Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baptisms, Birthdays, and Brothers oh my!

Alright, time to catch up. I just feel so overwhelmed blogging after a trip home but better late than never!
So our last trip to Utah was in November and was full of events! Here goes my wrap up...

First on the agenda was my sweet niece Mckayla's baptism. She was so thoughtful to wait 2 weeks after her birthday for us to be there.
We brought her a gorgeous white dress to wear and I wrote a little poem for her big day.
(can't believe how grown up she's becoming!)
The baptism was great! All of her family there, great program, good work by her daddy, and yummy luncheon after. We sure love her!

Next up was my brother Tyler's mission farewell talk. He did a great job on his first talk and it was heartwarming to hear all the love for him and his decision expressed by his Bishop and Stake President. My parents hosted a luncheon for him after the meeting and it was great to see all the support he recieved from family,


and ward members.

Speaking of supporting Tyler, Ryan apparently tested that support...

I'm so glad my Grandpa made it to Tyler's farewell. He's our last grandparent and so special to us so any opportunity to see him is wonderful.

While we were home I made a stop to my alma mater for a new license plate frame as mine is a bit weathered after 4 years. It was good to walk the campus again and stop in the nursing school but I am just as happy as ever to be done :)

"Wall of graduates"
My mom's class
Class of '07

Another major highlight of this trip was my first experience skiing! I LOVED it!!
My father and sister-in-law started skiing a few years ago and were kind enough to take us and teach us (Ryan has been before but it's been awhile). The weather could not have been better and there were barely any people there so we usually had the runs to ourselves. Perfect teaching/learning conditions!

We started out with some bunny hill and rope tow practice.

Next up was learning the ski lift which I wasn't nervous about until we had to get off! Thankfully none of us fell.

Then on to the runs!
*Newest ski bum*

After close to 10 runs and a yummy lunch we called it a day. I seriously had so much fun and can't wait to go again and make this an annual tradition! Thank you Robert!

In preperation for several delicious Thanksgiving meals we prematurely worked off a few calories with the help of the Wii and Just Dance (my favorite!).

We had Ryan's family meal first and I guess I was too busy enjoying the gourmet to take pictures but Nancy outdid herself with the beautiful table and food once again! We did however catch Ryan's grandparents on the way out for a quick picture.
Next up was my family dinner. Once again, great food+family=a perfect Thanksgiving!
The crew...
and the hams :)

We didn't participate in any late night/early morning black friday shopping. Instead we spent our money on last minute University of Utah football tickets! Even though they played terribly it was great to put on our red and black and support the Utes.

In a futile attempt to counteract our Utah pride, Ryan's sister Vanessa convinced us to visit her at her BYU bookstore job...just kidding, we were happy to support her hard work!

I made my rounds to do the annual holiday cemetary decorating for...
Grandma Ann

Grandma Lois

and Grandpa Joe

This trip was full of family birthdays! 5 to be exact! Ryan's sister Liz was very kind to host a party and bake me a cake.
My sister and I celebrated our 28th birthday on the 28th. We started the day off with her midwife appointment (baby coming in February!) then a yummy lunch at my new favorite, Zupa's! I couldn't ask for a better sister!
yes I had fun dressing up her gift :)

Another opportunity we had was witnessing/assisting my mom as her parents were sealed together and her to them. It was special to watch my mom and Tyler act as her parents then my sister and Tyler act as her parents as she was finally sealed to them. Certainly a spiritual experience and reinforces my love and gratitude for eternal families!

Last but not least came November 30th, 2011 when Tyler entered the MTC! The night before after a "last supper" of homemade enchiladas (Ty's request) we met as a family at the Stake President's office for his setting apart. Talk about emotional! But what a tender, sacred moment to be together as a family and witness Tyler become a missionary.

President Perkins, Elder Allan, Bishop Benson

The morning of the 30th started out with everyone's favorite breakfast...rollups!

Then came the drive to the MTC.

We made a stop at Grandpa Ron's for a quick visit then it came time for a few last pictures.

This is Tyler's sweetie Hilary, we have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future :) She has been great for him!

Then we dropped off our Elder to do the Lord's work (getting emotional just thinking about it).

This is our extended family's first missionary in over 25 years and certainly the only missionary for my parents so it's been an emotional transition but I am SO grateful for his decision to serve. I still find myself tearing up thinking about him and hearing from him but I know without a doubt that there is nothing better he could be doing in the next 2 years. There is a saying from a card I sent him that said "Miracle: the transformation of a teenager into a missionary." I truely believe that and know that Tyler will do amazing things for the people of Alabama. Go get em Elder, we love you, God be with you till we meet again!