loosening the apron strings

Can I really be embarking on this new life’s chapter? Six years ago it was easy to picture myself with a newborn baby in tow. Somehow at that time I failed to envision myself with a grade-schooler, but whoa—babies grow up, and fast.
I used to scoff at those cheesy parents on the first day of school, dabbing at tears with a bittersweet send-off to their children.
But today I was that mom exactly, down to the choked-back tears and thumping heart, waving disbelieving goodbye as my, MY little boy marched into Kindergarten. But I wasn’t the only sniffling parent, and I was grateful I didn’t have to pry a tear-streaked child from my arms to coax through the doors.
Isaac stood ready and straight in line, bright eyed, eager to follow his teacher where glossy books and new best friends and adventure all awaited like a hidden treasure.
But I had memorized our walk to school: how his small hand felt cupped protectively in mine, the way his eyes gleamed trustingly at me, his solemn words: “Mommy. I’m going to miss you when I’m at school.”


On August 22, after a long-awaited countdown, Isaac attended the 1964 Beatles Tribute concert with his Dad at the amazing Red Rocks amphitheater. It was truly a dream come true for this kid. Isaac is a huge Beatles fan. This particular tribute band has been playing for 25 years, so they know their stuff. When we went outside to snap the photo of the concert boys, Lincoln raced inside, grabbed his little guitar, and joined in the pic too!

At the amphitheater before the concert the boys went on a treasure hunt, and Jed had tucked the booty, a gift from mom, into a hole in the rocks. It was a little Yellow Submarine lunch pail, wrapped up and full of candy. After Isaac opened it he exclaimed, “It’s a Beatles Treasure Box!” Later at home when I asked about the present he whispered to me, “Mom, how’d you get that up in the rocks?”
I have to include a cute conversation we had with Isaac while camping the previous weekend:
Me: “Are you gonna have a band when you grow up?”
Isaac: “Yes!”
Me: “Can Lincoln be in your band?”
I: “Well. . . I think he’ll be one of the people who watch.”
Me: "A groupie?"
Jed: “Can I be in it?”
I: “No, Dad! You’ll be 60!”
Me: “But you’ll be 35 by then. I thought you were going to be president at 35.”
I: “I will do both.”
Jed: “Who will run the country?”
I: “Me, sometimes.”

rocky mountain high

This month we took a weekend trip to gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park. And OF COURSE we listened to John Denver's greatest hits the whole time. How could you not? Jed biked up to near the summit of the longest paved continuous road in North America.

We drove to the top visitor center then hiked up to the summit at 12,000 feet. You can't tell from the pictures, but it was W-I-N-D-Y and COLD!!!
(It was so windy that Isaac futiley tried to take shelter behind this dinky sign.)
We met up with Jed's BYU colleague, Adam and family: Stephanee, Grace, Emma, and Maggie May (yes, just like both songs).
Long's Peak looming in the background
Check out the knarly way this trunk is growing!

family photo

When we were in Utah, we finally had some family pictures taken by Rachel's friend. Thanks, Sheyla!

visiting the fam

Most of my fam (wait. . .maybe it's just half) at the temple open house. Michelle with Avery; Kim with Kelly, Brandon, and Blake; Aaron with Amanda, Madelyn and Kennedy; me with Jed, Isaac, and Lincoln; Lisa with Jeremy, Suzy, and Anika; Carol with Rich, Brittany, and McKenzie, and Rach! (not pictured: Mom and Dad; Michelle's hubby Nate; David with Wendy, Macy, Mead, Coleman, Clayton, Ella, and Lily; Laura with Pete, Tyler, CJ, Audrey, and Jeremy; and Sherrie with Bill, Carlie, and Anna. Yup. This is just half.)

Link checking out the geese.
Giving doggie a view of the geese (with Avery, too)
Cutie little Ani!!!
Shell and Aves at Wheeler Farm
Love the lips!
Ikey, Link, and Suzy doll
Lincoln's first pony ride! He loved it.
At Classic water park
Link took a real liking to his cute cuz Carlie
Cousins at the zoo (Anna, Isaac, Suzy, Carlie, Link)
Okay, we saw THE MOST ADORABLE thing EVER: a 3-day-old baby giraffe! I couldn't get enough of it, and neither could Lincoln (can you spot the baby in the pic?).
Cousin Brittany loves giraffes, too!
Mother Love
And more snugs from Mom. Like I said, I couldn't get enough!
Splashing in the pool at Bear Lake
Grammy Great Smart, Lincoln, Henry, Ellie, Grampy Great Smart, and Isaac
Isaac's cousins threw him an unbirthday party! (since we never celebrate it in December)

botanic gardens