Sometimes I want to shout it from the rooftops. Or from a bright red vintage fire truck. Now that's style...
Life is good!
And when we're on vacation, it's especially good.
So I'm sitting here debating whether I should pack all these photos into one post or not. I'm worried it will be a long, lame travel log. But I'm having trouble cutting pictures because they say so simply what it was like for us while we were away.
All seven of us.
You might want to pull up a chair. Skim. Scroll fast. Skip the text if you want. But I figure, we're friends right? You won't mind if I share our week in St. George with you. (Someday we aspire to travel beyond the state border with our brood. We're such wimps.) You can handle a long post if it's mostly pictures, right?
Okay. Here we go.
We celebrated Eliza's birthday while we were down south. Six candles, new books, a journal, bright pink nail polish, and.... a scooter!
We couldn't buy one for Eliza and not the twins (being close in age does have its perks) and wow - were they happy campers! We toodled around the neighborhood that afternoon. It didn't take them long to get the hang of it. Kids figure things out so fast.
We were sorely tempted to take everyone to the pool but couldn't come up with a way to safely monitor five non-swimmers. (Eliza's getting better but she still needs help). So Doug bought this pool at Walmart and it was the perfect quench for everyone's pining.
Doesn't that smile say it all?
We spent a morning at the Sand Dunes in Snow Canyon. This was definitely a highlight.
After trekking into the dunes and up a couple hills to find a good spot, I realized I left the camera in the car. Typical. I usually forget something. So I trudged back to the parking lot then back to our personal dune (run/walking in sand is a heckuva workout) and found everyone happily digging, burying, sifting, and laughing.
We had the best time.
Despite the dreaded eye rub you see in the background.
Love those orange eyebrows.
Sorry, I know. Feet are ugly. But I couldn't resist. There's nothing like warm sand between the toes.
You can probably imagine bath time that night. We had sand in every crevice, crease and corner known to humankind.
Doug and I took turns running in the mornings.
The "St. George House" (owned by Doug's parents) backs right up to the desert where you can access a network of endless trails. It is a wonderfully lonesome feeling to be out there as the sun is coming up.
One morning I picked these flowers for the girls. I love the way desert flowers thrive - how they sprinkle tiny bits of color against rock and sand. Royal purple for Ali. Sunshine yellow for Sami. Electric pink for Eliza.
We found this amazing park. I've never seen anything like it. The physics of all the twisty, glidey, spinny things were incredible. Eliza and I were on one of the spinny things and I couldn't get it to stop. I got laughing so hard I thought I would wet my pants. I haven't laughed like that in years.
If you're ever in the neighborhood, it's called Cottonwood Cove Park.
They have a small climbing wall. Eliza mastered it quickly, but it was Ali who surprised us. Before we left she was flying up it all by herself.
Even the boys did the climb. With (a lot of) help from Dad.
We still build our schedule around nap times. Even on vacation. Everyone is happier that way.
But getting them to settle down isn't always easy.
During nap times we painted toenails...
Watched movies, took walks, and spruced up the house with original art.
On Sunday we visited the St. George Temple grounds.
Do you think the boys need a haircut?
If it's there, she'll climb it. Kind of a shock to look over and see your daughter ten feet off the ground, wearing a dress, and standing in the nook of a gigantic tree. I doubt anyone in the heavens cared, but I worried we weren't being respectful, so I helped her down after taking this picture. Seeing her there made me stop. She's growing up.
Loved the rose garden.
Per the usual, trying to get a picture with all five was a wrestle.
One I wasn't in the mood to win.
Doug threw the boys. I could watch this trio all day - listening to them giggle and chase each other. Spencer's way up there. Looks fun, doesn't it?
On our last day, the girls and I took a long walk. This path was perfect for scooters.
And here's Ali's personality coming out.
Our last meal out was at the Pizza Factory. A favorite for everyone and anyone who visits St. George. Next to the Pizza Factory is Jake's Old House. A darling shop we love to frequent. They sell all the "Life is Good" paraphernalia.
We spent a few minutes in the shop, but it was the fire truck out front that stole the thunder. It's parked across the street from the Fire Station. The boys loved the buttons, gadgets, and the steering wheel.
Evening light shone strong against gray storm clouds and I couldn't get enough of my little family all spread about on this cherry-red beauty. Couldn't look away from these people I love, blazing in and out of white sun.
Spencer's face, with that happy signage floating behind him, sums up life's great paradox. It's all about perspective, isn't it? We've had clouds, fires to put out, engines that wouldn't start, roads that sent us reeling, and tears at so many turns, but life is good.
Yep, life is good.