Monday, August 20, 2007

California Dreamin'

So, my pity party was over a few days ago. I figured I should post again so y'all don't think I am having a complete meltdown. The good news, I guess, is that I am still just on the brink of breaking down . . . in other words, back to normal. I do find myself, today, super emotional, though. My brother Mike leaves for the MTC tomorrow. Somehow I think his leaving will open a floodgate of emotions I have been repressing all summer. BUT, that's a downer, and I don't want to dwell on that too much. [Total personal note on a public forum: Jenn, if you read this by before we leave tomorrow morning, email me your cell number ( and hopefully we can hook up once we get to Utah. We're staying in Payson, but maybe we can meet somewhere for late-night ice cream or something once your baby girls are in bed. We can pre-celebrate your 30th :)]

As far as what's been going on, I should post about the super fun cousin get-together we had last week at Pump it Up, but Erin covered it pretty well, so check out her post about that here. I got a few different pictures that hopefully I can post one of these days. I just have to say I have been very blessed in the family department. And I wish to offer a special shout-out to my in-law family. Some of these unsuspecting, lovely men and women have probably shaken their heads at our group on many occasions, but they still come around us for more craziness. It is a huge blessing in my life that Leah and Kristi and Stacy, etc. like us (or put up with us) enough to let all our kids be friends. And speaking of good in-laws, we can add another to the family group sheet. Friday afternoon my cousin Brandon married Anneke in sunny (and humid) San Clemente, CA. I knew it would be a crazy turn-around trip once I realized it was the day before Leanne's baby shower at my house. BUT, I am a sucker for a family party and I just love the Montoya clan, so I didn't want to miss out. So, I figured if I organized myself well enough I could "do it all."

I ended up calling the cleaning lady to come back to my house. That was a happy day, let me tell you. Honestly, part of my pity party was the solo pre-cleaning that I had to get done the next morning before Paula and her peeps came to dust my niches. Really, I decided, it's worth cutting back here and there to have them come every now and then to do the stuff I can't seem to get around to. Like this time it was my pot shelf niches that were thick with dust. The thought of bringing in the tall ladder to climb up to the high shelves hasn't appealed to me. I know that then I will spend the entire time I am dusting the knick knacks ALSO hollaring at my kids to stop climbing up to join me whilst I am perched ten feet up. Or, just when I get in some precarious position Brevin will call me down to wipe his backside. Needless to say, the dusting hasn't seemed fun enough to make the top things to get done this summer list. Of course having someone else clean my bathrooms and mop my floor didn't seem to shabby either. Once the house was clean my kids got the don't touch anything unless you want your fingers broken talk, and we made sure to be gone "shower shopping" for most of the day Thursday. It was bizarre Thursday night to be hooting and fluffing early. I was cutting and arranging flowers, setting out the plates, cups, etc, and rearranging the flowers with the same fervor that I have on the day of the shower. The whole time I am thinking how weird it was to still have a day in between that I normally would have procrastinated through until Saturday morning before the shower. BUT, since I was leaving bright and early for CA the next morning, it had to be prepped.

So Friday morning I got the kids up and out to my sister's house. [Personal note on a public forum: Thank you so much for being willing to watch my kids while I went and played. I know how much you love yourself a family get-together, too, so it had to be doubly hard to watch my kids AND miss the party. You really are the best sister/friend I have and I'm grateful for you. Your willingness to sacrafice for your family (immediate and extensive) impresses me and I really owe you more than the gallon of milk and corn pops I brought to you Friday morning. Love you, Sis.] David and Michael joined me for the quick road trip and while David slept the entire time, Mike and I had a good chat. Sometimes it took a while to get going as Michael definitely has a handle on the one-word answers. Ah, boys. It was nice for me (probably more painful for him) to spend the time together before he heads to West Virginia. Here's some pics of the drive, which was uneventful until we missed the toll road we were looking for and ended up driving through Irvine. Not too bad, though, we were able to get back on the right freeway after the brief tour.

David sleeping. Gotta love Dave who strips down to his underwear when he sleeps, even on a road trip. He wouldn't eat with us at Del Taco in Barstow (where I seriously had THE best chicken burrito I have EVER eaten at the Del to the T. And they had pellet ice. Does it get much better than that in the fast food world? - Not counting the good Burger King posters, right Jer?) because he was too content to stay in the 100 degree heated car with his heavy comforter.

