I listened to LDS music and conference talks on my iPod until my battery died (I hadn't planned on bringing it, then drove back around the block after our goodbyes to grab it. Do people even use iPods anymore? Mine stays on my dock and entertains us throughout the house. I hadn't taken it off the dock in forever! I was glad to have it for a while and will definitely charge it before heading north to go home.) Just after my music died, I had a lovely call from Ohio friend and kindred spirit, Susan. We talked from Provo until I pulled into Liza's driveway! That made for a very short three last hours of the trip! When I arrived, I discovered that I had about a dozen texts and calls that I'd missed because I hadn't even heard the beeps and dings while talking on speakerphone. Liza and Doug were both wondering where I was! Oops! I'd packed a sandwich, so I didn't even have to stop and eat along the way. The weather was perfect and lovely. The car ran like clockwork. I was alert and I made great time! Liza and Buddy were surprised to see me 45 minutes sooner than they planned on.
Aylabelle was napping when I arrived and I was anxious to see her! Liza was walking out the door for a Primary Meeting, but Aylabelle woke up just a few minutes later, so she, Buddy and I sat on the floor playing a match game with Disney Princess cards for 45 minutes. She's amazing! And I think she's going to be OCD like her mommy and gram, because she likes to have everything very organized! I was so thrilled that she just comes running right to me and knows me! I'm SOOOOOO thankful for Facetime!!
Liza came home and we did "presents", which you have to do when you visit, right? There were a few surprises that I'd brought. One was the electronic Fur Real Cat that was ZJ's years ago. Aylabelle had been intrigued by cats when I was here in August, so we thought she needed this cat, who she's named Cat and Meow, depending on the moment. It purrs and meows and lies back and paws at you. She likes when it lies back the most and says, "Lay down, kitty. Please. Lay down."
Monday morning, after breakfast, we headed to town for a few things. They'd been asked by text on Sunday evening to feed the sister missionaries dinner at 5 on Monday, so I volunteered to cook! Liza, Aylabelle and I hit Michaels for a Cricut supply, and then needed a few grocery items before dinner. Liza had never let her ride on the end of the cart, so Aylabelle thought that was pretty cool...much cooler than her mommy did. But, isn't that what Grammies are for?
Aylabelle is so vocal and speaks amazingly well. She's got the best manners ever! She just blows me away over and over. During breakfast, I offered her a bite of my muffin. She, matter of factly, said, "No, thank you, Gammie. Sowwy, I don't like it." It was as plain as day. My mouth just dropped!
We called my mother to see if she wanted to meet us for lunch, but she wasn't feeling well, so we went to the mall and had a bite at Aylabelle's favorite place, Pizza Pie Cafe. It's a buffet style restaurant chain in Utah. She loves the pasta. So, Liza and I would take turns getting our salad, and each food, saying to Aylabelle, "I'll be right back." As we were ready to leave, Liza let her out of her little high chair. She stepped to the ground, turned to us and said, "I'll be right back." She doesn't miss a thing!
We came home and got dinner ready while Aylabelle took a nap and did a few other things that needed done. We didn't even think about the Primary project. There wasn't time!
The sisters came for dinner, one from Equador and one from Louisiana. We had a nice visit and a nummy dinner of garlic-parmesan chicken and spinach over pasta,Carol's go-to cheesecake jello/yogurt/fruit salad and fresh rolls out of the oven. I was happy to cook and they were very gracious guests. They left a short message and were out the door and back to work.
We spent the rest of the evening until Aylabelle's bedtime watching her. Oh my word, we were, literally, laughing until we had tears running down our faces. Liza was singing, "Ring around the Roses" while Aylabelle ran around in circles and would fall. Somehow, though, she got the idea that she needed to "wind up" before Liza could sing. Liza would start to sing and she'd put her hand out in a "stop" motion, "Just a second, Mommy! Wait!" Then she would hold her arms out to the side and wind them around and around in circles, then say, "Okay!" and Liza would sing. She did this over and over and over. Tears were rolling down our cheeks! She's a card! I videotaped it from the top of their stairs and watched this morning, still laughing hysterically!
BUT. My favorite moment of the day... Aylabelle knocked on my door to say good morning, then we went downstairs for breakfast. She was eating and in her own little world while Liza and I were visiting. Out of nowhere, Aylabelle smiled this big big smile, kind of chuckled and said to herself, out loud but softly, "Grammie's here." followed by this little "hee-hee-hee". It brought tears to my eyes! I don't think anyone could ever match those words and make me happier!
I'm thrilled to be here but, always miss Doug and my babes. ZJ had been in school for twenty minutes, when she texted to say she felt barfy and dizzy, so Alan and Jill picked her up and took her home to rest. Someone always gets sick when I am gone! She ended up missing two days because she stayed home today too, as did Grace. I'd had that same thing just last Thursday, so I was somewhat surprised that no one else got it before now. The girls texted me several times through the day and Quayd called. Doug and I visit every break that he gets. It's good to feel missed! I say often that the hardest part of having six kids in two different sets is trying to be there for everyone... wife, mom of bigs, mom of babes and gram all at the same time! I'm dying to be in two places on Halloween... more this year than ever!
I'm excited to be here in Southern Utah! The plans for the rest of my stay are to work on Primary stuff, have dinner with my mother, play lots and lots with Liza and Aylabelle and get teased lots by Buddy. We're going to a Halloween Trunk or Treat and I hope that Liza and Buddy will have a date night while I tend Aylabelle! Life is good! So is being able to see my girls!