Monday, April 30, 2012

Boys' Night Out (in the cold).

Friday night was the Father/Son Camp out, and of course my boys went! They got there pretty late at night- Freddy had to finish up some homework before they left.  And then we had to load the car. And then we wanted to go to Chipotle as a family before they left.  So they ended up getting there about 9:45 or so, and still had to set up the tent and everything.  (The campsite was up near Flagstaff, so it was almost a two hour drive to get there...) But this kiddo was excited!  
 Here are my boys in the tent together.  So the last time we went camping, in our backyard, Riley had a little fun with our tent, which resulted in a broken zipper for the tent.  Well, Nathan and I set up the tent in our living room, just to make sure it would still be usable for the camping trip.  The zipper was definitely broken, but could still close about 85%-- with small openings on either end of the tent door. I figured I'd just send them with a bunch of safety pins to close it up a bit better.  Well, that container of safety pins sat on the kitchen counter all night long, so these boys were COLD. I guess Freddy used one sleeping bag at the tent door to try to keep out the cold, and then they shared the other sleeping bag, and had one blanket too.  Poor Freddy was freezing! F put Nathan on the closed side of the sleeping bag, and then F's back was toward the sleeping bag zipper, and the tent door, so needless to say, he didn't get much sleep.
Silly little boy! What a cutie!

The next morning. Nathan saw the picture and shouted, "And we get OUT the TENT! :)"
This cute kid looks tired!
Nathan's helping me post this, since I wasn't there. For this picture he said, "Oh, the fire! Like this: (pretends to be warming his hands by the fire)."
This is Nathan's pancake for breakfast. And his comment now: "I want orange juice!"

Nathan says that he's running here.  "Going and I'm behind the tree." 
Dang. What a cutie pie! Beautiful trees-- so different from only two hours away-- Phoenix's desert landscaping.
Getting ready to go home!
These boys had fun camping.  Sort of. Freddy made a comment when he was telling me about their trip.  Something like, "I don't know why I think I like camping." Haha-- we decided that Freddy actually likes traveling. Like with hotels and everything.  But camping, sleeping on the ground in the cold outdoors, etc-- isn't really his fun.  But for once a year, spending time with Nathan, it's totally worth it! :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Graduation (!!!!)

Hooray! Graduation!! Commencement was held in the new BYU-Idaho Center, which is amazing. They were just barely starting construction on it when we left back at the end of 2008, so it was pretty incredible to see the completed building. It's like the Conference Center. Amazing.
Congratulations Class of 2012? Thank you very much.
President Clark, congratulating the graduating class, which was the largest in university history.  
Elder M. Russell Ballard, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared some thoughts on facing the  future with faith, rather than fear.
Right after commencement; Nathan was a bit fussy. (Actually, kind of all through the night. It had been a long drive for him.)
I know it's blurry, like most of my picture are. :( But it's still a sweet one and I love it!
My dad made these sweet t-shirts for my entire family to wear for me! They say, "Good job Tracy! You did it! We love you!" Pretty neat! And he was right, it did help me find them in the crowd. ;-)
At convocation getting my empty diploma cover; the real deal gets mailed to you once  this semester's grades are finalized. (I have to say, the convocation felt like a middle school graduation, compared to the commencement address.  I was really, really glad I went to that, and wished more of my family could have seen it too.  Commencement was impressive. Convocation was kinda lame. We were in the Kirkham Building, which is like, the oldest and ugliest building, and it's probably being torn down soon. Ah well, at least the commencement made up for that!)
Wearing their t-shirts! Thanks, Dad! And YAY, Jessica for remembering my candy lei! I made one for her graduation with the condition that she make one for mine, but that was a long time ago, and I thought it would be super presumptuous to check on whether or not she was making it, BUT SHE DID! Yay!! So many people there had never even seen a candy lei-- they were like, "What a cute idea! Wow! That's so great!" And we were like, Uh, they make them all the time in California.. 
The family-- and I didn't even coordinate all the color matching! Go family! :)
With one of my very best friends, Renee. We were roommates during my first semester at BYU-I and we've been friends ever since. I'm still totally mad that the day after I left she had her baby-- she wasn't due for another three weeks, but he must have been anxious to meet me! ;-) And we missed it. Aghhh!
Our little family. :) It's so great to see our accomplishments along the way. 
A big, huge thank you to Freddy. :) This really has been a family accomplishment, and I'm so grateful to him for supporting the family so that I was able to focus on my schoolwork. 

