Monday, June 29, 2015

One Year In

My Parents hit their one year mark on the 21st of June. Since I was in Canada, I wasn't able to blog about it on the exact day, but I was thinking about them all day and it was even more special because it was Father's day as well. 

I can't believe it has already been a year. It's gone by so fast and slow at times. It helps so so much to be able to go visit them and be in regular contact with them. Though we do still send them letters and packages, I mean they are on a mission after all... Well I guess a little harder than a mission since they are the Presidents, but still they should get letters and packages just like any other missionary. 

It seems that they have really hit their stride and have caught on to all the craziness that happens on a mission. Just visiting them for a few days, it seems their phones are always ringing, I mean they are always ringing with so many things! I'm sure their heads have been spinning but now it seems they have caught up to the craziness and now just embrace it! 

Here are just a few pictures. I thought I had saved more, but hopefully the next 6 months will be better in the picture department. 

How cute is my mom?! Like for reals?! So classy. 

They are still finding ways to hike and do the things they love. I know it's not as an extreme level that they are used to, but they are feeling blessed to have some mountains close by, and being able to experience it with their missionaries! 

When we were there visiting, these returned missionaries came to visit my parents. (Both served together) and they came to tell my parents they were engaged. My dad had chuckled about how they both shared mutual feelings towards each other in their exit interviews when they went home, but had no idea how the other one felt towards each other. They were cute and so young. I really thought I was still their peers, but I felt so old next to these newly engaged people. 

It's been so fantastic hearing my parents experiences, hearing their testimonies and just seeing how much they love the work. I've had discussions with them where the work is harder than they ever thought imaginable, but they wouldn't trade the experience for the world. 
I am so grateful for their example, for what they are teaching my children, and how missionary work is so close in our home now. 
What amazing people they are and amazing work that they are doing!

Now until another 6 months.... 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Randoms

Hello Summer! Hello Warmth, and sunshine, and all good that is in the world! It's just all good my friends and we have been definitely feeling the good! 

We are jetting off here in a few days and I like to keep the blog all nice and caught up before I have big things to blog about, so just posting our randoms of the start of summer. 

We had one last play swim date at our house with our friends who are moving away. It hurts my heart a lot to see them go... I just can't even. 

These three little girls have been best little friends since they met back when they were babies. When we have talked to June about her friends moving away, she gets really sad and then I get sad and we just mope around. She told me she doesn't want any other friends... haha I know eventually she will, but it's still sad. 

Little fishes just swimming the day away!

Now that  the rain has somewhat stopped we spend as much time as we can outside. 

 Owen loves when we flood the cement and make a little splash pad for him. It's his favorite to splash and kick water. 

We can't get June out of the pool. It takes all we have to finally drag her out everyday. Yes. EVERYDAY we are swimming! She is a little fish! Fine by me! Just means more time outside, including dinner. 

 And then back in the pool 

 One day just hanging out with the kiddos. 

bubbles for days. 

One Saturday morning we had a little hair cutting party, where Owen got buzzed for the summer (sad to see the locks go.... like really sad) and June got a trim as well. I don't know if I will ever be brave to chop off her luscious locks. Is it weird to be jealous of my daughters hair?! 

Swimming with daddy

Sunday afternoons crafting. I think they were making a countdown for our  trip coming up. 

All my family is on a group messaging, and one day my mom asked us to take a selfie of our Sunday afternoon... I just happened to be holding Owen at the time! 

More arts and crafts 

We started a little swim lesson class this past week. We have had the hardest time with our schedule this summer since we are going to be gone so much this summer and for long periods of time, so when a friend from the ward was offering swim lessons to little ones, plus it worked out with our schedule we took the offer and ran with it. 

The first day went well enough and I was super pumped with how well June was doing. Now she doesn't quite like it as much... She says she would rather swim alone at our pool. I get it June, no swimsuit no problems! hahaha but her teacher Jess, is super patient and forceful enough that it keeps June going. 

June went under water and swam for like 2 seconds on her own. Good job boo! 

Usually as soon as we get home from swim lessons we head straight out to our pool. June's already in her swim suit so why not! 

My pool boy.... (Mom, as you are reading this, I can just hear you now gasping with how close Owen is to the pool, don't worry I got him!)hahahaha Love you mom! 

One night June was putting out fires... This was her firefighter outfit. 

Once Owen went to bed, June and daddy played hair salon 

Daddy also got a make over 

Then it was June's turn. He's simply the greatest dad! 

On rainy days we have to keep ourselves busy, which includes finger painting 

and impromptu sock puppets with random stuff around the house. Clearly I need to go make a stop at Hobby Lobby, but June was thrilled and loved her sock puppet!

We put on puppet shows all morning long 

 Then the rain stops and we are instantly back outside. I love how much time we spend outside. Its fun and just feels so good for the soul, plus it completely wipes the kids out and they don't fight bed time! 

