That is so easy when you can relate so much with the BBS commonality.
There is something so comforting about talking to someone who really gets it because they're in the middle of it just like you are. It makes it so much easier to try to figure out a whole new language filled with medical jargon and to try to sort out the ins and outs of rods and cones and gene therapy and the elusive "obesity gene" when you have someone sitting next to you who is just as eager to learn.
We have met a whole lot of wonderful BBS parents over the years, but only a handful of BBS affected kids, and Lucy has never met someone with her same syndrome.
My friend Amy, who has two kids with BBS had texted me earlier since she was going to be at Bear Lake at the same time as we were. We weren't able to meet up there but it worked out that we got to meet for lunch as we were passing through town on our way home. She has one 14-year-old boy and one 7-year-old girl with BBS, as well as another boy and girl who are unaffected.
She was SO excited.
It was amazing to get these three BBS kids together...their similarities were quite startling.
Even the similarities of the two non-BBS kids were pretty crazy! Amy's other older boy wasn't able to make it but check out Claire and Amy's other daughter up there on the left. She is such a huge helper of her little BBS sister just like Claire is to Lucy and they even look so similar to me.
I look like I just went through a washing machine below so let's go ahead and ignore the left portion of the picture, but meet Amy on the right:)
But so grateful for that time with Amy and her sweeties.
It was the 24th of July in Utah and man alive do they ever know how to celebrate that statehood of theirs. We couldn't help but go to one more whiz-bang rodeo in downtown Salt Lake City to celebrate with the stragglers of my family who were still around:
Happened to be there at the same time as my dear high school friend Marie and her family with six kids.
We walked by our beloved temple on our way out...
As we drove down I-15 from Salt Lake to Provo I swear I have never seen so many fireworks in my whole life! There were firework shows going on left and right for as far as your eye could see. We pulled into Carol Lynns just in time to drag her out to the corner with us to watch the finale of one close-by show.
We stayed up and played a few games and then Claire and I left Lu and CL sleeping bright and early the next morning to go retrieve Grace from EFY.
She had had the most amazing week. It was so fun for me to get so many updates from her throughout the week. All about the speakers and how wonderful they were, the friends, the counselors...all the poundings of her heart as she felt the power of the messages she heard.
I was so grateful every snippet of recap she sent along to me. Oh man I love that girl!
That EFY is a pretty cool program.
Drove past this new temple on the way back to Carol Lynn's:
Carol Lynn gave the girls some books she has loved as a school teacher:
Then it was just me and my three girls off on the open road.
I LOVE being able to stop and bask in all the beauty we want to en route to where we're going.
The next morning we wanted to head to church before we took off and the only time frame that would work for us was a little branch they hold each Sunday in the retirement home there. We LOVED it. All those wonderful seasoned people singing their hearts out with their large-print hymn books and the big smiles they gave our little straggly bunch to welcome us. One lady had to squeeze out behind us with her walker during a pretty quiet time and when we scooted forward to let her through she yelled "thank you!!" in the sweetest and loudest voice (must have been a little hard of hearing). The talks were awesome and the spirit was so strong in that little room.
The St. George temple was close by so we had to go touch that thing.
Let's check out how excited Lucy was to be there this time around:
Let's go ahead and note that I was wearing the same thing I did the day before...since I left my suitcase sitting on the porch at Bear Lake.
Yep. I really did.
Missing that stuff that I'll pick up next week when we take Max up to Utah.
We couldn't pass up the chance to visit our friends who just moved from Ohio back to the West on the way home. Love this great family and that they live closer these days!
And finally, we were HOME.