Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Gilbert Temple Open House

A few weeks ago my mom called to tell me my dad was making a trip to the new temple in Arizona because her aunt (who is not a member of the LDS faith) wanted to tour the temple while she was visiting. She and her husband spend parts of the winter in Arizona to escape the Minnesota snow... wise people am I right?! I really wanted to go so my mom asked if I cared to join him. Wes was pretty busy with work and Jovie is not a very fun traveling partner so I decided to make it a special trip with just me, Peyton and my pops. Peyton thought this was just the best thing since... well ever! She has a very special bond with her Boppie and he gives and does just about anything she wants. He spends all his time with her reading to her, or playing dogs on the ground. He is just the best and she loves him for all the time, love and attention he gives her, so she was stoked to be going with just he and I, though I think she would've been just as happy with just him too.

It was a pretty fast trip, we left Monday afternoon and came home Tuesday night, but it was a wonderful experience and pretty fun. Plus, I got to spend time with family I have only seen here and there over the years and get to know them better. And, I got to spend quality time with some of my most favorite and important people, my little girl and daddy-o.

Peyton is in fact a wonderful travel companion... well, as long as I have movies and entertainment. If I put a movie on, I won't here another peep out of her unless she is singing along or telling me about a part in the movie. We of course made a pit stop along the way... which is my problem. I should really not drink so much soda before a road trip. And between me and my dad, navigation was NOT our strong point. We got lost going pretty much everywhere. It became pretty comical in time. It was just so bad.
 This was also my first time sharing a bed with this girl. And lemme tell you, she is a big time space hog.
 Monday night we spent with Uncle Gene-o and Aunt Karen hearing stories of the past, my Grandpa Bob and about my mom's cousins from Minnesota. I had to take notes for my mom (and my Aunt Karen's insistence) and think my mom enjoyed my note entitled "What About Bob?" No one else seemed to get the joke. Alas. I snickered a few times to myself watching my Aunt and Uncle interact, they were like a TV sitcom couple, bickering and story telling. But I honestly loved getting to know them better and truly enjoyed our late evening. I even got Peyton to fall asleep on me while we were visiting which never happens, making it all the sweeter.

The next morning we met my Aunt and Uncle at a place called "Denny's". Ever heard of it? My Aunt says to us Monday night, "We will meet you at this breakfast place called Denny's by your hotel. They have great breakfast." As if we have never heard of it. I wonder if they have them in Minnesota? Besides our great breakfast I had a feast for my eyes when this hair stood by our table for a while. Thank you Arizona.
 After a ridiculous long ride with getting lost numerous (like 7) times we finally made it to the beautiful temple. Throngs of people were there, and yet you could sense a great spirit and peacefulness as well. The video before the tour was wonderful and really pointed out the importance of the temple to our having eternal families. Which like President Nelson (?) said is the only way heaven would be heaven. Without my family heaven would not be.
 
 The grounds were beatiful and maybe because I am so used to the little Redlands temple the interior seemed gigantic. I loved walking through this beautiful building and was grateful I was able to go.
 
 Peyton loved the fountains outside (the best for sure), but she also loved the "bootie" shoes we had to wear and the Christmas lights inside. She thought the chandeliers looked like Christmas lights and she would get so excited every time she saw some. It was precious.
 Thank you Dad for taking us.
 Thank you Aunt Karen for coming and having a desire to see the temple and learn about us "Mormons" and for having such an open mind and heart. It was so fun to see her impressions as we walked there, and her heart change and she realized we were truly Christians with a wonderful love for our families and especially Christ.
 And thank you my sweet Peyton for being such a fun friend for me. I am glad to have one on one experiences with each of my girls (and future children) and this was a good way to start.