Wednesday, April 21, 2010

EPIC visit with Smiths

Disclaimer: this post is really long. Really. 31 pictures long. And possibly only entertaining to people in the pictures. If you want to stick around, that's awesome. If not, I totally understand.

The first weekend of April found us quite contentedly settled in at the Smith home in Utah for the Semi-annual Smith/Braden/Izatt/Hugo General Conference Extravaganza. We've actually missed the last two April Conferences (although we made March visits instead both years) so to celebrate the fact that we made it this year, we arranged to have Easter fall on that Sunday as well (we're pretty powerful). What resulted was a wonderful, hilarious, perfect, dare I say EPIC weekend of fun. Here's the proof:

Saturday afternoon we ate Godfather's Pizza for lunch between General Conference sessions - pizza that was specially customized and handmade by Reed himself. It was, of course, delicious, and to top it off he made monkey bread for us too! Of course, that allowed big Will to mercilessly tease poor Clyde about the monkey bread being all gone. Some people.

During the afternoon session, I sent Clyde downstairs with the camera to photograph the folks down there. Here's what he came back with:

Chuck asleep (Sidenote: Chuck loves the boys' Cars blankets that my mom has made them, although sometimes he complains they're not big enough. Mom, I think I have an idea of what you can give Chuck for Christmas this year!).

Courtney looking super cute and Ben asleep. (Sidenote: Clyde thought it was hilarious all weekend to call Ben 'Bill'. Ben and Bill are twin engines from Thomas the Tank Engine, which is apparently where the inspiration for the nickname originated).

Will asleep (Sidenote: It wasn't until later that evening that Will found out Clyde took this picture; he just heard the click and figured it was me. So we had to have a discussion about how I am NOT a weirdo who gets super close to people to photograph them sleeping. I have a child to do that for me).

Clyde took this picture when he came back upstairs. Granted, it's blurry, but I still think it's cute of Gloria :).

Then I decided to turn the camera on Clyde (and me!). This is Clyde's latest go-to pose for pictures. Nut!

Courtney and me and baby Will! I really, really love Courtney and I am definitely jealous of her naturally curly hair, which is why I have fake curly hair. I also love Courtney because she is the cutest almost-nurse around. And because she's very good at hearing baby Will cry when he's waking up from a nap and taking care of him. And because she helps Gloria plan and execute delicious food for us (in exchange for my editing services, of course!). And because she started a blog. And for many, many other reasons!

Between the Saturday afternoon session and the Priesthood session that evening, Gloria created an awesome egg dying set-up, which Clyde (and Heidi. And big Will. And Pam. And everyone else.) loved.

Check out big Will's deep gaze towards Chuck. Kinda weird. Although, I think there's some kind of telepathy between them - NOTHING else could explain how Chuck correctly guessed Will's really bad drawing later that night during an intense game of Who What Where.

Here is Will's drawing. Does anything in the left-hand column shout 'Al Gore'? Nope, yet Chuck managed to get it right (he says it was because of the computer). I'm just saying, the rest of us were completely mystified by the appendage-less man, Florida, a non-wireless laptop, and a unicorn but Chuck got it easily. He and big Will clearly have an unexplainable connection . . .

Back to egg-dying.

Clyde stirring up something colorful :).

Will looking on adorably :). Notice his chin - stitch free! The night before after Terri's baby shower we took advantage of having Nurse Connie in our extended family (Terri's awesome sister) and she took them out.

Chuck and Clyde. I love them.

Our beautiful eggs!

We made some time to play Clyde's favorite game, 'Station Celebration', featuring (who else?) Thomas the Tank Engine. We even got big Will to play too, and rumor has it he enjoyed the game so much that he bought it for himself and has been playing nonstop.

Three of my favorite girls around - Court, Mum, and Heidi. Too bad Heid didn't get the memo to wear purple :(

My mom is crocheting a blanket for baby Bailey, so Clyde offered some hands-on assistance. He also helped later by unraveling her yarn.

As usual, I made the guys line up for a picture after the Priesthood session. Aren't they sweet to humor me?

Clyde insisted he be in the picture, too, so we stuck baby Will in as well.

After about seven pictures, they declined to be photographed any more :). We missed Nate and Quinn, both serving full-time missions for the church, and Gloria made sure we remembered to write them group letters.

