Saturday, July 15, 2017


Despite the fact that Camden still plays with Legos (and likes to play in general), there is no denying this kid is big. I love his sweet nature, but also appreciate the maturity I see in him. It's amazing how quickly he changes - I can note several adjustments even since summer began.

His number one request was a weighted blanket and so that's what we bought. I find it funny that the most expensive birthday gift I've given to one of my kids is a blanket. ;) Yesterday he invited a friend from school over and we went to Dave and Busters (he has been requesting this for months). Today is his actual birthday and he spent it working at a church event. We're going to celebrate with family, cake and ice cream next weekend.

Note how tall he is next to his very tall Uncle Michael (who bought him that basketball goal).





Happy Birthday, Camden!
Edited to Add: we celebrated with cake and ice cream a week late with cousins and grandparents. I completely failed to take a group picture. :(

Friday, July 14, 2017

Go West, Young Man

We returned last week from a 9-day road trip out west. We spent 4 days traveling, 5 days vacationing. Not that we're counting.

With the exception of the Sunday afternoon when the adult women in the Lewis family chatted for 8 hours straight from the same spots on the sofa in the living room, I can confidently say we did our best to experience the West to the fullest. Right up until we decided to come home a full day and a half anyway.

Some of our favorite things (seeing family is obvious so I won't list it):

Driving through the Rocky Mountains - absolutely the best.

The climate out west - we've decided the humidity in the south is the pits.

Taking the train to Salt Lake City was pretty awesome. Who doesn't like air conditioning and no traffic!

Brian enjoyed the trip down memory lane as he took us all around Colorado Springs (he spent ages 6-18 there).

We survived Pikes Peak! The drive up and down the mountain is a bit of a nail-biter, but so beautiful.

Rory and Miley had the. best. time. dressing up, doing their makeup, fixing their hair, watching hair videos, driving the little boy cousins crazy by ignoring them.

The kids were less than impressed with the audio book Anne of Green Gables at first, but it won them over.

Camden and Logan spent the evening at a gym doing ninja stuff, and Camden decided it was his favorite time on the trip.

Brian, Camden, Tim, and Logan did an overnight backpacking trip to the Uinta Mountains. The boys got to have their own campsite separate from the men, saw wildlife, fished, and generally spent the day in a postcard setting.

The adults had breakfast in the mountains outside alongside a river. It was beautiful and also freezing because - the mountains in the morning.

While the boys camped, I spent a solid 8 hours camped out in the living room chatting with my sister-in-law and nearly-adult niece. It was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Seeing our friends, The Smiths, who are headed to Uganda - they were in Utah before leaving and we were able to see them one more time.

Being in church with our Utah family, which hasn't happened in 13 years.

If someone were to ask me the all-important question of "mountains or beach" I would definitively say mountains.

Some of our not-so-favorite things

My feet stayed immensely swollen the whole time. Not sure if it was the altitude or long days in the van or a combination. At one point, Rory told me my feet were the size of "at least 4 bratwurst sausages."

Rory passed out in the gift shop at the top of Pikes Peak. After spending some time with the EMT, he told us to send someone for donuts (priorities) and then get off the mountain. 

I took hundreds of pictures right up until the day we drove 17 hours home. And then I took nothing. Driving through Kansas is the personification of boring.

With the exception of an excellent Italian dinner, food and coffee were not up to Nashville snuff. While I knew Nashville is a foodie town, I expected to be able to find good food along the way. We hit at least 3 Diners, Drive-ins and Dive spots, but nothing to write home about. One barista immediately recoiled when we told her we were from Nashville and called it swanky. I kind of like swanky.


Vacation hangover is a real thing. We jumped back into life full force, and while our schedule has been challenging, I am oh-so-grateful for the opportunity to be crazy busy. We are, however, at the point in summer when kids are tired of being on the go, yet also tired of being left at home for long days alone. And none of us want to be responsible enough to cook or clean. Ice cream every night? Why not.

I am posting a few pictures but will save the rest for another day. Since arriving home, we've been back to work and chemo, made a 1-day trip to Indiana. Rory and I are joining Becky and the boys in Louisville this weekend while Brian heads to Illinois to help my parents move next week. I'm leaving Louisville early so I can have chemo on Wednesday. Friday morning I'm having my eyebrows microbladed (SO EXCITED about this), then Becky, Liz, and I are going to see Beth Moore in Indianapolis.

Tired yet? I sure am.

These pictures will make us all feel better.
(our first 2 days traveling and the first pretty scenery we saw in Wyoming)