Roy had been saving for a ring, and waiting to propose until he had purchased it, but a wrench in the works occurred when he was offered a job up in Cody, Wyoming, which started the first week in August! Plans were quickly pushed up to have a wedding the end of August, when he could come down for a weekend and then bring Marie back up with him. Our plan for a family reunion in Utah (over the July 24th holiday) would have all of us together, and an August wedding in Utah was out of the realm of possibilities for me and many others in the family to attend. The kids would be in school, Josh would be on a business trip, unable to allow even me to fly in for the event. I was expressing my desire to go to the wedding, along with the realistic conclusion that it simply couldn't happen, when Josh said, "Why don't they have the wedding during the family reunion?" Stewart and Annette were so encouraging (I look at them as the EXPERTS in planning weddings and receptions in their beautiful backyard), so I knew that if they said three weeks is do-able, it was! Josh ticked off several reasons how and why it could work, and I dialed my mom back to offer this as a suggestion to pose to the couple. The next day the plan was set to have a backyard wedding at Mom and Dad's on Saturday, July 26th - almost exactly THREE weeks away! Dad said to me several times, "I'm so grateful Josh offered that idea. This is all working out beautifully!"
Marie and Roy were so easy-going and open to our ideas and suggestions and planning. Roy was particularly wonderful, as he gave both reigns to Marie to do whatever she wanted. "I only plan to do this once, so I want it to make Marie happy." Color schemes were chosen, flowers (from Costco) and food (from Olive Garden) was ordered, she borrowed Cath's wedding dress, which fit perfectly, needing no alterations. Annette generously loaned us vases and material to decorate the arbor they planned to be married under. Jill made matching skirts for the girls. Aunt Janet offered hanging baskets of flowers. Last-minute plane tickets were purchased and plans juggled around so that in the end, every, single Hale family member would be present - a rare occurrence indeed! Tender mercies fell into place from the photographer to a string quartet, and even the Mother Nature spared us her sweltering heat just long enough to make it a pleasant day! Kind neighbors loaned tables, chairs, even opened their homes for us to stay with them. The next-door-neighbor fed us all breakfast the morning of the wedding. So thoughtful!
So, the plan was to have the first half of the week in Salt Lake with Josh's family, and the second half in Bear Lake, wrapping the week up with a wedding! Sounds easy enough, right?
We decided to save some money on the trip down, and allow us more time to spend with family by making the drive in one day. A little over 11 hours, friends. It's ain't for sissies, that drive. We packed up the car the night before, and tossed the sleeping kids in the car at 6am. I had packed breakfast and lunch items so we didn't have to stop or spend extra money on food the kids don't like. Armed with several books on CD (this time it was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), we made great time and arrived in Salt Lake around 5pm. Annette had prepared a delicious dinner, and we had all evening to go on a walk, grab some ice cream and reconnect with siblings and cousins!
|A little boutique in Holladay called "Amy". |
Sadly, it was closed. :(
The next day we went to church, and the kids had some more fun with cousins. The evening following a delicious family dinner, Josh had planned a little dessert party in the backyard with the extended family.
|Sparkling Lemonades from Papa's fridge|
What is an event without some cakes and eclairs from Glaus bakery? Stewart and Annette supplied a Gourmandise berry torte (which was SO delicious), some frozen fruit ice cream. Angie made some Boston Creme cupcakes. We so enjoyed being in their gorgeous backyard! I love being out there.
|Kids enjoyed the trampoline|
|Girls enjoyed doting on Oakers|
|I love this photo! Annette and her mom, Verna.|
There is a lot of extended family (Aunts, Uncles and Cousins) who live nearby, but it's really difficult to see all of them when we come for such short visits. I'm so glad Josh thought of this idea (and Annette and Stewart were agreeable), because it allowed lots of people in a short period of time to come see us. Dessert was just the perfect amount of time!
|Abby, Angie, Aunt Patricia, Annette|
|Cousins Hannah and Ellie|
|Chase, his wife Bethany (both are Josh's cousins!), and Aunt Marie|
|Nana & Oaklee|
A summer storm swept down and dumped on us, just as we were finishing up our desserts. Fortunately, there were so many people there, everyone took something, and we moved the party inside. The kids enjoyed the al fresco shower!
What's a family party without the kids putting on an impromptu play? The costumes are piecemeal, the acting is sub-par, but they get a good laugh and a thunderous applause every time!
Doesn't this picture just say it all? Lots of fun, laughs, great stories and reconnecting.
Hooray for family!