Michael enjoying the CA traffic. Not so good at navigating. I kept asking him to read me the mapquest directions and he couldn't ever figure out which directions to read to me. Let's all pray for an easy bike area first. Or on-star services if he's in a car area. Could be scary is all's I'm sayin'.

Focused. I thought a ton of times about Tyler's post about driving to California. I can't wait to read the Idaho/Utah rant. I kept thinking things like, "Soo true. Amen, Tyler. Thanks for hogging the only available lane fat slow truck driver!" Oh well. We ended up there just fine and I could always use extra excercise in my right leg with the extra break tapping to kick off my cruise control.
When we got to CA we went straight to the Montoyas to check out the wedding action. We didn't want to get in the way of the hustle and bustle and were pleased to find Mark and Rick just hangin' out at the kitchen table. Their cool demeanor didn't really exude the internal panic as they were trying to figure how to play the reception DVD on the LCD projector. I offered to help (HA HA) and called some people who actually know something about computers. I ended up calling my GO-TO guy and let me toot his horn once again (no sick jokes needed here, sheesh), but Daniel totally saved our bacon. After he could quit laughing as I located some of the simple icons he was referring to her talked me through the hook up and playing of the DVD. Seriously, he was the hero of the afternoon. And not to say you saved the reception, but it was a definite highlight. Mountain Dew Slurpee fo sho! The whole Montoya clan was breathing easier once we got to the church for the wedding. Whilst all the other wedding prep was going on Moana (one of my best girlfriends from BYU) met me at their house and we hung out with her new baby girl, Ocean, for a couple hours. It was such a pick-me-up. I love 'em to pieces. I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of the three of us together, but take my word for how beautiful both Moana and her baby are. Cuz they are. Just great.
The wedding was nice. Different from what I was used to, but I was ready for the interactive Catholic ceremony. However, I kept missing my cue and wouldn't realize it until the other side of the room repeated their congregation's part. It was great to see the Tanner bunch and all the other family. Having never met Anneke, it was interesting to me to figure out who was who from her family, etc. She's one of nine kids. Isn't that amazing? And her mom (well, the whole family, actually) is just beautiful and young looking. Anyway. Here's the new Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Montoya:
Oh, and baby boy due in October. They seemed really happy and it was great to be there to be part of the wedding. Not that you can tell in this picture, but later notice their amazing smiles. More wedding pics:

Julie's my cousin and Mark's her hubby. And they're the parents of the groom. What? I know. It's true. Even though they don't look like it, they actually have a kid old enough to be getting married. They are beautiful people. Inside and out. I always have such a good time around them and appreciate and love them SO much.

The wedding party.

Mark, Julie, Brandon, Chloe, Alexa, and Morgan. Beautiful parents, beautiful kids, beautiful day.
After the wedding we meandered to a beach-site club-house thingy for the reception. There was great food, drinks, and music. I had a great time. It was totally muggy (I can appreciate "dry heat" all over again), so with all the dancing and happiness we were a sweaty, sticky bunch by the end of the night. Brandon and Anneke seemed thrilled and relaxed and totally in to each other while everyone else was having their own good time. I did introduce myself to her since I kept taking their picture and didn't know if she was like, "Who's that woman I've never met all up in our space with her camera?" Here's some party pics:

My Aunt Cloadella and Uncle Chuck. I think my Aunt Clo is one of the cutest ladies I have every met. Plus, she gets spunkier the older she gets. I love her. And Uncle Chuck is practically my grandpa on that side of the family. It was nice to see them a couple times this month since months (or years) can go by before we get to visit with them. They are still sweet on each other, even after all these years. At the end of the wedding, though, I thought it was funny cuz Aunt Clo totally took off back up the aisle at the church and then realized she had left Uncle Chuck in her dust, so she turned back to wait for him instead of going solo. It was one of those, "Oh, wait a minute, I'm supposed to have someone with me at this part" kind of moments.

The happy couple.

Garret, Dave, and Mike at the top of the beach trail before the reception started.

Jer, Katie, and Maggie. You can't see in this picture, but Jerolyn had some DARLING red shoes with her ensemble.

My cute dates for the evening.

