Friday, September 7, 2012

Twenty-Six Hours of Family

When Tim and Kellie announced their wedding date as September 1st, my stomach dropped.  We were just about to leave on our road trip to Utah for Abby's wedding, and were planning on spending at least a week, possibly two for that as well as her reception.  I knew school started on August 22nd, and that Boo's birthday and baptism were scheduled for September 3rd.  No way could we make it!  But, the more I got thinking about it, the more I REALLY wanted to be there.  Not just for Tim, and not just for the fact that each sibling was quietly rearranging their plans and budgets to be there, but I realized that this might possibly be the last time we are all together, considering Dad's health.  The last time we were all together was four years ago!  I always figured we would manage to get together every year or every-other, but with schedules and jobs and babies and physical limitations, it just hasn't happened!  It seems like weddings are the one thing that manages to bring us all together.

Josh was a dear and with some peer pressure from his sisters, he bought me a one-way plane ticket so that I could go!  We trimmed up our trip to Utah so he wouldn't miss too much work.  We worked out that I could hitch a ride with Stewart and Annette for the trip home.  I'd leave Friday, and drive back with them on Saturday night, where they would spend a few days with us for Boo's baptism.  It was going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but it was WORTH it!

My flight left Friday morning, and a friend let us drop Boo and Yaks off early so they could get to school, and we could hit the road and make the 1 1/2 hr drive to Spokane.  Josh and Diddles spent the day in Spokane running some errands.  My flight took a round-about way to Utah, and I finally landed in Salt Lake at 5:00pm.  Catherine and Marie picked me up, we picked up Peter from school, and we were on our way to Mom and Dad's!  Catherine, Cath and Ryan had graciously offered to cater a family dinner of beef brisket sandwiches, chips, watermelon, cole slaw, and ice cream.

I can't describe what it was like to have that house FULL of family.  We were only missing Emily, who had planned a trip with her fiancee and his family to Disneyland.  The volume was deafening, as we all caught up on news and events and hugs and laughter.  I hadn't seen James in YEARS!  It was so great to see him and  catch up on his news.  I wish I could have put it in a bottle, the reunion was THAT good!  Mom and Dad were able to just sit there and smile and enjoy looking at all these awesome grown kids and their families.  I think they felt a lot of joy.  They did a great job as parents.
That night we all found somewhere to sleep.  Some families went home to their houses, others slept on foam pads, couches, etc.  It was awesome!  A big breakfast the next morning, then we all got ready and headed out the door for the wedding.  It had stormed the night before, and the sky was partly cloudy, but we hoped it would hang on and not dump on us for the pictures afterwards.

Every wedding has a little glitch.  Fortunately no one forgot their temple recommends, but when James was asked to grab Dad's suit coat from the closet, he just grabbed the first one he saw.  It got loaded into the car, but it was the WRONG one!  Dad was wearing brown suit pants, but his coat was charcoal grey with a purple pinstripe!  Mom almost died when she discovered it, minutes away from Salt Lake.  Dad was a bit frustrated, but he handled it pretty well.  He just wore his white shirt, and although he felt a bit uncomfortable, he still wore a smile.

The sealing was beautiful, and talk about a "parent payday", seeing all SEVEN of your endowed children there in the temple, most with their spouses as well, has to be one of the pinnacles of parenthood.  That, coupled with the fact that our dear Timmy was being sealed was enough for us all to sit smiling and sniffling.

Just missing ONE sibling! 
Hale Boys

Hale Girls
Half the grandkids!

Cath's Family

Kellie's Parents, Kellie, Tim, Dad, Mom

This is Tim's former roommate, Sterling.  He quite literally saved Tim's life several years ago, when Tim became really ill with an infection and had locked the door to his room.  Sterling broke down the door to find Tim unconscious, and hauled Tim to the hospital!  He's our superhero!  His wife had just had a baby, but he came to be at Tim's sealing.
After the sealing, we hopped in the car and headed down to the Sugarhouse area, where the reception was being held.  We honored Mom's special request to stop by Glaus bakery for a treat, and on our way back, she showed us the house she lived in as a girl on Parkway.  It was so fun to see her point out familiar places where people lived, and see many of them still much the same as she remembered.  

The reception was so much fun!  They served fruit and cookies, cheese and crackers, and orange juliuses.  About an hour into the reception and the clouds and rain began to threaten a serious storm.  It was so awesome to see all the family snap into action, carrying armloads of presents, tables, chairs and the cake into the church building!  

 Things carried on as planned, and they greeted their guests inside.  It was so fun to see some familiar faces:  Dresher cousins, Roy Hales from our California days, and Matt Mitchell who came to represent the Sterling crowd! Cath made this wonderful video that played at the reception.  I can't get enough of these.  I love them!   
My in-laws arrived and went through the line and then I said my goodbyes and loaded up in their car for our trip home!

Quite the whirlwind of a trip, but like I said, it was such a great day.  I'm so happy to have seen all of my siblings and in-laws, and give my parents a big hug.  Time is precious that we have here on the earth.  Quick trips like this would be almost sad if we didn't know about the Plan of Salvation and eternal families.  No matter when we will see eachother next, we can always mean it when we say,  
"I'll see you soon." 


Dianna said...

Wow! What a very wonderful reunion! You are so blessed and so are your parents. I can really identify with the line you wrote about your parents just sitting and watching all the grown up kids. Brett and I do that with our small gatherings. I'm so glad you were able to go.

Marie' said...

Great pictures! I am so happy you got to go.

tara said...

Awwwww, I'm so happy for Tim! And that you got to spend time with your whole family. How lucky are we that they are eternal?!

Sarah said...

I'll always be grateful you got those 26 hours!