Here are a few pictures of our little get-away in Nauvoo. I'm so glad we decided to make a stop here. It has been amazing. The weather has been absolutely perfect with little to no humidity. It's been in the high 70's and low 80's. Perfect.
Nic reading some names at the Pioneer Monument
Trav & Nic at the bottom of the Trail of Hope. They were enjoying the enormous Mississippi River.
Nic & Ash walking the Trail of Hope
Trav reading one of the many plaques along the Trail of Hope
Do I have something in my teeth?
The four of us learning how the saints made their covered wagons. It's quite fascinating to learn how they did everything.
The four of us at one of many shows here at Nauvoo
There have been so many musical plays here! We've had some good laughs as the missionaries perform their songs and profess their incredible talents for all to see and enjoy!
Yeah...we were hungry
Nic & Ash enjoying a horse and carriage ride through Nauvoo
Trav & I enjoying the same horse and carriage ride. It's been so fun being here with them!
It has been equally amazing to share this with Nic and Ash. This is their first time here and I think they are in awe of the history, stories, and experiences offered here. We were able to visit Carthage jail today. But before going we went to the visitors center and watched the Joseph Smith movie (the same one playing at temple square). I'm glad we did that. It really set the mood. Carthage Jail is a sombering place.
"In life they were not divided. In death they were not seperated." Staute of Joseph & Hyrum Smith located at Carthage Jail.
The four of us happened to ask about a window found near the top of Carthage Jail. The missionary told us we could take a look. We were able to go up to the attick of Carthage Jail, not many go up there. Even the missionary who said we could go up hadn't been up there! It's a really small and narrow stair case up. This is us goin' on up.
The dungeon where Joseph & Hyrum were held before being taken into the bedroom of the jail keeper because in the dungeon was over 120 degrees. The bedroom became the "Martyr room". I had a very creepy feeling while sitting in this windowless room.
Ashley's sillouhete as she stood in the doorway of Carthage Jail.
The stairs way the mob climbed with the intent to kill the Prophet Joseph, and they did murder Joseph Smith. June 27th 1844
Nic & Ashley stood by the door through which a bullet was shot. The hole in the door is from the bullet that took the life of Hyrum Smith, Joseph's beloved and loyal brother.
The four of us in front of the window Joseph Smith lept through after his brother, Hyrum, was shot in the face and killed. Joseph was killed at this point as well. He sealed his testimony with his blood.
The Beautiful Nauvoo Temple. I swear it glows at night...and it's not from the spot lights alone. This place is special.
THAT DRIVE IS L-O-N-G!! We got here about an hour ago and have just been laying on our soft beds. I think we may go swimming or ride our bikes down to old Nauvoo. Who knows. The good news is that our hotel offers free internet so I can keep you all posted as to what we do. :)I have to mention how wonderful it feels to have a clean mouth (freshly brushed) and a nice washed face. You forget how nice it is to be clean until you're forced not to be.
Anyway, I thought I'd offer peace of mind to those who care. We're safe. We made it.
well, we're takin' off! I'm so excited! I think all four of us need this trip (Trav, me, Nic, & Ash). I wish the rest of my family was able to come. Honestly, it would be so fun to wonder the streets of Nauvoo with my siblings and parents...maybe next year?!?!
We're going to drive through the night, putting us in Nauvoo around 3:00 - 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully our hotel will have wireless so I can update the blog with pictures and stuff. Just pray that as we rotate driving and sleeping that we'll be aware of our surroundings. I'm not stoked about driving all night and all day tomorrow but I'm out numbered. :)
P.S. Trav is basically back to his old self again. He's only mildly congested, thank goodness.
Well, I'm all but finished with my summer block classes. I only have guitar and vocal lessons left. But those two classes will end July 31st. I'm ready for a break. However, if I had to pick two classes to attend all summer it would have to be those two (if I had signed up for piano lessons I would have included that too. But I wasn't able to this go round). I am thrilled to be done for the next two months...but am paying for the heavy amount of stress I put myself under. I have this pounding headache that won't go away. It's making me nauseous. Uhg.
Speaking of aches and pains...Trav came down with something similar to the swine flu. He wasn't tested for it because "it's really expensive" but the doctor that saw him said he's almost certain he has it. OKAY...HERE COMES ANOTHER DOSE OF STRESS! All we hear about on the news is how many people have now died because of this awful bug - and now my husband has it!?!? It's been quite the ordeal. It completely knocked him out. He's been in bed sleeping, moaning, and aching since Tuesday. However, I'm happy to note that he's now on the mend. He's no longer contagious, THANK GOODNESS, but still isn't back to his normal self. He's actually quite weak.
