Sunday, February 18, 2018

Arizona Week

Michael:
had the whole week off! We used a week of his vacation time and road tripped to visit his sister in Phoenix. We've never explored much of Arizona and it was really fun to see family. The boys were in heaven with dad around so much. It'll be rough sending him back to work tomorrow! He worked all of last Friday night and then came home at 7am and we hit the road by 8am. It was a 9-hour drive, which is almost the drive time to get to Cedar City, so it felt so easy to me. It's so nice doing that with Michael rather than by myself with the boys. They only needed to stop one time! I was impressed with them.

Maddie:
loved seeing my old roommate from Jillian from our Jerusalem summer, and our friend Adriana from our Indiana time. Michael also took us to meet a couple he served with on his mission in Spain. And I'm sure we missed a lot. Gary and Pam took us to see Hamilton while we were there and my mind is still spinning with how much I loved it. That was such a surprise and SO kind of them. It was far and away my favorite thing I've done in so long. We listened to an audiobook on our drive back to Fresno all about the creative process of Hamilton and it's just such a work of genius.

Westin:
loved playing with Rachel all week while the big cousins were at school. He also loved when we left for Hamilton so that he could have a "cousin party" while Lily watched them. She was so sweet to babysit. He plays so much more independently around cousins than he does any other time. I don't know how kids know the difference between cousins and friends but they just do. One night I tucked him into his toddler bed and he wanted Michael to tell him a story after he was done getting ready for bed. By the time Michael came over to say good night, Westin was already out. He played hard that week!

Bennett:
was watched out for all week by his cousin Ben. I think they're bonded by name and it was so cute. All his cousins were sweet to him. He loves hiking in the Ergo, and he also loves animals, so there were a couple days when he was in his element. He didn't love the drive home as much as the drive there, but he was still a champ.

Arizona Memories:
Watching Olympics together, hot tubbing, Gary pouring cold water on us while hot tubbing!, HAMILTON, hiking and seeing wild horses, beautiful Mesa temple and visitor's center, Organ stop pizza, I.D.E.A. museum, train park, Dolce Vita Gelato, and just enjoying being around family. Thank you, Walkers! We had such a fun time visiting you. 
After Mesa we spent a couple nights in Flagstaff just to explore the city: beautiful drive through Sedona, lots of trains, MartAnn'es breakfast, Buffalo Park, Lowell Observatory, Visitor's Center, downtown, library, neighborhood drives, seeing my parents, Texas Roadhouse for Westin's roll fix, Bearizona on the way out of town!




The Bens! Bennett & Benjamin. 



Westin legit thought we were there to go swimming before church.

Michael almost pulled over on our drive into Phoenix to take a picture by one of these bad boys.
Luckily we saw more. And more and more and more.




Gary caught this picture of these two kiddos eating breakfast. I love it so much.



Somehow our train park day had all 3 kids still wide awake and Michael out for a nap.



Hot chocolate to warm up!

Organ Stop Pizza -- such a fun thing to see!


Out in a minute.




Wild horses!

Spot the horse.

Valentine's Cookies

Those Bens again.

Hamilton! It was so incredible.





He was so excited to "Put on Daddy's work clothes!" at the I.D.E.A. Museum.

Bennett was also excited. About this dog.





Jillian! I love this girl. She was right next to me in our room at the Jerusalem Center. She would always kindly help me get in bed after I would frequently fall asleep on my knees during my prayers at night... haha, that scene perfectly sums up so much about that summer.


Adriana! I was so happy we were able to see her while we were in Mesa.
She will always be one of my favorite people I've ever met.

Made it to our little place in Flagstaff! Bennett was so into this show and it made me laugh.

Park exploring in Flagstaff.

One of the best breakfasts I've ever had -- Chiliquiles at MartAnne's. 


Buffalo Park

My parents met us for a day in Flagstaff and the boys were in heaven.




This is literally how Bennett would like to greet most everything and everyone he meets right now. I do not understand it.
Don't worry, we intervened.

Quick pic after our quick trip, before our separate ways!
My dad brought me Dunford Donuts and I brought him Fresno State barbecue sauce. That's love.
Impromptu stop at Bearizona for a drive through wildlife experience. It didn't quite live up to my memories of Bear Country in Wyoming from a trip we took once, but it was still fun. Except for the leaving early due to toddler tantrums part, but, that's the life.



Bear!

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