After several months of car troubles, scheduling dilemmas, and other delays, we finally made our trip to Utah to have Haley baptized!
We headed out Wednesday morning. The kids were excited the whole way. (How much longer until we're in Utah? - wait 5 minutes - How much longer until we're in Utah, now?) They were especially looking forward to seeing their cousins... or as they always refer to them, The Cousins. (Always as a collective. We're going to see The Cousins! We can't wait to play with The Cousins. We love The Cousins. This applies to cousins on both sides of the family.)
I actually stayed awake for the entire trip! This is unheard of for me. Typically, I get in the car and start falling asleep within 30 minutes... sometimes less. Unfortunately, the reason I stayed awake was because I was working for the entire trip. But on the plus side, since I worked the entire day, I didn't have to use up a vacation day.
The kids had a great time playing with The Cousins for a few days and we really enjoyed visiting with the family. I spent a few more days working (I will be really glad when the May Symposium is done and work is not quite so stressful for a little while!).
Saturday was the big day. Haley got all dressed up in her favorite fluffy pettiskirt.
Aaron and I gave her a special baptism necklace (which we actually bought a year ago and have been hanging onto ever since). The boys dressed up, too, though they weren't as enthusiastic about it. We headed out to the church where the kids were overjoyed to discover another Grandma & Grandpa! My parents and my sister and her family came out from Vernal for the baptism and we finally got an in-person peek at Baby Olivia. (Much like The Cousins, my sister's new child is always referred to by my children as Baby Olivia. She should really appreciate that in a few more years.) Grandma & Grandpa Schurz gave Haley a gift - it was a special baptism necklace.
We got Haley changed into her baptism jumpsuit and then managed to neglect to take a picture. We must have had a dozen cameras there, but no one snapped a picture. :( As we were getting everything finished up and ready to start, something we said apparently gave Brekken the impression that today was baptism day for all the kids in the family; which is why he told us: "I don't want to get baptized! I just had a bath last night!"
The baptism program was lovely. Grandma Shields gave a talk on baptism. Then Haley, my sister Melissa, my sister-in-law Jen, my sister-in-law Laura, my mom and I did a song about baptism. It went surprisingly well considering we had practiced it together for the first time about 10 minutes previously. Then came the baptism itself, which went perfectly. Aaron remembered all the words, Haley didn't get scared of going underwater (she had been freaked out about getting water in her ears for some reason), and it was just wonderful. Right up until I realized that I had left the towels in the car... so Haley and Aaron had to drip-dry for a couple of minutes until someone could bring in the towels. And then, of course, we realized that neither of them had any dry underwear to change into! Haley elected to go commando (permissible since she was wearing leggings under her skirt), while Aaron went with the dry-off-as-much-as-possible-and-hope-the-damp-doesn't-show-through-your-clothes route. Then we finished up with a talk on the Holy Ghost from Grandpa Schurz and Haley's confirmation. It was really just a very nice and special occasion... underwear snafus notwithstanding.
After the baptism service, Aunt Jen gave Haley a present - it was a special baptism necklace.
Then it was time for a party! We headed over to the other church where we had a couple of crockpots of Italian beef for sandwiches, and salads and dessert. Nothing fancy, but just right! We hung out with family and friends for a few hours. We finally got the chance to actually hold Baby Olivia. There was plenty of time playing with The Cousins. Grandma & Grandpa Shields gave Haley a present - it was NOT a special baptism necklace. (It was a lovely remembrance book for Haley to write about the special day.)
Then we headed back to Grandma & Grandpa Shields' house for an Easter egg hunt. The kids thoroughly enjoyed that as well.
Haley & I snuck out for the evening to go see The Hunger Games with my mom and sister. (Finally! Hooray! I've been wanting to see it so badly!) The movie was great, as was the girls' night out. But when we came out of the theater, everything was shut down. No other moviegoers, no employees... we obviously went out the wrong way. We ended up wandering the empty mall... every exit we saw was gated off and we couldn't get out. We found our way back into the theater where we finally saw an employee! She showed us a different door and we headed that way... only to find ourselves back out in the empty mall. We tried to follow her, but she disappeared too quickly. So there we are again, wandering through the empty mall trying to find an unlocked door so we can leave. My mom commented, "This is kind of spooky." Which is when we heard the weird laughter echoing down the (we thought) empty hallways. Then it really DID feel kind of spooky! Luckily, we finally found an unlocked exit and were able to leave the mall and find the car.
We spent Easter with Aaron's family. The kids were so well-behaved at church! I'm obviously very unused to that... and don't know what to do with myself during Sacrament Meeting if I'm not constantly keeping the kids under control. I fell asleep. I'm sure it was a lovely Easter service, though.
We headed home Monday and planned our route through Vernal so we would have a chance to see my grandparents (who weren't feeling well enough to come out for the baptism). We stopped for lunch at mom's house and got to see my mom and sister Melissa. We also got a chance to see my sister-in-law Sarah and nephew Kyron. Sarah gave Haley a present - it was a special baptism necklace. (If you're counting, that makes 4. And Haley likes to wear all of them at once.) It was great to have a short visit with Grandma, though we weren't able to see Grandpa because he was sick and not feeling up to visiting. :(
The rest of the trip was uneventful, though very long. Why does the trip home always take so much longer than the trip out? (Once again, I stayed awake for the whole drive... because once again I was working the whole time.) It was a great trip - can't wait to do it again for my family reunion in July!