We were worried we would have to cancel our trip out to Nauvoo and Minnesota. I wouldn't second guess cancelling if it meant my husbands health. But I knew Trav would be heart broken. So, we've been praying our hearts out. It looks like our prayers are being answered. I'm soooooooooooooooooooo relieved he's recovering. Yesterday was the scariest. While he was sleeping he would moan like he was in pain. He never really makes noise when he sleeps..but this sounded like he was in terrible pain. And usually when you sleep your breathing slows down because your body's relaxed. Not him. He was breathing (and his heart was pounding) like he had just finished running a marathon! His body was shaking like he was shivering too. Uhg. I don't like thinking about it. All this happening WHILE SLEEPING! I was terrified. I think he was too. Thank goodness for heavy medication, priesthood blessings, and family.
I must say it's been interesting seeing everyone walk around with face masks on! I don't blame them, really. If I didn't think I was already exposed to the bug I would have been wearing one too. :)
No, things are looking up. He's still quite weak but overall doing MUCH better. All we can do now is pray no one else comes down with it! My suggestion is this: If you feel yourself suffering ANY of the symptoms (runny nose, cough, sore throat, nausea, achiness, etc (basically all the symptoms of any sort of flu)) DON'T WAIT FOR THINGS TO GET WORSE BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY WILL! Just go to the doctor. Don't wait. It's not worth the full blown experience.
Other then that we're counting down the days 'til we head out to Travis' beloved Minnesota! It's gonna be SOOOOO fun!
My mind has been running nonstop today. I have had this underlying feeling of deep sorrow and extreme joy all at once. I am so happy for my sweetie. I miss her so much. Just this morning when I went into Nic & Ashley's room, I got a quick scent of Mercydez and it made my heart flutter. Is she here?! No, she isn't. Not in physical form anyway. She's here in spirit. I KNOW she checks in on her Daddy and Mommy, her Ahma and Papa, and I hope her Uncle Trav and Aunt Addy.
(April 2008: Mommy bathing Mercydez)
It's interesting how quickly I can go from feeling so sad to so happy. When I keep the big picture in mind (eternal families, the plan of salvation, etc) this temporal loss seems to be just that - temporary. But when I focus on MY selfish wants, the here and the now I find myself overwhelmed with sorrow, anger, confusion, and questions. It's all about perspective right now. Well, for me anyways.
(April 2008: Daddy cuddling with his Princess)
I had a few moments of pure joy come to mind tonight as I sat thinking about my girl. I remember how I would sneak her out of her car seat when Ashley wasn't looking or went into the other room! I just couldn't keep my hands off that little princess! I loved to put my hands under her armpits, wrap my fingers around the back of her head and neck (she couldn't hold her head up unless she was mad!) and hold her in front of me. One time my mom did that and Mercydez fell asleep...just dangling there! It was soooo cute! We all got a chuckle from it!
(Mercydez in her pretty little flower dress. What a beautiful baby girl.)
I also remember doing homework (the story of my life) with Mercydez laying on my bed next to me. She was in a white and pink onesy. She cuddled right up to my pillows. I tried to hold her and do my homework at the same time but she didn't want any of it! She wanted to lay on my soft yellow blanket and cuddle with my velvet green pillows. She fell asleep. I remember turning my music homework down and just listening to her breathe. It always caught me off guard when people would express concern over the way she sounded when she breathed. Most babies make little noise. Mercydez, on the other hand, had different anatomy. She would sound like she was struggling to breathe. I guess it went to show how well people knew our little girl based off of how they reacted to her breathing. :) I miss those sounds.
(April 2008: Mercydez talking with her big beautiful brown eyes..she would ALWAYS hold her adorable hand up on her shoulder like that. It was the C-U-T-E-S-T thing ever! We now hold our hands up on our shoulders when we talk about her and her precious mannerisms.)
I remember the one time I gave her a bath without Ashley helping. I was terrified! What if the water was too hot?! What if it was too cold!? What if I didn't wash her body correctly and got soap in her g-tube sight? What if she cried the whole time (she typically LOVED her baths)?!?!?!? All these concerns. I had the best time giving my niece a head massage while I washed her hair. I had the best time lathering baby soap all over her cute little bum, back, tummy, legs, and arms! I loved watching her relax as she got the spa treatment! What a precious girl! ..I couldn't help but paint my fingers and toe nails a bright pink tonight in her behalf! She has inspired me to LOVE the color pink! I think of her whenever I see that happy, refreshing color.
