I love these guys. They are great, and I am excited to get to know Wendy better. That being said, I was dreading this whole experience. We had no idea when we began making plans for this trip that we would end up driving all over the dang country for things. That trip to Texas was amazing, but was also pretty exhausting. Another long drive in a car was not really what I wanted to do.
I need not have dreaded anything, though, because this trip was pretty wonderful. We left early in the morning and drove through the whole day. When we crossed the CA border, Ross realized that he had left one very important thing at home that we would not be able to purchase-- his temple recommend. This was a bit ironic and funny to me because the day before we had been at the Distribution Center to get some new unmentionables, and it took me a second to find my recommend as it was behind a library card. He teased me a lot about making sure something that important was always on hand and never out of reach. Punk.
He called the bishop and found out he was camping in the desert and his phone reception was pretty spotty. He basically wished us luck and told us to work it out with the counselors. Fortunately, we have amazing leadership in the ward, and they all pulled together to make things work out so Ross could be there the next day to see his baby brother make a very important step in his life.
We ended up at Grandma Goodman's house just in time for Ross to wash up and head out with Joe and Clay for one last hurrah. This left me at the ranch with the task of getting our travel weary tykes down to bed without a crib for Luke. As we were all very tired, it was not as hard as I thought it would be. We had some time playing outside with Grandma, a nice dinner, and then the older three dropped right to sleep while I snuggled the baby to sleep. I was totally out when Ross came in from his man-date.
The next morning we were all up bright and early to head to Oakland for the sealing. We got there early enough to take the kids through the visitor's center and to walk around the grounds. Grandma Goodman was a smart lady and provided some baby sitters to watch all the grandkids while we were templing it up. The ceremony was lovely, and the words of council were inspired. Wendy looked beautiful and Joe looked lovely, and everything went really well. We spent some time taking pictures, and when the happy couple was done with us, we headed off to prepare the luncheon.
The luncheon was in the stake center next to the temple where we had some yummy sandwiches without the guests of honor as they were busy taking pictures. Lots of them. They are really amazing, though, so I would say it was worth it.
After this we had more driving. Yay. Due to a GPS malfunction, we ended up taking the long way to the hotel we booked near the reception. We got there in time to rest for about 30 minutes before getting ready for the reception. The kids had a lot of fun there, especially when Jake busted out his dance moves. That kid was awesome. I hope I can get some pictures or better yet, video of that.
We were starving by the time we left as we hadn't really eaten anything that day but the luncheon sandwiches. We stopped at an Applebees to grab some food. Now, I usually HATE this franchise. I have had a lot of negative experiences with them, but we were desperate in a strange area, and their open sign was still on, so we headed over. Best. Decision. Ever. I don't know if they were different from the other branches or if I was delirious from all the driving, or just really, really hungry- but that meal has made it onto my list top ten best food based experiences of my life. So good! The staff was also really sweet about all our kids and their cute, matchy outfits.
Suffice it to say, we all slept REALLY well that night. Now, to reward your wading through all of that belated journaling, here are some pictures.