Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Destination Wedding in Nauvoo - Part 1

When one thinks of a "destination wedding", one usually conjures up thoughts of tropical beaches, scenic views, and romantic getaways.  When I told people that Josh, Diddles and I were going to attend a destination wedding in Nauvoo, IL in August, most reacted with a "huh?" or "ugh."  Josh's youngest sister Abby is the last to get married, and she and Tyler decided to get married in Nauvoo, where they met as Young Performing Missionaries.  Josh's parents wanted to create a family reunion around the wedding and have it be one big celebration. We're glad we were able to make it!  Thanks Annette and Stewart for planning the trip!
After a two-day car ride from home (our second big trip this summer), we arrived at my parents and enjoyed a delicious garden dinner of green beans, blackberries and BLT sandwiches.  We hugged the kids goodbye and I whispered encouraging "threats" in their ears to behave themselves and then headed down to Salt Lake to Annette and Stewart's.  My Mom and Dad watched them for a couple days, and Cath had them the rest of the time.  They had a great time, and I'm so appreciative of everyone who helped care for them in our absence!
Cute toe-headed cousins at the Farrer reunion

It's a big sacrifice, but the trip was so much more enjoyable with only one child instead of three.  Thanks, guys!
Diddles enjoying a whole week of undivided attention!

 Diddles hadn't been on an airplane since she was a tiny baby, so this was pretty exciting to "Ride.  Pwane!"  In all that excitement, we realized that we had left her blanket somewhere at the gate while we were in the air. I thought Josh had stuffed it in a bag.  Josh figured I had it.  My worst nightmare come true!  I almost started crying.  Fortunately, Josh had cut off a little piece of it for her to hold at church, and we miraculously had that with us, so that helped a little.  We collected it at the Lost and Found when we returned.  Thank you, Delta!  She did pretty well all-in-all.  It helped that there were about five adults to one child in our group!
After we arrived, we had a three-hour car ride to Nauvoo, with a stop at Costco for food and the fabric store for a hopeful replacement blanket.  Diddles would repeat the following self-talk at least six times a day, "Bwanket a wost it!  Daddy cut weetle one.  Awe, fwower bwanket.  New one.  Nice."  Needless to say, we were pretty well traveled out by the time we arrived!  I thought Diddles was going to pull her hair out if we buckled her in one more time. My sister-in-law Megan and I had to share the small back seat with the bulky carseat!  I tried to imagine how uncomfortable it was for the Saints to travel on horseback everywhere they went. 

This sign was a welcomed sight.  We're finally here!  They were great condos!

 That evening we attended the closing night of the Nauvoo Pageant, which brought back great memories of going to the Hill Cumorah Pageant each year as a youth.

  There were protestors in front of the venue, yelling and holding up signs, and I had to chuckle how the church strategically placed a wonderful group of bagpipers and drummers at the entrance, who drowned out their yelling with their lovely music!

About the time of this picture above, Diddles hopped out of her chair and took off for the stage.  She ran past it and into a wooded area.  Then I saw what had grabbed her attention - A skunk!  She was calling, "Kitty!  Kitty!  Mere, Kitty!"  YIKES!  It began raining on us halfway through the show, so we decided to hit the road and get Diddles into bed.

The following day we went to church and then had the rest of the day to walk around.  The church keeps all of the buildings staffed and open on Sundays, so we took advantage of the unplanned day and toured some of the buildings. 
We celebrated both Makayla's and Megan's birthdays in Nauvoo!
Diddles giving Joseph Smith a hug. 
 I really enjoyed the Womens' Garden next to the Visitor's Center.  It is a beautiful garden with statues dedicated to women of the past, present and future, depicting the varying dimensions of a woman's life. 

She was really into hugging statues this trip! 

 I thought this garden was so fitting, placed in the very city where the Relief Society was organized.

It was a wonderful reminder of how important women are to the plan of happiness.

