My camera made it into my suitcase, extra batteries, lip gloss, Dramamine, granola bars, my drivers license, and everything under the New England sun except my memory card. So, thanks to Dad and Amy for emailing their copies. I think they most have doctored them to make me look 20 lbs. heavier though. Or maybe I should give into the rain and get a membership at a gym. Or... plastic surgery? Oh, I feel a new poll coming on! ;)
So here's some pictures of my trip with brief narration. This just covers the first few days. I'll ode to Quincy and the simple life when ever my kids decide to entertain themselves.
Day 1: Prep for bridal shower
Day 2: Throw bridal shower for Ali.
It was picture perfect, scrumptious, everyone got along famously, and we were all glad we could do something for Ali. Mom is front and center, I'm off to the right, and Ali's to the right of the gift table.
Tacee, Hydi, Brian, Amy (and Erich) Mom and Ali
Day 3: Brian's takes out his endowments at the Columbia River Temple. It was my first time in one of the smaller temples. Of course, it was same great feeling inside and equal in beauty. It was wonderful being there with my endowed family members. Grandpa and I had a special moment and Brian's eyes started to leak... badly.
Side View of Temple
Front of Temple
Mom and Brian
Dad and Brian
Hydi and Brian
Day 4: Practice Song with Mom, Amy, & Tacee (and Sister Allen as accompanist). Weenie Roast with Cousins! We sang a beautiful song called "In A Coming Day" on Sunday. It was based on the powerful testimony Elder Bruce R. McConkie bore at a conference only 12 days before he passed on. (The Purifying Power of Gethsemane) He said "I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way." A powerful song from a powerful testimony. We also found out our cousins from Everett, WA were coming down and we had a great weenie roast and myself, Brian, Amy, Dad, and Brian's friend Matt burned things.... for the sake of science! (empty milk cartons from high elevations burn blue and make a great 'zing'ing sound as they fall)
Day 5: The finale! Brian gives his farewell address before heading off to MTC to learn Mongolian in 2 months (amazing how they can do that!). We sing. Special dinner at Grandma and Grandpas. The End! (of the craziness, not of the vacation) I walked into my old church building and met so many people who are so special to me. As the members began to sing the opening hymn I was shocked at their fervor and spirit. I was so nervous I started to visibly shake... something that hasn't happened since high school. I was completely undone by wonderful, uncomplicated folks who are often taken for granted. I love 'em and I miss 'em. Anyways, after our meetings we had a nice dinner with friends and family and then we sat (and laid) around grateful that our week had happened and grateful it was over.
I'm home! I'm waiting for some pictures from family (ah hem...) to post and I need some time to sit down and bore you with my adventures in the country. But, I'm glad to be home with my other family and other friends and my very fast internet.
Here is a little* video to tide you over. My brother and his buddy, Gonzo, are demonstrating some self-defense moves for Matt. In the background you'll notice my childhood home, my mom's beautiful yard, the Quincy Valley, butterflies, birds chirping, and highway traffic (it's almost perfect).