After getting back from our little excursion, we spent some time in Utah with Jim's family. The kids' cousins were there and they had been having an amazing time. On our last day, the kids got to go to Thanksgiving Point to ride ponies and take a carriage ride. It was the last hurrah before Jim and I packed all 5 kids into a suburban to head back to the Northwest.
It was really cute to see the cousins all waiting patiently for their turn on the ponies, though Ellie got off easy and didn't have to stand in line because Jim took her to look for her buddy Chief. He wasn't hooked up for the pony rides and she has quite a little attachment to that little pony.
My favorite thing about this picture is how clearly it shows that Aeryn and Nicole decided to do each other's hair that morning. They were really happy with it but I still giggle at the squiggly parts. My OCD self would not have been able to let that fly if we'd been at home.
I had to get pics of each of them, because it was just so fun to be all together and they were all so happy. Nicole kept waving her arm in circles and being a cowgirl.
I have no idea what Tori was doing but this face just kills me.
Ellie is getting used to smiling for me every time her pony passes by.
Aeryn however is numb to my presence and this is the only photo where she actually looked my direction.
Tyler is just so sweet, calm, and composed. What a good kid.
When we took the carriage ride (that sounds way more glamorous than it is, I just can't think of another word), the kids had finished two pony rides and we were getting ready to head out for lunch, but they were not too hungry to enjoy it!
This little lady is all girl. It never ceases to amaze me how feminine she is and the way she was sitting just killed me. She looked far too grown up.
After some lunch and requisite pre-airport waffles at Bruges, we headed to send Aeryn off to visit her dad. Jim and the kids drove around and went to In-n-Out while we lingered in an airport with a really bad selection of kids stuff in the stores. Her plane had an hour and a half delay, which was not a lot of fun for anyone. I was actually looking forward to hanging out with her during that time but all she wanted to do was play games on her phone. Last Christmas she got embarrassed when I hugged her before she boarded, this summer she didn't even look back or say goodbye. It's hard to realize I'm not the most important thing in her life every second of the day :)
After seeing her off, I crawled back into the car and we drove all night to get back to Washington. It was a long day but these cute kids were delightful. It's amazing how portable electronics and some bags of treats can make a road trip with kids rather easy. I'd be willing to do it again, just maybe not for another month or two.