Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Visit from Sharee

My cousin, Sharee, and I have always been really good friends.
We were pen pals through our teenage years and I saved up my monies to fly and visit her in California when I was 15 because our once a year-ish visit that our families coordinated was just not enough.

So when I found out that she and her family were moving just a couple of hours away for a summer internship, we both just knew that we had to put together a visit.

This is Sharee:

She came with her husband, Brandon, and their three cute kids.
It just so happened that my uncle Keith, her Daddy, was in town for work too, so we had a real party.

Curt, Des, Keith and Sharee's baby, Makaida

 On Saturday it was hot, so if we wanted to leave the house it needed to involve water.
So we went to a spash park/lake that a bunch of people in our ward have been going to.

Kyla, who has some of the longest eyelashes I've seen

Des was just as enthused about this lake and water entertainment as he was about Lake Michigan last week, which was not enthused.  But he lived through it.

Saturday night we stayed up really late talking.
I have that problem when you get me around certain family members, I just can't get enough of them.
Bright and shiny Sunday morning we got up for church.
Des was looking so cute.  Too bad I couldn't get him in focus.

After church we celebrated Kash's 3rd birthday, which was the next day, but it's always more fun to party with more people.
 Watch out, this next pose will melt you.  Love the red hair.

For some reason this is like the only picture I got of Brandon. At least he's smiling even though I gave him zero notice I was taking this.

Kyla was extra excited for Kash to open his presents.  I think she was ready to die of the suspense.

Hi husband, how you doin'?

Des enjoying the sugar.

Uncle Keith enjoying the sugar.

Keith is a really fun grandpa who the kids love to play with...
 ...he even humored Des' ball obsession and played catch over and over.

  I love seeing family so much.
 {we have the same eyes, we got them from our Grandpa Topham}

 Des enjoyed having other kids around.

 And it looked like we had a pretty happy birthday boy.

Monday, July 9, 2012


At the beginning of the month we were in Nauvoo for Curt's cousin's sealing.
Ron and Katherine joined us there (well, they were there first so I guess technically we joined them).
It was really good to see family and I enjoyed seeing the historic sites, even if it was very very warm outside...on top of my already pregnancy induced internal thermostat increase.

Here are some pictures.

Katherine, Ron, Des, and Curt

Des on the temple grounds, I love his smile

This is an amazing building.  I love the distinctive stained glass windows.

The reason we made the trip, Chris and his little family.  
They're having another little one around the same time as us in November.

I fell in love with this little man.  He's a smiler, and he crawls with his little bum in the air.  Very cute.

 All the Hostetlers in the area (well, if you include me behind the camera)
Ron, Katherine, Denae, Chris, Curt and the babies

After the sealing we went to Denae's family home out in the country.

 They've made it an amazing place for entertaining.
There was a homemade ball pit, which Des loved for obvious reasons...

...swings and playground stuff...

 ...a multi-platform tree house...

...a pool with a zipline to it from the tree house...

...and land and gardens and animals.
We enjoyed a lovely barbeque and some really spectacular fireworks since it was the weekend before the 4th.

Sunday we went to church (which was, as you might imagine, highly populated with visitors).
Then we visited some of the sites, which were mainly restored residences and shops.
I found most of them very informational and I took many pictures, but for your sake I will only post a few.  You're welcome.

I thought the thread loaded onto the loom was so pretty.
 At the visitor center.  Don't mind Curt's spotlighted noggin'

Monday we headed with Chris and Denae to Carthage jail and to more of the sites in historic Nauvoo. 

picture of some of the accessories in the printing shop

While we were in Nauvoo we stayed at a place called Nauvoo Villas
It was just a few minutes outside the town, but was a condo type place that was really spacious and came with a fully outfitted kitchen so we were able to go grocery shopping when we first got there and then were able to fix a bunch of meals there.
We also had a second bedroom for Des, and it was nice to be able to go back and have him nap in a separate {quiet} room from us.

On Tuesday we did the 8ish hour drive home.
To break things up, we stopped for a couple of hours at Silver Beach on Lake Michigan.
I really found it refreshing, but Des was a little less impressed.
He didn't like the sand on his feet and the water was maybe a tad cooler than his preference.

The baby's desire to not touch the ground or water did make him even more cuddly than usual, which I can't say that I hated.

Playing peek-a-boo with me and my "hat", which is apparently everything that touches my head.
In this case my sunglasses.

And then we drove home.
Des is getting to the age where DVD players actually hold his attention {for a minute} so road trips are becoming feasible again.
Thank goodness.


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