Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mesa

Thursday morning we left Carlsbad Caverns and headed to Mesa, Arizona.  It was a pretty uneventful and boring drive, there is not much between the two.  The highlight was probably driving through Thatcher and all of a sudden there was a temple.  Just right there on the highway, out of no where.  It was pretty cool.  

I went right over to see my grandma and grandpa when we got there.  I wanted to make sure they were up to visitors before I took the girls over.  

Friday we spent the day with my Aunt Christine.  We went to the Sea Life Aquarium.  We all had such a great time.  I loved being able to spend time with my amazing aunt, and loved that my girls are getting to know her as well.
 Katie was fascinated by Stingray Bay.  She was not scared being so close to them, and we probably could have spent hours there.
 We were there just in time to see them feed the Sea horses and learn more about them.  There were places where you could go inside a bubble in the aquarium and have a 360 degree view.
 On the way home we went by the school where Christine teaches, which happens to be in the old white church we went to when I was little.  Then we drove around the corner and visited the Mesa Temple.  I was hoping to be able to do a session, but it was closed for cleaning.  We enjoyed the grounds and visitors center with our girls instead.
 My Grandma Lowe loved having two of her Great-Granddaughters to dote on.
 The biggest blessing of this trip was that we were able to see my Grandpa Lowe.  We were honestly not sure if he would make it until July, and I am so grateful that we were able to see him one last time.  He is so thin and seems so fragile.  He did not remember who I was, but I was able to help him remember.  I had to re-introduce myself everytime I saw him over those four days.  It was heartbreaking to see his memory so far gone, but still wonderful to visit with him.
 I took this picture on one of my morning runs.  I lived in Arizona for 14 years and I have lived in Texas for 17, but the Superstition Mountains still feel like home to me.
 Kirsten stayed busy helping my Uncle Steve make tokens for Scout Camp.
Katie was scared of the two big dogs, but finally on Sunday mustered up the courage to actually pet Dusty.
Friday night, my cousin, Stephanie showed up.  She is teaching school in Bountiful, Utah, and we coordinated to be there at the same time.  She did not tell her parents she was coming, it was so fun to surprise them!  She brought her boyfriend, Tim, with her.  It was great to get to know him.  Stephanie is like a sister to me and this is the first time I have gotten to see her since her mission.  We are already making plans for a visit in September.
Saturday we went to see the new Winnie the Pooh movie, which was totally cute!  We spent the afternoon visiting, had a family dinner, and then Stephanie, Tim, Jeremy and I went on a double to date to see Harry Potter 7.2.  I have to say that I enjoyed it much better the second time.

Sunday we were able to go to church with them, and my Grandpa was even able to make it.  I miss my family so much and was so grateful to be together with them.
As we said goodbye on Sunday afternoon, I held up okay until I took a step back and looked at my Grandpa.  I know that this was the last time I will see him in this life.  If I did not have faith in the Resurrection and a knowledge that our family has been sealed in the temple for all eternity, I am not sure that I could have driven away.  I am so grateful for family, and for the gospel and the sealing power that binds us together.  I am grateful for Christine and Steve for opening their home up to us, and for an amazing husband who was willing to drive us all the way out there for this visit.

This was not the end of the trip.  Stay tuned for more....

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