Monday, June 30, 2014

From Your Home to Ours

Life chez les Wheelers is not boring.  But I'll be honest.  Sometimes I think this blog is boring.  I have so many ideas roaming my brain that beg to be released in written form, be they deep thoughts, crazy dreams, or just silly anecdotes.  I crave quiet moments to sit and think and compose, but let's be honest---they rarely come.  Times and seasons, folks, times and seasons.  Let's just hope that by the time I get to a season in my life when I really do have a bit more time for reflection, I still have a few thoughts worth sharing.

In the meantime, I'll try to find more contentment in keeping up with the Wheeler travelogue.  I abandoned photo albums long ago, so these posts double as our family history.  I don't know if future generations will care much, but I do know that the current generation of Wheeler munchkins loves to peruse the blog books, as evidenced by how often I find them perched on the back of the toilet.  Hopefully these pictures will help them remember the lovely family vacation we recently took to see Grandma Susie and Grandpa Charles in Hyde Park, Utah.

The weather in Utah was positively gorgeous the entire time we were there.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being back in the mountains!
Here's Grandma Susie with Eli at the Logan tabernacle, following a lovely concert by Utah State's Fry Street String Quartet.  They were amazing!

Brooklyn smiles broadly as Annika Mae waves "hi" (her very favorite word.)

Sisterly love--what a special bond!

Brooklyn, Grandma Susie, and Annie Mae walking the campus of Utah State where we visited the geology museum.

Lemon custard from Aggie Ice Cream---the perfect finale to a lovely afternoon!
You may have noticed that Talia was absent from all the previous pictures--the poor girl was home sick with a high fever and nausea.  When she vomited late that evening, we all doubted whether or not she'd be able to join us for the next day's festivities.  At Talia's request, her Grandpa gave her a special blessing.  The next morning she woke up healthy, happy, and ready for a day of fun at Lagoon.  We were all able to get in at a deeply discounted rate, thanks to Grandpa Charles' hard work on the city council.

Talia and Eli enjoy the bumper cars.
Eli rides a shark.  Annika also rode in a shark of her own--once was definitely enough for her.
My personal favorite, Rattlesnake Rapids.  Grandma Susie, NomiAnn, Eli, Brooklyn, and Talia are all in this raft.  They look kind of nervous about what's coming up ahead...
Oh no!  The kids are getting drenched.

Soaring above the park on the ski lift.  With no seatbelts securing us, I certainly held on tightly to my babe!
Twirly swings are best reserved for youthful tummies.

Annika Mae and Brooklyn gazing at the animals from aboard the train.

Talia and Kara smile for a photo as well.

Thanks, Grandma Susie, for the lovely day.  It was amazing!
The next day we built more special memories when Aunt Connie came down to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Hansen.  Here we are picnicking at Lions Park.
Isn't Grandpa Hansen's walking stick great?
Aunt Connie, the expert photo bomber.  :)

NomiAnn catches a nap on the grass.

Great-Grandpa Hansen shows off his smile and bright blue eyes.
Susie, now we know the source of your delightful grin.
All too soon it grew late and was time to say farewell, but not before a few final photos.
Jason's plane arrived just in time to have dinner with his grandparents before they needed to get back on the road to Idaho.

It's a good thing that our children are excellent car travelers, because we certainly spent plenty of time in vehicles.  Besides driving to Logan and Lagoon, we dragged them down to Provo for the marathon. Here we are stopping for a picnic lunch at Kays Creek near Layton, Utah.
We serendipitously found this spot after I suddenly decided that I needed food--and right away!  It was the perfect travel pause.

Brooklyn loves to hold Annie Mae, although she doesn't much enjoy feeding her.  NomiAnn often takes over that job.
Talia heads off exploring.
Ah, mountains!!!

Our final destination was a lovely basement "hotel" in Mapleton, Utah that was perfect for our entire crew.  In addition to a couple large bedrooms, there was an enormous shared living space, kitchen, and extra mattresses.  Oh, and let's not forget the awesome toys!

Instead of crashing early the night before the marathon, Jason stayed up late building this impressive K'Nex roller coaster with his Dad.  They pretended to be doing it for Eli, but it soon became clear that the big boys were having the most fun playing.  So adorable!
Talia loved this play kitchen nook.
Meanwhile, Annika thought the built-in trampoline was fantastic.
After the marathon we followed a large portion of the race route back to the town of Midway, Utah where Jason peeked in on a house he designed for Mike and Di Glenn.  I couldn't believe how long it took us to travel the 26 miles in a car, let alone by foot.  No wonder our legs hurt!
Even in its unfinished state, the home is already beautiful inside.
Speaking of "new" homes, shortly after our return to Nebraska, some special visitors all came to see ours.  (Or is it an old new home?)

Surprise!  It's Grandma Susie and Grandpa Charles with Uncle Justin and Aunt Brianna.  This time they did the driving, all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to Cincinnati, Ohio where Dr. Justin is starting a new job.  Justin and Brianna just purchased a new home too!  (Click on the blurb to the right if you happen to know of a new baby to go along with it.)

Here's Eli giving Charles a a hug at his favorite place: right in front of the train "Big Boy."

"Big Boy" certainly is an impressive steam engine!

Eli's been captivated by it ever since the first time we visited.  He had so many questions, including wanting to understand how in the world they hauled it up to the top of the hill where it overlooks Omaha and the Missouri river.  At Eli's request, we visit "Big Boy" almost weekly.  He even prays that Big Boy will be safe when it hails, and has asked if we can come clean the train sometime.  If only he were equally concerned about the state of his room!
Grandpa Charles seemed as intrigued by the plants as the train.  We hope that someday we can visit the neighboring botanical gardens together.

Talia, Brooklyn, and a sleepy Annika Mae.
A tender moment.  This picture makes me want to smile and sigh because they just grow up so darn fast.
Brianna and her Wheeler nieces--so happy together.
More Omaha fun--playing on the giant slides at Gene Leahy Park. 
Grandma Susie discovered the hard way (literally) that waxed paper makes you go really fast.  Definitely airborne, her flight was great, but the landing a bit rough.  Hopefully the bruises have disappeared!
Aunt Brianna and the munchkin train.

Talia and speed is a thrilling combination!

 Last stop before Grandpa Charles's flight home: the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.  If you ever want to be in two places at the same time, come straddle the black line separating Nebraska from Iowa!

Justin and Brianna, thank you so much for spending a few days with us at this exciting juncture of your lives, and Grandpa Charles and Grandma Susie, it's always lovely to see you, whether at your house or ours.  We're already looking forward to the time we can see you again.


Anonymous said...

My ... you traveled (and ran) far and did alot in just a few days. I personally think this blog is much better than a photo album. For one thing, many people can view and read your entries concurrently, from various locations around the world. Finally, if you keep your mind active, you are very unlikely to run out of ideas to write about--at any age. Keep Smiling!

Jason said...

Looks like Eli is about (or perhaps, "over-") due for a haircut! I laughed pretty good at the bit about his lack of concern for his room but his abundant concern for the nearby train!

Julie L said...

What a fun post! Nothing boring there, not in the least! Love all the great pictures! It's fun to see my baby sisters and my parents with all your cute little ones together! Wish we had been around while you were in town. Our timing is always the worst when it comes to seeing family, it seems. All look like they are growing up too fast!

Susie said...

Again, Kara, you have done a wonderful job of reliving the memories in your delightful blog! Thanks for sharing your pictures and great dialogue. It truly was a lot of fun to be with you all in both locations!!