Friday, January 11, 2013


The added bonus of traveling out to Lake Tahoe was visiting good friends along the way.  Our dear friends the Garrards had been asking us to come stay and we always have such a good time with them, playing games and making beautiful music.  We got in late Friday night and of course stayed up way too late talking and laughing.  I am always impressed with their parenting and how they are such fierce advocates for their children.  Two of their boys have autism and they handle everything that is thrown at them with such love an grace.

On Saturday morning Stephen had arranged to have a masterclass for his voice students where I would work with them and Ken would accompany.  It was really fun working with new singers and helping them.  Afterward Stephen and I worked on a duet to sing in church the next day. 

After lunch we pack up the kids and headed for a water park in Tooele.  We had a fabulous afternoon playing in the pools and going down the slides.  The kids were burning off a ton of energy and the sunshine felt glorious.  We had to leave in a hurry though when a quick thunderstorm rolled through. :)

Cooper LOVED going down the giant water slide with dad!

Stephen and Ashlyn our generous hosts!

On Sunday we called our friends the Komers. When we first moved to Colorado they lived only a few blocks away from us and we quickly became friends. Makayla and Morgan were born only weeks of each other and Julie and I worked on figuring out the "new mom" thing together.  The second year I taught at Ute Creek, Julie was kind enough to watch Morgan for me during my classes.

It had been quite a few years since we had seen them and it was such a treat to spend a couple of hours with them.   Morgan and Makayla picked right up where they had left off and had a ton in common.  It didn't take Trevor and Colin to bond over building with legos. We are thankful for their friendship and it was a delightful afternoon.


We had one more fun night of talking and playing games before taking off early the next morning for Lake Tahoe.

Friday morning, after saying many goodbyes, we took off from Lake Tahoe and headed for Reno.  We wanted to show our kids Grandpa Christiansen's grave.  He passed away from a heart attack before I was even born, but I have always felt a special connection with him.  It had been many years since I had been to his grave too and I was grateful that Grandma, Beverly, and my parents could join us.  There was a special feeling there as Grandma told the kids more about their great grandfather.

Of course we had to stop for a little In-and-Out on our way out of Reno.  It was fun to have that little extra time with Grandma.  It is always hard for me to say goodbye to her and of course I started balling right there in the parking lot.  I love her so much and with her health not so great, I always worry it will be the last time I get to be with her in this life.

Our drive across Nevada was uneventful.  I swear I've done that drive a million times and it never seems to get any prettier.  However, as we were getting close to Salt Lake the sunset was shining off the mountains.  It was stunning!  One of those times when I truly wished that my camera could capture the beauty and gorgeous warmth of the light!

We spent the next few days at the Allreds.  The kids played and played.  We took them bowling on campus and our to dinner at the Brick Oven.  We went to the park and let the kids play in the water and then stopped for snocones on the way home.  You know, all those wonderful moments of summer!

I was at complete peace being with my dear friend Rochelle.  We even got some fun shopping in one day!  We also took the opportunity to go on a double date one night and saw the new Batman movie and then went to Tucanno's for dinner.  I wasn't sure if my stomach hurt from eating too much or laughing too much.  :)  Being with them is like being with family and we couldn't ask for better friends!

One last visit before we left Utah.  I took an hour or two to go see my gorgeous friend Kacy.  We were great friends in high school and I am glad we are still in touch.  It was so fun to be with her and our time together flew by much too quickly.

Yay for fantastic friends!

With Kacy at her beautiful home

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