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Friday, July 9, 2010

No place like home

Matt and I have been absolutely spoiled with our frequent trips back to Utah. It's hard to stay away when you have families as awesome as ours! And let's be honest, it just feels good to be "home" sometimes.

We just enjoyed back-to-back visits, thanks to April and Alex's visit from Virginia and then Ali's and Andy's weddings. Since it was my family's first time all together in a year and we don't know when we'll be together next, we scheduled family pictures with the talented Charolette Winder. Once again, Charolette went above and beyond and gave us dozens upon dozens of group and individual pictures to choose from. We love her!
Another highlight of that visit was, of course, a hike. This time we stayed close to home and explored Battlecreek Canyon.
We also headed over to the mini golf course for some friendly competition. I don't think I've ever seen so many holes-in-one in a single game of mini-golf before! What can I say? We have serious putting skills.
That Sunday evening, Alex made us one of his signature gourmet meals. It was delicious!
That night, we enjoyed having lots of extended family over to see me and Matt and April and Alex. Okay, who am I kidding--they were all there to see Tasha. April made sure to get 4-generation pictures with my Dad's side in Cedar City and then with my Mom's side at home:
We attempted to get a picture with just Tasha and her Great Grandparents, but the second Mommy put her down and ran out of the room, we got this instead:
And what's a trip back home without a good cousin party? This is about 1/5 of the Sunday crowd:
Before taking off, I made sure to get a few pictures of Tasha with my parents ...
... and her favorite aunt.
Trip Two came just in time for the Strawberry Days Rodeo! Summers in Utah Valley rock because each town has their own week of celebrations. In high school, we'd go to a different one every week and it never got old! Strawberry Days is a classic. Unfortunately, I only got a few pictures before my camera died (oops!), so click here to salivate over pictures of strawberries and cream and general rodeo goodness.
Matt and I came back from Andy's wedding to this masterpiece in my parents' driveway. My brothers had created a maze that covered every piece of concrete in the driveway, sidewalk and backyard. Those boys are always coming up with fun things to do.
Lastly, we were able to celebrate my mom's birthday with her. This is Joshie translating another one of his "asodihpaohalkj" letters to the birthday girl:
My mom was lucky enough to have her birthday fall on the Saturday of our town's "week." Translation: birthday fireworks!
In case you didn't know, my mom is pretty popular 'round these parts.
PS: The fireworks in this post are not to be confused with 4th of July fireworks, which we watched in San Francisco the next weekend. Yep, San Francisco is coming up next!


  1. Love that last picture of your mom with the boys! It totally shows how very needed she is! What great family shots and it is awesome that you are close enough to run home often. That is a big bonus and one we are hoping for as Kyle and Michelle move to AZ. Hard to have your kids move away, but very understandable.
    These blog posts will serve as a great family history some day and you have captured some priceless moments here!

  2. I love the pictures! Especially the one of you with Tasha, it's beautiful. Magazine worthy.

  3. what fun trips to utah! so the other day i went on a walk with my mom and we saw the maze on your parent's driveway and we were so impressed! what a fun thing for them to do. and i LOVE your family pictures. you guys have such a beautiful family!

  4. Ash I loved seeing your whole family together. The family picture looks SO great. We had to show it to Grandma Graf upstairs. She loved it. Hint for Christmas...Send her a 8 x 10 copy so she can update the picture on her wall, she would LOVE IT!!! I love the last pic with your Mom and the boys asleep all over her. That is one amazing mother. Oh, I saw Heidi doing stuff with the family, does that mean she is feeling better? I hope so, she is so dang cute. Why doesn't she have a boyfriend...she probably has like four of them. Anyways, so fun to see you all together.

  5. What kind of camera do you have and who takes all your pictures? It looks like you guys have a professional photographer following you around all the time! I love it!

  6. Oh my gosh Ashley, the picture of you and your niece is the cutest thing I've ever seen!

  7. Those family pictures turned out beautifully. The colors in them are so vibrant and everyone looks great. And all these lovely pictures of Utah summer makes me so excited for my trip home next week. Nothing beats Utah summers. I love it.

  8. Fireworks for your Mom's b-day. Sweet! LOL.

    Looks like you had lots of fun visiting the family. I liked the "Favorite Aunt" comments. We joke about that all the time on my wife's side of the family.

  9. So cute! I just love your blog! Haha...

    I miss all the week celebrations in Utah! It's such an amazing thing in reality... Germany does a lot of that, but not anywhere NEAR the extent of UT. Love it!

    P.S. I LOVE the picture with little Tasha & the great grandparents! So funny... :)

  10. Alicia-I wish that meant Heidi was better! She has her good days and her bad days, and my family capitalizes on the good ones. Hopefully the doctors can figure things out soon, though!

    Ang-So, as of church yesterday, it looks like I'll get to see you when you're home! A family in our ward is driving out to Utah and their dad is on TDY in Turkey, so the mom needed help driving with the kids. Yeah, it was pretty much a no-brainer volunteering for that one, especially since it's over the 24th :-) Woohoo!


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