First of all…I’m happy to say…we’re back!! August and September were the CRAZIEST months. We moved…and moved…and got married…and honeymooned…and attempted to get settled into our new place…and I started a new job. The entire six weeks that i’ve been away though…I thought about blogging pretty much every day. I think I thought about it more than baking. If you know me, you know that’s really something. I’m hopeful that I can catch up on all the things I haven’t yet blogged about. August and September were just so wonderful, I don’t want to forget any of it.
OK…so, at the end of July (yes, we are going waaaaay back) we headed to Utah for a family reunion. This would be my first official meeting with my future-in-laws. Although I had meet them before, it wasn’t in the context of being Grant’s significant other. Also, it was the weekend before the bar exam, just a litte bit more anxiety and stress…
We left Minneapolis late in the afternoon, so Grant could get in a full day of work, and I could get in a full day of studying. I believe I spent the entire flight studying as well. (Except for the time I spent enjoying my ginger ale and Biscoff cookies)
We were greeted in Utah with the most beautiful sunset.
Seriously, isn’t that incredible? I would happily move west just for the promise of more of those.
We were there a day before the reunion actually started. We had planned on doing work and studying, but then being in Utah got the best of us. I still needed a wedding dress, and Grant had dearly missed friends and family to catch up with, so we reset our priorities and changed our plans. I went wedding dress shopping with Grant’s sweet mother and my dear, sweet friend Rachel. It was such a special treat to spend time with both of them. Because it was Pioneer Day (a Utah/Mormon holiday), there was literally ONE shop open in Salt Lake City, but that worked out perfectly for us! I tried on a bunch of dresses, narrowed it down to two. We left to have lunch, so I could think about it and text my mom the pictures. I decided I was going to get the one that she liked best. She loved the one that I sensed everyone else loved too, so I got it! Just like that, one shop. I bought the dress off the rack and was able to take it home that day!
That evening Grant showed me around his home town. We had dinner at his favorite *Mexican* restaurant. I use the * because I wouldn’t say it was authentic Mexican…
We were treated with another beautiful sunset at the end of our walk up the hill behind his parent’s home.
Also, I couldn’t help but spend too much time looking at all the pictures hanging on the walls at Grant’s parent’s house. Seriously…look at these photos. Heart. Melted.
Friday we set off to Park City for the family reunion. We stayed in the coolest condo. It was decorated very cabin-like with log furniture and lots of ski-themed decorations. In the evening everyone got together for dinner and games at this little park with an awesome yard. This was my first introduction to Grant’s extended family, and it was certainly a memorable one. Grant’s sweet mother stood on a picnic table and welcomed everyone (like 60 people) together and made a few announcements. Her final announcement was a welcome to me, Grant’s fiance. At that moment 60 heads turned to look at me, and if you know me, you know I don’t like any extra attention to be focused on me. Grant said he had never seen my face so red, haha. It was very sweet though, and I got to meet so many of their sweet relatives that night as well as watch generations come together to play games and enjoy each other’s company.
The baseball game turned into quite an event for everyone…
The woods behind the park were really beautiful, and Grant, being the sweet fiance that he is, humored me with a few more photos…
Throughout the weekend there were so many opportunities for everyone to just have fun together:
How cool is that game on the bottom right? That awesome family came up with an entire Jeopardy game with questions all about different family members. It was such a cool opportunity for everyone to learn more about their family members there and also the one they come from.
And how awesome is this??
There was also plenty of time for more intimate family gatherings. In my last post, I wrote about how I became an aunt. That was such a special part of the weekend. It was so fun to be with my soon-to-be family and to be part of their interactions with each other.
Another highlight of the trip was a wedding! Grant’s roommate in Minneapolis was getting married that weekend at the Bountiful, Utah temple, and I had never been to a sealing before, so it was such a special treat that we could be there on Brock and Kit’s big day! Here are a few photos of the temple. The sun was very bright…
This also happened over the weekend…Again, Heart. Melted.
Even with all the wonderful family moments going on in front of me, the bar exam was weighing very heavily on my mind. I have even had a few breakdowns… I missed a few fun things and lost some sleep because I chose to study, but I felt like it was worth the tradeoff. Up to that point, I had worked so hard studying, and there is nothing more important than family. Fortunately, I was able to find a way to do both. I was so grateful to be able to be there in Utah.
I think my favorite part of the weekend was the very last thing we did before we left for the airport. On Sunday evening, the entire family (I think about 100 people) gathered first for a family photo (BTW, If anyone has that photo, I would love to see it :-)) and then for a testimony meeting. The testimony meeting was an opportunity for anyone who wanted, to share their testimony on why/how they know that the Gospel and/or a certain component of it is true. Generally, people who are bearing their testimony will share some personal experience that has helped them strengthen their testimony. This meeting was so special. The testimonies that were bore by moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, young, and older children, were just so sweet, so pure, and so powerful. As I stood therein the back of everyone, looking around at families gathered together, I couldn’t help but feel their love, and I couldn’t help but think how powerful and how amazing the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is. It was apparent that the Gospel brought so much light and love to each of those families. In that moment, I was so grateful for all that the Gospel has taught me and all the love that I had received and been able to share because of it. I am so so grateful for the opportunity we had to spend time with such a beautiful, wonderful family.
“And now my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation . . . which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fail.” -Helaman 5:12