i hate traveling with small children. i really do. so when the spanish branch got all of the stake's tickets to general conference, i was cringing inside. i mean, think about it: a super fast weekend which includes A TON OF DRIVING, two small children, an hour time difference (which shouldn't matter but, oh, it so does), rushing back and forth between activities and four young men? i offered sweetly to stay home with the children but ryan said he wouldn't have fun if i didn't come, so i gave in. just look at the power that man has over me.
i'm glad i went although i am so exhausted i'm nearly delusional. i swear to you, seth asked me if he could please use my iphone to check his portfolio. and i said, "you have a portfolio?" and then he rolled his eyes and tapped his foot impatiently. and i'm glad anyway, even though i got nothing out of conference.
session 1. i can't really hear anything, even though the conference session is being broadcast on temple grounds. that's because seth is howling to get out of the stroller and azeem is making frog noises in his armpit, a talent which peaked in third grade and has rapidly declined in usefulness and entertainment value since then. still, he trucks on. also, kevin is busy yelling, "migra!" which means migration. everyone thinks this is funny. i admit, i laughed, but i don't think it was for the same reasons.
session 2. driving around like our hair is on fire, trying to pick up a pair of pants from michael, a shirt from henry and pollo's backpack. all because i thought my making them a list of what to pack beforehand was too much. well guess what? it wasn't.
session 3. crystal and regis' house. where ava cried, seth cried and i hovered over brand new baby evie and a pan of scrambled eggs. oh, and bacon, which i undercooked. note to self: don't arrange to listen to something with friends you love to talk to. it won't work. i didn't get much out of that session, but i did get to see crystal and regis. i also got to talk to abby, who helped me grate cheese. she has dimples and i am a sucker for dimples.
session 4. ryan has run around like his hair is on fire (again), trying to get tickets together and clothes together for a bunch of teenage boys that ditched us for the kid who brought his playstation 3 to utah. this involved kevin and pollo running around with tickets in their hands. i don't know if any racial slurs were delved at conference, but i wouldn't be surprised. this might be the most politically incorrect weekend i've had in my life.
arul, or "pollo" calling me "jefa" (boss) and using the word constantly. his pronunciation is quick and harsh. non-stop it was: "jefa!"
or how about putting pollo to bed? he wanted to be tucked in like a burrito, given milk and cookies, sung a song, told a story and given a goodnight kiss. oh yeah, and he was certain that azeem wanted all of those things, too. i looked over at azeem and he was shaking his head quickly.
my buddy christian who always answered my questions that started with, "como se dice. . .?"
my new mexican accent! being surrounded by so much mexican accent means that i started speaking with one too. i feel ridiculous. and oddly enough, so hard core.
being in the car with four mexican boys who thought the word "beaner" was a funny thing to shout at other mexicans that they didn't know. this horrified me, because once yelled the offended party turned around to look right at me. this, of course, was found to be HIL-arious.
visiting with my aunt emily, uncle rob and their children, which included my cousin cameron and his wife allison, who is due to have a baby in four weeks. and then, going down to southern utah to visit ryan's grandparents who really are some of the kindest people i know. grandpa was a little confused by the presence of the boys and, upon looking at them said, "they look hawaiian!" about fifteen minutes later, when hearing ryan speak spanish to them, grandpa asked, "you understand spanish?" the boys nodded and grandpa explained, "well i hardly understand that! do they speak much spanish in hawaii?"
yes, confusion abounded, but the phrase, "i love grandpa. he's funny." was heard in abundance. of course, grandma answered this with, "don't tell him that! his ego is through the roof!"
and it is. because this is the story we heard while we were there: grandma worked the ticket booth outside the movie theater and grandpa saw her there every time he went to a movie. he thought she was very pretty. so one night, when his mother was just about to leave for a movie, he told he, "take a good look at the girl in the ticket booth because one day she's going to be your daughter in law."
later, he went to a movie and afterward came out to see grandma sitting on the couch surrounded by a group of boys. one of which, a boy named sterling, was to take her home. as grandpa walked by he said to grandma, "i'll be back at ten to pick you up."
as he walked away, grandma asked, "do you think he means it?" sterling knew grandpa and gathered his coat, knowing that grandpa, indeed, did mean it.
this is when grandpa interjected with, "he left because he knew if he stuck around i'd beat the hell out of him."
so grandpa came back at ten, picked grandma up and took her out.
"where did you go?" i asked.
without blinking, grandpa said, "necking."
three weeks later, they were engaged. three weeks after that, they were married.
and you know what's lovely? they told that story together holding hands.
then we drove home. and ava and seth howled and the boys wrestled each other to death and anytime anyone fell asleep the other messed with him. they tickled his face, threw goldfish crackers down his throat or placed small toys over their eyes. i am so glad i will never be a boy. they are just so strange.
it's good to be home. it's good to know we survived the weekend. and oddly enough, after all of that, i look forward to seeing all those people again.
pictures to follow.