It didn't start off that way, though.
For me, the first moment that I felt like Salt Lake would be okay was when I went for a run. The old homes and tree-lined streets in the Avenues are pretty captivating. After continuing on up past Memory Grove I found myself here...
...running right past the Capitol building where my father clerked when I was just an infant. Little did I know that I was returning to my roots after all.
Coming home, I often pass the Salt Lake City Cemetery with its beautiful mountain views. How long I rest there (and whether or not the rest is permanent) depends largely on how hard I push the hills.
Our home is just a mile from Temple Square. The temple's beauty still takes my breath away every time I drive past on my way to the gym.
As far as our home goes, I was initially pretty concerned about having enough bedroom space. After one very unsuccessful night of putting Talia, Eli, and Annika together, we paired Annika with Brooklyn. Brooklyn has a captain's bed that doubles as our guest bed when company comes...
...and Annika has a Murphy Mattress that we prop up against the wall during the daytime. Annie actually seems to enjoy being nestled in a corner. The switch to a big bed was tough, so this arrangement comes closest to mimicking her crib. Also, Brooklyn is a night owl anyway, so she has no problem hanging out on the couch until Annika falls asleep.
These two sisters really do share an amazing bond (even when Annika is stingy with her hugs because she knows it will annoy her sister.)
Of course, these older sisters have a great friendship as well. Here are Brooklyn and Talia waiting to go into the Conference Center for the Pioneer Day concert with the King Singers. They loved it!
Back to the house, one of the things that concerned me most initially was that there wasn't really a space for the kids to play. Fortunately, when it comes to play, they are extremely resourceful and adaptable. Even though the basement isn't finished, we set up a table and the kids made themselves right at home creating elaborate hama bead designs. Can anybody guess what Brooklyn's working on?
Here's a clue: Harry Potter (surprise, surprise.)
Hogwarts, Hagrid's Hut, the lake, and a quidditch pitch. I adore summer when the kids have time to be creative.
Talia created this cute little frog.
Of course, it's most interesting when viewed from its side. Somehow I made it three dimensional when I ironed it a bit too long.
As you can see, our rental has a lovely backyard. While we haven't used the hot tub yet, we love how the fence contains naked runaways.
There's plenty of room outside for grilling...
...or dozing. (Notice Talia watering the grapes in the background. We often make our children work while we snooze.)
Well, not all of our children. This one is joining her Daddy in dreamland.
These particular pineapple chicken skewers were extra special. Not only were they grilled by Grandpa Charles, but we got to share them with Uncle Lance, who came all the way from DC to visit.