We've been home now for over a week. Those first few days back are always a little rough getting back to real life. The kids and I went up to Utah from the 21st-26th to be with my family before Amber went into the MTC. I debated some whether to go up because I was a little worried it would be chaotic with trying to finish getting Amber ready, and I was worried my kids would just add to the chaos, but I'm SO glad I decided to go. It was a great trip! And I know I would have been bummed to be the only one missing out.
We flew up Sunday, the 21st, with my parents and Amber. It was the crazy early flight that took off at like 6:30 in the morning. We made it into Provo around 8 and Jenn and Michael picked us up. Jenn had kind of wanted us to all go right to Church with them, but I missed the memo on that. They dropped us off at their place and the kids and I took it easy and had some breakfast and rested.
Aiden and Janie had lots of fun playing with their cousins that afternoon.
This picture of Jackson and Aiden is so funny to me :) Jackson on his bike and Aiden on the slow motor bike..haha.
Jackson the dog came along with the Shurtz' and was slipping and sliding all over the kitchen floor, so Amy put some of Aiden's socks on him.
The boys were making funny noises into their cups.
After dinner we had a little Family Home Evening where each of the return missionaries talked about an experience from their mission and we all gave Amber some advice.
Janie spent the whole week taking Quinn's paci out and putting it back in. It ended up in her mouth lots too ;)
Aiden passed out on the floor. We had a very early morning!
Most of the group.
I had to get this shot of Janie sleeping with her baby that she brought along.
Monday we had reservations to go through the Provo City Center temple open house. We're pretty positive Amy sustained a concussion when she was skiing a few days prior, so she had us take Quinn with us and we left Janie behind (Janie girl is just hard). Amy figured she could pop a movie in for Janie while she rested and Quinn is not so easily entertained yet.
Janie made herself right at home ;)
Aiden loves Quinn Monkey.
While Trent and I were at BYU we had Stake Conference in the Provo Tabernacle a few times. It was really neat to walk through it and see everything they were able to do with it since the fire. It's beautiful inside!
Quinn fell asleep with Grandpa's arms :)
After the open house we had lunch at Noodles and headed back to Amy's to do the kid swap. Then we headed back to Jenn's for some downtime.
Later that evening we had a family get together with my mom's side. 3 of my 4 sisters live in Utah (used to be all 4, but obviously Amber is on her mission now) and a whole bunch of cousins. Most of the Clark family was in town so it was fun to see them and for Amber to say goodbye to everyone :) Love my cousins! Wish all of the rest of them could've been there too :)
Tuesday was Amber's final day to prepare for her mission. She and my mom and Amy went off to Target to get some last things and I stayed back with the kids.
It was so fun to see my kids interact with Quinn the whole trip :)
Amy sent this pic while they were out and ran into Michelle Money. Any fellow Bachelor fans will know who this is!!
Quinn got mad at me while I was distracted :/ Plus he was stuck under the couch..haha.
Aiden proceeded to tell me that Quinn was hungry and ask me if I had any milk in my boobs (Amy had given him a little lesson)..haha. I told him I did not so then he pulled out Quinn's little ball pit for him :) He's such a good big cousin!
Whenever we were were at Amy's, Janie would carry this little Book of Mormon of theirs everywhere. She also found their teething necklace :)
So long story short, I got stuck at Amy's for the rest of the day (which isn't a bad thing), but I didn't have my nice clothes with me to change into for when Amber got set apart that evening. My mom brought them along with her for when we met up, but we got stuck in bad traffic (I was in Amy and Richard's car). Needless to say, we were late and Aiden and I were the only ones in jeans. I wasn't too thrilled about that :/
Anyway, Amber's college bishop and stake president were there and had my parents and Amber each bear their testimony. Then the stake president gave Amber a very nice (and long!) blessing.
I was trying to hide behind the table..ha.
Afterward we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner (and I changed into my dress) and then Amber wanted to get gelato at a favorite place. We got there though and it was closed down! We got frozen yogurt instead.
Nobody can tell Janie what to do..ha. Pouty face.
We were going to have a little girl's night for Amber's final night, but the kiddos were little zombies so we called it a night. My mom, Amy, and Jill were there though to help Amber pack :)
Janie barely fits in the Pack 'n' Play!
