After a breakfast spectacle that horrified motel onlookers and reduced me to manic laughter, we joined Granny, Gramps, and Holly for a tour of Temple Square. This time we drove, and Zachary and Tyler had a million questions about the underground parking lot we used at the Conference Center. Somehow their incessant structural engineering inquiries made me feel like the world's least intelligent mother.
Part of our visitors center tour included a lovely video presentation based on The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It was perfect for our kids' attention span. I watched a longer movie about the church's welfare program while nursing Lexi. Some Sister missionaries talked to us for a while, we enjoyed Temple Square's lovely summer flowers, and then took a quick family picture in front of the temple. My parents marveled that 33 years ago this week, they were married for time and all eternity in that sacred place. What amazing things have happened since that day!
Next was a family lunch at JB's. I have already tried to block certain memories of this experience. I knew when my mom started rehearsing horror stories from my own childhood that this day would go down in family folklore. The family of four seated next to us talked openly about us in a foreign language, gesturing at our screaming Gavin, our sad baby, and our boys balancing spoons on their noses. Again with the hysterical laughter from me. Gramps picked up the bill, bless his generous soul.
When Gavin fell asleep during the eight-block ride back to the motel, Garry and I made an executive decision: Garry would keep Gavin "home" from church and spare the world his afternoon meltdown. It was a good choice; church at Grandma Dent's ward was lovely. I especially enjoyed attending Grandma's Sunday School class, and also my impromptu (read: unintentional yet vastly appreciated) nap in the mothers lounge.
We spent the evening at my Aunt Diane's house. She hosts a weekly dinner for all of her Salt Lake family. A few times a year, Dixons tend to crash the party, and once in a while, Bartles join the fun! We're always grateful for her generosity, and seeing so much family in one spot is such a treat. Our kids played with my cousins' kids and fun times were had by all. Garry was a great sport and tailed Gavin all night (he needs a full-time supervisor) so I could chat. And someone brought a fantastic chocolate cake that soothed my soul.
With these happy family experiences in the emotional bank account, crazy-boy bedtime was a silly -- rather than stressful -- affair. The laughter was more merry than manic...just the way it should be!