Saturday, June 29, 2019


What a whirlwind of activity we've had this week! I eventually really do need to get all the pictures off my phone and camera and run through everything we've done (bowling, farewell parties, and so forth). On Tuesday we packed up the truck and said goodbye to mostly everything we own (and learned that we own far too much stuff). On Wednesday we met up with my friend Jade and her little girls at Red Ledges.

Jade and I became fast friends when her family moved into our ward in PoCo (from South Africa). I was so excited to have another little girl my age in our ward because for years it had just been me and *grumbly voice* Damen *end grumbly voice*.

I'm sure Damen is fine. But seven-year-old me certainly didn't think he was enough of a playmate.

Lia and Hona (sisters, very close in age (but not twins?), whose names, if you say them together are liahona) were also in my age group for a time, but they stuck together like glue and I think eventually moved to a Chinese-speaking branch or something.

Anyway, I was so happy to have a girl my age in the ward. Jade and I would take turns going home with each other's families on Sundays. That was a very common way for us to have playdates with our church friends because our ward boundaries were so large that it meant we'd only have to be chauffeured once to come home at the end of the playdate instead of twice (to be dropped off and picked up). Her dad would make "flapjacks" quite often and we just loved being together.

Unfortunately, she happened to move in only a few months (6? 9?) before my family moved to Alberta, but her friendship has stuck with me my entire life. I saw her once when I was 13 and I flew out to BC for a visit but haven't seen her since. We really are quite two peas in a pod though.

Before getting back in contact after years of radio silence, we both grew up, graduated from our respective high schools, and ended up at BYU. I taught English in Voronezh, Russia. She taught English in Voronezh, Russia. I did a study abroad in Jordan (as a trailing spouse). She did a study abroad at the Jerusalem Center (the first semester it reopened). I lived in Egypt (as a trailing spouse again) and she was writing to me about a job prospect she had in Egypt years ago (but ultimately decided not to take). It's kind of funny the number of very similar things we've done!

Of course, our lives also have been wildly different.

I got married young and have five kids. She went on a mission and then to law school (and somewhere in the middle got married and started having kids—her first baby was born just a few weeks before she graduated and her second is about nine months old).

It was so fun to reconnect with her, though, and to reassure my girls that friends we only get to be with for a short amount of time (like the two years we spent in Spanish Fork—which really is plenty of time to develop a long-lasting friendship, in my opinion and experience) can be lifelong—and important—friends.

Anyway...I'm sure I'll be back to revisit our last visit to Red Ledges once I get those pictures off my camera.

On Thursday my mom threw a farewell party for us (which was also a party in honour of my cousin Heather visiting from Chicago with her new husband and stepchildren). My Auntie Arlene flew in from San Diego, my cousin Jenna drove up from San Diego with two of her kids, her daughter Lexi drove down from Rexburg. My Auntie Colleen and Uncle LeRon drove down from Alberta. Our distant cousins—and good friends—the Eldredges arrived from Salt Lake, Provo, and Germany (that was a surprise—I didn't know they would be there!). My cousin Carlie came. Uncle Wally and Aunt Judy drove up to Brigham City to meet Elizabeth and Bridget, also coming down from Rexburg, to guide them through all the crazy Salt Lake traffic (Elizabeth is a timid driver like me, but a little less timid, I guess because she did it). Ash came, too. My Uncle Bruce and Aunt Sara were there. Kailynn (who is at BYU, cousin Burt's granddaughter). And, of course, Heather and her husband and kids—who were a joy to meet.

Who am I missing? Just my dad, mom, and sister, I think.

So just about forty people, from hither, thither and yon!

It was a very enjoyable evening. Heather's kids were so obliging to the younger crowd and came up with some very entertaining things to do—Joseph made water guns by poking holes in the lids of water bottles and Hannah and Miriam spent quite a bit of time making musical instruments out of paper plates and pine needles and woodchips and things. There was also a pinecone throwing game going on with all the kids that was quite a bit of fun.

And Alexander was just the friendliest little guy, going around and hugging people and letting Auntie Josie hold him and and play with him.

He would warm up to people right as we're moving away!

I will post more about our farewell events...once I get those pictures that I keep talking about. I feel so archaic not having them at my fingertips. Almost like I took them on a roll of film and am waiting for them to be developed. Like a caveman.

But really it's just me being lazy/pining after my own desktop computer (which is making its way across the country right now, while I'm stuck typing on this laptop that is not my own).

Speaking of making one's way across the country, that's exactly what we're doing right now!

Rachel got home from YW camp at about 10:30 this morning and by noon we had packed up the rest of our belongings (and reaffirmed that we have far, far too much stuff) and were on our way. Aunt Linda, my mom, and Auntie Arlene came by to see us off. Aunt Linda didn't cry, but my mom and Auntie Arlene did, so I did, too, even though we all tried our best to be stoic. Ugh.

While my mom drove off with Auntie Arlene (to meet up with the rest of the family at Temple Square), we stood by and cried and blubbered and waved until we could no longer see their car. Because that's (Conrad) tradition, at least for those old enough to blubber and cry at farewells.

Benjamin and Miriam and Zoë whooped and hollered and chased after the car waving, which is also (Conrad) tradition, at least for those young enough to whoop and holler and race down the sidewalk after moving vehicles.

And now we're well on our way. 


  1. You missed mentioning Rosie and Austin. But otherwise, spot on.

  2. Ah, yes. Thank you! I knew I was probably leaving someone off that list.