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An evening at my sister's house

Last Saturday morning, I flew to Salt Lake City and stayed for a few days, returning home Wednesday morning. I got to hang out at my sister Julie's house Tuesday evening, after spending the day with her and three of her kids at Temple Square. I'll post those pictures after these, by the way. Here's Julie at the end of the evening, while we were chillin' in her basement. This is the stone wall built around their garden that my brother-in-law built. Nathaniel and Morgan were throwing the football while I was checking out the garden.
Morgan is a sophomore in high school, the same grade as Lindsey. There's one other cousin their age too, my sister Valerie's son, Parker, in Las Vegas.
Tom built this chicken house for Morgan's chicks, which produce fresh eggs daily.
Here's Tom and Julie just before dinner. I brought some tomatoes in from the garden and Julie went out to get some fresh basil too, then whipped up some incredible sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and topped with a basil chiffonade. I could have eaten the whole plate of tomatoes.
Julie has a lot of cute Halloween decorating in her house, and this was the only thing I took a picture of. She's got much more, even much cuter. This was pretty darn cute though, and she painted Frank herself. (Why am I not surprised?)
They had their round kitchen table custom built with a turn table. I love the black chairs.
Just before dinner, here's Brinley and Thomas. Madison was at work and not pictured in any of these shots.
Here are the heavenly homegrown "Tow Maters." They were AWESOME. Julie has good taste in dishes, huh?
She cooked a curried chicken over basmati rice for dinner that was also incredible. And some green beans with sautéed green onions and sesame seeds.
Here's Nathaniel, the third oldest of the bunch. He's in ninth grade and so sweet, like the rest of his siblings.
Nathaniel thought it was funny that "Aunt Kelly" took pictures of the food. I wanted to remember this meal, so why not? This was my plate. I was happy. Apparently I bought these plates for Julie for her birthday last year (went in on them with Valerie, who picked them out).
Here's Tom in his office with Nathaniel while Julie and I uploaded the photos we'd taken that day from my camera to put on their hard drive. I can't wait to show you who we saw.
Here's Brinley showing off her paper doll collection. She and her mom had just gotten home from a quick weekend to LA to see Wicked and to visit the American Girl store.
Nathaniel got a call from some girls from church asking him to come play some Scott Joplin tunes for the silent movie they were working on, so he quickly practiced before joining them for Mutual. He played "The Entertainer" with ease. It sounded fantastic. Uncle Kelly would have been proud.
Julie commissioned a talented local artist to paint this portrait of my grandmother and her mom (I think that's who it is) on this horse. My late grandmother was born in 1902.
Here's Tom reading to Thomas and Brinley before bed. I think it was one of the Harry Potter books, but I'm not certain.
Julie and Tom have been so diligent in arranging for annual family photos to be taken. This was one from last year, and I'm copying her idea to have our family pictures taken today by my friend, Gabby, with each of us wearing the black shirts and blue jeans. I scheduled my appointment with Gabby a few weeks ago, but hadn't decided what we'd wear until I was reminded how well I liked the look of Julie's 2006 family photograph.
Thanks for your hospitality, Julie and Tom, and kids! I love y'all! (Madison, I hope you come join us for Thanksgiving.) Left to right are Madison (19, a junior at the University of Utah), Brinley (10, almost 11), Morgan (15), Julie (40), Tom (44), Thomas (6), and Nathaniel (14).


Great pictures! Your sister seems to have really good taste. That food made me hungry. I wish I could have a garden that awesome, but I kill most plants:(. I hope that your family pictures turned out good.
Julie V. said…
It was great having you here Kelly. You are pretty smooth with your camera, I never even knew she took most of those. It was great having someone appreciate the "little things". I love you sis!
Heidi said…
I am glad you could spend that time with your sister, where in SLC does she live (I mean "neighborhood", not address ;-))?
LaNan said…
What a cute family! And WOW what a beautiful view she has from her backyard! Glad you had fun.
Lonna said…
It seems like a great trip. I love that you take so many pictures. I think that your family is full of creativity.
Chris and Mandi said…
What a beautiful family, dinner and home. Isn't spending time with your family so precious.
i love visiting family. and i love good meals! both together are unbeatable!
Bobbi said…
Kelly, it was so fun to finally meet my blogger buddy. Your sweet and uplifting comments on my blog this past year endeared you to me before I even met you. But now I know why Heidi liked knowing you in Austin so much. Your warmth and caring, your positive personality and lovely smile, your creativity and willingness to share your many talents all make you an easily liked woman. Thank you for helping me make some cards, for inviting me to Julie's, for your example, and for being my friend! Thanks to Julie, too, for hosting the party and allowing me, a stranger, to join in. Her home was beautiful, her children were friendly and enjoyable, and her friends at the party were so nice, too. It was great meeting you, Kelly!
~ Tina said…
I'm almost speechless, and you know me.... that's saying something!
Beautiful family, talents showcased all around....
Megs said…
Sounds like it was a great trip. The food looked amazing. What a fun family.
Summer Adams said…
What a fun trip! I can't wait to meet your sister next time. She looks like a doll :) And what a cute family and home. You took some beautiful pics Kelly!

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