It was one of those days that I'm REALLY glad that we live so close to my family. It was a heart singing sort of day. It was the kind of day that I brought my camera, but didn't take it out once because I was busy just being.
I'm OK with that.
We drove to Nevada just in time for sacrament meeting. I didn't take any pictures, but Mark was warmly greeted by his little cousins. (Braeden and Mark are both heroes among Olivia's boys. They'll hardly give me the time of day. Someone needs to inform them that Braeden and Mark are my sons. Aren't I acceptable by association?)
I didn't take any pictures, but I reconnected with some aunts and uncles that I haven't seen for a few years. They marveled at my children. (They didn't mention that I look older, just my kids. That was kind.)
I didn't take any pictures of me sitting on the front row and my three tall brothers tucking their long legs into rows behind me. (You have got to get there early, boys.)
I didn't take any pictures (it was during church), but Clarissa spoke with poise and conviction and that girl is spectacular. Also, Liberty accompanied her on the piano and Clarissa sang, which was fabulous. Also, I cried big tears during the closing song, "Called to Serve." Because our little Clarissa is going out in the world and wasn't she just a toddler?
(I told Adam he needs to be the kind of man that always has a handkerchief in his pocket.)
(I wasn't the only one crying.)
I didn't take any pictures, but Marianne pulled off, with panache and skill and grace and composure, feeding well, well over one hundred people . I'd like to think my contribution of a few bags of chips helped? (I wasn't the main chip person, that was Tabor. Just ask him.)
I didn't take any pictures, but it was the last time for awhile that we'll all be together. (Except sweet Luke, who was sick. Why does Luke have to be sick, ever? His bright smile was one thing I was looking forward to.) Braeden will leave before Clarissa gets home, then Desi will leave before Braeden gets home and then I don't think I want to talk about it any more because these kids are growing up too fast.
I didn't take any pictures, but I got to see Rachel, who I grew up with. Like I told my kids, the Knudsens were our Jorgensens. "Ohhh," they say. They get that. The Knudsens must have mattered.
I didn't take any pictures, but there was dizzying repartee that only happens when my quick witted siblings get together.
I didn't take any pictures, but I got to briefly commiserate with my little brother, the bishop. Sometimes we're asked to do hard things when we would just like to go along our merry way and be left alone. I love that Tabor gets it. I love that he's bishop instead of me.
I didn't take any pictures, but my boys and their cousins were involved in very complicated maneuvers. At least one or more boy was constantly being handcuffed. There were a lot of toy weapons involved. And Braeden would occasionally sling a younger cousin over his shoulder to carry them as needed. Then Braeden would come and bask in his uncles' company. Then he'd go back and shine his presence on his cousins. I love the whole circle of life. Braeden is devoted to his uncles and the little cousins are devoted to Braeden.
I didn't take any pictures, but we reconvened at my parents' house. My mom gave Braeden the afghan she's been crocheting for him for a graduation present and my dad gave him the silver tie tack he had made for Braeden, and I thought, that's strange you're giving him graduation gifts. Isn't my baby boy five years old?
Still attempting and failing at the denial.
I didn't take any pictures, but Clarissa broke away from the rest of the party still happening at her house and drove over to my parents' house to say her last good-byes. My mom was cooking up homemade pizzas because Marianne got that panache and skill and grace and composure from somewhere. My dad asked me to say a prayer before the meal. I prayed for Clarissa. I cried.
A lot of us did.
(People shouldn't ask me to say a prayer.)
I hugged Clarissa and I love that girl and count myself blessed that we got to share so much of her first year at BYU with her. Like I had told my mom and her friend Laurel earlier in the day, Clarissa was a good choice for a firstborn cousin.
Sunday was a day to remember. It was a day of joy. Full, full, full.