We drove the 6-7 hour stretch to Utah on the 4th, excited to get our festivities on! Which, for the most part, was riding in the van and watching Disney movies. We arrived in Utah around 5 pm, checked into our hotel, and changed clothes. Then we piled BACK into the van and headed up the mountain a few minutes away to Grandpa Frank's house in Sandy.
I told Jonathan that I didn't care what we did for the fourth, but I wanted some family pictures. I use holidays as milestones for keeping updated pictures of the kids- cause they change so dang fast! (I'm also big on using holiday pictures for photo books that we can look back on later, so sometimes I overdo it but oh well.)
The kids are such stinkers when it comes to pictures, but I think they're cute anyway :)
Talmage and Charlotte were super excited to see their Mimi again! Face time just isn't as good as this!
I feel like I look kinda funny in these pictures...but I was super sick at this point. Completely miserable. Ugh.
Later that evening we all sat on the sidewalk and did some street fireworks that uncle Grant and aunt Shelby brought!
Night two of fireworks did not disappoint :) We could see over the valley from the bluff and there were tons of them going off everywhere- and some really huge ones right down the street! It was nice being able to enjoy so many fireworks at other people's expense ;)
The next day, after our hotel breakfast in our room since it was SO busy in the dining area, we headed back to the house and hung out with everyone. Mimi and Papa brought a whole suitcase of new toys to entertain our kids since they were the only children around and had no play buddies. Of course they loved having new stuff to play with and weren't complaining whatsoever :)
The two grandpas, my dad, and Jonathan went to the flying field to watch other old guys fly their planes. haha. Mom and I headed to the park down the street so the kids could get their wiggles out. We didn't stay too long, though...it was so hot! Have I mentioned that yet?
Mimi and I took the kids back to the hotel room and attempted to put them down for a nap. Jonathan returned and we walked over to Zupas together since it was right across the street. My mom was kind enough to stay with the kids while they "slept". Except they only wanted her to read books to them the whole time. I knew their sleep schedule would be totally off that week so I really didn't care- it was just nice to have a lunch date with my man!
Zupas was amazing as usual. I could eat there every day.
Later that afternoon Grant & Shelby came over to our hotel and swam with us. Charlotte had fallen asleep so she and Jonathan stayed in the room while Talmage and I went off to swim. But first, I had to snap a quick picture of the sweet daddy/daughter moment :)
I think this was the part where Talmage officially fell in love with his uncle- they played hard in the pool and it was hilarious to watch T get thrown 2 feet up in the air and chased by the "shark" :) I didn't take ANY swimming pictures but I wish I had!
That night the whole family visited Grandma Heiss's grave site. It was not so somber of an occasion as I envisioned it would be- we were all just happy to be there and think of her. Grandma LOVED the 4th of July. She always got super emotional singing patriotic songs, especially the national anthem. I remember that about her so well...we would go to baseball games around the 4th and watch fireworks in the stadium. She was a blubbery mess every time; her heart could burst with patriotism. I miss her.
In honor of her love for our country and our love for her, we lit some sparklers around her headstone.
Leaving the cemetery, a small part of the empty hole I've had in my heart since October was filled. It was filled with memories of her- good ones, frustrating ones, funny ones. We all love you, Grandma. All is well.
We played games as a family that night and stayed up till midnight doing it- something Grandma has done on countless occasions. I knew our kids would hate us in the morning when we'd wake them up early for church...but, they seemed happy to have extra attention and didn't act whiney whatsoever. It was awesome. After a nice bath at the hotel, they were OUT.
On Sunday we hurriedly ate breakfast and got ready for the one hour of church we were to attend (I knew the kiddos wouldn't last longer than that). Before we walked into Sacrament meeting I tried to get a picture of the kids. They weren't having it.
I didn't expect that I would bear my testimony that morning in front of all those whom I didn't know. But in a way, I did know them- through my grandma and through the love of the gospel. I had to express my gratitude for eternal families and the plan of Salvation. Being sick and pregnant and super emotional, I'm sure I was quite a sight up there at the podium...but it felt good to get it out.
