dallas. Jesse has just moved back to Utah from China. It was pretty great. Our delightful and super talented neighbor, Nina, took our pictures for us. Here are just a few screen shots I got from the proofs they sent over. I'll have to show you more once we get the legit files back. We were SUPER happy with how they turned out. Thank you, Studio 111!
And here are a few Becca took of us as we were walking back down to my parent's house. Remember how fun it is to be taking photos of yourself at 7.5-8 months pregnant? Nice.
Notice a certain 2 year old being held behind Aaron's back...
Calvin thought he was pretty tough stuff being able to walk with no hand in the black road.
Aunty Em and a winkin' Til.
::: The next day, we headed up to Sliding Rock with some darling cousins, Aunt Kirstin, Uncle Tyler and Adam, and Grandma Wood. It was a nice little jaunt (love that they have it paved most of the way) and it was fun to see my old stomping grounds (when we first moved to Alpine in 1993, we rented the last house before you head up the little canyon to Sliding Rock. We lived there for about 9 months? I think? And it was really fun).
Anyway, it was a lovely little hike. Here are the pictures to prove it:
Tillie wanted a walking stick like Max's. This is what her dad found for her. Nice.
I think they opted to break it down a bit in order for her to actually walk (or in this case, run!).
A perfect way to end a hike is by putting sprinklers under the trampoline! I think this is what you call KID HEAVEN.
::: Little did we know that a few hours later, disaster would strike. The mountain caught on fire and it was horrifying. Aaron and Tyler spotted it in the backyard right after it first started. They hopped on their bikes and went to go find out what had happened. This is the view from the backyard right at the beginning. So crazy.
These are the pics Aaron got on his bike as they were heading up to find out what had happened.
Apparently, a back hoe started the fire. The story goes that the guy operating the back hoe didn't have the proper equipment that he was supposed to have up there, in case of a fire---and there was no way to stop the flames. And, it spread. So fast. There were rumors that we might have to start evacuating, as several people had, so we started grabbing things to save (hard drives, memory books, etc.) and put them in the suburban... just in case.
It was just so horrible to watch it spread so fast in so few hours.
sweet Max putting his arm around Tillie.
Crazy enough, my family (they live closer to the mountain) WAS evacuated!! While we were gathering up things at the Wood house for a "just in case"---when I got a call from my sister that the police had just come and knocked on the door to say, "You have 15 minutes to get out." Can you imagine?! And, not knowing when or IF you will be able to come back to your home? What would you take? What might you need? It's just so crazy thinking about it all. They frantically loaded up things over there and then came down to the Wood's house to wait it out for a bit. Fortunately, Jesse was in town and was able to come and help load things up with them too.
I feel bad that I took a picture of my family here. It's that funny/weird moment, where you wonder, "Should we be smiling? frowning? somber? making a face like Lizzy's?" I remember thinking the same thing when I was at Ground Zero in NYC where the World Trade Centers fell... do we smile in this picture? Anyway, a little off topic, but I feel bad---my mom is good to smile, but it was really pretty traumatic, the whole thing.
Here's the view of the fire approaching from my parent's driveway. This was taken by my sister, Becca.
My family ended up sleeping at our good friends' house in Highland for the next few nights and then we would match back up with them during the daytime. Life was definitely weird/surreal those next few days with the fire spreading, the 4th of July, and my family being homeless.
We all kind of were in disbelief of what was happening and just laid low for the next few days. Here are some nice shots of us laying low at the Woods. Literally. I love that Kate is totally zonked out on the far side of the couch. I look super flattering too. Awesome.
Sadly, it came time for Adam and Kate to pack up and head back to Arizona. Tillie and Cal adore those two, and they ESPECIALLY adore their new dog, Scout. I couldn't believe how, overall, unafraid they were of her. They normally like to keep their distance with dogs, but not Scout. She is a great dog, and they've done such a good job training her.
Here Adam is helping Scout do a few tricks.
I love how happy these shots are.
get a load of that amazing kitchen too!!
All the while, the fire was spreading farther and farther up the mountain and closer and closer to my parents' home.
On the 4th of July, it was such a weird day. The original plan was to have a BBQ/Swim party at my parents' home---but being that life kind of came to a stand still, we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves. So, we headed to the movie theater.
I think we all had different take-aways from the fire experience, but for me I just kept being awe-struck at the movie theater at how everyone around us was just doing "normal" life. I kept thinking, "Hello, there is a huge fire going on! My family's home might burn to the ground and everyone is here just having a happy, regular, 4th of July day... !!!"
It made me wonder how often I do normal life, and expect everyone around me is having a normal/regular day---when in reality, someone's life might have just been turned upside down.
It really was one of those experiences that I keep coming back to and hope to give more people the benefit of the doubt, cut them more slack, and be more understanding and aware to those who might be suffering in some way. Crazy that a fire on the mountain would change me so much.
Also, another take away was that I was surprised at how "okay" I felt about the house possibly being gone, b/c I knew that my family was all safe and sound. It really puts the whole "grand plan" in perspective.
Anyway, there are my few deep thoughts on the matter. Meanwhile, the fire kept getting worse and spreading. And, before we knew it, we were having to leave on a plane back to Dallas.
This is the site we left.
It was hard to say good bye to our families... especially since there were so many unknowns as we were leaving. But, thankfully, that very day we left is when the rain came and put out the fire! AMAZING.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip and such a blessing that we were able to spend so much time with our awesome families. We adore spending time with them all, and I'm so grateful that we have had the means to get back and forth through these past few years to play with all our favorite Utah people.
And, of course, grateful my parents have the house that I grew up in to come back to!