It was kind of lucky that my younger brother Scott, his wife Christina, and their new baby Sophia were already in Alaska on a family vacation. We were able to visit with them and meet Sophia for the first time, and they were able to extend their vacation trip and attend the funeral. I miss being so close to my siblings.
|My grandma, me, and Mom on my wedding day outside the Anchorage, Alaska Temple. June 12, 2008.|
|My Grandma and Grandpa's Wedding Picture|
On to the rest of the trip!
|Cousin Clinton Christensen and his daughter Apple; Scott holding Clara, Boyd holding Sophia. |
The babies that wear helmets together, stay safe together.
|Clara Crockett, Queen of the wild frontier! With Uncle Boydie.|
|Lots of selfies sent to Zach back home in Texas so he wouldn't feel so lonely.|
|Dad and Gayle's new neighbors have miniature ponies as companion animals for one of their kids. This is a picture of one of them eating the front lawn.|
|This is a picture I sent Scott when I was babysitting for them. They asked how Sophia was doing. |
She loves her favorite Aunt Tracy.
|Movie time with Grandma Gayle, watching Peter Pan.|
|Alaska Wild Berry and the Worlds Largest Chocolate Fall|
|Kumagoro Sushi night. Yum!|
|Family picture at the grave site.|
|Getting in touch with her wild Alaskan roots.|
|Treat yo' self! Getting pedicures with Boyd, Scott, and Christina.|
|After church picture: Sean, Scott, Boyd, Clara, William, Gayle, Emily. |
Front: Christina, Sophia, Tracy, Lucy.
|Siblings after church at Mom's house: Sean, Scott, Tracy and Boyd.|
|All the extended family at Grandma's funeral and viewing.|
|The girls after church: Bridget, Delores, Clara, Tracy, and Lucy|
|Forgot the bib in Anchorage, so using a dish towel.|
|Thanks for letting me use your room, Krista!|
|Clara picking new specimen to add to her Alaskan rock collection.|
|Two Sweetpeas eating sweet peas from the garden. Aunt Bridget and Clara.|
|This old family picture really reminded me of Clara. 1987.|
Sean, Boyd, Dad, Scott, Mom, and Tracy
|Boyd, Tracy, and Sean. June 1986.|
|Lucy loved my old Cinderella dress.|
|Examining every baby.|
|Enjoying Grandma and Grandpa Gillson's front yard and toy cars in Wasilla, Alaska.|
|Salmon run in the creek at the entrance to Mom and Mike's neighborhood.|
|"Hey again, Dad!"|
|"Me too, Dad!"|
My mom moved to Wasilla a few years ago and I don't really know many people in her new ward. Luckily many old family friends from my Anchorage home ward attended the funeral and I was able to visit with them afterwards before heading to the cemetery.
I was also able to go to the baby shower of my best friend from high school, Brittany (Layton) Whitehead who was expecting her first baby. It was so great to see her and catch up.
We were also lucky to be invited to dinner at my cousin Natalie (Walther) Sego's house. I could have spent days and nights visiting with her. I wish they lived closer! Unfortunately, she had to leave town right after the funeral so that she could be in Utah for her sister's wedding, so we only had that one evening to visit. Lucy loved playing with Natalie's two kiddos, and still talks about them months later.
The trip home to Texas was one of my more miserable ones, unfortunately. Being pregnant, I threw up on each flight, and traveling with two kiddos by myself (one of which was a lap infant), didn't make it easier. Thankfully, I only got really sick on the way home to Texas, and not on my flights to Alaska.
When I saw Zach at the airport I gave him a huge hug and had to hold back the tears, I was so emotional. Haha. I was just so grateful (and relieved) that he was there to help me. I felt so, so sick. Poor guy. What a welcome. Clara had also gotten a dirty diaper right as we started descending, and I knew there wasn't time to change it, and even if there had been time, I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep from being sick if I tried to change it. So, that was Zach's other lovely reunion when he met us at gate. What a trooper. :) It feels so good to be with him again after being separated. I always want to be together having shared experiences. We are much better/stronger as a team.
Overall, it was a wonderful trip to Alaska and I'm always so glad to be able to visit family and share the people and things I love with my children. I love seeing them build relationships and memories of their own with family members. It is especially wonderful to have them experience the beautiful place I grew up and enjoy the differences that nature has to offer. I look forward to our next visit!