July: Kingman, July 4th, and Max Turns 2

We started off July in the middle of our move from Denver to Kingman. We had arrived in Utah and planned to spend the holiday there while we waited for our trailer to arrive and while we had a few days off before Craig had to start working in Kingman.

Sara and Kristin were both in Cedar for the 4th of July weekend, so there was a lot of cousin time! Carly, Max, and Brad are within a year of each other, and it was so fun to see Max actually play and interact with his cousins. He's usually really shy around other kids, so this is a big deal. 

We went to the 4th of July parade on Main Street, and Max was obsessed. He's really into big trucks right now, so seeing the firetrucks, ATVs, helicopters, and tank was pretty exciting for him. That night we went down to St. George to see Newsies at Tuacahn! I love Newsies and I love Tuachan and I love when Craig watches musicals with me. Best 4th ever.

We drove down to Kingman the next day and started to move in. We unpacked most of our boxes that week and Craig started his residency. They pretty much just threw him right in and only gave him a few full days of training before letting him treat his own patients! It's so crazy, but he's so happy doing dermatology, and I could not be more thrilled that it all worked out after a few years of uncertainty. 
Craig already thrown into the clinic's city softball team
At the end of the month we drove back up to St. George because the Airmets were in town! Craig had to work in Kingman during the week, but he loves me so much that he dropped us off and came back the next weekend to pick us up. True love. I was so so happy to be with my family in St. George after moving to a new place, and it's always so fun for me to see my siblings (which happens like once a year). 

We had so much fun with the Jennie's family. We went swimming, had a mini Prince reunion in New Harmony, went hiking in the lava tubes in Snow Canyon, went to a trampoline park, fed ducks, played at the park, and visited the children's museum. Max had a blast with his cousin Katherine and did everything with her that week (including nursery)!

His first time feeding the ducks was a HUGE success - he thought it was hilarious

Katherine's little sidekick

On July 27 Max turned TWO! We had the best time "celebrating him" by going boating at Quail Creek Reservoir. Max had such a fun day and kept shouting and singing "Happy Birthday!" all day long. He can't quite figure out how to make two fingers, but he is happy to tell you that he is two years old! We rented a boat, paddleboard, kayak, and did all kinds of fun lake activities all day long. That night we facetimed Craig in for a little birthday celebration, complete with cupcakes. We waited to do presents until a few days later when we were home in Kingman.

Grandpa and Andrew can't hang
At TWO years old, Max is a riot. He is talking so much more and has such a fun personality. He picks up expressions and mannerisms from cousins and other family members and now says K? and see? after making observations or asking for anything. He asks to do things "too" and help in the kitchen. I often catch him singing his favorite songs or pretend counting things. He loves music and dancing and always asks to turn music on when he wakes up. His favorite things are dinosaurs, trains, trucks, airplanes, buses, smoothies, berries, ice cream, cereal, books, being outside, and playing in water.

While he certainly has had a few tantrums, I think his "terrible twos" won't be so terrible after all. He has the most gentle, sensitive, and loving personality, and he still sticks by my side, grabbing my finger and pulling me close. He never hits or yells at other kids (while many friends are going through that phase). He runs on his tiptoes when he's excited, which is exactly what I did when I was his age. He's cautious and sweet and I love him oh so much. 


June was a really stressful month for me, as Craig was working 80 hr+ work weeks (all night shifts) at the hospital, and I was trying to find a place to move, pack up, and essentially move us to Arizona by myself. In the middle of that, I caught my first-ever case of strep throat, and Craig figured out how to prescribe me drugs for the first time, which was a major life saver.

It was also a really exciting month because it was when we found out that Craig was going to start as a resident with Aspen Dermatology. Earlier this year, when Craig didn't match into a derm residency, we planned to move to Kingman, AZ while he worked with Nate and waited for the next match. Very last minute the clinic decided to take him as a resident instead of a general physician. It was a HUGE blessing because it means that Craig's future as a dermatologist is set -- no more hoping and praying that he gets in, no more uncertainty of having to find another specialty or match again, and finally a solid plan for our future! We are so so grateful that they took Craig in!

At the beginning of the month, Max and I flew out to AZ to look for a place to live. We met my mom in Vegas, and she drove us to Kingman to help us look. Kingman really blew my mind. I had never really explored the town before, and it was just... so strange! It feels like a forgotten Route 66 town, with not much there but a Walmart and trucking stops.

Trying to find a place to live was kind of a nightmare. There aren't really any listings online, so we drove around looking for "for rent" signs. We went to a few realtor offices and got keys to a few rental properties which turned out to be mostly rundown or just felt unsafe. It was super discouraging, until the very last house we went to that day. It was great! Sara had told me that I wanted to find a place in a specific ward, on a specific street, and by some miracle this house fit both of those requirements. I was SO relieved to find a place that I really liked, and I am SO excited to finally be in a HOUSE instead of an apartment!

After we found a place, we drove up to St. George to spend the rest of the week with my parents. Max loves his grandma's house and had a blast playing with dinos, riding the choo choo at the train park, splashing in the pool, and seeing the temple. It was nice staying busy while Craig was working such crazy hours.

