Monday, October 27, 2014

*Monday Memos* (Taylor Returns With Honor Edition)


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge - if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)

Long post and picture overload!

dear elder wilding, you are soon to lose the first name of Elder that you've had for the past two years and once again become Taylor in two more days!  Someone posted these pictures of you on Facebook and I thought you looked so good!  You must be at the mission home for your last dinner and testimony meeting before heading out the next day.  I am sure you are full of mixed emotions as you are about to leave the country and people you have come to love so much!  As I write this, I am thinking that when I publish it, YOU will be home!  So crazy!  The emotions are running high...for ME!
Holy help me!  I can't wait!!!  It REALLY is almost here!

dear cleaning, I am SO sick of you!  Seriously!  I have gotten on a roll and have kind of gone a little gung ho with deep cleaning every single room. But it has been in need for a while and so I am just happy I have the energy to keep going.  I am getting burned out though and I am ready for a rest!  But I am not sure that is going to happen because we had a bid today on our hardwood floors to refinish them and we need to finish the basement and paint the family room and entry way (and re-carpet, and remodel the bathrooms, and paint the front door, and...)  Truth is, I'm afraid we are just getting started!  Oh well, I love having it in the works and actually moving forward with it! After 20 years, this house is definitely showing it's age!  If I didn't love our lot and backyard so much, I would move and begin anew!  But with the new paint we are working on this week, it makes me happy to see a fresh new look.  It won't be finished in time for the homecoming, but it will for the farewell (McKay's in about eight months!).

Here are some pictures of just a few of the rooms in my house.  With almost 5000 square feet to clean, it's really too much for one person.  I really wish I had some help because the older I get the harder it gets!  I can see that someday we are going to have to downsize!  Or get a house keeper!  I know the yard is a lot for Dave too.  At least he still has help with the boys.  Those chore charts I used to be so anal with, have pretty much vanished and now it's all me that does the inside.   I still have so much dejunking to do.  My goal is to have every closet, cupboard and drawer dejunked before McKay leaves.  I think I can do it!  Once I get on a roll, there is no stopping me.  What has always frustrated me more than anything else about cleaning is the fact that it needs to be done again almost as soon as it's completed!  It seems like such a waste of time and life to me.  I just saw this quote and it is so true!
You could substitute many words in place of "Quilt", i.e. family history, scrapbooks, journals, artwork, paintings, needlework, crocheting, etc.  I have always felt bad that the thing that I enjoy doing such as decorating cakes as well as running, leave no trace behind!  Well, other than maybe pictures and medals.  That is one reason I have always wanted to learn to paint with watercolor.  Then maybe I could leave something behind to be remembered by.  I do have a scad of journals, but pretty sure I don't want a lot of peeps reading those.  haha  Sometimes I am embarrassed to death when I read them.  Other times, I am so grateful I have them!  But for the most part I keep those for myself.  I love to go back and read them because I learn so much when I do.  All I know is that housework will never be on the list of what most people are remembered for.  ☺

dear missionary mummy, my darling friend Jamie brought this adorable treat over to me tonight. She gave it to Dave because I had my head in the tub (scrubbing, not bathing!) when she arrived.  We have the greatest group of Missionary Mummy's in our ward.  It's so nice to have a support group when you need it most!  It couldn't have come at a better time either.  I have been so "wound" up that I needed some unraveling! Not to mention a yummy treat!  It was Razzleberry Bread!  Mmm....

dear poem that makes me smile, a dear friend sent me this and I am a believer!
dear manic manican, I haven't been too good at taking your updated looks.  I have missed a few this week, but at least I got this one. You are definitely still getting your Halloween on!

dear halloween, my favorite holiday of the year!  I wasn't going to put up all my decorations this year because of Taylor's homecoming since I have a LOT of decorations and I didn't want my house to look too overly decorated for it, but I decided, nope, that's who I am and I LOVE this holiday and so I am going to decorate for it and just do what I would normally do.  It does tend to clutter up the look of my house, but I decided that's okay because it gives them so much more to look at!  And it will distract them from my still unpainted walls and badly in need of refinishing hardwood floor.  haha Besides, I have invested a small fortune in my decors and they make me happy!
dear painting, what a mess repainting  your house is!  But, it's so worth it!  I am so excited it is actually happening!  Dave has been a spackle happy camper for a week or two and I think he got a little carried away with the spackle knife!  Oh well, the painters will have to come in and do it their own way, but it does show how badly it needed repainting.  Especially down the basement stairs!

