I am finally back from a long summer vacation. I was able to take my kids to my home state for a good portion of our summer. I went with the kids for 3 weeks with out Jonathan, and then he joined us for a week at the end of it all.
This trip was very important to me. It was one of those trips that will always be very memorable. Although we have visited Utah many times, we haven’t stayed there long enough for me to actually be able to share parts of my childhood with my kids. I actually went with a list of all these things I wanted to share with them. All along the way, every where we went I talked and talked, and shared and shared everything I could think to tell the kids about my childhood. I loved actually being able to show them what I was talking about. It made me realize that I truly loved growing up in a small town. There is nothing I love more then taking the back roads through the fields. It helped me realize that I want the same for our children. While I was there, I couldn’t help but think about how great it would be to live there someday. It has taken me some time to actually feel like I wanted to move back there; but now I know. Life is always good at home.
I have also come to learn in all the years that we have been away that home is where my husband and children are. I just secretly wish that my childhood home, and the home I have in my family could grow a little closer.
Before I went to Utah, I thought I would have so much time to blog. I even planned out some posts that I wanted to do while I was gone. I didn’t even get a chance to think about my blog. Now, after being back from Utah for less then a week; I have finally caught up around home, got my kids back in school, and want to reconnect with my blog and blogging friends.
To all my blogging friends: I have missed you. I can’t wait to catch up on your summers.
Here is what we did this summer, and why I loved growing up in Utah.
(we did so much, and I took so many pictures that I condensed this post by putting the pictures in to collages)
Utah is home to my whole family, and Jonathan’s whole family. We haven’t lived by them for 8 years. It was so nice to be there with them, and let our kids get reacquainted. We were there long enough to be able to do that. Tessa really took a liking to my sister Lindsay. I love this picture; they have the same smile.
Every Sunday night in the summer, the city park in my hometown holds a band concert. Local members of the community come together and play music in the park. Payson citizens come with homemade treat and lawn chairs ready to listen. It is my favorite way to spend a Sunday evening in the summer. Our kids loved it too.
The Pioneers came in to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th. Every year, we celebrate pioneer day with my extended family. Jonathan’s hometown has a big Pioneer day celebration. My mom grew up there, so we get together with her parents and siblings families.
We always go to the parade, the park for all the festivities, and have a nice lunch. Our kids enjoyed being with their cousins. (my cousins kids and sisters kids)
Ice cream at the Red Barn
The red barn is just down the freeway a few miles from where I grew up. They have the best ice cream, and fun atmosphere. It was one of those things I had to cross off my list. I am thankful my sisters wanted to go also.
Salem is this cutest little town, with a pond in the very heart of it. You go there to feed the ducks. My sisters and I gathered up our own little ducklings, bought a few pizzas, and made the short 7 minute drive to the pond. We even invited this handsome man, and his sweet wife.
Our grandparents. My grandpa is in kidney failure. I made the most of this trip, by spending as much time with them as possible.
Peteetneet Slip n Slide
One of the old historic schools in my hometown sits on top of a huge hill. When I was a kid we went there to go snow sledding. (Utah is the best snow on earth.) Now not only do they sled, but they also use it as a giant slip n slide in the summer. Our kids were fortunate enough to try a new Payson tradition. They loved every minute of it, and laughed the whole way down.
This little beauty was not in Utah County when I grew up there, but my sisters wanted to share it with my kiddos. It was so much fun. Tess surprised me. I thought she would hate it, but she loved it. What I loved about it. 1)The mountains in the background, aren’t they beautiful? 2) all the modest bathing suits. It is so nice to be around people who actually cover up parts of their body that I don’t care to see. Utah is a very modest state, and since we are trying to instill that quality in our girls it was nice to be around it.
When you live away, you only get to attend family parties via phone calls and pictures. This summer we got to be at my niece’s first birthday. It was so nice to be a part of it. London is the most adorable baby. Lindsay even let me help her make some of the food. It felt so good to actually watch London dive into her cake instead of just hearing about it. Lindsay let each of the kids decorate their own cupcake with all sorts of treats. Our kids were in heaven.
…and last but not least the event I looked forward to for several months
the tradition previously known as KOA
When I was a kid we went to a nearby KOA campground each summer for the Fourth of July. My grandparents and their 3 friends started doing this when my mom was a kid. It was a tradition that stuck, and each of those four families grew until my grandparents and their friends offspring were covering the entire campground. Eight years ago the couple who ran the KOA for over 30 years leased it out a Camperworld, and our yearly trip to KOA ceased. We didn’t have a membership to camp there. It was a sad sad day, and then while under the new lease the mountain caught fire and burned portions of our favorite summer memory to the ground. I remember the day that my cousin sent me the news release on the fire; and I actually cried. Good news folks, the family who owns the KOA has it under their care once again. They have also re-built all the structures that they lost in the fire. It is no longer a KOA, but now call Oakey’s Big Mountain Ranch. My sisters and I finally have our favorite summer time memory back. It is open for business and available for our offspring to grow to love; just as we did. We decided to make this a family tradition once again. It actually seemed a little strange to have children of my own there; but so wonderful to share one of the parts of my childhood that I loved so much.
My top 3 favorite KOA memories:
1. My dad cooking dutch oven for us the entire time we our camping. YUMMO!! Breakfast has always been my favorite.
2. Playing night games with all the kids up at the campground.
3. Sitting with my Grandma early in the morning in her trailer watching her put her makeup on. I can still remember the smell of her trailer.
Thank you Utah for a good trip down memory lane, and allowing me to share my memories with my sweet children.
Stay tuned for Part Two when I share all the fun we had with Jonathan’s family.