(One of mommy's favorite pictures! Soooooo cute!!)
I will forever hold my Mercydez as precious, sweet, perfect, and incredibly strong. She is my girl and she will be for EVER. family's can be together forever. That is the truth...thank goodness.
(April 2008: Mercydez full of expression)
Nic and Ash, I hope you two have been able to celebrate your five year anniversary with your amazing Angel in your hearts. I know she is excited you two went on a little get-away! I know she wants you two to be HAPPY. I KNOW THAT WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY SHE IS HAPPY. She loves you guys so much. As I always say, you three are very deserving of one another. I love you guys! Happy five year anniversary!
(April 2008: Beautiful Family picture - kinda blurry but still beautiful!)
So, Nic and Ash are in Texas and have the camera and the memory card. All my pictures are with them. So if you'd like to see some of the many pics from the last two weeks (I blogged about them below) CLICK HERE.
I tried to take a few pictures of Timmy and Jen but it seemed they would dodge the camera. I don't know if this was intentional or not but they were successful. :( I'll go through my pics when Nic and Ash get back and post more, if there are more.
We have started a new tradition, sort of. Trav and I have decided Seven Peaks is a blessing! We all have summer passes and we were finally able to pull 'em out and use them! THE KIDS HAVE BEEN DYING TO GO!
We had them sleep over Friday night and that's all they could talk about. "What time are we going to Seven Peaks tomorrow?" or "How long will we be able to stay at Seven Peaks tomorrow?" or "How long will it TAKE to get to Seven Peaks...how far away do you live?"
No, no...I don't think they were excited at all.
My favorite line of the night was said by my sweet niece, Marin, shortly after midnight went something like this, "I feel so alive!". We had just told her it was time for bed. Yeah...adrenaline rush for ALL involved. All I was thinking was YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
Trav nearly lost it. He turned off all the lights and made it known it didn't matter how alive one felt, they were closing their eyes for the next 6-8 hours. He makes me laugh!
We had a great time. We were able to get a good three to four hours of swim time in before leaving. It was great! Marin had a friend, MacKenzie (Nic's niece) who is the same age as Marin. They were buddies the whole time. Trav, me, Nic, Ash, and Crystal stuck with Grayson. We relaxed at the kiddie pool, just enjoying one another's company. Ahh...I told Trav I'm fine stickin' with Grayson this summer. The kiddie pool is my idea of fun. Weird, huh?! It was funny though. Trav would randomly disappear. All I'd have to do is find the nearest chunk of shade and there he'd be' My little vampire! Kacey's started calling him Edward (from Twilight) because he hates the sun so much.
The poopy part of going is no matter how much sunblock we smeared on those kids they still got sunburned. I don't think they even noticed. They were having too much fun!
Trav and I have been so busy these last few weeks. It's been a good busy, so I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining.
We had some visitors from the great state of Minnesota for a couple of days! Travis' friend, Tim, and his wife, Jen, stopped in and paid us a visit. I honestly thought I'd never see the day! (I say that with love!) Ha! I'm hassled and hassled when we go out there about how we should move to MN - and finally they get to see a little of Utah. I should have asked them if they'd consider moving out here! ;) Just kidding.
No, we had such a great time! Trav took them up to SLC to walk around Temple Square. I don't know what it is, but those sister missionaries are more aggressive at Temple Square then they are anywhere else. I go crazy up there. I couldn't help but ask if they got attacked by the missionaries! Thankfully they didn't.
We were able to go for a bike ride up Provo Canyon that evening. It was so beautiful. It's really green because of all the moisture we received this winter. I haven't seen it so green in a long time! Nic, Ash, Kacy, and Crystal came with us. And of course, we HAD to go get ice cream at Sub Zero Ice Cream! Ummmm! Ummm! It was Jen's birthday treat. ;)
It was also fun to take them up to Park City. We strolled Main Street and had lunch. It was such a nice, relaxed time! The weather was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!
To end their stay we had a BBQ at the Haws'. We played volleyball and had a great time chattin'. A lot of people showed up! I was so relieved too. When we first got there NO ONE was there. Can't play volleyball with four amateurs!
I wish we could have had more time with Tim & Jen. There's so much to show out here in Utah. Maybe sometime soon??
Honestly, I hope they had as much fun as we did. We know it was hectic - had to throw a lot in a small amount of time - but it was a nice change in our schedules.
Thanks for spending some of your vacation with us!