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Preview: The Graf Family

The Graf Family

Updated: 2016-09-07T21:26:00.314-07:00


New Family Search


Mom and I have been putting Dad's personal history on our family tree and loading it with lots of great photos of him.  It has really been a rewarding process and with all the new ways the church has of doing this, it has been quite simple.  So happy we have been able to do this together! It has meant going through old pictures and recalling stories that bring daddy back in small and simple ways.  I know I have felt his influence more lately and I think that goes for my children as well.

Back on the Ranch in Spry Utah.
Swim trunks with cowboy boots, Why not?

Bonding with Angie's baby bump


On the way home from Beverly Hills Brian said to me, "I am not going to miss my little girl's last 2 months of Twin Pregnancy. I want to see that belly for myself!" So we got home and booked flights for the very next weekend to NY.  We had Klane in on the surprise, but not Angie. She was totally shocked when Brian walked into her Harlem bedroom Friday morning to give her a squeeze. It about put her into labor!! (jk) It was so much fun to feel the babies move and to see how amazing Angie was doing!  She has been such a positive ray of sunshine through this entire process, counting her blessings and not complaining about the many discomforts and inconveniences of carrying twins. We're so proud of her and she felt so healthy that we even had a chance to go out on the town a little bit, of course walking slowly wherever we went...We took in the play Matilda, it was incredible!Had to try one of the famous black and white cookies after the play.Got some NYC eats at the Meatball Shop, so yummy!Ate at a very famous Pizzeria in Brooklyn, and had fun interaction with the owner, who has the most interesting NY story.  His Long time NYC Italian family has been responsible for some to the top Pizzerias in the city.Patsy himself! Located under the Brooklyn bridge, Patsy's is next to Grimaldi's which his family founded also.We mostly just hugged on Angie and rejoiced in the miracle of two little ones coming soon! Until next time Harding family, soon to be four![...]

Beverly Hills and Disneyland!


We had a nice little extended weekend in So. California for a Dolphin Management Systems orthodontic convention and it required Andrea so Justin, Liam and I hung out in the Beverly Hills Hilton while the Office girls and Brian went to classes.  Not a bad deal, and when they were finished we would go out on the town and play.  Klane told us about all kinds of great food places and we enjoyed the beach and Pier in Santa Monica as well.Our little California dudePhoto bombing our selfie! Total beach babe!Sneaking off to Disneyland for a day was a fantastic idea.  I kept asking Kyle if he would drive down and meet us and the night before we left for our trip we put our heads together and planned a grand surprise for Kaylie and Easton.It worked out perfectly as we got up early and drove to a donut/bagel shop and got into position just in time for Kyle and Michelle and the kids to come walking in expecting to grab some quick bites and there we were!!  Kaylie was so shocked and excited and Easton was just dazed.  After our quick little meal we told Kaylie we had a surprise out in our car.  We headed out to open the trunk and inside was an Elsa and Anna suitcase.  I asked Kaylie where she wanted to pack her bags and go and she said.... "Utah"  I said let's open it up and see what's inside and when she saw the princess dress, crown and a little Mickey for Easton she said,  "Disneyland?!?"  Yes!  "We are going to Disneyland"It was a magical day especially with Anna and Elsa in California Adventure so we stayed on that side of the park soaking in the magic of Disney.  We ate at Ariel's Grotto and met all the beautiful princesses, and used Justin and Andrea as our planners since they had visited the park last and knew the most effective layout for the kids.  Oh, how I love surprises and whenever it involves Disney it is a grand surprise.  Loved the day with our kids and grandkids and just wished everyone could be there.The new Cars Land was fantastic and really amazingly recreated.[...]

