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Category Archives: Year In Review

Facebook and Me – 10th Anniversary

Facebook has reminded me that I joined TEN years ago today. When I first heard about this social networking website I thought “Facebook? What a stupid name!” Now I check the site multiple times each day on my phone (read: addict).

Robin was my first Facebook “friend” and, according to our friend-iversary video, we like each other a lot — 1,672 times so far.

In the early days, we referred to ourselves in the third person for some reason. (i.e. “Andrew is looking forward to a fun date with his wife tonight.”) We rarely posted photos because we didn’t have smart phones then, and we checked the site once or twice a week. We often shared mundane stuff — “Andrew is getting ready to do the dishes.” 😂

For better or for worse, Facebook has become a major part of my life. It is here that I interact regularly with friends, old and new. Facebook allows me to see what my friends are doing, what events they’re attending and what they are thinking about. I get to read lots of opinions from multiple perspectives.

Yes, there is sometimes unnecessary drama and some online interactions get out of control. I find it fascinating that social media allows us to freely exercise our First Amendment rights, checked only by our own sense of decorum.

Some criticize online socializing as being inferior to face-to-face interactions. I agree. However, for me, Facebook simply enhances my social connections. I can think of dozens of instances over the past decade where my online interactions have led to a lunch, an activity or a reunion with friends that I would have otherwise lost touch with. Other friendships, which simply aren’t practical to maintain in person due to geographic separation and busy lives, can still thrive in this space. For that I’m extremely grateful.

An entertainer to my core, I see Facebook as a virtual stage to inform, amuse and maybe even inspire a bit. “Likes” are my virtual applause, although I much prefer comments on my posts as it’s a better way of connecting with friends, which is my primary reason for being on Facebook.

Is there a danger in oversharing, in becoming addicted to that virtual limelight? Absolutely. Is there a tendency to “humble brag” or to not be fully genuine as one carefully crafts one’s online persona/brand? Sure. I’m fully aware of these perils and frequently fret about whether I’m using this medium appropriately.

One of my brothers (who considers himself an introvert and rarely checks Facebook) once told me that Facebook is perfect for someone like me — an entertainer and an extreme extrovert. When all is said and done, it’s relationships that matter most. I’m on Facebook because of you; because I value our connection so much.

Thanks for your friendship!

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2018 in Year In Review

 

2017 Year in Review: Lambert Family

2017 was a very memorable year for our family. Like everyone, we had lots of ups and downs, but we’re grateful for the opportunity to create fond memories and to grow by facing challenges.

We took our family to Oahu, Hawaii for spring break and enjoyed five days in the sunshine and beach together. We explored the island and visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor and various beaches. We even got to tour the royal palace and see where they filmed various movies including Jurassic Park.

In June, we took our oldest son on a senior trip to Southern California, where we enjoyed a day at Universal Studios, a tour of the Warner Brothers back lot and a visit to Hollywood. We even rented a convertible yellow Camero for a day to try to look cool.

Robin and I had our 20th wedding anniversary in August and we celebrated with a trip to Paris and London in early November. We packed a lot into six days in those two amazing cities, and I’m so very grateful we had that chance to see so many iconic buildings, museums and works of art. Robin loves to travel and experience new things, so we’re very blessed to enjoy these trips together.

I had a great year at work at US Bank (my best ever) and continue to help businesses get access to the financing they need to grow. My calling on the stake high council has been wonderful as I get to speak in various wards around Traverse Mountain, as well as work with the youth and their leaders. I had the privilege of serving on the staff for a Woodbadge course in June (advance leadership training created by the BSA) and gained some great friendships.

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In the fall, I had the chance to play Gomez Addams in “The Addams Family Musical” with the Sandy Arts Guild. I made some wonderful new friends from the cast/crew and had a blast singing several solos, duets and group numbers, speaking with a Spanish accent, dancing the Tango and doing some sword fighting. I also enjoyed attending more than 20 different theatrical presentations, many of which involved my theater friends.

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I continued to struggle with weight gain in 2017 and put on another 25 pounds – already up from the 25 I gained in 2016. This was very discouraging for me, but I only have myself to blame for not being more careful. I have resolved to do better in 2018.

