What a trip! This was so needed and such a wonderful time with family and friends! I didn’t know we could jam so much into a week, but it was so much fun. We saw as many people as we could in the short time we were there, but still didn’t see everyone that mean so much to us…I guess we’ll have to go back! It’s always hard to say goodbye, but we really are so grateful for the time we had to spend with our family. Here’s what this trip consisted of:
We started the week off with Sean graduating from the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management with his MBA! Woot woot!! I am so proud of him and so grateful he is my husband. I wish I could adequately describe how hard he has worked for the last year and a half. Between working 7am-6pm everyday then coming home and doing homework until 11pm, fulfilling his church callings, and probably most time consuming…taking care of me (joking, mostly). Plus to add to it, he graduated in the top 10% of his class, I guess I have some pretty tough competition! I really am so proud of him and celebrating him and all his hard work with my parents in AZ was so fun!
We also had time to tour and check out the campus. It was a really nice campus and fun to see it!
On our way out of Tucson we stopped by the new temple built there. I love how no matter the temple the spirit is always the same.
After our time in Arizona we hopped on another flight up to UTAH!!! I love the flights where we look forward to seeing people, it’s so exciting!
Also, going from 80 degree 70% humidity weather to 30 degree 20% humidity weather is NEVER easy!! I think I told Sean multiple times this trip we can never move back to Utah because I can’t handle the cold (just kidding Carrie ;).
We then headed down to Pleasant Grove where we got the warmest welcome from some of our favorite people! I think Maddux may have been the most excited of all, that kid is the BEST! Later that week Sean and I walked in the door and he goes “KATIE! You’re here!! Oh yea hi Sean.” haha it was the best! We played play dough, wrestled, and snuggled, A LOT! I think not seeing him very often is the hardest part of living so far away, but Facetime is a magical thing!
Monday started off with taking the dogs for a walk, I love how every time we’re home I can count on going for long walks every morning, they are one of my favorite parts of being home! We then spent part of the day Christmas shopping with my parents and Dan which was fun. The best part of the day though was our trip to Iluminaria at Thanksgiving Point. It’s this huge light show with millions of lights, it was amazing! At the beginning they had an INCREDIBLE gingerbread house display, I mean they literally had a gingerbread carousel, crazy! One of the best parts though was the sculpture garden that not only held 10+ beautiful sculptures depicting Christ’s life, but was lit by over 1 million lanterns. They had beautiful music playing as you walked through the garden and one could not help but feel the spirit in there. It was really great. Aside from freezing (thank heavens for hot chocolate) the night was perfect!
After our time at Luminaria we headed up to Draper to the see the Tree of Life up there which is a huge tree that has lights on every limb, literally every single limb! It’s incredible how they do that! On our way there we made a pit stop by one of our favorite families, the Simmons. It was so fun to see them and catch up. We really love that family and can’t wait for Sean and Austin to move out to Florida with us!! After visiting for a while we quickly stopped by the tree as it was FREEZING cold, but it was pretty cool!
Tuesday was one of my favorite days. I started the day of with a massage with my mom, is there any way better to begin a day?!? No, there isn’t. Well after that we got ready for the day and headed to Topgolf to meet up with our best friends the Spjutes!! It’s been 4 months since we’d seen them and that’s way too long! It was so so fun to hang out with them and this marathon date was the best! We started off at Topgolf which was so fun, aside from CJ cheating to beat me 😉 it was perfect! We just wish we had a Topgolf nearer to us because it’s so fun!
After golfing we headed up to downtown Salt Lake where the guys surprised us with reservations at the Roof on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Between the bread, prime rib, crab legs (not my fave), and countless desserts it was a great dinner! Once we had adequately stuffed ourselves, and basically had to roll out of the restaurant we headed out to temple square to see the lights.
This is something that was always a favorite activity of mine during school and it’s been so sad not to be able to go over the last few years. But it was a great night to walk around and enjoy the Spirit of Christ that is so apparent on the grounds. And it will definitely be a family tradition if we ever make it back to Utah for good. Unfortunately, the night had to end and we dropped the Spjutes off at the airport for their flight. We really lucked out meeting them this summer and will forever be grateful for their friendship!
