Wednesday, Day 1
My mom and my sister Kelsey arrive! The kids and I meet up with them for lunch. We spend the next three hours at Hobby Lobby and Tai Pan. We shop until we drop, literally. The kids did amazingly well, and we had some great finds! Ikea was next on the list, but we were too wasted. We came home, and my mom and Kelsey made dinner while I did activity days here at our house. How sweet is that! They are so great. Then it was off to gymnastics. They went with Ben to gymnastics with Mary while I taught piano. I met up with them after the lessons. I could tell that Mary felt so special having her aunt and grandma stay for her whole practice. I LOVE having family here. We came home, and crashed. Everyone was smiling.
Thursday, Day 2
We hang around in the morning until we take Sam to preschool, then it is off to the gym. It was fun working out with my mom and my sister. Then I drove them around our town to see some really fun homes. I completely forgot about Sam! My neighbor brought him home and called me to tell me that Sam was ringing our doorbell. I felt pretty bad, but he only had to wait a few minutes. He didn't seem phased at all. He was just excited to show us his peanut butter playdough.
After some very fast showers, we got one of the most exciting phone calls ever. Mike, Mel and Tyler were just minutes away. That's right...the good neighbors!!! They were driving all the way from Colorado, just to see us. We have been counting down the days to this visit for weeks. Mary and Sam have been more excited for this visit than they were for Christmas morning. They had a hard time sleeping the night before, and woke up at the crack of dawn asking when Tyler would be here. We were all anxious.
Mike, Mel and Tyler arrive. There are literal tears of joy. I thought my heart would burst with joy. Mary and Sam were beyond ecstatic to see Tyler. Immediately they were off playing and the house was bursting with happiness. Mary has a certain giggle that she does when she is incredibly happy. She was doing this the rest of the day. I sat back for a second and thought, "this has got to be what heaven is like. Family and close friends all with eachother." Nothing can compare to the joy that brings.
My mom and my sister took off for Provo a while later and were there the rest of the day. My sister was checking out the BYU campus. She is deciding if she will accept her offer to go there.
The good neighbors and our family spent the rest of the day at temple square.
Good company, good sights, good feelings and a very, very good day. We all just basked in the feeling of being with wonderful friends once more. It felt like I was in another world. Almost like we were back in Colorado.
I all of the sudden got a croaky voice mid-sentence while talking with Mel. I ended up with laryngitis the rest of the time. Aside from sounding raspy and a whopper of a sore throat, I could have cared less. It didn't stop us one bit. It just gave us another thing to joke about.
That evening, Mike Mel and Tyler went back to their hotel, our kids crashed, and Ben and I rented a movie. We watched it and waited for my mom and Kelsey's arrival. They came, the movie ended, and we talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was another amazing day.
Friday, Day 3
Kelsey and my mom begin the drive back to Pocatello. I was sad to see them go, but so glad that they came and stayed with us. And even more happy that our visits are so much more often and the drive is so short. Mike and Mel and Tyler come back after breakfast. Mary and Sam were pacing the floors. We decide to go to a movie and to the mall to let the kids play on the toys there. (the weather was pretty nasty) We miss the movie, but have a great time at the mall. The kids take a ride on the mall train, and get energy out on the toys.
The adults talk and talk and talk. While we were at the mall, my mom called and informed me that they decided to stay one more day. YYYEEESSSS!!! They went back to Provo, but would stay another night with us. Dinner is at Cafe Rio, and then it is home. The day was nice and sunny at that point, so the kids ran outside.
The evening was spent with yummy ice cream, brought to us by my mom and Kelsey from the BYU Creamery, and another movie. Good times.
Saturday, Day 4
Mom and Kelsey leave, for real this time. We head out to the hotel to swim with Mike, Mel and Tyler.
The kids have fun in the pool, the adults basked in the goodness of being together again. Then, all to quickly, the goodbye arrived.
I still can't really talk, or write about it too much, as the emotions are still right at the surface. I was heartbroken enough, but watching Mary's little lip quiver and her sweet smile fade, was too much. She truly loves Tyler, and they have a very special and unique bond as true friends. It is so precious. She had to be held tonight, in order to fall alseep.
We all tried to be tough, but we all struggled. It was kind of like saying goodbye to Colorado all over again. The past four days have felt like a wonderful dream. The feelings of being back with Mike and Tyler and Mel, and being with my family, made it feel like we were back in Colorado, surrounded by the warmth and friendship we felt there. Like nothing had changed. Like we had just gone on a long trip, and now we were back together again. Back on 4775 Ramblewood Drive, hanging out in the living room or in the mountains on the back side of Pikes Peak sitting by the fire until the last log burns.
When Mike and Mel left, they took a lot of that feeling with them, as well as a piece of our hearts.
It was rough, really rough. At the same time though, I feel happier here because they came. Our home feels more complete, because those we love have been in it. We have memories with them here now. We wouldn't trade that for anything.
It is only the beginning of a lot of visits with them. It was truly a heart-warming and uplifting visit that reminded us of the power of true friendship. They left footprints in our home that will never fade and footprints on our hearts that will last through this life and into the next. True friendship never dies...no matter the time or distance.
(sorry it's blurry..Mike, can you send my your picture?)