"Surprise"

The breakdown: Life. Busy. Internship. School. Homework. Fun. Utah. Family. Play. Food. Surprises. Babies. Basketball. Art. Music. Redeye. NY. Did you get all that?

Translation: The hubby and I went to Utah this weekend on a "suprise" visit in order to meet our beautiful niece, baby Bri! Stunningly gorgeous! Love her. Love her mom! Thus the weekend:

Friday morning Bry and I left the apartment at 5am. Yucky. Funny enough we ran into some Utah friends at JFK--Graham Anderson heading to the DR, and the engaged Preston Thomas and his lovely Kambria Lomeli coming to take engagement pictures. Small world. Hope y'all had fun on your adventures!  We definitely miss having you in NY!

We then flew to Vegas, hit up the slots (I’m kidding), then flew to SLC. I was elated to land in the afternoon sunlight; there is nothing better than the sight of Utah's majestic snow covered mountains! Friday afternoon we spent with my fam: 1,000 piece puzzle (I connected a total of 2 pieces…), Disney Dance Party with Liz, CafĂ© Rio (it’s been OVER a year!), brownies (naturally), lots of chatting, tennis ball throwing…at a map, games of What If, and a fantastic run of Minute to Win It competitions. Have you ever tried to keep 2 feathers in the air by blowing for an entire minute? Have you ever tried to stack 10 miniature bolts using only an uncooked spaghetti noodle in a minute? Have you ever tried to keep three balloons in the air for a whole minute (this one sounds easy…try it)? …Not that easy. Not that easy…

Ha. So fun! Love my fam! Really though. They are some of the most hysterically fun, funny, innovative, empathetic, and loving people I know. I really don’t think the word "boring" could ever find place among the ranks of my favorite Prices. They are creative, inventive, active, energetic…ok I’ll say it: they are the coolest!  They are terrific, superb, fabulous, marvelous, and exactly what I aspire to be! Love you guys! Thanks for the play date!

Friday late evening we ventured to the Perry’s where we “surprised” Annie with our visit… Only it wasn’t a surprise anymore. Haha. Too funny! Really though, I think the fact that our intended surprise failed made everything more comical! Couldn’t have planned that one better! What a wonderful weekend with the Perrys! Love them! Adorable Baby Bri is a lovely little lady! Red hair, baby gray eyes, flawlessly shaped head (that's rare in babies), and the cutest drunk face ever (By that I mean she is hysterically cute right before she falls asleep: her eyes roll back in her head and she looks pretty close to wasted.). And her mama, sweet Annie is beyond amazing! Bri is lucky to have such a pure and caring mother!  Annie is outright phenomenal!

Baby Bri and Uncle Bry

Baby Bri and Me!

Not only did we get to see Baby Bri, but we were also fortunate enough to spend time with all of the Perrys—including my two other beautiful nieces who are 8 months and 3-years-old! Adorable! They both have the most contagious grins and beautiful eyes! Love those girls!

1-month Baby Bri and 8-month Baby Kate!

Princess Reese and her Prince

Saturday was a radiant day: BYU basketball game (good work boys), then down to Provo where we ate Carabbas (LOVE their gluten free Pollo Rosa Maria), and a visit to the Carl Bloch exhibit at the BYU MOA! Talk about a tender mercy. The BYU MOA Shop was my other home (aka employment) during my undergraduate endeavors. Working there was so peaceful. I loved being introduced to the countless pieces of art—particularly the spiritual art. One in particular, I immediately fell head over heels for: Christ Healing at the Pool of Bethesda by Carl Bloch. I was instantly struck by the faces and the emotion in the subjects surrounding Christ on the canvas. Depending on where I am in my life, I can always find myself in the various people Bloch depicted. Am I looking to Christ? Am I ashamed? Am I heeding Him at all? Sigh. Just thinking about that painting gives me goose bumps.

