About two weeks ago we made our way to Arizona for Jayden & Natalie's wedding. We had been looking forward to this quick but fun trip for a long time! We were so excited for Natalie and Jayden.
Our lay over was for 1.5 hours in Chicago Midway International Airport and we totally lucked out by flying on Thursday! Every thursday during the summer they have a mini carnival in the food court. We had gotten our food and the girls were invited to have their faces painted!!! Heaven!!!!! They also told a balloon artist what kind of balloon headband they wanted. All for free! It was the best layover ever and totally helped the kids get pumped for our 2nd leg of our journey.
Haddie sat incredibly still the whole time. She asked for a butterfly and Taryn asked for a unicorn (like her shirt.) We've never seen a makeup artist do such a fantastic and elaborate job like this! We were blown away!
There were many who ohhhh'd and ahhh'd over their face paintings and cute balloon headbands all the way through the terminal to our flight. The girls loved the attention (though Haddie was still pretty shy about talking to others about the painting) Taryn was happy to share her experience and show others her unicorn face. Thanks to the amazing staff at the Chicago Midway airport!
Once we arrived in Arizona, the girls were quick to jump in the pool with their cousins, where said face paint completely washed away leaving Taryn's face a scary shade of gray that I hoped would come off in their night time bath. I don't know how I would explain their colorful faces in all the wedding photos! Thankfully it all washed off rather easily.
Tyson was off to Jayden's "Bachelor's Party" that night we arrived. Todd (Tyson's older brother) was so kind to host all the boys (uncles, bothers, and a few friends of Jayden's) I heard reports of fun, good food, and shared YouTube video marathons.
I was off with Janette and her very talented friends to help set up the food table for the wedding luncheon that would take place in-between the temple and reception the next day. I told Janette that I now look at my friends differently. Meaning that I now look at my friends and think, "they may be helping me one day piece together my girls' weddings." Friendship is such a wonderful thing. And so are families.
Friday morning was the day! We headed to the Mesa, Arizona temple to witness the sealing of Jayden and Natalie for eternity. What a wonderful blessing The Gospel is. As I look at this picture we took before the sealing, I am grateful that my own little family is sealed together for eternity. Witnessing the sealing was so touching. And after I had a special, meaningful exchange with Janette and Janis in the changing room that I will remember forever.
Family is what it's all about!
Yay!!!! They are so great together!
Natalie's flowers were gorgeous (done by the same lady who did our AZ open house) and I loved all her lace and tulle!
I also loved the grey suits, brown shoes and fun socks on the guys!
I love this shot taken by Natalie's sister in law.
The wedding luncheon.
Yummy food, great people, and phenomenal music by Simply 3. We actually knew Nick of Simply 3 from our 2nd married ward in Tempe and we knew Zack from our time at ASU. The 3rd member was new to me. All together, they played music during the luncheon that made everyone say, "WOW!" Janette tied in the purple theme so well with the flowers, star garland and purple accent table cloths. I also loved the "fun" frozen yogurt cups with a chevron pattern and the purple spoons.
At the wedding luncheon I sat by Jenny and got to chat with her for along time about almost everything under the sun. I love the time I get with my sister-in-laws and having great conversations with them.
A beautiful family that just gained another daughter :)
I have to say that Caleb reminded me SO much of what I imagine younger Tyson would be like. I bet in many ways they were similar (same age when oldest sibling got married, smart, funny, into Pokemon :) etc...)
The whole wedding party. Tyson was Jayden's best man. Maybe I had mentioned this before but the last girl on the right and the last man on the left are our friends, Justin and Lori Clement - who is Natalie's older brother. We met Lori and Justin in our University singles ward. They got married just before us and we were then in the same married ward. Tyson actually took over Justin's calling in that ward when they moved out for work. Small world!
