19 years ago, for our honeymoon, The Professor and I drove a couple thousand miles from Salt Lake City and put down roots at a boarding school in a teeny tiny town in New Hampshire.
“We’ll stay 2-3 years and than fly away to a new adventure.”
Turns out boarding school life in rural New Hampshire was adventure enough. It’s become my home and the best place I could dream of to raise a family next door to hay fields, show donkeys, and holsteins. moo.
It’s also true that I left part of my heart out west. This year our family reunion was in Idaho and Utah, a blessing given the circumstances with Eric, Cassie and Scout. I took almost a 1000 photos and boy howdy, what a hard task it was to choose my favorites.
If you’ve never been out west, may these images inspire you to explore this beautiful world, especially with the ones you love.Flying over the midwest
The Professor is somehow always in the mix of flying and leaping children. He starts it.
Bear Lake, Idaho. Home of my childhood summers.
Vast amounts of food was served to small, and often screaming, children. Love them
Family photos taken
My sister, Andrea. The darling.
My fab four
Cope and Savannah. Bestie cousins, born 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day apart.
Bear Lake is not complete without a cemetery tour given by my father. Here we are told the stories of our ancestors. Some kiddies find it more riveting than others
The farm where my father grew up and where I roamed as a kid.
The milking parlor that used to be our clubhouse
This cow wasn’t interested in my photo shoot
The Professor in his element. We ate. A lot.
The three beauty queen cousins born within months of each other. All going into their senior year.
My dad. The Grandpa.
Brynne and The Professor went flying.
The cool kids
Grandma brought a treasure chest filled with magic and goodies. The teens made a treasure map for the wee ones to follow. Fun times.
Sweet Scout likes peas
The teens left us in Bear Lake for a day while they traveled to BYU-Idaho in Rexburg for a college admission tour. See Nate, of East Idaho News, driving? He assures me they didn’t really travel like this! RIGHT?
The rest of us hiked in Tony Grove, Idaho. There was snow!
And beautiful flowers And the surly Professor who wasn’t actually surly except for the camera
And my TWIN brother! Do you like his hair? I too could be a silver fox. But I’m not so brave. Oh, the issues we women have.
Back to flowers
And meadows and reflections of life Beautiful Bear Lake close to sunset After Bear Lake, it was back to Utah where the teens left me standing in the street as they drove off into the sunset. It’s a whole new world, isn’t it?
There are so many LDS churches in Utah you can walk to church with your hand in your dad’s. I like that.
There’s also A LOT of ice-cream! Iceberg was a huge win!
My boy, Nellie Mak, has decided he wants to be a barber. His first willing victim: a cousin!
I have FAR TOO MANY selfies on my phone!
Another college tour: BYU in Provo, Utah. This is Cope’s first choice school and an extremely competitive one. The average GPA: 3.8. The average ACT: 28. Application process: this fall.
My college apartment, in front of the window that The Professor once broke with a snowball. It was true love from the start
A trip to Salt Lake City, isn’t complete without a tour of temple square. I love The Christus.
The conference center where the prophet and twelve apostles speak twice a year for General Conference. Also home to theater, musical events, and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. These organ pipes are the largest in the world. It is a tremendous building.
The Salt Lake City temple where we were married – for free! Swoon.
Atop a mountain in Draper, Utah, where my brother, Patrick, and wife, Natalie, recently moved.
Siblings. My sister, brother, and me.
My boy and his Uncle Patrick
Beautiful Utah skies
And back to Idaho
And more beautiful western skies
Be still my heart.It was very difficult to think we could have a “fun” reunion, with the loss of Cassie. But it was also comforting to feel that with every hike and lake swim, she was with us. I imagine she always will be. We tried to stay “up” and provide an unforgettable experience for our children, as they gathered, laughed, and sometimes cried, with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. What a blessing it was to be together, surrounded by the great beauty of the earth, and to remember the creator of it all.