While going home for a wedding was the main reason for our trip to Utah, we also took advantage of some good family time. I loved being able to go to see my brother, Camren, and cousin, Coleman, run in a big cross country meet. It was Camren’s first year running Varsity (as a sophmore), and Coleman’s first year running on his school’s cross country team, though I can see him getting to varsity quickly as he has running in his genes. They both raced hard and ranked high for their teams, despite running on a damp trail from the on-again, off-again rain.

The rest of the week rotated between working hard out in my parent’s big back yard, and having fun. Mom and I went to help Kenzli pick out a new pair of pointe shoes (which are the same as the kind I wore at her age), we enjoyed home cooked dinners on the patio with fruits and veggies we picked from the garden, game nights, morning running with Mom and Tessa (our beautiful yellow lab), canning applesauce with apples from my Grandparent’s orchard, lunch downtown with Dad and Mom, and so much more. I even got to go on a date with two handsome giants (Camren and Kyle) to the Ogden Temple Open House. It was so neat to be able to walk through the temple with my little brother and get to share what special and sacred things takes place in each of the immaculately decorated rooms.

When Saturday rolled around, we were excited to be able to go boating with the Craguns. Unfortunately, the weather decided to be that of early winter, thus making it almost impossible to enjoy being outside (note, this is in mid-August, in desert Utah). With a failed boating trip hanging over our heads, we decided to hit up Cafe Rio (thanks for dinner Dad ;)), go to a movie, and end the night by hiking up the mountain near the Cragun’s house, as the sun was setting.

Another event also happened while I was at home, my dad had to go into surgery. A few weeks previous, his doctor had noticed and biopsied a 5 cm sized lump in his thyroid. Biopsy’s of the lump had come back inconclusive on whether or not it was cancerous, leaving us nervous and anxious. the lump and at least part of the thyroid needed to be removed. Our family all fasted and prayed the following weeks for it to go well. Thankfully, the surgery happened on the last day I was home. I was able to be there with my dad before he was taken into the operating room, and also able to sit by my mom as we waited for the results of the surgery. A few hours later, we got the news that the large growth was not cancerous, the surgeon only had to remove half of the thyroid, and my dad was going to be back to normal within a couple of weeks. The doctor even said he wouldn’t even have to be on hormone replacements since the other half of his thyroid had been used to doing all the work anyway. It was such a blessing to our family and we are grateful every day for it!

Just writing this post I can’t help but want to head back right away. Living 1310 miles away is hard, especially when you only get to visit once or twice a year. But, when we do get the chance to be together, we make the most of it, making it totally worthy of my sister’s favorite hashtag, #familytimeisthebesttime.



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