Family Fun in Utah

The world is opening again, and it feels so good. I hadn’t had a chance to travel for work since the Panama trip in January 2020. And I was lucky I got that one.

This year, I was on a rotation with the mobile support team, and they invited me to their team gathering in Germany. Two of my teammates were flying there from Utah, and I decided I would rather travel with them and get a chance to see my kids than travel alone from my home on the east coast. It was a wonderful trip.

CJ and Lauren moved into their new house (about an hour away from where they used to live), and I had not yet seen visited the new place. It’s beautiful and has gorgeous views wherever you look. I spent a few days with them before flying to Berlin.

It was so great talking with CJ and Lauren and playing with my west coast grandkids. Some of you might remember that one year ago, we were all quite stressed. Maeva was born with a tumor that was removed. I shared that on my blog. Lauren narrowly escaped death from severe stage 3 postpartum hemorrhaging, and then things got worse. I didn’t write about that, but still hope to someday. Just want to make sure all the facts are straight.

In short, she ended up with more problems than we realized. They found that the tumor had grown into her spine. At one point they gave her less than a year to live. She had a case of cancer so rare the closest case they could find was from the 1800s, and that child didn’t make it. Then we got another miracle. Despite the .2% chances, this part of the tumor was mature and would not spread.

The doctors monitored her closely with monthly blood tests and MRIs every three months. She passed all tests with flying colors, and now, a year later, the markers are still going in a positive direction. It’s kind of like she knows what a gift life is. Even after all she has gone through, the girl has a perpetual wide grin on her face. Adorable!

One of her favorite things is hanging out with her big sister. It’s tricky to keep up when one is stuck in the crawling stage, but things work out well when hanging out in the back yard.

Avalon is always very busy. The days were hot, and she loved spending as much time as she could making water prints on the pavement after jumping around in her “pool.” She also got quite adept at catching “buggies” and defining which type they were. We even lucked out and got to see a queen ant. Wings and all !

While I think babies are great, I’m not as enamored with them as some of my friends are. My ideal (not counting actual childbirth) would be to have kids enter the world at the age of three. Love how their personalities show and how we can have fun with crafts and learning and such. Avalon is at that stage now, and I’m really enjoying it.

When my kids were small, I really enjoyed teaching them about the color wheel by making vanilla pudding and adding primary colors to the pudding in separate bowls. Then we grab spoons and start decorating Nilla Wafers (or other cookies), mixing the colors to make new colors. Here’s Avalon enjoying the color experiments with me:

How fun is that?!?!

As the week wound down, Hudi and Mollie drove over to spend a night before taking me to the airport. Super fun to see everyone in the Utah family together at one time.

Hudi and Mollie showed up at the park.

When Hudi and Mollie arrived we were all at the playground, and I have to say that the playground there is very impressive. They have a perfect toddler section right next to a great older-kid section, and both are right by a splash park. The park also had pavilions with tables, grills, a walkway for biking, volleyball, basketball and a skate park. A perfect park.

It was a wonderful week, and although I had to head to Germany next, it was great knowing I would soon be back for more great times with the kids.

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