So after we had all that time in Southern Utah, we made the trek up to Salt Lake where we would spend another week with family and friends. We actually stayed the week in Park City, so after checking in on Saturday afternoon, we walked right outside to the infamous Alpine Slide. We kinda sorta described it to Cindy but we knew that too many details might cause her to freak out and refuse to go, so pretty much we just told her where to stand and hold on tight. Anyway, I think the scariest part for her ended up being the ski lift ride to the top of the mountain! (Also a little scary for me and Jacob when a very calm Luke all of a sudden decided he wanted to get up and sit in my lap during the ride.)
Cindy was a trooper and made it up the lift just fine
Luke rode with Dad, Cindy came with me
Ready to rock and roll!!
Both the kids did great coming down the mountain on the slide. Cindy did a fake scream the whole way- I think she was expecting to be scared but soon realized it was actually super-fun and just enjoyed herself. We went swimming later that night and basically just hung out and relaxed.
The next morning was church at Great Grandma Henrie's family ward. Cindy would not go to Primary alone, so I had two hours with her and her cousin Meg- who was completely content to be in there. We then did a picnic lunch at a park near where we used to live in Midvale and then headed down to Temple Square to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Cindy in front of the organ at the Tabernacle
Another picture by Cindy
That evening we had a huge sloppy joe dinner with all the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. at Great Grandma Henrie's house. And of course you can't be all together without some good games of cards. Linnley fit right in :)
Monday was a very casual, laid-back day. I was heading to Provo in the afternoon to see my former BYU roomies, so that morning we decided to take Luke and Cindy over to the carousel at the resort. Luke had a good time on his stationary horse (what a wild man!)
After that I saw something that made me so excited- they had pony rides! I thought Cindy's little cup of joy would overflow at this realization. She kept saying how bad she wanted to ride a pony and how unfair it was that Dad and I got to ride horses, but not her. So this was her moment! And she totally chickened out. She flat out refused to ride one. She just kept saying they were "too big". Bummer. She did want to pet the pony and I guess that was good enough.
We also went down to the hotel market and got some ice cream (lunch). This is Luke's version of a goatee. Life is good when you are on vacation. (and with Grandma- double score!)
So when I was at BYU my sophomore year I had 5 roommates in our 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment. It was a tight squeeze, but I ended up with the coolest roommates ever. One was my roomie, Jen, from freshman year but the rest were all new. I know from talking to other people that you don't always get the best roommates when you leave the selection up to fate, but they are all awesome. Anyway, 4 of the 6 of us met at Bombay House in Provo for a reunion. And Indian food is good! Their garlic bread (naan??) stuff was great and my chicken coconut kermit was delicious. So two thumbs up on the food! And seeing everyone again, of course, was great. Fun to catch up and visit. Our waiter could do more than just pour water, he took a pretty good picture:
Krista, Kaylee, Jen and Me. Park Plaza 1999 RULES!!!
CONGRATULATIONS! You have now made it to the wedding portion of the blog!!! I told you perseverence always pays off...
So Wednesday, July 29th was the big day. That morning we started with a wedding breakfast at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. KaRyn flew in from LA to be there too. Food was fantastic. Pancakes, bacon (Cindy's favorite), parfaits, danish, hot chocolate, eggs benedict- all so good.
We took some pictures of all the kids. Robert just can't be serious sometimes. Gosh, that is soo annoying! ;)
If you are wondering about this picture, I told the four of them to do a High School Musical picture where they all jump in the air in a different pose and we would take the photo. I thought, "There is absolutely no way they will agree to do this", but they did it! I don't know why! I didn't time my picture just right, but you kinda get the idea of the silliness that was going on.
This is Linnley! Nathan met her at school (University of Utah) and she is adorable. They look perfect together. :)
After eating a hearty breakfast we made our way over to the Temple for the sealing. Afterwards the kids were all waiting outside and were ready to take some pictures. Cindy and cousin Kate by the temple doors
Here they come!
Welcome to the Family, Linnley!
Cindy totally loves Linnley, and she loved her even more when she saw that bouquet she was holding. Cindy was obsessed with it. Linnley was very sweet and patient with her.
Linnley is wearing the dress her mother and both her sisters wore when they all got married. So pretty.
Good thing for Luke that cousin Kallen played wiffle ball with him and that Aunt Teresa had Starburst. He was in heaven!
As we were leaving the temple, I wanted to take a picture of Cindy in front of it. She was smiling for the 1...2... and on 3 she made this face. Punk.
