Thursday, August 30, 2007

"They do not love who do not show their love."

We just saw two people very much in love bind themselves to each other for eternity. My little sister Briana married Mike on the 17th of August, and there was enough love flowing between the two of them to light up a city, or at least a really fun party.

Being married at 19 is not for sissies. (I know from experience.) I was a little concerned about Briana's choice to be married so young. But her wedding day made me second-guess my concerns. This world is so full of worriers, of pessimists, of nay-sayers, too often myself included. These two darling people married young enough that their eyes are still bright. They see nothing but sunshine ahead. And maybe that's not only OK, maybe that's preferable: to have a wedding day full of optimism and hope. Isn't that what we all want, after all? A future full of brightess? There will be trials for them, as there are for all of us, but they're starting out with belief and joy, and so much love. They're pure and sweet now, and I have to think that they will face those certain trials with grace and dignity.

So here's to Bri and Mike. I hope they have as much love for each other in 16 years as David and I have now, not just despite the hard times, but because of them.

Beautiful moments:

The sealing, of course. The sealing room was seeped in love. So sweet.

Watching Mike watching Bri

The flower girls holding Bri's train at the temple
The dancing...especially Chad dancing with Abby! Way to go, Chaddie boy. Also, Dad dancing with Bri. And of course, I loved dancing with David.
The up-dos on the flower girls courtesy of Peggy. Thank you!

Eating cake straight from the plate after the party had ended.

Love, love and more love. There's nothing like family. Chad left for Iraq this week, so it will be some time before we're all together again. It was wonderful to laugh and be together.

The brothers and sisters

The cute cousins

Our little family

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

St. Joe

After David's dad's funeral, we thought it would be good to take Mom to Paul and Cindee's cabin on the St. Joe river in northern Idaho. We all wanted a chance to take a few more days to let the reality of Dad being gone sink in before returning to real life. The funeral was Friday and we left Sunday, traveling 13 LONG hours to get there.

Despite the long and rather frustrating drive (Ben apparently does not like long car trips and thinks he should eat every hour and a half), we were so glad that we made the decision to go. We talked a lot about Dad, enjoyed watching the kids play on the dock and in the water, and spent time just being together. Grief is a funny thing. It comes in waves. Most of the time we remembered Dad and wished he could be there with us, and other times it felt like a bad dream that he WASN'T there with us.

The dock on St. Joe's

The crazy boys before jumping from a train trestle

The cousins...NO FEAR

What a wonderful group of little people: Josh, Sophie, Lexie, Kate, Alyssa

One of my favorite memories of this trip will be the last night together. We sat around the fire pit that David and Paul dug (with help from the kids) and sang Dad's favorite songs ("Little Purple Pansies", anyone?) and laughed at his favorite sayings ("Illegitimus non corborundum," "Feile hande machte arbeite schnell" (sorry, I can't spell in Latin or German), and a few I will NOT write down for posterity). We are blessed to have had him as such an important part of our lives. The day before he died, he laboredly said to me, "I saw all your children." How grateful I am that he did. They all had him as part of their lives, if only for too short a time.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Summer Night in Deer Valley

We just got back from a night at the Deer Valley Music Festival. Tonight was a performance of The Gondoliers (Gilbert and Sullivan), with the same cast as the last three years' G & S operas. Eric, Nina, Abby, Will, Ezra, Kurt and Ashleigh all joined us. It was a lovely night; clear skies, not too cold. Dinner on a blanket, happy children dancing to seems worthwhile on a night like tonight. And how sweet is it to have Sophie and Josh discussing the points of the opera they liked the best? They really paid attention this year, watching and listening so carefully. It makes a musical mom proud. Not only that, but they threw fits when they realized this would be the only DVMF night they'd get to attend this year. How cute is THAT?

Of course, half the fun for Sophie was practicing walking on her hands and doing cartwheels downhill. Kate and Abby loved running up and down the mountain. Kate's formerly broken leg started to hurt a little after the first few times up and down. She didn't complain, but started to limp a bit. Josh loved snuggling up in blankets and eating a lot of sugar. Ben enjoyed eating and sleeping and smiling at everyone. (This was his first concert!)

My favorite moment of the night was the finale and applause...all the kids except Josh came out to the side of the audience and danced and bowed. Sophie had some great footwork going on, and she spun Abby around. They were darling. Oh, but a close second favorite moment was Will making friends with the man in front of us, then rubbing this stranger's head. Childhood is too short, but so sweet.

It's been such a rough summer that nights like this are all the more precious.