Friday, June 26, 2015

California Wedding!

A few weeks ago we headed out to California - Yosemite, in fact - for my BIL's wedding. I had never been to a national park before, and my hubby kept telling me I would be blown away. I was. :) I pretty much want to go to ALL national parks now. :) We had a fantastic time with my MIL's side of the family - they all live out there, and the cousins are all close in age, as are the kids! A few from my FILs side of the family made it out as well.

One of the unexpected perks was pretty much NO cell phone reception. Occasionally calls could go through, and a text might pop up a few hours after it was originally sent, but it was so nice to just have that break. We spent as much time as we could outdoors (except for naps), and the weather was perfect. Warm, sunny, with the occasional clouds and drizzle.

We left our house a little after 3:00 am, and drove to the airport. Our direct flight to San Francisco left at 6:00 am, and we arrived ahead of schedule, local time, 8 am. We loaded the kids, and our stuff into a rental van and drove straight to Yosemite, stopping for lunch midway at In and Out burger. I've been wanting to try their burgers for years. They were decent... but I'm not sure what the fuss is about. To starving travelers, though, they hit the spot. :) And the customer service was very good! We stopped quickly at Target as well, because really, what parent can go on a trip without finding and needing something at Target, haha, and then finished up the drive. We met up with my BIL and his family shortly after we arrived, and found one of the aunts and uncles, and a cousin and had dinner. Overall, the kids did well on the flight (they both slept a little), and both slept pretty well (more sleep, yay!) on the drive. We all slept VERY well that night!

The second day (Thursday) we had a great walk around the area we were staying (Yosemite Lodge by the Falls), and took lots of pictures! The rehearsal was that night, and went well - C was the ringbearer, and I was playing along with my 2 BIL who were singing.

Friday was a good day for sight-seeing, so we took the Valley floor tour with my in-laws, and some of the cousins, and one aunt. It was nice to hear some of the history of the park - around 1000 people climb every year, and there really are very few accidents. My BIL and his now wife are hikers. After the tour - it was HOT - we went swimming. How beautiful to be in a pool surrounded by mountains! :) Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner and welcome reception. My new sis A, (BIL's wife seems too formal) is amazing - and her family equally so. They were all so sweet and welcoming and we really just had the best time talking with people we've heard about for years but had never gotten the chance to meet. C ended up taking a late nap and slept HARD throughout the entire rehearsal dinner, welcome reception and slide show. He woke up near the end and ate some fruit, and the most brie I've ever seen anyone eat. :) Fortunately, he did sleep some that night!

The day of the wedding was beautiful! DH & C headed off to hang out with the guys to get ready (DH was one of the groomsmen) and I put G down for her nap so I could get ready. We made it to the chapel, and the wedding, though short (it wasn't a full Mass - a deacon presided) was lovely. My 2 BIL sang the Panis Angelicus and Ave Verum as part of the prelude music, and one of them sang the Schubert Ave Maria. I just love to play when they are singing! :) And C made it up the aisle with the flower girl, though he did pause to say hi to some of the cousins when he was almost to the front. He ended up sitting with some of them during most of the ceremony. As long as he wasn't trying to play the piano (which he desperately wanted to do), I was fine with that! After posing for pictures (C wouldn't smile for me in any of the pictures I tried to take... so I hope the photographer got some!), we headed back to the room for a quick nap for the kids, and then to the reception. 

I should also mention, that G, after months of refusing to eat anything but plain yogurt and the occasional applesauce, (and me thinking she would starve on the trip) decided that tri tip steak and filet mignon were the best. thing. ever. We have a definite meat-eater now, and she is adamant about trying the things she sees us eating, haha. :) Woo-hoo- progress!

Now, for the pictures!

He would have stayed here all day. :)

Fun with cousins!

hello insanity :)

Half dome

Yosemite valley

He wouldn't smile for me at all this trip. Little stinker. :)

The new Mr. and Mrs! They are so perfect for one another!

Pooped. I didn't care that he was flopping down, 
but I was very nervous because it was near the cake!!

First dance

Father-daughter dance. Her dad was just the sweetest man!

Dancing with the flower girl

And with cousin X

The little cousins!

Last day at the park - lower falls

We can't wait to go back! :)


  1. So glad you had a great trip! California isn't all fruits and nuts. :) We went camping in the mountains every year when I was a kid -- wow do I miss it!

    G is hilarious -- that's one smart cookie! I don't blame her at. all. for preferring filet mignon over pureed sweet potatoes. She is already a woman of a refined palate! :)

  2. Beautiful! I have never been to Yosemite, but I love national parks, and I think your goal to see them all is spot on. Glad you got to see all kinds of people and celebrate with family while enjoying amazing scenery!

  3. Reasons to Believe in Jesus

    Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

    Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

    Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

    And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

    Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

    From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

    If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

    by David Roemer


  4. Beautiful, beautiful scenery!! I'm glad it was a nice, relaxing time!!
    I've never been to Yosemite, but I need to put it on my "to see" list. :)


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