Battle wound…

Warning: Post contains blood!

Last weekend as we were walking off the temple grounds after the wedding, I got a call from one of Hunter’s friends. I almost didn’t answer it and I thought it was weird that he was trying to facetime me, but out of curiosity, I answered. I was surprised to see Hunter’s face on the other end. They were at a ninja warrior gym/trampoline park and Bennett took a swinging bar to his cheek. The whole situation was funny because I wasn’t sure how Hunter landed at this place with this particular friend while we were away and even more odd that he was with Bennett since they were both staying at different homes for the weekend. But all the oddities aside, Bennett was bleeding.

The employee helping them jumped on the facetime and told me it wasn’t too bad and they were going to put a bandaid on it. Bennett wanted to stay instead of going home so just as soon as the called started, it ended.

I called the family Bennett was staying with to let them know and told them to take a closer look at it when they picked him up to see if it needed any medical attention. Fortunately for us, Bennett’s weekend babysitter also doubles as a surgeon so we knew he was in far better hands than if we were home.

Later that evening I got some pictures.

It was determined he needed stitches and luckily, our friends keep a kit handy. He explained to Bennett the process of stitches and then got to work numbing the area. Bennett said this was the worst part – feeling the needle move around in his skin was about more than he could handle. But then he was numb and couldn’t feel much.

And now he has a three stitch battle wound from the ninja course. His first set of stitches – so lovingly stitched by our best friends while they were already doing us a favor by having Bennett in their home for the weekend!

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Wedding weekend…

I have 35 nieces and nephews on just Steve’s side of our family which means we have a lot of potential weddings to attend. So far, miraculously, we’ve been able to make it to all but one wedding. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make it to all of them in the future, but we really do make every effort.

Last weekend, we found ourselves in Provo, Utah for our nephew’s wedding.

All but one of Steve’s siblings was able to attend – and although it was quick, we were able to fit in a lot of conversations, a lot of laughing and a lot of dancing. That family loves to dance!

In addition to the wedding festivities, we were able to support our nephew in his high school football game. I’m sure he’s never had so much support from family at a game and he showed up to play which was so fun to watch.

Within 48 hours of arriving, we were back on a plane headed home.

And we already have two more weddings on the calendar this fall and it looks like spring will be busy as well. The joy of a large family. 🙂

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BYU Camps…

As we made our way home from our summer road trip we took a quick pit stop and dropped these two off with their friends/teammates to attend BYU sports camps. They do different sports each week so the fact that we found a tennis and soccer camp together was awesome luck.

Hallie has a phone so we knew we would get updates from her – but Hunter does not, so we knew when we dropped him off we likely wouldn’t hear from him until it was time to pick him up days later!

I thought I was going to be more nervous about dropping them off than I was. This was new territory for us because we don’t typically do sleepovers so this experience was completely foreign. And yet they were sooo excited. And they were with kids they knew and were comfortable with – so I couldn’t help but be happy for them and anxious to see just how great their experience was.

Here’s a couple things they acknowledged:

They both agreed – it far exceeded their expectations.

It was far more physically taxing than they imagined it would be.

The all-you-can-eat food never got old.

If college is anything like this, it’s going to be awesome.

They were forced out of their comfort zones and made new friends.

Dorm life wasn’t so bad.

Hallie noted that the boy soccer players were better looking than the tennis players.

They loved the athletic instruction, but they also loved the nightly activities where they mixed with other sports.

Here’s some gems I got from Hallie’s phone – from the looks of it, she had no fun at all! 🙂

Both Hallie and Hunter were physically exhausted at the end of each night. Hallie was struggling with blisters and had the team doc wrap her up each day.

On pick up day, I was able to go and watch their final tournament. Upon seeing Hunter for the first time he informed me how tired he was, how he had been playing forward, not defense and how bad their team was and how they keep losing.

But as I watched, the games told a different story. They won their first game in a shootout and they were doing some serious fist pumps.

And then they won their next game, which put them in the championship game and they were shocked and stoked to be playing. Hunter had already scored some goals and was running on adrenaline by the last game. He got another goal and minutes before the game ended, he was taken out by a defender and rolled his ankle. His camp playing time had officially ended. His team finished out the next few minutes and pulled out a win. League champions!

