This summer is NON-STOP. A week after returning from Yellowstone, Halle and I flew to Utah. She was headed to BYU for EFY. We flew in on a friday so we’d have a few days to spend with the Schofields before they left on to follow their dreams in Berlin! A few days before we came Nat was chatting with Gwen and asked her, “Will you miss me?” Gwen, in true sassy fashion, said, “Actually Nat, I’ll miss Halle WAY more than I miss you. And Halle is coming to Grandma’s and we are have a sleepover that you will not attend.”
Halle girl is going to desperately miss her sweet little cousins. And she was the best big cousin ever on this trip. She watched Puppy Pals, played Polly Pockets, listened to audiobook bedtime stories, woke up early on Sat morning to watch cartoons, had sleepovers, changed diapers. Basically, anything Gwen or Mave asked, Halle complied. Halle is already scheming ways to get to Berlin next summer.
One evening we gave Taco Amigo a try. Tacos were bland, but the fresh strawberry shakes were delicious. We ate and played at Discovery Park in PG.
The next day we went up to Tibble Fork. They’ve turned it into such a fun place! We brought a couple paddle boards and the kids paddled, built sand castles and sand rivers, jumped off the dock and ate lots of snacks. Halle got Mave to go out on the Paddle Board with her. Dan said she’s always refused before, but because Halle was there, she’d do it.
After Tibble Fork we got shave ice in Highland. I was standing on the curb talking on the phone and I see Sharon drive by! She pulled over and we got to chat for a few min. What a fun coincidence. On Sunday, Mave didn’t really want to go to nursery. Mave usually shuns me in favor of Halle, but Carlie told her she could either go to nursery or come sit on my lap in Sunday school. She chose me! We looked at pictures of pink puppies on my phone and we decided we wanted to dye Chloe pink. Sunday evening we held the Annual Cornell family Weenie Roast at Swinging Bridge in AF Canyon. I love when I am here for this! Carlie and I took some Salmon to grill because she can’t have ketchup and I can’t have the bun, and a bun-less, ketchup-less hot dog is just gross. But our Salmon was delicious. Cole also brought over some squash from his garden, so we threw that in a foil packet too. So good. I love my family! It’s always so fun to be with them and talk with them.
After the canyon came time for some hard goodbyes. It feels surreal that the next time I come to Utah we won’t all get to be together. Landon and Jhena are taking Chole, so the girls said goodbye to her as well. It was all so sad!
Monday morning Grandma, Gwen, Mave and I went to drop Halle off at EFY. She was so excited and I was so excited for her. I have such fun memories of EFY and I was so eager for her to make those memories for herself. She was staying in the new Heritage Halls. Even new dorms are very “no frills.” Emery is her roommate and the girls next door were Katie and Lilly. Lo and behold, Katie and Lilly were from Colorado Springs and they were in the same ward as the Birds! Autumn had told them to keep their eyes out for Halle. What are the chances they’d been put next door in the same dorm?? It was so fun and made my mama heart happy to know there was going to be some fun girls for them to pal around with. Halle had the best week. She made new friends, she danced with boys, she had some great spiritual experiences–everything I could have hoped for. Grandma and Grandpa picked her up the following Saturday and took her to breakfast. She said, “It was so fun to have Grandma and Grandpa all to myself!” One last cousin sleepover and then it was time for everyone to go to the airport. Halle back to Colorado, and the Schofields to Germany!
Saying goodbye is never easy. But I’m so proud and inspired by Carlie and Dan in doing a really hard and scary thing. They are following their hearts and I know it will serve them well. I’m also hoping it means some sort of amazing sister vacation is in my future!
Poor Halle got stuck in the airport FOREVER. Her flight was delayed, cancelled, and then a whole new plane had to be brought. It was pretty long and miserable, but she said, “If it meant I could go to EFY again, I’d be stuck in the airport even longer.” I’m proud of her attitude and proud that she was able to navigate all that all on her own and make it back home to us. We missed our Halle girl so much!