Sunday, April 27, 2014


This year on April 8th, Brent and I had officially been married for a whole decade. How did we celebrate? Well, let me tell you, it was very fancy. We first met for lunch at Market Street, and had a very nice little date. Later that night, both Brent and Stella found me in my room and Brent suddenly crashed down and took a little nap. Stella got out my camera and we had fun taking snuggly pictures. Then how did we paint the town that night for dinner? We went to...wait for it...IHOP. Yep, kids eat free this month, so we decided to give IHOP another chance. And it was actually pretty good. Stella thought it was the best and we have now been a few times more since, becoming quite the regulars.

So I'm not really one who thinks that anniversaries need to be a big deal. But as I think about it, the way we spent the evening was kind of a big deal because we were together giggling and being a little family. I love that marrying Brent ten whole years ago made our snuggle fest possible.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


It wasn't long into the school year before Heidi and I realized that our children had the same week off for Spring Break. We knew we wanted to do something together and had spoken casually about going to Moab and visiting Arches. One day in March, I checked the available accommodations and there were suddenly slim pickens. We had to make the decision whether to go and we had to make it fast. So we booked a nice condo and started counting down the days.

As the weather was getting colder we started to worry, and as we had to drive through snow to get to our delightful escape we were even more bummed. However, even though the weather was too cold for swimming, it was absolutely perfect for hiking through beautiful Arches National Park. It was so fun to show the Gummows one of my favorite spots in the world. 

We started off visiting Windows Arches and then Double Arch. Both lovely. While exploring the South Window, the kids found the teeniest, tiniest little arch. It was adorable. Right from the get-go, everyone was enjoying climbing all over the rocks and under the arches. I wonder if there will come a time when you will no longer be able to climb on them like you can now. Also Stella was reunited with the fun red sand, and Wyn loved to play in it too.

Next was Sand Dune and Broken Arch. Stella was thrilled to visit the rock that she had named "Turtle Rock" one and a half years ago.

Our next stop was to have a little picnic. It was pretty delicious to have peanut butter and jelly because we were all pretty hungry. We were also getting a bit tuckered out, but everyone was up for one last long walk to Landscape Arch. When we got there, both Stella and Wyn were pretty tired, so Craig took the bigger boys further along the trail while we rested. I gave Stella the camera to play with and she went to town. It was hilarious. She was taking pictures of us and then people on the trail who were all charmed by being her subjects. Pretty soon the fun had to end though because we had to head back, and after a few side trips for a few more arches, that was the end of our first day in the park.

 End of "Stella Shoots: Part One"

 Catcher took these two of Stella:

Our second day the plan was to climb up to Delicate Arch, and we did. I had the kids pose for a picture pointing out where we were hiking up to. It seemed so far, but it felt like we popped right up there. It was pretty busy, and I was surprised how many kids were making the hike. When we took Stella the first time she was the only little one walking up, but definitely not this time. Delicate Arch was just as amazing to me now as it was the first time. It is like the coolest rock ever. See if you can spot a few times that Stella got her hands on the camera again.

We were pretty pooped, but we took a few minutes to walk around Balanced Rock. Stella also took some more pictures.

When we got home, Stella took the camera out to the court to take some pictures of the boys playing basketball. She took maybe 100 pictures, and I like almost all of them. I think she is a good little photographer. I also nabbed a few of my kiddo playing on the swings.

The next morning we got up and checked out of the condo. We went to Arches one last time to visit Park Avenue. You drive by it in your car when you go into the park, but I was amazed at how beautiful it is when you get out and walk. You are up at the top of the canyon and as you head down and along the trail it is just really something. When we could see the formation called The Three Gossips, I had Stella, Wyn, and Catcher pose as the gossips. I love Wyn's face--I am not sure he knows what a gossip is, but he played the part perfectly.

Soon we were back on the road and headed home. We had a really fun time. I am so glad we went. I am super tempted to buy me a place in Moab. If there was better shopping I seriously would ASAP.