Monday, September 16, 2013


We went to California like a month and a half ago and here are some pictures... finally!
Let me tell you how awesome my parents are. Michael and I have only ever owned unreliable cars and by unreliable I mean they threaten to fall to pieces about 6 hours down the road. Because of this, my mom NEVER wants me to drive alone. So, Michael and I drove down to St. George for my cutest cousin Melysa's wedding. He went home with Shane and Geri to Salt Lake (where he had left his car) and I caravanned to CA with my mom and dad. The girls and I had a glorious time in Independence, CA. We played at the park and explored the creek and jumped on the trampoline and played with the Dana Dog (who has since passed into the next life, but don't tell my girls. We haven't broken the news to them yet.)
My mom was planning on driving home with me and hanging out in Rexburg for a little while before flying home. A few days before we were scheduled to leave she was overcome with mysterious and excruciating pain and swelling in one of her knees. She was unable to make the trip. So. She sent my dad with me who really doesn't have time for such trips but what can I say, my parents adore me. Mostly they adore my kids and are fond of our safety and well being. 
My dad followed us all the way to Las Vegas. He got me through Death Valley (which really is Death Dang Valley, that place is miserable in the summer!) My car did surprisingly well! I did have to turn my a/c off for a while, but the engine temperature only rose a little and Old Astrid pulled through!
Once we got to that Sinful City we pulled in at a Cal-Ranch where that father of mine took my 4 girls exploring while I took a rest in the car. 
Next he treated us to a delicious lunch at In N Out, filled my car with gas (for about the 50th time) and then we tearfully parted ways. Okay, I didn't actually let tears spring from their ducts until I watched his head disappear behind the median as our vehicles split up on the freeway.
I drove to Highland UT that night where we stayed and played with my aunt and uncle (Clark and Amy) and their precious children. Oh, how we adore the Christensen family!
The next day we drove a little ways to Salt Lake and spent time with Geri and Shane and Kenzie and Henry Boy. Geri fed us a delicious spaghetti lunch which the girls gobbled right up. They are lovers of ska-betty, I am telling you. 
We said goodbye to la Familia de Klenk and made our way home to Rexburg. That was the longest stretch of the journey and my kids were perfect angel children and gave me no trouble whatsoever. We made a stop or two, I don't remember for sure but I know that we stopped at a rest stop and played with the hand dryers and in the grass for a short time. 
I pulled into Rexburg feeling very accomplished for making such a journey with 4 Littles and a pregnant belly. Never had I been happier to be home!
I am so grateful to my mom and dad for always looking out for our family and sacrificing so much time and energy and money on our behalf. Michael and I were SO grateful to have our gas paid for and to be so very well taken care of. I love my parents and someday I promise to be as good to my kids as they have been to me!

 a sunset

Cute cousins with their Auntie. Photobombed by Geri.

The girls

In Death Valley on our way to Independence

The girls took this series of photos:

and that's the last one. aren't they talented?

 Playing cards with Emma

She wanted a picture of her hair.

 cutting cake #2

 Emma and the girls with Cousin Tasha and the girls' 2nd cousin, Skyler.

 The cute reception display

 Dancing friends. (Riley's face. So awesome)

Goodbye, balloons.

 Zach and his bff mission buddy, Derek.

 Rachel, Zach, Derek, Lindsay. 

 My grandpa and our friend Nicole. We love and adore her.

The girls with one of their very most top favorite men.

They are all wearing dresses that belonged to Geri and me when we were little girlies. 

 Trying to throw dirt and rocks into the water.

Kaylee has scary reactions to bug bites.

 Playing the Wii. Another perk of being at Grandma's.

Exploring the creek. Or crick. Whatever you want to call it.

In Lone Pine branch there is no such thing as "A Nursery" so Mallory and I had our own nursery time and here she is sitting like a princess.

In N Out. A favorite, for sure.

She got a little mad and I told her to close her eyes and go to sleep. What an obedient girl!

Riley and Kaylee playing with Kenzie at the super awesome play area right outside Geri's apartment. 

Mallory playing House all by her lonesome. With a dolly, of course.

Hand dryers provide such entertainment!

Yay! We made it home!

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