Sunday, July 17, 2016

Temple Night

Last night, Dustin and I made it to the temple. We haven't been in a while. It seems we have let  A LOT of things keep us from going. Mostly, it was us putting it off. It was a real lesson for me. We had the desire to go, but would let other things distract us. I'm just glad we finally made it.

Before we moved, we could be to the temple in 15 minutes. Now it is at least double that. I'm not complaining because I know for others it is hours, days even. But, an hour commute adds to the time and "time" always seems to be the number one inhibitor. We can drive to four temples: Salt Lake, Bountiful, Oquirrh Mountain, or Jordan River. We usually go to Jordan river. The Oquirrh Mountain temple is the closest, but is the smallest. If you don't make it on. the. dot, then you will be waiting for an hour. Salt Lake is a live session and usually takes a little longer. Bountiful is a longer drive. Well, Jordan River is closed for 2 years while they remodel. We thought we would drive to Salt Lake (it is the temple we are actually zoned for). As we came to park in the underground parking, we read a sign: "Temple Closed." Dang! We decided to just bite the bullet and go to the Bountiful. I'm so glad we did!

We chose to do sealings. A brother in our session had a whole stack of family names to do. There were a few couples to seal, but most names were of siblings being sealed to the couples who were being sealed. Think polygamy here, or at least multiple marriages. There were a lot of kids.
As we settled in to help this man get all these names done, a sense of peace came over me. I knew it would be a night of teaching. 

When Dustin and his siblings were sealed to his parents, they gathered the parents, and then the children around the parents. All children were done at the same time. Last night, each child was sealed separately. I was curious why we couldn't gather all the children at once and seal them. Now, it might be that we didn't have enough people to stand proxy, but my heart almost burst when this thought came to my mind, "Each child is precious. I want to focus on the one." When it was my turn to be a daughter, the sealer looked right in my eyes as he spoke. The sealing was specifically for the daughter. 

After I returned to my seat, I started wondering why these ordinances had not taken place while they were alive. People's stories really intrigue me. I am reading about my Grandma and Grandpa Taylor's history right now. I was unaware that both sets of my Grandpa Taylor's grand parents had chosen to leave the church. Because of this choice, his parents were not raised in the gospel. It was later in life, after marriage, that they started to seek religion. As I think about this, I think about all the blessings lost because of someone else's choice. Last night, in the temple, it dawned on me that as those sealings were taking place, blessings were being restored. And, because of Jesus Christ's atonement, all things are made right. As that sealer, looked into my eyes, he was actually looking into the eyes of that daughter of God, who was being sealed to her parents, and restoring all her rites and blessings. What a loving, compassionate, and merciful Father in Heaven we have! How wonderful is His plan?! We are so blessed to be able to do work in the temple that unifies families and restores blessings lost!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kate Turns 12

My little Katie-bug is 12 today! I really can't believe how time has flown by! It seems like just a little bit ago we were watching this funny girl toddle around the house.

Kate has always been my most active kid. She loves to be outside. She loves sports, and bikes, and skateboards. You will catch her in tennis shoes, comfy pants, and t-shirts most days. She hates it when I make her dress up and curl her hair. Although, there are rare occasions she asks for it. 

Her attitude is usually a happy mood, but if you do make her mad, WATCH OUT! She isn't afraid to tell you how she feels and if she really thinks what you are requesting is unreasonable, or stupid, she's not afraid to let you know. I admit we butt heads when we don't agree, but if I hold my ground, she will eventually back down and do what she is asked. I have learned to pick my battles with her and  what I can compromise on.

Turning 12 means becoming part of  Young Women's. Kate is a Beehive! Her leaders heart-attacked the front door to welcome her. In one month she will be headed off to girl's camp for a week. I'm excited for her!

Birthday Interview

favorite color: red & black
favorite food: steak
favorite subject in school: math
favorite candy bar: Kit Kat
favorite TV show: Psych
favorite book: My Weird School series
favorite fruit: pineapple & bananas
favorite vegetable: broccoli
favorite chore: dishes (they started hand washing the dishes)

If you had 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
pay for college, buy a house, and save the rest

What do you want to be when you grow up?
a police officer

If you could do one nice thing for anybody, what would you do?
take my parents on a cruise

Kate, we are so glad to have you! It brings me such joy to watch you learn and grow. I feel like this year you have grown so much! Happy birthday!

