Just 4 weeks after James was born we left for 19 days to spend time with both of our families. And though our families are in UT and WY, we spent the majority of our time at reunions in Idaho. My dad and 6 of us 7 siblings (as always, we missed Cynthia!), spouses and kids included, spent 5 days in Island Park, Idaho. Years ago my uncle Rick built my grandma a cabin there, so we used to go there lots growing up. Soon after my mom passed away last year, we all decided that our next reunion--and the first without her--would take place there, where there are so many memories of her.
It was wonderful. We spent time at the river, both wading and rafting.
|Love the colors in this pic!|
The cabin we rented was awesome. We spent lots of time in the kitchen--cooking fancy meals that both a zero-carb guy and a zero-meat gal could eat. Believe it or not, we did it! We ate like kings at that little cabin! We also played games, though not nearly enough. We roasted marshmallows. We stayed up late. We thoroughly enjoyed each others company.
We went to visit Grandma's cabin. The current owners were there and kindly let us in! It was so fun to see it again, and so crazy how SMALL that place felt. I was 8 or 9 last time I was there, so I remembered it being lots bigger. The owners loved hearing about the cabin's history and we loved seeing what they've done to it. Sadly, not a one of us got a picture of it!!! (sorry, Robbin's cousins!) That was a highlight of the trip for me. My mom would have LOVED to see that cabin!
This trip was also our first time meeting Jared and Kristie's little girl, Alia. She is the happiest, cutest, fattest little baby in the world! No one could get enough of her and her thighs!! (which aren't even pictured here--just trust me, they're amazing!)
After 5 days in Island Park/Yellowstone I
We crashed that night at Reid's parents' house. They were so good to my family. Mike made us an AMAZING chicken dinner and Marie got ALL of the bedrooms ready for the whole crew. I felt so grateful that Reid's parents were willing to let us all stay there, and that my family was willing to add 2 to 6 hours to their drives home, just to be there for the blessing of this little guy.
|This little blessing outfit is 50+ years old. Mike wore it as a baby, then Reid (and Tom) and now James. And the blanket and sweater were Reid's, too--knit by his mom and grandma. So sweet to have such precious heirlooms passed down!|
|I love these two guys so much!!!|
Later that night, Nathan busted out his AMAZING firework show that most of the crew got to enjoy--gotta love Wyoming's firework laws :) And the next morning, after enjoying a breakfast of amazing fresh strawberries from Mike and Marie's garden, we all went our separate ways. Reid and I drove back to Provo. The first leg of our trip was a stop in Provo to introduce some of my life-long BFF's to Mr. James. As always, it was awesome spending some time with them! We'd left a bunch of stuff there, planning to return to UT to spend some time with Tom and Jana during the awkward two-day window we had between reunions. They wouldn't be coming to the Allred reunion because Jana was 38 weeks pregnant. But Jana's baby decided to come TWO weeks early! So, we got to meet sweet Winnie, which was a treat we hadn't anticipated!!
After two short days in Utah, which included getting together with some of my besties from our Boston days (so good to see you guys!) we drove up to Albion, Idaho for an extended Allred family reunion. Reid's grandparents on both sides lived in this rural farmland part of Idaho, so he and his siblings and cousins went there every summer growing up. Now many of them have kids of their own, and they were all so giddy about being back on their old stomping grounds.
We fished and barbecued at Lake Cleveland, picnicked and climbed at City of Rocks, played games and grilled at the Bed & Breakfast, and just enjoyed catching up/getting to know people.
|love this picture that my SIL, Alisa, took!|
|Grace and Ella--attached at the hip, as usual|
|Minus the puckered lips, this is what i looked like most of the time. i learned that this is not called "carrying" your baby, but rather "wearing" your baby. whatever you call it, James and i loved it!|
|Here are most of the 2nd cousins|
|Abby, front and center|
|Grace, front and center. I'm sensing a trend...|
After 3 fun-filled days in Southern Idaho, we headed back to Star Valley for a week with Reid's immediate family. On the way home we stopped by the farm that Marie grew up on. The farmer-wanna-be in me spent most of the time there dreaming of a day when I'd have 5 acres of land to grow my orchards, my crops, raise some chickens, maybe even some cows. And then we entered the barn. And the stench was enough to literally reach into my conscience and kill all my farm dreams dead. Thank you, manure. You just saved us a lot of money.
The kids loved watching the pigs, and we loved hearing Marie tell stories of growing up on a farm. And had the manure not already killed my fantasies, her stories would have. Turns out having a farm is a lot of work. And i don't do work.
The week we spent in Wyoming was, as always, absolutely wonderful!! Grandma and Grandpa spoiled us all rotten. The weather is always amazing in the summer. They have an amazing back yard. It's the PERFECT grandparent house!! We got to swim, play by the canal, feed the horses, eat from their amazing garden, and even give Grandpa a haircut!
Spending that extra week in Wyoming meant missing our first week of school here. Who starts school on August 1st, anyway? :) We didn't tell Grace that she'd miss the first week of school until we absolutely had to. We didn't want it to ruin her vacation, and we knew that we weren't going to change our minds about it, so, like all good parents, we lied to her. How did she take it when she realized that her first day was not everyone else's first day of school? you'll just have to wait