fall in utah

we lived in ian’s grandma’s basement for seven weeks. grandma and grandpa allred moved into that house in 1967 … ian’s mom grew up there, and ian was brought home from the hospital as a newborn baby there! you walk into that house and you can feel the family memories in the walls, in the floors. i remember the first time i met ian’s grandma, in that house … i instantly fell in love with her. some of my first interactions with ian’s family members were there, and we visited that house every time we came to utah, bringing along babies as the years went on. it was such an incredible blessing to live in the basement of that house for a short time – to have a perfect little space to lay our heads while we were figuring out this new life, and to absorb just a little of the immense goodness of grandma allred. i’m so glad my kids will have memories with her, and i’m so glad we could be a significant part of her life for those weeks. grandma lost her husband a couple years ago. we were loud downstairs roommates, but she said she didn’t mind the noise.

some photos from those autumn days living at grandma allred’s and still trying to process the fact that we had moved to provo:

the fall foliage in utah this year was insanely beautiful. one day when we came out of the rec center after swimming lessons, i was stopped dead in my tracks by the colourful trees on the steep mountainsides as viewed from the parking lot.

we started going to the museums at thanksgiving point on tuesday afternoons after school (moses has early out on that day). the babies went wild for these seats in the water play area (and yes, they got completely drenched, haha).

a drive up the canyon to meet cousins and enjoy the leaves:

we went up there straight from school and were so excited when eli, julie, zara, dean, etta and baby simon got there!

babies perplexed and delighted by fall leaves:

there’s nothing like playing with cousins, nothing!

after lots of leaf throwing/jumping and some tree climbing, we went up a little trail and found so much beauty. the kids disappeared in the foliage “playing family” and giggling.

check out this fall leaf rainbow someone had created and left for us to discover!

it was one of those pretty-dang-perfect afternoons – well needed and well received by me.

an after-school mommy date to yogurtland, and my taking measurements of all the closets in our new house to inform purchases of storage containers:

and another drive up the spectacular canyon:
this one was with daddy too, and we drove the alpine loop. it was packed with cars also wanting to see the beauty, but we didn’t mind going really slow in the traffic – just soaking it all in. these photos are a lame representation of the intense gorgeousness!

yes, i stuck my head out of the sunroof for a good chunk of the drive, ha. it was exhilarating.

all the kids fell asleep in the back of the car. so our drive turned into a date 🙂 love this boy so much.

back at grandma’s – drinking bottles, and watching general conference:

visiting our back yard (as the house was getting painted) – we had a trampoline and a swing up back there well before we lived there and before we brought any single other item there. we were ready to have a back yard!

moses and i got to tag along on a field trip with gabriel’s preschool class. we went to this darling farm / pumpkin patch that had everything from a hay ride to a corn pit to huge slides. it was so great to get to know a few of gabe’s classmates and just have some fall festivity fun.

a dream come true – matching dresses with my daughter!!

more from driving around provo and being stopped dead in my tracks by the foliage on the mountains:

for our seventh wedding anniversary, ian and i went on a little overnight getaway. the babies and gabriel stayed with my sister saydi and moses stayed with some of our friends from london, and mom and dad got 24 hours away. we went to the same hotel where we went on our honeymoon! – the montage at deer valley. it was fantastic. we ordered room service, hung out in plush robes, slept in, and just relaxed. i had planned some hikes and adventures, but our anniversary weekend fell on the same weekend as utah’s first snow of the season – so we stayed inside and felt like we were in a snow globe. it was so so cozy and a little bit magical.

our excursion to the hot tub that ended up including the (heated!) pool too was maybe the best part – we had it all to ourselves, swimming in the steamy aqua surrounded by a total winter wonderland.

we went on an amazingly beautiful drive before heading back to provo and our babies.

our drive included a stop by the place where we had our celebration dinner the evening of our wedding. so fun to go back to millcreek inn exactly seven years later.

we walked around some trails near millcreek inn and it was drizzly and lovely and romantic.

one of my all-time favourite creations of moses’s yet: his “book of creatures,” made completely independently // putting together outfits for family photos – an old friend of mine was offering mini sessions and we jumped on it!

we took some photos with our beloved landlord on one of our last days living at grandma allred’s. what a blessing to have this woman’s blood running through my children’s veins!

aaaaand another canyon drive, but this time up payson canyon before going to ian’s sister’s house for sunday dinner one sabbath:

before we moved out of grandma’s basement, i had to take photos of all the art that the boys had created to wallpaper the basement walls (and windows, apparently!). in these photos moses is prepping for halloween – by wearing his brother’s costume, haha.

we made that little basement our home, alright. i’ll always have fond memories of that.

the fruit of our labors in making a family photo shoot happen (always so much work, and always totally worth it):

this fall, it still felt totally surreal and crazy to be utah residents. but utah fall really showed up when it comes to autumn beauty, and that felt like a gift from heaven.


  1. It was such a delight to read this post and see these beautiful photos. Thanks for reminding me to cherish the wonder of nature.


  2. What a glorious post! That’s a lot of beauty! Nature…kids…parents! Something about colors brings joy! Congrats on the family pictures! And the kids all cooperated (at least as far as we know). Ha! Love it!


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