Kate Alexandra Merritt

4 years old, smearing sour cream all over her face

2nd grade, best friend Fatima- she was from Iraq

major Harry Potter fan

2nd grade, her favorite year in school

12 years old

Heart attack from YWs

6th grade, beginning of year

6th grade, end of year

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Birth and Growing Up as a Taylor

I was born November 7th. To me, there is no better month to be born in. I love that not many people I know are born in November. It seems to be a very boring, odd month to be born in, but I love it! I love the fall and all it brings: leaves, chill, sweaters, boots, Thanksgiving! However, according to this chart I found I am susceptible to asthma and suicidal behavior. Oh, and another article said there are more serial killers born in the month of November than any other. I seem okay so far...

I was born in Mesa, AZ. I was the 9th child and 4th daughter born to Lavier and Sandra Taylor. I was born at Mesa Lutheran Hospital. It was a Sunday. My mom recalls having a lot of back pressure and telling my dad that she should probably stay home to rest. She kept a few of the kids with her while my dad took the rest to church. When he got back, the pressure was worse, so they went in to get checked out. She was dilated to a 7, active labor for sure. Her water had not yet broken because I was floating so high and would not drop. The doctor "pricked" her water, making me drop into the birth canal. I was born in two pushes. As my mom told me this story, it reminded me of most of my labors!

The home I was born into is a very special one. I was raised by parents who loved the Lord and who had decided long before to serve and love Him unconditionally. My father was not a rich man, but they always had enough. In the summer of 1967 they built their first home at 2423 N Brimhall in Mesa, AZ. It was a three bedroom, 1 bath home, and was only 1,050 sq ft. They would have had 4 small children at the time, but eventually would have 9 children in this home! I can't even imagine!! I was born in this home. My mom said they added onto the home in 1972 when they were having baby number 6. They added a large bedroom for the 4 oldest boys to share and a large family room. That increased the size of the home another 1,000 sq feet. I'm sure it felt huge after that!

With a larger family and expecting child #10, my parents decided to build again. They built right next door, 2431 N Brimhall! This home my mom called her "dream home." It had 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and totaled 2300 sq ft. If i remember right, it was probably the largest home they have ever lived in.

My mom recalls my dad attending the temple, coming home and telling her he had the feeling they weren't going to live in this house very long. I wonder how that felt for her? I just built my dream home. I don't want to move, ever! He was right. They would live in this home for only 9 months.

In fall of 1978 my Dad confided in my mom that he felt they were blessed with wonderful children and that they had more to offer. He felt they weren't living up to their potential. He wanted to move and make a change for the better. My dad also wanted to own his own business. I'm not sure what took them to Gallatin, MO., but he was looking at taking over 1 of 2 businesses there, a grocery store, or Food-n-Fun. He met with a man by the name of Grizelle and they had agreed my dad would buy Food-n-Fun from him. They paid him $2700 as a down payment and would take over after they got their family out here. They had a job, now they needed a home that would fit 12 people. Mr. Grizelle told them he would find them a nice place that would work.

When they pulled into their new home, my dad entered the home. He came back a few moments later and told my mom, "You are not living there." My mom said the place was a mess and did not even have a working kitchen! My dad was not happy. They moved in with Mr. Grizelle until they were able to find a home. Mr. Grizelle was not happy...

They met a man by the name of Ray Miller. He showed them homes that he thought would work. My mom had her favorite. It was a white, two-story with a huge porch, but it was out of their price range. My parents attended church through all of this. After making a $50 donation to the Cameron Branch one Sunday, Ray picked them up again. He told them that the white house had come down in price by $5000. My mom felt they were blessed by making a donation. They bought the white house on Johnson St.

This home had a beautiful staircase and I remember the red, velvety wall paper. It had 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It would definitely be a tight fit, but we did it. We all shared a room and I think we are better for it. A family this big learns how to share!

