Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bridget's Baptism

Today was Bridget's Baptism Day. I took some photos of her a few weeks ago so we could make an invitation and this photo is my favorite. Of all time, maybe. We got the dress months ago (Costco!) and we brought home lots of different ribbons to see which one we liked best. She changed out the ribbon every ten photos or so. :)
Yellow! We had such a nice time, just the two of us doing a photo shoot in the lovely park across from the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. Bridget and I have talked about her baptism a lot over the last several months. I loved answering her questions and getting the girly part of the day arranged. Bridget and Brian used his nights of bedtime reading to her to memorize the 13 Articles of Faith. They did it! She can recite all of them. Now she can spend her time getting to know what they mean.

All the preparation led up to today. I asked my friend, Jennica, to do something with Bridget's hair that would stay in place even if it was soaking wet. Done.
She even came over and did it at our house! Lady Bridget. Notice the gourmet breakfast I provided our house guests. Enjoy. Also - one million rolls thawing on the stove. :)
Brian left to get the balloons I ordered and paid for on Wednesday and some dry ice. Pioneer Party had lost my order, so we had to make it again. (Didn't have to pay twice, though. Bonus.) Emil was instructed not to touch the balloons. He's the Charlie Browniest. (I don't have photos of this, but it should be here for posterity that Brian worked in our yard for 10 hours a day from Tuesday to Saturday. He planted two 300 lb. trees without a fork lift or any help. Hero.)

Brian and Bridget headed to the church while I finished up making lemonade and getting the boys ready. Brian called me from the church because he couldn't help Bridget get her baptism clothes on. Woops! Dash to the church. Everything turned out fine, of course, and Bridget and I even got to play a duet for the program. We played "I Will Follow God's Plan" and she did great. Such a pro. :) Brother Archibald said a few words to open the actual baptism, then Bridget and I went to the little ladies' room and I took her to the font. I've never been standing right there for a baptism - not even in the mission field. Brian's voice broke as he said the prayer and the whole scene made me emotional. Bridget is our treasure! It's surreal to see her get baptized. Afterwards she and I went back into the locker room and I realized Brian had her towel in the mens' room. I left Bridget in the bathroom and flagged down a man to go get her towel. When I came back, Bridget was exactly where I'd left her and there was a huge puddle of water around her. :) So cute. We got her dried off and dressed and I couldn't resist snapping a photo.
I'm kind of a mess anyway, but this picture keeps making me cry. She's so beautiful and I love that I'm cheesing it and standing on the towel I had to mop the floor with. And look! Her hair stayed in. We went into one of the chapel overflows for her confirmation. (Grandpa Bob sang and everyone wrote on a card for Bridget while they waited for us to get back.) Brian confirmed Bridget and the following people stood in the circle; Grandpa Kunze, Grandpa Bob, Uncle Hal, Uncle Kyle, Uncle David, Uncle Rob, Uncle Aaron, Dan Askew (Clara's Dad), Brother Carson, and Brother Archibald.
Brother and Sister Carson are two of the loveliest people in the world. Every kid in our ward thinks they're their grandparents. Including our kids. Bridget, Colin, and Emil all give them hugs as we come into church every week. The Carsons gave Bridget a pretty corsage to wear.
And then there was the heat. THE HEAT. Grandma Peggy kept reminding me that THIS is the picture that is going on their Christmas card. Spoiler alert.
Here are the Lees who made it. Aunt Diana took this picture and after about ten shots she noticed that Emil is facing the wrong direction. Of course he is! I have buttons on my dress that have to be unbuttoned while we're getting a photo. Classic Mo.

Then it was time for the big party at our house. People brought the best food! Great salads, homemade bread, chicken salad on croissants, and cheesecake. Brian made root beer and I made blueberry lemonade. I'll be enjoying all that later since I was too hot and still stressing when everyone else was eating. I took some pictures instead. :)
Brian and Dena cutting cheese...cake.
Mo handling the root beer. Note to self: Balloons DO NOT like heat.
Ruby, Gabriel, and Claire
Kristi, Clara, and Bridget
Janessa, Aaron, Lori, Claire, and Bob
Abby (Debbie and Kyle in the background)
The brothers drinking their weight in root beer. The better to not make it to the toilet and pee all over the bathroom floor, m'lady.
Brighton and Dena (Brian hiding behind Dena)
Lori and Aaron on their way home. (I have a really dirty doorbell. Am I supposed to clean that?)
Claire, Rob, and Ian
Brian's side of the family stuck it out in this patch of shade. :)
Bridget got some nice gifts from her grandparents and other aunts. Second birthday. Luckeee.
Jewelry makes Bridget happy.
Colin is a gentleman.
Can you see him waving in the reflection on the car? I love it. 
Today has made Emil and Colin very excited about their own baptisms. Which they think are happening tomorrow. (I painted my rocker!)
It's been a happy, happy day.

