Friday, May 12, 2017

Bring on the sunshine, wedding bliss, extended family time, and cacti

I've been lucky enough to put in some flight miles this past month.  I do love to travel and man, do I love me some sunshine!  My cousin, Dean Sherry invited me to come to his wedding in Sedona, Arizona.  Not only was it such a treat to be apart of this special event and meet his super sweet wife, Sarah but also to travel to Arizona for my first time!  I LOVED it!!!  I'm thinking we were there at the perfect time - 80 degrees in Sedona and 100 in Mesa.

I traveled on my own Wednesday and even stayed in a hotel all by my lonesome.  I've decided it is no fun to eat out by yourself and then hide in your hotel room the rest of the night because your scared.  Nope, it's officially been decided that I will die first.  Upon my death, Birch can jump out of airplanes, get his pilot's licence, summit super tall scary ice peaks, etc... Until that time though can I just keep him in a little bubble next to me.

At the hotel all by myself
Back to the wedding...

So Thursday morning I took the hotel shuttle back to airport to meet my dad and Grandma Gina.  The timing was perfect and it was such a treat to spend the rest of the weekend with them!
We stopped at the Phoenix temple on the way to Sedona.

The massive sagurao cactus were so amazing to me!

Uncle Lyle and Jennifer with their super fancy rental car for the weekend.
The morning of the wedding we went on a little excursion to Slide Rock with Leah, Geoff, Kate, my dad, and Grandma Gina.  Everyone was helping Grandma along so she wouldn't trip and I wanted to get in on the hand holding action.

Uncle Geoff doing a flip into the frigid water.

Brave Kate and Uncle Geoff

Grandma and I just soaked up the sun!  Pretty sure her legs had not seen the sun for quiet a while!

I feel so blessed that I was able to spend extra time with part of Leah's family.  We shared a great condo in Sedona together.

It's a rare opportunity that I get to be the fun aunt.  Kate and I enjoyed exploring a bit together.

Ahh....just missing my Lover and I would be in my happy place (sun+Lover=happy place)

So two sissies hanging around.

The red rock was stunning.
THE WEDDING!!!!  Could the venue be any more amazing??!!!

I DO!!!

Seeing my Aunt Nancy was one of the highlights for me!  It had been seventeen years since I had seen her and that was at the children's hospital when my cousin Dean had leukemia.   Aunt Nancy has always been special to me!

Poppi, Sarah, Dean, and Uncle Lyle

Pretty sure Grandma couldn't be any happier than to have her sons by her side.  I was really touched with how patient and thoughtful my dad was with Grandma.

Uncle Lyle and Jennifer

Geoff and Leah

So fun to be together!

So fun!

My cousin Karl and his daughter Georgia

Ashley, Georgia, and Cousin Karl (this was my first time meeting Karl's family)

Leah's always trying to take control of me - she was like a giant compared to me with her heels on.

We danced like two school girls that night!!!  It was so much fun!  Lots of great non-alcoholic drinks are the open bar, an amazing meal, and spending the night with family.  Loved it all!!!
Post Wedding...

The morning after the wedding we all parted ways.  Leah's family drove back to Utah and my dad, Grandma and I drove back to the Phoenix airport.  My dad had to hurry and catch his plane so I spent the next couple with Grandma getting her all ready to board her plane.  I feel like this weekend together was extra special as I was able to help Grandma.  She's done so many things for me over my life, it felt good to give back a bit.  Her short term memory is lacking but she is still such a ball to be around!
At the airport before boarding her plane

Putting on my BIG girl adventure pants...

I had about seven hours to kill after dropping Grandma off at her terminal so I decided to be extra brave and catch the sky bus to the metro to downtown Mesa.  It was about an hour train ride but the train dropped me off right next to the Mesa temple.
It was about twenty degrees hotter in Mesa than Sedona.  It was hot and lovely.

I was lucky to meet up with Sis. Johnson from my home ward.  She seemed genuinely happy!

Super bad picture of me but I just wanted to show how tall these cactus can be!!!

I enjoyed an hour or so doing initories at the temple.  It was peaceful and beautiful!

Loved the whole trip!!!  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to bring my family back to Sedona -- loved everything about it!!!

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