Things were hard here. Mr Grizelle wasn't truthful about how successful the Food-n-Fun was. My parents struggled making ends meet. One conference Marion G Romney visited and spoke. He promised that if all would double their fast offerings they would be blessed. My parents took that counsel and were able to be debt free. However, they did have an inspection of the restaurant and were told it would need a new vent over the fryer. It wold cost $1200, money they didn't have. They asked Grizelle if he would split the cost since he told them all things were fine. He refused. My dad told him they would not be buying the business. Grizelle was upset and said, "I guess you want your money back?" My dad told him he would be fine if they both split the $2700 and they each donated their half to the church branch (Grizelle was a member of the same church). My dad took his $1350 and made a donation. Grizelle never did. I think how much my parents could have used that money. They were a struggling, large family with many needs, but they loved the Lord and felt it would do more if they gave it to the church.

My dad went to the local hospital and was able to get a job of keeping their books. My mom found out she was pregnant with baby #11. She recalls going to Spring Hill (a local church history site near Adam-ondi-Ahman). There she had a heart to heart with her Heavenly Father. She was wondering if she could really do all that is being asked of her. She left that spot with the determination and courage to"put her hand to the plow not look back." Those were the words spoken to her. And she has always done just that!

In June of 1980 my parents felt they needed to move back to Arizona. It was a hard decision. My Grandma Taylor had suffered a stroke a year earlier and the family needed help taking care of her. My dad was the Branch President for the local congregation and when he told the Stake President he would be moving, he was told that his time as Branch President had been the most successful their little area had ever been in reaching others and bringing them to Christ (my parents lived in Gallatin for only 18 months. This time is what my mom refers to as their mission. My mom dreamt of serving a full-time mission with my dad when they were older. He died before they could. Full-time missions that the elderly do are only 18 months).

By summer we were back in Arizona. My dad was given a job working for his brother, Gene Taylor. For a month they rented a 2 bedroom home. They had 11 children! They never unpacked. It was temporary until they could find something bigger. They were having a home built. They were able to find a bigger home to rent on the same road their home was being built on. They lived there until their home was finished in the winter of 1980. Our home on Kenwood is where my memory starts kicking in. I was 4 when we moved in and we lived there until I was 7.

I remember riding the bus to kindergarten at Lehi Elementary. I had afternoon kindergarten. I remember learning to ride my bike. It was a yellow hand- me- down boy's bike. I crashed when I was 6 and still have the scar on my chin from hitting the asphalt. We had a large, wooden teeter-totter that was on the side of the house. I remember when we got our trampoline. I fell off and hurt my hip so bad one day. I couldn't walk for quite a while. I can still picture our drive to church every Sunday. It wasn't far. The house had 4 bedrooms and I remember having foam mattresses that we pulled out and slept on in the living room. I had a dog named Duke. We had a concrete pad in the back where we would put up a little pool in the summer. I remember learning to roller skate. My skates were white, tie-ups with metal wheels. I know if I had all the time in the world to remember, I could keep going...My memories are happy on Kenwood.

My parents missed Missouri. In the fall of 1984 they decided to put their house up for sale and move back. This time they moved to Lee's Summit, MO. We moved into a three bedroom duplex with 9 kids. I shared a bedroom with Ben, Alissa, and David. We had two sets of bunk beds in one room. My parents converted the garage into a bedroom. My older brothers, Kevin and Alan, slept out there. That means Kymber, Lea Ann, and Robyn shared. But, I do remember having couches in the family room that turned into beds. I think Lea Ann and Kymber might have slept on them.

I was baptized here on November 3, 1984. I was not quite 8. Very rare, but my parents were told it was okay. Usually, you wait until the age of 8 in our church. I know it would not be permitted now.
Another girl named, America Peterson was baptized the same day. Her family invited my family to their house after wards. What a blessing that must have been for my parents. Such a big day and they had just moved away from all of their family.

I attended Hazel Grove Elementary. I was first a one room school house for the area, but later it was added onto. I love school and I love my memories of Hazel Grove. My mom was the school nurse. It was nice to have her close by every day. I made many friends there. I started in 2nd grade and had Mrs. Bock. For 3rd and 4th grade, I had Mrs. Scrudder. My teacher for 5th grade was Mrs. Eschenheimer. 6th grade was Mrs. Dunn.

We were the only Mormon family at the whole school for quite sometime. But, my mom always allowed me to attend church with my friends. I remember having sleepovers and going to church with them the next day. I am so glad she did this! Not only did it give me respect for others and what they believed in, it helped solidify my decision that the LDS church was the right church for me. I recall one Sunday letting us girls board a bus that would come around the neighborhood and take kids to church. I can't remember the name of the kids we went with, but I can see their faces in my head. I think one was named Wendy. She had a little sister, too. I honestly cannot imagine letting my kids do this! Did my mom even know where that bus was going?! She told me that she hoped by showing others that she wasn't afraid to let her kids go to church with them, that one day they would let their kids come to church with us. None of my friends ever came, but I remember my sister, Lea Ann, bringing a friend. Her name was Lori Pomeroy. Her brother was in my grade at school.