Brother Lee, Retired

After 36 years of teaching LDS Seminary and Institute (with five years of writing curriculum in Salt Lake City), my Dad retired last week. It seemed like something needed to be done to commemorate the occasion. Thirty-six years! That's a lot of young people who have been influenced by Bob Lee. The kids in his very first seminary class are 50 years old. Pretty amazing. 

That kind of milestone calls for a T-shirt quilt. Ha! But this is the best one yet - all the schools Dad attended himself as a student and/or taught at the seminary or institute of the school. 
Aaron and Lori brought me Idaho State T-shirts, my Mom sent Highland High School and Pocatello High School T-shirts, Katy sent me Duke, Meredith, UNC, and Peace College T-shirts as well as a Fort Bragg Army shirt, and Kellie sent me one from Oakley. The rest are from my collection or Walgreens. :)
This one is representing East Carolina University where Dad got his Masters. It's a 32 year-old shirt.
There it is! Fun.
Orange piping and a binding that reminded me of a tie. My Dad has been wearing a white shirt and tie every day except Saturday for as long as I can remember. Now he wears colored shirts and ties. Retired!

Since more than half of Mom and Dad's kids were in town (miraculous), we all went out to eat at Mimi's Cafe in Orem. Sans kids. It was so nice to actually be able to talk with everyone! Ahhh. 
Jen, Nicole, Bob, Peggy, Rob, Makenzie, and Aaron
This makes me smile. 
Look at all the places he's been! :)

We missed the other kids (Katy, Allyn, and Melissa). Big time. I guess the quilt explains how we came to be living so far apart now that we have our own families, eh? It's okay - it makes our meetings that much sweeter. 

Congratulations to my Dad. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fancy Farewell Party

My nephew, Taylor, is going on his mission. Today! Lucky for us he has to come to Utah to the Missionary Training Center before he goes off to Japan. Taylor's grandparents in Bountiful hosted a fun farewell dinner with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents from both sides of his family. (I went to high school with Taylor's aunt Emily... and his parents, for that matter. Ha! Anyway, this house in Bountiful holds fond memories for me. It's only gotten better over the years.)
The man of the hour! So fun to see him grown up and ready to start an adventure.
The backyard had so many awesome little nooks. A kitchen under an apricot tree? But of course.
A hammock that Emil can turn into a swing of terror? Naturally.
Look at the bottom of Emil's feet. Filthy.
Emil and Henry are kind of playing together here. They're occupying the same space. Close enough.
Taylor remarked that his worlds were colliding. Here is maternal grandpa (Bob) and paternal grandma (June) having a nice talk. Probably about retirement. :)
Jen said we should pose and then she was the only one who did. There's Emily, Jen, Taylor, and Me.
Brian is annoyed that a camera is on him so often.
Maybe he should stop being a handsome devil then.
We stopped talking long enough for this photo. Not the other ten photos Brian took, though. :)
Taylor, Ethan and Uncle Zach hamming in the kitchen. Hey! We had ham for dinner.
Bridget and the boys fell in love with the Allred's house and yard. On our way home Bridget said, "That is the fanciest house I will ever go to." She's eight years old. I love her idea of "fancy" - usually it means awesome, based on the houses she has labeled fancy.
I forgot this cutie's name, but he knew Ethan was one of his tribe. Gingers stick together.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about that backyard. It was grandkid paradise and the perfect place for adults to have quiet or loud conversations, as they chose. Ahh! As Colin said, "Fun Grandma house. Again!" :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hometown Fireworks

It's been seven years since we've tried the 4th of July fireworks at Thanksgiving Point. That was before a few roads were put in, so we watched from a curb in a nearby neighborhood. Then it took us almost two hours to get back to our house a mile and a half away. When you know you're going to be in traffic, you can prepare yourself mentally. We didn't know, and that impression of the fireworks at Thanksgiving Point has stuck with us. (Not great.) This year, though, we did a little deep breathing and scoped out Electric Park before the 4th of July so we'd know where to park and where to sit. We got there about an hour and a half early and brought our own popcorn and candy and water. We had our beach chairs that double as backpacks and we parked ourselves near a speaker.
The first thing Colin did was take off his shoes and socks.
Bridget is a fireworks junkie now.
The boys inhaled that popcorn before it even got dark.
The kids were more interested in the neighborhood fireworks. Bridget likes to keep a tight leash on the boys in public places. 

Unfortunately the boys were TIRED by the time the real fireworks started. It was still fun, but they fidgeted and complained a lot. Bridget, Brian, and I loved them, though. Fireworks are romantic. It took 35 minutes to get home, but we had a movie on for the kids and we knew it was coming. I think maybe a tradition was born. :)