June thought it was pretty funny swimming in the bucket instead of the pool! 

That's the end of the randoms for now. Much more to come and much more exciting things to blog about! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015


The stars aligned just right for this Colorado trip to happen and we are so glad that it all unfolded beautifully! 

Dan actually had a work trip scheduled in Houston in June, but Dan's family decided to get together in British Columbia at the same time, so Dan did some re-adjusting of work, so that we could go to BC as well. His work trip got re-scheduled for the first week of June, in Colorado! 

It also worked out great, because Dan has a companion pass for Southwest, which means when I fly with Dan, I fly free! And we paid June's tickets with points, so it was a free trip to Colorado! How could we not go!?! 

Dan and June went to church Sunday Morning, and I stayed home with Owen so he could have his actual nap, and not be cranky on the plane. Best decision we made! Once they got home from church we loaded up the car and headed to the airport! 

The flight and traveling all went well enough and we were excited to go see Nana and Papa! June had been asking every single day when we were going, it got to the point where we finally had to make a countdown, so she could see how many days were left! She literally ran into our room on the day we left yelling "It's Nana and Papa day!!!" So she was really excited. 

 Being such a big girl, holding onto the railing all on her own. She didn't want any help! 

Once we got to Colorado, Dan and his co-worker/friend, Adam, took off one direction for their rental car, and the kids and I left with my parents. After some huff and puff over our carseats being lost, we finally gathered all our possessions and headed to my parents mission home! By the time we got home it was around 9pm so the kids were tired and ready for bed. I got them down and settled, my parents finished up some missionary work and then we spent the rest of the night catching up on life.... though I talk to my parents all the time, I still feel like I have so much to catch up on when we are face to face. 

The next morning, the kids were up bright and early due to the time zone change, but later then I was expecting which was nice. My dad was already up and at 'em, and he was off doing Missionary business. My mom had a few free minutes and we decided to go walking/running to a park close to their house. 
June and Nana jogging on the path. June loves to run. She must have the Mendenhall gene for her love of running!

Once we got to the park, my mom took the kids and  let me go run for a bit. I hadn't been running in over a week because I was so sick and plus the altitude change about did me in, so I hardly ran, but I still ran! Counts for something right?! 

We then played for a bit at the park. 

Nana taught June how to climb across this rope. It made June pretty proud 

We came back from the park and got ready for the day. While we got ready, June played with the beloved polly pockets, which were actually mine as a child! I will someday take them home, but for now they are such a special treat at Nana and Papas house. 

During quiet/nap time, my dad came home from the mission office, and let me and my mom escape for a couple hours. I didn't get any pictures, but it was great just spending a bit with my mom. We caught up on all the stuff mom and daughters get caught up on and did it over sushi... nothing better. 

When we got home, we put up the slip n' slide and played outside for most of the evening. 

Still keeps us entertained as he did when I was little. Never a dull moment with my dad. 

June got cold and asked to just get comfy cozy with a towel. She was bundled up so snug I had to take a picture. And Owen playing with cars.... What else!

Mission President life is rough! hahaha just kidding! I think this was the only 5 minutes I saw my dad sitting, and he was actually dealing with missionaries at the moment. 

We played lots of games, had dinner and got ready for bed. 

The next morning, my parents had a meeting so me and the kids got to explore my parents neighborhood by ourselves. 
We played with bugs, trying to convince Owen to not squish it!

We drew with chalk and went on a nature scavenger hunt. 

And ate lots of otter pops outside. 

Being still on Texas time, Owen went down for an early nap, so June and I went out back and had a picnic and watched the clouds float by. It was lovely. 

My parents came home from their meetings right as the kids were waking up, so thats when they decided to take the kids to the splash park, and let me have a night with the love of my life. 

We had a whole night to ourselves! It was heavenly knowing we didn't have to be back for a babysitter, or call it an early night. We got to just be us two again. We went up to the Denver amphitheater, Dan was in geology heaven! He had been there before, but he always loves explaining different things to me. I actually get more amused by his explanations than I do about the actually geology of it all. Its just so awesome to have him so passionate about his work. 

Dan explaining how these rocks are millions of years old. 

We then went and looked around some caves 

Later that night we went and had dinner, then went to a movie. It was just awesome and I can't thank my parents enough for making that happen. I got to sleep in, and shower without anyone bugging me, crying or needing something. I think I showered for like 45 minutes. 

So meanwhile, my parents took the kids to a splash park and let the kids play for a while. 

My dad sent us this picture, telling us how he really does miss having little ones around! This has Owen written all over it! 

June bug helping Nana fold laundry. 

Once I got back to my parents house, Owen was down for a nap, so we just played, my parents got caught up from the night before and then we headed out to the aquarium. 

