Wow. This weekend ended up PACKED! I knew it would be busy but somehow more and more things kept popping up and somehow there weren't really overlaps so it all sort of got crammed in. It all turned out great. But I'm tired.
The kids were out of school on Friday so while Eliza performed in two matinee performances with her beloved dance class, the boys and I went on a gorgeous hike. We haven't been hiking in WAY too long and we all needed this. Hiking fills my soul. And the kids were so excited about the gorgeous leaves they found and scampered up what turned out to be a very steep and long trail. (Well, one of my kids wasn't exactly scampering and was acting like he's too cool to notice nature - but deep down, I think he still had a good time.)
It was a lot hazier than usual because there have been all these wildfires north of here.
After the hike, we picked up Eliza and her dance friends from their performance then my friend Emily and I took our girls out to an excellent Japanese restaurant (Tona on 25th - I highly recommend it) that we wanted them to experience as a special reward for the hard work they've been doing lately. As some unusual looking food appeared on our table, I told the girls that in my book, it's fine to have foods you don't like but people should at least try things before they decide whether or not they like them. One of the girls quickly came back with "I don't think I like your book." Clever girl. But all the girls quite liked a lot of what we ordered and the food was all so pretty and so very tasty to me. Very nice little lunch. I wasn't sure if we should try to fit this lunch into our already-busy day when Emily suggested it. But I'm so glad we squeezed it in. It was so pleasant.
After lunch, we hurried home to grab our other kids and get down to the train station to watch an old steam train pull into the station to commemorate the 150th birthday of Union Pacific Railroad.
I guess old steam trains aren't often on time.
The kids, especially my boys, were SO excited when that thing finally pulled into the station! I wasn't sure it would be worth our time, but I'm pretty glad we squeezed that in and the boys are super glad about it.
Then we heard they were doing a special kids' sprint race as part of the XTerra events this weekend right up the street (XTerra involves lots of different very serious races - trail running, mountain biking, road biking and swimming). My kids weren't really dressed for running a race - but they wanted to do it anyway - it was a nice short race. It worked out great.
The kids were pretty pleased with their medals.
And very happy with the free snow cones they got for finishing the race.
I'm so glad we squeezed that race in. (But I didn't love the snowcone sticky mess that ended up ALL over Oliver!)
We headed home, ate a little dinner, then it was time for Eliza to do her final dance performance. We weren't exactly sure what the performance would entail and hadn't got around to getting tickets but a friend gave us some extra tickets she had and Jared and I went and brought Oliver along as a special little date (he was the only one really interested in going). It turned out to be a WONDERFUL performance including some dances at the beginning (featuring Eliza - and I have to say, I think she's pretty darn good) and then a lovely children's dance theater productions involving gorgeous dance by children that went along with a narrated story. Oliver was glued to it the entire time. I'm so glad we squeezed that in (and sad that I didn't video it - I was enjoying Liza's dance so much that I just didn't think of it!).
Saturday morning we cleaned (quite quickly and somewhat painlessly thanks to this new system of ours - but I have to say we were a bit behind so there was more cleaning and complaining than any of us would like on a Saturday - still working on all this. And I wasn't as nice as I should have been...).
Saturday afternoon, some dear friends who we've known our whole married life came up from SLC to join us for the Harvest Moon Festival downtown. Great kids' activities and crafts, all free. Such a fun event for kids. Maybe a little less fun for adults who get to stand in the sun holding all the kids' craft creations and trying to keep track of wandering children. But it was great to have a chance to catch up with our friends and share our beloved downtown with them. And we were miraculously able to sit down and enjoy some nice conversation over lunch while all our kids enjoyed their own food in a somewhat civilized manner.
In the craziness of herding 11 children around, this was the only photo I got! I'm so glad we were able to spend time with friends and enjoy such a nice community event - even if it was hot and all that.
Then Saturday night, we went to my cousin's daughters off-treatment party. After 2 years of chemotherapy, this sweet little girl is cancer free! It was a super fun celebration and was so great to be there to support Cami and her family. The food was excellent. There was swimming and a bounce house. The video that Cami's dad (my cousin Pat) made was SO well-done and such a tear-jerker. And I got to catch up with all my cousins. Wish I'd taken pictures.
I'm so glad we squeezed that in.
Then later Saturday night, when all the kids were tucked in bed, Jared and I were so tired but we decided to head to a party a couple blocks away that our friends were putting on at a new roof-top bar they're just about ready to open. Gorgeous place. So nice to catch up and laugh with neighbors and friends for a bit. So nice that we've got a kid big enough to babysit these days. So glad we squeezed that in.
Then today, we watched some friends' kids while they went to the Brigham City temple dedication then they watched our twins while we went to the same thing (there was a session at 9 and one at noon and you could only bring kids over age 8). Worked out nicely to do the switch off. Great to sit snuggled with my older kids (why do they always over air condition places???) and listen to inspirational talks and see the dream of so many come true and the work of so many be completed as that beautiful temple was dedicated.
After the dedication, we headed to Park City for dinner with my parents who've been out of town for almost a month and are heading back out of town for a month or so early tomorrow morning. When my mom invited me on Friday, I was a bit hesitant given how full our weekend was already looking. But we haven't been to their house in ages and we needed our "Grammie and Grandfather fix" as much as they needed their "Loosli kid fix." So we loaded up and headed down there, enjoying amazing foliage on the way.
We had a really nice dinner and visit with my wonderful parents. Grandfather took the kids on a short hike involving seriously exciting imaginative adventures. Apparently they saw an elf and found several homes of trolls. Always very exciting to be with Grandfather. I'm so glad we squeezed this visit in!
Then on the way home, we stopped by my brother-and-sister-in-law's house and had to go around several police blockades in their nice neighborhood to get to their house. Turns out some crazy guy said he'd planted a bomb in several people's back yards and they'd had to evacuate 40 homes and seal off the area while they tried to get the guy. Wow. Never a dull moment! We ended up having a great talk in the car on the way home about crazy people and what people do for attention and why they might end up so desperate for attention...
Car time can be such great talk time. We had a great talk on the way to my parents house also - reviewed our family policies on work and money and unveiled the policy Jared and I have been working on about what the kids will be expected to pay when it comes to a car when they're 16, college tuition and room and board, and missions (this is totally on my mind since I'm working on a new Power of Moms program all about teaching kids about work and money - more details later). The two hours on the way to and from my parents' house proved to be really good.
So as I finish writing this, I'm realizing that sometimes it's great to squeeze in a whole lot of things that are really great things. I'm tired. But it was all worth it. And this week, I'm keeping things as simple as possible. I've got some catch-up time while the kids are at school each day so that makes it feel much more OK to have packed this weekend.
Sometimes it really doesn't work out to pack things in. I've had weekends that were packed where I felt like a lot of it was a waste or several things went quite wrong - or a combination of the two. But this weekend was a good one. I guess you never know for sure. But everything this weekend just felt right. So we did it. And it pretty much worked out great. Yes, there were stressful moments. And I admit I got pretty upset and yelled too much during Saturday cleaning when I got my expectations out of whack right when one child was being especially difficult. I had to do some apologizing and take my expectations back a couple notches.
But I don't think any of us would have given up anything this past weekend, even though things were tighter than we really like them to be.
You win some, you loose some. And this weekend was generally a nice stretch of wins.