Okay, once again I am a slacker about the blog. SO- this is my special edition blog to cover the many weddings that I have attended over the past week. It has been quite the busy week. My brother had his mission farewell on Sunday following which my family flew to Utah. Here they met me, fresh off of EFY and still VERY sleep deprived. The day was spent saying our goodbyes in Bountiful and in Provo with the weekly tradition of Eat with Pete! Tuesday was full of family once again as I was able to go through the temple for the first time. I feel so blessed that I have such wonderful family and was able to have most of them there with me (including Andrew..yay). We managed to then cram all of us into a room at Brick Oven where the teasing continued on the fact that my little cousin was getting married tomorrow, and I was going on a mission. No offense to Vince, but I think I am getting the better end of the deal! Tuesday night was an emergency fitting of the bridesmaid dress and although I was thinking " I may not be able to breath tomorrow", the dress did fit-mostly, well close enough. Wednesday was a very busy day. We were at the temple for the wedding in the morning. I was able to be there which was really cool and so was Andrew. Afterwards we walked across the street and put my little brother in the MTC. Of course the missionary meeting us though that I was the one going in- way to rub it in dude! Oh well, 6 more weeks and we get to do this all over again for me. I have to rant for a moment when I say that the whole mtc entry process is probably the most miserable thing I have ever participated in! Whoever designed the whole fiasco must have been taking bets on seeing how many families they could make cry. You sit there in a really big room with everyone else who is going in at the same time and they keep playing the family commercials over and over again. I think it is purely to point out that you are losing part of your family for a couple of years. BLEH! Anyway, they then show this missionary work video that, besides being about 50 years old, serves to emphasize the difficult experiences that your loved one is about to face. Sitting there I was hugely tempted to turn to Andrew and say "lets make a run for it!" Afterwards we get to listed to a 20 minute dealy about how it is easier to just say good bye quickly like a band-aid ( the long talk being completely against what he seems to be saying) accompanied by a rousing version of Called to Serve- which most people just cry through. Now, I am not much of a crier and was actually strangely composed right until I turned to look at my brother. Now i know that guys say they hate seeing girls cry, but to me it has to be worse to see boys cry. I had never seen my brother cry before that day but seeing him try to hide it from my Mom was the catalyst for the flood gates to open. Looking back one day I'm sure it will be funny to see all four of us sitting there, all crying, and all trying to hide it from everyone else so that it is not harder. Of course then the lights go on and it is the infamous missionaries through this door and families through this door part. Needless to say Andrew was out of there before we hardly had time to say bye. As we left Mom was about a centimeter away from cussing out the entire MTC staff if anyone looked at her the wrong way. Okay, rant over. There was one redeeming quality to the entry process. Before we actually put Andrew in Katie and him took some great pictures in front of the MTC sign. I think that they have become my favorite wedding pictures of all time- so I am sharing them with all of you! Well, we all left to grab a bite to eat and I had to rush to get on the bridesmaid dress and it was off to Sundance for the reception. No rest for the weary... which in this case was probably a good thing. The reception and ring ceremony went off with a huge bang. Of course my favorite part was the flower girls getting bored during the ring ceremony and deciding to start conking the bridesmaids with their flowers. Gotta love little kids!
Anyway, Thursday we drove to Idaho and Friday was another wedding, this time in Rexburg. Now I know that we always joke about there being nothing in Idaho and sometimes I feel bad about that, but once again it was shown to be true! The entire town takes about 10 minutes to drive across and our survey of favorite restaurants turned up Applebee's every time. It probably helps that Applebee's is one of two restaurants in the entire area. Cindy-Lynn made a beautiful bride and after the reception it was back down to Utah for yet another missionary farewell. Jenny Badham has joined the Ray family missionary force! As we sat there with almost the entire extended family I realized just how blessed we really are to have family like this. I have to say that I am so thankful that all of my family chose to be married in the temple so that we can all be together for the rest of eternity! It was so great to be able to be around all the people I loved!