playing together.

Sometimes, I take pictures aren't really exceptional, but are meaningful to me nonetheless. These are some of those pictures. Jake and Major bug each other a lot, but more and more they are starting to play well together and it's the sweetest thing to witness. They were so proud of this tower they built together that I just had to snap a picture really quick.

November Stories.

All the feelings on voting day.

His laugh.

Boredom busters.

Sunday nature walk at the Riparian Preserve.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Flagstaff.

Those Thanksgiving dishes won't wash themselves, so Jake and Major gladly volunteer.

Our annual #OptOutside Black Friday hike on the trail behind Mamaw & Papa's house.
Jake's favorite part of this trail is that it loops around the tracks.

Major was very upset because he was cold (I did not pack sufficiently), and had to be carried most of the way.

After Thanksgiving, we drove over to Kingman for Bailee's baptism.

When we got home, we promptly put up the Christmas Tree.

A normal breakfast, but they wanted to sit together.

I decided our day needed an afternoon at the park and a stop for a cookie at the Soda Shop.

A sick day.

post primary program portraits.

Jake participated in his very first Primary Program today. His speaking part was "The words of Christ will tell us all things that we should do." He felt so special having Aunt Aubrey, Uncle Skylar and Aunt Casey, Aunt Ninna, Mamaw Janet and Papa Kyle, and of course Mommy, Daddy, and Major all there to support him.

the 48 hour road trip.

We departed at 4:35 am for our family reunion. Excited for a weekend full of camping, camping food, lake activities, and family time. We left early for the 8 hour drive, hoping the kids would fall back to sleep after putting them in the car and planning for several stops along the way. Unfortunately, very little sleep actually occurred. That should have been our first clue.

The drive was beautiful, breathtaking at times. It's monsoon season in the Southwest, so we had ample cloud displays throughout. We stopped several times, one time even happening upon a beautiful, random little park in Aztec, New Mexico. As soon as we got to the campsite, we were delighted to find a picturesque little stream (water in any form is exciting for Arizona desert-dwellers) and quickly set up our tent. As soon as it was up, the rain began. Except for intermittent breaks, it did not stop for the next 24 hours. I went to bed with the boys, since I had developed a pounding migraine from only getting a few short hours of sleep the night before.

At 3 am, we realized we had a slow drip coming from the top of our tent, and water was entering through the seams at the bottom. The boys were on foam pads on either side of our queen-sized air mattress, so we pulled them onto our island, moved the suitcase back to the car, and put Jake's already damp pillow under the drip from the top. Somehow, we were able to sleep a few more hours until daylight.

The rain continued throughout the morning. Other families' tents soon began taking on water from the constant deluge. We made meals and pulled out a few rain-friendly activities for the kids, who also enjoyed plenty of puddle-splashing and rock-throwing. We visited and laughed together. We held a family council to set plans in motion for future reunions and vowed to do them earlier in the summer from that point forth. With most of our camping gear damp or soaked, we all decided to pack up and head back to our respective homes.

Sometimes the soggiest of adventures make for great stories.