09 January 2014

July 2013

The Fourth of July has long been one of my favorite holidays. I love the idea of celebrating our country, all the parades, all the summer-time foods, all the festivities, and of-course I love the fireworks. Even though, I grew up in a small town, we had some good parades. They always included firetrucks, police motorcycles weaving in and out in formation, horse clubs trotting in formation, Indian dancers, the HS band, and let's not forget all the candy. I've been trying to find a parade that somewhat compares for a few years. Last year we tried the Round Rock parade. It was okay at the the most. This year we tried the Georgetown parade.  
I thought Georgetown was promising. It's a small, Texas Country town, with a lot of ranches etc. We got all gussied up and packed a picnic. I even prepped the girls for all the fun we were about to have. I wanted to cry when I found out it was "kids-parade".  The children decorated their bikes etc and paraded them. No horses, no firetrucks, no candy.
At least they had a big party at the same location with vendors, petting zoo, train rides, food, pony rides, etc.  They kids had a fun time, but nothing was as fun as watching Camille ride the pony. They were letting the ponies go as fast as the child would let them. Camille rode that pony so fast and was laughing the whole time.
After a quick nap at home we headed to downtown Austin. They had the symphony playing live and a spectacular firework show. It was a great day.
At the end of July me and the kids went to Utah for two weeks. It was a great time. My dad rented out an amazing home to hold our Peterson reunion at. This place was unbelievable. It had an indoor basketball/racket ball court, indoor pool with slide and hot tub, gym, pool table, two living rooms, plenty of space and rooms for all of us, out-door tennis, large playhouse, swing set, the list goes on and on. There were several times that I didn't see my girls for hours. They would be off in the playhouse or playing hide and go seek with their cousins. It was really a perfect setting for us all to reunite, have plenty to do, and still have space if we needed it.  Here's a few pictures of the house.   

Each day of the reunion we had one or two activities planned and then a family dinner each night. One activity was potato racing. Fun was had by everyone in the double elimination tournament. Calvin won the whole thing.
Another activity that several participated in was a Raft and Run down the Provo River. They rafted several miles as a team and then ran a 5k. I was really excited for this but ended up backing out at the last minute. I just couldn't see myself leaving three kids and participating while pregnant. Part of me still wishes I had just done it. They said it was a blast despite how chilly it was so early in the morning. The team did very well, (I think they may have placed) even though they were the slowest rafters.
Me and kids got up early and attempted to go watch. We headed down our mountain and couldn't get out the little town Mapleton. All the roads were blocked for the 24th of July celebration and parade. Since I couldn't make it to the race I decided to watch the parade with the kids, no expectations this time. I pleasantly surprised. There were horses, and candy, and a lot of church wards had some cool floats.
That night we all perched out front on the lawn and waited for the firework show. Jeff had bought several that he was setting off and the kids had fun with pops and sparklers. Jeff bought one really large one that he saved for the end and right as he set it off the towns show started too AND the sprinklers. It was pure chaos for a few seconds. We all ended up laughing and wet.
One of the days we went to the lake. James rented a boat and tube and was taking the whole family out for rides all day. Mom even took a ride on the tube. Amy, us, and dad rented jet skis. The beach was a bummer because the water was so low but being on the lake was a blast. One of my favorite days!

Other fun activities included a Root Beer tasting by Scott and Britta, a few good tennis games with Amy and George, Olivia getting a trip to the ER and needing stitches. Grandma and Ray were able to come too. I really have a kinship with Grandma. I think Camille looks and acts like me, I like my mom, my mom like my grandma.
Here's the whole lot of us. I really love each of them and wish we could all be closer.
Jeff left back to work right at the end of the reunion but me and kids got to stay another week.  I made sure to take the kids to Temple Square.

These four were pretty inseparable.
My dad and Coco hit it off immediately and really loved each others company.
While my parents watched the kids I was able to escape for a two night 'Girls Trip' with two of my BFF'S.  We went hiking in the mountains, shopping at the mall, ate at some cool places, hung-out in downtown SLC, and just really enjoyed catching up. We also ran a 5k obstacle race, the Skirt in the Dirt. It was a blast. Our team name was Gerka's Revenge. Right when we got there we decided to be tough and not smile for any pictures. It was a girls only race and the great majority were all dressed in tutus etc. It was hilarious. We even won the 'Best Costume'.

I really miss having this girls as part of my daily life. They know where I came from and really support and love me unconditionally. Friendship like this doesn't come along everyday.

As the end of the trip came me I had a couple more things I had to squeeze in. I went to a session at Mt. Timp temple which ended up being a bust. They were debuting a new movie and with the Provo temple closed, it was packed! I ended up doing sealings. It was a nice time.
Later me and the kids with mom ran up to Bridal Vail and hiked to the falls. We had never been. I loved every minute of it.
The day before we came back to Texas we got to celebrate Dad's birthday. We went to Thanksgiving Point to the kids garden/splash pad and then went out to eat at Sizzler. It was a perfect July trip.

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