Monday, February 20, 2012


When Hunter returned home from his mission, he was so excited to show us pictures of the many people that he had the privilege of teaching. In particular, he taught and baptized the Evans family. I was touched by their story and knew they had an impact on Hunter’s life. We talked about going on a road trip so I could meet them & many other people from his mission. This weekend we took the plunge to the sunny california!! We left early Friday morning in a rental car, that gets MUCH better gas mileage than his Jaguar. The drive wasn’t too bad & we saw beautiful scenery along the way. We filled up at an older gas station in nevada that I thought was so awesome! 
Eventually, we arrived in the beautiful northern california around 6pm. The foresthill bridge was our first destination, which is California’s highest bridge. I love bridges & this one was hecka awesome! 
Afterwards, we blasted classic cali-themed songs on the drive to the Fears house in Lincoln. I met Dave last year when he was in the DC area for a business trip. His daughters were so fun, rambunctious, and adorable. I played mega blocks with Chloe and Emma. We had pizza with them and Hunter enjoyed catching up with Dave. 

We stayed with Sister Blaser for the weekend and found a cute welcome sign for us when we walked in. She is an incredible woman who is so kind, loving, and funny! We were exhausted and couldn’t wait to get some rest.
It felt amazing to sleep in on Saturday morning and enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice from Sis. Blaser’s orchard. I was impressed by how much fruit she grows and picks, right from her backyard! 
We saw the Hume family and had a quick lunch with them. Then we went to the Sacramento temple for the Evans’ sealing. They were going to be sealed together as an eternal family. I was so excited to meet them!! I met all the children & quickly grew to love them instantly. We took some beautiful pictures of their family and I loved seeing how they interact with each other. They have such great love towards each other and you can tell they are best friends. I twirled the little girls and watched big smiles stretching across their face. 
Haley, Betty, and Akasha drove with us to their house for a BBQ. The girls and I walked their dog to the park and we all played in the playground. The youngest, Haley is such a cute girl!! We quickly bonded and became besties as I pushed her on the swings. We played hopscotch and basketball while the meat was cooking. Spontaneously, we rode their four-wheeler around their neighborhood. It was so much fun. The missionaries from their ward joined us for dinner & it was delicious!! 
After dinner, we met up with Gina and Lisa, that I met at conference last april. We went to Leatherby's for a late-night sundae dessert. Hunter & I split a Grandma Grace's Creamery Sundae. Their rocky road, toasted almond, and cookies n’ cream flavors were incredible. and that homemade caramel sauce!!!! AHHHHH so tasty.and creamy. 
I met so many people in the Van Maren ward that Hunter used to serve in that said the most wonderful things about him. Then we raced to the Evans’ ward to see them one last time. I just loved sitting next to little Haley during church, she’s just a doll. I have only just met the Evans family, but I already miss them so much!!! They are such a wonderful family that can now be together forever. We packed up and said goodbye to sis. Blaser. She’s so cute!! I am so thankful for her hospitality and kindness.

Then we headed to Rio Linda for lunch with the Dumm family. haha lots of jokes. They live in a rad little yellow house that reminds me of the movie Up. Jenilyn made a wonderful cheesy brocolli soup with homemade “butt” rolls. haha it was an awesome lunch! Their boys were so hilarious, just like their parents. Stephen is a hulla-hoop champ & Michael can transform to iliterally anything. Their humor compliments ours and we loved playing the game moods with them. 
For our last meal in california, we ate DELICIOUS homemade chimichangas at the Aldridge's house. I love mexicali meals & this was top-notch! Their girls became quite taken with me. It was probably because I can make them fly! haha they kicked by booday in Just Dance. Bro. Aldridge made awesome oreo shakes for dessert while we played the card game And It Came To Pass. I enjoyed hearing about how the parents met at BYU-I and about everything they loved about the ‘Berg. I love their crazy family!!
On our way out, we said our last goodbyes to the Fears, Gina, and other friends. Somehow we drove all night to UT without stopping. 9 hours isn't that bad, right? It was hard with such little sleep, but some coke and jack johnson helped. By the time we reached salt lake city and returned the car, we happily took a glorious 3 hour nap. 
This weekend was incredible & I only wish we had more time in CA!! Our weekend was very packed and we saw so many people, but it also flew by crazy fast! I’m so thankful to all the many families who shared meals and laughs with us. I can now understand how easily it was for Hunter to grow so closely to these wonderful people. They are so full of love, kindness, and happiness. I’m reminded of how magnificent the atonement and plan of salvation is for us to enjoy. Words cannot express how magnificent eternal families are. There’s such peace in knowing I’ll be with my family forever. I was so happy for the Evans family to enjoy and grow from this knowledge and reassurance. Our Heavenly Father loves his children so much!! I loved finally meeting and putting a face to the many people that Hunter talked about in emails and letters. Seeing the Evans’ children sealed to them was such a great experience to see the fruit of the mission labors, "For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." (psalms 128:2). 
Thank you to all the people that showed us love this weekend! I loved every minute and am anxiously awaiting our next road trip. I’m dreading the cold and snowy grounds that idaho will welcome me back with....:( 
forever california dreaming....