Mom, Dad, Mike, and I drove up Tuesday. It was a quiet drive. Really. Not much to report. I talked a lot and kept trying to get Mike to chit chat. Even as a missionary he didn't feel like chitting the chat. Sigh. Maybe when he gets back? Nah, I'm not gonna keep my hopes up. We got to Payson and had a lovely dinner with the Smiths. Then I went and had ice cream with Jenn (who was visiting from Texas) and Heather (who lives in Payson.) From back at my freshman BYU year, these girls (and Nancee and Moana) were my closest and bestest friends and I still try to keep them near and dear. They are amazing women. Really, I love the example of wives and moms that they are to me. Any time we get together it's like no time has passed. AND I got to meet Jenn's sweet baby Kate (too cute) and see Heather's home (also too cute.) It was a great divertion of the task at hand of dropping Mike off for two years to West Virginia (sniff sniff). So that was Tuesday.
And for the main event, Wednesday. This is Elaine Smith (you can't really see her), but she is 79 years old and one of my heroes. Seriously. She's amazing. She and her husband, Morris, hosted us Tuesday night and this is a picture of breakfast on the deck, which was REALLY nice . . . BUT I knew Stacy was chilling in Provo because the two of us had assumed (and we all know what happens when you assume) we would be eating out (after all, we are an "eating out family," as Erin explained) so that stressed me out a little. I really did enjoy the deck breakfast and Elaine demanding we eat more, and I couldn't figure out why Stacy was sure about not coming down to Payson until later in the morning. She didn't want to come there since she knew Nate, Erin, Mackenzie, and Sydney had driven through the night and were headed to meet us all at breakfast in Provo and surprise Mike. Oops, bad communication. Anyway, between Nate (who finally texted Mom that he was in Utah), me, and Dad (whom I told the surprise) we got Mike and Mom on the road and we rendez-voused with the other family at Arby's.
Sydney and Kenzie were cracking themselves up. I think they were still a little sleep deprived even though they crashed the whole trip up through the night. Poor Nate and Erin were pumping the caffeine through their veins, though, to keep awake.
There was this lady hollaring "Moms put the badges on." This other Elder wasn't listening and she kept repeating it, and finally, all exasperated, the lady said, "Fine, don't listen to me, then." Apparantly Michael was named District Leader once he got settled on Wednesday (We found that out in his first letter home.) Probably because of his astute listening skills (among other leadership talents) since he had Mom put on his badge, "Elder Garrard."
Awww, the dork dot.