Time for the reception! We got ready at Great Grandma's house and then headed over to the reception hall. This was the first time Luke had ever worn a tie in his life, so it did not help that he had to get dressed right after waking up from a late nap. He was simply enduring his outfit for the first couple hours. Awh, but he is a total stud, right? Nathan used to work for Heritage Gardens reception center in Sandy, UT so they had the reception there and he got a sweet discount. Excellent! It was a gorgeous place. Great big hall, elegant stairs, koi pond, trickling waterfall outside, it was beautiful. I got to finally wear my bridesmaid dress. Linnley did great picking it out and, wonder of wonders, I will definitely wear it again! She even made all of the bridesmaids earrings to wear too- and I admit, these were the biggest earrings I have worn to date in my life (you know what a fashionista I am) but they were very fun and looked really pretty. Jacob gave them two big thumbs up too. So here are the reception highlights:
The best our family has all looked in a long time :)
Sorry Linnley and Brooke (and future Mrs. Sean), but it is a great source of pride for me knowing I married the cutest of the Sweeney boys ;)
Cindy would periodically steal the bouquet from Linnley during the evening. Linnley was too nice to say no. If Cindy could have married these flowers, she would have.
Luke just wanted to be outside at the little pond and throw things in the water. Naturally.
The chocolate brownies and cream puffs were a pretty good lure to get him to come inside from time to time
All of the girls!
Cindy again with the bouquet. That face says it all- "Michelle, I am in charge of the bouquet, and if you even think you are getting these you are sadly mistaken, sister..."
Cindy after the bouquet, yet again! This was actually just before Linnley was going to throw it. Cindy was just convinced it would be hers. (Why not?) I, of course, knew that she being only barely 4 ft. tall would have absolutely no chance. So I came out and announced to my cousin Chase- "Watch this, Cindy will be crying in less than 2 seconds" AND SURE ENOUGH- when she did not catch the bouquet it was VERY, VERY, sad indeed.
Dad had to explain to her that life would go on despite the loss. Cindy seemed to get over it okay. Her mood brightened considerably when I gave her the idea to ask Santa for a bouquet for Christmas. I can almost bet she will get it! She didn't give up completely however, because later that night she asked me if we could "Go ask the girl who caught the bouquet to give it her instead." She is nothing if not persistent:)
I found some black dresses for the little girls on eBay- hard to find black flower girl dresses at a decent price, but these were perfect. Only thing was they were sleeveless, so I bought some material, brought a sleeve pattern to Utah with me and my sister-in-law Brooke, got the sleeves cut out and basted while we were there. We both hand sewed them on the day before the wedding. Not bad, huh? Brooke's looked way better than mine but thank you Brooke (and your Mom) for getting those cut out! You were a life saver! Oh and Brooke made the headbands and bows too. So cute!
Dancing and cake! Cindy couldn't wait for them to cut the cake. It was delicious cake too- banana one layer and snickerdoodle the other- awesome!
Linnley and Nathan took off for their honeymoon, and after hanging out and enjoying the company for a few hours we headed back to Park City. I did have to get one more picture of us before the night was over. What a fun day :)
Thursday we just hung out at the hotel- swam, watched TV, ate, lounged. It was perfect.
I need to take this moment to officially declare that Marriott has made the perfect bed. If I could have any bed in the whole world, it would be this exact bed:
Admittedly, I DO own the Marriott mattress- we bought it through Karl 2 years ago and it is the best mattress on the planet. But at the resort you get the amazing pillow top mattress pad, super soft sheets, eleventy twelve amazing pillows and it is a California king sized bed, so you feel like you are sleeping in the middle of the ocean (surrounded by tiny little seahorses...) It is soooo fantastc. This totally makes my list of greatest inventions of all-time.
So throughout our time in Salt Lake we visited a bunch of friends we had from when we lived there 4 years ago and it was awesome to see them all. They were so kind and hospitable. But I, being a total doofus, did not take pictures of any this (what was I thinking?!?!) so you just have to take my word for it. So.....
Thank you Charles and Allison (and baby Jason) for showing us the workshop, the widget makers, the plum pie and the dinner that the kids could not get enough of.
Thank you Leo and Annette (and Dante and Daphne) for letting us play on your swing set, showing us your house, sharing your freakishly delicious homemade pizza and making us feel welcome.
Thank you Dan Caffee for occupying Jacob for a few hours to get his Maryland fix. This allowed me to visit Saunders Brothers Construction, my old work, and vist with Rich and Celeste.
Thank you Rich and Celeste for hanging out and making me laugh so much, just like before. I miss you guys, I wish business was better for you ;)
Thank You Meredith and Thomas (and Hannah and Ainsley) for playing dress up, letting us take a load off and catching us up on what you have been up to.
Thank You Steve for showing us around Studio 600 in Salt Lake. You did it. I would never have believed it.
Thank You Russ for taking a break from your grueling job of running the Kareoke Bar and catching us up on all of your adventures. You have a good little gig going with that job, and hey, this could help you turn pro one day with the singing. No, really....
We checked out of the hotel Friday morning. Great Grandma Henrie graciously put us up that night so we could rest up for our puny 9 hour drive to Albuquerque the next morning.
Luke LOVED the stairs there. He and Cindy went up and down about a zillion times. And the rope swing in the backyard, which I did not take a picture of (I am very disappointed in myself sometimes...)