An hour later, the four of us headed back to our room and took really hearty naps. Everyone, that is, except Charlotte. By some awful curse, she had caught my cold and could not stop coughing whenever she lied down. The rest of us were all so tired that we slept anyway, and I let her play on the ipod so she'd be content.
We went to the house afterwards to make food and prepare for the tons of Heiss family that would come for a dinner BBQ. I knew C needed to sleep, so we put her down on one of the beds and she slept a good 4 hours straight. Yup.
The dinner went okay, but there was just a lot going on and the house was super hot even with the AC going. We left somewhat early (around 8 or 9 pm) to take the kids swimming at the hotel and wear them out for bed. It worked! They slept like champs that night :) Around 2 am, I learned that the only way C would sleep soundly was if she had a "steam treatment" in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes, with the combination of meds. After that- no more coughing at all.
We all slept in the next morning until 10 am. It was a miracle! However, we missed breakfast so that was a bummer. I was supposed to meet with my best friend Sarah at 10:30 for brunch so I was kinda freaking out. Then I checked my phone. A text from Josh, her husband, telling me that she went into labor (at 39 weeks) and was gonna pop that baby out today! HOLY COW- was not expecting that. But I was so thrilled for her and couldn't get her out of my mind all day. I was hoping all would go well so that I'd be able to visit her before we left early the next day.
With plans now changed, we had Jamba Juice for breakfast- a wise choice! It was so very hot outside and we all needed some cold fruity goodness. We met up with everyone at the house and Jonathan took off with Talmage to visit his brother Christopher, who lives in West Jordan.
Later we all went to Scheels- a giant new sporting goods store in Sandy. It was pretty fun- they had an indoor ferris wheel, lots of neat fish tanks, a play area for kids, ice cream shop, and tons of outdoorsy stuff to explore. C was just an inch or so under the height limit for the ferris wheel, so T rode with Jonathan and I while Mimi took her up and down the escalator. Just as fun, right?
Once we were on that beast, I was really glad C wasn't. It was REALLY high and she probably would have screamed and squirmed the whole time. T, however, was totally enthused :D
We are really tiny, but there we are :)
|C did NOT like the big creepy bear statue.|
While the kids napped in the hotel later, my parents and Grant & Shelby came over to our room to play more of our favorite games- Bohnanza and Dominion. This way I could keep my eye on the littles :) We had to get creative with furniture and speak in whispers, but it worked out nicely! Eventually the kids woke up and we all headed to the pool- SO grateful we had somewhere to swim. Our room was nice and cool.. but let me once again point out that outside was hot hot HOT.
Monday night we all just took it easy and hung out at the house. At one point the kids got restless so I asked Talmage if he'd like to perform a song for the grandpas (who never hear him sing...I'm pretty sure everyone else has. ha) He stood on the fireplace and sang "I Stand All Amazed" and when everyone clapped for him, Charlotte's eyes lit up and it was like she finally knew her purpose in life.
I could NOT get her to step down from that fireplace and stop singing songs. She loved the attention. Honestly Jonathan and I were completely surprised because normally she's pretty shy. Talmage joined her a few times and they were hilarious. I don't even know how many songs they sung...but it kept us all pretty entertained for a while.
C got snuggles with Grandpa Frank and played dress-up with Shelby's fedora :)
The kids love to climb all over their Papa, too!
This was our last night in Utah, and it was bittersweet. Shelby and I had to get one baby bump picture together of course :) She is due only a week after me and they're having a boy! It was really neat to compare pregnancies and talk about November :)
Speaking of new babies- I got a text that night that baby girl Robison had arrived and was healthy! We made arrangements for me to come visit the next morning as we headed out of town.
I got to see beautiful, dark-haired Ava before we left Utah on Tuesday morning. And I am still kicking myself in the butt for not getting a picture :( But Sarah will make one amazing mother and I am so happy for her and Josh!
Part 3 to come...