Thursday, August 14, 2014

Roadtrip to Utah 2014

There's nothing like our annual summer roadtrip to Utah! Despite the angelic picture below, Quinn has never been a fan of the car, and she let us know exactly what she thought about the 12-hour drive for two-thirds of it. :) Luckily, I was expecting it and had an unusually calm attitude about it (most of the time). :)

Ryan's parents rented an amazing townhouse in Park City, where each family had their own room and bathroom. We took it easy after Kyle got a concussion while mountain biking with the guys and started repeating the same half a dozen questions every five minutes. (Have I vomited? Are my pupils dilated? I'm engaged?) That lasted for about a day, and every time he slept it improved. We are so happy he's as good as new now.

Other highlights included time in the jacuzzi, smores on the gas fire, lots of great food, an early bday celebration for T, a shopping trip with the girls and kids, a quick trip to the lake and the boys' first fishing experience with Uncle Nate, and family T-shirts that say "Nielsen Family Ski and Bike Shop." (Love those!)

We joined my family after the Nielsen reunion. We did Wheeler Farm, Cowabunga Bay, the Midway Crater hot spring, and the Murray 4th of July parade. The boys are still talking about how much candy they got that morning. It was as much as on Halloween! Except a lot more salt water taffy. :) 

My parents are incredible hosts to about a million people. 

Our favorite part, of course, was just spending time with siblings and parents and cousins, and we city-dwellers also really enjoyed imagining what it would be like to have a big beautiful yard like my parents do. :)

(They really were loving it, especially once the candy started coming!) 

There's one more new post below this one! 

The First Half of 2014 in Pictures

I'm stifling my inner perfectionist and posting a ton of favorite photos in an effort to get caught up. I love instagram, but we have so many more great memories from this year that I don't want to forget.

In addition to the amazing things we've done (which I list at the bottom of this post), we've also worked really hard. I remember in college when a professor said at finals time that life will only get more stressful. I balked at that. (Finals were way stressful, right??) I can see what he means now, though, as the stress of keeping a hundred balls in the air is very different than the stress of acing five tests in a week.

Our job managing our building has grown and morphed over the years, and I'm ready to move on. Thankfully, I have Ryan to help me find the humor in the insane interactions I sometimes have with (overly invested) residents and HOA board members. :) It's really hard to find the right next step for our family, especially in an area like the Bay area. But overall, the job has been a HUGE blessing for us, and a silver lining is how invested the boys are in being "mangegers," as Chase pronounces it. I appreciate being able to have them work right alongside me.

Ryan and I have spent a year now developing with our designer and developer. We have come so far, but we still have a ways to go. I love the videos we're producing, though!

I got called to be the ward librarian, which is a little hilarious. I think I'm the youngest person ever to be in that room, but it's a surprisingly social calling. Plus, I waged war on all the junk that had collected in there, and I won! On a more serious note, maybe the Lord just knew I needed a little break and a little spiritual boost from attending Relief Society. I'll take it while I can! Ryan is still serving as assistant ward clerk.

Ryan's job at Apple rocks! And he rocks at it!

Trenton's year of kindergarten was a little isolating for the kids and me. Between school and preschool pickups and dropoffs and Quinn's two naps a day, that was about all we could do. But once summer hit and Quinn eliminated a nap, we started living it up!

Here's the first half of the year in pictures...!

Chase's fourth birthday (which included an un-pictured family trip to Rock 'N Jump); several beautiful trips to the beach; a hike off skyline; a couple of fun outings to Bernal Heights; Quinn's first birthday; a fantastic (seriously, fantastic) visit from Sarah, Javier, and Arie; a crazy fun Ellie Goulding concert for Ryan and me; an Easter photoshoot by our pool; and a backpacking trip for Ryan.

A plane ride to Utah for Launa and Nate's GORGEOUS wedding; a six-mile boys hike where the boys really learned that they can "do hard things"; Trenton's last day of kindergarten; Father's day; a visit from my sweet grandpa (who came bearing a boxing bag the boys are still using); a foggy visit to Twin Peaks; and—not to be forgotten—cherry, strawberry, and peach picking. My favorites. :)