My dear parents were unable to make it to all the temple/farewell hoopla here in the desert. But they were determined to spend some special time with Claire before that mission took her away. So they finagled a way to get that girl up their way the week before she started the MTC: a temple trip to Utah enveloped in family love.
They planned a special temple session with all the Utah Eyres.
Followed by a few other family things to soak that girl in.
It was too special to pass up, so I got to join them (and the rest of my Utah family) up there in all that Utah beauty.
I know there are all kinds of complications with families.
I know that we all have our ups and downs.
But there is something so special about being encircled in the love of a family. Especially for big steps like this when your daughter is stepping out into a whole new way of life.
I felt that love so strong as we stood with gigantic smiles all huddled together at the end of our temple session with Dave’s extended family back home in the desert. Claire in the middle of everyone, feeling the comfort and love they were oozing out to her.
And I felt it again so powerfully as we stood, arms around each other in a tight circle following the temple session in Utah. Everyone spilling out the things they noticed and the things they love. The things they learned, even after attending the temple so many times.
Oh, I want to imprint those moments on my mama heart forever. I hope Claire has them imprinted on hers as well. Carry all that love with you for the next eighteen months, Claire!
Since my two brothers have recently moved with their families back to Utah (from NYC and Thailand), there are now FIVE of the nine next-generation Eyre families there in that state. And they were all there to celebrate with Claire.
…as was that darling older sister:
AND older brother, sis-in-law and niece (who didn’t make it to the session because of school and lack of babysitters, but so fun to have them there at the end!):
There is some fierce loving in that Aunt Claire for that Baby Murphy I tell you!
Murphy may or may not be a little worried about that fierceness in that picture…ha!
From there we walked down through that little town for dinner…
…meeting extra cousins who came to help celebrate.
So good to catch up with everyone at two different tables…Claire switching half way through.
She was definitely on the “hot seat” with all those people asking questions and giving advice.
We carried the party over to my brother Eli’s house to talk…and make cookies of course.
Eli has a pretty awesome recipe he whipped up I’ll have to get from him and share here along with the 732 other cookie recipes on this blog. Ha!
Sure love these older cousins….
Right along with the amazing younger ones.
Speaking of the younger ones, they gathered all of them in Rock Canyon the next evening. They got to hang with cousin Claire for a little longer before she leaves them for her missionary work.
I was gone by this time (I was just there overnight, Claire stayed a couple days to say all her goodbyes up there). I love this picture my sister sent:
Thank you, dear Mom and Dad, and all you other Eyres. Thank you for sending Claire off with such an abundance of love.
Love you forever!