Sunday, July 14, 2013

Vacation part 2: Elise's wedding

I have a very vivid memory from when I was about eight years old.  I went into the nursery of our home in Ohio to get my baby sister Elise up from her nap.  She was standing up in the crib with the sunlight turning her hair into an aureole of gold, and when she saw me come in she laughed and held her arms out to me.  I picked her up out of the crib and she threw her arms around my neck and buried her face in my neck, still giggling.  I bent my head to her wild curls, still damp from her nap, and inhaled that indescribably wonderful baby smell and thought that someday I would like a baby of my own if she was as sweet as my sister Elise.

And when I was hugging my little sister Elise on her wedding day, her hair wasn't quite the wild fluff of curls and she didn't smell like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo, but she has grown up to become just as wonderful and happy and laughing as a woman as she was as a baby.  It was a wonderful opportunity to be in the temple with her and see her kneel across the altar from her husband as they were sealed together for time and eternity.  (For more information about LDS temples, check out my previous post here.)

 One of the very best parts of this trip was the opportunity to be in the temple with all four of my sisters, and that was just transcendent for me.  It was also the first time I had ever been to the temple with my grandparents, and I don’t often have the chance to be there with my parents.  So wonderful.  And so thrilling to see my sister Elise sealed for time and eternity to her husband.  Elise is truly one of my best friends and it is such a joy to my heart to see her happiness.  (Plus her husband told me that he didn’t think they would have been married if not for some advice I’d given her while they were dating-- she was feeling unsure about whether she should continue dating him and I told her that she seemed so happy while dating him, whereas she’d been fairly distraught with everyone else she had dated recently.  So that made me feel kind of special to think that I had given her a gentle nudge down a good path.)

Aren't my sisters all such beautiful women?  I love them all so much.

(And I especially love Ruth's photo bombs.)

When Neil and I were at BYU, my uncle offered him a job working at his engineering firm in Salt Lake.  It was an AMAZING opportunity for Neil, who had just finished his freshman year, and the experience he gained there was critical in acquiring his internship with Whirlpool and his current research as a Ph.D. student.  During the years that he worked there, he and my uncle became good friends and it was so fun to see them reconnect and talk for hours about random engineering things.  (Fun fact--my uncle took this photo himself while he was instructing me on the proper way to take a selfie without looking like you're the one who took it.)

 My sweet niece Evelyn.  She is an absolute DARLING and I am so sad that we don't live closer to her!

We managed to get a few family photos while we were hanging out outside the temple.  I was actually really surprised with how well they turned out.  Granted, not everyone is looking at the camera, but nobody looks like they're dying and that is a total victory when you have a photo with five children.

 My parents & sisters with the bride and groom

 Siblings and spouses

So I was quite entertained when I was looking through the big group photos of our family.  These are the only two where you can see every adult's face, because half the time everyone was laughing, or fixing someone's hair, or checking out what the kids were doing.  Like how Isaac is trying to sneak off and my brother-in-law Chris has to catch him?  Isaac completely refused to show his face to the camera.  (In another set of photos from this trip, he would only allow his elbow to be photographed.  Weird kid.)

I should have taken this photo earlier--we're starting to look a little wilted from the 100-degree heat.  It was SO HOT the whole time we were in Utah!!!

And I love these ones.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos and good stories of your time with your family. So glad you had the time and opportunity to be there for Elise's wedding and Neil's family reunion. Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Aunt Pam

Elise Gray said...

Da best family.

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