Lest anyone think I'd drag my crying boys off a hiking trail with promises to go back and never go back...

On Rebecca's last Saturday with us (the 28th) bright and early we loaded up all of the boys, water bottles, snacks, jackets, back pack and snow suit for little man and headed back to Payson canyon to do a little make up hiking.  And we were going to take just as long as we wanted. When we got to the trail head we were happy to see that there was much less snow on and along the trail.

We started off, Noah finding every rock he could and jumping off them.

Hyrum running as far ahead as I would let him get (perhaps he was afraid of me hauling them back to the car again)

And Eli chillin on my back

One of the very best things about this trail is the little stream that you follow all along the way that gives you little waterfall scenes

And of course the boys favorite the stream crossings over log bridges.

Noah lost his balance coming off a log bridge so we took advantage of the still lying snow to "wash" off his hands.

When we finally got to the grotto the sun was in the perfect spot to spectacularly illuminate all of the little droplets of water

And our ears

We just couldn't seem to take enough pictures

Before long we started the return hike (there was a lot of water, and we were with little boys you know) We stopped along the trail for snacks ( it is a half a mile you know-that's like forever to wait for snacks)

We stopped along the stream so the boys looked for water skeeters

 and found rocks to perch on.

Noah needed a little help to get to his.

Rebecca even managed to get him to shore without him getting wet.

Eli was not happy to be left out of the fun

As we walked back to the car the boys just couldn't get enough of the stream and kept finding their way there. Throwing stones

And jumping to big rocks

with the constant help of Rebecca-wouldn't have been nearly as fun without her

We finally made it back to the car...more slowly than the hike there and drove home tired and happy.

But that was only the first thing we did on Rebecca's last Saturday with us. We also ditched the boys and ran off to do some boutiqueing and consignment shopping. Then we were off to a baby shower then finally to the BYU men's volleyball championship. Got it all in. Check!

My cousin Rebecca Wadsworth ("REEbecca" as Hyrum calls her  or "Cousin" as Noah called her for the first few weeks) came and lived with us for the better part of the month of April while she got everything ready to start school at BYU this spring.  It all started one sun shiny Friday (the 5th) when she and her dad rolled up in front of my house.

Hyrum wanted his friends here to meet her. He wanted to show her off. Both he and Noah fell in love with her when she came to visit the very end of February to check out BYU and some cosmetology schools.

My aunt Kim and Rebecca surprised them with those capes and they became a permanent addition to every outfit
While here in she found out that she'd been accepted to BYU for the spring a mere two months away. She was on the fast track after that and she was as committed to that pace as anyone could be. She went home withdrew from her former school and started packing to come here.

The  boys were so excited for her to be here. They were such good helpers with her things and getting them into the house.

One of her perfume bottles burst over the mountain range and it filled her room with scent. It was the beginning of remembering what it's like to be a girl for me. Her dad is my dad's baby brother and he wasn't in our house for more than 5 minutes when Hyrum said "You look like Papa!!" and indeed he does.

Acts so much like him as well, which is funny since he is 15 years younger than my dad!  My dad was up and out of the house by the time my uncle was 3 or 4 years old.  They didn't really grow up together yet they are so similar.  He and Elijah bonded pretty quick. Especially when he let Eli sit in the truck.

The next day was General Conference and before it started Derek took Uncle Rich and Rebecca around campus to give them a bit of the lay of the land.

Then it was back to watch Conference all together

and take a quick nap ( there are few who can resist the power of a sleeping baby )

Then it was a full lunch and a fathers blessing before heading back home for my Uncle Rich. The initial separation was a little rough.

The next few days she got settled and more due to her personality than my hospitality she seemed to feel very at home here very quickly.  It was different having a girl in the house. I'd forgotten what it was like to live with girls having lived exclusively with boys for the past 10 plus years. Everything she owned seemed to have an incredible scent and she sat in front of the mirror and did her hair in all of these amazingly cute ways. She always dressed so cute as well. I found myself looking with wary eyes at my wardrobe that contained outdated clothes and ratty tee shirts that I just wore around the house. A true mommy of boys wardrobe. I began to realize how things had changed for me over the years. I was always too practical for too much indulgence but I felt the stirrings of my inner girly girl.  One day Rebecca got out her nail polish and was going to paint her nails BYU blue so I got out my paraffin wax bath and decided to make it a bit of an in house salon day.

