It was something of an intense weekend, packed as it was with special events, joy, fun and people we love. Let’s not forget, either, those successful errands! All told (errands excluded) we logged over 1400 miles in four days, traversing two time zones and five states to attend two rather different ceremonies. I can now report more precisely that Junior graduated from the army Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leadership Course, one of 43 graduates from across the country and including members of his own Ranger unit, National Guard soldiers, Marines, and others. At the other end of the spectrum we attended in St. Louis the baptism of Ella Noelle Marks (you all know her as Katie’s sister), followed by a celebration of her first birthday (which is officially on Wednesday).
The unexpected late hour of Junior’s graduation (3 PM, when we anticipated a morning ceremony) put us home late on Friday, and Saturday morning I had to catch up taking care of a few things that I had hoped to get accomplished the night before. Those delays made for a later than desired departure for St. Louis, where we had a few wedding gifts to return before stores closed that afternoon. En route to the Gateway City we also had a change of venue for our accommodations that night, shifting from one location to the home of some friends who get the hospitality award for going beyond expectations—they had returned earlier that day from a week in the Bahamas! We joined them in time for a delightful happy hour and then dinner at a small Italian restaurant called Mangia! Yum! It was a very pleasant evening and good to get caught up with them (these are the same friends whose son is getting married in Napa in the spring!).
Sunday morning was Ella’s baptism and birthday party, where Ella rose to the occasion (literally) by standing on her own for the first time while we were all gathered to encourage her and applaud madly.
We departed a little earlier than usual from those festivities to make one more gift return on our way out of town, and then pointed the car southeast and said, “Go!” It did.
We are glad to be home, reunited with beloved four-legged children and faced with the next set of lists. Among the items on mine today is getting a new car windshield installed, making a card for our new presiding bishop that I will take with me tonight to be signed at our annual clergy women’s Christmas dinner, making a dish to take to said dinner, begin writing our Christmas letter, and a couple of errands on my way to the same said dinner. I still have presents to wrap to get shipped, but I suspect that won’t happen today. That’s what tomorrows are for!
And speaking of lists, I’d better start tackling it!