Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Girls Go Downtown

I am so behind on blogging. 

"I dough-nut" even believe you, Mom."

Oh. But it's true. 

Eliza made that cute donut notebook cover.
She wanted to jazz it up and that's what she came up with.
It's adorable, yes?
August Girl's Trip 2016!

Prior to coming to America, one of the few requests Mia had was to spend time downtown at Temple Square. In thinking ahead to the weekend Andrew and Henry spend together each Fall hunting, I thought the girls and me could have a weekend of our own downtown. The original plan included Lottie but when she heard that her cousin's were heading to Bubba's cabin, she decided to go with her Dad and brothers on that trip instead. 

Our weekend began with a stop at Fiiz. With our drinks in hand, we made our way to the nail salon where we were treated to pedicures. Mia had never had one so she didn't know what to expect. She was very pleased with the experience. We all were. 
This cracks me up!
Eliza was very relaxed.
Clearly. :)
She managed to have some fun too!
The massage chair made her laugh.
Eliza was especially thrilled when her nail artist went ahead and painted her fingernails too. That was unexpected and they didn't charge us for it. Next up, we made the drive down to the Marriott Hotel at City Creek. We checked in, snapped a few photos and then walked over to temple square.
Our first stop was to the visitor's center where we spent time looking at the Christus.

As we walked around, looking at the exhibits and then closer to the temple, I kept tearing up. I have been to temple square many times but felt especially touched by the spirit as we explored that afternoon. It is such a neat and sacred place. My hope was that the girls were likewise feeling what I was.

Because I am obnoxious, I went out of my way to initiate conversations with both the German sister missionaries and the Chinese speaking missionaries. I like watching them light up when they are able to use their native language. Having embarrassed the girls a few times already, Eliza spotted a German and a Chinese speaking companionship. Because she is kind enough to indulge her Mom, she pointed them out to me. I was glad she did because we were able to make a neat connection.

But first, a little back story. Mia's best friend from Germany is named Lisa Hopf. Lisa is actually serving a mission to temple square but is currently spending a few months in California. Missionaries who are assigned to temple square get an additional assignment, away from Salt Lake, so they have opportunity to proselyte. Mia was disappointed we wouldn't have the chance to cross paths with her while she was here, but after talking with the sister missionaries that Eliza pointed out, we realized we had met one of Sister Hopf's former companions; Sister Chen.

Sister Chen recognized Mia's name right away. They had a fun conversation as they realized this unique connection. After awhile, we crossed the street and headed back into Babylon. ;) We were excited to introduce Mia to the Cheesecake Factory. We ate a delicious dinner, dropped off our cheesecake at the hotel and then did some shopping.

As the sun began to set, we jetted back across the street to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. We took the elevator to the tenth floor so we could have a great view of the setting sun.
That night, we settled into our room. We were able to facetime with Mia's family for a little while, nibble on some cheesecake and watch "National Treasure." The next morning, Mia put on a dress and went to the temple to do baptisms. Finally, she made it inside a Utah temple.  
Hotel Lobby

While she was there, Eliza and I did a little more shopping.
The rest of our day included checking out of the hotel, stopping at Gateway for lunch and a trip to Hollister (Mia's favorite) and then driving back home. After resting for a bit, I went to the grocery store, worked on my young women's lesson and then headed down to Lagoon with the girls. Maren was kind enough to join us.  

This ride is my favorite. 
But going on it proved to be a big mistake. 

Eliza got drenched and ended up freezing the rest of the night. 
I eventually purchased Eliza a dry shirt to put on. 
That helped her immensely.
We had a fun time that night but came home exhausted. 

Thank you to Andrew for supporting and sponsoring such a memorable weekend!
Speaking of Andrew, Forrest was in the middle of potty training when he took them to the cabin
that same weekend. So receiving pictures like this made me laugh. 

Henry, Lottie and Forrest had the best time with their 
Nanna Teresa, Bubba, Aunt Liz and cousins. 
Nothing makes Andrew happier than when we are all at the cabin with those we love. 

And finally, that weekend I heard Mia really play the piano for the first time. 
She also plays the trumpet. 
I didn't know I was such a softy, but I must be because hearing her play that afternoon made me cry.

And ever since that weekend, Forrest has been asking to pee outside. 
Which some people may (or may not) find embarrassing! 

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