Hunter limped his way back to the indoor fields with a swollen ankle for the final ceremony where he received his league champion shirt and was surprised to earn MVP of his age group. (and got a sweet MVP bag).

His fit bit was recording record breaking steps each day!

Do you want to know how small the world is? After a long sweaty afternoon outside, I met a lovely blog reader from the midwest who stopped to say hello. We chatted for a while before learning that she had just been to visit my small Idaho home town because her daughter is currently serving a mission there. And before moving to our little area, her daughter had been 30 miles away in an even smaller area where my brother currently lives and her parents had travelled to see the small towns where she had served. We essentially travelled parallel trips this summer! I love when our large world doesn’t feel so large and disconnected.

The next day, Hallie’s camp ended so we were able to go watch her final tournament. I was surprised to show up and see her category for the tournament was all older boys. I assumed there had been a mistake and I asked the coach running the courts why she wasn’t on the girls courts. I learned that there was no boys and girls tournament, instead it was just one tournament based on skill.

You can’t really see it, but Hallie was ranked #2 of her group (white) – which meant she was playing the #2s from the other groups – which happened to be all boys. Out of 150 kids, she was playing at a very high level.

She had some tough competition – and yet she could hang with everyone she played. Such a good experience for her and I loved watching her. She’s a tough cookie.

With all our kids gathered back together, it was finally time for us to head home after a summer of memories.

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Grocery runs…

Just before school started, I took Hallie, Hunter and Briggs with me to Sam’s Club. Briggs was jumping on and off the cart. Hunter was rushing the cart down empty isles and jumping on for a quick ride as the cart reached the end of the isle. And Hallie was finding all the things we don’t usually buy, but we should definitely try.

The trip was far from frustrating, but exhausting to say the least. When I got home, I found a series of photos of Briggs. (I can hear his giggle when I see these photos).

Today, I returned back to that same Sam’s Club by myself while the kids were in school. No one was throwing extra things in the cart. No one was stealing the cart to run down empty isles. It was a relaxing and efficient trip.

But as I turned down an isle, I saw a mom with a young child – no older than 18 months old. The mom had placed a shopping cart cover over the seat to protect the child from as many germs as possible (the same cover I had as a new mom and never once did I remember to bring it out of the trunk!) and he was just as squirmy as ever. When she buckled him in he squawked. When she pulled him out and carried him he kept trying to wiggle out of her arms. It was clear she could not get through her list fast enough.

It confirmed to me that no matter how old your children are, young or old – shopping with them is exhausting. Yes, they make it entertaining at times, but a quiet run to Sam’s Club, while listening to music or a podcast makes an arduous task like grocery shopping much more bearable.

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The glue…

When I was married, I had just one older brother that was already married, which meant I had one sister-in-law at the time. But Steve was on the younger end of his family and most of his siblings had married by the time I came into the family so I joined one large family – a whole bunch of in-laws!

I know in-laws often get a bad reputation for being insufferable and overbearing – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are some pretty significant age gaps between some of us, but it doesn’t change the connection and relationships. With a family of this size, it’s not common to have everyone gathered. So when they do gather, they try and take a photo of the siblings and their parents. Sometimes the in-laws are invited into the photo but that makes for a really large photo, so it’s often blood relatives only.

Over the years, the family joke has been how amazing the in-laws are and what an addition they are to this family, the better half if you will. 🙂 (It’s a joke because you can’t hardly tell who is blood and who is an in-law in this family because they’re all treated equally…unless there is a sibling photo! And Steve’s parents have tried so hard to kill the joke over the years because they hate the thought of anyone feeling like less in this family – which just makes the joke live longer!)

So every time the siblings are gathering to take a family photo, there’s an in-law rallying the troops to take a non-sibling photo.

This weekend as we gathered for a family wedding, we opted for an in-law photo…also known as the “glue” of the family – just on the other side of us are the siblings cracking jokes about our amazing photo.

I love these people (I also love the people they’re married to). They are always a good time – and always good for a laugh.

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