Here is a preview of the new paint in the piano room! Ignore the dust all over the piano from the sanding dust. This photo does not show the true color (Brindle) but it's really gorgeous!  It's a slate color with purple and grey undertones.  I love it so much in this room! I can't believe I didn't do it sooner! 
Now I am just trying to decide if I want it throughout the entire entry way and family room or if I want to do a two tone with grey.  It's a good thing that I have about a week to decide.

dear taylor coming home!!! What a day!  His plane was supposed to land at 10:30 a.m. and so we tried to get out of the house by 9 a.m. even though I personally would have liked to have left at 7:30 (just to be sure!), but it ended up being 9:15.  Way too close for me.  I was a basket-case on the way down because I knew we were cutting it way too close!  At least for me.  I kept saying, "What if the plane arrives early?" and Dave and Bryce seemed to think all would be well and told me that never happens and to chill.  I was a nervous wreck the entire drive down.  I am not sure why I was such a bundle of nerves - other than the possibility of being late.  I was really wishing we had left much sooner.  Now I know why.
When we arrived, my parents and Dave's parents along with my brother and his kids were already there.  Dave dropped me and the boys off at the entrance and then he had to go park.  I felt good once we got in that we had made it okay, but there were SO many other families waiting for missionaries that there wasn't much room for us!  Then I saw a lady video-ing the escalators and I said something like, "I wonder why she is already doing that when the plane still hasn't even landed?" (it was about 10:25 at that point).  Another lady leaned over and told me that the plane from Atlanta (Taylor's) had arrived 45 minutes early!!!!  WHAT!!???  Yep!  That thing that never happens, happened!  That meant they would be coming down those stairs any minute!  Dave was no where to be found - it took him forever to park because of all the missionaries arriving.  We heard there were 25 returning on his plane!!!  That's a lot of people to come and greet them!
Waiting patiently for Taylor and impatiently for Dave to arrive.  Karen and her girls and Linda also hadn't made it yet.  Come to find out there was very little parking and so it took them all forever to get there once they did park because they had to park so far away.

 The next thing I knew, I heard a ton of screams and THERE HE WAS!!!!  The other missionaries families were all screaming too!  It happened so fast! 
 Oh my goodness the emotions!  I was a mess!  I was so happy! I couldn't hold back the tears!  
IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE HIM!!!!  He was just glowing and beaming!  He looked so happy!
It was bittersweet!  Mainly because Dave missed the entire thing!  One of the missionaries got off the escalators and just stood there.  None of his family had shown up yet.  Early arrivals for missionary planes should be outlawed!  I felt so bad for him.  His family eventually got there but it was anti-climactic!
Once everyone got there from our family, Taylor had a lot of hugs to give!  Wow it was awesome!

 He took these while he was on the plane!  Finally on American soil!  USA! USA! USA!
He looked GREAT!  And what a THICK accent he had!  Wow!  He sounded native Brazilian!
 Time of immense joy and happiness for us all!!!
I love the look on my Mom's face in this one! ↑ It's like she's thinking, "What a tall giant is standing before me."
They REALLY do come home!  Hah!  It was so much different than when Sky came home because we went to Indiana and picked him up.  We met him at the church right before a Zone Conference with his entire zone.  Then when we arrived in SLC the greeting committee was there as we all came down the escalators!
 Taylor and his signature facial expression ↑
 My Dad showing how much taller he has grown.
 He looked so good!
Dave FINALLY arrived!!!  It took him forever to park that car!  I felt so bad he missed it, but he seemed to be fine with it.  He still got his hug and got his boy back! 
 He is almost as tall as Dave!

His signature smile again... lol

With his cousins ↓

Everyone eventually made it!!! 

Can you see it in my face how happy I was?!
 I truly did not want to let him go!!
 Neither did Grammy!

Taylor talking his bro Skyler in Hawaii. 
That face!  He is just glowing!
 A fellow missionary buddy he met on the airplane.

 His mission tie.

 Waiting for Dave to go and get the car this time...

Having some fun while waiting!

This poor missionary girl (in the skirt) below arrived to NO family.  She waited and waited and finally borrowed my sister-in-laws phone to call her family.  They said the itinerary they received said she was arriving in the afternoon!  Poor thing!  Dave's sister took her picture holding one of Taylor's signs that said Welcome Home after folding it so Taylor's name wasn't showing.  Then she drove her to Orem to meet her family.  They were driving in from Fairview.  Poor thing!

 Taylor requested Panda Express for his first American meal, but it wasn't in the direct vicinity so he settled for Village Inn.  Ironically, that was also his last American meal the morning he left.  He said they don't have breakfast foods in Brazil and he was craving all things breakfast.
 One of my favorite pictures!  He ate all this and more!!!

