Briggs 33 weeks…

After we introduced Briggs to Zion national park over fall break – we drove north and spent the rest of the week with family. Utah is beautiful in the fall. Arizona has some great qualities but “Beautiful fall” is not on the list. Last year we enjoyed Colorado’s fall beauty and this year we enjoyed Utah’s beauty. Yellow, orange and red trees, with leaf piles abounding. Cooler weather with long sleeve shirts. It was just what we needed for the week.

Briggs saw his cousins and extended cousins (for the first time) at the reunion. He wore socks and shoes and sweatshirts and spent time in the grass.

Briggs 33 weeks

He’s army crawling everywhere which means his clothes are dirty (which just goes to show how dirty our wood floors are) and his little toes have skin rubbed off from pushing off with his big toe.

He’s moved into stranger danger mode and tends to cry when anyone else is holding him, which is unfortunate because there always seems to be someone wanting to hold him.

He still doesn’t like car rides. Our car ride to and from Utah was made even longer with an unhappy baby in the car. Steve volunteered to drive the whole time with his noise canceling headphones, while I sat in the back trying to keep him happy. I’m hoping by next summer car rides are more manageable!

Cannon the 3-year-old…

This guy turned three over the weekend. He went from this:

Cannon is three

To this:

Cannon is three Cannon is three

We celebrated this weekend with the birthday bucket, watching football, opening presents and movie night.

Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three

Here’s a couple things about Cannon.

He loves books. When I told him it was his birthday and he would get presents, he said he didn’t want presents he wanted books.

He is notorious for taking two hours to eat breakfast. He gets his first bowl of cereal (always without milk). Eats a little. Leaves the table. Comes back to the table to eat more. And if you remove the bowl from the table he freaks out. He likes to spend his breakfast grazing.

He’s recently learned how to put his own shoes on and I’m not sure if he’s more excited or if I am.

He loves the movie Zootopia and Home.

He’s afraid of dogs, no matter the size.

He loves shutting doors, weird, I know. He wants to be the one to shut the garage door. The car door. The refrigerator door. The front door. He wants to be the one that shuts it.

He is a happy kid and smiles with his eyes. With that being said, he’s angry when he wakes up from naps and when his siblings tease him relentlessly!

Happy Birthday Cannon!

Weekly photo project for baby's first year

And just a little reminder of where this kid started out – he was the most interesting baby in the world! As you can see his weekly photos were much more time consuming than Briggs’!




Weekend football

Its fall. (Hard to believe when it’s still 90+ degrees, but fall nonetheless). And fall means football. Our weekends seem to be engulfed with football lately and this weekend is no different.

In fact, the weekend was kicked off a little early with our first football game of the weekend played tonight. BYU vs BSU. Steve is a big BYU fan, along with most of his family. I’m not a BYU fan but I’m a big BSU fan. We all wore clothing for our preferred team tonight. Although Hunter also wore a Packers jersey over his BSU shirt because they were also playing tonight. It’s hard to love so many teams! Thank you BSU for not disappointing me tonight!

Weekend Football

Hunter started his first organized sport this fall and he chose football. He has a game Saturday morning and they’ve yet to win a game. Luckily he’s playing with friends and he’s still having a good time, but he’d still like to know what it feels like to score more points than the other team!

Weekend Football

And after Hunter’s game there’s bound to be a good game we need to watch on TV. Steve will volunteer for baby duty so he has a good reason to sit on the couch and watch. I’ll be in and out of the room trying to get stuff done – wondering to myself how many hours already we’ve logged in football for the weekend.

Weekend Football Weekend Football Weekend Football

And to wrap up our Saturday, Steve will take a couple kids to the ASU game vs Washington. We have season tickets with Steve’s brother and some of our friends so the kids have gone to many games this season. I’ve made it to one game and it might be the only one I see this season. I’ll stay home and get the littles in bed and then have some computer time, Steve will be out late with the others. And we both wonder the next morning why we let the kids stay out so late!

That is how we enjoy fall in Arizona; a weekend of football. But there’s a part of me that longs for the beautiful fall colors and cooler temps – wishing we were visiting a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard. Enjoy fall wherever you are!

Hedbanz confusion…

If I’m being honest – playing games with kids can be downright painful. Bennett is a master at Sequence for Kids, he has a high winning percentage. He’s even good at Sorry and Life. Hedbanz…not so much. We were playing it this afternoon and right out of the gate, he just starts guessing his card. Am I a sandwich? Am I an elephant? Am I a tree? It didn’t matter how many times I tried  to explain the concept of the game, he just kept trying to guess his card.

