Thanks to Josh, we were able to find a reasonable ticket, flying out of Lewiston and a straight-through flight, no less! It was fantastic, and had me arriving on a Thursday, and coming home on a Monday! Special thanks to Josh for holding down the fort, and for being on kid-duty for a long weekend. I had such a wonderful time and loved being able to be with the family!
|Man of the year.|
The flight was uneventful and relaxing. Lots of great things about Utah, but watching missionary homecomings is high on the list. There were several reunions going on. You must have a heart of stone if you don't well up with tears or at least stop and smile at a missionary coming home to his family.
I didn't well up with tears at eating my Cafe Rio Grilled Steak salad, but it was a close one! Yum.
Cath picked me up at the airport, and I was surprised to see her car empty of kids! Ryan had taken the day off as well, and was watching the kids, so she could have a kid-free weekend as well. What dear boys!? We had a great chance to catch up on our kids, books we had read, family news, etc. When we arrived we were greeted by our sister-in-law Catherine, who had stopped by on her way back from a funeral of her great uncle in ID! It was so great to catch up with her and hear about her exciting news of making it into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, their pet kittens, and how Peter's doing in school, etc.
Mom and Dad made it home a little later from working in the temple, and we enjoyed some soup from Juniper Take-Out, caught up, laughed, played board games, ate ice cream, and just enjoyed being free to be kids again.
|Playing "Password" with Mom and Dad. Dad and Cath were the team to beat!|
|Scoutie in the snow = happy dog|
Cath and I worked hard Friday, helping Mom and Dad get their storage room cleaned out and organized. I LOVE serving when I'm at Mom and Dad's. There's so much that I can help with when I visit, and it's so appreciated. It's also nice that whatever gets done usually doesn't get UN-done like it does here at my home! It's quite satisfying. :) We made a trip to DI to treasure hunt, and a long stop at Plato's Closet for some new-to-us clothes! Marie made it up from Snow, and that night we were four sisters all gathered around the table with Mom and Dad. It was so fun!
|I love that Marie and Emily both have the same expression in this photo!|
I don't know when the last time that has happened. It was nice to hear the giggles and see the smiles and get all caught up on the great things those girls are doing. We had a little fashion party, where we all raided eachother's closets and suitcases and swapped jewelry and scarves and put together outfits for eachother! Having sisters is so much fun.
Saturday was Emily's special day! I was so glad to see how excited she was to go through the temple. She said, "Today feels like my wedding day!" She was beaming - so happy and excited. It was great to see all of the family who were able to be there to support her: Mom, Dad, Tim/Kellie, Peter/Catherine, Me, Cath, Aunt Janet, Uncle Dick/Aunt Janet, Great Aunt Jeannette (Pop's sister-in-law), and Aunt Debbie and Uncle Eric, Stewart and Annette, and Nick, his Grandma, and his parents!
I drove Mom, Dad and Emily down, and Cath came later with Marie. I waited with Dad in the foyer, and we relaxed, as we watched the snow fall outside the large glass windows. Despite the crazy weather (tons of snow in Bountiful, limited parking, and a power outage right as our session was starting), we were all able to make it into the crowded session!
The session was wonderful and special! It was so neat to reflect back on my own first time at the temple, to think about eternal families, and the important work we do for ourselves and for others within the walls of the temple.
|Emily and Nick|
|Marie patiently waited for us to finish, and I captured this sweet sister moment as we all came out.|
|I love our family!|
Afterwards, we gathered for a family dinner at a restaurant Ryan introduced my parents to, and they just loved! It's called Thyme and Seasons. You can read about the owner here (read it!) We had the whole restaurant to ourselves, and enjoyed a variety of unique dishes, prepared by Hai and his wonderful staff, including some special-needs high school kids: Butternut squash and chicken soup, a black and red rice with a chicken curry sauce, a thai stir fry, a delicious italian pasta dish, some sweet and spicy grilled chicken and prime rib, topped off with a flourless chocolate mini cake. I thought the food was delicious, and loved visiting with the family!
Sunday we went to church with Mom and Dad, then Nick, Emily and Marie drove me down to Bountiful again so I could spend the night at the Paulsens. My flight left Monday morning, and it was great to see Josh and the kids! While we were in Lewiston, we stopped at Costco and TJ Maxx for some food and winter clothes. As we were leaving town, our Acura totally died! The transmission fluid exploded (or something), and gummed up the engine, so it was as though it couldn't get out of neutral. Josh managed to get it turned around, and we coasted back into town into a gas station. We got a tow, and a rental car, a $1200 repair. What an adventure! Exciting ending to a relaxing weekend!