In the summer of 1985, my parents were able to purchase a home. We moved out of our duplex and moved to 908 SW 6th St. I have a lot of fun memories in this home. It was a mulit-level with three bedrooms upstairs and one large den in the basement that the boys used as a bedroom. Part of the basement was unfinished and my parents made a bedroom down there, too(they were really good at creating bedrooms out of nothing!).

The backyard was huge! Behind was a large empty field with an abandoned barn. It was a perfect play place. We had a Catholic family that lived down the road, The Tuckers. They had 7 or 8 boys. They were all the same age as us. We would play every day. Kymber had a huge crush on David Tucker ( I think they even "got married" one time), I had huge crush on Matt Tucker, and Alissa had one on Stephen Tucker. We either played baseball in the field, hung out in the barn, jumped on our trampoline, played at a park down the road that had the best hollow and creek to play in, or got in trouble fighting with the bullies of the neighborhood. The Tuckers and Taylors were always together. My childhood in Missouri holds a special spot in my heart. I really wish my husband and I could just pick everything up and move there! He never would though.

My parents began to miss the strength of the Seminary program of our church that the West was able to provide. They decided it would be best to move back where there were many members of our church. My mom said my dad drove along I-70 and stopped along the way, applying for jobs. He got a job offer from a company in Las, Vegas, NV. He moved out there while we finished up the 1989 school year. I was completing the 6th grade. I was really upset. I did not want to move Missouri felt like home.

We pulled into our apartment complex in June. I remember stepping out barefoot and jumping right back in the car. You could not walk barefoot in Las Vegas! I hated it already! Our apartment was 3 bedroom, 2 baths, maybe 1100 sq feet. We had 7 kids and 2 adults now. I shared a room with Robyn. Alissa, Kymer, and LeaAnn shared a room and the boys, David and Ben, slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room. We lived there for a few months, but needed more room. My parents found a rental home on Peyton Dr that was a little bigger. We lived there a year and then moved to a house on Hassett Ave. After year there, they finally bought a home in 1993, 1732 E St. Louis Ave.

Though I was initially sad to leave MO, Las Vegas quickly became home for me. I met many friends in school and church. I loved the diversity that was Las Vegas! I attended two different jr, highs because of the moves. For 7th grade I went to John C Freemont. Most of my friends from church went here. There are a lot of Mormons in Las Vegas, believe it, or not! When we moved to Hassett I switched to KO Knudson for 8th and 9th grade. I loved both schools! I was able to play volleyball and basketball for KO. We were jr high champions for both sports. I also played JV softball for the high school. 9th grade was definitely my favorite year of school in Las Vegas!

Once in 10th grade, you would move to high school. I went to Valley High School. I continued to play volleyball and softball. I decided not to play basketball. It was too much running for me! I was enrolled in honors classes and AP classes. My classmates were awesome! I took German and Publications. I tried to make the best of my school years.

Outside of school, I would attend my church youth group activities every Wednesday. My best friends came from this group of girls! Kellie Parker, Kristin Squires were my two best friends that I would hang out with. Kristin lived behind us on Hassett. And we would just jump the back fence anytime we wanted to be together. Kellie lived a few blocks away, but really wasn't very far at all. We had an awesome group of girls and boys though. I remember getting together and playing football in the school yard behind our church at 8th and Franklin. We were all friends and tried to include everyone. It didn't matter if you were younger. You were part of the group!

I was able to start dating at 16. My first boyfriend was Brad Bullock. He went to Valley as well. I dated him until my Senior year. I then met Daniel McKeehan through volleyball my Senior year. He quickly became one of my best friends. We dated off and on that year because I couldn't decide whether to date him, or Brad. Girl drama! By the end of the year, I had chosen to be with Daniel. Glad he waited for me to make up my mind!

