After saying waves of goodbyes to family at Bear Lake, Saydi, mom and I spent the day Wednesday (July 24th) everything up for the incoming renters at Bear Lake (taking a little break to talk about the sacrifices of our pioneer ancestors since it was Pioneer Day). Wow! There's lots of cleaning and organizing and packing involved when 42 people have lived together in a house for the better part of a month! We got home Wednesday night, had a couple hours on Thursday to get the house re-stocked with food and start the process of unpacking. Then we dived into all this:
Thursday-Friday - My cousin Serenity's wedding dinner was Thursday night, her beautiful wedding ceremony was early Friday morning, and her reception was Friday night in SLC.
It was great to see so many of my cousins and their kids that I haven't seen in ages!
* Photos of the bride and groom with my cute 90 year old grandma plus lots of other stuff in this post are on the card that Ashton took out of my camera and misplaced - hopefully they'll show up sometime. Ashton's been making some great stop-motion videos with a bunch of neighbors and somehow my camera and its card keeps walking off...
Friday - Fun times with all the cousins at the Leonardo museum (since we had to be in SLC for the wedding stuff anyway - figured we'd squeeze that in) - Photos later.
Saturday - Niece Megan's bridal shower followed by going to the temple with her to take our her endowments followed by a fun family dinner at Maddox.
Sunday - Isaac's priesthood ordination. Jared and I took him on a beautiful hike early Sunday morning and Jared conducted a nice little service there on the hill where we read scriptures about the priesthood and talked about how exciting and miraculous it is that God shares part of the very power that created the earth with worthy boys when they turn 12. We brought a picnic breakfast and had a quiet and lovely time.
Then Isaac was sustained in church and had his priesthood ordination right after church. We couldn't find the twins to attend the actual ordination (turns out they were hiding in the bushes) and timing was too tight with everything else going on to have other family members come for the ordination but I think it still felt very special to Isaac. It definitely felt special to me. We now have TWO deacons in the family (and they constitute more than half of the active deacons in the ward).
Sunday evening we had a special dinner for Isaac and joined our neighbors in creating art on the back fence we share - it's now looking a lot more colorful! We ran out of spray paint but we'll finish our artistic creations when we get a chance. (photos later)
Monday - Joined Saydi and kids plus my dear friend Catherine and her kids (she had 5 kids in FOUR years - beat our record!) for an absolutely gorgeous hike at Alta ski resort. The wildflowers were at their peak and it was simply GORGEOUS! Plus it was great to have some time with two of my favorite women (even if our time was interrupted again and again by kids needing bandaids or whining about hiking!)
Tuesday - My birthday. I was so content to just relax and enjoy a quiet day at home for my birthday this year after all the hoopla of the past couple months. But Jared, Saydi, my parents and the kids really treated me right. The kids and Jared brought me breakfast in bed. I went for a nice run all by myself (I realized I haven't had any alone time for MONTHS and it was sort of starting to drive me crazy!) and listened to a really interesting podcast while I ran. The kids and I had a little read-a-thon together (always a favorite of mine). My parents and Saydi and I went to see the latest art exhibit at the Eccles Art Center (always love seeing people's talent and creativity) then went to my favorite restaurant (Tona) for a delicious early dinner of beautifully presented and delicious food (just what I love). Then things were pretty crazy as the whole neighborhood showed up for a sprinkler party and the sprinklers broke and I had to have Jared walk me through how to fix that while Ashton discovered his new bike had been stolen when he needed to riding it to the final pre-scout-camp meeting. That crisis-on-top-of-crisis moment wasn't my favorite part of the day. But we ended the day with candles in my favorite cookies, ice cream sundaes, a great dance party and a round of "Pass the Pigs" with our family and Saydi and her kids along with one of Isaac's friends who just sort of ended up here and we didn't have time to take him home. But he won our hearts when he was the first to raise his hand and say something nice about me when Jared asked everyone to share their favorite thing about me during the ice cream and cookies. Then Saydi, Jared and I had a great time talking and laughing together after we got all the kids to bed. I love a good talk. Wonderful day full of people and activities I love.
Wednesday - Saydi and I started off the day with a big hike (Maylan's Peak - love conquering that thing!) then did a little shopping before she and her kids had to head out. So fun to have bonus time with my dear sister who treated me so well for my birthday!
Then I spent about 8 hours sitting here working on getting sort of caught up on the 100's of emails that have piled up, the stack of mail that needs to be taken care of, the Power of Moms projects that are most timely (the final manuscript for our new book was due yesterday), and the Joy School people who've patiently waited for answers for way too long. My list is still WAY too long but I'm feeling a bit less overwhelmed after knocking out at least the most timely stuff! Then Jared took me out for a special little birthday dinner, just the two of us, since we haven't had much time together in ages. And we did some test-driving of new vans since ours is really aging. Fun. But I felt suddenly super attached to our van - good old Millie has taken us so many wonderful places! Maybe we'll stick with her a while longer.
Thursday - One of our dear friend's sons got married today so we all helped set up chairs and get things organized plus everyone had assignments during the ceremony and reception (Jared's conducted the ceremony since he's the Bishop, kids helped with food and clean-up, I helped oversee all the neighborhood kids who helped with everything...). Plus we packed up for Idaho (Jared's mom's family reunion tomorrow through the weekend - many relatives we haven't seen in ages) and I had to get everyone's hair cut and get Ashton and Isaac all packed up for scout camp since they have to leave early in the morning on Monday and we won't get back from Idaho until late Sunday night.
It was a beautiful wedding and I was so proud of how well the kids helped with everything and what a wonderful job Jared did conducting the ceremony. We really have a great neighborhood - everyone pitched in and helped so much! (more photos later - but here's a glimpse of Jared's part)
Then I came home and yelled at the kids way too much for being way too slow helping with the final details of packing while Jared was taking care of welfare night at the church. I was SO tired and I really should have just put everyone to bed and got up early to finish but, as happens too often, I was determined to finish something even when the timing was off. But now we're in the car headed to Idaho and I apologized to the kids and I got a good night's sleep and all is well. I'm determined to do a better job recognizing my limitations moving forward so I don't get all over-tired and grumpy and end up being a not-so-nice mom.
Oh, life is full - and good - and hard - and overall, pretty wonderful!