Hawaii with my Sweetheart


We wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day off somewhere together and this year it just happened to be in Maui.  We had such an enjoyable relaxing time. There are things about Maui that are so familiar and we can count on them each and every time, but it seems we always discover something new and wonderful. The Nakalele blowhole was something I had heard about and wanted tocheck out and it didn't disappoint.Best breakfast on Maui is at the Gazebo on Napili bay Yummy menu at the Paia Fish market Dinners out with my sweetheartStrolls along the beach and in the winter you add whales and waves!No trip to Maui would be complete without a date to Mama's fish house.Love the Maui Ocean club, our little home away from home.We about got swept away and then blown away, our photographer got a kick out of us.We went on a new little hike along the road to Hana called Twin Falls that was breathtaking, and as I got back to the Marriott I realized that I had torn out a picture of a place we had to find and it was exactly that hike and those falls.  We ended up jumping off a smaller waterfall on our way back out.  Why do we feel the need to jump off of things, I guess Lake Powell has ruined us.  The water was so cold it kind of took our breath away.  I'm used to the ocean or warm lakes, but this was fresh water coming out of the mountains and in the shade of the rainforest, so it's chilly.  BurrrrrWe had Venus pools all to ourselves this time as we ended up there in the evening.  So beautiful!!Contemplating the jump... and off he goes There we go jumping again!  What, are we crazy???There is a new church building on Maui and we loved our Sunday meeting.  Ended up meeting some old friends from Utah County, and new ones as well.This is the little sister of the young man who introduced Ryuki Takei to the gospel and brought him home for Christmas to Oregon. Now she and Elder Takei are both serving in Hawaii!There are always new places to check out and this year it was a food truck called the Shark Pit.  It was good, but a little overhyped.  The fresh lemonade sold right next door was fantastic.[...]

Feeling Blessed


Angie's twins!

Justin's acceptance to Medical School, A Top 25 school in the nation, University of Rochester!

Kyle and Michelle are building a new home!

Brandon gets to serve with Elder Pyne, his favorite companion from the MTC!

I am just feeling especially blessed right now and thanking my Heavenly Father daily.

Christmas time at the Graf's


Oh how I love having the bustle of children and wonder at my house. We really enjoyed having a house full of kids and grandkids. We planned so many fun things and enjoyed time at the cabin where we sledded and stayed comfy. We totally ran out of time and didn't get to everything we planned but we had a spontaneous trip to the Museum of Natural Curiosity that was really fun. We enjoyed lots of good food around the table and tried to soak up our kids.We LOVE our precious little KaylieWe had some really fun baby showers for Angie and the twins.Talking to Brandon in Russia was a highlight!Great Grandma Marilyn and KaylieA little elf named Liam came for Christmas morning! Ice castle with our princess! Thank goodness it snowed right before our AZ kids came into town. Snow WhiteHelping clear the drive-way plus piling up the snow to build a snow fort.Easton and Liam are quite an armful for Grandma Sharla Liam telling Kaylie christmas secrets!Catch me Princess Kaylie!!Magical moments  Calling for Pixie! Snow ball fight Pixie, Pixie, come right now![...]

Baby Liam gets cuter every day!


We love having Justin and Andrea in the basement and it is truly a gift to watch baby Liam grow!

Fall brought BYU football and taking Liam to the games made it even more fun.  We love watching him grow and get even more adorable right before our eyes.

Thankful for Thanksgiving


This year we were going to have Mom and Cherene for Thanksgiving up to the Cabin. As it got closer it just seemed easier for us to travel than to have mom and Cherene, so we headed to Cedar City, which turned out great.  Lloyd and Shera Lyn decided to host since it was an off year for them with their children, so we had a great little feast.  This year I promised to make Brian pecan pie more than once at Thanksgiving, and I have kept my promise.  He loves all the fixings of Thanksgiving and just wonders why we have to wait all year long for such goodness. Why not spread it around throughout the year. Done!

 We always try and get to the St. George Temple with mom whenever we go down south.

Lloyd carving the Thanksgiving turkey. "Yard bird" -Lloyd term!.

We have great bakers in the Heap family!

