I'm pretty sure I use that exact same title every time I write a post about visiting my family. But really, when there's 34 people staying in one house, and midnight Ihop runs, and 2 AM bedtimes, and forts with cousins, there's just no way to avoid it. It's a Jolley good time. And add on top of that a wedding and we're in for a real doozy. I thought I prided myself on not taking too many pictures. You know, I passed on that beautiful sunset so that I could enjoy sitting on the balcony giggling with my sisters. 1 AM found us grown up kids around a kitchen table littered with candy wrappers, a cool summer night breeze blowing through the open window, sleeping kids sprawled all over the family room and the wildest game of telestrations known to man, but I chose to take a mental picture instead. And the night us girls set out to get wedding presents and somehow found ourselves squished into a blue vinyl Ihop booth at midnight in our pajamas where "death first" was the response to the waiter's announcement that the crepes weren't available (no matter how I type that sentence, it just doesn't do it justice. Maybe it's one of those "you should have been there moments", but I am finding that "death first" is a very relevant response to many of life's daily situations. Just sayin'). We eventually stumbled into Walmart for all their first apartment needs, but quickly led to rash decisions to purchase denim print underwear, only to later accessorize with a matching banana clip. Which now that I think about it, maybe it is for the best that there is no photo documentation of that night. But despite my best efforts to put away the camera and live in the moment, I still managed to walk away with a staggering amount of pictures, so pull up yer britches! Utah summers are the best. Thick green grass, long warm days, star filled nights, the occasional summer rainstorm rolling in during the evening and always the sound of sprinkler heads methodically clicking in the background. The best part of Utah summers, though, is sharing them with cousins. Some of my favorite childhood memories are when we would replace the seats of our 12 passenger van with mattresses and road trip from Georgia to Utah with Ace of Base playing on my walkman and cold cereal breakfasts at the rest stops, just so we could spend summer making unforgettable memories with our cousins. So glad my kids have the chance to make their own.
Kylie convinced one of her favorite aunts to give her highlights and risk the life of her unborn child while being exposed to those chemicals. I should have given her a bigger tip.
Speaking of hair, I decided I needed to do something about my bathroom sink haircuts situation, so I got extensions. And then took approximately 62 selfies and wasted 30 minutes of my life before settling on the best one to document it. Taking selifes are the worst, are they not?
We snuck off to St George for a bachelorette party of sorts for this cute girl in the middle. There weren't any feather boas, but I will say that a red plastic fireman's hat was deeply involved. Belting out Pitbull with your sisters in the backseat of a car is one of life's greatest pleasures. And your fourth straight Cafe Rio meal. And $6 sweaters at the Gap outlet. And using your sister's license to score discounted hair products. And discovering that Sears is the only place that carries half decent lingerie. and that's just sad.
In between partying we found ourselves elbow deep in tulle. My sweet mom has been sewing up a storm for the wedding these past few months and I'm glad we could be a part of the jewelry making, wreath decorating, floral arranging, apron sewing and wrist corsage magic. My mom is definitely a woman of many talents. Maddox and Shannon were honorary members of our wedding crafting club and they took their job very seriously. Even when he decided to use the hot glue gun without supervision and ended up with an excrutiating blister, he kept right on trucking with tears in his eyes, an ice pack on his hand and visions of paper plate guitars swimming in his head. You just can't keep a good crafter down. Poor baby, it was such a sad sight.
You know, sometimes you come to a point in life where you look around at your siblings and wonder how they turned from being your annoying little brother that constantly stole your Collective Soul CD, and chose their best friend based soley on the fact that he had an enviable one inch bowl cut, and threw skid marked underwear on your boyfriend's head, to become these people that you actually have a genuine good time hanging out with. The maturity level is still questionable at times, I wonder how they are ever making it in the medical field and world of accounting, but they make you laugh so hard it's like a colon cleanse for your soul. My sweet niece, Kambry is on the fast track to becoming the world's best teacher and absolutely loves kids. She was practically begging us to go out so she could baby-sit and it was an offer we just couldn't refuse. She may have bitten off more than she could chew with 15 kids, but at least there were other older kids to help out. They were so sweet to let us go out and play. The night started out innocently enough, but of course with this crowd things can quickly go south.
We found ourselves at the Dollar store. Where, first of all, who buys $40 worth of stuff at the dollar store?? This guy (insert downward pointing arrow). More particularly, this guy's wife.
But seriously, the stuff you can buy for $1 just blows my mind. I spent a solid 20 minutes in the toiletry aisle reading labels on medicine bottles and sniffing lotions. I hope each and every one of you wake up every morning and count your lucky stars that you can buy an entire bottle of body wash for a dollar. It may smell like a wet cat covered in grape jelly, but still. It wasn't just the magnetic pull of $1 toothpaste that brought us here, it was high time we had our second annual dollar store game (actually the first one happened at wal-mart, but same dif). The rules are that each person is assigned someone to buy a present for, then you have a certain amount of time to spend no more than $2 on a gift that reminds you of that person. Let me tell you, there were some deep dark secrets revealed and we all learned a little more than we'd like and I haven't laughed that hard since Jason and Mike reenacted "fat man in a little coat".
I did say something about skid marked underwear being thrown at Jason's head, didn't I?
Tyler and Margaret lived with us for a month while doing rotations and we dubbed ourselves the sister wives, so Margaret got Jason a his, hers...and hers toothbrush set.
Isn't she just the cutest little pop tart? Love her.
Because I do have a thing for extensions
And because sometimes what happens at the dollar store stays at the dollar store, so no caption on this one
Just helping a sister out. Love these two.
He was a tough nut to crack, because accounting professors don't tend to laugh at inflatable bras, but eventually even he couldn't contain himself.
Margaret gave Jason this fedora with strict instructions to take a picture wearing it under a waterfall, but I just so happened to have a matching fedora in the car so we settled for a picture under the neon lights of the dollar tree instead.
For their wedding gift we each took a room to decorate so afterwards we went and set it all up. Instead of going to a movie the boys decided they would rather come and help decorate the bathroom. You can imagine. Sometimes we forget that we're mature adults with kids of our own.
And now switching gears, the big day finally came. Jessica and Jon were married for time and all eternity in the beautiful Manti temple. I am so happy for my cute little sister, Jessica. I only met Jon for the first time a few days earlier but I could already tell they were born for each other. The way her face glows when she looks at him is a dead give away. So happy for them both, and so happy that we could be a part of their special day. They were so nice to plan their wedding around the time that we were going to be visiting. Sometimes you think the world revolves around you, and sometimes it really does.
Photo cred: Margaret
So grateful for my own eternal family. They make my world go round.
It kills me, literally kills me, to be so far away from this girl.
Saying good bye is never easy. I'll tell you one thing, even though the endless "holly Jolley Christmas" jokes got real old real fast when I was in elementary school, I couldn't be more proud to be a part of this big Jolley family. Being far away from family is stinky.