A Quick Trip Home to see Miss Bailey

I had a work conference planned in Los Angeles over mid-July and since Kyle’s sister Becca and her husband Art live out there, I planned to have Kyle fly out mid-week so we could all meet up and explore L.A. Before I bought the plane tickets through work, I found out that my beautiful sister Bailey would be coming home from serving in the Ohio Columbus Mission the weekend before I was to fly out to L.A. I was devastated since I was planning on coming out to see her homecoming but knew I probably couldn’t. One day, my mom called and said, “I have a feeling that you should just see if you can come out on Friday and spend Saturday with her and then go from there on to L.A. You can always try.” 

I said a prayer at my desk that day asking that if it could work out, I would really love to spend time with her. I asked work and they said they could totally fly me from Utah to L.A. and then L.A. to D.C. again and that all I needed to do was pay for a flight to get out to Utah. I couldn’t believe it worked out and that I wouldn’t have to wait for 6 months to see my Bailey. I flew out Friday night and barely made my connecting flight, but I made it and ran in to see her. It was so good to be with her and the family even if it was just for 36 hours. I was also able to meet Petey, Kimmy’s little baby who is already 7 months old! AND, I felt Olivia’s little boy flutter around in her stomach. Our family is growing and it is so exciting.

Bailey was struggling and I am so glad I was able to be there for her because I can completely relate. I had the hardest time coming home from my mission. You are feeling sad leaving behind the people you have met and loved and sad to be away from the missionaries and having that mantle. The future is so uncertain and it’s hard to feel like you really have a purpose. A flood of memories came back as I heard her talk about her mission and the people she loves. She said there was a moment when they walked up to a man to talk to him and he was wearing reflective glasses. She said as they started telling him about Jesus Christ, she could see her reflection and see her name badge. She said it hit her that she was really a missionary doing what the Lord needed her to do at that moment. I loved hearing that story and many others. 

She will be fine. It just takes about a month or so J She’s planning on heading back to Utah State in the fall and I am so excited for her to start other adventures and look back on her mission for the rest of her life. It helped me to reflect back on mine and even though it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it was one of the best times of my life. I strengthened my testimony and really learned about the Savior and felt his love for the people of Missouri and Kansas.

The struggle is real when adjusting to normal life after a mission.
I started crying when I hugged these two.
I met Petey! Such a cute baby. Good job Kimmy and Eric. 
Oh the saga of Mud Face (original name, I know). We got this cat when my father passed away and he was more than just a new pet, but a symbol of hope. This cat has moved with us at least 3 times and at one point was lost for 6 months. We somehow found him again and he has stayed by us ever since. Here's a good cat. 
Beautiful Utah during the summer. 
Since Bailey and I were still on East Coast time, we got up early and went for a run with our dog Gypsy. This is my all time favorite run. It's on a canal road right at the base of the mountains where we live and it gives an amazing view of the valley.
No trip to Utah should ever be without a visit to Cafe Rio.
Only sold in Utah, RubySnap cookies are incredible. They have a shop but they also started selling frozen cookie dough so you can make them yourself. We had a salted chocolate caramel and a sugar cookie with frosting. It was hard not to eat all of them.
Oh being home. 
I went to the temple with Bailey before I left and it was so beautiful.
The Ogden temple was recently redone and I can't wait to visit again. 
We made sure we took some pictures before I had to leave and I'm so glad we did. 
This is ALMOST all of the girls. We were only missing the oldest, Kristen who lives in Texas.
I can NOT wait to meet this little guy!
We love our Bailey. 
This is usually what happens when we try to take pictures after a little while. 
I love these sisters so much. I can't even begin to describe what we've been through together
but they are always there to cry with me or make me laugh. 
I can't believe the next time I see Olivia, I will meet her little boy.
Feeling his little kicks has been amazing. I can't imagine holding him!
Bailey, we are so happy you are home! 

Sister Love Returns from The Buckeye State

My sweet sister Bailey came home from her mission and I am dying over these pictures. There is nothing like reuniting family. I unfortunately flew in 3 hours after this happened (...sigh...) but I like reliving this moment through these snapshots. 18 months is a LONG time to be gone. I'm so glad you had an amazing mission Bailey but we're even more happy to have you home. 
(I LOVE that everyone was wearing their Ohio State shirts since she served on that campus for quite a while)

Los Angeles: Hollywood and Griffith Observatory

We finished up our trip to L.A. by visiting some of the iconic Hollywood sites and Griffith Observatory.

Corn flake french toast! 
Becca knows me so well that she took us to the sweetest (pun or no pun intended) candy shop!
I LOVE this hotel. It is the hotel that the Disney Tower of Terror ride is based off of. I love the Art Deco architecture and the overall feel of Hollywood!
Piano stairs! My favorite.
Griffith Observatory was neat even if it was a little foggy.
Finished off with more ice cream and doughnuts! Thank you Becca and Art for being amazing hosts! We loved visiting Los Angeles!