On Sunday we went to church--I'm sure half the congregation was made up of tourists. We saw another family from Orem there. Sarah went to Guatemala with one of the girls in that family. We spent a good 10 minutes introducing visitors in Relief Society. Probably half the women there were visitors.
But the ward was a decent size. The primary got up to sing for Father's Day since they had had Stake Conference last week. I'm sure they more than doubled our primary back home. And they even had enough deacons (with a few teachers and priests helping out, I'm sure) to pass the sacrament.
Sometimes it's strange to be living in Utah and having our stake be so...interesting. We, of course, have a huge ward. It's just a newly wed/nearly dead ward so we have few primary-aged children and even fewer youth. We also have two branches in our stake--one has a primary of 2. And then we get out in the mission field and attend all these perfect wards, demographically speaking.
Rachel was a very good baby during church. She never wanted to sit down of course, but she was still good. We went into the mother's lounge to nurse and my jaw dropped open. The mother's lounge at this building was amazing! It was nothing like the little hole-in-the-wall we have at our stake buildings back home. It was huge! They had two rocking chairs, several folding chairs and sunbeam-sized chairs, an exersaucer, three diaper pails, a changing pad, a few puzzles and board books galore. Oh, a mirror, a picture of baby Jesus, a table, a lamp, a sink, shelves...need I go on? I'm probably making all my friends back home jealous, so I'll stop.
After church we went home and had a wonderful lunch, and then went for a walk on the beach. Josie joined us. She was planning on spending the afternoon at my cousin Jenna's house but her sewerline burst this morning so they found themselves a little busier than they had planned to be.
Sarah made a cake for me, complete with 4 candles. Andrew made me pose like I was blowing out candles while he took a few pictures. For some odd reason, I held my breath the entire time. When his family finished singing to me and I went to blow out the candles for real, I had no breath left...and blew out only one candle. And then because I was laughing so hard, I had to blow out each candle one at a time. It was kind of embarrassing.
We left to go see the temple after the cake. I love the San Diego temple. It's so beautiful! The only problem is that it doesn't seem so fond of me. Everytime I've come down here, the temple has been closed for cleaning. This trip was no different. Luckily they still let us on the grounds on Sunday. Had we saved the temple trip for later in the week the grounds would have been closed as well.
After the temple we split up. Andrew's family went to the La Jolla beach while Andrew, Josie and I went to Auntie Arlene's house for dinner. She planned a beautiful salmon BBQ for us, but we don't really like fish, so she got some chicken, but Andrew doesn't really like chicken, so Jenna brought some steak. Andrew had steak, Josie, Savannah and I had chicken, and everyone else had salmon. Dinner was delicious.
Rachel and Vance had a great time getting acquainted. Rachel dominated over Vance--she's almost twice his size even though they're only two days apart in age--and was using him like a drum, poking him, pushing him. It was all in a loving-manner. She's just not very good at expressing her love gently yet. He was taking it like a man, though. He has two older sisters to toughen him up.
Toward the end of our visit, though, the tables turned and Vance started to stick up from himself. Rachel was quite taken aback by his fighting skills.
Josie really wanted to go swimming since we dropped her off at Auntie Arlene's before going to the beach on Saturday and she hadn't gotten the chance to go swimming yet. She and Lexi were quietly whispering away about the possibility of the grown-ups letting them take a dip on the Sabbath day. Neither of them wanted to ask Arlene. Lexi finally got the courage to ask her mom.
"It's alright with me," said Jenna, "But you'll have to ask Grammy."
Lexi still didn't want to ask, and Josie was too chicken, so instead they asked me to ask for them.
Auntie Arlene left it up to Josie, even though they don't normally go swimming on Sunday, since Josie was on vacation. After much debate, Andrew told her just to go swimming. So all the little girls got their bathing suits on and got into the pool. Rachel was very jealous.
She must take after me because we took off her dress and she ran straight for the pool! She would have just jumped right in!
After swimming, Auntie Arlene brought out a lovely strawberry shortcake. She put all 23 candles on them and I blew them all out in one breath. How ironic that I could blow out all 23 candles on one cake and only 1 at a time on the other. It was a very happy birthday.