Friday, August 21, 2015

Camping in Grand Junction

Hillary and Jesse had this great idea to meet halfway and go camping in Grand Junction with them! We were so glad that it all worked out and that we could see one of our favorite families. My mom was able to join us as well, which made the trip extra awesome.

Ty, Milo, Nana, and I drove out on Friday afternoon to camp that night. The drive went smoothly and Milo did awesome in the car. When we arrived we stepped out of the car and I got about 3 bug bites just on my face! Milo was soon swarmed as well so we hurried and sprayed bug spray on us. I learned my lesson to keep bug spray on at all times pretty quickly!

We set up camp and Milo was loving being outside and exploring everything. But as soon as everything was set up, Milo was just about done and was saying, "Go buh bye!" Poor little guy didn't know that he had a couple more days to go in the wilderness :) Tyler set up his hammock outside and Nana and I got in the tent with Milo to help him go to sleep. We all ended up falling asleep together at about 9:00, which was a good thing because the night ahead was a rough one. Milo slept in my sleeping bag with me and kept shoving me out so I would switch to another sleeping bag. Then he would wake up and want to get in that sleeping bag with me and the process went on and on. It was lucky we made it through the night!

The next morning we woke up, made some yummy breakfast, and headed to Island Lake for Ty to do some fishing. Milo fell quickly asleep on the way there so I was able to do some water coloring as Ty fished. Unfortunately, Ty didn't catch any fish, but it's all about the experience, right?

We headed back to camp for some lunch and who should pull up but Hillary, Jesse, Owen, and Elle. Perfect timing! Then it started pouring down rain, perfect timing... :) We huddled under our neighbors canopy to their trailer (these people were so nice to us the entire time and loved talking to Milo and letting him play with their dog) until the rain stopped. It stopped long enough for us to go get some canoes and get out on the lake for a little bit.

Milo hung out with Nana while we were out on the lake. As you can see, he was super stoked to have Elle come join him :) The car was Milo's favorite place on the camping trip. He got to play with the wheel, push all the buttons and, most importantly, got to be inside and out of the rain. He also carried around our car charger for the iphone everywhere he went, calling it his "tool". Whatever works to keep that little boy happy!

After the lake, we headed back to make some dinner. It was cold and wet and we barely got our fire made to cook our dinners. At least we were in good company!

That night Tyler joined us in the tent since it was raining and being out in a hammock in the rain didn't sound too awesome. It worked out so much better to have him in there so that we could squish Milo in one spot and keep him warm all night. He had a much better sleep.

Since it was still raining the next morning we were quick to pack up and head out. We were so sad to say good bye to the Chrastils, but so grateful that we were able to see them for a short time. Milo misses having those kids around to play with!

As we started driving home we had no idea that the adventures were really about to begin... Have I mentioned that I am cursed when I go camping? I swear, every time I go, some not so awesome things happen. I think that's why I try to avoid it as much as possible :) Anyway, we were driving home and we noticed that one of our front tires was really flat. I'm also going to mention that I wanted to get that tire replaced before we left on the trip... but we won't talk about that part. So we had to drive all over Grand Junction to find a place that had the right size tire and could replace it for us that day. Oh, and it was a Sunday... No where in Grand Junction had what we were looking for so we had to cautiously drive for 2 hours to the next city that luckily did have the tire we needed. After waiting about 2 hours (they told us 40 minutes) our tire was finally replaced and we were back on the road! Yay!

We headed toward a canyon and saw a sign that said MAJOR traffic delays. What?! Well, apparently there had been a mudslide toward the bottom of the canyon. We were stuck in that canyon for the entire duration of Despicable Me 2, plus some. I have never in my life been stopped in traffic for so long and I hope that I never have to do that again. It was the worst! Our travel time that day took us almost 9 hours when it was only supposed to be 4. We were SO happy to be home that night.

Milo, the next day, was constantly saying thank you to me for anything and I like to joke that, after that camping experience, he is much more grateful for everything that he has ;) Tyler is using reverse psychology, saying that Milo loved the whole camping experience in hopes that he won't remember how much he was unhappy on this trip and will want to go again. I hope this happens too so that Milo can be Ty's forever camping partner and take my place :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Family reunion in Idaho

Every couple of years the Higginson side of the family likes to hold a reunion with all of Grandma Higginson's siblings and their kids. This year it was up in Idaho at one of the family member's farms. We had so much fun and, even though I've been married into Ty's family for 5 years, I don't know everyone so this was a great opportunity for me to get to know the family better.

Dwight and his wife, Jamie, were the hosts and they had such fun activities planned for all the kids. Right in their front yard was a bounce house, which Milo headed straight for. Next to the bounce house was a blow up slide that I was unaware had water at the bottom... that was where Milo headed next. Buh bye cute outfit that I had planned for the day and hello swimsuit for the duration of the family reunion :) They also had a large pool set up in the backyard that Uncle Kip was kind enough to take Milo swimming in for a bit.

