Loyal, Strong and True

For our second week of break we took our children to our very own "motherland" -- BYU. I'm pretty sure my kids are going to grow up and spend obscene amounts of money taking their kids to Disneyland because their parents only ever took them on "crappy vacations to Utah." But here's the thing, we all love it.

This year was the best year yet, although we had to make it short so we didn't get to do everything and see everyone we wanted to.
Thursday we pulled into Provo and met up with the Greatest Aunt of All Time (that should totally be a title and my aunt Kristine would win it) for lunch at Guru's. I think we sat there for 2 hours or so while she doted on my kids and they looked at her adoringly.

Then we all headed up to the Bookstore. It was raining and cold and the lots were crowded, but of course the Best Aunt of All Time works for BYU so she gets smoking parking. I'm embarrassed to admit that we also spent 2 hours here. It took about that long before Sadie could convince me she needed a BYU cheerleader chihuahua.
By this time the kids were all bored and starting to entertain themselves by taking strange photos on my phone, so went back to the hotel. We went swimming grabbed Subway for dinner which we ate in our room at 8 pm when we finally finished playing for the day. Luke fell in love with Nate's reversi-pal and took "Chubby" for his own. I kept telling Nate to let Luke play with it, but he was convinced that eventually I'd let Luke play with it so much that one day I'd think it was his.

Friday morning was "friend and family" day. We took two of my Laurels who are up at BYU out for breakfast. It was so fun to catch up with them and hear how well they are doing. I'm ecstatic that they now love BYU as much as I do.
We had planned on meeting up with my sister to hike the Y, but she hadn't been feeling well (turned out to be a raging case of strep throat -- she's a superhero), so we hiked solo.
The leaves were all changing colors and it was absolutely gorgeous out.
We had to hurry down from the top to meet up with all the Skinners at the Cougar Eat for lunch.

I also needed to run BACK to the bookstore to buy Luke his own reversi-pal. We took over the entire eating area and I told Ellie to go get me brownies when she came back with. . . plain brownies. We could not find mint brownies ANYWHERE. I had not been to The Chocolate either, so no mint brownies was a definite let down.
But the cousins were NOT! 
After lunch we drove up for bowling and dinner with the Hortins. The kids match up perfectly and got along great.

Saturday started off with breakfast at Kneaders and more delicious french toast. The place was packed, so we packed ourselves into a little booth for breakfast. Can you spot "Chubby" the reversi-pal in the photo below?
 Then onto the PARADE with Kristine and Meg (from our Idaho family who is now down at BYU too). Only I needed to go to the bookstore one more time. This time for pom poms and a I picked up an awesome megaphone so we could all hear what Ol' Strep Throat had to say.
Please enjoy lots of parade photos:

Kristine and Meg's mom, Yuki, came down especially to watch all the little ones during the game. Best babysitters ever. Seriously. -- and instead of us paying them, THEY paid us in potatoes and BYU swag. Yuki pushed the kids around on the ottoman at the hotel pretending it was a train for hours and Kristine ordered them anything they wanted to eat for dinner.
Meanwhile, we met up with some of our old college friends to tailgate before the game. Only my sister crushed that beautiful image when she pointed out that picking up burgers from Cubbies and sitting on the grass for a picnic is not tailgating. The kids could not sit still for a picture.
 It was especially fun to see the Soelbergs who we hadn't seen in 12 years. I also ran into my mentor teacher -- who is amazing --  from when I taught school and got to sit and catch up with her for a long time.

Kathleen used her megaphone. We cheered.  We ate cougartails (just not blue ones). Dustin found me MINT brownies. We won. It was the best game ever.

And then we ended the best trip ever, after the best game ever, with the best Aunt ever on the best tradition ever.
I can't wait until we're all together again.

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