Saturday, June 23, 2012


Except for that whole baby thing, we are thoroughly unobligated at the moment. Tim is school-less and job-less indefinitely, and I am work-less until July 2. (I'm a little nervous about returning to work after maternity leave.) Since I'm using all my accrued vacation time to get some income during my leave, we figured we might as well take advantage.

Shepherd's baby blessing in church was June 3 and we had several visitors from out of town for the occasion, including Tim's dad and stepmom from Florida, his sister Julie and family from WA state, and my brother Jon from Austin. (Shep has been lucky to also meet his aunt April and family and his uncle Ryan, who both visited other weekends before the blessing.)
Shep's outfit for the blessing before we removed it due to heat
Tim and Bro. Jon

Family . . . isn't it about time?

Julie + family invited us to tag along to Yellowstone, where they were headed for a vacation the day after the blessing. It seemed like a bad idea until my brother asked for a ride to Logan. So off we went!

The first day in the park we went to Old Faithful together and watched it explode from the cafeteria inside Old Faithful Lodge. Then we all jumped in the minivan, leaving our car at Old Faithful, and drove around the Grand Loop. I didn't know the loop was so grand. We were driving a long time. Also, the loop does not begin at Old Faithful. Once we got back between the start of the loop and Old Faithful, it was getting late and the kids (and adults) were a bit tired. So Julie and I hopped out with all the minors while Tim and Rance when back to get our car. Problem: I didn't have a jacket. There was an extra blanket in the van, though, which I wrapped myself and Shep in as we walked down a one-way road that looped off the main highway. It was cold and hailing for a bit, but it was a relief to get out of the car. By the time we got to the end of the road where it meets back with the highway, Tim and Rance had not arrived back, so we walked alongside the highway in that direction to meet them. We looked a rag-tag crew marching down the side of the road; several people stopped to ask if we needed help. Then we saw a lone bison on the other side of the street hanging out and started to get a bit worried. We kept walking and passed him, but several minutes later, a passing car alerted us that a bison was following us in close proximity. Bad news. A car that I'm fairly sure had already stopped to solicit help returned to ask if we were going to be okay when the bison was within yards. We were about to hop in their car to wait him out but Tim and Rance arrived at that moment to pick us up. Whew! Crisis averted.

The next day Tim and I ventured out on our own and checked out the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We hiked to "Uncle Tom's Point," which is basically a massive staircase that has a cool overlook of the waterfall, and then hiked along the north rim of the canyon a bit. Good times.

Bison sighting

Random nose-picking child tourist

The "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone"

Lugging baby (and my residual baby weight, mind you) down to Uncle Tom's Point (I also carried him back up! I was proud of myself.)

"In the waterfall's shadow"
We drove back through the Grand Tetons, which was nice. 

Yellowstone is interesting because of how developed (in a touristy National Park sort of way) it is. Thank you, Stephen Mather. But it's cool that it's super accessible. You could go there and see a whole bunch of cool stuff even if you were in a wheelchair.

Father's Day Weekend, we headed to Sacramento to camp with Darren and Ryann. The baby did not do amazing in the car on this trip overall. Poor baby. He slept a total of about twenty minutes for the ten hours on the way there. He did sleep a while when we made a pit stop at some outlet stores in Reno (for the express purpose of getting him to sleep). While there, he pooped in my hand in the bathroom and some passers-by asked me if he was a real baby while we were walking around. Maybe because I was carrying him like this:

This may not be a very informative graphic, but he was riding face down in the crook of my arm. Does that make me a bad parent? He wasn't crying, so he seemed to like it . . .

We drove out to San Francisco one day and Tim showed me around a bit because he went to school there his freshman year. We mostly drove around a lot because Shepherd was fussy and big cities + newborn babies equals madness. But we went to the beach, the Legion museum grounds and Presidio, got some fish and chips on Fisherman's Wharf, drove down Lombard Street, around the Haight-Ashbury, etc. 

Then we went camping with Darren and Ryann near Tahoe. Which was nice. They are experienced campers and we aren't, so it was cool to tag along and rely on them a bit. We saw a bear on our drive into the campsite. I'd hoped to see one in Yellowstone but hadn't, so I felt like my wildlife sightings were complete after that. (We came to expect when there was traffic in Yellowstone that there would be a wildlife photo op or bison were blocking the road.)

We took about 5 pictures total of our trip to California, and I'm not sure why. I guess because we'd taken so many in Yellowstone? Sad.
Darren and baby

Tim's bouldering wound

This point is insanely long. If you didn't read it, I don't blame you. I just wanted to document the "two vacations in two weeks" novelty of our June. Here's to a boring rest of the summer!


  1. what a cutie Amanda! I can see you in him

  2. Wow, that was kind of long for you but I'm glad to hear more about how your trips were and how the summer is going for you.