Sunday, August 17, 2014


Warning: Super long post!

My oldest niece turned 8 this year. (which I totally can't believe!) I have been looking forward to attending her baptism since pretty much forever - and when we found out our 10 year high school reunion was the very next weekend we decided to take our brand new baby and our three-year-old on a crazy 10-day vacation home to Idaho.

We ended up leaving a day early, because we wanted Walt to be able to enjoy some time with his cousins. We had been on the road for around 3 hours when this happened:
We decided to stop off and get gas and Dr. Pepper in Yakima, WA. As we pulled off the freeway, we heard a grinding noise, which only got worse as we made our way to the gas station. We decided to have it checked out quick, and ended up with new brakes on all four tires, and completely new back tires. There were so many tender mercies in this situation: that we stopped when we did (there isn't much civilization between Yakima and Boise), that there was a Les Schwab very close, that we arrived there about 20 minutes before they closed for the night, that they had crayons for Walt and there was both a restaurant and grocery store within walking distance. The guys who fixed our car told us they'd never seen brakes on a Ford that worn. We could have lost control of our car on the freeway and had a much more serious problem. We are eternally grateful to the techs at Les Schwab who stayed 2 hours past closing so that we could get back on the road and not have to stay the night in Yakima.

About three hours and a LOT of money later, we headed to Boise. We got there at around 2am, and Walt was still awake. It was not a great night, but we were so glad we left when we did, and that we could wake up the next morning to this:
Walt adores these girls so much - he wants to do everything just like them. It was totally worth the long and stressful journey for him to have the day to play hard with his cousins.

The next day, Stella was baptized by her dad into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
You wish your sister was as pretty and talented as mine. :)

We were so proud of Stella! She's a bright, happy, and incredibly generous little girl. It was also a great opportunity to teach Walt about the gospel. The Monday before we left, we had a family home evening lesson all about baptism and told him what to expect and what it all meant. He loved it, and kept talking about the baptism for days. I'm very grateful for the gospel, for the way it helps me lead my life and guide my children, and for eternal families.
The day after the baptism, we headed out with my parents for Rexburg. My Dad is a really slow driver, so we stopped off a few times to let them catch up. :)
I love random "historical sites" on roadtrips. This one was Register Rock, where a bunch of pioneers carved their names on the Oregon Trail.

We had so much fun with my parents for a few days. Walt's favorites were playing with Mr. Potato Head, eating ice cream out of homemade waffles cones (my Mom is amazing), and jumping on the tramp.
I loved just hanging out with my Mom, and getting in the hot tub! It was super relaxing.

Halfway through the week, we changed venues to the Burgeners house. Since they didn't come to the blessing, this was the first time most of them had met Zuzu.
 Grandpa was pretty smitten.
These photos are actually at my parent's house - they were so excited to meet our baby girl, so my mom was nice enough to share both her home and some of her time with us. Thanks, Mom!

Landon's brothers were awesome enough to come up from Utah so we could all be together for a few days. It turned into a Burgener Family reunion.
Walt's favorite thing was meeting his cousin Brigham for the first time.
Mom, I have TWO babies!!
We also went hiking, swimming (Isannah's first time!), slept out on the tramp (just the boys, Walt's first time!) and took some family photos.
Landon's parents recently started construction on their dream home in a different part of Rexburg. So this trip was the last time Landon will ever be in his childhood home. He doesn't seem too sad, but I think I'd be emotional about it! Anyway, we took some photos in front of the home before everyone left.
Isannah also got to meet her Great-Grandparents on the Wilkes side:
It was great to have a fun filled few days with the Burgeners! 

That same day, we went to our high school reunion (which I'll blog about separately, this is too long already!). Then, we headed home bright and early Sunday morning so that Landon could get back for a meeting on Monday. We've never done the Rexburg/Seattle drive in one day before. I have to say, it was pretty brutal. I much prefer going through Boise and hanging out with my sister first. But, since we didn't have a choice, we went the northern way and had some fun and spectacular views:
Sadly, I got a bit excited about a scenic loop and we got lost and home an hour later than we should've. By the end of the day, we were so done!

We never, ever regret the effort, money, and craziness that it takes to go home for a visit. Sometimes it takes me a few days to recover from the drive home, but I always look back so fondly on the memories we're able to create. It's really important to me that Walt and Zuzu have a good relationship with our extended family, and especially with their grandparents. I guess it's working, because Walt keeps asking me when we're going back to Idaho! We can't wait for Christmas. :)

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