We started the month with my sister-in-law Christine's visit. She and my brother Dave were in Boston for a work trip for him, and we had been planning for awhile to have her come down on the way back so that she and I could go into NYC together. But she didn't know when we were planning it a few months ago that she was going to be pregnant and so sick when she finally came. Poor thing was so nauseated, but what a trooper! We still did so many things, and every once in awhile she would sneak off and die a little bit, and then come back and act like everything was fine.
Every time I call Christine, I sing her name like the Phantom does in Phantom of the Opera. I have been doing that for years, and only recently did she tell me that she has never seen Phantom. I now realize how weird it has looked for me to sing her name in a deep voice every phone conversation. So, it was only fitting that we went to see Phantom while she was in town. It was an excellent performance.
Here's my secret about Phantom of the Opera--I love it, but I laugh the entire time I watch it. That Phantom is a hilarious weirdo. And Christine is so needy ("All I ask is every waking moment, turn my head with talk of summertime!" That's it, Christine? Just let me entertain you every second of my life? Yes, Raoul, sign up for a lifetime of that!)
But it was so good, and I loved it.
Christine left, and my mom came into town a few days later, and we went to "Anastasia." It was SO GOOD. I'm glad I made sure to get that girl in the row behind us in the picture. Just adds a little something, doesn't it?
Dan's parents and sister Mikaela came a few days later, and Dan blessed Harris.
I am the luckiest gal because my mother-in-law is an excellent seamstress. Beyond excellent. She made Harris's blessing outfit, and this picture does not do it justice.
I forgot to take a picture of the details on the cuffs because she had pearl buttons there too. Exquisite.
Harris received a beautiful blessing where he was blessed to know the truthfulness of the Gospel, serve a mission, marry in the temple and to be special witness for others. The blessing was a bit difficult as he was squirming the entire time and trying to jump out of the hands of the men who were holding him. And also crying. Actually screaming. But I heard most of it and loved what I heard.
The next day, my mom left, but the Jolleys were able to stay and party for the week. We did so much with them!
Dan took them all into the city one day, and they were able to go see Phantom while I chilled at home with the kids. They wanted to take the kids, but I thought that sounded absolutely torturous for everyone, so the kids and I were content to go swimming that day and relax at home.
We also went to two outdoor concerts, the movies, to the pool and to a little lakeside beach.
One day, Mike, Kristi and Mikaela watched the kids so that Dan and I could do a session at the temple. We are in the Manhattan temple district, but since we had gone into the city several times recently, we opted to go to the new Philadelphia temple for a session.
And this is what across the street from the temple looks like:
It was so beautiful, and we can't wait to go back and spend more time in Philly.
Our house felt very empty after all of our guests left, but we have kept busy with summer activities. We swim at our local pool almost every day, we go to the library all of the time, and we still grill almost every night.
Last night, we drove to Pennsylvania to go to a well-known drive in called Becky's Drive In. They have tons of stuff for kids to do before the movie starts, and it's a really popular spot for families. Which is so different from the drive-ins I am accustomed to.
One of the things they are known for is having employees dress up as characters from the movie you are going to see so that you can take pictures. They also sometimes have pony rides, train rides, and the night we went they even had a juggling act.
I bought my kids tickets for the little train, and I noticed the sweet elderly woman at the cash register was hand writing each purchase on a notebook for her inventory. No computer or anything. A nice step back in time.
To the surprise of no one, I slept in the back of the car for the duration of the movie, but the girls had a great time. We got home close to 1 AM, but that didn't stop Gwen from getting up at her usual time of 5:30. Youch.
Here's hoping for an early bedtime tonight.