We had to stop in South Jordan to get a phone Dave had bought for him and Taylor did a little missionary work on the side!  lol

After about an hour or two at Verizon activating his new phone, we headed down Main Street and saw this!!!   He was a good sport about it and even got out so I could take his picture!  I only had two put up.  He was grateful since when Sky came home, there were five!  I was in Indiana picking him up and asked a bunch of friends to see if they could get one up and between them all, we got five!  Sky was a bit embarrassed and not too happy with me! haha
 As we were driving on Main we saw Ryleigh on the sidewalk flagging us down!  He saw us pull in Big O to take a picture of the sign and then came out and so we pulled where he works at a car dealership and let these two chat for a bit.  They were good buds in high school and played basketball together since they were nine or ten.

 Sorting this all his wet stuff!
He brought some cool stuff home, including a hammock for Mr. Cat! 

Blurry, but it's a cat hammock!  Pretty sure Mr. Cat will not fall in love with this!  =)
He left almost all of his mission clothes behind, even his gym shoes and a pair of dress shoes, and really only brought back the clothes on his back other than his souvenir clothes.  He even gave away his electric razor to his last companion who had never even seen one.  I was grateful he did that. 

What a relief to have him home!

dear getting released, Elder Wilding had been awake for over 30 hours without sleep and so when we finally got home after going to breakfast and buying him a phone and getting it activated, it was around 4:00.  Then he unpacked all his stuff only to find the acai he had brought back in a cooler with ice had leaked all over his stuff and we had to take set everything out to dry.  He was to be at the Stake President's office at 6:30 to be released and so he took a real quick one hour power nap.  When I went to wake him up so he could get ready, as he was waking up, he was still half out of it and started to speak to me in Portuguese!  I had NO idea what he was saying and when he realized what he had done, he said, "Oh, sorry."  It was really funny.  I got his only white shirt he brought home (on his back) out of the dryer because it needed a good washing.  He left all of his missionary clothes and shoes and electric razor and everything basically he took over there to those that needed it.  I was very happy he did that.  I had to run and buy him some garments while he took a nap.  Then we headed to the church. and when Dave and I went in the room with him and the Stake President it was so nice to hear Pres. Davis read the letter his Mission President has sent about what a great missionary he was.  It was really tough I'm sure for Taylor when Pres. Davis took his name-tag off his jacket and said, "You won't be needing these anymore."  I got all chocked up and so I know it had to be hard for Taylor.  He then released him from his full time missionary service.  I was expecting to feel like jumping for joy, but I could tell it was tough for Taylor and so it was also tough for me.  Two years is a long time to dedicate your life to something and then have it gone just like that.  But I was wanting to jump for joy that he had been released honorably.  He has returned with honor.  And for that...I am most grateful!  He was an outstanding missionary in every way he possibly could be.

dear first day back, he was amazingly normal and not weird at all.  haha  He did get up early and went out to breakfast with some of his basketball buds (Kolby and Ryleigh).  They are both married and didn't serve missions and so they are part of the handful of the only pals around.  The rest of them are still on missions since Taylor was the very first of all his group to leave.  We had also made him breakfast and he ate that too.  I thought he would be lost.  But he wasn't.  McKay has kind of rearranged the clothes situation and so he was having a hard time finding any Levis or other stuff.  He has lost at least 20 lbs. (maybe more) and so we headed out to find him a new suit (his was not in the greatest of condition) and some shoes and clothes.  Brothers tend to take over missionary brothers stuff while they are gone for two years!   
We went to Ogden and found him a suit and then to the mall and got him some pants and shoes.  We also hit Panda Express (of course!) because that was the one thing he wanted most of all when he got home.   He hasn't driven a car in two years either and so I actually let him drive part of the way.  It was a little scary though!  He needs more practice!  -hah-  It was a lot of fun for me to get to spend his first day home with him.  He really has a heavy accent, but he hasn't changed much as far as his great personality goes.  He's still as witty and funny as ever.  Man, how I have missed this boy!

dear last football game of the season, Taylor was able to see his little bro play football during his Senior year at the very last game of the season (with the exception of play-offs). I was happy for that!  We were playing Logan and they are a tough team.  We were hoping to win but knew it was going to be a hard one!  It was a very exciting game!  And better yet, not too cold!
 It was Senior Night and the last home game EVER for McKay. 
All the parents are honored during halftime and given a present as their names and son's names are announced.

I think they should let the boys be part of it too, but they have to be in the locker room I guess.  It seems like when Bryce and Taylor were seniors, they did it before the game so the boys could stand by the parents.  But I'm probably wrong. 

