introducing moses to beloved faces and places in utah

there’s no place like home.

i’ve called many locales home throughout my life – virginia, boston/wellesley, new york city, washington dc, jerusalem, my mission areas in england, san francisco, palo alto, and london. each are wonderful and so beloved. but nothing, nothing compares to the home that is in northern utah.

my heart was beating some happy euphoria through my veins as we touched down in salt lake city. it just felt so great to be back after nearly fourteen months away, and i was so excited to show moses around this super wonderful home. we spent six days enjoying beloved places and faces in utah.

my oldest sister and four of her five kids, who live in ogden (north of salt lake), came to pick us up from the airport. they surprised us by coming in the arrivals area instead of meeting us in the car on the curb. it was such a happy reunion!
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^^ the sunshine in this picture is crazy, but i still love it. and you better believe that is a wendy’s frosty that i am holding! been missing those like crazy!! ^^from the airport, we went to my parents’ apartment in downtown salt lake city and let moses get acquainted with his aunt and cousins. 
and then we went on a glorious walk around spectacular temple square! too bad moses was snoozing through his tour of the place his mom and dad got married and the outrageously beautiful gardens surrounding! :)
IMG_20160907_181339IMG_20160907_182704we went to cafe rio for dinner. hoooooly cow that tasted good! after we ate, saren and the kids went back to ogden and ian, moses and i headed up to my parents’ house in park city. it was so great to be back there, and to see my mom and dad as well as some of their friends that they had over for a dinner party they were hosting. the next morning we took moses up just a bit into the mountains with his grandfather.
and then two of my dearest friends in all the world came over to meet moses! catherine and abby and i have been super close since middle school, and we’ve developed a tradition of having breakfast together after one of us has a baby. [baby v #1 / baby v #2 / baby h #1 / baby h #2] it was sooooo wonderful to see each other, enjoy some bagels and juice, and catch up! both cath and abby are pregnant with baby boys!! i am so excited that moses will have those two best buddies for life.
that afternoon, moses had his first ever babysitters – my parents! – while ian and i went to the temple. it was pretty weird to be together without our baby boy, but of course also nice to just be together. that evening, we went to the airport to pick up my sister shawni and her daughter claire, who flew up from arizona to meet moses. i ran into the arrivals hall while ian waited at the curb, and i wish i would have filmed shawni and claire’s reaction when they were surprised to see me waiting there for them with baby moses. this is literally what claire’s face looked like:
haha! it was so so fun. claire is even a little more obsessed with moses than cousin caleb (see this post). she was soooo excited to meet him and it was the sweetest thing ever to observe. shawni was pretty thrilled too – she’s the biggest newborn lover i know!
we took shawni and claire up to park city, where moses got loved on even more (i promise he loved it despite his face in this photo!):
in the morning there was more moses admiring…
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i just love these two cousins together!!
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and then we shawni, claire, moses and i headed out on a little mountain hike led by grandfather. (ian went to work in his firm’s salt lake office, and my mom stayed home to get a few things done.)
the fall colours had just started popping, and we were all looooooving the beauty around us.
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in an attempt to soak it all in, we stopped along the way and focused on each of our senses – listening to the sounds of the wind and the stream, feeling the cool breeze on our skin…we even took some time to taste the air – haha!
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you’ve just gotta love my nature-adoring, free-spirited, super-fun dad. it was so wonderful for me to show moses my so so beloved utah mountains – especially with a glimpse of autumn!
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we collected some pretty amazingly gorgeous leaves!
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that afternoon, i picked up lunch at the dodo (the turkey sandwich there is among my top three meals in the entire world) and brought it over to my best-friend-since-birth jane’s house. i got to meet her twin baby boys (who are now ten months old!) and she got to meet moses. it was so fun and special and i’m so sad i don’t have any photos!
after lunch, saren and her daughter eliza came down from ogden and all of us girls (saren, shawni, eliza, claire, mom and i) took moses on a little adventure to main street, park city. we strolled and peeked in the cute shops and cool galleries and shared some treats while moses had a feed.
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that evening, my oldest brother arrived from arizona! moses was pretty glad to meet his uncle josh (who is madly loved by all the nieces and nephews). our dear family friend maureen also came over that evening, so we got a picture of mo with mo (both moses and maureen are nicknamed mo!).
