11 May 2008

A little distracted

We're finally starting to get back into real life here, since our three wonderful weeks full of family, friends, and fun times had to end. I always have a hard time refocusing after a trip like that. As I'm trying to do laundry, take Jack to school, unpack, and go to swimming lessons, my mind is really just recalling all the fun days with cousins, grandparents, cooler weather, and having Jeff with us all day! So, as I’ve tried my best to have a successful “re-entry”, here’s what I’ve really been thinking about.

- Jack having cousins to play with first thing in the morning.

- Backyards to play in whenever we want.

- Jacket weather, plus SNOW!

- Discovering that Jane loves the sound of a passing train as much as I do (she still thinks she’s hearing it when the horns honk for a long time. Her whole face lights up!).

- Getting to know my darling new sister-in-law, Danielle and her family!

- Visiting with Jesse about marriage, finances, parenthood, and life in general. I loved this moment of my kids with their Uncle Jesse. I love my brother.

- Meeting my niece, Hailey, for the first time. She even got over her stranger anxiety long enough for me to hold her a few times. (Hailey, Jane, and Ellie in their "Birthday" dresses).

- Being with my sisters. Particularly playing our violins together at the luncheon and reception. Our rehearsal the night before was pretty memorable as well. Unfortunately, Jesse wouldn’t allow us to perform our MC Hammer routine for the guests. He’s just so serious sometimes!

- Running the SLC Half-marathon. It was hard, windy, and I never quite got my race-day adrenaline for some reason, but it was just more motivating for me to train even better for the next one.

- My last training run on the Jordan River Parkway. It was a cold and gorgeous morning!

- Jane’s English improving by leaps and bounds while around so many native speakers.

- Being in the St. George Temple with my entire family.

- Seeing so many people from my parent’s neighborhood. I love the Grandview 6th ward!

- Visiting with family late into the night.

- Christian “claiming” Jane has his. Those two really have a cute bond.

- Jack seeing one of his oldest friends from the neighborhood and me getting to visit with her mom!

- Family prayer. And I mean the WHOLE family.

- Jeff spending time with his brothers.

- Throwing Jesse in the hotel swimming pool. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of that event, but Vanessa’s got a bunch I can hopefully put in our video eventually.

- Jack and Ellie exploring in the backyard together for an hour, while we all enjoyed a nice visit. This isn't in the backyard, but it was a cute picture of them anyway.

- Jack voluntarily getting out his violin to fiddle with Grandpa and Daddy.

- Driving a car. Although, I did make a tight left turn on Freedom Blvd. in Provo and got a long honk for driving on the “Thai” side of the road. That made me a little nervous, but generally, I’m an excellent driver!

- Cousins day at Auntie Fay’s home.

- Jack going geocaching with Dad Hillman. Those two make quite a team.

- Birthday party for everyone at the Hillmans. We wore party hats, did a piƱata, went on an egg hunt, ate cake, and opened presents. It was a fun way to celebrate all together, even when we’re only all together once a year.

- Having strep throat the day before my birthday. Nothing a shot in the behind can’t fix!

- Driving up Provo Canyon. I LOVE Utah mountains. They are more breathtaking than ever.

- Jack rediscovering “water things” (drinking fountains) and being amazed at Grandma Hillman’s dishwasher. Apparently, he doesn’t remember having one.

- Celebrating Grandma Rich’s 97th birthday. Ever since Jack was born and we moved to her side of town, we were able to spend a lot of time with her. She watched him grow from week to week during his first 1 ½ years. I treasure that time with her and I was so happy our visit corresponded with her birthday so we didn’t have to miss another one! This woman is amazing!

- Travel was easier than ever. The kids slept well, the flights weren’t all full, and we were even upgraded on the longest leg on the way back. Yay for extra leg room!

- A beautiful wedding, luncheon and reception in St. George. It was just what Jesse and Danielle deserved… perfect!

