Alex and I traveled to Utah a few weeks ago to welcome Alex's sister Steevi home from her mission! She flew home on a Friday, and since the Sunday following was Fast Sunday, we had to wait a whole week for her to report on her mission in church. The situation made it a little difficult when Alex and I were deciding when to visit. I was lucky enough to be there for both weekends, but Alex only has so many days off of work and couldn't be there for both weekends. It was a really difficult decision to make, but in the end Alex chose to go for the second weekend.
We both found cheap tickets into St. George which was very convenient. I had a layover in Salt Lake, and on the flight to St. George I had both seats to myself. It was my most favorite flight of my life. I loved staring out the window and enjoying beautiful Utah for 45 minutes. My father-in-law picked me up and then took me to lunch at "fancy Arby's", aka Olive Garden. It was really sweet. The next day was spent making treats and posters in preparation for our missionary to come home. I also went to the book fair at my mother-in-law's school. Can I tell you how much I can't wait to have school age children so I can buy lots and lots and lots of books?
Friday was sort of agonizing. Steevi didn't get in until 6 p.m. and it was so hard to wait for her all day! The rest of the family finally started trickling in to St. Geezy in the afternoon and the kids were a good distraction until we left for the airport. We waited in the viewing area and watched her plane land, and then ran downstairs to greet her. There ended up being five missionaries on her plane, so it was super crowded, but Steevi had to be the last off the plane, so the crowd trickled down a bit. Finally she was there and we were all so happy to see her! It was a sweet, sweet reunion.
^The group that came to see Steevi!^
^I got Alex on google hangout so he could still see her get off the plane.^
^Steevi got to fly all the way from West Virginia to St. George with her old companion.^
Saturday all the girls + baby Jax accompanied my sweet niece Ella to get her ears pierced. She was so stinkin' excited, and was totally adorable. She picked her new favorite color, yellow, aka Aunt Mimi's (Steevi's) favorite color. Then we did some shopping and went to lunch. We wrapped up the weekend by watching Steevi's first movie post-mission. Frozen, of course!
On Sunday I rode up north with my brother and sister-in-law so I could visit my family for the week. We pulled into my parents driveway literally as they were finishing their last load from their move. Since my sister is in Florida, I got some quality individual time with my parents and my puppy all week. I did miss Allison though and it was kinda weird being home without her there. We spent the week unpacking the house some, but also celebrated early for my birthday! My mom took me shopping and we started a craft project. (Why is it so hard for us to finish those?) I also got a birthday dinner and chose to get Thai food. Oh how I love me some Sweet Mango Rice. mmm. One day I went to BYU, because I love that place, and because it was the easiest way to see a couple of my cousins, Colin and Lindy. Then that night I rode trax up to Salt Lake to see my bestie Austi and her new place, and I got a second birthday dinner! It was so great to spend some time up north!
In the meantime, Alex flew in to St. George, and since the rest of the family was at work/school Steevi got to pick him up at the airport! I love that she dressed up like a driver when she got him. Alex got to spend a lot of good quality time with Steevi, including some temple trips and lunches. He also got to hang with his friend Bryce doing man stuff. I think he really enjoyed some down time in his hometown before the crazy weekend began.
Friday night, my parents drove me down to Cedar City to visit my grandparents, and Alex drove up to meet us. It was so great the see them, and of course, my grandparents took us all to dinner at Pizza Factory. It was also so great to be reunited with Alex after being apart for over a week. Then I drove back to St. Geezy with Alex and we got to see my awesome aunt and uncle who let us stay with them for the weekend.
Saturday morning we had my father-in-law's famous DDB (daddy's dutch-oven breakfast) and we got lots of good quality visiting in with family. Then some friends showed up and I got a surprise birthday party! I felt sufficiently spoiled. I'm thinking we should travel to Utah in March every year. ;)
Saturday night was Sam's Eagle Court of Honor so we all gathered to support him. He was really excited to have his brothers and cousins there so all the Hutchings guys could sit in the eagle's nest together.
Sunday Steevi reported on her mission in church and she did such an amazing job. Alex commented that it was the most mature talk he's heard from a returned missionary. It was also really great to see Alex's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who came to support her. We love seeing family and friends when we go to Utah!
We left for Texas on Monday night, and before we left we went on a hike with siblings and Alex's friend Bryce and his family to Lava Caves in Snow Canyon. I just love the red rocks of Utah!
On the way to the airport we stopped to have Steevi introduce us to Swig and then said goodbye to our family in Utah. It was such a great trip! It was maybe one of my favorites because it was so busy, yet so relaxed. It's good to be back home but we can't wait for our next trip back!