Robin worked at Interior Concepts throughout the year and designed some wonderful model homes for local homebuilders. She honed her skills and really put her education and talents to work. She decided, for personal and professional reasons, to quit her job in November and plans to start her own business in 2018. I’m excited for this new venture and hope it will be a blessing for her.

We decided to make some improvements to our home on Lehi and started by replacing all the original flooring. We love the new hardwood on the main floor and the soft carpet in other areas of the house.


Parley, our oldest son, graduated from high school and is now a freshman at BYU, living in Helaman Halls. It was far more difficult for me than I expected to have one of my children move out (I’m a sentimental person) and I made sure to take him to lunch once a week. He’s enjoying living on his own and adjusting to the responsibilities of adulthood.

Brianna is a junior at Skyridge High School and buses tables at the upscale Harvest Restaurant at Thanksgiving Point, working 15-20 hours per week since March. She spends her spare time doing homework, drawing and playing the piano and cello. She’s really close to getting her drivers license – she just needs a few more hours of practice.

Lily is in 8th grade at Lehi Junior and enjoys spending time with friends and working on various musical theater projects. She played Gabriella in Lehi Arts Council’s production of “High School Musical Jr.” and started taking musical theater class with Alpine Theater. She is often heard singing Broadway hits from “Hamilton” or “Wicked” and loves spending time with her friends.

James is in 5th grade and is such a curious, intelligent boy with a fun sense of humor. He has struggled quite a bit this year with emotional regulation and hyperactivity. We’ve been to counseling, visited various doctors and have tried many different combinations of medications to help him. We’ve been disappointed not to get better results for his condition, as the combination of emotional/mental challenges make it hard for him to function at school. Thankfully, he has a great teacher and a lot of people who are trying to help him. We look forward to improvements in the new year.

Our pets are doing well. Buddy is 14 years old and next month will be 100 in dog years. He is slowing down a lot lately and can’t easily go up or down stairs. I’m thinking we’ll have to put him down in the next few months, which is a sad thought. On the bright side, our cat Zoey gave birth to 11 kittens (two litters) and they lived with us for several months this year. We kept one of the kittens and named her Winnie. Now we have a dog, three cats, a snake and some goldfish as part of the Lambert menagerie.


We feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful family and friends that enrich our lives so much. Happy New Year, everyone!

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Posted by on December 31, 2017 in Year In Review

 

Addams Pictures

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2017 in Year In Review

 

2016 Year in Review: Lambert Family

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Another year has come and gone and 2016 is now in the history books. Here’s our family’s update for the year.

In January, began rehearsing for a dream role of Professor Harold Hill in “The Music Man” with the Draper Arts Council. The role stretched my acting, singing and dancing capabilities and I made some great new friends. We gave five perofrmances at Corner Canyon High School and had a wonderful experience, which I have written about here.

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In the fall, I returned to the Lehi Arts Center stage in a production of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery “And Then There Were None.” I played Dr. Edward Armstrong from 1930s England, and enjoyed working with several talented actors with whom I have worked before. I grew a mustache for the part, which looked excellent on stage and cheesey off stage.

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My work at US Bank continues to be challenging and rewarding. I’m in my ninth year working to help small business owners with their banking and financing needs  In May, I won a sales contest and Robin and I traveled to the Florida Keys and Miami for a few days. It was a wonderful trip!img_5951img_6090
In my calling on the stake high council, I got to speak to 10 different wards in my area and worked with our stake young men presidency to organize merit badge classes, courts of honor and our stake youth conference. I was invited to attend the LDS Priesthood Leadership Conference at the Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico with members of our stake leadership. My family also attended and we had a great experience together in early July.img_0828

 

 
I participated in THREE running events in 2016: the Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon in April, the Terrain Race with Parley in June (an obstacle course 10K in Grantsville), and 21 miles of the Wasatch 100-Mile Race with Jason Ollis, a mission friend of mine. As a pacer, I ran/hiked with him for an overnight section of his course from Lamb’s Canyon to Brighton Ski Resort. I did many hikes in 2016 but the most memorable was conquering Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. I’m naturally afraid of falling to my death, and the 1,000-foot cliffs on either side of the trail were pretty scary.

Despite staying active with running, swimming and bike rides, I was far too casual with my eating this year, resulting in a fair amount of weight gain, which I plan to do something about in 2017.
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Our family visited Lake Tahoe in August and St. Geroge in December. Both trips were memorable.