Saying goodbye to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Henrie Saturday morning (after eating a ton of her amazing waffles- Mmmmmm)
So we were headed home! It was a nice leisurely drive down through Price/Moab, Utah. Best story I have about this trip was when we stopped at a large gas station in Moab to use the bathroom and buy ice. We came out after finishing our business and I was with Luke, who saw the giant decorative rocks outside the front door, proceeded to pick one up and chuck it right into the glass front door of the store. That was embarrassing. Seriously, I was mortified. Thank goodness nothing really happened.
And Luke really enjoyed sleeping under a blanket in the car. It was a little hot in the sun so I would try to take the blanket off, but he would get so mad that we would just leave him. Whatever makes you happy, dude.
After a nice relaxing night in Albuquerque (and meeting another fellow Mormon lady in the hotel) we got ready for another small day of driving back to Ada, OK. Only 9 hours but we did lose an hour along the way. We still took some breaks though...
Pudding in Texas
Luke was happy to be free!
Outside the best rest stop ever (in TX) No, did not see a snake.
I am now going to publicly apologize to Rocket (our car). Before the trip Rocket had been acting up and I had not been too kind to him- you know, talking about him behind his back, wishing he would die, hoping for a fender bender- unkind things. I was a little apprehensive about taking him across the country too. I hoped he would make it, but you never know. However, to our delight, he was AWESOME. Not one problem. Okay, just the tire patch in Lehi at Big-O tires, but that was it! Amazing. I couldn't be more proud! Sniffle, sniffle ;)
Since we stayed only hours in Ada on the trip out, we promised to stay a while on the way home. So we got into Ada about 6pm on Sunday evening and headed to Jacob's grandparents. They are very kind and generous and fed us a yummy dinner. And after that we went to see some beavers. Really! Jacob's uncle Shane has some land he is developing in Ada and there is a small pond on it. And there are beavers there- so... when in Rome.... And we did see the beaver! Cindy used her binoculars and felt like she had accomplished something that night.
We stayed this time with Karl's brother and sister-in-law, Kurt and Lori, who also live right there in town. And since Kurt is Karl's identical twin brother, Luke was so excited to see....."Grandpa!!!!!" (this is what he exclaimed when he saw him and jumped into his arms)
Not actual Grandpa, but Uncle Kurt. Luke didn't know the difference and that was fine with everyone!
Aunt Dianne is one of Cindy's mostest favorite people. Not sure about the thumb sucking. Again, she is just out to spite me....
We learned on this trip that Luke is addicted to blueberries. I think he single handedly ate a quart by himself. All he could do at Nadine and Rufus' house was say, "Grandpa , I need some more blueberries!" and Rufus was so tickled by it that he could never refuse. So here is Luke enjoying some of his berries.
We got to go to a place in Ada called Wintersmith Park. It is a nice public park with walking paths, lake, ducks, etc. and they also have a small train that runs through the park. Here is Jacob and Cindy on the train. As you can see, Jacob is almost ready to graduate from Jessica Sweeney's School for Goofy Face Making. Not bad!
Okay, so when we went to the park we were going to feed the ducks. They warned us that they can be a little "agressive." They weren't whistlin' dixie, pal. Yikes, the hissing geese were a little creepy!
Cindy loved that Lori brought her dog, Holly to fend off the ferocious fowl
Jacob geniously suggested that we throw the bread into the water and subdue our attackers
We all went out to eat at Polo's Mexican restaurant in Ada. The food was great, but making Jacob wear a sombrero for his "birthday" was even better! Feliz Cumpleanos, Jacobo!
If there is costume jewelry in a house, Cindy will find it. She is like those drug-sniffing dogs. Here she is modeling what she found in Great Grandma Nadine's nightstand. How glamorous she is!
What? Luke doesn't get a turn? Handsome little devil indeed!
We reluctantly left Ada the next day. Jacob and I have decided that we can't figure out why everyone was so nice to us there. They all know we have no money, right? We aren't famous or glamorous or anything, but they treated us like movie stars. Seriously, his family is some of the nicest, kindest people we have ever met. It was great to be with them :)
The drive to Tallahassee was BRUTAL- sooo long already and then lose another hour as well. It was about 1am by the time we made it back to my brother's house. Unfortunately the kids had been sleeping for 3 hours by the time we got there and they woke up full of energy! while Jacob and I were dead on our feet. It is a miracle we didn't kill them that night. But we all eventually got to bed and slept in nice and late :)
Misty got us some breakfast and humored us while watching a slide show of our travels the next morning. And Addie and Luke had time for tea!
But we were anxious to get home so we said goodbye and in 4 hours we were home. Motivated? Maybe.
So that was our vacation! I can't believe we did all that, it was a marathon to be sure. But the only way to sum it up is to simply say: And they all lived happily ever after. (I live with a princess, cut me some slack! :)