St. George delivered just as we'd expected it to be - hot and dry!
The first morning, we headed out on our hike a bit late, and it became one of those "we can do hard things" experiences the kiddos will remember! It was one of those times where I actually found so much joy from seeing them struggle with hiking in the heat (of course we kept them safe with water, rest breaks and sharing the little patches of shade when we could find them), but there are so many life lessons that can relate to that tough hike. That sometimes things are different from what we expect. That we can still find gratitude in moments when things feel hard. That what we focus on grows, and if we choose to see the beauty around us, we will. If we choose to see everything negative around us, our brains will find evidence for that too. That all paths lead somewhere, but we need to heed and focus on the path we've planned and prepared to take. That as much as the destination is beautiful, it's who we become in the journey that truly matters. That when we are struggling, sometimes the best thing we can do is look around and lift others. We loved watching them dig deep. We had some great chats about how blessed we are to walk out of the heat to air conditioned cars, houses and swimming pools and took some moments to think about life throughout history - and today in other parts of the world - where luxuries like that don't exist. Great conversation and a broader perpective for the kiddos as they thought about the pioneer ancestors, and while we aren't asked to bear the same burdens, our trials are ultimately what empower us to learn and grow as well. Their favorite part of the whole hike was this little stream next to the picnic bench where we had lunch. It was completely shaded and they loved catching the tiny fish and playing in the water. So fun. And everyone was thrilled for the swim in the pool that afternoon.
More swimming, and an evening hike at sunset along the Red Rocks overlooking St. George. So beautiful! Down time was filled with bracelet making, card games, and loads of laughter from the kiddos enjoying time with cousins.
Our last morning there, we played at the fun playground with the volcano, rode the train, and got plenty hot to hop in the car and head home!