I loved this one of cousin Frankie with his baby Landon. This is the "please just go to sleep" moments all parents are familiar with when you're at a party and your baby starts to get fussy. Really, though, Landon's a partier at heart. I thought he was so good and sweet . . . all the kids were. Now, mine would've ruined that impression, so it was good they stayed home. But everyone else's were great, I thought.

Have I mentioned it was muggy? Mike's solution to the humidity.

Jodie, Riley, Kris, Rick, and GOOD FOOD. Kudos on the yummy meal that came with your very own bib. After dinner they showed the video (a success, as earlier mentioned) and started dancing. One of the most touching parts was the father-daughter dance with Anneke and her dad, and then the DJ invited all the fathers and their daughters to dance. I LOVED THIS PART! It was so sweet to see all that, especially the young dads with all their girls. I couldn't resist catching all my cousins and their kids:

Cousin Julie with Uncle Chuck.

Cousin Dustin with his three girls, Page, Madison, and Karley (sorry if I mispelled that?!)

Cousin-in-law Mike with two of his five girls, Heather and Alyssa. I still can't tell the twins apart, so one is Heather and the other is Alyssa :)

Cousin-in-law Darin with Ellie, Katie, and Maggie. I loved this one of Katie who is looking SO grown up, but not too grown up to dance with her dad and sisters. Yes, Jer, I'll get you the copy of that :)
And then they did the same thing with the mother and sons, which totally made me miss my boys for 1.5 seconds. Then I was over it to capture these photos:
Cousin Julie with her son, the groom, Brandon.

Cousin Kourtney with son Bradley (I think Frankie was still trying to put Landon to sleep at this point)

Cousin-in-law, Kris with Dustin (and Page)

Cousin Jodie with her sons, Garrett and Devin.

Aunt Clo and Rick. I'm just realizing I didn't upload Rick and Riley's pic from the father/daughter dance, but that was another precious moment. Ahhh, they all were. Of course, the other precious moments came after the reception when we stayed up way too late talking. Considering Dave, Mike, and I left at 6:30am Saturday morning, it seemed kinda like a blur of a wedding once we came back to Vegad, but SO worth the blur. It was good times.
And Leanne's shower was a hit. I don't have any pictures of it, but I had a good time and I think she did too. She said she did, soooo, unless she's a lier she was satisfied. She got a lot of stuff and I'm anxious to hear what she got on her spending spree the next day. I'm sure she'll get all organized and ready for baby Cole ASAP. I finished this paper bag album for her out of the cute invitation paper, so hopefully she can get some pictures and keep it forever and ever. I copied my friend Sarah's idea for the book instead of a card and it was a hit (Thanks Sarah!)
The day didn't end at that point, but this post is already ginormous, and I have to go to bed now. Tomorrow we leave for Provo, so I'll have to write in the morning or when I get back. Later.


Jerolyn said...

I love,love,love this post!!!So glad you came!!Kaitlyn (jer's daughter)

Jerolyn said...

oh what fun it was!

Tyler said...

MAN I am pissed we missed the party!!!! Have fun in Provo. You'll have to see if you agree with my opinions of Utah drivers after I get my pic's from our trip uploaded. Enjoy all the "Mormon-centric" billboard advertising you'll see up there! Only in Utah!

Erin said...

It's now the day after I started reading this post, but I do have to say I enjoyed the pics (sniff sniff) & am shoving the pity-party for myself out of my head. Not at all jealous about missing the humidity and all, but nonetheless when has our family let a little humidity dampen the par-tay? Looks fun, hopefully someone else will get married soon & I can make it to that one.

Jerolyn said...

Coll pic Sarah~I stole a couple off yours and stuck em on mine. Love the pic you got of Darin and our girls! Good time eh? Too bad Erin couldn't have been there~we missed her.


Hey Sarah -
Jamie (Neel) Garyson here...I don't know how I found your site, but I did! Good to see you and your family is doing good. We moved to Indiana last month. LOVE IT HERE!! Anyways, you can see our blog at Can I add you to mine?

chris jenkins said...

holy crap girlfriend - do you ever slow down? glad to hear things are chaotic and crazy because then i know you wouldn't be normal otherwise. perhaps i need to hire you to come be my 2nd pair of eyes when i do weddings - seems you were able to capture a lot of the goings on - great job!

i'm jealous but glad you got to get your cleaning lady back. i hope that alleviates a lot of the stress for ya'

take care and ttys~