Well, what a day Sunday, February 1st was. It went by in a blur, but there were, of course, some very rewarding moments. First, though, on Saturday, Tyler had his birthday party. We had it at nearby church building and just took a bunch of things for the kids to play. He had 4 boys and 4 girls, plus his 3 siblings come and celebrate.They all had a good time. And at the end of the party, Tyler emphatically proclaimed: “This has been one of the best days of my life!” Little did he know.
Tyler really enjoys playing with his uncle Cory, and had invited him to come to his baptism. Cory lives in L.A. so it was no small trip to get here. But he came, and it was a surprise to Tyler and his siblings. On the way to get him at the airport, I picked up Tyler’s new bike, which had been waiting patiently to be used at his Grandparents house. So, we got back to the house and I left the bike on the front porch, then rang the bell and ran. Cory and I went around the back of the house and came in the back door as all the kids went out front to check out the bike. When they came back in and saw Cory sitting on the couch, they were in shock. In fact, they were so taken back, they were speechless. It was quite funny to see their reaction. But wait, there’s more. Cory took Tyler, myself, and a friend (Tyler chose Hayden Priebe) to the Blazers game that night. But that was also a surprise to Tyler, which he really didn’t figure out, till we got to the Rose Garden; even though we drove around for about 20 minutes looking for parking. Hayden knew about it, too and he even played along the whole time. It was great. We all had a good time, and the Blazers crushed the Jazz, so that made it even better.Then came Sunday and the day flew by with many different church assignments. Before we knew it, it was time for Tyler’s big moment. His baptism was very well attended and we were so thankful to see everyone that showed up. But we did greatly miss those who weren’t able to come. It was a special occasion and the emotions were near the surface the entire night. As Tyler and I were getting our baptismal clothing on, I told him how much I loved him and how proud I was of him. We shared a big, long embrace, which was so wonderful. He gave the talk on baptism, most of which, he prepared himself. He did an excellent job on it as well. When we returned to the bathroom to change after the ordinance, I told Tyler that: “These are the moments that count the most.” I told him how special he was and how thankful I was to have him. And of course, we shared another big hug. I also let him know that although he has received many talents and will accomplish many great things in life, we would always be most proud of moments like this. The emotions were strong throughout, but when the time came to confirm him, I was a wreck. But what a blessing it was to use the power of the Priesthood to perform those sacred ordinances.
After the service was over, Tyler received his own set of scriptures courtesy of his Grandpa and Grandma Shirts, and his Great Grandma Livingston, who passed away this past May. His grandparents shared their testimony in the triple combination. And Grandma Great even took the time to write her testimony in the Bible before she passed, so it was really touching to read their messages. It was a wonderful night and great blessing for our family. As a parent, I have never felt more proud. It is hard to describe, but I know that many of you have had similar experiences, so you know what I mean.
Thanks again to all those who came and to all those who sent well-wishes via phone, e-mail or Facebook. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness to our family.