Jackson got to spend the day with us on Wednesday. He came in the morning and they watched some morning cartoons together :)
So Janie loved Jackson's lunchbox and carried it around lots. I think Jackson was trying to get it back, but Aiden jumped in to defend Janie and blocked Jackson from her ;) I'm not sure if Jackson completely understood what was going on because then he stood in front of Aiden and started blocking him..haha. Jackson's so tall!
We headed over to Amy's a little later and waited for the cue from Amber to head to the MTC. Her official check-in time was 12:30, but she had heard they weren't super strict so we went with the flow ;)
We knew it would be crazy when we got to Provo so we had Amber hug the kids before we left.
Janie was grumpy (she really hates being told what to do, and pictures) so my mom thought we should try a group hug..haha.
I was not around when Amy went into the MTC so I didn't really know what to expect. The MTC is really strict about quick drop-offs so we pulled into the parking lot across the street for hugs and pictures.
I had to post this video because I love that you can hear Aiden yelling "Bye Amber!" from the car :)
The infamous photo I posted to Instagram..haha. I didn't even see this picture until I got back to AZ so it was a bit of a shocker..haha. Anyone who's dropped off a missionary in the last several years knows what a rush it is! We were all a little frantic at this point, especially since Amber was already late. Amber kept saying, "I gotta go, I gotta go!" and Aiden was leaning out the car window shouting bye to Amber (video above), and we were all trying to get pictures as fast as we could - it was just pandemonium! My mom was snapping away and she kept telling us to do a group hug (we were bummed Jill had to work) so I finally obliged and threw my arm out. What I don't remember is my hand placement on Jenn's boob and neither does she!! It was such a quick shot and I thought I was grabbing her arm..hahaha.
Jenn and I were in one car with the kids and my parents were in the other car with Amber, Amy, and Quinn. We tried to just follow them into the MTC, but we got caught..haha. They are so strict about only one car!! Then we tried to hurry and stand on the hill across the street :/
Amy got this shot of Mom and Amber :)
It was so weird to see her go. Thank goodness for DearElder and emails!
My mom and Amy actually had a meeting right after the drop off for Pinner's Conference at a hotel and we needed to take Quinn home with us. Jenn pulled through McDonald's to get Happy Meals for the kids and we met at the hotel to grab Quinn and let the kids eat.
Back at Jenn's. Quinn is so close to crawling!
Getting ready to feed him some solids. I had to hold him while Jenn fed him.
The only time Quinn gets pretty fussy is when he's hungry. You can't get him the food fast enough! And he's a slurper! It's hard to see, but I had peaches (or whatever it was) all over my face..haha.
Happy boy after he ate!
We tried so hard to get a picture with the 4 cousins, but Janie wasn't having it, OF COURSE!
Quinn fell asleep and Janie's funny in the background :)
Alright, this one turned out okay!
Jackson went around and gave everyone a hug when he had to leave :) And you'll notice that we were watching The Bachelor..haha. Jill came over to watch with us.
Jenn set the kids up with their own show :)
Thursday was a very easygoing day. Amy and Quinn came over to hang out.
The kids were over my photo taking..ha.
We finally got out of the house around 2. Aiden and I tagged along with Mom and Amy while they ran some errands. Janie was napping back with my dad.
I put Quinn in the front seat. I want to say it was his first time ;)
That evening we whipped up some fajitas for dinner.
Aiden was in heaven during our stay playing with all of Jackson's toys! You can't see, but he was playing with his remote control car here :)
Janie sitting with Grandma.
Squeeze those cheeks!
Since Jenn and I were together I planned to have us FaceTime our good friend from high school that evening. It was so fun to catch up with Sarah :) She's getting married in September and we're going to fly back for it! Yay!
Friday morning we flew home. I wasn't sitting by my parents so I was back with the kids. They did pretty good during the flight (thank heavens it's only about an hour) until maybe the last 20 minutes. Then they were ready to be done. Thank goodness we were sitting beside a really nice lady, who was flying with her older kids, and she pulled out her iPad and totally played with Aiden and Janie. I love people like that! I hope I can do the same for a young mother some day :)
Just had to throw in one more picture. Janie was so happy when we got home, she grabbed all of her books and brought them out to the couch!
It was a great trip and we loved staying with Jenn and Michael! It was so fun to see everything they've done with their home :) And we think about Amber lots. Can't wait to hear from her tomorrow! And she heads to Michigan this week! Crazy, huh?!