July 22, 2014

nauvoo // carthage jail

Our last day in Nauvoo was spent visiting Carthage where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred. We got to spend the entire day with my mom since it was her day off. Visiting Carthage was a really neat experience. I went there about ten years ago when I was 14 years old and I remember feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude and renewed faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and all that Joseph Smith has done for the world. The feelings were the same ten years later on my return. Anyone who is willing to give his life for his faith can and should be universally admired.

It was wonderful to be able to spend an entire day with my mom. She showed us around her favorite places in Nauvoo and told us so many stories she had learned about some of the early saints of the church while on her mission. I so admire her for putting her life on hold to serve the Lord. I know it was hard for her to leave her children and grandchildren but she felt called to do the work and was happy to serve.

Later that evening we got to watch her in another musical performance. I got plenty of videos and will probably be sharing them because they are just too cute not to. After the performance we all had to say goodbye because we had to get back to the hotel for a solid six hours of sleep before leaving for Utah early the next morning. We were all sad to leave her. Thankfully she doesn't have much longer before she will be on her way home! I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit her and watch her serve her mission so diligently. Now is back to the waiting game but two months will feel like nothing compared to the sixteen I had to wait before.
Miss you already mom! Can't wait until September!!

July 21, 2014

nauvoo // touring the historical sites

Our second day in Nauvoo was spent touring the historic sites. My mom had missionary work to do that day so it was just myself and my siblings touring. We started with a carriage ride around the little town and got to hear some neat stories about some of the early saints and the apostles. Wesley seemed to enjoy the ride. He was happily screaming and disturbing all the other passengers. 

We visited some fun toy stations where we got to see what kinds of toys and games children in the mid 1800's would play. Chelsea had fun trying to figure out some of the games and trying on some of the bonnets. I fell in love with all the lush greenery and gardens. The buildings are mostly red brick and I fell in love with those as well. Red brick homes with blue accents are among my favorite things. 

We spent the majority of the day just walking around and walking into whatever homes and stations where open. We got to watch a blacksmith make a horse shoe and we visited the grave sites of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Emma Smith and Hyrum Smith. It was amazing to visit their graves and hear stories about their lives. I am so grateful for all they did for the gospel and the world. 

Later that evening we got to meet back up with my mom and take her to dinner. Wesley was exhausted from the day so he and my brother went back to the hotel to go to bed and us girls went to the British pageant that was being performed that evening. It sure has been a while since we got to enjoy a girls night out with my mom. 

I have to give a quick shout out to my brother and sister for all their help. I hate traveling without Jason, especially now that we have a baby. It's difficult not having your rock with you when you're away from home. Thank heavens my brother and sister were to willing to help me out with Wesley. Benny basically took charge and adopted him for the weekend. Anytime Wesley got fussy he would snatch him up and find ways to either put him to sleep or make him a happy camper. Thank you thank you!

The Mississippi sure is beautiful but I can't say that I enjoyed the humidity and bugs. Bleh. I am 100% a desert baby. Give me dry heat over humidity any day. There was absolutely no point to doing my hair. I was walking around with an all natural Hermione Granger kind of look.

July 20, 2014

nauvoo // reunited

After a day and a half of driving across the country we finally made it to Nauvoo IL where my mom is serving an LDS Mission. She has been serving since March 2013 so it had been an official sixteen months since I had last seen her face to face. That also means she hadn't met Wesley. Needless to say I missed her immensely.

When we finally arrived to Nauvoo my mom was waiting outside her tiny white mission home jumping up and down with pure excitement. I've been missing my mom since she left but it wasn't until that moment when I realized just how much. My brother Benny, my sister Chelsea, Wesley and I all got out of the car and wrapped my mom's skinny little body up in a big group hug. It was so nice to be reunited with her. She finally got to hold Wesley for the first time! It was such a sweet moment to see my son and my mom finally embracing. She took us all in to her house for a little snack before going to one of her musical performances. Oh how we all have missed her cooking. My mom has been vegan for more then ten years so growing up our meals were mainly vegan and vegetarian. Not many can say they missed such meals but we sure did. There is just something about "mom's cooking" that every child can appreciate and my moms veggie sandwiches, fruit smoothies, pumpkin waffles will always have a special place in her children's hearts.

After getting reaquainted we all headed to my mom's first musical performance with the other senior missionaries. There was dancing, singing and a children's parade that Wesley got to participate it. It was so fun to see my mom up on stage singing and dancing like I remember her doing in the kitchen with me and my little sister. She is such a ham up there on stage and she was completely in her element just having the time of her life. Our first day in Nauvoo was a dream. Being reunited with my mom and having my son finally meet her will forever be one of my favorite moments in life.

My mom's famous vegan "avocado" key lime pie. I can (and have) eat this for every meal.
We got to decorate a hat for Wesley before he marched through the parade with a bunch of other children. I think his favorite part was trying to eat the crayons.

How cute is she up there in her costume? She was up there dancing and singing her heart out looking like she was having the time of her life!