Elder Hales Farewell <---baby brother

I have been meaning to get this post up here for a few days now (holy crazy week!!!), or at least get it up before next Wednesday, the 6th, when Dallin leaves and won't get to see it (except I will be mailing him each blog post, so technically he'd get it anyways).

As most of you know, my baby brother (Happy 19th Bday yesterday, btw) has chosen to serve a two year, LDS mission, and has been called to labor in Tucson, Arizona.  This past weekend was his mission farewell talk at church up in Utah, which also pretty much means a social gathering of friends and family!

Ben and I flew out Friday evening, and my sister joined us Saturday lunch time.  It was an awesome time, and we fit a lot in those days, as usual.  Whole home par-tay.
It was also cold.
We ate at the Cheesecake Factory which is at the new City Creek mall (the Chicken Medeira is to die for).  It was Ben and my second time at the mall, but the first time I had just run a million miles so I didn't really soak up anything.  City Creek really is amazing!  The retractable mall roof also makes a world of difference when it's painfully chilly out.

And I must mention, my sister ordered plain cheesecake.  PLAIN.  Who does that!?!?  lol  (Sorry Jo.)  We had the Oreo Cheesecake, which was delicious.  The interior of the Cheesecake Factory at City Creek is also amazing.  I felt like I was in a Vegas restaurant for minute.
My brother took some of these pictures with his sweet Samsung Galaxy Note II, that I definitely need.  haha
A puppy friendly mall.
When we first arrived to Utah (luckily the airport re-opened), we were greated with FOG.  So much fog that when we landed it scared me because I had no idea the runway was right THERE.  I think we are bad luck, because whenever we visit, the weather is terrible.

Beautiful mountain view. . .
 Gorgeous lake view. . .
Adorable puppy view. . .
Reunited.  Still trying to get him down to Arizona.
Saturday evening we celebrated Dallin's 19th birthday in Happy Valley, with my mom and Jeff.
(Traveling is exhausting.)
Elder Hales had an amazing talk!  He is so real, that so many can relate to the things that he said/says.  It was truly a remarkable talk, and not that I expected it not to be, but I was so impressed with my little brother!  He will make a great missionary!!!  He is so ready.
Our first family picture in YEARS.  The sad thing is, even though we had an entire family picture, we were in such a huge rush that we didn't get an entire family picture + BEN because we were doing some with mom, some with dad, some with both, some with Jeff, etc. while rotating photographers.  So really, it's not an entire family picture. But we tried!
This pic (below) speaks volumes.
Farewell pictures. . .
CTR Drymax socks.  How cool is that?
So the weather held up just long enough to get everyone to hear his talk, thank goodness.  When we left church, it was a BLIZZARD.  And it didn't stop the rest of the weekend & week (actually it may have stopped by today, I haven't chatted with the fam yet).
 And a half hour before we had to leave for the airport. . .you bet I was stressing.
So we made it to the airport around 6pm on Sunday.  It was an adventurous time.  We were afraid the airport would close or our flights would be cancelled.  Thank goodness for iPads, books and husbands (singular actually) of entertainment, because our flight was delayed 13 times!!  It was hilariously sad watching the entire airport in chaos.  All the runways closed but one!!
I wish I would have taken a picture, but we finally took off at 2am after 40+ plows (I lost count) went down the runway one in front of the other (which was pretty cool to watch), and getting de-iced which is also pretty cool to watch (think airplane + carwash).  So ya, getting to bed at 4 in the morning made for an interesting week.

However, the saddest part. . .my sister's flight got cancelled and it was too dangerous for somebody to pick her up, so she got to take a shuttle downtown (with everyone else) to spend the night alone in a hotel.  Haha, so adventurous.  Nothing like taking an unexpected PTO day to hang out by yourself at the airport!

What a great weekend of memories.  Once again, follow Dallin's blog for the next couple of years:

He will not manage it, but we all will for him.  :]  Hmmm... I think I want to find a race to run, . . .in Tucson. . .


  1. I hope your brother has a safe journey and that everything goes well for him. You have a big family and such great looking people :) I love your dog too. I get so happy when I see good pet people showing much love to their pets!

  2. mmmmm.... I love Cheesecake Factory, and their chicken madeira, and all their cheesecakes- except plain of course :)

  3. ohhhhh...................this looks magical!!!!! Love all that snow. You have a beautiful family CHristy!!!! I'm hoping one day all these babies will allow me to sit back as a grandma in my compression gear and marvel at the blessigns of a big family! Loved this post. Do you all belong to the church of LDS?