We scrubbed, exfoliated, soaked, lathered and filed.  Then we got ready to paint and then I remembered why I don't do this much anymore.  Noah called from down the hall that he needed to go to the bathroom.  I ran off to help trying as hard as I could not to touch anything. No luck.  Then there was drinks and then there was snacks and then Elijah woke up.

Life of a mother with young children doesn't allow for freshly painted nails.  I gave up and took it all off.  Later for my birthday she took me to get a shellac manicure. It doesn't chip or smudge once it's cured and stays on for 3 weeks. That's my kind of nail polish.

Another thing I realized while she was here was the pace of a mothers life. Filled with a million different little tasks but not ever really doing anything. And going anywhere with 3 kids it's a bigger challenge than I was usually willing to take.  Especially going to boutiques and shops that she always made note of as we drove through town. And not really knowing any one else in the state (besides one boy she was trying hard not to encourage) she was bored out of her mind!! So I tried to think of things to do that we'd all enjoy.






We did it several times. On campus of course

She was so good with the boys. She was my eyes when I was making dinner or distracted. My back up when I told them to do something or not do something. She also had epic sword fights with them

And Noah went running with her

She quickly learned that it was better to have them run with her when she was on a cool down lap.

Despite his pace he probably did at least 4 laps around the park which is probably a mile in total!

Hyrum enjoyed watching her go from slow mode to medium mode to fast mode to MEGA MODE!!!

The time she was her it also became her mission to get Eli to walk. Seemed every day she was telling us that he would be walking before long. When she got here he was army crawling and just barely pulling himself to stand but wouldn't stand by himself but it wasn't long before he was starting to stand by himself

And three days before she left he began to take steps

Unless we were video taping...of course.

Rebecca had been a volleyball player at the last school she attended and as luck would have it the BYU men's volleyball team was in the in the playoffs. So we decided to go to a game together. It was later than the boys could stay up so Derek stayed home and watched the first set with them on KBYU while we headed off to be there, and feel the energy. It was super fun.  It was her first introduction to the D1 sports at her new school and she LOVED IT!!

I'd made dessert which we were dying to eat but we were too full we left so we put some in Tupperware and stashed it in our purses to eat at the game. When moments got tense we busted them out. 

 They ended up being conference champs and we went to all the play off games. One of the nights of the playoffs was also graduation and we got to see the "Y" lit up as well. 

We also hit a baseball game after getting our nails done but it was a little chilly and they were winning so we headed home.

We hit Cafe Rio, In and Out burger

Jamba Juice

Magleby's fresh, Carls Jr. and of course introduced her to fry sauce. Some of the Western staples.

We also took her on test drives to get her acquainted with the grid system of the Utah streets. This worked well until we got on a rebel road that didn't follow the rules ( aka named streets that wind around everywhere) by the time she left us she could get to our house, work, school and to the grocery store what more would she need to find?

Derek she and I stayed up nights talking about awkward dates, crazy pick up lines, introducing her to the missionaries out in the field from our ward, watching Humor U videos and sharing mission stories. It was just so fun to get to know her and have her get to know us.

Another thing that was really great about her living with us was to tell her more about our Grandma Nellie who died when she was 7. I also shared the transcribed journals of hers. Recordings of story books and her singing that were recorded on letter tapes when she was serving missions. She told me that one of the major reasons she went into choirs when she was younger was so she could sing like my grandma.  I also provided her with the recipe for her hot fudge. I don't think any grandchild of Nellie Wadsworth should be without that.

Today was the day for her to leave us. We are sad for her to go but just know she is going to have the time of her life. This morning we loaded up the van

And her car and also Derek's trunk...she had a few things. We followed her to Provo and as she waited in the center lane to turn into her apartment complex I saw her head bouncing around from excitement. It made me excited too.

The boys again helped her get everything into her apartment and we tried to get her as settled as possible then we gave hugs and went home.  After we got back we were walking up to the house after getting the mail and Noah said "Where's Rebecca?"  I said "She lives in Provo now remember?  We took her things into her room there this morning."  He looked up at me and said "But she has a room here!!"

Surely this will be an adjustment. But we can't wait to hear all of her stories and see how she loves this new chapter in her life!