Monday, December 28, 2009

Road Trip!!!

My last day of work in Farmington was the Polar Express. I went in and finished making preparations for Polar Express which included finishing the cookies that the teens had worked on from the night before. I was upstairs cutting the stained glass cookies (I love those cookies!!! They might have jumped up on my favorites list actually. That might just be because I love the way they look after they are cut.) Anyway, I was cutting these cookies and Bethany comes running up the stairs and is telling me that Debbie needs me downstairs immediately and there is a problem with a patron that she needs my help with. I thought this was a little strange but there had been a family that could have been coming in that day and I had been the one to previously work with them. So I came downstairs and I found out that the girls from work had surprised me with a going away present. I was given a whole basket full of New England things. I absolutely loved it! Then after that Polar Express went without a hitch and I was so grateful to have such an amazing last day.

Before we left Farmington the ladies at work told me that they wished me the best. They hoped that I would be happy and that all they wished me was the greatest happiness. They hoped that I would be successful. It wasn’t too bad until I had to turn in my keys and it got harder from there. Then I went on the drive home and Marc asked me what I was thinking about and all I could say was, “I am not going to cry.”

Anyway, we left super early and we began our trip out to Palmyra. The driving conditions were awful and I was so grateful that Marc was able to drive. It was foggy and rainy and dark. He drove for a long time and allowed me to sleep. Anyway, I then drove for a little bit but I didn’t make it very long at all. Marc took back over and we finally made it to Palmyra.

Palmyra was amazing to see. We stopped at the Hill Cumorah Visiting Center. It was SOOOOOO cold. We went inside and I loved looking at the sculptures that were there on display. They told some stories of Christ’s life and it was just a reminder to me. We went to the top of the hill. We made it up there and it was FREEZING and windy. My hair was such a mess from the wind. We rushed down the hill because we were super cold and had other places that we wanted to see. We ran to the car and passed some sister missionaries giving hugs out in the parking lot. (They will come into play later). We went to the Joseph Smith farm and that was really interesting to me. I learned that they were able to reconstruct the Smith house based on Lucy Mac’s journal entries. She wrote about things like the decorations in her house and the width of her house. I am doing good to just get the events of the day in. So that is why this entry is ridiculously long! We ran into the sister missionary and her family here too. I guess she was going home from her mission and giving her family a tour of her mission. We were able to walk in the Sacred Grove while we were there and it was such an amazing experience. I also absolutely loved seeing the Palmyra Temple look over the Smith farm. It such a spiritual experience.

As we traveled to that site and the Grondin building (the site of publication for the Book of Mormon) and to the pizza place for dinner and in the parking lot afterwards, we continued to run into the same family. This was the family of the sister missionary that we saw hugging at the Hill Cumorah. In fact we saw them so much that we joked that they should be invite them to the wedding. The Grondin Building was very cool. I was able to see how the Book of Mormom was published and how it was put together. I even got to keep one of the sheets to show us how they go together.

We left for Kirtland but before we got very far we both needed to sleep. Slowly but surely we made it to Kirtland. I didn't realize before this trip that the Church didn't own the Temple in Kirtland. So finding that out was a bit of a shock. Kirtland was an interesting experience. We arrived and looked at the Visitor’s Center and it was decorated with beautiful lights. They were Christmas lights so of course I loved them. Anyway, we then went to the temple and that was a memorable experience. We got a good chunk of the way down the road before I needed to sleep. Luckily Marc was able to get some sleep on this portion of the drive. In fact he was so asleep that I began singing and he didn’t even start to wake. To stay awake I listened to John Bytheway and listening to words of the Lord was such a comfort as I drove. The songs I sang were by Cherie Call. Those songs have brought me more comfort than anyone will ever know. I eventually needed to sleep and Marc drove for a little while. But soon I was driving again and only made it a little way before I needed to crash.

Somewhere along this drive from Kirtland to Carthage, we got really close to the Michigan border. I have never been to Michigan but my sister and I joke about it because there is a place called Hell, Michigan. So we say that we had a trip from Michigan. I knew I wouldn’t be that close in a long time and so I took an extra 10 minutes and drove across the border. I had to laugh when the sign into Michigan read, “Welcome to Pure Michigan”. I laughed and Marc said, “Yep, this is pure Michigan.” I asked him if he knew how offensive that was and eventually he caught on. Going through Michigan made nine states on this road trip. I will have gone through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Michigan. At least those are the new states. To add the list we could include New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, and Arizona. My total state count is now 31 states. I need to go to Oregon, Washington, Delaware, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Soon we arrived in Carthage. It was later than we wanted but we were safe and that is what mattered. I loved the feeling that I received in Carthage. It was the feeling that Joseph was the prophet. In Palmyra I was reminded that I shouldn’t stress about things as much because we were following the promptings of the Lord. I knew that he was aware of us and that as long as we did what he asked then it would all work out. He never promised it would be easy but it would all work out. But in Carthage I felt the confirmation that Joseph was the prophet. I got the promptings that Joseph had been there and that it was a sacred place as the site of martyrdom of the prophet. I felt so close to the Spirit there and it was amazing. I loved the confirmation that I received.

