So, I got to visit baby Lydia when she was 2 weeks old. This is the part that defies words. I didn't fall in love with her immediately but I didn't fall in love with my own kids immediately either so no worries there. I don't know why it takes a while to get to know them for me but it does and I was surprised because I had been so looking forward to seeing her and holding her. She was underweight due to nursing problems and had just started on a bottle. Poor little thing looked like a little wrinkled old woman with bags under her eyes. I felt so sorry for her little hungry self. Poor Tara was dealing with a hungry baby and not enough milk and severe pain and no sleep. Dustin was dealing vicariously with all that too. I felt like I dropped into a very private and personal time of their lives but knew it was important for me to be there for me and for them because Tara needed to finish her student teaching and Dustin was still going to class also. I remember so well those first few weeks with the first baby. Life is so different than just a few days before and you feel like every single thing is new and strange. It was weird experiencing that all over again. The week ended up being so great filled with little more than holding baby, taking the night shift every once in a while and watching this new little family learn and grow. I'm not sure how much I helped out but I know that by the end of the 10 days or so that I was there, I was so sad to say goodbye to that sweet, sweet baby. Heartbreaking really how attatched I got and then had to leave.
Next we all went back to Utah for the college graduations and Lydia's blessing. What a proud moment to watch Dustin, Tara and Michayla walking into the room in their caps and gowns. They all have worked (and are working) so hard to get to this point. It was a great graduation ceremony, Allan's parents came from California and seemed to enjoy it also. It was nice to sit back and enjoy some of the fruits of our and their labor.
On sunday they blessed Lydia. She looked so beautiful in her dress. I had cut up my wedding dress to make what I hope becomes a family blessing gown. I loved working on it and put more effort to make it as perfect as possible using as much of the original dress as I could. I was kinda proud of myself thinking it was amazing until I saw her in it and then I realized that all my striving for perfection couldn't be reached until someone was wearing it. She was adorable and I have to say that my heart just burst when Dustin walked down from the stand and handed her to me. I can't even begin to express in words the love of a grandmother.
We drove home on Monday and Michayla and I left for West Virginia on Tues. I was so sick by then and tired I barely remember the drive home or packing for the next trip. Thank you cough syrup with codeine. The drive home from Utah never seemed so fast.
The first part of the week in WV was a blur. When I was in Utah, I was so worried about spreading illness to Lydia, that I had Allan take me to an urgent care place and get checked out by the doctor who said it was just a bug. But when I still felt bad a week later, I went to another urgent care and got antibiotics and prescription decongestant and painkillers. Within 12 hours I was feeling pretty good so that the rest of the trip was great.
One fun thing we did was drive down to SVU in virginia and watch Brandon graduate. I know he wanted to be there but was feeling a little funny at the same time but it was so nice to be there and watch him walk with his friends and see him interact with some of his favorite professors and the president of the school. I'm so proud of him! It was a long hard haul but one that was so worth it i think.
We didn't really do much and that was just fine. Sarah had just quit nursing Payton due to allergies and let us take over some nights so they could get some much needed rest. It was nice to hang out with him. We learned that he justly earned his nick-name: Mister Pee-pee, poo-poo, spit-up. He is such a vocal and funny kid. Talking, talking, and more talking! Same experience with him though: a slow crawl into my heart so that by the time we left it was painful. Michayla was so proud of herself for not crying when we left-me too-but when we were about halfway home there was a baby on the plane who started coughing and crying sounding just like Payton (and if you heard his voice you'd know how unique it is) and had us both tearing up! Yes, we are such big girls and so brave. More Michayla than I because she wouldn't be seeing him again for 18 months at least, until after her mission.
I hope that somehow my visits helped out these two new families and wasn't a burden. I was such a joy to visit with the new babies and get to know them from something other than pictures and phone calls. So, thank you to my two amazing sons who somehow (what I mean is that without mom and dad's help) found two amazing girls who are perfect for their husbands first of all, and second are wonderful mothers, and lastly are generous with their babies and loving and patient with their not so quiet or gentle in-laws. We love you all and feel loved in return. We are blessed.