Saturday, February 21, 2009

Utah (Part 1)= Great-Grandparents, Family and a few Blasts from the Past

Utah was short and we packed in a lot, but it was fun.

We started with a trip to Great - Grandma and Grandpa Donovan (my dad's parents) in Ogden. Their house still has that same cozy feeling that it had when I was a kid, complete with homemade grape juice, pink peppermint candies on the kitchen counter in the little wooden bowl, cabinets full of Hummel figurines, and Grandma and Grandpa sitting in their recliners looking out the window onto the elementary school playground.

We talked, tried to play in the snow with homemade snowsuits (garbage bag and tape work quite well), sledded down the small hill in front of their house and had dinner with our Utah cousins.

Uncle Spencer made the trip up from St. George to see us, or rather to see my kids and played in the snow with them too.

I finally convinced Lias to crash about 1 that afternoon and he gave us a beautiful 3 hour nap. It must have something to do with all the comfy quilts that Grandma has everywhere in that basement room.

I gave my Grandpa a quick lesson with the digital camera and this is the shot he captured.

Ava found the most sought after spot in the house - laying on Grandpa's belly. This is one of my earliest memories of my Grandpa - laying on his belly while he watched TV and asking him when his baby was coming cause he had such a big belly.

Eventually the cuddling evolves to tickling and I'm not sure who got who better.

But we all had a great time and can't wait till they make their yearly trek east in the fall.

We spent the majority of our time with Papa (John's dad) in Bountiful, watching the snow fall and the kids play with his arsenal of toys in the basement. John's family is over run with little kids (24 grand kids and 17 of those in the past 4 years) and most of them used to live in the Utah area so he's really got the stock pile of all types of toys that will entertain and amuse grand kids of all ages.

But eventually even those toys got old so he also took us out the SLC Children's Museum, a place he frequents often when all those grand kids come to visit. Nathan finally got to get up close and personal with a "hell-e-cock-er" and he was in heaven. He was even kind enough to let us sit in it for a second but pestered us galore with all the "why" questions about a helicopter you could ever dream of. He's into the why stage pretty hard and doesn't even wait for an answer before he asks why again. Sometimes it's cute but usually it's pretty exhausting.

Papa oversaw all the activities at the museum. That is, until he felt the need to go shopping at all the tantalizing malls next door to the museums. I tried to beg my way along but he had already taken me to Kohl's that morning, where we had fun spending my 30% off coupon. I got new jeans, a shirt, and a new jacket, among other things.

Nathan and John had fun building towers.....

....and then pushing the button to make the floor shake so everything came tumbling down.
Check out Nathan's clenched hands - a sure sign he's excited.

He wasn't too excited to dress up though.

Somewhere along the trip we also stopped and saw a ton of family. We could easily spend a month in Utah and still not see all the friends and family that we'd like too, so I know we missed more than a few of you, but I'm glad for the few we did see.

My mom has 9 siblings and I think all of them live in the Utah area, so I thought I was doing pretty good to stop and see 3 of them here and there. I got to see my newest cousin on my mom's side too, who is only 9 months old and a complete surprise to our family since the oldest cousin is somewhere near their 40s I'm sure. Joshua McKean Racker was a complete surprise to his parent's too, who already had 3 teenager daughters and are in their 40s too. Aunt Stacey and I had a fun visit comparing our little babies (who share the same middle name) and catching up. She took pictures but I was too lazy to get the camera so I have nothing to show for it. I also got to visit with my Uncle Dave and Aunt Alecia and my Aunt Annie and her hubby Uncle Gary.

We also took the kids over to the old stomping grounds of B-Y-U to let them see where we used to be cool and walk around campus like we owned the place. If you ever want to feel grown up and old, take your three little kids and walk down memory lane on your old campus. It felt so surreal to be actually using the couches to nurse a baby in the bathroom at the Tanner building, reading the sign in the ladies room that said "Please respect the privacy of nursing mothers". I can't tell you how many times I used those couches in there for a long nap or to kill a lazy hour in between classes. We only stayed about an hour and met with one old professor, but it was pretty fun to relive it all.

And would a visit to Utah ever be complete without seeing someone about to pop and someone in a big white dress? (not the same person, of course!) We stopped by to see a great old friend, Alicia Wall (shoot, can't remember her married name now- sorry Stan) who was just weeks away from having her first little baby. We reminisced all about Block and Bridle Club, where we ate, danced and partied our way through BYU Animal Science. We wished her well on turning her little baby, who has decided to give her mom and dad complications and come out feet first, and headed over to crash a wedding.

One of my families closest friends, the Jay and Nancy Rollins crew, had just married off their 5th kid, Mary, so we went in our our finery (we hadn't packed a single peice of church clothes) and ate all their cake. I had a blast showing off my kids and reconnecting with Jaymie, Mary's oldest sister and one of my best friends in high school and at college.

We met up with Jeff, my little brother at the wedding reception and then headed out to his house afterward. He tried to tell us his place wasn't very nice and I had to set him straight. He lives directly south of campus- I mean directly south of campus. His house backed up to the parking lot where I spent way too many hours circling and circling hoping to get a spot to park my car my senior year. And the inside of his house? Lets just say that I'd live there with all my kids, it's that nice. I think I convinced him to stay another year there or maybe I just convinced him to get out and give someone else the posh deal. The kids had fun seeing him and crashed on the way home so me and John actually got to talk and laugh all the way back to Bountiful about our BYU days. Oh so fun but glad to be done with them too.

Part two tomorrow night....maybe.


  1. What a fun trip to Utah! Your grandparents seem really cute.

  2. Rebecca [Hawkins] MillsFebruary 23, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Hey, Lynnie- Dustin sent me the link to your blog a few months back and its been fun to read it. I just had to comment on the Block and Bridle days - miss them tons. You have an adorable family!

  3. It sure is great to watch your young family grow up. It's like watching you grow up all over again. I wish that I could see all of you all over again. You should see how big my Rhett has grown. I hope that I am raising him within the same bounds that greg and diane raised all of you you have a fine family. If you get time, come and see us at
    Daryl wilhelm

  4. Yeay! I'm cool enough to make it into your blog! I do have to say you were one of the few people I got to talk to that day with everything being so busy. It was a great day!