I'll admit: For most of my life, I thought Utah was -- how to put this nicely? -- not my style.  It seemed so -- how to put this delicately? -- parochial.  And conservative.  And I really thought I would rather die than live there.  Or, rather, that living there would literally kill me.  Because I am not parochial.  Or conservative.

But apparently I am small-minded.  Because I formed all these vehement opinions without ever having spent any time there.*  But that changed when I married my wonderful husband (who happens to be a Utard Utahn).  We started visiting.  Every year.  Whether I wanted to or not.  And I'll admit: It was usually not.  I may or may not have spent most of my first (and only) Utahn Thanksgiving crying in the bedroom.  Out of boredom.

But maybe I should have titled this post "Humble Pie."  Because I think I was wrong about the Beehive State.  Or at least its saline-monikered capitol.  Because the older I get, the more I like it there.  And I must be pretty old.  Because I like it a lot. 

It's just brimming with people I love, things that I like to do, natural beauty, the perfect climate, affable strangers, a few feisty liberals, child-friendly activities, people I love, cheap child-friendly activities, and restaurants with above-average virgin beverage selections. And the skanky magazines are obscured with little plastic sheets in the checkout aisle.  And I don't think I heard a single swear word for the entire week.  Call me parochial, but I like that.

Which is not in any way to imply that I might consider packing up my hectic, crowded, ghetto cosmopolitan life and move to Zion. Yet.  But I certainly can't wait to visit again.

She played with dirt and grass and sticks.  Isn't it lovely?

I like art.

The Princess likes dancing.

My beautiful friend's magical wedding reception was at a plant nursery.  The Princess found this succulent particularly delightful.

At Temple Square.

She LOVED watching brides. And photobombing.

The Princess' signature look.

Tiny took his first steps into Nanny's arms!  But until he gets a little more stable, I think his knees will remain perpetually dirty...

Also, the little dude has taken to climbing into any vacant baby seat and rocking himself.  It's kind of adorable.  Unless he's soaking wet at the splash park and I'm not sure who the thing belongs to... But this was his second cousin's, and he was relatively clean and dry, so the effect was very sweet.

Some of the other women in Mr. One's life.  Isn't Nanny, on the left, lovely?

Can you guess which one of these beautiful ladies is Tiny's new girlfriend?

Hungarian reunion!!

Fingers crossed for some future BFFs

*I did spend a summer studying Hungarian at the LDS Missionary Training Center.
And it don't get any more parochial than that.
In fact, it's SO parochial, it's like a whole different planet.
So it doesn't count.