Shortly after the new year we got a return visit from my sister Saydi and her family en route across the country to their new stomping grounds.
We got cousin Hazel first, who requested as a Christmas gift to get a plane ticket to come stay with us rather than drive across the country.  
Which I think was a mighty grand idea.
We loved having this girl all to ourselves for a few days.

 These girls were crazy and took the “polar plunge” not once, but a few times while they were here:

 They took some funny pictures of each other…

Claire sweet-talked me into missing a little school to hang with her and I got her to myself for a little bit too.

Nothing like one-on-one time with cousins.  Never let schooling interfere with that 🙂

Then Saydi and the rest of the family arrived with their two cars packed to the hilt with everything they were moving across the country for their six month adventure in California (more about that wonder over HERE).

We made a visit to my brother’s school where he teaches…

…and soaked in his amazing classroom with so many cool things to keep the kids mesmerized and loving learning…

(I know I’m a little biased, but that brother of ours is an exceptionally extraordinary teacher.)
We visited our beloved temple that is close-by:

We took them to visit the beauty of the desert on a hike.

Such a contrast to the beauty they’re used to that we got to bask in with them back in Boston the month before (back HERE).

 I love that there are so many different kinds of beauty in this world of ours.

(That’s my favorite desert cactus up there, especially when the light hits it just so.)

Loved soaking it in with a sister who goes as wild about it all as I do.

Along with these sweeties we love.

I love that my favorite cactus up there on the left kind of mimics Peter’s hair down below it:

We made it up to the Wind Caves with all these troopers:

We swam at Josh’s neighborhood pool (that is heated) until fingers turned right into prunes…

…and ordered pizza sitting in parkas in lounge chairs talking about everything under the sun.

Took more “polar plunges” under cotton candy skies:

Had sleep-over parties every night:

Saydi conducted “cousin-races” of all sorts on the sidelines of Claire’s soccer game which Lucy was over-the-moon about:

 And Claire’s eyes shone with glory to have her own personal fan club cheer her on:

We cooked together, stayed up late talking, ate Jeff’s favorite Chicken and Waffles with just the adults (Josh too), and just wished for even longer.

Thank goodness I get to go visit soon.


  1. Unrelated to this post, but I recently saw Hacksaw Ridge and the main character reminds me a lot of Max. Have you seen it? Has anyone else mentioned that to you?

  2. Any chance your daughter, Elle, does family photo shoots in Hawaii? If so, I would love to get her contact information, dizzykiz at gmail dot com. Thanks!!

  3. Awww, cousins and sisters (and brothers) are some of life's greatest gifts. I loved seeing pictures. Best to you all.

  4. I wonder why you say "Josh too" when you say you ate chicken and waffles with "just the adults". Is Josh not an adult? Why would he be mentioned in that way?

    1. Because she hadn't previously mentioned Josh in the post. Man I hope you don't have someone in your life who criticizes your every move like you seem to with Shawni. That would be an awful way to live

  5. Hi Shawni! If you see this comment, I'm wondering where you got the nightstand/dresser in between your girls' beds? I'd love to know if you're able to share. Thank you so much! 🙂

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