 And this year Brian made what we refer to as "man" stuffing!  It was actually very good, with all the butter, sausage, and fresh vegetables.  (Mom's still won the prize, tee hee)

and... Pecan Pie, not just for Thanksgiving and we will remember that!

Visiting NYC for Angie's Birthday.


We have developed a tradition of visiting our sweet kids in NYC for Angela's birthday.  That way we get to celebrate the birthday with her and it's much more fun than a video-chat birthday.  We love our kids and seems like we do a bit more traveling to see them these days, but it sure makes it fun. We had to have a night out on the town with sweet Alexa and Les Mis was on the list! Brian, Angie and I snuck in another musical amidst the shopping and business of our weekend.  This time of year is magical at Macy's because you start to see the Christmas decor appearing in the shopping centers.  I love NY during the Holidays!It was fun B-day shopping with Angie and we even got in on Klane and Angie's music video shoot!  So much fun to watch them creating the magic.   We took the ferry over to Brooklyn and had great BBQ.  These kids of ours know all the tricks. We have wanted to see amateur night at the Apollo ever since Angie told us about it a few years ago, and this time we made it.  Turns out that some local kids from Angie's Harlem neighborhood were in the show, and that made for an extra rowdy crowd. We always try and make it to the Manhattan Temple and a run through central park... breath taking in the fallWe took a quick trip down to the Freedom Tower and it was the perfect time of night with the pink glow and evening sun down to twilight.  One of those golden moments. and... we finally were successful getting our Cronuts!  Angie pre-ordered, hahaha  Totally worth the wait. That little bakery has got it going on! Oh and notice the fabulous pedicure compliments of Kaylie Graf.  What an artist, she and Dominique.... Did I mention I love Central Park. We went to an ultrasound with our baby girl to see the babies!  Oh so fun, and then ended our trip at the carnegie deli.  We love our NY visits. I'm telling this nice guy all about my twin grand-babies.[...]

While the dads are away, the girls will play!


While Kyle and Brian were fishing I flew Michelle and the kids up for Fall break!  Since all the grand babies were going to be at my house I went down to Cedar and picked up my mom for the week. We had so much fun and ran ourselves silly. Thankgoodness my sweet mom is up for the adventure. She keeps up with us no matter where we take her. A day in the temple before the AZ kids arrive, then dinner at Blue Lemon with J and A. Princess dresses, balloons and a rose from Grandma's garden, what could be better.We loved the new aquarium and it was fun watching the kids explore each new part as wewound our way around the displays!With all the excitement Liam still had to take a little break to catch up on some much needed ZZZZ'sTaking care of baby Liam is always a treat.Sitting by Grandma Marilyn learning all about draft horses as we take a ride around the farms at Thanksgiving Point.  I loved this part of our adventure.This is one of Kaylie's favorite activities.Those precious moments!That face!While the boys were exploring Costa Rica, we were learning all about South America in the simulated environment of the Aquarium.The Halloween festivities at Gardner's Village.  Kaylie loved the witches this year and of course the arm painting.  Who wants paint all over their face anyway?Kaylie really wanted to be the photographer! She did pretty dang good!Not even scared!Loved watching the kids on the tramp, and I died laughing at little Easton with his tiny jumps.We saw the new Aquarium, Thanksgiving Point farmland, (my favorite, especially the draft horses) and buzzed in and out of Gardner's Village Halloween Witches Festival.  Easton was sick and just went right along with our crazy schedule.  It was so much fun and I am so grateful that it all worked out getting the grand babies together with Grandma Marilyn.Have I said how much I love the Provo airport? cause I do![...]

T-ball with Kaylie, and Halloween in AZ


A few months ago Kaylie called Grandpa and said, "Grandpa, I really want you to come down to Arizooooona and watch me play T-ball."  She had been telling us all about her T-ball adventures for a few weeks and with that invite, we booked a trip.  Thank goodness Allegiant Air has added so many great flights so that we could leave on Thursday afternoon the 30th and arrive just in time for T-ball.  Bonus to spend Halloween with our Arizona kids. Kaylie is strutting her stuff and it was so fun to see her play T-ball!Hey batter, batter!!!Soooo cute!! Serious little baseball player. Totally worth the trip!Easty! Getting my manicure that will later show up in NYC with all kinds of style. Thanks Kaylie!Bonus to spend Halloween with our Arizona kids. She is such a beautiful Princess!I defaulted to dress up like a worn out Grammie, and Brian was the fishing Grandpa! Cutest Halloween family!  She even did her own makeup and she was such a princess! Who would have thought of a power drill... Kyle is the Man! Kaylie approved of Granpa's wolf. Cutest Doc. McStufins ever! Trick or Treat, running through the neighborhood!And here is the masterpiece pumpkin.We had to do a little messaging to see baby Liam who was Max while his parents were Wild Things!!  We have the greatest kids.[...]

Costa Rica fishing trip with Kyle


Brian and Kyle had been planning a fishing trip to Costa Rica for months. They went with a couple of good ole' fisherman in our Lindon ward, one who is the Temple President in San Jose right now.  Well, the fishing didn't disappoint and neither did the sightseeing. Kyle got one of the fish that has been on his bucket list for some time.  The elusive Rooster fish!  Brian said it was just one of those magical moments you share with your boy.  So happy they got to expereince it together.  Kyle's spanish really came in handy and made the trip so much more doable. He even gave out two Books of Mormon on the fishing boat. Kyle is my hero!Dorado! (Mahimahi in Hawaii) Mahimahi are so beautiful, especially when they are still in the water! Great Mahi fishing, now let's try for the Rooster's The bait was a live reef fish!  Pretty tricky fishing for sure. The fishing was a HUGE success, now on to a little bit of siteseeing.  Costa Rica is beautiful on and off the water, and Angie gave them all the tips.  Notice Bri's swimming suit!  I got every stain out of those shorts!  That was something to be proud of in and of itself.[...]

Our Arizona kids meet Liam


It's all about the baby around here!  Kyle and Michelle drove up to meet baby Liam the last part of July.  Kaylie had met him via video chat and couldn't wait to hold him.  She told me several times that the favorite part of her whole trip was holding baby Liam. We felt bad for Kyle and Michelle because they got sick while they were here, but they pushed through it and kept up with our sometimes crazy schedule.  We had a wild Graf hike with Justin, Kyle, Brian and me while they were here, went to Southern Utah to see the Little Mermaid at Tuachan, and spent a night at the Cabin.We always seem to pack in the schedule, but it is just so fun to play with our kids!Baby Liam is a hit with the whole family.  Wish Elder Graf could give him a squeeze.  He did request that everyone have babies while he was gone, so he would have a mess of nieces and nephews to come home to! Everyone is cooperating nicely and we are finally able to announce that Angie will be having twins in April!  Hooray for babies!! Easton didn't quite know what to think of the baby...  but he loved smiling for the camera! Oh that little bundle of joy!          We tried to keep the Little Mermaid a surprise, and this is about the time she figured it out!Grammie Marilyn bought her this Little Mermaid. This was Kaylie's face when she learned Ursula was going to be on the stage! I absolutely love the setting at Tuachan, and was excited to see them use the water element, and it didn't dissapoint.We all adore our little Liam![...]

Touring Costa Rica


So after an amazing time on the water, Kyle and Brian hired the same guide as Angie and Klane had and went through the rainforest.  They also took a horseback tour to the beautiful Nauyaca waterfall.  They did a little jump from the cliffs that Kyle caught on his GoPro that I wish I had for this blog.  They really enjoyed themselves and I hosted all the grandkids since it was fall break while they were gone and we had a ball. That's for another blog post though. Dad's horse was a wild one that either had to be way out in front or was biting the other horses!  What an adventure! Kaylie loved when Grandpa would send her pictures of the monkeys!She thought they were so cute, especially these two! The evening before they flew back home they met up for dinner with Elder Lobo, a dear friend from Kyle's mission in Guatemala.  What a sweet reunion it was for them.[...]

Brian's B-day dinner


I feel like this year we just kept celebrating my B-day with our trips here and there and so on the 30th, Brian said he just wanted to go to Deer Valley for dinner. We took the kids to Brians favorite lunch spot since dinner was just the two of us. The Park City area holds so many memories for Brian and me, and the dinner was fantastic. Stein Ericksons Lodge was the perfect way to say goodbye to fall and our Birthday week.  I guess we didn't miss Lake Powell as much as we thought we would.  It all worked out in the end.

September brought some surprises!


For as long as I can remember we have gone to Lake Powell for our houseboat trip in September. It's been kind of a birthday celebration for Bri and me! Well, Brian's foot injury wasn't healed enough for the way Brian does the annual trip, full of skiing, rapelling, cliff jumping and slot canyon hiking so we canceled our trip. OUCH!!! We haven't missed a trip in over 20 years. Luckily, we only had 4 pirates going with us this year so we didn't disappoint a huge crew. Still the disappointment was deeply felt and still lingers, especially when our boat partners left the speed boat at the lake and we had to drive down to bring it home and just admire the crystal blue water and red cliffs and head back home without dipping our toes in the warm waters of Lake Powell! We made it worth the trip by staying in Kanab and then Cedar City a few days and enjoying our parents. Making lemonade out of lemons! Visiting with my sweetheart all the way there and back was bonus time we rarely get! We made a quick stop to see Dad's grave in the Hatch cemetery. Certainly, it was not nearly as great as stopping by at the cabin to give he and mom a little hug.Visiting the Hatch cemetery and seeing these pioneer grave sites erected in honor of those relatives we have learned about and trekked in honor of with our kids, is truly sacred ground. We have a rich heritage that we come from.  Mom and Dad tie into both the Hatch and the Barnhurst family lines.Dad's headstone. At least we got to stay overnight in Kanab and try some restaurants we have been dying to try! We found some great pictures of Garry in old photo books at Grandma Graf's house.   Not much has changed and this pic was taken near the top of Mount Hood when Garry came up to Portland for Brian's Dental School graduation!Brian harvesting the Joshua cactus plant with Grandpa Sylvan Graf, and his dad.We then decided to nurse our Lake Powell wounds by going to Portland Oregon! We have wanted to visit there since we left Portland upon Dental School graduation 26 years ago. Every time we plan a trip there we end up switching to NYC or Arizona!  I wonder why?  hahahaSo, Oregon was even more amazing than we remembered, and we loved visiting our old Sunnyside Ward for Church, Going to the Apt. we managed, Stevens Orchard and Westwood Green.The Columbia River Gorge where......every turn is a postcard view! I remember going to the Colombia River Gorge several times while living in Portland.  We were pretty dang busy with dental school, our little ones, and apartment managing, but we tried to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings! This time around we took little walks to eight crystal clear waterfalls and green vistas.  So incredibly beautiful.  Oregon is remarkable! We stayed in a Courtyard Marriott and it was perfect.  Look at that breakfast! We love Grandma's neighborhood, just ask Kaylie!This day was my Birthday, so Brian was buying my favorites all day long!We got up early and spent the entire day on the beautiful Oregon breathtaking!!The ever popular Haystack Rock on Canyon beach!  How did we ever leave this place...Brian was in heaven when we spotted this little coastal seafood place. LOVE dungenees crab!!Double fisting the drinks!  Yep, it's MY day!What a perfect way to celebrate my 52nd Birthday! Portland Temple...and the Dental School...  Old and new; a brand new school was built just last year.  We got the grand tour and it was Grand!! Beautiful new Tram that connects the old facilities and hospital up above to thenew school down below.  Looking down from the Tram [...]

A walk down memory lane from Portland to Rochester


We would have never dreamed we would visit our Dental School in Oregon and then turn around in the same week after just a few days at work and fly to Rochester, New York and get a chance to visit our Orthodontic residency, but that is exactly what we did the end of September.  Brian was informed that Dr. Subtelny, (the director of his Orthodontic residency program) had passed away as we were leaving for Portland and decided last minute to attend the funeral.   He left it to his awesome Graf Ortho girls to reschedule a full day of patients and they did it!  I think the only time he has done that to this date was when Brandon was born and then it was only 1/2 a day of rescheduling.So, it was a late night arrival Friday the 26th in Rochester with our son Justin picking us up at the airport.  That is another story, but Justin was at the University of Rochester Medical and Dental School for his first medical school interview.  Wow!  Could the tradition continue...We were so happy to have Justin with us as we went to honor Dr. Sub and then tour the Eastman!  We drove through Stonewood Village in Henrietta and the apartment we lived in for two years...June Seibach's home, she was not there...The Eastman Dental Center is just across the parking lot from Strong Memorial hospital where Justin was born. Oh, he needs to go to Medical School here!  Such a wonderful 24 hours we had in Rochester, with Justin as our chauffeur!  I felt totally blessed to share this experience with my boy who came into our lives right in the middle of our Residency 24 years ago.Dr. Subtelny accepted my sweetheart as one of six residents in 1989 and in turn, Brian gave his heart and soul to the program not only for the two years we attended but through the years in honor of his fellow residents and the director of Eastman. Sub was eulogized well in a very christian funeral service in his Episcopal church.  He was the director of Eastman Orthodontics for 60 years and recieved every honor given to Orthodontic Chairs. for extraordinary teaching. He was passionate about training his residents to be exceptional orthodontists and we are so grateful for the opportunity that Brian had to attend Eastman and learn from Dr. Subtelny. Eastman's Orthodontic program has consistently been recognized as a top-three orthodontic residency in the United States.Great way to end our Birthday month![...]

Baby Liam is the best!


Liam Justin Graf came a little early on July 13th, 11:00 p.m.  One day before Brian and I were heading off on our Stake Pioneer Trek.  It was perfect timing and we tried to snuggle him up in the hospital as much as possible before we took off.  He is such a beautiful and sweet baby.  Of course he is keeping his mom and dad up at night and that is to be expected. We are just so grateful he is here healthy and momma is doing so well.  It really is such a miracle and like Brian says, "we need to keep having these cute babies!"  Easy for him to say![...]

Now a quick post about our August!


I gotta get caught up! But hey, our summer was a crazy one and when you have an adorable baby in your house it is just too much fun to play with him every chance you get and you forget about the blog and other duties. Our July was one big event after another, so sliding into August was pleasant! I totally didn't even post about Brian and I's anniversary!  It was simple and great and the Cabin is the perfect place to celebrate. We love escaping up there any chance we get.The highlight of our summer! Oh, and did I mention Brian got a new car!  He does love his BMW's Staff play day in Park City with all the girls.  This coaster ride was so terrifying!! Love, love, love the Cabin! The last of August we hosted the Heap reunion at the cabin and it was really awesome.  Dad would have been proud and mom was full of smiles and especially loved the night we all recalled memories of dad.  I think we all learned something that night. The reunion was full of dog shows at Midway's Soldier's Hollow, doing family names at the Timpanogos temple in American Fork, time at the cabin at Sundance, and some dutch oven cooking.  Love my family and love honoring dad. Water dogs! I was too busy being the host to get many pictures, but I couldn't resist the babies and momma!Then we headed into Labor Day weekend.  Perfect time to bless the baby with all the family in town. We hosted a little brunch after Baby Liam's baby blessing!  What a fantastic day! I love getting all the family together! Proud mom and dad. Andrea's mom and dad, loving the grandparent role. A beautiful 4 generations picture with Grandma Bladen.  Andrea lost Grandpa Bladen not long after Grandpa Wallace passed away. Another 4 generations shot with Grandma Marilyn. Like father, like son, like son! So happy baby Liam likes kisses.The Justin Graf family Andrea's little brother Issac is a proud uncle!!  Liam adores him![...]