We came back to Denver and went into full on moving mode. I really made the most of our last month in CO and tried to do all of our "favorites" before moving. Getting out and about every day also helped keep Max quiet/out of the house while Craig was trying to get to sleep. We went to the dino museum, all of our favorite parks, went swimming with our friends, and ate a lot of good food! Del & Lynette flew out to help us move and drive our cars out to Arizona. I tried to have most of the big things packed before they came, but it was so hard to get more done while Craig was sleeping during the day and Max was awake and wreaking havoc on the boxes. It was SO nice to have help those last few days!

Owen, Camden, Chase, & Max

Ellis, Luke, Owen, Chase, Camden, Max

Our "goodbye BBQ" with the Holmes, Timmons, Taylor, and Jones Familes

Swimming with Ty, Brooks, and Scotty

Lone Tree Library (we were regulars)

Juicy Burger

We actually got it done a day earlier that I had planned! We used a company called U-Pack that shipped our trailer for us (we just loaded, and they picked up and delivered it to our new place), and it worked out really nicely. We locked up and started our move on June 30. We made it to Cedar City in about 8 hours and planned to stay there for the few days before Craig had to start working.

It was such a whirlwind of a month, and I cried big fat tears when we finally drove away. I will really miss everything about Colorado.

Remington at Lone Tree Apartments
Max at 23 months:
- loves to splash (but not so much splash pads anymore)
- loves airplanes
- loves ma-maw (grandma) and wants her by his side always
- wants to "dunk" outside "shoot"
- obsessed with nunnels (tunnels) and choo choos
- anything with a steeple/spire is a temple (castles, skyscrapers, churches)
- feeds his dinosaurs
- started singing songs and counting
- says night-night to all the things before bedtime (night night bed, night night chapstick, night night books, night night dinos...)
- asks for ice cream and cookies (and loves to sing C is for cookie)
- talking so much more
- says no just for the heck of it


May was a breath of fresh air in the whirlwind of our last few months in Denver. Craig was in Ophthalmology and had so much more free time. We spent as much time outside as the weather permitted and tried to soak in as much Colorado as possible.

We went on the first hike of the year at Roxborough State Park and taught Max the word "hike." We had to borrow a hiking carrier since this was the first year he was big enough to need one, but he loved it and so did we! We eventually ended up buying our own. He's always been a good hiker, but it's especially fun since he's a little older now and much more into nature. He loves to be outside and pointing out rocks, trees, birds, bugs, animals, etc. That same weekend we drove down to Colorado Springs to "hike" around Garden of the Gods, and the following weekend we took Max to Dinosaur Ridge and met up with his little friends at Civic Green park for Owen's birthday party.
Roxborough State Park

Garden of the Gods
Dinosaur Ridge
Dinosaur Ridge
Civic Green
The next weekend Craig had to use up his last vacation days, but our plan to drive through the mountains was shot when a late snowstorm hit. I was super bitter that Craig's vacation days were wasted on a snowstorm that never should have happened (hello MAY -- 80 degrees the weekend prior!), but the long weekend was saved when we booked a night at the Great Wolf Lodge. An indoor, heated water park was just what we needed to pretend the snow never happened. It was practically magical for Max, which made it that much sweeter for us. He had recently learned to howl like a wolf, which made the experience 100x cuter. That place is a little kid heaven, and I'm sure we'll be returning.

We were still able to drive through the mountains after the storm passed, so Sunday after church we drove 5 hours to Moab. Neither of us had ever been before and although we were only able to spend one night there because of the storm, we absolutely loved it. We stayed at the cutest little lodge (Red Cliffs Lodge) right on the Colorado River (our own kitchen and backyard!) and then spent the next day hiking through Arches National Park. Max was an amazing hiker (even napped in the backpack!), and loved to point out all of the arches. We did the delicate arch, double arch, and windows hikes.

That afternoon we headed home and stayed the night in Aspen to see the Maroon Bells. It was one of my "must-dos" before we leave Colorado, and I'm so glad that the weather cleared up for us to be able to go. The weekend was totally saved and I had so much fun with my boys. I love getting away and going on little adventures with them. Although I admit I had a little travel envy with so many friends and family traveling lately, there is something so refreshing about going on trips close to home -- they're low-stress, easy to plan, and keep our budget happy.

Max at 22 months:
- loves to get stamps at storytime and open gym, and stickers at the grocery store
- howls like a wolf and it is CUTE
- switched to forward facing in the car... but obsessed with sitting in the front seat of the car and now demands to ride there
- loves adventuring with us and likes to say "hike" and "arch"
- love to ride in his stroller and gets sad when we put it away
- loves bubbles
- tries to say so many more words now (like octagon!)
- tried out the puddle jumper in the pool for the first time and totally can't figure it out
- tells you memories and it's so cute. If you ask him what he's done that day, he will list off things like Book (Brooks), Yeya (Briella), baby (he loves friends with babies!), stamp, splash etc
- started struggling with the drop-off at nursery, but still LOVES it and talks about it all week
- had his first public full-on tantrum in Target and was carried out screaming over not being able to use the scanner gun...
- says "bird" like he has an English accent and it makes me laugh. every. time. 

Denver Biscuit Co -- our fave 

Mother's Day 2017