Wednesday was another great day, really the entire week was perfect! We headed up to the aquarium in Salt Lake with my parents, Heath, Lesley, and Maddux and Lily. Dad set it up for us to go up there and have a behind the scene tour and feed the Penguins. I think the highlight was definitely feeding the Penguins, and yes I even touched sardines…gross!! But they came running into the room we were in and they were so so cute with their little waddles! We fed them our fish and they were not very happy when we ran out. Milo kept trying to eat our coat strings until he got sick of those and went for my leg and Sean’s butt. His bite hurt though, like really hurt!
After the Penguins we headed off to the shark tank…Maddux’s favorite, not. We had joked a few weeks ago we were going to throw him in the tank, so he didn’t really want to stay too long. We then headed to our favorite animals, the otters and spent the next bit going through the rest of the exhibits! It was so fun to spend the afternoon with everyone and aquariums are so much more fun with little kids!
Also, I think we all can agree that Maddux is the cutest. He’s definitely our best friend!We then braved the blizzard that began that afternoon and spent the afternoon Christmas shopping. That night we had some friends come by to hang out for a bit which is always fun. We’re so sad we can’t see everyone when we go back, but that time we do get with people is so so cherished!
Thursday was a pretty low key day beginning with Madman’s Christmas concert at school and then just a day spent with family. That night we loaded up and headed down to Provo to drive through the lights. We had originally planned to go to the Zoo lights, but when the forecast showed like 8 degrees and snow we quickly decided against that (not sure Sean and I would have survived)! And big news…Lily finally let me and Sean hold/snuggle her!! woohoo!! Haha, we take the small wins :).
Friday began bright and early and COLD!! We headed up to Tibble Fork to take family pictures where the temperature was a warm 8 degrees…yes 8! It was frigid. But once I lost feeling in my toes and stopped shivering it wasn’t too bad. The pictures will be beautiful though and we all know how much I love pictures so I wasn’t complaining. During the pictures Maddux looked at Sean and said he was bored. Sean’s response was the best, “I know dude but we take family pictures for the girls because we love them and we want them to be nice to us.” Haha do you think Sean has had to take family pictures a lot or what?!? Anyway, the pictures will be great and it’s fun to take these photos as the family continues to grow!
We then headed down to BYU because Sean owes me a new BYU sweatshirt for Christmas. Considering he calls me a Zoobie he owes me at least a sweatshirt 😉
Also for those who don’t know what a zoobie is, this is the urban dictionary definition: “A zoobie is a term for a certain genre of people who attend BYU. Possible explanations for this nickname may include the chaotic, often carnival-like atmosphere of raging hormones and desperate hunting for mates.”
Rude. I know.
Saturday Sean was great and woke up early to go with me up to have breakfast with Bryce, one of my greatest friends! It was so fun to get to see her IN PERSON!! She is one of the best people I know and it’s such a blessing to have her in my life. Anyway we spent the morning talking and laughing until our waitress started eying our table, sorry lady. It was a great morning with a great friend!
We then headed to my parent’s house where Sean left me and headed back to his parents for the day. My dad and I spent the afternoon making toffee and chex mix whilst blasting Christmas music throughout the house. There’s something about dancing around the kitchen in sweats while singing Christmas carols! As the next day was Christmas Eve so we helped put the house together for family dinner the next night.
Christmas Eve we went to church with Mom and Dad and listened to beautiful music and talks about our Savior. This time of year is so special as we remember our Savior and all He has done for us. Later that night Grandma and Grandpa and Andrea and her kids came up for Christmas Eve dinner and to celebrate Dan’s birthday even though it’s the next day. It was so fun to spend the night with them.
And finally Christmas day. We woke up early to shovel SNOW!! Yes, we finally had a white Christmas!! The morning was spent opening presents, eating yummy food and seeing all the rest of mom’s family. It’s always such a fun time to spend with family, we really are blessed with the best!
After breakfast it was time to say goodbye to my family again 😦 that never gets easier! But we were so lucky to spend so much time with them this week. We love them very much!We then headed to our Christmas with the Stevenson clan. There’s something so magical about opening presents with little kids. Maddux was so stoke for his presents, but mostly his hotwheels track, which I don’t think got shut off the ENTIRE day! But is was so so fun and such a great day!
After all the festivities it was time for us to head out once again. This trip was just what Sean and I both needed. Between the break from work and school plus all the time with friends and family we both loved the week! To all our friends and family thanks for making this such a fun week, we love and miss you all!