March 8, 2011 - A bright and white Tuesday, I picked one of my baby brothers up from the SLC airport. We only had 24 hours together before I was to drop him off at the MTC, so we packed it to the MAX!
Carl Smith, second to youngest in my family of 13 kids. Called to serve in New York, New York, Spanish speaking. Our first stop was to the Salt Lake Temple. Truly a joy and a blessing to be able to take him through. It will forever be a treasured memory.
Couldn't leave Salt Lake without stopping by sweet little ol Nana's, queen of celebrating holidays. I love her homemade green March kites on the tree.
Those kites are just the beginning. Welcome to emerald city - Nana's kitchen.
Carl, Nana and Papa. We couldn't stay long because I had planned a little party back at home.
Carl and Julia - a sweet friend who lives in town and was able to make it
Uncle Richard and Aunt Kathy (whom he picked up on his mission to Australia).
Cousins Carrie and Kait
Cousins Paul and Rachel
Brother James and Family
Ending with us. We had a potluck dinner topped off with New York cheesecake then we all sat in a circle, each of us taking a turn to gift Carl with our happiest memories with him and positive words of advise.
Bella happily showing Carl her new New York t-shirt.
Me and Carl
After everyone was gone Carl read the kids some bedtime stories.
And then was up bright and early to say one last goodbye to Bella and Jarom. Heartbreaking. Carl is the greatest uncle ever.
Last goodbye kiss
Saying goodbye is no easy task. I thought I was ready for it. But there were no words I could come up with that say goodbye for two years. I love you and I'll miss you. I know he will be great and I couldn't be more proud of him.
Fortunately, Orion had a birthday to keep me from staying sad.
My happy little guy for months insisted we look at the cakes every time we went to Costco. Today was his lucky day. No question about it. He wanted that rainbow cake. And of course he needed to add the Spidey toys.
We needed to go tubing one last time ...
throw a couple of snow balls
cry because our hands are cold
to be glad
we get to spend some time together
Evie, Naomi and Bella at our local library's highly acclaimed Fairy Tea Party. It was so cute. But the best part was the surprise mini family reunion.
Sister-in-law Steph and my great aunt Emma-Jean.
My aunt Cinny and cousin Heather
One delicious fairy feast to eat while watching fairy ballerinas dance
Bella and Evie with the fairy court
One last surprise - my dad's cousin now works at the Provo Library!!
That same night was one of our very favorite events that is put on in Provo - Bowls for Humanity, hosted by the great Food and Care Coalition. We have blogged about it a couple times already. The event has become everyone's favorite. I don't blame them - you get to choose your own bowl (to keep), made by a local artist, and they fill it up with belly-warming soup. All proceeds go to feed the hungry. Its a win-win-win, happy time for everyone. This was the first year we actually didn't get the food there. It was too crazy packed. We could not leave empty-handed though. Matt and the kids fell in love with a few items that we were able to buy, bypassing the very long food line. Matt's new teardrop curved trailer dish holds our bananas perfectly. :)
Backwards day at school
Family night at Classic Skating
National Pancake Day!