We left her behind because she had to work and Adam and Mark and I went to Nevada Saturday morning. The weather outside was frightful (just really cold) but the heated seats were so delightful. We had a nice trip, listening to a few podcasts and with Mark at the music helm, a lot of 80s music. It's his favorite. We listened to Van Halen, Bon Jovi, A-ha, Tears for Fears. Adam drew the line at Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train.
We got to Olivia's just in time for her annual Ladies' Brunch. I missed my little lady, Emma, but I was happy to be there.
Here's the whole group plus Omar who stood in the picture before his dad took him and his brothers to town. (picture courtesy of Olivia's blog)
How I love this group! These women are my support. They hold me up and lift me up and love me. I hope these girls, the next generation, feel the sustaining power of our sisterhood. We're there for them in every way and I hope they know it.
We laughed and cried (OK, not everyone cried but I was one of the ones who did). We ate delicious food and talked about our past year (that was when the crying happened) and what we are looking forward to in the new year.
We played After the Manner of the Adverb which was at times hilarious and at times scary. When the adverb was offensively, everyone was a little too skilled at being mean to each other.
Despite the expertise at giving offense, we're usually nice to each other, so that's what matters, right?
We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting and then reconvened at my parents' for the rest of the evening. Mark was ordained a Teacher by these stellar men.
I'm grateful for the uncles and grandpas (here and not pictured) that provide support and examples to my boys.
I'm also sort of fond of that Adam.
Sunday we went to church and heard Clarissa speak. I sat between my uncle Fred, who I love, and Adam. We were on the front row because my whole life, I've sat on the front row at church. It's my spot. And it's also Enoch's spot and I always get into sacrament meeting before him and then there's no room for him and then he has to go back a few rows and curl his long legs up into some sort of configuration while I'm languishing in leg room.
I'm pretty sure he forgave me. Or he will someday when he's not so tired from getting home late from a basketball tournament the night before.
Maybe I owe that kid a Diet Coke with Lime. I sort of need to stay on his good side. Starting back when he was in seventh grade he could put me in the coat closet and hold me there.
Anyway, Clarissa's talk. It was wonderful! She is the perfect mix of earnest goodness and poise and and then she can't find the exact scripture she's looking for but handles it with panache. I love her! Halfway through her talk when the tears were streaming down my face, I considered asking Mark to reach up by the pulpit and grab me a Kleenex (advantage of sitting on the front row) but then I remembered I had Kleenex in my purse.
These are facts I should remember earlier.
Clarissa also sang a solo and knocked the socks off the entire congregation.
Every time I'm in the Wells Ward, I remember I'm an aspen tree, standing on my own but part of something much bigger than me. That place is full of cousins and second cousins.
Then there's the people who aren't related but it feels like they are. At the lunch at Marianne's house after church, I was sitting next to Rachel Moore (used to be Knudsen) and a young woman who used to be a missionary around there and was back visiting was reconnecting with Rachel. She said, "Are you related to everyone? It seems like everyone is related."
I said we were pretty much related and Rachel explained that our grandparents had known each other and our parents had gone to high school together and we had grown up together. She said we tried to get related by having some of the siblings marry but it never worked.
I love being related and practically related to good people.
We drove home in the late afternoon. It was 9 degrees when we left Marianne's house and had warmed up to a balmy 18 when we got home. It was a nice drive with more podcasts and music. At one point Adam tilted his head toward the back seat where Mark was and said, "I'm glad we will have four more years of this."