Warning: LONG POST
With pre-planning starting again on MONDAY (shouldn't it be a CRIME for teachers to work so close to July?!?), I realize I need to finish posting on our fun summer activities. Where to start?
When I went out to Utah for Shannon's wedding, I went a few days early so I could stay with two of my favorite friends ever. You know those kindred spirits that Anne talks about in Anne from Avonlea? Yep, Allison (and Alex - her hubby) are definitely some of mine. We spent three glorious days eating our favorite foods, laying out, loving their precious dogs, going to the temple, and hitting up the car wash. Yes, the tri-color foam is as amazing as it looks :) At the end of our time together my mom/sister picked me up so we could join the wedding festivities.
The morning of the wedding we celebrated my Houghtaling cousin Quinn's birthday by going to the BEST DINER in all of Utah: the Sunshine Cafe. EVERYTHING there is amazing. I'm not kidding. When Justin and I are in Utah we try to do three things: temple, Costa Vida, Sunshine Cafe.
I already posted about the weddings. Most of the rest of it doesn't have pictures to go with b/c I'm still learning to use a camera as often as I should. About mid-June Justin's mom, Kathy, came to visit us for a day and then we rode to the airport with Justin the following day to catch a plane to Utah. In that one day she was here we did SO much!
9 mini-loafs of homemade zuchinni bread
9 jars of homemade strawberry jam
8 jars homemade strawberry freezer jam
2 strawberry pies
1 loaf homemade wheat bread
Our house smelled SO good. And I was able to share the fruits of our labors with family/friends/visiting teachees. YUM! Never have I ever felt so domestic. UNLESS it's this past Sunday when we had my family over for a roast. We made more wheat bread, served it with our jam, and I MADE A PIE FROM SCRATCH. Two of them actually. Justin and I picked the blueberries. I made a filling. Made a struesel topping. MADE A PIE CRUST. Justin loved it. I think it wasn't quite perfect, but am very pleased at how well it turned out.
Anyways, so when Kathy and I got to the airport, because I'm the Delta employee's spouse and she's his mother, we fly on different priorities. So we waited around until about 3 or 4 until we were both cleared for a flight. I can honestly say that miracles happen when you fly stand-by. What a blessing!! We were able to go spend time with the MARVELOUS Badger women. We went to Costa Vida and played scattegories (sp?) and the next day went to Molly's baby shower. It was a wonderful, relaxing few days and I was reminded again of how much I love my in-laws and how great they really are. I would totally choose to be friends with each and every one of them, so it's just PERFECT that we're family and get to be close friends for forever!!!! :)
I also got to spend some time at my sister's house in St. George. It was tons of fun to play in her pool - half of it is a kid's water park type thing. We definitely made up our own obstacle course and giggled like we were 3 years old again. Thank goodness the fun-loving side never leaves us. She showed me a lot of St. George and introduced me to the Sweet Tooth Fairy little shop. AMAZING. I got the coconut cupcake and was reminded of our wedding cake. In love. Unfortunately we did a bad job of taking pictures (slash I'm still waiting on the ones she took on her camera), so I don't have anything to show for it.
Justin's birthday was July 2. We went to a Braves game for his actual birthday. We won bottom of the 11th inning. Great game. Fun seats. Then on Saturday the 3rd we went out for a sushi dinner - AMAZING rolls. And afterwards went into Atlanta to the Fox Theater to see Phantom of the Opera. It was SO good. Yay for birthdays!!!!
Our cousins Holly & Brandon Cox are doing a long summer traveling across the country and back with their 5 kids. They were in PTC for the 4th of July and we LOVED spending time with them. It's fun to have such great cousins and to build relationships with them. I'm sure getting more and more excited for our Houghtaling Family Summit that's next summer.
The next weekend we went up to North Carolina to surprise Grandaddy (my mom's dad) for his 80th birthday. His birthday was actually in June, which added to the surprise :) But all his kids and 2/3 of his grandkids were there. Again, I didn't take tons of pictures, but I did take some of Dad, Claire, and cousin Lauren playing in the creek/the SC welcome sign.
This past weekend we took a short trip down to Orlando to visit our cousin Kendall who is working for the Disney College Program. She's SUCH a wonderful, kind, generous cousin that she gave us tickets for the day - PARK HOPPERS! We started with Hollywood Studios at 8 am, hit up Epcot for lunch around 1 or 2, then Katie and I went home around 5pm to rest while Justin/Claire hit Animal Kingdom. We all met back up at Magic Kingdom around 8pm and partied until the park closed at 3 am. Claire and I left just after 2, but what an amazing, magical place. It's fun to be at a place that celebrates families and dreams. I eat it up!
While the family was driving back on Friday, Justin and I went to Downtown Disney to get another Disney Christmas ornament for Christmas (annual tradition for 3 years now) and eat at the Earl of Sandwich. We kind of lost track of time and got to the airport in time to board a plane - FIRST CLASS. So it was fun that the magic extended throughout our journey home. Thank you Disney!
Phew! As you can imagine, it was a fun yet exhausting summer. After so much fun I feel like I need a vacation before school starts up again. What - you're saying that WAS my vacation? Dang it... I guess I'll have to hold out for Christmas when we're going on our family cruise!!! :)