This morning when I was helping Gage get dressed, he yelled, "LOOK Mommy!!" His tone kind of frightened me a little, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to look, but I looked where he was pointing and up on the ceiling in his bedroom was a tan spider about the size of a quarter, crawling or should I say, "strutting it's stuff" along the seam between the ceiling and wall, acting as if though it owned the place. I said, "Oh, yep, I wonder where he's going?" and Gage, without skipping a beat said, "He's gonna go play basketball with the big boys." Wow, who knew???
Sorry no picture to share, but by the time I grabbed my camera it had moved on .....
Glad this isn't a close-up of us. We have red, swollen eyeballs!
Yeah! I finally have a minute to write about our special day last Wednesday Feb, 11th. We took our boy to the "Empty Sea". It was the most exciting, difficult, joyous, awesome, heart wrenching, uplifting, painful, wonderful, happy and amazing day ever!!! An experience I will NEVER forget!!
We took Carston to Magelby's for our last lunch together. I thought he would order a big yummy steak or chicken marsala or something fancy, but instead he ordered a roast beef sandwich. Go figure. I think he was too nervous to eat. I recall right before we left the house, Carston proclaimed one last time, "I'm not going to cry." We all said, "Yah, whatever!" So maybe he was concentrating on not crying....
After lunch, we had a few minutes to spare, so we drove up past the Provo temple and got a close look at the beautiful, fresh snow dusted mountains. Our somber moods were lifted for a brief moment when this guy who was trying to make his way back to his truck, slipped on a patch of ice. His legs flew out in front of him repeatedly like he was doing an Irish jig. He regained his balance and never did fall, but the comic relief was much needed. Poor guy.
We arrived at the MTC at 12:30 and were greeted by the cute little luggage grandpa's. They showed Carston where to take his luggage, sent Shaun to park the van, and the rest of us waited out front by the flags. When we were all reunited, we walked up and took pictures by the brick wall as you enter the MTC grounds. My friend Bev called me this morning before we left and told us to be sure and get a picture of him going in the doors that say, "New Missionaries enter here." I was glad she told me about that, or I would've overlooked it. Thanks Bev!
Once we were inside, I had the privilege of placing his name badge on his suit. I didn't even cry. On our way to the chapel, I chuckled at how well stocked they were with boxes of kleenex.
We found a seat in the chapel and then watched Homefront clips, (those cute, "From the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints" commercials) I started to feel a huge lump swell in my throat, but surprisingly I didn't cry.
We started the meeting singing, "Called To Serve." I loved hearing Carston sing at the top of his lungs. He NEVER sang like that in our Sacrament meetings. Still no tear flow. Where are my tears? I'm not sure why I was so composed. Anyways, we were favored to hear a few words from Elder Groberg, who's grandson was entering that day and then a couple of other people spoke briefly but I don't remember who they were or what they said, it's all a blurr. BUT. I do remember THE FILM they showed. That's when I lost composure! The tears started flowing, quite freely. Making up for lost time I guess. I wasn't able to stop them. I looked down the row and saw every member of my family crying except Gage. He was clueless. Lucky kid. Travis swears he didn't cry but I swear I saw his eyes watering. So there! Debate over! After the film, they stood up and said, "It's Time."
WHOAH!!!! You know it's coming, but you're not ready for it! "Missionaries exit in the back, and families exit in the front." My whole body went numb. I wondered how I was going to get 2 years worth of hugs out of him in those couple minutes we had left. He hugged us all tight, about 5 times each. I noticed he hadn't even shed one tear up to this point, even while hugging each of us, but when he hugged his Best Dad, that's when I saw his tears. They embraced a little longer. It was very touching.
I could tell he was anxious to get going and that made our parting much more bearable. I know he's been looking forward to this day for many years. I was really proud to be his mom at that moment. Our good-bye's were final and we went our separate ways. I stopped and watched him walk 15 rows or so to the back of the chapel and we exchanged one last glance. He had an enormous ear to ear grin! Then it was over just like that!
It was the longest ride home ever!! Kaymin asked if we could stop and get ice cream to put on our eyes. We laughed about it but it actually sounded yummy, so we ended up stopping at Wendy's to get a Frosty. That was one of Carston's favorite treats to get when we were out and about. It was a fun surprise to see my Bishop and his darling wife and family there, along with his sweet parents. They gave us all hugs and took a picture of us eating Frosty's in Carston's honor.
We came home and there hanging on the hall closet doorknob was Carston's leather jacket. Dang I wish he would've hung that up before he left. (more tears)
Now we're all anxiously awaiting a letter from him. We wonder who his companion is, his roommates, how the language is coming along etc. We've written him everyday so far. I'm grateful for "Dearelder.com" and I've already sent him a package, chuck full of Valentine's candy. He'll be in the MTC till April 13. I know he's embarking on the adventure of a lifetime and that he'll do his best. We're proud to be his family!
Last Sunday February 8, Carston spoke in Sacrament meeting. They don't call them farewells anymore, but I still titled my post "Farewell." We had SOOOOOOOO dang much fun.We were able to visit with friends and family that we hadn't seen for years and met a lot of Carston's wonderful friends.
After Sacrament meeting, we all came home and had a nacho bar with salads and yummy treats. Thank you Emily & Sabrina for making the day go smoothly and without a hitch! I'm grateful to everyone who brought delicious salads and treats! My dear Mom and Mother in Law, Lisa, Kathy, Brooke, Crystal, Melanie, Diane, Emily, Sabrina, Jean, Tanya, Robyn, and everyone else I missed. THANK YOU!!
We are so grateful for everyone's love and support. We had a full house. We loved every minute of it! We had a "Tender Mercy" from our Heavenly Father that day with the weather. It was a little damp, with a few sprinkles here and there, but not freezing and no wind or cold or snow. It didn't storm or snow till the very next day, Monday. We were extremely grateful!!
Friday Feb 6, I was sealed to my Mom and her wonderful husband Bevan! What a memorable, wonderful day. We attended the 9:00 live session and we were sealed at 11:00am. I felt so special. I had personal escorts, they seated me on the front row and I was able to change in the "brides room." Shaun and Carston were the witnesses. We have been talking about doing this for years, and we finally did it. I'm actually glad we waited till now. If we had done it sooner, then Carston wouldn't have been part of this special occasion. He can now share his testimony of Temple work and forever families.
I'll be honest, I worried about my other Dad's and how they might feel about me not being sealed to them. But I have faith that it all works out in Heaven and I truly felt that I had their blessing in my decision to do this. Bevan is such a wonderful man and I love him dearly! He is so good to my Mom and all of us and I love his kids and their spouses as though they were my own siblings. Now they are! I'm so sad that I left my camera home that day and I didn't get a picture of the 5 of us.
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes....and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp...I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really there, and that I really lived."