[family, draper temple]
I went to Utah last weekend, took hundreds of pictures of the nieces and nephews, went out to eat with friends, took a long walk with my parents and sister and her kids, had a sister/mama sleepover, and just generally soaked up the sweet home feeling. Arriving, when the plane came into the Salt Lake Valley, I could feel my body relax. It's so green now, so lovely and familiar. I could pick out all of the temples and my parents' neighborhood, and I could hardly breathe, I was so glad to be there.
I don't have a cohesive story about being there aside from that. But here's something I want to remember. My niece, Ari, loves Sam. When Sam comes to visit at Christmas, she shouts "SAM!!" and runs up and hugs him. He's not exactly used to this sort of attention, and he likes her for it. Everyone likes Ari for this: she's spunky, and she's good at making people feel like she's glad they're around.
Sam stayed in Boston since it was such a quick trip, but at one point when I called him and Ari was in the backseat of my parents' car with me, she wanted to talk to him. She wanted to ask him questions, which turned out to be: "How old are you?" (he told her 21); "How much do you weigh?" (i think he was honest, there); and, my favorite, "Did you know the Egyptians took peoples' brains out of their noses?" Sam said he did know, and did she know they also kept their organs in jars in case they'd need them later?
All weekend after that, my father asked if her brains were coming out of her nose. A classic tease-y grandpa question, no?
A few other gratuitous niece/nephew pictures:
[Maggie, who is shy and has pink sunglasses]
[bubby (gavin jr), who is one of those happy, mellow babies]
[ms. savannah. it took me about 100 shots (literally) to get one of her smiling. she doesn't pass them out, but when she has one for you: ohh, boy.]
[the ever-elegant tia, jumping]
[mr kai (a gentle soul) and a silly ari (his sister)]
[and keaton. oh keaton. he keeps the whole world laughing.]
Are they not exquisite creatures, every one of them? I wish, oh I wish, I lived closer.
But speaking of where we live, one last story: Sam and I went looking for condos (yes, stillll looking) and I asked, just before we walked into the first place, if we could maybe pray before we went, just so we'd be directed to the right house. Sam said sure, and surprised me by putting his forehead against mine, right in the middle of the quiet street. He held my head in both of his hands, his fingers tangled in my curls, and said the Our Father slowly and beautifully. I could hear the birds singing as I listened to him pray, and we felt like a team, like the three of us (Sam, me, God) were in a sort of prayer-huddle. That was a lovely moment. Now if we can just get the pretty Queen Anne Victorian place I'm currently obsessed with ... Or something else. I don't HAVE to have that place. I just wannnnnnt it.
[P.S. My guest post is up on Segullah today, on the subject of Sam, so take a look, if you'd like.]