One day in London (see back here).
One (and a half) days in Northampton at the BBS conference (back here).
The last day was my mom's birthday (yes she came all the way to London to be at the conference with me which meant giving up a "normal" birthday back at home). But we sure had a good day. We spent it with my sweet sister Saydi and her family who are living in England for six months in this cute British house:
(I tried really hard not to drool too much as I was immersed in the adventure they are having over there because oh how I would sure love to do that, broken down cars and all...read more about what they are doing here.)
I mean seriously, even driving is an adventure:
When given a choice of anything she wanted to do on her big day, my mom picked exploring the areas where our ancestors are from since she's been doing some work on that lately and we were so close.
But first we had a birthday breakfast and went to church.
At breakfast we presented my mom with sixty-five envelopes each filled with growing-up memories and things we love about that beautiful birthday girl sent in earlier from all our siblings and my dad.
We had her open them one by one all day long as we passed through the most gorgeous countryside I've seen in a long while.
We visited all the churches we could find in the vicinities of where those ancestors were from.
And had some good quality bonding time in the car with Saydi's two oldest kids who came along.
It was a little bit of an adventure in and of itself to find a birthday lunch place but we did it.
This was a church where some of our ancestors were married. Charlie and Hazel posed to commemorate that "happy" day:)
My mom was filled with all kinds of stories. It was fun to picture those ancestors right where we were standing and imagine how their lives must have been.
Another church where some were most likely married:
We scouted out graves to see if by chance any of their names were there (we didn't find any but man alive they could very well have been some of the ones with names rubbed off with time and moss).
The countryside was so gorgeous with the rain slipping in and out.
This wall was definitely there when all the ancestors were:
In our family of nine kids we have two extra friends who we like to call sisters because they were with us so much of our growing up and we adore them. One of them was Saydi's friend who happens to live in England now as well. At the end of the day we met up with her and her cute family.
This was pretty fitting since my mom's answer to what her hobbies were when she was in the Miss Bear Lake Pageant was "collecting purple things." We like to laugh about that one.
As we drove home the most gorgeous full rainbow ever glimmered at us from the sky.
The next morning we got up early and took a few forms of public transportation to the airport where we loaded up on Hobnobs and English chocolate.
And then we flew right home on a flight where it somehow worked that I had four seats to sleep on. Yes, FOUR. I felt so guilty I could hardly stand it...until I fell asleep...
And got to get home to snuggle up my sweet children and their sweetest-ever babysitters a little less jet-lagged.
Dave was STILL in China and we all hunkered down in excited anticipation for him to get home the next day.