Dwight and Jamie cooked the most delicious hamburgers and homemade fries from potatoes that they grow on their very own farm. The adults were all able to sit and catch up with everyone while all the kids got to be free and run around on the farm. Milo spent almost an entire hour playing with all of the many dump trucks that were in a sand box and then another hour chasing the chickens around. It was little boy heaven! Dwight was even kind enough to let the kids feed a bottle of milk to the two new baby cows that they had.

After keeping Milo up hours past his nap time, he passed out in the car as we decided whether or not we would stay the night in Idaho or head back home. Some of the family were going huckleberry hunting the next day and we knew that was an opportunity we could not pass up! We got a hotel room to share with Kip and Linda and headed to Walmart to get some pants and buckets for the next day. Did anyone know that Walmart sells pants for $8? Not me! I almost became converted to shopping at Walmart forever after I saw all their amazing prices...almost.

The next day we headed out bright and early and headed up the mountain to pick some berries. We went with the York family and our guide was Larry's cousin, Scott Beech. I have always wanted to do this! We were super stoked. Milo LOVED grabbing all the berries and eating them.

He eventually discovered that I was putting tons of berries in my bucket so took it upon himself to hold it for me and eat all of them.

Milo lasted for quite awhile picking berries but then he was getting super tired of not really being able to walk around amongst all the tall bushes. Ty and I took turns taking him back to the car for snacks and we even managed to get him to take a little nap in the car as well. During one of our moments trying to pass the time we decided to take some selfies :)

After spending a long day picking huckleberries (and yes, it was everything I imagined it would be, we had a huge bag full of berries!) we headed back to Utah. On this trip, we discovered that Milo does amazing on road trips, hallelujah!

Now, with all of our huckleberry pickings, we had to make some of the famous family huckleberry jam. Linda and Kip came over to our house the next day and we spent all night canning some delicious jam.

We were so proud of ourselves that the jam turned out and it is the best jam we have ever had! We all had way too much fun and hope to make this a tradition.

Lagoon Birthday Celebration

Last year we went to Lagoon for my birthday and it was so much fun, we decided to do it again this year! Milo was old enough to do some of the rides this time so we decided to bring him along for half the day. We were super anxious to see how he would like the roller coasters.

The first ride we took him to was this whale one and he was LOVING it. That smile on his face says it all! As soon as the ride started he was squealing and laughing.

Then we took him on the swings ride and he sucked his fingers the whole time... :)

After every single ride he went on, Milo would say, "Again!" There was only one ride that he didn't love so much and wanted to, "Get out!" but, once it stopped, he still asked to do it again. I think the hardest part for Milo to understand at our whole adventure at Lagoon was that we had to wait in line to go on the rides. He really wanted to be able to just hop on and go but we had to wait for quite some time in order to do some of the rides. Overall we were glad that we took Milo, but super glad that we only planned to have him there half a day. That was plenty of time for the little guy.

Once the kid was away, the adults got to play! First things first, we went to wait in the super long line for the new Cannibal ride. We were there for about 45 minutes waiting, but we made friends with the people waiting in line with us, which was a good thing, because I was able to warn them that I am a screamer when it comes to roller coasters, and they were nice enough to be patient with me. 

After Cannibal we were able to get in all the crazy roller coasters that we love and to feel like kids again. It was a good time and Ty made me feel super spoiled on my birthday. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Congrats to Dad!

We are so proud of this amazing guy! He has accomplished so many things these past couple months that he gets his own blog post ;)

Ty has been working with Save Our Canyons for about a year now, which I mentioned in an earlier post, and he is now completing his time with them. Save Our Canyons had an event where they took the time to honor Tyler and all the work that he and his partner did for them. Ty also had the chance to share with all of the people who are members of Save Our Canyons what exactly the surveys that they put together and administered were all about. We hope that with the completion of all the surveys that were taken over the year that the canyons will stay open for all of the recreational activities that take place there.

Tyler also finished up his time at the University of Utah by presenting his capstone project on interdisciplinary sustainability. He was not nervous a single bit and he and his group did awesome!

Then the big event of all time was Ty finally graduating! I cannot tell you how happy I was that this day had finally come and I'm sure Tyler was even happier!

We are all so incredibly proud of him. Tyler has worked his butt off these past few months, with working 2 jobs and doing full time school. Then, before he even graduated, he got offered a job to work for 3Degrees, so that brought him up to working three jobs. It was not easy for either of us but Tyler handled it all so well and still managed to be an amazing dad to Milo.

Now for those wondering what Tyler's new job at 3Degrees is all about, here it is. Tyler works as an Outreach Coordinator. He hires and trains all of the new Outreach Associates for 3Degrees and works out all of the scheduling and events. 3Degrees partners with Rocky Mountain Power and the handles what is called the Blue Sky renewable energy program. So through Rocky Mountain Power you can add just a little more to your bill to pay for renewable energy. It goes hand in hand with what Tyler graduated in (Environmental Sustainability) and he was thrilled to be able to do something in his field. 

Tyler is such a hard worker and it is always so exciting for me to see what he is going to do next. He is amazing at everything that he sets his mind to and I look forward to seeing all the things that he will accomplish.