The game was amazing!  We were tied and it went into OVERTIME!  Most people were surprised we were so tough against Logan and man were those boys hyped up!  This team has really been impressive and never give up.  Coach Gunter circled them up before the OT started and they were on fire! 
Sadly, we ended up losing because Logan scored and when we got our chance to score, they were able to stop us.  It seemed everything was going our way to win this game, but in the end, it went to them.  Now we will have to do a play-in game for 4th place against Bonneville and Mt. Crest and have to win in order to make it to the State Playoffs.  
I tried to get McKay to come and get some pix with his bros, but he was not a happy camper after losing and headed straight for the locker room, so that didn't happen. So instead, I got one of Taylor standing next to his poster.  Bryce had already gone to the car.  Oh well.   I did get one of me and McKay once he got home though!

dear having taylor home!!!  It's really just so great to have him home!  Hard to even imagine he has been gone for that long.  I am amazed at how quick Taylor has jumped back in to normal life.  He gets up with us early each day to read the scriptures, but he has been going to the church to play basketball with his buds and has gone out to breakfast and just getting back into everyday normal life. I keep getting asked if he has the freshly returned missionary weirdness, but he has adjusted so well, it's amazing! I am just so happy he's home!  It's so great!

dear skyler coming home!!!  Skyler wasn't able to arrive from Hawaii until Saturday.  I felt bad he couldn't have been there for Taylor's arrival at the airport, but I was just grateful he was able to come at all!  There was a time we didn't think he would be able to.  Taylor and Sky have always had a great relationship and so it was fun to see them back together wrestling and rough housing once again.
The last time Sky was home was last year at Christmas and so it was just so great to have him here and ALL of my boys.  I knew that Tyson was here as well and watching everyone reunite once again.  It's hard for this mom to have them all so scattered about in this crazy world when I just want them all safe and sound at home with me!  But, that's not the way it works and so I have learned to accept it as part of life.  But I don't have to like it.  And trust me, I don't!  I'm just enjoying the time I have with them right now.

dear acai, this crazy boy actually brought some acai home with him in his checked in bag.  One of the members insisted he did and the guy packaged it all up for him.  The only problem was he didn't put the ice in a bag and so it eventually (after 30 hours!) leaked out of the Styrofoam cooler onto his belongings!  Luckily it didn't ruin anything too bad and we were able to air dry most of the things that got wet.  Mostly letters and shirts.  But for Taylor, it was worth it!  He LOVES this stuff!  LOVES LOVES it!  I am not too fond of it, but I guess it becomes an acquired taste and most people really like it.  He mixed it with some other stuff he also brought home and shared it with us.  We all had black teeth after eating it.  I should have gotten a picture of us all with the black teeth!  This picture of Taylor was a good one, but unfortunately it is blurry!

dear mr. cat, I expected you to be a little more noticeably thrilled that Taylor was back, but staying with your true character, you were just...meh.  The second day he was back, you did get a little more playful and lovable, but I'm not even sure you understood he has been gone for so long.  He did bring you back you own cat hammock and so you should be a little more appreciative!  That will be the day if you ever actually lay in that hammock!  

dear prep for the big day, even though I have been preparing for the big homecoming day for weeks, the day of and day before always are crazy!  Somehow, I managed to get it all done and ready to go.  We served this delicious roast beef soaked in Au Jus and put it on hoagie buns with cheese and onions thanks to my good friend Jamie who ordered from where she works.  I really wanted to do something different than pulled pork again and so this was perfect.  Everyone really liked it too.   I baked a lot of treats and made a huge pasta salad and huge green salad.  I bought some Guaraná (Brazil's most famous drink) to serve as well.  I had three great friends drop cookies by, which also helped.  I asked the family to bring salads.  We ended up with enough food and more!  Crazy to think in less than a year we will be doing this all again for McKay's farewell!

dear reporting to the high council and stake presidency, we had to be to the church at 6:50 a.m. for Taylor to report to the High Council and Stake Presidency.  I was glad we were invited.  One other missionary (Elder Tolman) was also reporting as well.  Taylor went first and did an outstanding job.  He was asked to tell them the demographics of his mission and then share some stories. I was one proud mama as I listened to him share some of the miracles he witnessed.  He said his mission was named Mission of Miracles for a reason because he saw so many miracles while serving.  He also bore his testimony in Portuguese and that was awesome!  He still has such a thick accent that is just so fun to listen to.  They asked him some questions and his answers were just so good.  He was asked what was one thing he felt he learned the most on his mission and he said it had to be about "time".  He explained how he learned how time is our most valuable resource and he has come to understand how important it is to learn that so we can utilize it better.  He just sounded so profound and spoke with such confidence that I am not sure how I didn't lose it and start to bawl.  I had a few tears drop down, but I kept my composure pretty well.  What a great moment as a parent.  Definitely one of those paydays!