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Robin continues to be a wonderful wife and mother and is such a blessing to our family. She works 25-30 hours each week at Interior Concepts, a design firm located near the mouth of Provo Canyon, and still manages to manage our household very well. She is a Relief Society instructor at church and enjoys giving lessons to the sisters. She works very hard to be an attentive mother in dealing with unique challenges of each of our children, and we love her for it.

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Parely is a senior at the new Skyridge High School in northern Lehi. He is a stellar student and received his Eagle Scout rank this year. He worked at Wendy’s in the first few months of 2016, traveled to New York with the drama club, worked as a lifeguard at our new nieghborhood pool over the summer and just started a job at Summit Inn Pizza. He’s also a singer/actor and played the part of the insane assylum director in Skyridge High’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” this fall. He just landed a leading role in “Our Town” coming up in February.

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Brianna turned 15 this year and is a sophomore at Skyridge High School. She enjoys theater and was in the ensemble in “Beauty and the Beast” at her high school this fall. Brianna is an accomplished musician and she loves to play the piano and the cello. She is also an excellent artist and has had her art featured in several online forums.

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Lily started 7th grade this year and enjoys spending time with her friends at the mall, baysitting for familiesin the neighborhood and singing. She’s been obsessed with the muscial “Hamilton” over the past couple of months and has several songs memorized. Lily landed the role of the Dragon in her school’s production of “Shrek” and will be a mermaid in the upcoming production of “Peter Pan.” She LOVES babies and little kids and was thrilled to meet her new nephew Issaac.

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Our youngest child James turned nine this fall and is in the fourth grade. James is extemely smart and very curious. He earned his Wolf Scout patch and is now in the Bear Den. He loves to play Minecraft and enjoys putting things together and understanding how things work.

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2016 was not without its share of struggles for us, but overall we feel very blessed. We are grateful for the relationships we have with friends and family, and wish everyone a very happy 2017.

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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Year In Review

 

The Music Man

A few months ago, a theater friend of mine from the Draper Arts Council sent me an audition notice for “The Music Man.” Since I had recently played George Banks in “Mary Poppins,” I was planning on taking a long break from theater. But this part called to me. I have wanted to play Professor Harold Hill since I first saw “The Music Man” back in 1988 when I watched my older brother perform in the ensemble of this show at Hillcrest High School. While watching the library scene in which Harold serenades Marian the librarian, I decided that I’d really love to play this part someday. I’m so grateful I finally got the chance to do it 27 years later.

I got the part in December and immediately began studying the lines and music, even though rehearsal didn’t begin until early January 2016. I knew it would be an intense amount of memorization — and it was. It was the most physically and mentally demanding part I’ve ever done. We rehearsed for eight weeks and opened the show on February 26, 2016 at Corner Canyon High School in Draper. While it was a short run (only five shows), I had a good number of family members and friends who came to see it. We had a very talented cast and a great production team. I was very proud to be a part of such a fun show.
Here are some pictures from the production.

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On Monday, February 29, we had a local news station come and do a live broadcast with interviews with me and Marian (the talented Alexie Baugh). We had technical difficulties during “Trouble”(director hit the wrong music track — twice) and I forgot a few of my lines during “Marian” it went well considering the enormous pressure of doing live theater on live TV. The reporter from Fox 13 news is a local well-liked celebrity and he was great to work with. Here are our clips from the live TV spots.

My daughter Lily captured a few clips during our closing night performance. The video quality isn’t great, but it’s all I’ve got. These are my two favorite numbers: “Ya Got Trouble” and “Marian.”

Shortly after the show closed, I wrote the following on my Facebook page:

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Harold Hill will always be a part of me. I love his charm, wit and enthusiasm for life. His positivity is infectious and it transforms the town of River City, Iowa. In an October 2008 general conference talk, President Thomas S. Monson said: “I thoroughly enjoy… many musicals, and one of my favorites was written by the American composer Meredith Willson and is entitled “The Music Man.” Professor Harold Hill, one of the principal characters in the show, voices a caution that I share with you. Says he, ‘You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays; I want to make today worth remembering.’ There is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today.”
President Monson continues: “This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone… I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by… Instead, find joy in the journey now.”

I couldn’t agree with President Monson more. My world was rocked 11 years ago when my father died at age 57. His early death reminded me that life is fleeting and that I need to seize each day.

