Aside from Anna getting her puppy fix, the real reason for our trip to California last weekend was to attend my niece, Carlee's baptism! She is just 7 months younger than Anna and they are cute little friends so I thought it would be a special treat for Anna and I to attend her baptism. (Carlee also made the trip here for Anna's baptism in October).
Carlee was adorable. The baptism wasn't until 3pm, so the kids had spent all morning playing and running around in the backyard, and doing chores (Carlee even had to clean up the dog poop). But when she put on her white baptism dress she radiated this sweet & tender spirit, prepared for the big choice she was making that day.
It was also a treat to see my brother, Sam, baptize his oldest child. Definitely a big milestone! Sam is 2 years younger than me, with the rest of our brothers coming after a 4 year gap, so we have always been paired together as "the oldest". He is an incredibly hard worker, currently a counselor in the bishopric in his ward, cross fit junkie (he is strong), he inherited the handyman gene from my dad (he just installed concrete countertops in his kitchen), a great father & husband, and he devotes a lot of careful thought/effort into raising his family right. He's a great guy and I'm glad to call him my brother.
It was just so great to spend the weekend hanging out with Sam's family. Heidi is just awesome. She had her house full of family for this big weekend, including my daughter one night for a cousin sleepover, planning lots of food, while pulling things together for being out of town herself on Monday and she was just cool as a cucumber.
And their kids are "totes adorbs". Seriously. I don't use those words lightly! I've long told Sam & Heidi that if they ever die I get Audrey. She is absolutely precious -- ohhh, but she's also a spitfire! Preston was a bit sad over the weekend because there were no boys for him to play with. Poor guy.
I made a short video on my phone, while talking to Audrey. When Preston saw it he wanted me to make one of him as well. Audrey is 3 and Preston is 6.
And little Cole. He and I hung out in the hall for much of the baptism, but I was MORE than happy to fill that role now that I don't have any squirmy kids of my own to worry about! He recently turned 1 and is such a little sweetheart.
I also got a chance to visit Mason & Jessica and see their brand new baby Alene -- just 5 days old! What perfect timing!
Denver and Bree were there too, but I didn't snag a photo.
Anna and I stayed at my parent's house (The Mill House). It's so cozy and perfect for stopping in for a weekend visit. In the little down time we had Anna was a little perplexed because there wasn't as much entertainment at the house (no kids, no treehouse, no garden, no swings, and no big yard like the Catheys Valley house). But she did okay. I need to teach that girl the value of doing absolutely nothing!
If all else fails, you can always tango in the kitchen.
It was a great visit and I'm so glad that we went so that we could see everyone and be a part of Carlee's special day. And it was fun to be able to say, "see you in a few weeks!" We have a family reunion coming up as soon as school gets out and everyone will be there! 22 people, 3 days, and one 7,000 sq.ft. ocean-view home on 5 acres. Should be pretty fantastic!