Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Break Road Trip '11 Part Four: the Smithses!

Our Spring Break Road Trip made its last stop at the home of (to quote Clyde) the 'Smithses'. Ever since I was in junior high, we've spent every General Conference weekend (more or less) at their home and it's always such an awesome reunion for our families - even if we've seen each other between Conferences :).

We arrived Friday afternoon and got baby Chase all to ourselves for a couple of hours before his adoring Aunt Heidi and Uncle Will rolled in and took priority.

That night we had dinner at Fat Boy's Pizza and Pasta Company - Chuck's maiden visit! So of course he ordered the UFO Pizza to case it out and determine who should be his partner when he attempts the UFO Challenge: Two people have a half hour to work together and consume the entire UFO Pizza; if they succeed their picture goes up on the wall and they each get a Fat Boy's t-shirt. It looks like I'll have to obtain my long-coveted Fat Boy's t-shirt another way, though, since Chuck (wisely) has no intention of recruiting me as his partner.

Here's our favorite Fat Boy's owner, Reed! Thanks again for dinner and, as always, letting us invade your home for the weekend :).

Saturday was a busy day; we fit quite a bit in before, between, and after Conference sessions.
Like a morning walk with Courtney, baby Chase, and Clyde, who traveled like an AT-TE Walker . . . when he wasn't getting a piggyback ride. Silly boy!

Heidi and I made a quick shoe run to find her some sweet kicks for a dance at Utah State. I decided to be semi-grown up and try on some serious heels and I kind of fell in love. I am contemplating purchasing some awesome shoes like this . . . but I'm pretty sure I'd have to wear them every day to justify the expense. Luckily I can clearly pull them off with shorts and a Star Wars t-shirt, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Grandma Pam joined the party late Saturday afternoon and brought with her Star Wars Legos for Chuck, Quinn, and Big Will . . .
errr, I mean Clyde and Baby Will. There may have been some confusion about this, however :).

Naturally, we set aside quite a bit of time for girl talk and perusing Heidi's People magazines.

As always, I made the boys line up after Priesthood session for a picture. Unfortunately numbers were down since Reed, Ben, and Big Will were all needed at Fat Boy's, but Chuck and Quinn were excellent representatives - Chuck made sure to tell everyone at the church that Heidi Smith approved of his outfit :).

Sunday brought more family members, more Conference-watching,
and LOTS of lego-building.

It also brought the return of Clyde's photography skills, although this time he decided to play 'Jedi spy' at the same time, leaving us with . . . interesting . . . shots/angles.
Gloria saw him coming up with the camera and smiled, but was quickly admonished to turn back around and pretend he wasn't there :).

Here some shots of everyone getting reacquainted - or meeting for the first time, in the case of baby Bailey and baby Chase :). I love the bottom right picture of Eden and her two adoring fans - baby Will and Quinn! Will would seriously not leave Eden alone; it's a good thing Quinn already got a commitment from her!

A test run to see if Sam and Terri are ready for two more children: good news, they passed!

Oh, man, this guy seriously cracked us all up as Conference was wrapping up Saturday afternoon; pretty sure we rewound it like five times :).

Will x 2!

Ohhh I love my BFSC's. I know I say it all the time, but I just love Courtney and Heidi so much!!

And now, for a few other highlights of the weekend:

* The multiple discussions required to hammer out the sleeping arrangements; I'm pretty sure every possible combination was mentioned. Nate's room with the bunkbeds provided the most hilarious duos: Eden and Quinn (obviously rejected pretty quickly!!), Eden and Will ('it's okay, they're not engaged'), Eden and my mom ('oh, that would work'), my mom and Ben (there exist allegations that they both snore, although vehement denials are always issued). We briefly considered a boys' floor and a girls' floor, although once the guys realized that left them with all three children it was quickly ruled out. In the end, Heidi and I successfully negotiated a plan that let us have a sleepover (although crying children crashed that party pretty quick) and almost everyone slept well (sorry again Quinn!).

* Along the same lines, at one point it looked as if our Sunday evening dinner might have to be comprised of two separate tables, kicking off a pretty intense seating arrangement debate with all sorts of segregating factors: family of origin (Bradens/Smiths), marrieds vs. singles (but where to put the engageds?), and Varsity vs. JV teams (after hearing that Ben's skill of burping on demand earned him an automatic spot at the Varsity table, several of us volunteered to be JV). Ultimately, we opted to eat all together at one table, cozy and united :).

* A hilarious subplot to the dinner seating arrangement issue was the dessert seating arrangement issue - "Everybody sit wherever the kind of cake you want is set, we can mingle a bit." "Do we have to drink out of the previous person's cup??"

* In the interest of being 'social' Saturday evening, Heidi and I decided to include Chuck and Big Will on our facebook stalking time. Big mistake. Pretty sure Chuck will never join facebook now, and while the laptop was in other hands but still logged onto my profile, I ended up 'liking' pretty much everything on Will's wall as well as all sorts of random stuff on my news feed... yeah, I definitely 'unliked' most of that the next morning :). Also 'I' voted Minnesota as my favorite state. Then we watched an episode of 'What I Like About You', sure that Chuck and Will would appreciate its hilarity. Definitely didn't work, although they sure seemed to appreciate their own hilarity in mocking it!!

* At one point in the midst of the chaos and craze of the kitchen on Sunday, baby Chase held onto his daddy in the cutest koala bear-y grasp I've ever seen. Poor little boy is used to being in a relatively calm household with four to six adults - adding seven more adults, another baby and two wild and crazy little boys was a bit of a shock to his system :).

*Obviously Conference itself was wonderful and uplifting and strengthening - here are links to some talks I really enjoyed: An Ensign to the Nations and Followers of Christ. Oh, and see if you can get through this one without your eyes tearing up a bit; I couldn't: The Eternal Blessings of Marriage.

And then all too soon it was time for Chuck and I to load our boys into the car and head HOME! We were definitely sad to leave, but after eight days it was also very nice to sleep in our own beds that night. Thanks again to everyone for your hospitality and generosity in welcoming us into your homes. We had such an incredible trip; we love you all!!


Missy08 said...

Looks like u guys had tons of fun.

mama izatt said...

Love the AT-TE Walker! Love the shoes too! Totally missed that smiling guy at conference. What a great time you had!!

Ben and Courtney Hugo said...

Love it. Did we ever establish if I was Varsity or JV? And I'm pretty sure I missed the whole dessert seating issue- who are the quotes attributed to? I must have been feeding my slightly overwhelmed baby boy. Love you guys!