It wasn't busy at all which it felt like we had the place to ourselves! This little otter and June were so cute. He was so intrigued with her! and Vise Versa!

Sting rays 

In my 28 years of life, I have never seen an actual real life sea horse, and I just could not get over the cuteness of it! They were so adorable! I want one! 

Owen was intimidated at first by all the things surrounding him, but once he got into the tunnel of water, he just seemed to let loose and enjoyed himself.

We could not get over the size of this fish. IT WAS HUGE!! 

There were these little domes that you could stick your heads in to feel like you were swimming with the fishes. June loved it, Owen hated it. 

Both kids hated the talking gorilla! and I mean Hate! 

There were random tigers at this aquarium. Nana and Papa pointing them out. What a Swiss Family Robinson family I have. haha 

The shark tank was really cool. They had all different sizes of sharks. Some were pretty big! Bigger than I would have thought would be at an aquarium! 

June loved petting the snake! She wanted to take him home and kept telling me how cute he was. For the record: We will never own a snake! Sorry June bug, I have to draw the line somewhere! 

After the aquarium Nana and Papa spoiled the kids in the gift shop, and also treated us to dinner at the aquarium, where you get to eat with the fishes.

The kids were wiped out by the time we got home. We got them into the bath and popped some popcorn for them to watch a movie. 

The next day we took another walk down to the park. My dad had meetings later that day, so we took advantage of our morning with him and played! 

We headed back home, had lunch, put Owen down, and I was sitting on the couch catching up on emails, when I heard June, Nana and Papa all laughing, and yelling... I go outside and they had made up this game with June. I naturally joined in. It was fun. 

That night, Dan actually got done with work early, so he met us at my parents house. It was a super awesome, since we didn't think we would see him until Friday night! 

I helped my mom get all ready for a missionary leadership meeting they had the next day. We made mini key-lime pies and they turned out so good! I can't wait to try and make them again!! SO EASY TOO! 

Friday, My parents headed out early morning for their meeting and would be there all day. So Dan and I took advantage of the day and just had a little mini Lancaster vacation. We took the kids to the zoo. 

We had only been there about an hour and it started down pouring! So we went into a restaurant for lunch and waited out the rain. By the time we were done the rain was down to just a trickle, and a lot of people had cleared out, so we basically had the zoo to ourselves! It was awesome! We got to see all the animals up close! 

Another busy day and it zonked the kids out 

My parents got home from their meeting around five and the kids were awake and happy. We decided to go bowling. June loved it and she loved the arcade even more! 

June took this picture. She was pretty proud of herself for it!

We played as many arcade games as we could before it was time to head home and have dinner.

That night we got the kids fed and down for bed. Then that night, my dad grilled up some steaks and we made dinner for just us adults. It was nice to just sit down and talk without kid interruption. 

That morning my parents dealt with missionary business and then we headed out to a lake close to their house for a morning walk. 

That afternoon my parents headed out to a baptism and we let the kids have naps and quiet time. 
Once my parents got back we headed up to George town in the Rocky Mountains. It felt like home. 
I love the mountains. Being born and raised near them really made me take them for granted, but after living in the flat nothingness of Texas for 6 years now, I forget how magnificently beautiful they are. 

We took this awesome train ride through the mountains! It was so pretty!! and it was really fun riding an authentic train! 

June loved that we were going over trestles... Just like in her train books!

This is just a beautiful picture of my mom and Owen. Owen was her bud and didn't leave her side. They were so snuggled together. 

After the train, we went into town and had dinner at a little pizza place. It was really good and reminded me so much of West Yellowstone! 
*Side note: So I tried to be super sneaky and caught the waitress before she brought our bill to the table.... I hurried and handed her my credit card and she just looked at me and said I can't accept that. I seriously could not figure out why... Then she said it had already been paid for!! AH! SNEAKY PARENTS!!! 
They are the worst but also the best! 

We got back that night, got the kids settled, and Owen down for bed. Then we played this booger game with June that my parents had gotten. June thought it was a riot! Oh she is still talking about that game! It was pretty funny to play though!

Once June went down to bed, us adults snacked and played marbles. It was a great way to end the trip. 

We finished packing up and went to bed ourselves. 

Sunday morning came too quickly, and we had to say goodbye. My parents took us to the airport and then we were on our own. The plane ride was good with lots of turbulence. But it went as smooth as possible. 

We got home and we all crashed for about 3 hours. We didn't wake up until 6pm. Surprisingly the kids still went to bed  at a normal time and Dan and I went to bed not too late either. I guess that just goes to show how exhausted we were. 

It was a really fun trip and I'm so glad it happened! I am grateful for my parents and how much time and effort they put in to still being awesome grandparents even though they are so busy being mission presidents. Family is first to them and I love them about them. I'm sure they paid for it this past week trying to catch up!

Thanks again mom and dad for another awesome adventure at the Mendenhall  Mission home!