While I've been traveling through time to high school and back, other things have actually been happening too. One event to mention is my sweet Troy's birthday - a rather quiet affair this year. (And now almost two months ago. Insert embarrassed-face emoji here.) He really hadn't even picked out a gift yet and I've learned to not try too hard to surprise him. It's best to just wait and let him figure out what he really wants, so we weren't too sure what to do. The girls and I ended up having fun by planning a secret breakfast for him - we snuck out for balloons and flowers and made notes for Troy - I pulled them out of the back of the car after he went to sleep and set it up ...so I guess I did have a little surprise for him after all. It was fun.
Also for Troy's birthday we met up at my favorite little Vietnamese restaurant on State Street for some lunch. What a surprise it was to bump into my first mission president and his wife, Ron and Ruby Nielsen. Troy definitely had a moment of wondering why the heck his wife started hollering in a tiny little restaurant but figured it out quite quickly. It was really fun to see them.
We of course enjoyed a very gooey chocolate cake with his parents that evening, and eventually Troy picked out a new and very cool new canvas and leather briefcase that he's been enjoying a lot I think.
Another fun event this spring was seeing a dear old friend, Kristin. She lived in our neighborhood for a number of years, including during some very emotional times as several of us had babies at the same time as well as going through our friend TL's cancer diagnosis together. Kristin moved right before TerriLyn passed away, and though she was able to return for the funeral, I haven't seen her since. A number of events combined to bring her back through Salt Lake and Emily and I were able to meet her for just a half hour at a park, just long enough to share some cookies and catch up just a little on our lives and hug each other a lot. That was a treat.
A memory I'd like to savor from this season was our church's General Conference, which is broadcast twice a year throughout the world. This was the first year Troy and I put real effort into helping our big kids gain something from the experience. We usually muscle them into listening to one or two talks each conference - which really isn't much considering that the conference has four two-hour sessions over two days. This time, just as conference was beginning, Troy had a sudden flash of inspiration to....well, pretty much bribe the kids. He told them that they could earn a prize if they were able to write down the name of every single speaker and at least one thing they talked about. It ended up being a really wonderful weekend together. The kids really did listen to all of the talks. And on Sunday morning we went to our friends' home for breakfast before watching that morning's session together. I think the kids actually heard a few messages that meant something to them and we really felt good spending the weekend that way.
It's been a very pleasant spring - at least it feels that way right now as I'm looking back at all the happy pictures and blocking out any unpleasant times that I definitely didn't photograph. ;)