A couple weeks back he was with the babysitter when I got a text from her. They were playing hedbanz and the babysitter had the bacon card. She kept asking questions and couldn’t figure out what her card was. Am I a food? No. Do I have wheels? No. Do I have a tail? No.


After 10 minutes, she was ready to throw in the towel. She gave up and looked at the card. “I asked you if I was a food!” Bennett looked confused. You’re not a food, tree trunks aren’t a food. She was laughing pretty hard – “Tree trunks?!” Bennett gave her a look like, “Duh – can you not see that is a tree trunk?” “It’s bacon. BACON you silly boy! He shrugged his shoulders, “That’s weird.” We’re going to stick with Sequence for kids!

Zion National Park

Long post with lost of Zion pictures: I can’t say enough how much I love this place and I can’t stop taking pictures when I get there!

Our love for the national parks runs deep – but there is an extra special place in our heart for Zion because we spent several summers working there while we were in college. I know that park well. We drove through that park so many times over the course of three summers; day and night. I know each turn, what landmark is around the next bend and trails that weave throughout. The minute I drive into the park, there is this nostalgia that swallows me up. I love Zion.



And that love and appreciation is being passed on to our kids. We spent a whole day in the park last week and it was surprisingly enjoyable. I say surprisingly because with 5 kids in tow most experiences are unpredictable and exhausting. But this day was nothing but rewarding.

The weather was beautiful. We’re used to Zion in the summer with it’s scorching hot sun – but October brought cooler weather which made hiking more enjoyable. We parked at the visitors center and took the shuttle (or the train as Cannon excitedly called it) up the canyon to the very last stop. With Briggs in the chest carrier and Cannon in the backpack carrier we hiked up to the Narrows. The colors and texture of that canyon are captivating. I couldn’t put my camera down.




Once we reached the end of the riverwalk, the kids ran around, skipped rocks and played games. With Briggs sleeping on my chest, I continued to slowly move around as to not disturb him. I watched people, listened to their conversations and engaged in conversations with many people. There was a peace in that canyon that I wanted to bottle up and treasure.






zion national park

We hiked back out, got back on the shuttle, returned to our car and drove through the park and through one of the tunnels. We parked, got back out and situated and hiked canyon overlook. This was a little more difficult than riverwalk because it wasn’t a paved trail. In fact, its trail was made up of boulders, steep and narrow areas, bridges and such. Bennett did a great job, but the .5 mile hike took some time and we slowly maneuvered the trail. But the view was totally worth it. The kids felt they were on top of the world. If you’re afraid of heights this might not be the hike for you!









zion-national-park-22-of-24 Zion National Park

You want to know what I learned from this day? We don’t have to wait until the kids get older to have adventures. Will it be easier when they can walk themselves? Absolutely. But we don’t have to wait.

You want to know what else I learned? A lot of people think 5 kids is crazy! Mind blowing. In fact, I wish I could’ve recorded all the comments people made to us and about us when they thought we were out of ear shot. Here’s just a few:

On the trail: Did you see they had 4 kids? No, they had 5! She had one strapped to her chest as well. That’s nuts.

On the shuttle:  You don’t think those are all their kids do you? Well, they’re sitting by them, who else would their parents be.

On the trail as we were hiking in a line with one kid, then Steve, then two kids, then me: One, two, three, four. Are you the mom? Yes. Wow you are the mom! Wait, there’s number 5!

On the trail: Wow, you are a brave family!

While the kids were skipping rocks in the narrows, a couple from the Ukraine approached me. “Are those all your kids?” Yes. “Wow. Can I take a picture of you with your baby to show our kids back home?” Sure. “They will be shocked to see a family of your age doing stuff like this. They have this mindset that they can’t do anything because they have kids but you’re proving them wrong, I love it.”

On the trail: Good job mom and dad!

On the trail: Did you see all those kids? They were even carrying two of them.

We had a good chuckle after every comment. Evidently 5 kids is mind blowing to most people. And even more crazy that we would take them hiking for the day! But they were champs. Every single one of them made it an enjoyable experience. And the biggest success indicator is they all want to go back. And I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to make that happen. If you haven’t explored Zion, you are missing out!

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