Last Christmas I received the best Christmas present ever: Chandler gave me a ticket to Time Out for Women and the flight to Texas to be able to attend. To top it ALL off we stayed at a hotel where the beds were oh-so fluffy. I flew in Thursday night and we stayed up far to late ignoring those fluffy beds and talking. A LOT. Oh, and we got Whataburger and Dr Pepper, so we were probably a little buzzed on caffeine. Friday morning we had breakfast:
TEXAS shaped waffles!! How much cooler can breakfast get??
After breakfast we went to visit Nyssa and co. It was so fun to spend a while with them, I actually saw them more in that visit than I had in Nauvoo!! It was so nice. The kids are so big, and MXM is so cuddly and snuggly, and their house is just adorable with a wonderfully British red door. Oh, and I got to give bitty MXM his bitty quilt. I didn't get any pictures of it, so I stole this one off of Nyssa's instagram page:
I was so sad to leave them. But then I got this fantastic text from Nyssa:
Then we stopped by Chandler's house for a bit. I had to document that I got to have Perrier water. Jonathan and I have been making fun of their Hulu commercials all summer. I won't make fun of the flavor, it was actually pretty good.
We stopped by my parents' house for a bit, but they weren't home. They were actually picking Holly and Henry up from the airport. But I got to play with Rusty (their dog) for a bit. Such a big dog. And very well trained. (I want a dog....) So Chandler and I ran out and got In-N-Out. YUM!!!
We headed back to my parents' place and hung around and talked for a while. Emma got home, and for the first time in a LONG time all of my family was in the old house at the same time. I've not been to Texas in four years, so it was at least that long....
And then Chandler and I went to the first night of Time Out for Women. There were some great talks, Sister Swinton and Sister Dalton spoke. But we were a little weirded out by the boy band:
And we went back.
For lunch we had some amazing Mexican food. Chandler's sister-in-law's mother (Lindsey's mom, Kelly) recommended a place called Blue Mesa. If you have one in your area GO. It was delicious. And exactly fit the bill for what I've been craving for the last two years.
After TOFW ended we raced off to the temple. Emma went through for the first time, and it was just so nice to have my entire family there. I can't wait to do that again! We went to Chili's afterwards, a family tradition it seems. :)
Sunday I went to church with my family while Chandler went to the singles ward and taught. We had a massive lunch at my parents' after church. Waffles again!
Then we drew names for Christmas. Here, family, it is documented for us for when we inevitably forget or lose the card:
Holly was the first to go. We grabbed a picture before she took off. It looks remarkably similar to one we took at her wedding....
Then we were back at Chandler's house, laughing and enjoying time with Chandler's mom and dad, and at the last second Luke. I wish we could have stayed a whole day there! But then we were off to say good-bye to Emma as she headed back to school. And then it was time for me to go. And Chandler and I cried and cried the whole way to the airport. It was the worst. But I made it home, safe and sound, and got to hug my littles and kiss their wonderful faces.
I can't even describe how incredible this whole weekend was for me. It was a most amazing and timely blessing. Chandler could not have known how much I would need this weekend NOW, at THIS moment. We'd looked at going to TOFW in Ohio, but it was earlier in the year before all of the crazy of the year had happened. I needed this moment, to step back, breathe, rest, and recharge with her and my family and friends NOW, not months ago. It was confirmation to me that someone is really looking out for me upstairs. And again, I am so grateful, with so few words with which to describe that happy gratitude, that I just might burst. Or cry. And since bursting is a bad idea I'll just cry instead. Happy, joyful tears.
And by the way, Chandler and I decided we're going to TOFW again next year. We've decided to do a destination trip, Richmond, VA being our location of choice. We'll spend Friday in Washington DC at the temple and checking out the tourist spots, then we'll head down to Richmond for TOFW. So. SO. excited. :)
And I'm really looking forward to our Thanksgiving trip to Texas. Gah! Just a few more weeks!