I graduated the summer of 1995. I still remember how surreal that day was. You wait what seems like forever to be 18. Then it happens and you can't believe you're actually 18! You're a legal adult who can be on your own, but wonder if you are really ready. I was scared, excited, and unsure all at the same time! So naive, so unprepared, but I was determined to live the best way I knew how... I don't think I did too bad!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My Name

I have decided to do the 52 questions in 52 weeks challenge on the Family Search blog. The first question asks me to tell my name and why I was given that name. I called my mom because I remember her telling me, but I wanted to make sure I got it right.

My mom told me that she originally liked the name LaRee. She was not a fan of the long e sound though. My parents had also chosen Anzinette for a middle name. My great, great grandmother was Cecelia Anzinette Keyes. So, my name should have been LaRee Anzinette. 

It must have never felt right because one day my mom sat down to read The Ensign, a LDS magazine. She told me that in one of the stories a lady was named Larae (I'm guessing LaRae because that is the typical spelling). She really liked it and changed it to that. When she told me this story the first time, she said she went back to see how to spell it and could not find the name anywhere. This time she also said she could not ever find the name again. Inspired? Maybe...

I never did mind growing up with a rather unique name. It does get old when I'm grumpy and I have to repeat it, and they still say, "Lorraine?" But, I realize part of that is me. I am usually quieter than normal when first meeting someone. If I'm not likely to see them ever again, I go with the flow and answer to "Lorraine" the whole time.

As uncommon as my name is, I have met people with my name. The first time I ever heard my name was on the TV talk show, Donahue. He was announcing his next visitor and he said, "Larae Taylor." I looked at the TV and saw that the other Larae Taylor in the world was a black man from the south! I remember laughing so hard because I thought how ironic that the other Larae (he spelled his name L-a-r-a-y) Taylor was the complete opposite of me! There have been others, mostly older ladies. My mom told me after she named me, a couple other friends named their babies Larae (or LaRae, or Laray). When we moved to our house in West Jordan, I met a Larae! And, she spells it just like mine! That was neat. I even asked her if she had ever been featured in the Ensign. She hadn't. She played the organ every Sunday at church. I would get butterflies when they would announce the organist as Larae Thomas because I was not used to hearing my name! I never did get used to that. Dustin also has a cousin named LaRae. I think that is neat. My name has never seemed strange to him.

A name means a lot. I have never taken lightly the responsibility of giving my children their names. It has to fit who they are. It will be with them their entire life. I chose more traditional names for my kids because I did always have to spell my name, repeat my name, correct my name. I didn't want them to have to do the same. I did, however, give them less common traditional names because I want their names to be not so ordinary, like mine. And, I hope that when others hear the name Larae, they smile. I'm working hard to never tarnish that name. It's a special name.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter 2016

I love holidays! I love that they are usually accompanied with time off work for me and time off school for my kids. This year for spring break we relaxed. There was no vacation getaway, no planned adventure. Dustin and I did have to work, but we were able to sneak one day off with the kids and we spent it at home, enjoying our kids (actually -1, Ryan was in New York). I like it like that. 
All the commercialism really bugs me sometimes. This Easter I was really bugged! I'm not sure why. It's not like something sparked it. Well, I guess that's not true. A few days before Easter Sunday, one of my 4 year-old students came up to me all excited. "Teacher, guess what? My mom is going to pick me up after work and take me to see the Easter Bunny!" I smiled. His enthusiasm was contagious. He continued, "And, I get to tell the Easter bunny what I want for Easter!" Those words were like a brick to me! When did Easter become like Christmas? I was all sorts of confused, but hid it with my burst of fake elation. I didn't want to crush his little spirit. I spent the rest of the day wondering if my own children understand why we even celebrate Easter.

However, I am grateful for that little experience. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I enjoy Easter. It made me try harder to remember why I was celebrating this certain holiday. Because of a 4 year-old, my efforts turned to my own children, and my Primary children. I wanted them to think differently, to really focus on Jesus Christ. I feel like I tried harder this year. That always feels gratifying.

Other highlights of the weekend were: several egg hunts, Easter dinner in the Salt Lake valley with family, and a cousin sleepover. Nothing grand, but memorable for us!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Provo Temple (and why I'm lame)

On March 3rd Dustin and I took the day off of work, checked the kids out of school, and headed to Provo. We were going to spend the morning at an open house for the Provo City Center Temple. We were all awake by 5 because we had to be to Provo by 8:00 am. Provo is a good hour and 20 minute drive. Then, you have to add for commuters and construction. Utah County is terrible!! We did manage to make it there by 7:45. Yay for actually being on time! It's a rarity for us.