Getting to see cousins is always a huge bonus to flying out West. Harper and Haddie are super cute together. Haddie kept saying, "Harper my friend!" "She my buddy." They twirled on the dance floor almost the entire reception. They are super cute together and I am so grateful Haddie has a cousin just 2 months older than her. Thanks Todd & Jenny for making that happen ;)
Taryn and Alyssa were attached at the hip for most of the night as well. I love that the girls have so many cousins they can look up to, have fun with, and grow up together. My girls got super lucky with cousins!
The cute "first Dance"
Tyson and I both noticed how all the cousins were sitting down on the ground, watching Jayden and Natalie dancing. I have no doubt that most of them will remember the day Jayden got married in the temple. What a wonderful example.
Photo cred: Natalie's aunt
Photo cred: Natalie's aunt
They had a 3 tier cheesecake wedding cake. It was beautiful!
We were so happy that we all went to Arizona for the wedding. We thoroughly enjoyed every second!
The next morning we got a call from Janette and Ken, asking if we would like to come with them on their boat. It only took us about a millisecond to respond, "YES!" We went out to Canyon Lake where we wakeboarded, rode several tubes, swam in the lake and cliff jumped.
Taryn LOVES the water. Her smile didn't disappear the whole time. We almost had to force her to sit still for 5 seconds to eat some lunch. Even then she asked, "Can I get back in the water, now?!" At least 5 times. That girl loves water and time with cousins.
Amanda and Janalee
A dip in the water was a perfect way to take a break from the Arizona heat.
Cliff jumping always looks like nothing when you are in the water, but as soon as you head to the top of the rock, it's terrifying! Or maybe just for this girl with a fear of heights. Janalee and I jumped together. (Me-right) Taryn had no trouble jumping right off. She did want me to be close to where she jumped in the water though.
Me wake boarding
Tyson said at first that he was not going to wake board. While I was out on the water, Caleb said, "Why isn't Tyson going on the wakeboard? Is he scared?" So when I got back in the boat, I was shocked that Tyson was going to get in and wake board. He said, "Well now I have to go because Caleb challenged my manhood!" Hahaha
Haddie and Janalee
On Sunday we went to church and heard Tyson's dad give a great Sunday school lesson. It was HOT outside but we still decided to go and see the Phoenix temple. Guys- we lasted maybe 2 minutes outside before we were all melting and hot and sweaty and grumpy etc.... 111 degrees is no joke. We met Tyson's MTC companion whom he sung in the Choir with for General Conference back in 2006. Justin & Kelsey Nelson were so sweet. We're thankful they drove 20 minutes to meet us in the middle of the day. We let the kids play with our phones inside the chapel adjacent to the temple while we chatted with the Nelsons for about 45 min. They snapped this picture as quick as they could and then we jumped in our car.
Guys- Arizona is hot hot hot. My kids were melting down. Trying to squeeze every minute out of our quick trip means traveling when it's hot and sometimes being in the sun when the kids are already exhausted from 3 hours of church. Luckily we packed snacks and water and quickly made it home to Grandma and Grandpa's We planned to see the Gilbert temple too but we knew there was no way we could get the kids out of the car.
Onto Todd's house where we celebrated his birthday and Harper's. We miss being at these monthly family birthday parties/Sunday Smith family FHE. Always held on Sundays, lots of goodies, and cousins running around. We saw Todd & Jenny's new house and Tyson and I got to chat for a long time with the Hallock's (Jenny's parents and siblings. We used the Hallock's beautiful backyard for our AZ Open House)
Back on a plane all to quick! Haddie snapped this picture of her cute little feet while playing with my phone on the airplane. Jet lag didn't hit us for a few days and man- was that a day when it finally came!
The trip was fantastic and I''m so happy we could take our kids to the Mesa, Arizona temple where Jayden and Natalie were married and also share with them the Phoenix Temple, which is super tiny.
Now our thoughts are set to the next family gathering, this time on the Scott side, for my baby sister's wedding in a few weeks!
We love family time!