Jonathan's sister got married last month. We made the trip down to Nauvoo to be there. Poor Jonathan was exhausted as we were getting ready to leave, so I drove the bulk of nine hour drive to get there. Fortunately it wasn't that bad, and the kids slept most of the way. We had dinner at a rest stop:
We stopped in Battle Creek to pick up something from WalMart (it isn't a road trip until you've stopped at WalMart and picked up something you needed/forgot). AND there was a Schlotzsky's there! Didn't stop to get any, but it was the first time I've seen one of those places in four years. So I had to document the occasion.
We got in to Nauvoo at 2:00 a.m. We spent the last hour on these back country roads with NO ONE around. We didn't pass another car for that full hour. It was rather disconcerting. If we'd gone off the road no one would have known.... My mom asked me to download some sort of app so she could follow our progress and make sure we were safe. I couldn't download it, there was no service. :/
We got up WAY to early to get ready for the wedding. Jonathan ran off to the sealing while I stayed and managed grumpy kids. And I got to hold my new nephew. He's adorable. And snuggly.
Peter really liked the little guy. It distracted him from the fact that he could only have liquids in preparation for his scope. Poor kid, he was not happy. But he was pleasant while holding little M's hand.
Then I ran up to the temple with the kids to see the happy couple and take pictures. It was the first time the entire family had been in the same place in four years, and we were all super happy! And we've got the photo to prove it:
Then we ran back to the hotel and Peter went down for a nap. I stayed and took my own nap while everyone else ran on to the reception.
Before we went to the wedding we sent out a mass message to the family to give them a head's up on Andi and her quirks. Everyone handled her so well, and we had NO meltdowns! She was shy at first, really reluctant to mingle, but she warmed up pretty quickly and only hid underneath a table twice. And then she caught the bouquet!
She even posed for pictures!
And she went around asking Jonathan who all was in our family and insisted on giving everyone hugs.
In fact, the only near meltdown we had from her was over the fact that she wasn't able to give someone a hug before they left. (Well, that and the fact that she ended up being incredibly constipated and in pain at random intervals. That produced lots of tears and screaming.)
I actually woke Peter up after a few hours. He and I wandered around downtown Nauvoo, dodged the rain, and checked out a few shops. Nauvoo is pretty. The shops are cute. I really wanted to go to the quilt shop but I wasn't sure when everyone would be back and I didn't want to miss anyone.
Everyone wandered in around 5:00, we talked for a while, then said our good-byes.
We started off around 6:00, crossed the Mississippi (twice)....
... and then worked our way home. Again, Jonathan was pretty beat. He didn't get a nap, after all. So I drove seven of the nine hours home. I listened to the entire "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" on tape (such a good book). We got in at 3:00 a.m., and no one woke up until 9:30 a.m. We stayed home from church and prepped Peter for his procedure.
Yeah. It was kinda a nuts weekend. But it was good for the family to all be together. Most of the family had never met Peter, in fact only three had seen him before. The kids got to spend time with their cousins, two of whom we'd never met. It was the first time I was able to see Sarabeth as my sister-in-law (I missed that wedding). We met Rachel's fiance, Rebecca, and got to know her some (she's adorable, by the way, with the sweetest southern accent you've ever heard). I wish Andi hadn't ended up sick and in pain (took another day to get her unstopped), and that Peter hadn't been on that liquid fast. But it was good to see everyone for a few minutes.
I'm looking forward to a longer visit in November, and again next May.