dear homecoming talk and luncheon, I wasn't sure how many to plan on feeding since most of Taylor's good buds are still on missions and some of my side of the family was unable to attend.  But we ended up with close to 55-60 peeps.  If we would have had anymore, I really don't know where we would have put them.  Luckily, it was a nice day and so many of them went outside and ate.  Taylor made the rounds and hopefully everyone got a chance to talk to him.
It was just great to see so many friends and family.  I failed to get photos of everyone, but I did the best I could with the chaos of the day!

Taylor's bud Trevor (who is still serving in New York) has such a great mom that she brought an entire bowl of caramel corn for JUST Taylor.  She made me go hide it so it wouldn't be gone before he got to it! I didn't get to the Chocolate Satin pie in time before it was gone and so I grabbed what was left in the pie tin and ate it all!  It was soooooooooo good!

The bros!
Taylor with his grandparents
Some more of the bros
The whole fam
Someone forgot to tell us we were hiding the sign!
He's home!  He's home!  He's really really home!
I had to add this one because that face has become Taylor's signature look for most of his pictures!  
Amen to that!

dear family pictures, even though these were very unprofessional and taken with our camera timer, I am happy we at least got these since all the boys were home for a few days!  I really want to do some professional ones before they all head their different directions, but I am not sure that is going to happen!  It was kind of nice not having to have all the stress of what everyone is going to wear and to make sure everyone has had a haircut (they hadn't) or to make sure everything is just perfect (it wasn't!) -  I was having a bad hair day, but I don't care, I still have the pictures and for that I am happy!  The plan is now to do some real profressional ones before McKay heads out on his mission this summer or next fall.  But even putting it off for that long always makes me nervous.  Life is just so fragile that you never know what is around the corner.  I just have to have faith and pray all goes well and we can all get back together in a year (and that no one is married yet!).  What?  Why would I ever say THAT?  Okay, nix that last statement.  =)
Even though this isn't as perfect as I wish, it is still my favorite one.  I also love that the angel in the corner is a reminder that Tyson is missing from the picture.  But not now...that angel is now representing him!

Gosh I love my family!

 These boys...

These do my heart good!

I am one blessed mama!

 It was nearly impossible to get a good shot of all of these hooligans!  They have too much fun together!

dear relief! What a relief that I survived this big day!  Whew!  It was a lot of work to get it all to come together, but it turned out great!  It was so nice to have so many come over to our home and support Taylor.  The food was great, the company wonderful, the only draw back was we ran out of places to sit people!  It just confirmed that getting that basement finished is a must for when McKay leaves.  Now if only we can make that happen!  I was exhausted by day's end!  But still on cloud nine that he was really home.  And SO grateful!

dear serenity, that is what this picture brings to my soul...
This amazing photo of our little temple was taken by Lew Jones during the recent eclipse.  Enjoy...

It's been quite an exciting week in so many ways!  One of the best ever!

*I am going to try and do a separate post of just Taylor's return and Homecoming, but I will keep this on here until I can get that done!

*If anyone is still here after that very long post ☺ and knows why this sometimes double spaces instead of single spaces, let me know why in the comments.  Thanks in advance!



Dawn said...

Oh my heck Jodi....I have been waiting for you to post again and I didn't think you had because it started with Taylor would be getting home soon. I didn't look past that until now. :D I knew he was home and knew you were busy and you have been. This is the longest post I have seen. :) You have so much going on and it's all good stuff. I admire all that you do and get done. I'm so happy you have your family together again or at least did for a week. I remember that day so well when we finally had us all together. It had been six years because my boys missions overlapped. It was so wonderful when Jaydan got home and we had everyone together. Happy Days!
Your family is handsome (I was going to say beautiful but you know) I wish I knew each of them...I'm sure that day will come.
Love you Sweet Friend....You are Amazing!!!

Jodi Wilding said...

Yes, that was one LONG post! I was going to break it down into several different ones, but I know myself too well and thought I better just post it all and then if time break it down later for when I put it in a book! I just wanted it done!!!
Wow six years? That is harsh! You are amazing!
Yes, you are right, it has been a wee bit crazy around here!

Dawn said...

the important thing is you got everything recorded....length doesn't matter...I like how you get it all and have such fun pictures to go with everything.

Jodi Wilding said...

Thanks! Love you sista!


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