- FANTASTIC photographers! I have never seen better! Besides their amazing bridals,temple, and reception photos, they brought their own photobooth to the reception where all the guests could go in all night and take home the photos. It was awesome, and I think I went in at least 5 times with different family members. If you want photos you will treasure forever, check them out at www.funnyfacephoto.com. Also, you can view the evening’s photobooth pictures at www.funnyfacephotobooth.com. (The password is “ninja”). My personal favorites are the ones of the sisters with Jesse. He’s such a good sport!

- Celebrating my Jack’s 5th birthday. Although he’s been in school for a year, it’s still a shock to me that I have a child who is “kindergarten age”! When did I grow up?

- Also, since Jack’s actual birthday was on the wedding day, we did his party on MY birthday (happy 28th to me!). Like I’ve said before, I don’t really like my birthday, but having Jack’s party with grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles on that day made my day fantastic! I couldn’t ask for more than just to all be together! Can you gather the “super hero” theme from the pictures?

Here's a picture of the "super hero training course" designed by Jeff and Andrew. Swing over the piranha pond, crawl through the bat cave, up the ladder, practice a super jump, cross the lava bridge, smash the balloon (missing, but the funniest part by far), and tackle the evil ninja bear. It was a HIT!

- Having at least 10 different kinds of cookies in the cupboards at the Rich’s house. (Jeff’s addition, of course!)

- Meeting the Elders who will be staying with Mom and Dad Hillman. What a great experience that will be for all involved!

- Delicious Mexican food.

- We toured our church's Welfare Square for the first time, and wow, was that impressive. It's amazing the organization and preparation that has been in place for decades, ready to assist those in need. What wonderful facilities and programs. And, these Sister Missionaries were darling with our group. As you can see, Jack felt right at home with these beautiful girls.

- Jane swinging and swinging and swinging. Her belly laugh will never get old!

- Seeing my brother be SO happy, and a little silly, with his new bride. We love you, Danielle!

- And I couldn't resist sharing this one of most of the Rich grandkids right before leaving for the wedding. They were looking so cute, but are of course, a bunch of goofs. I love how it doesn't take them even a second to warm up to each other, even when they only get to be together once a year. It's like they've always just lived down the street from each other. Maybe someday they will.

So, as you can see, I’ve been thinking about our trip a lot. It was harder to say goodbye this time than last for some reason. BUT, life has to move on, and so will we… eventually.

Please remember my sister, Vanessa, in your prayers this week. She has been in the hospital due to blood clots in her lungs for the last several days. She is now on the mend and hopes to return home on Monday, but as we’ve learned from our mom’s experience, it’s a long road. Thanks to my amazing mother hopping a plane to save the day, we are confident Vanessa will get the rest and care that she needs to fully recover. We love you, Vaness!


Andrew & Vanessa and kids said...

Thank you for your prayers, Mindy. I, too, am grateful for our sweet mom who got up, on Mother's Day, and fixed breakfast for MY family while I relaxed in the hospital. There is not a mother better! We sure love her!

Bettie said...

Hey, Mindy, I saw you finish the SLC 1/2 Marathon...I called out to you but your music was too loud ;) By the way, I was inspired and now I am training for the Bryce Canyon 1/2 in July. Did I mention I am not a runner and have never really run? You looked good - not half dead or anything - I am impressed.

Nollie said...


I'm so glad that you got to go home. Lookds and sounds like it was a fabulous trip. Aren't families grand?

All growing up whenever we'd go to Grandma Rich's house I'd always see yours, Joanna, and Vanessa's pictures and think, "Wow, they're so pretty." Looks like those genes got passed on because your kids are all so cute. :)

Joanna said...

Jesse told me last night that he wished we WOULD have done our Ice, Ice, Baby routine at the luncheon! Man, wish we would have!

John, Megan and girls said...

What a great trip! It's so fun to see you with your family, and what a great time your kids had. And congrats on the half marathon. I've thought about doing one, but I'm just not sure. John has a few family members who do half marathons, marathons and even triathalons so maybe I'll join in some day. Congrats again, and I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip!