Sunday, April 7, 2013

Antelope Island and other Easter festivities

The way Easter fell on the weekend between months, Tanner would be able to take 3 days off without using his regular stash of PTO, so we decided we'd take a quick trip to Utah.  We left early afternoon Wednesday as soon as Tanner got off work and drove the whole 13 hrs to Layton.  Thursday we had a lot of time to ourselves while everyone in his family was working.  I went for an amazing run with shorts and t-shirt.  Tanner took a little drive with his dad.  Then he and I went to the golf course across the street and he got to use his new clubs he got for Christmas for the first time.  It was basically love at first swing.  He was a happy boy!

I was just happy to sit outside and watch.  But I did get to swing at a few leftover balls when he was done and didn't do too shabby.  Maybe I'll actually attempt to learn some stuff this summer.  The rest of the afternoon we spent outside sitting in the sun chatting and relaxing till his family came home.  Then we just hung out with them, got dinner and self serve frozen yogurt (and my yogurt weight was the exact magical weight they had announced for the day and so I got it half off.  It was sweet!).  We went to bed pretty early since we had gotten in so late.

The next morning I dropped off the dogs at the "spa".  Both were getting pretty shaggy looking and needed a good grooming.  Tanner went golfing with his brother and I drove home to my parents.  My dad and I went for a long run with my mom riding along on her bike.  Then the rest of the day was spent outside playing volleyball, playing ping pong in the garage, eating pizza and playing games.  My brother and sister-in-law came over with their little girl and new Bernese puppy.  He was so adorable and just looked like a little stuffed animal alive.

Saturday was the Great Stoddard Easter Egg Hunt.  We've had this tradition for the past 9 or so years, and it continues to evolve.  My dad is crazy creative and puts so much time and effort into the planning and preparing of it.  It's a tradition for him and my mom to go around the day before and hide all the eggs together.  It's probably my most favorite family tradition so I was so happy we didn't have to miss it this year.  Basically this year went something like this.  We had these tools to work with:

We got a clue to find our first egg  hidden somewhere at our house. Then when we found that, we had instructions for each couple, with the tools they would need, to find our couple's egg.  Tanner and I had to use the tape measure and compass for our first one.  Then, in each couple's egg, were a couple pieces to a real puzzle and a couple paper pieces.  The actually puzzle pieces went into a bag (needed later) and we had to put the paper puzzle pieces together which gave us a GPS location to drive to, and then walk precisely to that location, where we all searched for one large egg that had instructions for each couple to find their eggs...and so on and so forth.

That first egg led us to Antelope Island, where we spent the rest of the whole afternoon.  The weather was glorious, the dogs were in heaven and I couldn't be happier!

Ben, Julie and Adi

The whole crew, minus my mom the photographer.
My youngest sisters, Kathryn (R) and Laura (L)

Tanner verifying our distance with the range finder

Rozzi doesn't ever hold still...

Heather, Shane and Austin

My parents - the masterminds behind this awesomeness.

 Lunch break!  Delicious hogie sandwiches, homemade sugar cookies, fruit and chips. 

 This is the second to last spot.  Our instructions had 3 parts - a compass degree and certain footage we used the long tape measure for.  From there, another compass degree and footage, and one final time.  Lots of room for error, and we ended up out in the middle of a big field.  With a little encouragement we found both our eggs tucked in some field fluff. 

 This also was the spot where we had all the actual puzzle pieces collected (NO eggs had gone unfound in all of this process...pretty amazing).  We did this little Avenger/hologram puzzle out in the field, which gave us the final coordinates. 

We didn't get a bunch of pictures at the last place.  But we got to the coordinate and then all the eggs were just hidden around that spot.  In each egg was a little strip of paper saying to find the easter bunny and exchange that ticket for a prize.  All the "big kids" got gift cards to Scheels.
This is my super cute niece loving her stuffed bunny she got.  She loves stuffed animals!  Oh man - it was such a fun day!  After that we drove back home and had a barbecue and a little birthday party for my brother and sister who were having birthday's the next week.

Sunday was our last day and we got to spend it with the Niederhauser's.  Everyone was there and Mimi and Papa had done a fun little Easter egg hunt for the nieces and nephews.  That was fun running around outside watching and helping them.  It was 70 degrees that day and was so beautiful!  We had a delicious dinner and just spent the rest of the evening basking in the warmth and soaking up as much of that and as much family fun as we could before having to hit the sack for a very early departure back to Williston.

 Family is seriously the best.  We both feel so grateful to have such wonderful families and in-laws!  It was a perfect way to spend a holiday celebrating the event that makes it possible to be with them forever!

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