"Ahhh, Y-ness"

This is what Olivia sighed and said when we reached the "Y" on Friday afternoon. 

A few of the highlights of our quick trip to Utah:

1.  I hiked "the Y" for the first time.  David cannot believe this and believes he has saved me from tragedy by insisting that I complete this BYU tradition.

2.  The hike to "the Y" takes 10 switchbacks up the mountain.  The kids begged to go back to the car by the second one...but we did eventually make it, much to their delight and surprise.  Savannah noted our speed and asked, "Mom, have you noticed that everyone keeps passing us?"  Luckily speed doesn't count.

3.  Once we reached "the Y" I was terrified that someone was going to fall to their death.  My terror made David grin.  I was relieved and happy when we finally started back down without incident.

4.  On our way down from "the Y" Ethan told me that he wanted to hike all the letters in the alphabet.  He told me he knew where there was a "G" and a "K" and we could skip "Y" since we had done it first.

5.  It snowed!  On October 12th!  The kids were delighted of course.

6.  I kept our tradition of "buying-a-new-sweatshirt-for-everyone-every-time-we-go-somewhere" alive and well.  Even though I packed the warmest stuff we had.  It was not enough and we ended up buying everyone a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt.  Maybe we'll turn the air conditioner on in January and everyone can dress up again.

7.  We visited David's sister, Lori, and her family on Friday night and then met up with them again after the game on Saturday.  It was so good to see them all again and the kids revelled in the "cousin time."

8.  We also had a brief visit with David's brother, Greg, and his wife, Becca.  They were on their way to celebrate their 1st anniversary, which just made me wonder as I looked at my growing kids sprawled around their living room.  It really wasn't that long ago.  Greg made a brilliant recommendation for hot chocolate with a squirt of soft vanilla ice cream at the Maverick down the street and we went in and got six. 

9.  We were grateful to stay with my gracious and generous (and talented) Aunt Jill.  (Thank you!)  She always makes you feel like you are no trouble at all, even when your kids track brand new snow all over her wood floor. 

10.  One of the delights of the trip was going to the new Hinckley alumni building.  While the girls and I were in the bathroom, David found a donor book and we were both excited to see our names listed.  And I was twice happy to find out that I don't spend all of my money on children's books or sweatshirts.

11.  The Cougars won, much to Ethan's relief.  The game was cold, but in the crisp-fall-pink-cheek way.  My kids are still slathering chapstick on their chapped lips.  It makes me happy every time I look at them.  We bundled up in blankets and drank hot chocolate and sang the BYU fight song.  It was pretty near heaven.

12.  We made obligatory stops at the Creamery, the Gameroom, and the Bookstore.  All the kids found a book to buy and I had to grin at all the lustful bibliophiles I've raised.  We only window shopped though, and everyone started filling out their mental Christmas lists.

13.  And finally, this is for David: