Thursday, August 31, 2017

Your Order Will Be Processed Momentarily...

Too busy and way too much on my plate right now to update.  I've nearly hyperventilated with how much is available to see and do and explore.  

Breathe.  Breathe.  

It might be a few weeks.  

In the meantime.  Here's a sneak peak at one of our days...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Andrew's Big Surprise

So I forgot to post this back at the end of June.  This was the afternoon when Andrew's friend surprised him with a visit.  Andrew knew a major unveiling of something was coming - but he had no idea on the specifics.

There are so many great things about this 34 seconds of film.  But I think my favorite is how my lovely daughter goes OUT OF HER WAY to avoid the hug at the end.  It's priceless, and it makes me laugh every time.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


July.  Oh, July!  Busiest month of the summer.  And August could be worse...

#1 - 4th of July in Utah

We decided at the last minute to spend the 4th of July weekend in Utah while Greg was in San Diego.  We ended up staying with my sweet sister-in-law, Laurel.  I'm so glad we went because it was the last time we had the chance to see Ashley.   

#2 - Farewell McCall

One of the hardest parts about leaving Idaho.  I can hardly endure giving this place up.  What will we do without these trails?  The beautiful lakes?  The hills?  The Pancake House with our favorite sweet rolls?  The incandescent smell of those Tamarack trees?  What a tremendous blessing to have been part of it all!  

I fully confess that as we drove out of McCall there were tears streaming down my face.  I don't expect to come back here again in my lifetime.  It's too remote and my bucket list is too large.  Regardless, a piece of my heart stayed behind.  There is no place like McCall.

"How hard it is to escape from places.  However carefully one goes they hold you - you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences - like rags and shreds of your very life." - Katherine Mansfield.

#3 - Science Projects 

Gummy soda.

#4 - Idaho City Hikes and Freaky Cool Cemeteries

After a lack-luster hike in Idaho City, I decided on a whim to stop by the local ghost town cemetery.  Seriously one of the coolest cemeteries I've ever visited.  Exceptionally creepy and mysterious.  I was captivated.  And I cried!  Lots of babies during the flu epidemic at the beginning of the 1900s.

#5 - Hot Springs

I could not leave Idaho without taking my kids to The Springs.  We stayed for hours!  It was beautiful. 

#6 - Field Trip to the Boise Capitol

(See that lavender bush on the right.  That will be my baby in 3 more years.  I hope the new house owners love her.)

I was delightfully surprised to find a replica of my favorite statue - the Nike of Samothrace - on the 3rd floor of the capitol. It's not nearly as big as the original at the Louvre.  But it still packs a punch.  

#7 - 24th of July in Utah

Back to Utah (again!).  It is highly unlikely I will have to make that 5 hour drive from Boise to SLC again - thank goodness!  

Greg met us down there this time for a few days (yay!).  Lots of reunions (Hoopes, SuperFriends, McKinnon), a brief accident with Pretty Girl (thank you Dad!!!) friends, family photos, Sundance play, a heartbreaking funeral and love from family. 

James and Joseph are currently the tallest and shortest of the McKinnon cousins. And they're the SAME AGE!!

I think Grandma Hoopes is smiling down on these cute girls who share a lot of the same Hoopes genes.

The original 11 Hoopes cousins (except we're missing my brother, David).
I think cousins by nature get a bonus.  They're the closest thing you have to an ideal combination of friend and family.  So in a sense, they get a free pass.  You know they'll always be with you.  But you can confide with them in ways you can't with siblings.    

The Hoopes Cousins - how do I even begin to describe us?  

We know Palm Springs in the middle of July, with all the driving, hikes, games, swimming and shopping that goes with it.  We know BYU football in Section C.  We know Bombay House, long talks on a Grandma Hoopes' bed with the blue bedspread, doughnuts, the Los Angeles Mission Home, Stouffers mac n' cheese, Shirley's, Nat King Cole, black and white family photographs, Jordan in the 1950s, and Suburbans.  

We know cancer - oh boy, do we know cancer! - suffering, heartache, endurance and devastating loss.  We know the sharing of burdens.  But most important - we know happiness, virtue, marriages, family, love, the power of temples, and eternal principles.  

We know joy!

#8 - The Rest