Nathan, in our hotel room, after a late dinner at Olive Garden.  What a cutie pie!
All in all, it was a great day, and I was so glad that so much of my family was able to come support me.  :) Thanks guys!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Road to Graduation.

The journey to graduation is a long one-- and I don't just mean the classes and assignments-- I mean the actual road, like, the I-15. But we did it! I'm not sure which is a bigger accomplishment, that I graduated with my bachelor's degree or that we drove 30+ hours with a two year old and survived. ;-)
So! I thought I'd share some of the fun from along the way.. 
Nathan at the start of our road trip. We borrowed a portable DVD player for the trip and brought like, oh, 15 movies so that we'd have plenty of variety. Oh don't worry-- he watched the same movie for the. whole. trip.  Curious George is a favorite of his these days.
So on Wednesday, (April 4th),  we left {later than planned} from Phoenix around like, 7pm or something ridiculous, and drove to St. George, where we stayed with one of my previous Young Women leaders ("old" YW leader felt like I was calling her old). Eh, oh well. So we stayed with a family friend there in St. George. [Oh and I just have to mention, about 8 miles into our trip, Nathan's like, "We in Utah?" Uhhh, not yet!]  
The next morning Nathan was ready to get going! We had to drive up to Provo that day. Sister Kimball (our hostess in St. George, recommended that we stop at the new city carousel, which turned out to be amazing. We were glad we made the stop!
So Nathan was so excited to ride... until the ride started. Then he was frantic. He tells the story something like this, "And the horse goes uppp and dowwwnn. And I scaaared! But I go on Papi's horse and then I say, "Weeeeee!!" Yep. Pretty accurate telling of what went down on the St. George carousel. [We totally recommend it to anyone headed that way-- it was only a DOLLAR to ride it. And Nathan was free with a paying adult. Whaaat? Most carousels are like, $5 each ride. That made it THAT much more fun.]

On the road again! We had plenty of fun games for when Curious George got old. Like fishing! Except that in Nursery, the fish have songs on the back, and mine didn't. So, we pretended they did! We sang all sorts of songs. And lots of them, too! Fishing was fun!
Then we finally got to Provo, Utah. Yay! (We're still not even half way, but still exciting!) We left Nathan on the doorstep and we hid in the bushes.  Mitch answered the door and Nathan looked around like, HEY! Where did everyone go? Heh. :)
We had plenty of fun with Jessica, Mitch, my dad, Sarah, and her friend-that's-a-boy Darren (who N kept mistaking for Jeff [Emily's husband]), and Annie & Alley. Hm. We should have taken pictures. I think we always say that. 
Surprise! The next morning it wassss.... SNOWING! Hooray! Nathan got all dressed up (BIG coat, gloves, hat, etc... which took like 10 minutes..) to walk the ten feet from the door to the car. And then took it all off. 
We headed for Rexburg, Idaho on Friday morning! Yay! My dad drove with us and we had a great time together.
[That toothpaste box held the Capin Muh-nack-cuh-cuh  PEZ dispenser.  I wrapped like, ten or so little surprises from the Dollar Store.  He got to open a new surprise after various points in the drive.  It seemed like a great idea, and it worked well.  Except that now every so often when we get in the car, Nathan's like, "My surprise?? Where's my surprise?!" No, Nathan, we're driving a block to church, not 11 hours to Utah.]

And that brings us to Idaho! Woo hoo! We got out of the car in Idaho Falls (where our hotel was) and as glad as I was to be there, I couldn't help but think, and now we have to go alll the wayyy back.