We left late in the morning Friday and headed up to the ranch. As we drove past Huntsville my stomach started turning knots and I felt super nervous and excited. It's crazy to me that the next time I make the drive up Monte Cristo it'll be to hop off a bus at the top and run back 26.2 miles like an insane person. That'll make your bull run.
We arrived and unpacked and enjoyed the quiet afternoon. Just kidding, we have kids; it wasn't quiet at all. But it was free of distractions which was wonderful.
Then I made enchiladas for dinner (they were fabulous, in my opinion) and we watched The Avengers.
*disclaimer* we watched A LOT of movies this weekend. More than I've seen in the past year combined.
Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast and then took the 40 minute drive to beautiful Afton, Wyoming. I think Afton is my dream place to live. It is so lush and gorgeous up there and the town size is perfect for me. It's close to Jackson Hole and the people are so nice and friendly. It's the perfect mix of city and country. You know, where everyone knows each other but not so intimately they can name every boyfriend you've ever had...
First we went to see Intermittent Spring.
It's an underground spring/geyser-ish thing (I hope that description isn't too technical for you) that fills up and surges to the surface every 12-18 minutes and tons of fresh spring water comes rushing out and down a waterfall, then it slows down and eventually stops until the pressure builds again, and then the process repeats. It was really cool. We got there just as it was slowing down but we waited at the top and were able to see the surge of water come out and rush down the rocky mountainside.
Look how PRETTY!
The hike itself was immensely gorgeous. Even just the 4 mile drive up the canyon was breathtaking. Like, literally; I gasped a few times, you guys. Also fall was in the air and it smelled amazing and some leaves were just starting to change colors... *sigh* it was heaven.
After the spring we stopped and had a picnic lunch where the kids were able to run around, because apparently a 1.5 mile hike wasn't good enough. Kennedy and her cousin Braden are starting to form a special bond and I love it!
Then we went to see the construction site of the Star Valley Wyoming LDS Temple. I missed the whole presentation at the visitors center thanks to B, but Cory filled me in a little. They said that no lumber or materials used are marked or written on in the building process. If something is, they cut it out and don't use it. They want all the materials of the temple to be pure and not all marked up, so measurements and cuts for the temples must be a pretty intense process. I thought that was really cool. That's also all Cory told me - I wasn't kidding when I said he filled me in "a little".
What the temple looks like currently.
We drove back to the ranch after that and watched a couple more movies and had dinner in there somewhere.
Sunday was great. Sunday was a day that, as a mother, makes all the hard days worth it. If you will recall, we got Kennedy a Jeep for her 4th birthday. All our family members went in on it. It was kind of a big deal. After a mishap with going too fast too soon, she's been scared to drive it and it has sat collecting dust. We decided to take it up to the ranch to see if she would drive it more. She wouldn't. Finally Sunday I convinced her to try again and plugged in my phone to the auxiliary jack (I know, kind of ridiculous and cool that it even has one) so she could listen to the soundtrack to My Little Pony while she drove. That did it! After a few uneasy laps around the driveway, it clicked and she didn't want to get out.
This is cheesy but watching her overcome her fear and try again made me so immensely proud. I told her that about 14 times that day, too! (I'm also relieved we no longer have a birthday present going to waste). Most of the time I feel like a terrible mother. I feel like I'm missing opportunities to teach my children life lessons. So to have a moment where she learned how to not give up and move past something that scared her, and seeing the smile on her face, almost made me cry. She was so proud of herself. Well done, Kennedy!
She got really good as time went on, too. She will now reverse, and she even puts her arm on the chairs and looks back like an adult backing up a vehicle. She went over obstacles and holes in the ground big enough to put it on two wheels and she loved it! Moab training is going well. The force is strong with this one.
We also played badminton and just enjoyed the cooler temps outside.
We had a yummy lunch and then headed home. On our way out we stopped to see Grandma Joyce. Both kids were crying for the picture, but I think it makes it more real.