We spent that evening playing Who What Where and laughing and laughing some more; I'm not sure Ben will ever live down his math equation that 'equaled' Hillary Clinton. Favorite quotes- Pam: "That's supposed to be the Bushes??" and Reed: "Well, she does look angry . . . "

We had wrapped up the last round for the night and started to dissemble when we heard several loud shrieks from downstairs. Immediately everyone ran for the stairs . . . except for me. I grabbed my camera first, and boy was I glad I did, since this is what we found:

Yep! My mom was pouring another layer onto her fabulous multi-layer jello salad when she dropped the dish. Luckily the carpet, pants, and jello were all salvageable, but I'm not sure if my mom's pride will ever be the same :).

Easter morning we awoke to Clyde's joyful exclamations of "There's candy on the stairs! There's candy on the stairs!" The Easter bunny left candy and eggs hidden around the family room, entry way, kitchen, dining room, and living room and Clyde was delighted at every find.

Working on filling up basket #1. . .

Will opted to let the candy come to him instead of actively seeking it. Luckily Reed obliged :).

Will's lack of interest in the gathering process left Clyde to 'find' to his heart's content - here he's filling basket #2. (It should be noted that Heidi would have LOVED to have 'competed' in the Easter Egg Hunt, but her prior knowledge of where the eggs were disqualified her. Also, we strongly believe that if big Will had been home and not on his way to the Conference Center, he would have been a formidable opponent for Clyde).

After that we were able to settle in for some more watching of General Conference, and I again relied heavily on Clyde to roam around taking pictures.

The gang downstairs - hey, everyone's awake!

My mom and Heidi upstairs. Mom found out that Heidi can crochet super cute flowers and immediately commissioned her to make a couple for the blanket. I immediately commissioned her to make some that I can wear in my hair.

I regained possession of the camera! Please take a gander at Clyde's face, say, right under his eye. That beauty occurred Saturday afternoon when he was running around and around the circular coffee table in the front room. As he later explained, he tried to pull on the brakes but it didn't work, and he fell right into the corner of one of the beautiful bay windows in that room. Ouch!

The final preparations for our wonderful Easter dinner, yum!

Clyde and Will kept Sam and Terri occupied as we got ready to sit down for dinner . . . or maybe it was the other way around . . .

It should be noted that Will's cute blue cast did not slow him down at all on our visit; here is he climbing on the furniture. Sigh.

Heidi and me! I really, really love Heidi. And not just because she does my hair and make-up every day of every visit (maybe someday I'll get over my fear of eyelash curlers and understand that when she tells me to 'open' she means my eyes not my mouth). I also love Heidi because she's sweet and funny and laughs at my jokes and promised to let me be a bridesmaid and let me tag along while she and her mom and Courtney finalized her choice of prom dress. Also because she lets me pretend to be 17 1/2 when we hang out (even though she thinks I'm 30). Also because she changed Clyde's diaper a couple visits ago even though it grossed her out beyond belief.

And of course, we couldn't let the weekend end without a picture of big Will and baby Will (Sidenote: big Will experienced a milestone of sorts while we were there by acknowledging that he considers us not just friends, but family. And he said it in a prayer, so it's essentially written in stone).

And then Clyde realized he was being left out and immediately wanted in on the picture too. Mostly this makes me laugh because this is how I look sometimes. Often. Frequently.

Smiths, thank you so, so much for an epic Easter and General Conference weekend. We love you all very much and we can't wait to visit again!!


courtney said...

This post was EPIC! I love you and your writing. I think you should make one of those polls that some blogs have to see if people really do think Will's picture= Al Gore.

Missy08 said...

Love ur picture looks like u had a good easter weekend.

The Sams said...

Okay, first of all, I enjoyed this post and I am not in any of the pictures (although I love several of the people who are!). Secondly, are you sure your boys aren't twins? I looked this over for quite some time and could not tell them apart. And the injuries - is that what I am to expect with having a boy now???
And third, there is nothing wrong with being 30 (or...um...32), but you truly do look 17 1/2 - and that is meant to be a compliment.
And fourth, love your blog!

Melissa said...

What a fun visit! I love Clyde's pictures. :)

Cameron Family said...

I love and laughed super hard when your mom dropped the jello salad and you said everyone got up and ran downstairs...but you grabbed your camera first! Haha! super funny. Will's cast on his leg makes me sad, but it's so cute at the same time! Little peg leg.