The day after celebrating the very beginning of one marriage, Mike’s sweet Aunt Marilyn and Uncle John, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Their 5 kids (and their families) hosted a party in their backyard. There was great food, games for kids, hula dancing, and 60′s dancing too. Good times. When asked to give a speech, Aunt Marilyn could only say, “Fifty years sure goes by fast.”
The day after we celebrated Kaitlyn’s birthday we attended the wedding of Mike’s brother, Scott, and his beautiful bride Elizabeth. Kaitlyn thought Grandma and Grandpa K flew back from South Africa, and lots of her aunts and uncles who flew in from the East coast, came just for her birthday. We let her think that, but here was the real reason our house was full of people this week.
As I have mentioned, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so when we marry in the temple we take vows not just “till death do you part” but for eternity. This belief is very sacred to us and we have a great love for the temples (which are now all over the world) because they represent to us the opportunity we have to live together as families after this life. After the wedding ceremony there is always lots of pictures on the temple grounds. Scott and Elizabeth chose to be married in the Salt Lake Temple- which also happens to be the same temple Mike and I married in 12 years ago.
If you are curious about Mormons, families and temples and why we love them you can go here for more information and here for why we work hard to have strong close families. Mormons use temples for much more than marriages but there is more than I could explain in a blog post.
When we were done taking pictures of ourselves and with the bride and groom we walked through the temple waiting area and saw an older, very tired-looking, temple worker sitting in a chair. Mike asked, “Long day, huh?” He said, “Forty-five weddings today. It was a good day.”
Wow huh? And it was only a Friday! The Salt Lake Temple is big with lots of rooms for wedding ceremonies but that is a lot of weddings in one building in one day. It must have been a good day indeed.
While on vacation, Mike and I left the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and took an overnight getaway to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is where we met and where we lived while first married. We were teachers at the same high school and met at a meeting for new teachers. We lived there for over 3 years- one year of that married.
When we left Vegas to move to Connecticut for Mike to go to graduate school, the city was BOOMING! Buildings were going up fast everywhere. There were so many new residents getting in on the boom, I was told once that they could fill an entire elementary school every 3 months with new students. In fact that was what brought Mike and I both to Vegas - teaching jobs.
We haven’t been back to Vegas in 10 years. In that time the boom continued and then there was the big bust in 2008. We were curious to see what had changed in 10 years. The first thing we did when we got to town was to have lunch at the Top of the World Restaurant in the Stratosphere. We were told that lunch prices were reasonable and that your views from the top of the tower were included with lunch. This was true as it turned out my lunch cost a dollar less than if we had just bought tickets to ride to the observation deck. We loved our lunch up there. The restaurant revolves and you can see all of Vegas in a little over an hour. Because we used to live there we loved looking out and recognizing places. Here are some photos of the views. The top picture is looking out at the east side of the Valley. Below is southeast.
Here are some photos looking down the Strip.
Do you see the enormous blue casino that makes Circus Circus look tiny? It is actually a casino that was almost completed and then abandoned. Behind Circus Circus you can see more abandoned casino projects.
Here is the southwest part of the city where we worked and lived.
And a view looking down West Sahara toward my bachelorette pad. Mike’s bachelor pad (and our first home together for 2 months after our wedding) was down West Charleston toward Red Rock Canyon. You can see Red Rock in the last photo.
Our second day in Vegas we did drive out of to where we used to live just to see it and how things have changed. There were changes but much of it was the same. What we noticed most was simply the lack of building going on anywhere. And the trees had grown more. We enjoyed the memories and nostolgia, but honestly, we couldn’t decide how much we missed it and if we would move back - if we could. I do wish I could take some of the heat back home with me to Idaho.
Today we woke up with a dusting of snow on the ground. Sam had a preschool fieldtrip to the Nature Park here in town. It was cold and I just dropped him off. No pictures today. So instead, here is what we were doing 10 years ago this month:
I love this guy more than ever. It’s been a great 10 years.