A Quick Weekend In Utah

Feb 12, 2015

 Now let's take a little trip back in time and attempt to get this blog caught up! We will be rewinding to the beginning of September when it felt like we had only just arrived home from our summer in Utah, just for Man Cub and I to head back that way again. My dad's youngest brother, who had spent most of his lifetime being extremely sick, had passed away.

I debated over going up for the funeral. I wasn't particularly close to my uncle, but I felt a strong desire to be there for my dad. The problem- I was only about 3 weeks into teaching preschool and felt horrible about drastically rearranging our school schedule to accommodate my travels. I also wasn't sure how on earth I could afford a flight on such short notice, but I found a killer fare on Allegiant Airlines that had me leaning towards going. Then my brothers in California told me they were both flying out and that sealed the deal. Not only was I going to get to be there for my dad during a difficult time, but all six siblings would be together for the first time in years. 

My preschool parents were beyond agreeable to the funky schedule that week for school, and it just so happened that the days I would be gone were Bruce's days off work so child care for the girls was not an issue. The stars truly did align to make it possible for me to go and I am so, so glad that everything worked out as it did. Man Cub and I had a wonderful visit with my family during which I realized the importance of having that one on one time with my children. In fact, the trip made such an impression in that aspect that Beebs and I recently took a quick weekend trip to Utah to celebrate her 5th birthday. Post to come eventually Ü

The flight up was a breeze. I was super nervous about it as I was flying Allegiant which allows you one personal item that fits under the seat in front of you at no charge. Anything else requires extra fees and I was determined to make this trip work for the least amount of money possible. I crammed everything Man Cub and I would need for 4 days into my gym bag, including my running gear, in hopes that I could get a good training run or two in while I was in a nicer climate.

Once we arrived, my mum picked us up at the airport and we headed to her house. Man Cub was really excited to see familiar faces that he hadn't seen in 6 weeks. He was especially excited to be reunited with my parent's dogs and their cat "ah-wee". My brother T had already arrived and after we got to my mum's, he asked if Man Cub and I would be up for a walk. I was so excited about the cooler Utah temps that I readily agreed. We put Man Cub into the stroller and set out on a 4 mile walk to the Provo Temple and back. Man Cub fell asleep while we were out and T and I enjoyed chatting. There were difficult parts to the conversation as I found that T has made some choices that I myself find hard to swallow, but I love him so much and I was able to express that to him as we enjoyed some quiet time together.

We spent the rest of Sunday hanging out as a family and enjoying a big Sunday dinner, just like when we were all growing up. It was so nice to be with all my siblings and to see everyone there to support and uplift my dad.

Monday was the funeral. I went for a short run before hand and it felt so good to run those familiar streets... in the rain! Man, I love running in Utah. And I was happy to find that my lungs had not completely lost their ability to run at a higher altitude. Then I showered and got ready for the drive to Wyoming for the funeral.

The funeral was difficult... it was hard to see my dad broken up and upset. He's not the type to show tons of emotion, so when he shared some memories of my uncle and started to cry, that was really hard to see. I, along with some of my siblings and cousins, sang "I am a Child of God" at the funeral, and at the cemetery my dad dedicated the grave. It was a wonderful overcast day and I loved the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Utah and Wyoming as we made the drive to and from the funeral.

My siblings and I may have had a little too much fun at the cemetery... like I said, this was the first time we had all been together in quite some time. We decided to use the cemetery as a backdrop for a quick sibling photo, but things got a little silly, rather fast. This is one of my all time favourite photos EVER... My mum even had this photo blown up and framed and it now hangs on her living room wall. We're all growing up, and in some ways growing apart, as we make different choices and take different paths, but I love these people with all my heart and I'm so glad they are my "little" sisters and brothers.

After the cemetery, the Relief Society from the chapel we were using prepared a very nice dinner for us all before we headed on our way. I thought that was beyond kind of them, as it has been years since any of my dad's family has lived in Lyman, and they had no reason to provide food for a group of strangers who were using their chapel. I hope Heavenly Father blessed them abundantly for their efforts, especially as we lingered longer than necessary, enjoying the chance to be together.

Tuesday and Wednesday were low key days full of hanging out... Man Cub and I just enjoyed the chance to be together. We played outside in the rain, we went out for cupcakes and got lunch with my brothers. Man Cub even tried his first bites of sushi. He liked!We snuggled and enjoyed Nana and Papa time. I just felt like I couldn't get enough of my little guy and I came home from this trip with an even greater love for him and a stronger bond with him. Ever since about April/May, Man Cub has been all about Bruce, but having him to myself for 4 days helped the two of us to reconnect and he's back to loving his mama just as much as his daddy-o.


Wednesday morning I went on a long run past both Provo temples, then met my dad for lunch before boarding a plane back to Arizona. I was so excited to see my girls and Bruce (and I had managed to fit a donut from our favourite donut store in my bag for each of the girlies). Man Cub enjoyed playing cars as we waited to board our plane, and once we had found our seat, he curled up against me and slept the entire flight home. It was heaven.

I hate that it was a funeral that brought us all home for a quick weekend in September, but boy do I cherish the memories of those 4 short days with Man Cub, my siblings and my parents. We had a blast, despite the sad circumstances. I am so very very grateful for families... both the one I was born into, and the one that Bruce and I are creating.

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