He and I went to a morning meeting where he and one of his friends who also just returned from a mission reported to the stake leaders.
Then we went to two friend’s homecoming talks in different ward congregations.
And then we headed to our own ward and squished as many family members as we could into the front of the chapel so we could be up close and personal.
I know I’m biased, but I think the talk he gave was really quite spectacular. It was just the right balance of experiences with wonderful people he met and scriptures he’s grown to love and just love for his Savior.
Then it was a whole army of friends and cousins from both sides of the family cramming in the foyer.
I tried to get as many as I could together for a picture:
Max with some of the other returned missionary friends:
Then back home for a quick dinner before all the cousins on Dave’s side of the family arrived to join us.
Oh, and of course some pictures:
We were so happy to have my parents here since they couldn’t make it to the farewell.
We missed Dave’s parents who are still in Ghana doing some wonderful service there, but felt their love through calls and emails.
Max with his sisters…the furry one holding a spot for the extra tall one missing that day:)
We settled in and Dave welcomed everyone:
And Max showed a few more pictures and told some more stories and answered questions with this next group of cousins along with some from the day before:
It was fun because they asked different questions and I just love love love to hear all the stories and experiences I can get my hands on.
Then we had crepes:
…just like we did when he left
…and talked and visited.
Loved having all the friends and neighbors and cousins and siblings and in-laws mingle, although I was a little overwhelmed trying to get a chance to talk to everyone. So many people I love right there in my kitchen and I was wishing I could sit down and talk with each one. So grateful for all of them!
Loves seeing groups like this with cousins on both sides as well as long-lost friends:
That night after everyone not staying with us left (and my parents and Noah & Kristi had to take off back to their homes), Saren, Saydi and their husbands sat in our family room and talked and talked until way too late into the night about everything from the intricacies of the gospel and how we live it to how funny all of us Eyre girls are at making decisions. Love those people.
My one regret was not getting a group picture with everyone there to support Max. Just too much going on, and things I wanted to be there for, and not behind my camera.
So I decided I better at least capture the remaining cousins with my boy before they drove off on their long journey the next day.
So grateful that they drove all that way both ways just to be here to celebrate for a couple days.
I’m going to have to rein-act a picture with Dave’s side of the family some day. Ha!
I say “ha” but I’m actually serious. I just don’t ever want to forget how much support and love they give us always. I was overwhelmed over and over again with a heart so full of gratitude.
Life sure can throw you some curveballs. But it can sure throw you some goodness and light as well. And this last weekend was pretty much filled to the brim with the goodness and light part.
Now our boy is officially a “returned missionary.” It’s still hard to believe I’m actually saying that!
I was asking him in the car the other day how it felt to be home and to have the mission behind him…all that scary and out-of-your-comfort-zone and hard and beautiful stuff wrapped up. And he told me he is grateful, but he’s even more nervous now than he was to leave on that grand adventure.
The world is wide open just waiting for him. What is next? So far he knows after a couple more weeks here he’ll be working full-time up in Provo until Spring semester begins and then he’ll be back to school and work too.
So many great things in store for that boy, so much to figure out…can’t wait to see what the next adventures bring.
Until then, I think we’re all glowing ten times brighter having him HOME.
Can I ask you where you purplish plum skirt is from? I absolutuly love it!
Thank you! It's from Loft a couple years ago.
This right of passage does not feel like a nonpressured choice. It reminds me of the family rallying around a teen encouraging/pressuring/selling a holy order entrance back in the 60’s. Loads left after a few years. This is a lot of hoopla over a cousin one side of the family they see maybe once or twice a year and missed for China one year, India another and a mission twice. It seems more to do cause of the example to the littler ones than really about Max. They already see homecomings when any missionary comes home in their ward. It boggles my mind everyone didn’t go to grams funeral but just you and Grace but you got half your siblings and most nieces and nephews crossing state lines for this. It’s fascinating. I will say the game room is the most well used room of the house, worth every minute of planning and penny spent.
Thanks for sharing, Shawni!
I would really like to find out more about the custom “wallpaper” in your game room. It looks like it came from your blog? How do you do that?
I wrote about that wallpaper back here: https://71toes.com/2016/12/the-wall.html. Hope that helps!