In the words of the character John Keating (played by Robin Williams in “Dead Poets Society”) “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary!”
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Performing as the “music man” was truly an extraordinary experience for me!

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in Year In Review

 

2015 Year in Review: Lambert Family

Wow! Is 2015 over already? That went fast! We feel very blessed as we look back over the events of 2015. Here are some highlights of our year.

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After 18 months in US Bank’s commercial banking division working with very large Utah-based companies in an office downtown, I accepted a position back in the in the small business banking group of US Bank where I started in 2008. This time, however, I’m working as a team lead in addition to being a business banking officer. I’m passionate about helping small business owners grow their companies and also helping to develop younger bankers. It has been a great move for me professionally, and I’m really enjoying the job. I split time between offices in Provo and Sandy, and no longer have the long commute to SLC.

In May, I ran the Ogden Marathon (my third, and possibly last) and attempted to achieve my goal of finishing the race in under four hours. The first half of the marathon was pretty good, but the second half was grueling due to the pouring rain and cold temperatures. By the time I crossed the finish line, I was borderline hypothermic and very uncomfortable — race officials even made me recover in the medical tent. And while I didn’t quite make my goal of finishing in less than four hours, I smashed my previous PR and learned some valuable life lessons.

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During the summer, I was part of Alpine Community Theater’s production of the musical “Mary Poppins” at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. I performed the role of George Banks and my two daughters Lily and Brianna were in the ensemble. It was a memorable experience for all of us. The were 14 shows from July 24 to August 15, so the show dominated our time over the summer, but it was a lot of fun. I blogged about some of my thoughts at the conclusion of the show.
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George Banks Esq

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Here are two of my favorite clips from the second half of the show. The first one shows George Banks facing possible termination from the bank:


The second clip is shows George facing his fate at the bank:


Throughout 2015, I served as an assistant in my ward’s high priest group leadership and on the scout committee. I completed my Wood Badge tickets and received my beads (finally) and enjoyed helping the scouting program progress. In September, I was called to serve on the stake high council with an assignment to support the young men’s organization and scouting. 🙂

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Robin has remained very busy this year with her roles as mom and interior designer. She did some freelance work during the first half of the year and then landed a job at Interior Concepts, a Orem-based interior design firm that does both commercial and residential projects. She works part time so that she can continue to be a full-time mom and she’s done a great job balancing client projects and model home installations with her roles as master chef, chauffer, home project manager, mediator, therapist, etc.

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Parley continued to maintain his 4.0 GPA in school even though he’s taking some tough AP classes (physics and calculus) as a junior at Lehi High School. In 2015, he participated in two musicals: “She Loves Me” with the Lehi Arts Council in April and “Tarzan” with the musical theater department at Lehi High School. He did a great job in both productions. Once again, Parley spent the summer as a counselor at Maple Dell scout camp in Payson Canyon. He finished his Eagle Project and earned the rank of Eagle Scout! He got his driver’s license, got a job at the new Wendy’s by our house, was ordained to the office of a priest at church and baptized his younger brother James.

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Brianna made great progress on her piano and cello skills and is a gifted musician. She is also a talented artist whose drawings have gotten many likes and shares on social media. She also enjoys the theater and got to be part of her school’s production of “Charlotte’s Web” and also “Mary Poppins” with Andrew and Lily. She also enjoyed a week at the Heber Valley Camp with the girls in our stake.

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Lily auditioned for her school’s production of “Shrek Jr.” in which she will play the part of the dragon this coming March. She made good progress on her piano this year and is definitely the most social of our four children. She’s constantly reaching out to friends and loves to spend time with them. She’s in sixth grade at Traverse Mountain Elementary and makes life interesting for us.

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James is keenly interested in how things work and has an insatiable curiosity. He asks dozens of questions each hour and loves to learn. He’s a good boy with a good heart and he was SOOO excited to be baptized this year.

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Our travel experiences in 2015 were memorable. In April, my friend Mike Peterson and I went to Southern California to ride roller coasters for two days. We enjoyed dozens of rides at Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. We stayed from open to close each day. Here’s a video of one of our favorites at Six Flags, “Apocalypse.”

 

In April, Robin and I visited Chicago and explored the sites at this amazing city. We loved our three days there.

