Posted by TAWNY at 1:11 PM

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So as most of you are aware (because I keep crying about it), the little brother entered the Missionary Training Center yesterday. My older brother Brandon went on a mission about ten years ago, so I thought I would be sufficiently prepared. I was wrong.

We gathered at the parents' house in the morning and ate wheat pancakes. Around 10:40 we headed to Provo to drop Chad off. All the Mission Presidents are training this week at the MTC, so we got bumped to the Stake Center by Lavell Edwards Stadium. We got there and white tents were scattered throughout the vast parking lot. We were shuffled towards them, where we met a kind old man who checked Chad in. We then put yellow tags on all his luggage.

He was then sent to another tent to get his nametag. It was weird when he put the tag on with his suit. It made it all more real. It was interesting to see all the different families and the different missionaries scattered about in the parking lot. For some reason I only felt sorry for my family. I know, I shouldn't.

Our family next took a picture by the church before we went in. Once in the Chapel, we took our respective chairs and waited for the inevitable. I was fine during the talks, but once they had us sing "Called to Serve", I could barely make it thru the words. It was ridiculous. Then they had us watch the movie titled (you guessed it) "Called to Serve". I lost it. As dumb as it sounds, I couldn't really contain myself.

As soon as the movie was finished, we said a prayer and were asked to say goodbye. A quick, band-aid like goodbye, was what they encouraged. If you could have seen my family, you would have laughed. It was quite a scene. All of us have tears streaming down our faces, and as an added bonus, Kim had her head back wailing. That was the saddest part.

Chad then left out one door, and we went out the other. When we got back to the Suburban, we watched as the missionaries marched to the bus. Chad wouldn't look over at us. Jerk. Kidding. And that was it. My family headed to the Olive Garden to start the grieving process.

I really don't remember it being this hard when Brandon left. But then again, I was in Junior High when he went in so I didn't care because I was Awesome. I'm sure these next two years will go pretty fast, but I can't seem to believe it right now.

But I really am glad that he is finally out there. He's going to be an amazing missionary. And I'm sure my family will stop being such a bunch of babies soon...hopefully.

Capitol Reef

Posted by TAWNY at 9:17 PM

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So a few weekends ago, the friends and I took off to Capitol Reef. For those of you unfamiliar, Capitol Reef is located about three hours southeast from Orem. My family camped here often when I was a youngster, but its been a few years since we've been in the area.
We normally try to camp at the Capitol Reef National Park (because its pretty much amazing), but it was full by the time we got there. But no worries, we headed a half hour up the Dixie National Forest and set up camp. It was pretty secluded, so we could be as noisy as we wanted.

On Saturday, the Crew hiked Sulphur Creek. This is one that the fam did a few years back, and it is one of my favorites. You hike along side (or in) this creek and you come to several waterfalls. The falls aren't too big, but tons of fun.

Me, Heather, and Katie strolling up the creek. And in this one, Danny carried me up like this the whole way. Not.

Just exploring the nooks and crannies of the rocks.

Here we are back in Torrey. This is the town right before you hit Capitol Reef, and let me tell you, this place rocks. Time moves just a little bit slower in Torrey. This little ditch runs along side the whole town. Here, my friends conned me into climbing onto this abandoned rope swing; assuring me they did the same. It wasn't until I was 15 off the ground that they fessed up and said they hadn't really gone up the swing. Great guys, how do I get down?

Mele, Tara, Sarah, and I checking out this Kiva in the middle of town. We also found these abandoned cars in the wilderness of Torrey. If the doors are wired shut, does it means "Keep Out"? Doubt it.

So, pretty much Capitol Reef, the Dixie National Forest, and good ole Torrey made for quite an enjoyable weekend. Apart from the fact that many of us were sick (refer to blog: "brink of death"), it was the kickoff to a great summer.