****I’m writing this post 19 months after the fact, which is a crying shame, but it is what it is. So I’ll do the best recollection I can. I really do want these things documented somewhere and blogging is just the format I know best.
Oh beautiful Idaho! This was taken from up at Shafer Butte, outside Boise.
Time spent with the Bird family always includes the outdoors, motorized vehicles and boats and of course good food. We went water skiing out at Black Canyon in Emmett, where the kids played in the water and tubes and just soaked up their cousin time.
One morning we drove up to Bogus Basin and Ben took willing participants on a hike. I stayed back with Amirah who was snoozing in her stroller (she did a lot of that, and in fact it was awesome) and Richard and Simon did a short loop while the bigger kids went with Uncle Ben and his crew.
We spent a lot of time in Baca and Grandpa Bird’s backyard eating BBQ, playing games and chatting. The kids played, and even slept, in the tent trailer and spent a significant time in the hot tub that functioned more like a kiddie pool. Preston was always the fun uncle, organizing games of dodge-ball and securing the hearts of his nieces.
There were movies and imaginary adventures in the basement, and one day we went swimming at Laura’s parents pool. This was Amirah’s first time swimming and she wasn’t exactly thrilled, but the other kids couldn’t get enough of the diving board and even Richard can’t pass up the chance to do some crazy dives.
For the 4th of July we went out to Star for their parade, which was a big hit with the kids, as can be expected. I think Simon and Eli’s favorite part were the squirt guns and fire hoses. (It was a scorcher of a day.)
We followed up the parade with lunch at Taco Bell, because we were hungry and it was the first place we found and Richard had been craving Taco Bell for two years.
I grew up without knowing any great-grandparents and had limited time with each of my grandparents so it’s always been important to me that my kids spend time with their great-grandparents, so we made a trip over to Idaho Falls to visit Grandpa & Grandpa Wray and Grandpa and Grandma Bird. It was so great. Living so far away from family and extended family is so hard- I really treasure these experiences my kids share with these people who adore them.
We stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Bird’s house in Idaho Falls, we ate Grandma’s delicious cooking, played Oh Heck and enjoyed countless of their hugs. Visiting Grandpa and Grandma Wray was both enjoyable and painful, Grandma’s dementia has made it impossible for her to remember any of us, but she enjoyed the kid’s company anyway, and we had a nice time chatting with Grandpa. His dry sense of humor is always good for some good laughs.
We were also able to spend time with Richard’s Aunt Janie, Uncle Larry and cousins and their families who are all adults I always enjoy being around, and their kids, who are mostly older than my kids, but are always really playful and inclusive.
When we flew out to NYC our cups were so full of quality family time and reassurances of the love and connection we have with our people. We are so grateful for our families and their commitment to developing and nurturing relationships. Is there a better feeling as a parent than knowing how many people love and adore your children, and have your backs and theirs forever for anything?