I love temples! And, I think I found a new favorite in Provo. In December, my nephew was married in the Payson, UT Temple. I declared that one my favorite. Everything about it was to my taste. Ivory floral prints were everywhere! I just love those! A few pics:

It's dreamy to me! So, when I saw Provo City Center on the outside, I fell in love with it!

Especially when you keep in mind that when they decide to make the Provo Tabernacle a temple, it looked like this:

The 'beauty for ashes' story that comes with this temple speaks to my heart! To imagine taking this fire-destroyed building, raise the remaining shell on stilts and it become this:

They replicated wallpaper, banisters, staircases, stained glass windows, all of it! Then, they added what they needed for it to be a temple. It was the most beautiful building I have ever seen with a story to match!

Because we were up so early, Britten, our non-morning child, was not in a happy mood. He did brighten up a bit walking through the temple. When we walked through the celestial room, he looked at Dustin and smiled the biggest smile. He said, "Dad, I'm not grumpy anymore!" It was the sweetest thing to witness. And, I'm with him! How can yo be grumpy when you're looking at such beauty!

The end of the tour brings you back underground and up a flight of stairs. It lead to  pavilion. inside was a statue of Christ. Definitely the perfect way to end a tour!

Today, March 20, 2016, they dedicated that temple. This is where I am lame! We totally forgot to go get our tickets for the dedication last week! We were not able to take part in the dedication. We spent our Sunday at home because all church congregations in the Salt Lake area were broadcasting the dedication and it took place of our Sunday Sacrament meetings. We did our own version of Sunday school. that was nice to have our kids teach us. But, I'm still sad we were so scattered brained, I know it would have been a neat experience. Life stinks sometimes though. I'll do better next time!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Christmas Vacation in January

For Christmas this year, we planned a Disneyland trip with our 5 oldest children.

Santa brought them coal. Not because they were naughty, but because it was their very first clue to the scavenger hunt we planned to let them know they were going to Disneyland. Coal = furnace.

The surprise ended in our coat closet.

Britten was so excited! We never told he he wasn't coming. But we didn't let him know when we went either. One day he'll see the pictures and wonder where he is in them. We'll break the news then. We did bring him back some cute Toy Story figurines that he plays with daily. It' almost the same, right?

Our first day in California we spent at Laguna Beach. It's right off the Pacific Coast Highway. The weather was 78 and breezy. It was a perfect day! We never really got in the water because we were searching tide pools for live creatures. We found fish, crab, and birds. It was so neat to just watch them. Our own little adventure that was cheap, but relaxing and intriguing at the same time.

Days 2, 3, and 4 we spent at Disneyland and California Adventure. We really enjoyed Wednesday and Thursday. The parks were really not busy at all. We waited in line no more than half an hour and that was long and not every ride. once Friday came, our wait times tripled! Way more people that we liked. But, we stilled had fun. It was different now that our kids were older. They weren't interested in taking pictures. It was a battle every time. The characters didn't interest them much. It was fun, just different.

Carsland was our favorite place. It was the newest addition to California Adventure. Our second would be Splash Mountain, or Screamin'. It would depend on who you asked.

$ of the 5 kids made their own lightsaber. Grace chose a sweatshirt.

Our niece, Acacia, was so sweet to come along with us! She serves in the Navy and because she came along, we were able to get a killer deal on our ticket prices! Thanks, Acacia!! Alice in Wonderland is her favorite Disney movie. 

Mary Poppins is mine.

Beauty and the Beat is Grace's.

This picture makes me miss Britten!

Acacia and Dustin photobombed a tour group. They got caught! A few minutes later, the group was walking through our picture. It was pretty funny!

We discovered Downtown Disney this time. It was a fun place to shop.

This is Splash Mountain. This is my favorite picture! We spent the whole day trying to talk Kate into doing a bigger ride. she conceded to Splash Mountain. She was absolutely terrified! This picture captured that moment perfectly!

So many memories made! I'm glad we were able to do it before Ryan leaves for his mission in a few months.  We will be starting that process soon. It makes me feel super old, scared, and gives me a whole bunch of anxiety!! I'm not really this old, am I?