My family (my sister Alyse, her husband Tanner, my sister Sydney, my mom, and my stepdad Stefan) all came down to visit us. They drove in on Friday night, and left Monday afternoon. And we got them for all the time in between!
|Ellie thought Alyse's face looked delicious.|
|She tried to eat it.|
|She tried to eat the side of her head, too.|
|And then she tried to eat her dog.|
On Saturday we all had breakfast (waffles, bacon, orange juice, the works) at our apartment. My uncle Merrill and aunt Judy came over as well, which was fun. After breakfast, we all changed into our hiking gear and drove up to Zion's National Park, which is about an hour away from where we live.
We parked in the town of Springdale and took a shuttle into the park, then took another shuttle up the canyon to Zion Lodge. Now, this will reveal my ignorance, but I never realized before that Zion's is in a canyon. I just didn't. I thought it was like a forest. And it is, kind of, but it's a forest in an enormous, super deep, really cool canyon. I just never knew.
We took the trail to the Emerald Pools. It was fun and really pretty. The path went right underneath the waterfall, which was really cool. We had to shield Ellie with a jacket so she wouldn't get splashed on when we walked underneath. Ellie did really good during the whole hike. She really likes her front carrier. She was in there for hours, happy as a bug. A happy bug.
After Zion's we went back to St. George. Jason's cousin Lisa, her husband Dustin, and their little girl moved into St. George this weekend, so Jason went over to help them move and settle in. The rest of us went over after a brief rest, but by the time we got there there wasn't much for us to do. So, we went to Brick Oven for dinner. I have to say, it was one of the funniest dining experiences I've ever had. We played truth or dare the whole dinner, and all of the dares involved doing funny things when the waiter was at the table. Sydney opened and closed her mouth like a fish while staring at the waiter's face one time, Tanner pecked at his food and flapped his wings like a chicken (and he was right next to the waiter), and my mom stretched her arms up real tall, then started rubbing both me and Stefan's heads at the same time. It was hilarious.
On Sunday we went to church. It was fun to have everyone there with us, and such a relief to have help with Ellie during the meetings. Everyone wanted to hold her and play with her, so it wasn't just me and Jason entertaining her the whole time. It was a very nice break.
After church we went to the St. George temple. We walked around the grounds, which were beautiful and filled with other people enjoying the temple as well. And, while we were there, we ran into my cousin Natalie! She lives close to my mom in northern Utah, so it was quite a surprise. She was there with her husband, their little girls, and her husband's extended family for a family reunion. It was so funny and so good to see her.
|Ellie really liked these flowers; she really wanted to grab them.|
|Happy happy happy!|
|All the kids|
|Ellie's a fan of the Book of Mormon!|
Later that day we played tons of games at our apartment. We played Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Curses, and In the Manner of the Adverb. (In Curses, you have to do funny things that you are "cursed" with, and in In the Manner of the Adverb you do funny skits to act out an adverb that one person has to guess.) All of them were great, and Curses and In the Manner of the Adverb led to a ton of laughs.
|Jason's arms were an inch long, so he had to keep his wrists touching his chest at all times, and also he had to hold this card with both hands at all times.|
|Tanner had to copy everything Alyse was doing.|
I fed Ellie while the others headed over to "Thomas Judd's," a store across the street that sells vintage sodas and penny candies (and, strangely enough, has the same name as the obstetrician who delivered Ellie). Just before we left, Jason's cousin Lisa came (Jason told her how to find us) and so we got to see her for a couple minutes.
Back at our place, we (Alyse, Tanner, Sydney, and I) all went swimming in the pool. After Ellie finished napping, Jason brought her out in her swimsuit and with her new floaty turtle innertube that we got her. She really liked sitting in the turtle, which has a little seat for her, and floating in the pool. She was still a bit sleepy, too, and was just adorable, laughing and cuddling with her turtle.
Finally, after swimming, the group packed up to go. We all said our goodbyes and then they left. It was so fun having them here this weekend, and we're glad they came.
We hope you all had a good Memorial Day weekend too!