IMG_20160909_221246 IMG_20160909_221551 a couple of my aunts and bunch of my cousins came over that night for a family baby shower! it was awesome – more photos from that night and the friend shower we had the next day and the wright-side family shower we had a couple days later are coming in another post!
after the shower, saren and eliza slept over. in the morning, eliza and claire were ecstatic to hang out together and with moses – i had to put up a fight to hold him! IMG_3570
my friends threw a baby shower for moses and i on saturday afternoon (more coming on that in another post). my sisters and nieces got to see the decorations go up but had to leave to go back to ogden and arizona before the shower started, so we said our goodbyes just as my friends were starting to arrive. i love these girls with my baby boy so much!, and isn’t that “shower” with the gifts gathering at the bottom the cutest? – my friend dani made it and set it up!
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so so glad and grateful shawni and claire could come up to see us!!
after the friend shower, moses got some quality time in with grammie, grandfather and uncle josh. we enjoyed the evening mountain light on the back deck and then had to wrap moses in his fuzzy blanket to warm him up! we also put moses’s reunion t-shirt on him – do you think it’s a bit too big? ;) we are just prepping little mo for his first eyrealm bear lake reunion next summer (we had to miss this year since moses was born just a week before it started!).
IMG_3581 (12) IMG_3693IMG_3728 IMG_3721 on sunday morning, we drove up to ogden to saren and jared’s house. we had a lovely breakfast together and then went to church together. seeing moses with his cousins is just the best!
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after church we had to say goodbye to the looslis and josh and grammie and grandfather, because we were headed down to provo for the remainder of our time in utah. on the way down to provo, ian surprised me with a detour up millcreek canyon to stop by the venue where we had our wedding dinner. it was so fun to be back there with our baby boy and reminisce about our perfect, perfect wedding celebration. the autumn colours were beautiful already in september, but not quite as stunning as they were 9 october, 2014!
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we picked up ian’s baby sister rachel and went to his other sister sarah and her new husband michael’s apartment in south provo. it was so fun to hang out together, play games, eat cookies, and look at wedding pictures (since i had to miss it). i’m sad i didn’t take a picture of us there together! ian, moses and i slept over at sarah and michael’s.
the next morning we stopped by the new provo city center temple…IMG_3738 (23)
…and then spent some time on byu campus. byu is ian’s alma mater, and i spent two semesters there in college. ian showed me some of the places he spent the most time as an undergraduate, and we visited a few of the professors that he worked closely with.
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moses contemplated about whether or not he will attend byu…hmmmm…it’s a pretty fantastic place!
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and we stopped by the museum of art, where i worked when i was at byu. i love that place. almost as much as i love byu creamery chocolate milk, which i’m ebulliently holding up in this photo: (that stuff is dang good!)
while in provo, we also got to introduce moses to his four living great grandparents! (i have zero living grandparents, but ian has four!) it was so sweet to spend some time with these amazing people and see them with their greatgrandson. moses sure has some incredible genes running through him thanks to these folks!
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for lunch, we met up with my dear, dear friend dani … and her new husband!! dani and bryce got married in june, when i was too pregnant to travel. it broke my heart to miss dani’s wedding, but i am so so so so happy for her and bryce! we got lunch at a favourite provo spot and took it to the garden where dani and bryce had their wedding reception. they filled us in on every detail of their amazing special day and showed us all the pictures. it was almost like being there :) (check out these photos of dani and bryce’s wedding – it was incredibly magical!!) it was pretty (extremely!) fun for dani to introduce me to her husband and for me to introduce dani to my son.
can you believe how gorgeous that setting is? i firmly believe that mount timpanogos is the most beautiful mountain on planet earth … and check out those fall colours blanketing it! moses loved it, too :)
our very last stop together in utah was ian’s aunt’s house in american fork, where we had a family baby shower with grandma, aunts and cousins from ian’s mom’s side of the family. it was so fun to be with everyone, especially ian’s sisters again. more on all three baby showers for moses in utah a blog post coming soon!

so many beloved places and faces in this ultimate, wonderful home.


  1. What a grand recap on this extraordinary reunion! Dani's wedding photos are dazzling. Perfect for her! Glad to remember the days we knew about and see the ones when we weren't there! Halcyon Days!

  2. You have the most darling nieces!!!! I bet you are their favorite aunt


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