I’m still trying to post about Bear Lake before Fall hits in full force. (Not sure what “Fall hitting” really means here in the desert because it’s so dang hot until the end of October I swear, but actually this week it kinda feels like fall because it got cloudy yesterday. Ha! Oh and it rained, hard, a couple days ago but Lu and I missed it since we were in Wisconsin.)

But Fall and the desert heat aren’t the “day I want to hold onto.”

Nope, today I just want to write about a stop in Utah en route to the Bear Lake. I wrote about dropping off Claire at volleyball camp back HERE, but right before that we had one day in Utah. And it was kind of a magical one so it really does deserve a post.

First of all there was a lot of driving to get there, following wide-open skies and forever fields of grain…oh and some scrub oak too:

We were so excited to meet up with Elle who, remember, was living right downtown in Salt Lake City this summer. She and Claire decided to join me for “Music and the Spoken Word” on Sunday morning:

It’s free and there’s always a great message and beautiful music. Perfect Sunday morning date.

We planned our little Utah stop-over timing-wise so we could meet up with my sister-in-law’s family to welcome my nephew home from his mission. WOOHOO! It was so fun to see Isaac again and hear his post-mission talk in church (he did such a great job). It was also an added bonus to get to see all these other great people while we were at it.

Loved having all these kids together:

…and getting to pepper Isaac with some questions. Oh how I love missionaries!

…and this tribe of cousins.

That night we roamed my old stomping grounds downtown. Because, as I have told my girls a thousand times, I got to graduate from high school in that building right behind us below:

(Yep, beautiful Symphony Hall.)

We walked through temple square:

Surrounded by the most gorgeous sunset:

And again, as I reminded my girls for the 674th time, I got to get married in that building right there.

Lucy and Grace weren’t in picture mood, but Lu opted to smile with Lar (who can always get that girl to smile…and who was also doing an internship in Utah this summer).

Everyone but Grace and me headed back, the two of us were on a hunt to get the best vantage point to see that sunset still getting ever more colorful behind those trees below:

This is the closest we got. But we had fun trying.

It was one of those magical, equilibrium nights where everything was beautiful and everyone was happy. The kinds of nights to hold close and stop in your tracks with gratitude for.

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  1. I’m a long time follower of your blog and have come to appreciate all the deliberate things you do with your family to create good memories! I’ve recently been thinking about following your footsteps and taking our family on a humanitarian service trip soon…any suggestions for a good company to work with?

    1. We loved Family Humanitarian! They are amazing. We looked into a lot of other companies but there are a lot of things I worry about with humanitarian work and that one spoke to me since it’s led by people in the country. We also loved working with OSSO in Ecuador. Google those two and see what you think!

  2. I’m jealous of the close bonds y’all have with extended family. Any tips for cultivating those relationships? Is there ever family drama and if so, how do you handle it? Also, where are the girls’ shoes? LOL! 🙂

    1. I think our parents (Dave’s and mine) did so much to help us cultivate those bonds and I am SO GRATEFUL! I also know we are so lucky in that we have so many who WANT to be together. I know that doesn’t always happen. I’ve thought about it a lot because I want the same kinds of strong relationships with and among my kids and I know it takes work along with luck! I wrote some ideas about how to cultivate those bonds here: https://71toes.com/2014/06/friday-q-relationships/ and also a few other places…look under “deliberate parenting” and then “love” in the menu and you’ll find some other links.

  3. Will do! Thanks so much! And thanks for sharing your family with us on your blog. I have learned a lot from your perspectives and appreciate you sharing what it really means to be a mother with the world!

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