Our trip to Vegas was fun, albeit a little chaotic. When my mom found out I was going down she planned to go along too and at the last second decided to bring Emily & her 3 girls. So the Las Vegas SILs had a little bit more hosting to handle than they had thought. We drove down all Thursday during the day, catching an hour of construction by Santaquin. It took FOREVER to get there. I much prefer knocking it all out on one overnight drive taking turns driving. Friday and Saturday were fun with potlucks, swimming, and playing at the park. The park in Summerlin was especially fun - we were there pretty late and most of the kids had gone home so the Miller kids all took their turns playing on the toys. I think my mom has some pretty cool pictures. That is one thing about the Miller kids, no matter where we are or what we have at our disposal, we are going to have a LOT of fun and laugh our butts off. We really enjoyed staying with Tony & Kim because Ellie is in between Maddy & Jake and they all play so good together. One awesome thing that happened is the day we went swimming I was in the pool with Ellie and she finally asked to get her floatie off but just keep her arm ones on and have me take her out in the water. If she is ready for that I thought she was ready for the whole thing on her own! Jordyn and Maddy both swim underwater like waterbugs and have for years. So I decided to get her in the middle and just let go . . . and SHE DID IT! She was crying and scared but she finally calmed down and just swam around the pool by herself. I was so happy ((finally))!!! On Sunday after conference I went to visit the Andersens. They were our friends in the Greenbriar Ward when we lived in the townhouse. He was in the bishopric, D was finance clerk, and I was in YW with his oldest girl Sara. Back then their kids were 16 (the boy), 12 (Sara), 9 (Jenna), and 6 (Ellie). Yep, that's right, Ellie Andersen. They had us over a few times and we actually felt like we were kind of their kids and they were our family away from home. We LOVED their kids and were always playing kickball, etc. in the gym of the church. In the Vegas summer we even went out and played tennis at 9 pm in 100* temperatures. But other than just being a good family, they influenced us alot, too. Not just because we decided we loved the name "Ellie", and that is where we fell in love with it . . . but there was a time after the FCLV had told us we really wouldn't have kids without IVF that D & I were having a hard time deciding. We'd come to the point where we didn't think it was smart to go into debt $10k+ just for the CHANCE we might get a baby. Well, Bro. & Sis. Andersen had all of their 4 kids through the FCLV each of them costing them well over $10k each time! So one day after church I was going home and Bro. Andersen caught up to me in the parking lot and asked for an update on FCLV . . . I told him D & I were thinking we would NOT do it. And well, right there through my car window he gave me quite a little lecture (at least that's what it felt like, he was quite candid) on how money should never be the deciding factor when it comes to children because they are always MORE valuable than ANY amount of $ you could spend. They practiced what they preached -- lived in a modest home, drove modest cars, and probably made a lot of sacrifices to have the children they did. But, I went home mad. And only after thinking about what he had said for a good week or two did I agree with him. We decided to sell our house to pay for IVF and just go for it.
Since we moved away 5 years ago we hadn't seen them, so I emailed them out of the blue and asked if we could just stop by and say hi -- I wanted to show off my baby to them. The baby we ultimately had named after their baby. At first I thought it would be awkward because we had only been a blip in their lives for such a short time they may not even remember us . . . but the impact they had on our lives in that short of time was huge. We can literally credit them with helping us make the best decision we have ever made, and for that we will be eternally grateful. So I show up and if you knew the Andersens . . . well, you would want to be a part of their family for one, and two you would immediately see that they have the family that everyone is striving for. It literally is the ideal. I can't even describe the feeling I had while I was there, how much love was in the home, how much they all treated me & Ellie like we were important and we mattered. We are lucky to have met them, and blessed the Lord was in the details of our lives enough to let them influence us! It was a great visit and we left with promises to stop by next time we were in town.
The next day Ellie & I once again drove the whole day home. I hated it and have decided I probably won't make the trip by myself again. But I came home to snow, which was depressing. Goodbye sunshine, see you in Las Vegas again in May!