13 October 2016

Red Rock Anniversary

Back in August, because I'm slightly behind the times, Kyler and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. Last one in single digits, people! This called for a celebration!
Of course, we had a 5-year-old, an almost 3-year-old, and a less-than-3-month-old, so big romance or high adventure weren't really on the menu, so to speak. Still, we wanted to do something. So, we finally planned a little day trip to Waterton that we've been talking about forever. I did some research on the internet, leading us to head to Red Rock Canyon in the morning.
I am so glad we did! Kyler doesn't think he'd ever been here, though his family couldn't quite believe it - apparently his parents came here on their honeymoon, and his sister took her engagement pictures here. Still, it was new to us.
There is a short trail overlooking the canyon, which was nice to hike around.
And then the real fun began. They have a specific area where they allow you to climb down and get into the canyon to hike around and play in the water. It was a ton of fun!
The water was a little cold, which made Calista hesitant at first, but she grew to love it.
Craig also absolutely loved it, and thought he could do explore all by himself, resulting in me being very glad I had brought a change of clothes for the kiddos.
The only negative part of Red Rock was when a very nice boy fished our camera out of the stream and asked if we'd dropped it. Whoops. Sadly, the camera won't turn on anymore, but at least the memory card still works. We had to switch to taking pictures with our phones after that...

After we changed Calista and Craig's clothes, we headed into the town of Waterton, where we started with a picnic lunch at a park, though for our two eldest, there was slightly more park than lunch.
Then we took a short walk to the quintessential Waterton photo-op, Cameron Falls. It was kind of strange. Because the weather forecast had been less than ideal, there was no one at the Falls. We could take as many pictures as we wanted, whenever we wanted.
Following our pictures at the Falls and a nice walk around the town, we headed to get ice cream, and the weather report started to become a reality. Thankfully we were only five minutes from our car, out of the rain and wind.
We headed to Kyler's parents, where we were staying for the weekend, and took advantage of the free grandparent babysitting to head out to an anniversary dinner, just Kyler and I... and Caleb. He's still in the "where mom goes, baby goes," stage. We were hoping he'd sleep through our sushi date, but he didn't. He was awake almost to whole time, but an excellent (translation:quiet) dinner companion.

It was a nice, low-key anniversary. We loved spending time together as a family, and also as a couple (plus infant) at dinner. I'm so grateful to have Kyler to support me, and to raise children with. The last nine years haven't been without their ups and downs or trials, but they've been good, and I look forward to an eternity more.
Photo by Calista
Happy anniversary, Kyler!

11 October 2016

The Mays in August

Back in August, my parents and sister came to visit for Caleb's baby blessing. Of course, we also took them for a bit of sightseeing and enjoyed spending time together.

Their visit also meant my dad got to meet his youngest grandson.
Basically as soon as he walked in the door, we introduced them, and the affection was immediate.
I love watching my dad spend time with his grandkids.
It's obvious he loves them, and they return that love. 

One of the places we headed was Banff National Park.
First we headed to our old standby hike, Johnston Canyon.
Easy enough for pregnant or recently post-partum mothers, grandparents, and toddlers, but gorgeous waterfall and view.
Craig desperately wanted to go in the cave that leads to the waterfall, but once we got there, the sound of it scared him and he wanted to go back. 
So we did. It was a beautiful day for it, and we had a nice picnic lunch following our hike.
Then we headed to Cave and Basin Historic Site, where I finally figured out what their special snails look like.
Calista and Craig love going there, even if it smells funny.
After the sulfur pools, we wandered Banff a bit, getting ice cream and beaver tails and chocolate. Finally we took everyone to try Kyler's favorite Banff restaurant, a Cajun place called Touloulou's. 
Oh man, so good! 

We also went to the dinosaur museum in Drumheller, though this adventure was without Kyler - somebody has to work sometimes!
Calista and Craig loved showing everyone all through the museum, and I appreciated having more adults than children around.

Kiddos even got a present from Grammie and Grandpa: a new dinosaur book!
The museum was definitely exhausting. On the way home, Calista and Craig both fell asleep.
Which was fine, since we still had another thing to do that day...

Watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics!
Loradona and I haven't watched olympics together for a long time, and we are obsessed, so we were super stoked to get to watch some together.
We ordered pizza (Kyler got one to himself) and began grading all the different countries on their outfits. Next time, we will have a standardized rubric, I swear! 
We're all a little obsessed with the Olympics.

And finally, we had the main event: Caleb's baby blessing at church.
He was awake for the whole thing, surrounded by friends and family. Kyler blessed Caleb to be a kind soul, with faith and trust in Heavenly Father, and resilience to his siblings - and sometimes, I definitely think he's going to need that resilience!
It was a beautiful blessing, and I am so grateful to have Kyler as the father of my children, and that he is a kind and good man. I wouldn't mind if our children take after him.
Calista got to go to primary with one of her cousins, Lily, and loved having her there.
After church, we headed back to our apartment for lunch, Olympics, and some ukulele duets.
It was great having family come to celebrate Caleb and spend time together.
I loved having my family come into town. Thank you for coming to visit us!
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