Monday, April 4, 2016

St Louis

For Spring Break Kyle and I headed to St Louis to visit some family. We had such a great week. Big shout out to Em, Jesse and the kids for putting up with us and showing us such a good time! I thought I would just take it day by day. 

Saturday: We set out at about 6 am. By the time we got to the Broadbent's Em said "Are you moving in?" I don't know why we brought so much--but we were not lacking in supplies. We had a food bag that could have kept us alive for about a month, if rationed correctly haha. Our drive was nice, the weather lovely. We made a pit stop in Kirtland, Ohio to see the Kirtland Temple and stretch our legs. 

It might have been my favorite 10 minutes of our entire trip. I couldn't hold back my feelings as I stared at that holy place. The things that have happened within those walls! We didn't even go inside, but I could feel so strongly the Spirit. It is because of those faithful Saints that I get to be with my sweet husband for all eternity. It is because of the goodness of the Lord, His Atonement, and the dedication of people who KNEW (read "Mothers Who Know" for why I chose that phrase) that I get to be with my mom again. That temple was built and Elijah returned!  I was completely overcome with gratitude for those people. I hope to hold them each in my arms one day and offer my gratitude in person. 

Okay, well this is probably difficult to see. But, Artemis Millet, my great great great (great?) grandfather's name just happened to be on the page opened in the museum. It made the experience just that more real for me. 

There was no one around, so propping the phone on the sidewalk and trying to snap a picture was difficult. This was the best we could do. But, I like it!

Sunday: Easter. It was a great Easter. We attended Church where Kyle and I got a little flavor of what it would be like to have a couple kids. A.J. was having a hard time so we sat with the other three while Em attended to her. I am glad that kids usually come just one by one so that we learn little by little how to do these things because we were out of our element! Parents of young children are rockstars! We ate dinner with the Jesse's extended family and had an egg hunt there. It was grand. 

Of course as I contemplated the true meaning of Easter throughout the day I couldn't avoid once again being flooded with gratitude. The happiest words in all are scripture are: "He is not here, for He is risen." (Matt 28:6) He overcame death. He conquered the grave. He lived again. And because He lives so will you, and me, and him, and her. Yesterday during General Conference, Elder Paul V. Johnson spoke about loosing a daughter. He talked about how Easter and the hope that comes through Christ and His Resurrection. My favorite quote was: "I love Easter to remind me." My words, coupled with my loss, echo his. I love Easter, now more than ever, to remind me. 

Easter Day

Monday: Happy Anniversary to us! I can't believe it has already been a year. Man, that went by fast. We spent the morning lounging, then enjoyed a picnic lunch at the park with the kids. A game of tag was in order, and while attempted to climb the play turned I learned I am not as young as I once was. My little mishap caused a pretty sore shoulder for a few days haha. At night we went out to dinner with Em and Jesse (it was Jesse's birthday!) and then saw Super v. Batman. Kyle and I then set off for Nauvoo, about 3 hours away. We didn't get in until about 2 am! Our hotel was actually in Iowa. It was very confusing, we left Missouri for Illinois, to end up staying in Iowa. How were all these states so close together!? 

Tuesday: We spent the day in Nauvoo and it was so wonderful. Has there ever been a cuter, quainter, and more historically well preserved little town? Loved it. We watched some people make ropes, ate homemade bread from a Bussell (sp?) oven. We got our own little brick made from Nauvoo clay. We visited old log houses and walked down Parley street. We walked the temple grounds and marveled, once again, at the beauty of another Temple. We sat at the Christus (Christas, Christes?) in the Visitors Center. As the day was winding to a close we headed to Carthage Jail. There we took a tour to see where the Prophet Joseph was martyred. What a wonderful and spiritual day it was--a memory I will always cherish. We even have the memento brick to remind us. 

Once again, we attempt a picture of this cool brick wall, with a precariously perched phone. Unsuccessful. 

The weather that day was absolutely glorious. 

Joseph and Hyrum riding to Carthage. They stopped on the bluff where the Temple is built to look out over the valley at the Saints. "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them." 

Wednesday: Another temple you say? YES. Wednesday Em, Kyle and I did a session in the St. Louis temple. Temples temple galore. Amazing! After the Temple, Kyle and I headed over to see Grandma Brown. Kyle hadn't seen her in many years and I got to meet her for the first time. We had a great conversation--she is sharp as a whip. She is moving to Utah this summer and we so look forward to going and seeing her more often.

Thursday: Our last day in St Louis. Em and Cammie (Em's best friend/sister in law) took some amazing one year pictures for us. Then we headed to Ikea and Ted Drewes. It was the perfect way to end our trip. Of course, there is so much we did that I didn't mention the other days like endless conversations about life, lots of treat making, and lots of snuggles and playing with the kids....and homework. There was also homework. Bleck. 

Frozen Custard is THE most delicious thing--especially when it has a piece of apple pie mixed in. 

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