If I had to characterize how our traveling has been for me in a word, I would say: Reunion.
Here are some examples:
- Catching up with two of my best friends from high school in CA in June. We got together and had breakfast, laughed, talked once or twice about the old days, but talked even more about parenting and the amazing roller coaster ride we are all on.
- An actual family reunion. My husband is the oldest in the family. We were the only married couple (besides my mother and father-in-law) in the family for a few years. But finally...the majority of my husband's siblings are married. We are all starting to get a little bit scattered around the country. With changes happening...my in-laws decided to start the tradition of the family reunion this year.
- Spending a couple of consecutive weeks visiting my parents' ward turned out to be like a mini-high school reunion for me. I saw no less than 10 friends from years gone by in those couple of weeks. It's always fun to see how much we have changed (or not) in the last 16 years (YIKES...am I that old?)
- I was so lucky to get to attend the Pioneer Celebration at the Conference Center. Yes, folks it was the culmination of the Osmond Family 50 Year Reunion show. I grew up listening to the Osmond Boys' records and know that my first official celebrity crush was directed at none other than Donny. I watched the Donny & Marie show every week, usually while my mom was putting my hair in curlers on Saturday night! I have always loved the Osmonds and relished in swaying back and forth and singing all the old tunes. I was flanked by my husband and little brother on each side who could do nothing but laugh and be amused by my antics - neither one of them could fully appreciate my joy.
- Getting myself a Facebook profile has turned out to be an amazing reconnection tool for me. I have heard from former mission companions and other missionaries I served with, cousins, old friends (high school and beyond) and most belovedly...I recently got notes from two beautiful girls whose family I loved and worked with on my mission. Their family was somewhat less active active for many reasons (including parents work schedules - bless them, how they worked to support their beautiful family). I served in their area for about 9 months (yes - about half my mission) and worked the whole time to keep this family with a foot in the door of the Church. One of the girls was 8...we taught her the discussions and saw her beautiful baptism (no, it wasn't considered a convert baptism because her parents were members and she was 8). One of the girls is married (in the temple, no less) and has a beautiful baby boy and the other is 18, in college and still faithfully attending church. I lost contact with the family within a year of my return home. I totally cried when I read their "letters" to me.