I still remember the first Sunday we went to Church after moving to California. I went to Relief Society and I remember seeing another new mom holding a little baby on her lap...her fifth boy. I only had Joshua at the time. Looking back I was SO young! She was so young! Joshua is older than her oldest was then. So much has changed. We hit it off right away and bonded over being new and finding our way around a different town that was unlike where either of us had come from. That mom, Lisa, showed me a lot of the ropes of being a new, young mother...especially a mother to a lot of boys! She also taught me a lot about cooking, family routines and traditions, decorating, PAINTING, being a wife, and dealing with hard times. I have so many memories from those first few years in town.
Joshua (in the middle) was right between her Grant and Neal in age. These three had lots of fun together and got into plenty of mischief too.
Lisa's oldest son, Blake, was always such a great kid and would take an interest in my "little" kids. Joshua thought riding around on Blake's electric scooter was pretty much the most exciting thing around. (Yes, that is Max in the picture. He was such a naughty dog and probably followed us over to their house.)
As my kids have gotten older I have often thought of these boys...it makes me realize how fast they all grow up!
Joshua can't figure out why we dressed him so dorky...he doesn't believe us that he was always on the cutting edge! :) Fashion may have changed, but the razor's in the background haven't change a bit!
As the kids got older we both purchased new homes in different areas and our paths didn't cross as much. However, we still got together on special occasions. Our last Christmas in California we went to their home for Christmas Eve. We did all the same things I grew up doing and it felt just like being with family! They were so kind to include us!
Here are my four boys with Grant and Neal again. (At this point I now also had five kids!)
See...I told you we fit right in. Here is the "real" picture! Ha ha
We acted out the Story of Christ's birth from the Bible. Annie was baby Jesus.
James, Grant, and Neal...some very wise men indeed.
Both families take our Nativity very seriously....
I had to throw in this picture of James. It cracks me up.
And Annie, of course!
In less than a year after these Christmas pictures were taken, both of our families moved from California. We pretty much moved IN to that town together and LEFT about the same time. Our family moved to Idaho and they were off to Washington DC.
Soooo.... when a beautiful wedding invitation came in the mail a couple months ago from Sandy, Utah I wondered who it was for. Upon opening it I quickly recognized their oldest son, Blake. I was so happy to see the festivities were being held in UTAH! I knew I had to make the trip. I had planned to go down for a couple days but Ryan ended up being out of town. Joshua was in Washington DC (go figure) and I just decided to drive straight there, go to the reception, and drive home. I was SO glad I did!
You have to take the fanicular up the mountainside to get to the hotel where the reception was being held. We had taken the kids up on it for fun last fall and so when they realized they could STAY at the hotel for the party they were pretty excited.
Luke (Beautiful Deer Valley in the background!)
I was really crossing my fingers that the kids would be on best behavior. Bringing the five youngest to a wedding, by myself, could have been a disaster for sure. Luckily they were all great and had a blast!
Here is Reid on the dance floor with Annie! They were all SO sweet and gracious and just took us right in, including us in all the fun and festivities. (Love that Reid! And HE is single....anyone?)
Reunion! My hair looks dreadful in all these pictures. Apparently, I was having a bad hair day. (Even with short hair, it can happen.) I won't let it stop me from posting pictures though! Too rare of an event! When we used to go to the Oakland Temple together I remember we would get asked if we were sisters. I think I can see it in this picture!
Lisa having a reunion with another dear friend. They look great, huh!?
I was DELIGHTED when we ran into another one of my favorite families in the world that we knew from our years in California. These guys lived right down the street and in those few years we sure had a lot of fun. (They have since moved away as well.)
How gorgeous is Blake's bride!? This is the "boy" that was up on that scooter driving Joshua around. All grown up and deserves all the happiness in the world! He is an amazing guy! I kinda snuck in when the photographer was doing her thing and I love that I caught Blake looking at me and my little old camera! They are seriously such a beautiful couple!
The family...so fun to see a new sister in the mix!
I have to say, not only was the reception beautiful, but it wins top honors for the most "fun" reception I think I have been to in a LONG time. There was a live band, and my kids had such a blast doing their moves on the dance floor.
Us adults did what we always have done best....talk, talk, talk.
I think just about everyone took a turn on the dance floor. I was trying to get a picture of the bride and groom in there dancing. They were so cute.
And here you can see... the groom is still the sweet boy he was all those years ago. He took time out to dance with Sophie! (And Sophie is pretty shy...but I think she was smitten!)
Annie and Sophie with Blake. Annie wasn't just smitten. She was openly in love, with Blake and Reid.
Everyone was so gracious and inclusive. Even the mother-of-the-bride got to know the boys on the dance floor!
My pictures from the night are all terrible lighting! I wish I had done a better job at capturing all the flowers here. They were amazing!
Not much better, but you get the idea.
Luke was getting really into it. I didn't want him to see me taking pictures!
Here is the old gang...haven't aged a bit, have we!? (Don't answer that one.)
Like I said, making the drive was SO worth it. I am so glad I went. It was so great to see old friends. We all picked up right where we left off. It was such a neat night and we were so glad we could share a small portion of their happy day with them. It brought back so many memories !
Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver,
And the other's gold.