Fall Festivities

Our good friends came from Phoenix to join us for some fall festivities at a local farm.  Ah, the smell of straw and sipping fresh apple cider while watching your kid ride in a plastic barrel pulled by a tractor... this is the life.

For a moment I thought we were going to have to take a jumping castle home with us... I mean, there was almost no other way to get this kid into the car.  I probably would have picked the cute jack-o-lantern one for some year-round Halloween love.  Our neighbors would love a gigantic inflatable pumpkin peeking over the fence at them, right?

The corn maze was eventful.  Camden and his little friend couldn't hold back their excitement, couldn't help but sprint through the twists and turns.  At first we parents keeping up fine, but suddenly we rounded a corner, reaching a fork in the path, but with no kids in sight!  It was a decently stressful sixty seconds scrambling through a maze supposedly marked as "easy" yelling for Camden in a voice I was hoping didn't sound hysterical.

We found the snickering stinkers.

After the maze we picked pumpkins in the patch!  Camden was drawn to all of the squashed, rotting ones, but we gently steered him to the pumpkins with less saggy skin.

Out of focus, but the best we could do with this wiggly skeleton.

Then it was back for more petting zoo, pony rides, and inflatable slides with our friends.

The wristband got you in for the day, so after nap time we returned.  We experienced some of the food stands, danced to live music, watched part of a fire dancer's show, and went on a haunted hayride at nightfall.  We were assured the hayride was very family friendly, and indeed the spookiest part was the way the wagon was precariously lurching sideways with the weight of 50 people.

Even so, the occasional screaming made Camden a little nervous.  We told him it was pretend, and it helped that the other wagon riders were laughing.  He was fine.  That's when Camden started calling the actors "spookies."  It's a word that I think incorporates all Halloween creatures in general.

For Halloween Camden wants to be a "spoooooky ghost."  Either that or a picnic.  I think we will go with the first one...

The New Utah

So many people we love live in Utah, but now visiting will never be the same.  It's a good and a bad thing that my parents moved up there.  Would I rather have my mom about 9 hours closer?  Well, yeah.  But is visiting Utah going to be even more awesome?  Well, YEAH!

Camden and I spent a whopping 11 days up there, while Roy joined us for a quick weekend.  During his quick trip we got together with the McAffees and the Tietjens for breakfast.  It was a big deal because it was the first time in four years that all of us were together at the same time in person.  Definitely worth figuring out the self-timer on my camera.

Camden is remarkably attached to this little boy who he only gets to see a few times a year.  I mean, yes they do have a lot of fun together, but I also think it must be in the DNA.  Buckmaster boys and McAffee boys are genetically predisposed to be best friends.  That's just how it is.

Even when Roy wasn't around we got to hang out with these guys a bit more.  Since Camden is just barely coming onto the imaginary play scene, he had a lot of fun with Story--the queen of imaginary play.

Another favorite were the Carpenters!  For weeks after this trip Camden was asking if Danny Jay could come over.  They are fun.  We got to hang out with them both at the zoo, and at my parent's house.  Even though the boys look like they hate their lives, they actually really love them.  They especially loved them in this moment, because the carousel was a hit.

Trumped only by the dinosaurs!  Pretty sure Cam thinks dinos are just another animal you would find in the jungle.

Following the dinosaur theme, my parents and I took Camden to the Museum of Ancient Life.  This was truly the highlight of the trip for this dude--the thing he still tells strangers all about in the checkout line.  "I go a dinosaur moo-zee-um wif papa an grammy an the dinosaurus-rex say 'rawwwr!' and they so scaaaary."

We went to parks, went swimming, Papa took Camden for rides on the razor, and Grammy read Camden an endless number of books every night before bed.  Oh, and Mom and Dad hung out with Camden in those early morning hours and let me sleep in!  So.  Heavenly.

Uncle Mason was able to escape from school a few times and make the drive over to hang out with us.  And over the weekend Aunt Alexa and Uncle Jake made it down from Rexburg too!  It was almost a Collett family reunion.  Only could have been better if Zac and Jess had made it up.

We went boating, but the water was frigid.  I let the die-hards go out there and Cam, Mom, and I just enjoyed the ride.

Oh -- Mason's friend had a little helicopter type thing with a camera on it, and Camden thought he was pretty cool to have a turn driving it.  Also we texted Zac and he was super jealous.  So you better come up next time, bro.

Isn't it the coolest thing to see the family you grew up with filling completely new and immensely important roles?  My parents are such wonderful grandparents and love Cam to pieces.  Seeing my brothers as uncles and my sister as an aunt--I love it!  Blessed to call them all family.

And then we got home and didn't even make it to our beds.