With family members and friends slowly migrating north, we are spending more and more time up in Utah--and we love it!  Sadly, Roy's job does require him to actually be physically present, and so he had to leave for Arizona to bring home dat bacon.  The kids and I stayed behind for an extra week of fun, and tried not to rub it in Roy's face too much.

We hit up the lake again, but this time we skipped the beach.  Surfing is the current Collett rage, and so I decided to give it a try.  I quickly saw the appeal, and swore off the wakeboard.  Camden loves being on the boat, while Hallie was a little more skeptical.  She was only truly content in Uncle Mason's arms.

And then, guys, you guys, listen!  My water-petrified son got up on a surfboard!

Camden took ISR lessons as a baby, and we are pretty sure it scarred him for life.  {Mom guilt, comin' in hot!}  Since then he's had a hard time even washing his hair in the bathtub.  He likes swimming as long as he is in a life jacket or floatie and doesn't get any water on his face or head.

Then a miracle happened in the form of Mason, the best uncle on the planet.  Somehow he got Camden not only convinced, but excited to get in the water behind the boat.

They started out without any board, just held onto the rope as the boat gently, slowly toted them through the water in their life jackets.  It blew my mind to hear Camden say "YES!" to the surfboard!  Mason coached him the whole way through, until Camden was able to get up on his knees while being towed by the boat {albeit, verrrry slowly}.  It was so amazing!  And watching Mason choke on water while making sure Camden was having fun just echoed his selfless love for my kids.  Family rocks.

Hallie, on the other hand, much preferred the pool.  This girl thinks she can swim all on her own, so I'm constantly on high alert around her and water.

Camden enjoyed lots of razor rides with Papa up to the new house they are building, and all around Heber.  Such a pretty place.

One of my friends from high school just so happened to be at some kind of math conference {nerd alert} in Park City while we were there.  She came up to hang out with me for an evening, and it was awesome to see her face.  {Her face didn't really have those vertical lines on it, though.  Weird lighting.}  I'm so proud to call this one my friend--she's amazing.

The kids got to play with their cousin, Jaxon.  If those baby blues and curly locks weren't enough to make me want to take him home with me, his contagious excitement for life was.  He was always happy about something.  What a freakin doll!

Although Hallie took her first steps at home, she really got moving after Daddy left us in Utah.  I loved watching her taking more confident steps with her arms held up for balance.

These two were pretty cute together, but Camden also got along with Ainsley really well.  He told me, "Mom, is Ainsley a baby?  I really like playing with babies."

One late afternoon Andrea took me on my first trail run.  I've really missed having friends to run with, and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful setting.  It was nightfall when we got to the bottom of the mountain, and I felt pretty lucky we didn't fall off a cliff.  We could have kept going, if only we'd had more light!

Afterward we met up with our other bestie for some much needed, kid-free Target goodness.  Oh, and also we got those gigantic sodas everyone in Utah is obsessed with.  And me.

More fun watching our kids hang out.  In this picture Camden is refusing to dance with everyone to the "Gummy Bear" song which, by the way, has been stuck in my head ever since.

Every year since Camden was 2 months old we have taken a picture of these two sitting on a brown, leather couch together.  They are getting so grown up.

Time to start the tradition with these girlies!

The Tietjen's backyard is a little slice of heaven.  We loved the water balloons, the sprinklers, the chalk art, popsicles, and all things summer back there with our friends.

Story snapped this picture, and I just loved how she captured reality.

And this reality...

Truth is, both in Oregon and in Utah Hallie was not a happy camper.  Teething?  Missing her own bed?  I made a game out of it, and started sending Roy pictures only of Hallie crying or screaming.  One day, Hallie slipped in a puddle, and hit her head on the hardwood floor.  She began to cry, and I immediately picked her up to console her when I realized her body felt rigid and strange in my arms.  I pulled her back to see her eye rolling in her head, and she was unresponsive.  After a moment {20 seconds of so} she came to, looking confused, and then curled into me and sobbed into my shoulder.

It happened again two days later when she fell onto her hands playing chase.  I had a theory that she was losing consciousness from crying too hard to get a good breath, but I was also nervous that it had started after she hit her head.  I called our friend in Arizona who is a PA and absolutely the kindest person, and he recommended I go get her noggin checked out just in case.

So we found a pediatrician that specialized in head trauma, drove all the way to Spanish Fork, and were told that Hallie suffers from "breath holding spells."

Can you hear my eyes rolling?  Boy, I was so relieved, though.  Good to know it's something that won't hurt her.  But of course it had to happen while we are out of state and her dad is gone, right?  Good news is, she's only done it a handful of times since then, and it has become less frequent.  Hopefully it is just a very short phase.

We went with my parents and the Tietjens to a dairy farm for lunch and ice cream one day.  Amazing grilled cheese.

But since that wasn't enough sugar, we also used the zucchini out of Shellena's garden to make zucchini bread.  Mmmm!

And watched {and sang} Moana while it baked.  I love these two together.

Story was a good little mommy to Hallie.  Oh, and I sat down and gave her some "art" lessons one day, too.  Her budding passions remind me of myself at that age.

Back and Grammy and Papa's new house, we did lots of exploring.

But our very favorite place was the indoor splash pad.  Camden begged to go back every day for the remainder of our trip.

Hallie and Jaxon were over it, ha!  Kidding, they loved it.  They also loved banging on the glass.

Before we left we got to celebrate Mason's birthday.  Poor guy has such a weird family.

But he is, hands down, the sweetest uncle there is.  These kids love him so much.  Hallie, in fact, couldn't be in the same room with him without demanding to be held by him.  But Mason never complained or tried to escape her.

He lives in Phoenix, so Uncle Mason joined us on our flight home to help me keep the kids happy.  Of course, everyone is always happy when Mason is around, so the flight went flawlessly.

And then it was home sweet home.