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During fall break in October, we took our children to see our nation’s capital. And although the trip was sometimes hard (details here), it was an unforgettable patriotic journey for us.

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In December, we took a fun post-Christmas trip to San Diego via Las Vegas. We traveled 1,500 miles by car, visited Old Town San Diego, the Mormon Battalion Museum, San Diego Temple grounds, Grand Beach, Sea World, Balboa Park, Coronado Island and the Bellagio atrium and fountains.

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As we look back over the year, we feel very blessed to have had so many wonderful experiences. Our lives are greatly enriched by the relationships with friends and family. Here’s to a wonderful 2016!

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Year In Review

 

2014 Year in Review: Lambert Family

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It has been a busy and fulfilling year for our family and we’re very grateful for all our blessings as we come to the end of 2014. Here are some highlights of our year.

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In January, I decided to challenge myself physically by preparing for my first-ever triathlon. I signed up for the Salem Sprint triathlon at the end of May and began adding swimming and biking to my workout schedule. I even bought some of those Spanks skin-tight swim trunks, a pair of nice goggles and a wet suit. The triathlon was in Salem, Utah (near Payson) on Saturday, May 31. It began with an 800 meter swim, 12.5 mil bike ride and a 5K run. I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for and completed the Rock Cliff Olympic Triathlon two weeks later at the Jordanelle Reservoir. It was twice as far and twice as hard.

I also accomplished a goal of running (in stages) the entire 37-mile length of the Jordan River Parkway trail. What an amazing trail!

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In the fall, I was cast as con man Mike Tallman in the Lehi Arts Council’s production of “Wait Until Dark.” It was really fun to play a “bad guy” in this drama about a blind woman who is terrorized by a trio of thugs who are trying to locate a doll filled with heroine. Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin were the stars of the classic 1967 movie based on the original Broadway play. We had a great 8-night run in October and we scared our audiences with this show. Click here for pictures.

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Robin graduated with honors from the Interior Design Program at LDS Business College I’m so proud of all her hard work in school. The first six months of 2014 were among the most difficult our family has experienced because of Robin’s final projects, portfolio and internship. All the hard work paid off as Robin won a top award for her portfolio and landed a good job as an assistant designer at Peppertree Kitchen and Bath in West Jordan.

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Robin

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Parley finished our his ninth grade year at Willowcreek Middle School with a 4.0 GPA and participated in the school musical as Grandpa George in “Willy Wonka Jr.” He spent the summer as a counselor at Maple Dell scout camp and attended the national competition for Future Business Leaders of America in Nashville. In the fall, he began playing percussion in the Lehi High School Band and recently got his driver permit. Yep, we’re entering a whole new stage of “teenagerhood.” He’s a great young man and we love him!

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Parley

 

Brianna went to girl’s camp at Bear Lake, snorkeled in the Bahamas, learned to play the guitar and improved her drawing and piano skills. She’s a talented young lady!

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Lily participated in two theater productions (“Peter Pan Jr. “and “High School Musical 2 Jr.”), sang in the school choir and began ballroom dance lessons. She also got her ears pierced and attended “Wicked” with her Brewer grandparents.

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James started learning to play the piano, lost some teeth and made us all smile with his surprising observations about life.

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James

 

We had some fun travel experiences in 2014 as well. In April, we took the kids on a 24-hour trip to Colorado (super low airfares) and visited Rocky Mountain National Park with Granny Vicki.

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In May, we had our Brewer family reunion at a huge cabin in Heber where we made this little music video: “What Does the Fox Say?”

In June, Robin and I had the chance to be “Ma and Pa” to a pioneer trek family on a trek in Wyoming sponsored by our stake. Parley participated in the memorable three-day trek with us as well.

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In July, we had our Lambert family reunion at Bear Lake which involved 37 people!

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Reunion

In August, we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on a cruise to the Bahamas with our older two kids. We departed out of Miami on the Norwegian Sky and visited Freeport, Nassau and Grand Stirrup Cay. We snorkeled, rode scooters and ate way too much good good. It was a wonderful trip!

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In the fall, we had a family photo shoot that turned out great. (We hadn’t had portraits done for four years, so our family had changed A LOT.

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As we look back over the year, we feel very blessed to have had so many wonderful experiences. Our lives are greatly enriched by the relationships with friends and family. Here’s to a wonderful 2015!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Year In Review