I'll have to add pictures later, but here are the top ten from our recent expedition to Utah.
In order of their appearance in my head. . .
10. The mountains. Ohh--the mountains. I love the green, green trees and expansive fields of the Midwest, but when you grow up with mountains, how can anything else compare?
9. A talk given by R. L. Wilcox my first Sunday home. Maybe the best combination of clear doctrine, sweet kindness, fun story, and side-splitting humor I've ever heard in a sacrament meeting address. (I need to tell the story later. It starts with a crazy old hermit in an overheating old truck and ends with some gnats stuck in Preparation H. Best. Story. Ever.)
8. Meeting my brother Mike's delightful wife Kelly for the second time. She is gracious, hospitable, and game to do anything. Good choice, Mike. You did your family proud.
7. Seeing my brother Pete for the first time in over two years. He is taller, nicer, and, if possible, even skinnier than when he left. He is also worriesomely (is that a word?) righteous. Mike and Dave, I expect you to work on that.
6. The Draper Temple Open House. So beautiful and peaceful. Bella took the opportunity, while everyone was being especially reverent in the celestial room, to express her very loud delight at the experience.
5. Watching the BYU women's basketball team, even if they did lose to the University of Utah. My cousin Mindy plays for BYU, and she is lightning quick and incredibly coordinated. I've decided that every family has a quota of athletic ability, and I must have agreed before birth to allow my portion to go to Mindy. (Well, probably my portion and the portion of all my children and future children--she's that good.) So, I'm going to claim a little credit for her fantasticness.
4. Hiking through the desert near Indian Creek, north of Monticello, with John's dad and older brother. You should have seen my girls and their delight at the endless expanse of red rock to climb, red pebbles to throw in the water, and red sand to stomp in. It reignited my love of the area.
3. The "Princess and the Pea" party my mother-in-law threw for my girls. She has an enormous bed in one of the guest rooms, and the girls were tested to see if they were true princesses. Beginning with a very princesslike enormous bubble bath and ending in a removal of the peas from under the mattress because they were so intrusive, it was a fantastic experience indeed.
2. Watching three of my brothers play intramural football on the fields west of the RB. Sure, I felt ancient, among all those singles and newlyweds. But it was so exciting to see the team they've put together and hear the much-vaunted trash talk.
1. Having my kids, my husband, my siblings, my parents, and my in-laws all in one place. It's lovely to be with people who love my girls. Where I never feel like a burden when I troop in with my tired and noisy entourage.
It was wonderful.