Bethany actually let Diddles TOUCH her camera! 

This is Bethany, Josh's cousin, who became Diddles' best friend.  Bethany, along with her mom, Elizabeth, were quite possibly THE most selfless, positive, thoughtful members of our party!   They came to the wedding to support and help out.  They helped us fix meals, clean up, watched our kids while we were in the temple, helped Josh shoot wedding photos, and on and on and on!  They were such great examples of loving service.  It was great to get to know them better. 
Bethany, Elizabeth, Cara and Isaac at the Seventies Hall.
 We toured the print shop, the blacksmith and the Browning Home and Gunsmith Shop, which I think Josh found the most interesting.  It was a really great tour! 

 Sadly, when you go anywhere with a two-year-old, you end up spending most of your trip walking around outside, because they have no concept of antiques or velvet rope barriers, or closed doors!  Naps were almost non-existent this trip.  :/  We decided the best time to visit again with the kids would be when Diddles is 10. 
Here Angie demonstrates how one would knit, cook, and rock the baby while churning butter!

One of the many things that impressed me about the Saints who lived in Nauvoo was how busy their lives must have been.  They were truly the most industrious of people.  Clearing land, building, cooking, baking, sewing, caring for children, gardening,  etc.  One tour guide mentioned how little "discretionary time" they had, and how they had very little time to be idle or to sin or to make mischief.  In our time we have so much discretionary time, our greatest challenge is the way in which we choose to spend that time.  I'm still pondering about that thought.  

 Each evening people gather in front of the Seventies Hall, and a missionary walks a group down Parley's Street, where the Young Performing Missionaries share small vignettes from the period of the Saints in the 1840's.  Stories, songs, testimonies were shared.  It was really wonderful. 

 The next morning we got up bright and early for a wagon ride of old Nauvoo.  Diddles was in absolute heaven being able to ride in a horsey cart.  A couple senior missionaries drove and narrated the tour.  The weather was nice and cool.  It was a great way to start the day! 
 We went to see Carthage Jail.  There is definitely a special spirit there.  If you ever want to gain a testimony of Joseph Smith, I would first read the Book of Mormon.  After that, visit the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove.  If you are still wondering, then go visit Carthage Jail.  That should cover it.  :)

The whole group!

The Young Performing Missionaries put on several shows, but our favorite was actually a children's show called "Just Plain Anna Amanda".  Very entertaining and funny, especially the kid who played the old man.  Josh and I were cracking up!  "Right-o!"  Such a talented cast.  Diddles loved it, and we were able to go meet the cast afterwards.  One of the performers (curly haired kid in the black apron) is actually Tyler's brother, so it was great to see him perform.


Elder Elwood and his Mom.
That afternoon, the flowers arrived Fed Ex for the wedding!  ALL HANDS ON DECK!  Angie and I raced to get them into water, and then we sat around staring at buckets of flowers with a list of arrangements to be made, having no idea where to begin!  Enter Josh, who said, "I used to work at a flower shop!"  I had no idea.  Nine years of being married, and I'm still learning things I NEVER knew.
"Okay, now what?"

Angie gleaning weeds from the fields.
 We realized that there was no greenery or filler flowers ordered, so Elizabeth had the idea to go weed-whacking in the fields to find what we needed.  Awesome!  I think they did a great job.

  Next post will be about the wedding.  Tune in next to hear about Amy's expired temple recommend, a lovely Nauvoo wedding, and our ninth anniversary...traveling through time and space.  :)


Kit Gana said...

Thanks for the info.

Vermont Weddings

Cel Frumos said...

Having just attended a family reunion over the weekend, I had to laugh out loud at your description of how FUN it is to travel with a toddler. We had FIVE 2-year-olds in our group so I was definitely feeling your pain.

Cel Frumos said...

P.S. This is Trish ... didn't realize I was signed in using Matt's ID. It means something in Romanian ... I can never remember what!