Wednesday, October 21, 2015

End With A Splash

Our last day at Belle's Castle was a Saturday and it was time to kick back, relax and enjoy the California sun. 

Brooke had arranged for us to have thirteen pool parties throughout the day. She took it upon herself to host the extravaganza as she dutifully prepared the pool area for the crowd. At 9:30 AM she was offended no one had arrived at her party yet, so to her requests, we started trickling into the water.
Not as eager as Brooke to jump in the pool at 8:00 in the morning, I tried to kill some time on the poolside before diving in. 
As soon as the sun had mostly risen over the pool, we accepted our fate and kicked off pool party number 1 with a splash.
And another splash. Folks. In the excitement of the moment, I severely overestimated the depth of the pool and slammed my middle toe straight into the bottom of the pool. It hurt. So. Bad.
The humorous part is, my family has...well there's no other way to put it...a curse. It's the curse of the fungi toenail. The universe will not allow our family to walk the earth without having one of us toenail-ly impaired. My dad took the bullet for us all through our childhood as his big toe was constantly and unexplainably the unnatural color of a milky glow-in-the-dark star. Then Ben cracked his big toenail and it's permanently grown in cracked from that point forward. I lost my big toenail in college when I was training for a half-marathon. Jacob got his big toenail(s?) removed due to fungal issues. And my sister dropped a bar of soap on her toenail several years ago which caused it to bubble up like a snail shell to the point where she finally got it removed just days before this trip. So with the removal of the most recent Thomas Family Fungi Toenail, that left us all susceptible to the curse. And it jumped to me the moment I jumped into that water.
This was from pool party -1. The party on our first day at the castle. But I forgot to post it earlier. So here.
Madison LOVED the pool. Look at those eyes begging me to let her through the gate so she could join the fun!
This guy was quite fond of the water as well!

Our day consisted of trying to convince Brooke we were done with one party and onto the next to ensure she would be satisfied at the end of the day that each of her envisioned thirteen parties transpired.
In fact, halfway through the day we got out of the pool and I showered thinking we had met our pool party quota. Only to later find myself back in the pool in the early afternoon. Eli turned into a little fish at Belle's Castle and could not be kept out of the water once he discovered he was brave enough to dunk his head underwater and jump in off the side.
Eli was so "brave" that he took no issue jumping into water that was waaaaaaaaay too deep for him to touch the bottom. I took issue with the fact that his bravery trumped his skill because he DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO SWIM! Several times I found Eli standing with water up to his eyeballs, frantically bobbing up and down. Someone would save him as he would laugh the moment his mouth emerged. The near drownings never scared him away from the deep end so he was a handful to keep an eye on!

My mom refused to get into the pool due to the fact that she intentionally forgot to bring her swimsuit. Baby duty it is! 
After Brooke was satisfied with her parties, we came back in the house for lightsaber wars with Spencer as the referee and Caroline in denial that our swimming was over for the day.
We finished the day off with popsicles at the backyard playground.

Then the next morning it was time to leave! Sniff sniff.
Last minute baby snuggles were critical.

iPad entertainment to keep the kids busy while we tried to clean and pack was also critical.
We packed up the cars and booked it home.
Eli cried the minute we left because he already missed it. Any time we look at pictures from our trip he says, "I miss that place." We had such a fun time! Everything was perfect. Our kids were perfect ages for Disney. They were so well behaved. It just went perfectly even better than expected. 
And the end of this family reunion was especially bitter because my parents revealed to us...
That they have been called as mission presidents! They don't know where they are serving yet, but they do know it will be a Spanish speaking mission. They leave this summer!
As soon as they told us, visions of me potentially having a baby with my mom gone, and not having my mom's house to escape to on crazy days, and not eating ebelskivers over general conference weekend flashed through my head.
But the ways the Lord has prepared them for this call also immediately flashed through my head. Like my dad's recent push to become a better member missionary. Their recent call being mission prep teachers. My mom's calling in Young Women's learning the new teaching style. My dad's inherent love and support of missionaries. My mom's incredible hostessing skills. My dad's job leading a big organization. My mom's sudden health improvements. So many things! So as hard as it will be for me to share them, I'm grateful for the confirmation that quickly came to me that this is what they are supposed to be doing. I can't wait to see them excel with this assignment and hear all about all the awesome things they will get to be a part of.

And now here are some pictures I stole from my mom's or sister's blog from previous parts of our trip:

I haven't hit my full depression about this trip being over yet because I've been reliving it through the blog. Now that it's officially over here too, I may need a bag of chocolate chips, a dark corner, and some waterproof mascara.


Rebecca said...

Sniff, sniff! Why did the fun have to end? Great recap of the pool party day and the mission call reveal. Can't wait for our next family reunion 4+ years... :(

Kim said...

I, too, will sniff, sniff!

But first, let's take a minute to laugh about the toenail-ly impaired Thomas family. So funny and so true.

Eli crying as your family left and him saying he misses that place when he sees pictures is sure tender and dear. We hoped everyone would make memories and bond together and it appears that happened.

Nice job telling about the mission call. It was just what I needed tonight to have you share how you feel the Lord has prepared us for this call. Thanks for that. And thanks for your support.

I love the way you ended this post--right down to the need of chocolate, a dark corner and some waterproof mascara. Love it!

David and Mary said...

I loved reading about your fun vacation. I am so happy you had such a great time, AND the T-shirts were all so cute. I think your family pictures turned out great as well.
I am excited for Kim an Glen and their mission call. They will be great. We love being in the mission field, it is a wonderful experience.