Anyway, I have long since yearned to travel to Denmark to see certain of Bloch’s representations of the influence Jesus Christ had in the lives of those he touched. I feel although many artists paint Christ, many often miss what His life really meant to the world. They miss out on the testimonies of those who came unto Him, and the desire so many had to hear and feel more of the truth of the Gospel; Bloch captures this perfectly. Thus when I heard that the BYU MOA had such an immaculate exhibit of Bloch's work I was entirely distraught that I no longer lived close enough to visit the exquisite display. And knowing I was coming to visit family and not a museum, I quietly tucked the dream of visiting the exhibit away.  Thus--as I’m sure you can imagine--when the Perrys announced we would be visiting this testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ I nearly cried! (And by nearly, I really mean I did cry.)

Carl Bloch: The Master’s Hand exhibit at the BYU MOA is a profound testimony. If you have the chance to visit I highly encourage you to do so; it is there until May.

Each painting is an authentic testimony of the different aspects of Jesus’ life. Each painting is a testimony of His influence in the lives of those he touched. I savored every second peering into the faces of the subjects surrounding Christ in each work of art. In the Sermon on the Mount I couldn’t help but feel the yearning for truth among those surrounding Christ simply by the longing intensity in their eyes.

Or the painting of Christ Healing the Blind Man: so many around look entirely hopeful and poignantly submissive—like a child. Others were honest in their hesitation: could this really be the Son of God? It’s almost like watching the makings of belief. There is such reverence in the piece.

One painting in particular unexpectedly moved me: the painting Raising Jairus’ Daughter. The focus of the painting is on the mother’s emotions before the Savior arrived; here the Savior is entering—still in the shadows of the painting. This masterpiece coins exactly my love for Carl Bloch’s work; I love his ability to paint the effects the Savior had in the lives of everyone—in past and present times. I love his honesty in illustrating the reality of emotions, challenges, and convictions that compel true faith. Bloch’s paintings are inspiring; his paintings are a silent, but powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and His selfless mission to provide a way for us to return to live with the Father in Heaven through the eternities. It is an overwhelming portrayal of how Christ’s mission can and should influence our lives. The experience is very much about Christ’s role in our Father’s perfect plan of happiness. Love it!

Oh and ps: LOVED running into one of my most favorite girls Ms. Janey Jeppson!  She was on an intimate date with Carl Bloch herself!  Haha! 

And the rest of the weekend…meaning Sunday: Bryan and I ended up attending church in Spanish so we could sleep in a wee bit more (A looming redeye then straight to work requires such measures.). I always love hearing testimonies of Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven in foreign languages. It requires so much more reliance upon the spirit in order to learn.

We then spent a lovely afternoon appreciating the immaculate 25th anniversary Les Miserables in Concert on dear PBS. Stunning! Suffering, redemption, grace, service, and love. “To love another person is to see the face of God.” That line sung by the character Jean Valjean literally takes my breath away. It takes my breath every time I hear those beautiful lyrics. I get chills just thinking about it. Another form of pure testimony. Art, words, and of course music… the love of God really can be shared in so many ways. Thank you Victor Hugo.

Sunday evening was wonderful: food, family, fun, and lots and lots of love. It was wonderful seeing all of the Perrys: Matt and Michelle (who awesomely surprised Annie as well), Dave and Heidi, Reese, Baby Kate, Annie, Baby Bri, Jeff, Dee, and my other Mom and Pops…I tell you I married into one rock solid family. They are so loving and unreservedly charitable. I feel unbelievably blessed to have been recruited to the Perry Clan. Love you guys! The weekend flew far too fast.

Come 8ish Bry and I headed back to my house to drop off a vehicle, say goodbye to my fam, and catch a ride to the airport. SLC to Vegas. Redeye from Vegas to JFK…and straight to internship/work! Ha. Funny thing is somehow I forgot there was a THREE HOUR time difference. Thus instead of having seven hours for my sleeping medicine to wear off I had but four… I was one tired gal all morning at my internship. Haha. You’d think after a year and a half of NYC to SLC and SLC to NYC travel I would have figured that one out.

Anyway, what a superlative weekend! I love my family: Prices and Perrys alike! Love them! Every single one of them. I feel so privileged to have such loving support and examples in my life here and forever. I’ll tell you that Baby Bri—our newest edition—couldn’t have been born to a better family or a better Mom. She is one lucky gal.

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