About 30 minutes later we ended up in Nauvoo. We realized later that we were driving alongside the Mississippi River. That was a very cool experience. Nauvoo was a little interesting for me. Originally I was a little confused how anyone could really spend time there. This was after we had gone to the wrong Visitor’s Center and been given the wrong map. This map allowed me the opportunity to see Theodore Turley’s house. It was really cool to see my history and the heritage that I have come from. We have always been so proud to be a Turley and it was cool to see a small piece of why that is. I mean in Prescott being a Turley is something to be very proud of and it was nice to see that that might be the case somewhere else as well. Actually, everywhere I have been that is a name to be proud of. But I also saw the mansion that Joseph built for Emma. As we found the Church’s visitor center and began to see Nauvoo I became very sad to leave the area. I would love to go back and see the area again someday. It would be fun to go back with our kids some day and get to experience that with them. It was a bonding experience for us I think and I really enjoyed it. We were able to see how bricks were made, how the carts were made, the blacksmith shop, how to make rope (Marc’s favorite part), and how to make candles. We were able to take pictures of the temple and I was grateful that Marc was so patient with me as I kept saying stop here! I kept wanting to take pictures and so I kept making him stop. It was fun to make the rope with Marc though. He lit up like a kid on Christmas over being able to make that rope and being asked his opinion on what he wanted to do. He claims I don’t ask him very often but in my defense normally he doesn’t have an opinion or at least says that he doesn’t. I was able to take the coolest picture there, well at least I hope it turns out. It is a picture of a couple dating and behind them is a toddler taking his first steps and behind that a family with grown girls playing. It was really cool to see what our future will be like as we get married and have children.

As we left we were able to drive across the Mississippi and it was so exciting to Marc that he was able to drive across the River. He hadn’t ever seen it in daylight or had the opportunity to drive across it. He drove across and went out for Chinese food afterward. We then continued our way to Johnston, Iowa.

We spent the time with his family doing things like having Christmas and playing Pinnacle. I loved my time there so much! It was fun to be able spend time with them. I also created a name for myself in the game of Pinnacle and that might not be such a good thing! I had my second laydown shooter while we were there. That was super exciting to me!!! It was the first one that Marc had ever seen so it felt like the first one to me. Later, I told Marc very excitedly that I didn’t have any losers in my hand. He said okay and called clubs. I passed him all spades to start off with. He passed them all back and then told me that I passed him the wrong suit. I then realized that I would have to pass him a loser. At this point I was laughing so hard from my first mistake that I couldn’t even handle making a mistake like that again. For the rest of the night the joke was passing someone zero losers really meant passing losers in one suit. I guess that is what I get for playing after so long and after I am so tired.

Church in Johnston was really nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons taught and just felt so at home there. I would totally move to Johnston if the Gospel Doctrine teacher would be my teacher all the time. I loved that in Relief Society that they taught through the spoken word. In fact I will have to see if I can find music to “Mary, Did you Know?”. It was just an amazing experience. We ended up leaving Johnston a little early to try and avoid storms.

Driving home went fairly well. We hit some storms coming out of Iowa and I made Marc drive through most of it. When it started to not be so scary again then I took over so he could sleep. But I was so scared to drive on those roads. I had seen so many accidents and cars stuck in ditches that I didn’t want to be driving. After we made it through then I just fell asleep in the car. I was so exhausted from being so scared for so long. We slept for a little bit and the drive continued. We drove through Kansas and that is the longest state known to mankind. It just kept going and going and going. The problem is the road was more of a back road. We would hit 65 mph and then go through a town where the speed limit would hit 30. This happened over and over and over again. Once we made it through then Oklahoma and Texas didn’t seem so bad. I drove most of this stretch but I wasn’t tired through it. I stopped because my focus wasn’t where I felt it should be anymore. We continued to drive until we got to New Mexico.

In New Mexico, Marc came back to the car saying that Melissa had called and the storms we were going to be hitting were bad and so we should be careful. He talked about not driving any further and I kinda scoffed because I was so close to home and there wasn’t any storm to speak of. I found out that Arizona was being hit really hard by a storm. We made it as far as Gallup, New Mexico and even that might have been a miracle. We hit the storm about 30 miles outside of Gallup and I was so grateful I wasn’t driving. We stayed at a Days Inn hoping to just wait out the night and we could continue today on our trip. We waited one day but Interstate 40 has been closed all day. It opened that night but we waited because now we wouldn’t be able to see the ice on the road and so it is safer to wait until morning. We waited until the morning and then drove home. I was so excited the closer I got that Marc kept asking me if I needed him to drive. I laughed and said that I was very capable! Plus if he drove it would have taken me longer to get home and I didn’t want that.

Our road trip together was really good and it was filled with fun experiences but I have decided I am a flying girl. I would rather spend more time where I am actually going then spend time on the travel to get there. But that is just me! :)

Now some pictures from the trip!

This was the Hill Cumorah Monument

This is the Palmyra Tempe:

This is the Smith House:

This is the monument in Carthage:

This is the Nauvoo Temple:

This is proof that we survived the road trip!

Moving from NH

This post is SERIOUSLY overdue and I apologize for that. In the craziness of finals and packing and moving and Christmas and wedding planning... I have not blogged as well as I should have. But I wanted to take a moment, even though I should still be wedding planning, to say a little about my time in New Hampshire. When I moved out there in 16 months ago, I figured I would live there for a while and then leave and never miss it. I might have been right after my first winter. :) Just kidding, even then I would have only not missed the snow. But my time spent out there was so much fun and I grew so much as a person. I was able to see new states and countries and go on crazy adventures with my sister. I was able to watch the kids grow as I got to know them at the library and the ones that I lived with. I still miss my job and I think I will for a long time. It was a sad move for me and yet I am excited for what the future brings. I felt, in a way, that I was moving from home but it was nice in that case to move from one home to the other one. I will be moving down to the valley this week and that will be a big change as well. I will also be getting married in about a month and a half, also another big change in my life. But before I move on to those new chapters, I wanted the people in New Hampshire to know that I enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed getting to know all of you and I will treasure the memories I have there. I can't wait to be back in May to get to visit you all if only for a moment. Happy Holidays!