Edit: Dying laughing because I already did this update but had totally forgotten until I hit publish. They're different enough I'll leave them both up. But, wow. Losing it!

SUMMER! Was so good to us and also super hard. Russ really started cranking on the house and it became clear what we might be in for building this thing! So many funny stories I don't want to forget I'll put them at the bottom! With the focus being on the house the single parenting life commenced big time. I did my best to keep us trucking along with fun things and plans but we always missed Russ. He's worked so incredibly hard. Words will never do his sacrifices justice! 

Highlight reel!

I hiked to Timp for the first time ever with Russ' friends' wives! 
I love them all so much, we're so lucky that we all get along! We saw serious mountain goat action and the hike took 8 hours. My shoes were garbage and by the end my knees hurt so bad I basically ran down the mountain without bending my knees at all. I have video somewhere but it was embarrassingly funny.

Charity stayed with us - by stayed I mean they hooked up their Winnebago to our house and it was all so fun!

When we didn't want to pay for Red Butte Gardens Guster concert tickets for the whole family ($$$) on a Sunday so we sat behind the fence and listened. True WT moment but I loved it.

 4th of July fun!

 Some house progress. Our view driving away from the house. Sunset is unreal up there! Russ did the foundation, footings, poured the concrete walls and dealt with some serious groundwater (I think he said he brought in 6 tons of gravel to get rid of it) and our house was the very first time he did every single one of those tasks. EEK! We paid a guy to excavate our house hole, the leech fields for the septic tank, the hole for the septic and propane tanks and a few other things. But the rest of this process was Russ. Russ and one other worker, who just happened to be Gavin Johansson... who is 14.  And 85 pounds maybe. At one point one the guy who came with the concrete and was pouring it into Russ' forms noticed a leak in the form (happens a lot I guess) and so Russ and Gavin were doing all they could to re-brace it and Russ was of course stressed and so mad. He asked the concrete guy if that happened often and he said "Yeah but there's usually a whole team of guys to fix it not one guy and a deacon." Too good. Mitch was also working with Russ up until that point but quit and moved to California. The amount of workers that have come and gone is truly astounding!

Such a strange feeling to know Russ is working so hard and to have not much we can do to help. Long long days just me and the kids but in it I found a deeper sense of patience, peace, resolve and grit. If there was a silver lining to single parenting for a straight year it was that. I used to harass Russ if he was 10 minutes late to get home at 5 pm and tap out of parenting -- so exhausted and spent. Now I don't even know that girl. Lots of prayers and good thoughts from those around us surely helped!

An awesome/easy hike to Grotto Falls!

Cal turned 6! We had a party at Nickel City and I made him a homemade cake with a "6" mold. He had so so many friends show up I hope he felt loved! He sort of just looks overwhelmed and overstimulated in the photos. Myles to the rescue! The cake was pretty good I must say.

 The very next day after his birthday (why do I do such things to myself) we had our first ever Bijou Market at University Mall. 2 Days and the first day it rained for 4 hours. The rest of the time it was miserably hot. Funny how things rarely work out for us when it comes to weather and Bijou! These shoppers made my day. Rain or shine!

This photo has so much emotion tied up in it! I was at this point super overwhelmed with work and life.  I remember how I felt when we walked to the park and I did my best to give them something fun to do and I sat and watched them play.  I snapped this pic and couldn't stop looking at their unbrushed hair. It somehow represented all the ways I felt like I was failing. I don't see it that way anymore.

That Summer was such a huge transition for me. In all the ways. I wish that girl would've cut herself some slack, not been afraid to take a break. Like always she didn't miss a beat, even when no one would've held it against her. It's not always easy to have more drive then sense but I am proud of her nonetheless.

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