Missing Kirsten

Some horrible plague has hit our house, thus my nightstand is buried beneath NyQuil bottles, tissue boxes, and cough drops.  Ugh.  Best thing to do is look back on better times, when we were healthy and happy.  And when we had Kirsten.  Oh, those were the days...

This was our visit to San Xavier del Bac.  The last time I'd been to the place was when Roy and I first moved down to Tucson from Springville.  It's crazy how many wonderful, awesome things have happened since then...

Camden, the little trouble maker.  He had some kind of fascination with this window seat.  Kept banging the tired old wooden shutters, and making the museum curator come back and glare at us.

Of course we had to take Kirsten to the Pecan Store, because that's one of the two touristy things to do directly in our little town.  We got a pie, 'cuz how can you not?

The everyday is where I miss Kirsten most.  I love kids, I love Camden and Charlie and all of their sweet friends.  But having adult conversation throughout my toddler-filled day was incredible.  Not to mention I had an extra set of hands willing to help me out in a crisis!  Kirsten… come back.

One of our last days we went to the Mesa Temple.  The last time Kirsten and I were able to attend the temple together was both of our first times.  So it was a little extra special going together, and right around our four year anniversary of being endowed!  

While in Phoenix we go to meet some friends for dinner at Olive Garden.  I love this girl.

Just days later we had to adjust to life without Kirsten as she headed back up to Alaska to teach.  The first two days were't easy for this little guy.  He would ask for her, or when he would see a picture of her he would get all excited.  We just didn't know what to do without her.

Now Camden is just left with me and--let's face it--that might not be a good thing.

The One and Only Cousin

When I was a kid, my cousins were my best friends.  On both sides of the family, whether they lived near or far, my cousins were built-in buddies that just got me!

Maybe that's why I make such a big deal out of this sweet Danny Jay.  These boys are gonna be friends for always.

And best friends always match p.j.s.  Duh!

When the Carpenters came down to visit Tucson, we made sure to celebrate Danny Jay's first birthday. A month early, but we knew it was our only chance.

We also went swimming.  Which, for these boys, is a mix between insane fun and torture.  Exhibit A:



"I'm gonna get you!"

Don't let these sweet faces fool you...

They actually don't get along very well right now...
But that's just 'cuz they don't know they're cousins yet.

And because Camden has a hard time sharing his food…

And also thinks it's funny to pour water over Danny's head...

But they were able to have some bonding time at the Pima Air and Space Museum.  Jamie's dad was there to tell us about the aircrafts.  Good thing, 'cuz otherwise I'm not sure I would have learned anything.  Chasing toddlers doesn't leave a lot of room for reading plaques.

The biggest hit was the wagon.  Especially for Camden, who liked to tote the other toddlers around behind him.  Kid got muscles.

Had a tender moment when I recognized the type of aircraft my grandpa flew in WWII over Germany. What an amazing man.  Miss him.

I didn't actually get a picture of the one Grandpa flew.  {I know, I know, total fail.}  But there were a lot of cool planes.  Camden wasn't as into them as I thought he would be.  But then again I'm sure he was like, "There aren't airplanes, you crazy people.  Airplanes are two inches long and fly in the sky."  Haha!

It was awesome getting to see Leah, Jamie, and Danny Jay twice in one summer.  We love them.

There were a few times the boys weren't stealing toys or pushing each other over.  And in those moments, I saw the beginning of a freakin' awesome friendship.  

Reay Reunion in the Mountains

I love Sundays.  Both my boys are currently napping, and I'm eating buttered Eggo waffles next to a flickering apple spice candle to usher in our nonexistent fall season.  We've baked cookies, we've gone on a family bike ride, and we've snuggled for a movie.  Today everything feels very whole.  

Of course I'm writing this before trying to keep a toddler quietly entertained for a full hour of pew imprisonment, while still trying to glean some spiritual nourishment for myself.  But even so, I am always sad when Sunday is over.

Last week we got spoiled with much more family time than usual.  A little hurricane called Odile came up the Gulf of California and was supposed to dump crazy amounts of rain on us.  Natural disaster status.  The bottled water shelves were cleared at the stores, people were buying sandbags for their homes, and everyone was staying inside.  The firm called Roy and told him not to come into work.  For two days!

Aaaand it sprinkled.
The storm veered east and caused major flooding in some other small towns, sparing us.  However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed we didn't see some of the storm.  I mean, they were talking about seven inches of rain over here!  It's not like I wanted our couch to go floating down the street, but I wouldn't have minded a night of candles and flashlights while we watched the desert drink it up.

Still, it was an awesome two days I got to spend with my boys.  
This last summer the three of us were separated quite a lot.  I'm still catching up, so without further ado… 
Reay Family Reunion Summer 2014
Location: Pinetop, Arizona

All the cousins are officially adults {since Zac turned 18 in June} and our parents still make us pose oldest to youngest.
These are all out of order, but this is one of my favorite pictures ever, right here:
Uncle Mason helping Camden wade through the river.

It's really pretty cute watching my brothers turn into big softies when it comes to Camden.

All the great-grandkids painted birdhouses.  Camden's favorite color right now is "puh-pul."

We went to the river for a picnic.  Camden loved throwing rocks in the water.

Squelching in the mud.

Of course Kirsten was an honorary Reay for the weekend.  She was also the official photographer.

And the lone wolf ventured out to capture nature through a lens.  

Isn't this the cutest?

Uncle Mason helped him jump on and off that log for like twenty minutes.
He was willing to be left there by himself -- that's how much he loved it.

Boys are gross.

The guys decided to build a dam.  Must be a man thing.

Dad and Neil playing horseshoes.  

Food.  The only thing that could get him out of the mud.

We love the cabin, and all of our cousins.

"What is this strange thing they call a 'tree'?"
There was also bowling.  And thanks to Ruth for leaving us her lucky ball.  Whoever she is.

The mad skills.

Now for the next generation of line-up pictures.  {Look at baby Weston next to Camden! <3}

Love our family.