Mt. Timpanogos Graf hike in July


Through the years we have had some stories to tell about Graf hikes and how they all turn into hard core hikes, but this one will take the cake and I am afraid to admit it was my idea. About two months ago, while Brian and I were running from our cabin to the mouth of Provo Canyon, he suggested that next time we should run from our cabin to our house.  That sounded way to hard so I said we should just hike door to door up over Timp.  Easier right, kind of like a short cut or something like that....  Oh my goodness what was I thinking.Well once the idea was hatched the boys started studying google earth, maps, and talking to hard core hikers to see if it was possible and decided that it was.  Lucky for me, I am married to a very smart man who plans everything out perfectly and has emergency equipment just in case, because it turned out to be more difficult than we thought, and we needed every last piece of Brian's equipment in the end.We started at 5:00 a.m. and waited a bit for the sun to give us some light.  The first 5 hours were beautiful and pleasant.  We had some amazing views of the Heber valley as we climbed above Stewart Falls up into the Big Provo Cirque.That camera on Kyles head was responsible for most of our pictures, especially as we got into the difficult parts of our climb.The Go Pro did such an amazing job taking a picture every 60 seconds.  Kyle was responsible for making that happen, and documenting our climb.At this point I was singing "Climb every mountain!"  Doing my best Julie Andrews impression. Didn't make Kyle very happy!  hahahaWow! It was beautiful!After a lunch break, we started our accent up the shale and cliffs to reach the top and then the decent.  First surprise was how steep the mountain was and how the shale just moved under our feet and hands as we scrabbled up.  We decided to move over to a patch of weeds below the cliffs to see if it was more doable and it was!  Thank Heavens it was. Before panic attack!Love these boys!During first panic attack, I like stable ground, not ground that moves! The weeds were a life saver, really!  They gave this steep climb in shale some stability.We would have never gotten these pictures without Kyle having his Go Pro straped on, because from this point on it was just survival time, not time to snap a quick picture or anything else.  We were all about digging in to reach the cliffs.Then it was time to scale the cliffs, and get over the top.  Kyle and I had a mini panic attack 50 feet from the summit and had Brian and Justin throw us the rope Brian had packed. We used it to feel a little more secure as we scaled the remaining cliff face. Part of the problem on the face was that not every rock you grabbed a hold of was stable, so you are moving up the cliff with hand holds coming out as you climb. This Graf hike was something we are each glad we did, but would not attempt again.Alive and on solid ground!Brian to the rescue!Justin was our official EMT and he was certainly glad we didn't need his skills!After clawing our way to the top it was 5 long hours of picking our way down the face of Timp.A grueling 12 hour hike doorstep to doorstep.  Now we know it is possible and hope we never need to utilize this method of getting from one home to another again.  Graf hikes are the best!Oh and this is about where Kyle stepped over a den of rattle snakes and we actually got a picture of one big fellow with the Go Pro.  Scarry that they were that high up and w[...]

