But let’s back up a second…
…to when Elle and the girls reunited:
We sported around a mini van while our car was finally in the shop, getting the duct tape that was holding it together exchanged for a new bumper.
Here’s my view from the back seat after Elle and I did a little birthday shopping and the driver for the car body shop took us from the rental place to pick up our car…
…which actually wasn’t ready so we borrowed our neighbor’s car for a day. (We have the best neighbors!)
Wedding reception with cousins:
Elle organized all her Jerusalem pictures to show us a slide show, and we went through some of mine while it was just the two of us at home (little girls at school). I loved having her bring back memories of places were we stood in the exact same spots, twenty-five years apart. Here I am at the Nimrod Fortress all those years ago:
And we figured we may as well take pictures to truly appreciate the changing colors of the sky.
I loved that gorgeous backdrop of a purple sky, a huge full moon rising opposite the sinking sun.
We each talked about our most exciting thing as well as the thing we’re most worried about in life as we sat around the fire just like I do with my mom and sisters each year at MFME. This may take some work to get to same level of sharing…ha! But a little practice on communication and letting each one of us express some things.
We got our favorite California treat:
…and got crisped up in the sun at the beach:
I still can’t believe Max can whip these back flips out like nobody’s business.
I loved all the side conversations, and the slowness of time so let those happen.
I love this place. Made me think of Gift from the Sea as I walked along the beach while we waited for a table to free up for us.
…and also to do Elle’s traditional cake float:
(except it was cookies instead of cake…even better in Elle’s opinion…)
(Lucy earned an iPod over the summer…a post for another day…and is pretty excited about taking her own pictures…)
We rode the ferris wheel and caught the end of the sunset from the roof.
…followed by a slide show jam packed with all the adventures Elle had in Jerusalem….streamed to the television.
We rode bikes to Huntington (14 miles round trip) and marveled that Dave did 54 miles of that in his Ironman.
Did some paddle-boarding:
My family was full of good sports for family picture taking. Even Dave just rocked it. I just felt like I didn’t know when we’d be all together again and wanted to capture that moment in time and instead of rolling eyes and putting up a fight, everyone just asked what they could do to help and followed along with my far-fetched plan.
We scrounged up the best outfits we could coordinate and headed to the beach with two large plastic bins I was all set to balance on top of each other on which to perch my camera with a self-timer to capture that moment. I scoped out the perfect spot:
Everyone was seriously in the best moods, which does not happen for pictures.
See those bins (two stacked inside each other) that Dave is holding below?
That was my tripod plan (there’s a blanket in there I was working to perch my camera on top of to level it out).
Here those good sports are, just wondering how I was going to pull this sucker off:
Right at the moment when I was going to leave that camera precariously perched on those swaying-in-the-breeze plastic bins, the nicest couple came up with big smiles (partly because they were nice, but probably more because we were quite an amusing scene) and told us they wanted to help.
Oh man, they were the best!
They took a bunch of pictures for us and I think the very first one they took might be my favorite.
We tried to pay them but they refused and went their way, so happy to help.
Gosh I’m thankful for such nice people!
Everyone was so happy and the light was so beautiful that of course I had to keep pushing it to get some individual shots, and I’m so glad because there was happiness just oozing out of those kids I tell you.
…and that husband too 🙂
Ok, thanks for bearing with me, I realize that was a LOT of pictures. But believe me, I left out like 213 of them 🙂
It’s good that I’ve had horrendous family picture experiences to contrast to that one so I could know how much to appreciate that moment in time. They’re not the best pictures in the world, but that moment is captured and I will treasure it always.
We came home on Sunday to be here for our neighbor’s mission farewell. He’s going to Taiwan and we’re so excited for him.
We got to have a slide show from Grace’s Dominican Republic experience:
…and it was so nice to have ALL of us sitting next to each other in church once again.
While the girls were in school on Monday we snuck off with Max and Elle and a couple other almost-to-return-to-college cousins to the lake:
Yep, that is a cast up there on her leg.
And yep, those were full-on backflips that cousin was doing on that wakeboard.
We have a lot of lake stuff to learn 🙂
And here is my favorite mountain (again):
On Max’s last night we snuck off to see Crazy Rich Asians with him. Kind of fun to see together after living in Asia (Elle was with some college friends).
And then we sent those two off again. Max one day, then Elle the next.
Off to the land of college life.
I think I feel a tiny ounce of the feeling my parents feel after we all leave Bear Lake: piles of things to catch up on, but with a big smile of gratitude for all that togetherness we were able to pull off.