Living the Good Life

[First, quick excuses: Work, work, work. But I want to blog consistently again, so here's a fresh start! To catch up on SOME things you've missed, check out my mom's blog! There are beach pictures!]

Recently Murray and I were talking about the fact that what we do doesn't require us to be anywhere specific geographically, as long as we can get a good internet connection. So that considered, why didn't we move somewhere more exotic for a couple years while we could! The trouble is: 1) I'm not adventurous like that, 2) I like to be near family, and 3) I'm not adventurous like that.

This Monday, Murray and I drove the Alpine Loop on a whim. Fall is by far my favorite season. I find it energizing! And I didn't want to miss the opportunity to get outside and see the beautiful fall leaves. So we packed up our little family, packed a picnic lunch, and headed out. The views and the colors were amazing, and it felt SO GOOD to be outside and doing something together as a family. We stopped at Cascade Springs to eat (no food down at the springs, so it was a parking lot picnic) and enjoyed the little hike to the springs. Again, it was beautiful, and everything felt incredibly fresh.

Gulliver loved being out on the trails and enjoyed looking for the grasshoppers. He brought two dinosaurs with him, so when we saw the grasshoppers, we had to stop and pretend that the dinosaurs were going to eat them, and that would make them jump. Great fun! All week, he's been talking about grasshoppers, dinosaurs, and the sleeping grasshopper (hint: it wasn't sleeping).

Junabun enjoyed the fresh air and the stroller ride, and I think she PARTICULARLY liked being taken OUT of the stroller to get some more personal attention.

After our jaunt at Cascade Springs, we started talking about all the wonderful things that surround us here in Utah, and decided that maybe it's wisest instead of moving away to seek a fun experience for a couple years, we should make a list of things to do here and actually do them! (This isn't the first time we had this idea... we thought about this a couple of years ago, but didn't do anything about it officially.)

So this week, I've had that in mind. Yesterday morning, Murray was working at home, and Junabun was napping. We haven't used our bikes all year. Or all last year. Or really more than once since we got married, if we're being totally honest. In fact, we had decided recently that we should probably just sell them. Well, instead I went out, pumped up the tires of Gulliver's Boot Scoot bike and pumped up the tires of my bike. We tried Gulliver's bike---which he loved---but his legs still are not quite long enough. So I put him on the high bar of my bike and we started riding around. What started out as a little ride around the parking lot turned into a ride of over an hour, and several miles! Gulliver enjoyed ringing the bike bell half the time, and we both enjoyed talking to one another. It was sweet to have him so close (he said, "I love you, Mumma" a dozen times) and to have a little date with him.

Today, we continued the trend of taking advantage of what we have here in Utah. We planned a fun trip to see Murray's sister's family in Moroni. It was so much fun! We prepared a healthy delicious lunch of Navajo tacos that was almost all carried away by flies (they were out in full force!). They allowed me to drive the Ranger (a cross between a four wheeler and a Jeep) up Maple Canyon with Murray and Gulliver. Gulliver loved it and kept pointing forward and yelling, "Gooooo!" He did NOT want to stop and look at the cows, he wanted to goooooo! (Murray, ever the protective father, urged me to not take the gradual turns at my reckless speed of 15 mph.)

After our little family spin, we went back to the cabin and loaded up everyone onto various vehicles and headed out again! This time even Junabun joined us (Murray, ever the protective father, made sure that both she and I were belted in). Murray, a little out of character for his artist personality, got his very own four-wheeler. After we were on the road, Gulliver looked back and gasped in admiration, "Daddy!" This time I was NOT driving, and we rode up very bumpy terrain. I think that both Gulliver and Junabun were thrilled!

During our ride, we went to an apple orchard where we were able to pick our own apples. Gulliver was at first interested in the ones on the ground (easy pickings!) until we told him those were yucky. After that, he'd just look at them and say, "Gross. Yucky." Sister M helped him to pick an apple from a tree and wipe it clean, and then he bit into his delicious treat! An apple just perfectly sized for him! I think that he ended up eating at least four! He decided he was a big big fan of the orchard.

But as good as the orchard was, nothing could prepare him for what was next. Murray's sister's family are turkey farmers, and they got a new batch of baby turkeys last week. So we took Gulliver to the turkey shed to see what he thought. I mostly expected him to be afraid, since he's going through a scaredy-cat phase lately where EVERYTHING is scary. Instead, he was SMITTEN with the baby turkeys and did not hesitate to want to touch one. At first he was very gentle and cautious, but he eventually became fairly confident... so we got him out of there before he could get TOO confident. He did NOT want to say goodbye to the baby turkeys (he saw a "sleeping" baby turkey, too... oh, when do we teach him about life and death??). But that's okay, because next on our whirlwind tour was seeing the BIG TURKEYS. We went to the big turkey shed, and unfortunately Gulliver seemed just as confident with these as he was with the babies... so needless to say, I didn't even let him NEAR them!

After saying goodbye to ALL the turkeys, it was time to head back to the cabin and order some pizza. What a good day! After pizza, we even enjoyed a bon fire and some star gazing (Gulliver, who LOVES to sing Happy Birthday, performed several rounds of the song and vigorously tried to blow out the fire).

What a perfect day! We are very grateful for our Moroni family for having us over and showing us a good time all day! I look forward to hearing what Gulliver has to say about everything tomorrow. Tonight, he was so tuckered out, that he only lasted about 3 minutes in the car. (After 2 minutes, he suddenly exclaimed, "Hat!!" and put his hands to his hatless head. I reassured him that we had his favorite hat, and pulled it out for him. He put it on and was asleep within about a minute.)


Kristi said...

I love it. I, too, have lived in Utah and have made a couple lists of things we should do living here . . . yeah, they haven't happened yet.

BUT, we did get bikes this summer and it's been awesome riding around. Now it's time for my product plug of the day: you need a tyke toter for Mr. Gulliver. It's the coolest way to have fun riding a bike with a kid. We have a trailer for when we want both girls in tow, but for just 1-on-1, the tyke toter is awesome. My three year-old LOVES it, and begs for us to take her places on it. The guy who makes them is in Orem, so you can call and get the shipping knocked off if you want to pick it up instead.

C. said...

So fun! We once made that type of decision for Chicago, and let me tell you, it made a world of difference in how we viewed our home! May you have lots of fun discovering yours!

Melanie said...

It was so fun to spend the day with you guys. We love you all so much. Thanks for the fun adventure hope you will come back soon.

Emily said...

That video is awesome.

We have a turkey this year, and we'll probably do turkeys again next year, but they just have such large BEAKS. Makes me a little nervous when I feed him.

I like when you update your blog. Your family is just too cute.