Andrea's Birthday and family party


We planned a surprise birthday party for Andrea! Justin is such a great husband and planned the entire thing.  It was animal print style, hot pink and black, right down to the pink flamingo piñata! Well, baby Liam cooperated and came a little early so he was a week old for his mom's 24th birthday bash. Angie was also great at helping carry out all the detailed plans, so she stayed right by my side and made it all come together beautifully.  She made the most awesome leopard print cake (J found online) and helped with the dinner.  It wasn't much of a surprise since we wanted all of Andrea's family to participate in the festivities and that made it even more fun! I sent Andrea and Angie for pedicures while I put up the awesome decorations.We had a great time and it was so fun to celebrate our newest little momma!Justin got these beautiful flowers for Andrea.This beautiful mom Nicole just had a baby girl yesterday!Little Grace looks much like sweet little Connie trying to smack the flamingo...I'm really concentrating here helping little Princess Atliegh.After all the little ones had a turn,Josh and Joe were the ones to crack open the flamingo.Then it was time to cut the "surprise" B-day cake and it started right when we lit the candles!These candles were so cool, they let off a blue/pink light! I guess cakes really can be a surprise! My kids tease me about that, but I love when it all turns out.Angela's masterpiece![...]

Angie's visit to see baby Liam


It was so great to return from trek and have Angie there to greet us. She spent a week in Arizona with Kyle and Michelle's family while we were gone and then a week with us in Utah. It was soooo great!  We had some great things planned but mostly she needed to soak up baby Liam. She was the official photographer for the baby. Oh how we love our Angel girl and spending time with her was a treat! And of course she leaves her mark on each of us with the her amazing pictures!  What a blessing she is to us all! I forget how tiny he was!  Angie got lot of snuggle time. We made sure we got in a few great runs. This one to Bridal Veil Falls was fantastic. Grandma Marilyn with little Liam, those eyes, they just melt Grandma's[...]

Our 24th of July


We hiked, we ran, and we hung out at the cabin!  It was a great 24th of July, and we are so thankful for our Pioneer ancestors that made living here in Utah a reality for us. They came from distant lands to establish Zion and that is why we are here today!  We love our home and our heritage.Temple to Temple 5KJust over 8,000 came out to celebrate the Temple to Temple run!The finish line!Oh this view!  Sundance, how we love you!  We learned the Pioneer history behind Sundance and Brickerhaven from a guy who shared the story with us on our 24th hike. Very interesting! I need to record it somewhere in my journal.We love our Angie girl!We got a little more hike than we bargained for as Bri was investigating our route for the cabin to house adventure.  It was just a typical "Graf" hike.[...]

Lindon Stake Pioneer Trek


Brian and I got called to be the Ma and Pa trainers for our Stake's Pioneer Trek in November.  Our work started in November and we culminated all our efforts in July. We left for the trek in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday July 15th and came home on Friday July 18th.  Hard to describe all the miracles and tender mercies of what went into this huge undertaking.  We had over 400 people on trek and 40 Ma and Pa couples.  We poured our heart and soul into this event and prayed that the youth would gain greater testimonies of their Savior and the power he has to strengthen and uphold them in their own journey through this mortal life.  It is so good to look to the past to gain greater strength and courage for the future.It was great and we came away with a firm knowledge that God was with us and that all is well!I loved working so closely with my sweetheart once again. We love having callings together.Now it's back to scouts and relief society, but we still get to support and help one another.My Pa!The sky was insanely beautiful the entire 4 days! Even with the rain and hail! Stake Leaders solving world problems.The Women's PullMartin's CoveThe Sweetwater CrossingRocky RidgeRock Creek Hollow[...]

Trip to Arizona for our Birthday Girl


We love to visit Kaylie for her birthday and this year we decided since trek was right during our little lady's special day and that we couldn't make it for Easton's big one year old party, we would split the difference and come after Easton's and before Kaylie's Birthday.  It was a great time and we made the most of it! We love our trips to see our Arizona kids.  So fun to see them growing and progressing and sunny AZ has become really special to us.Presenting Princess Kaylie!Swim lessons with Kaylie, we were so proud of her it brought tears to our eyes!Had to spend some time at the water park!Early birthday surprises, a cotton candy machine, Oh Boy!Sunday was a great day! Church with the kids and then Kyle made this amazing pit rotisserie style beef prime rib roast with all the right fix'ins.  It was so amazing!  Love this little Arizona family!  So impressed with all they are involved in, and it is a treat to be in their home.[...]