el salvador 2012 part 1

my sweet parents are serving a mission in central america. we were blessed beyond words to go visit them with our sweet boy over the holidays. it was all a selfish visit- i miss them to the point of frequent tears and need my boy to know them. the eleven days we spent there were heaven to me, literally. my heart changed and swells thinking of it.

cope did pretty good on the 12 hour red eye flight down, which was my biggest fear. flying with infants is not for the faint of heart. thank heavens for benadryl. purposefully not included in this picture is yours truly, looking more haggard than ever.

first hugs at the airport. bliss. pure bliss. i'm obviously more excited than anyone in this picture

 didn't take long for these two to become fast friends. 

and mommer was a favorite of course

Cope made pals with all the adorable members. these 9 year old chicas chased him around during all of primary. look at their enchanting closed lip smiles and dimples. i'm hooked. 

visiting the temple as a family. what a fortune to have one in their mission and country.

mom and dad have a gorgeous view of the entire capital from their back door. the valley is huge, bustling, and vibrant.

our favorite experiences were being with mom and dad while they do what they normally do= serve. here's devin at a zone christmas party playing some funny game and winning. the missionaries are so fantastic.

like any true vacation we went to the beach. it was unique to have it be 95 degrees on christmas eve so what better way to celebrate than at the beach? 

the sweetest guys in my life.

cope definitely loved the warmer central america waters as opposed to california. he couldn't get enough.

on christmas eve the entire country has their own stadium of fire in their backyard at midnight. no limits on fireworks made for the most surreal firework show i'll ever see in my entire life. we did sparklers before cope went to bed. one of my favorite shots from the week.

 we had been planning to spend the holidays with my parents for a year and a half. it was so fulfilling to be with them. before going to bed for the night he opened his christmas pj's and we got all festive.

he loves these two.

the valley was literally hopping with fireworks. something i'll never forget.

the fireworks were deafening. it woke cope up around 10. he played for a while. as a most divine christmas gift, our already light sleeper which was only worsened by the travel change and new environment, fell asleep all by himself on the couch for the first time in his life. i've never seen him do anything like that. and don't count on it happening again. it was my christmas miracle.

on christmas morning we had a teeny christmas that was perfect. mommer and papa somehow found time to get him some gifts. their selflessness is beyond me.

maracas that say el salvador. love.

then papa coached cope in the ways of his famous sugar cookies. passing on a tradition i grew up with was so sentimental and sweet (pun intended).

happy christmas from el salvador!

more pics of the trip to come...


Kendrick and Hailey said...

I'm crying. The picture of you with your parents in the airport is all to familiar!! So glad you had such a sweet trip. Love you and hope to see you soon.

Rachel Judd Cowley said...

just experienced pure joy and then some heartache thinking of my own parents. love you!

Tawny Christensen said...

love love love love love this. and you. so much. thanks for being inspiring and so focused on the important things. you're the best, maril, love you dearly!
p.s. the pics? priceless. i think that one with the sparklers should be framed and put above that comfy couch in your front room. : ) just a huge one. it's adorable.

The Woolbrights said...

Love it. Thank you for sharing!

Marian said...

so happy for you that you got to take that trip. loved all the pictures. i miss you!

Alayne Leavitt said...

So glad you posted these pictures! Sounds like such an amazing trip. I can't imagine how tough it is to have your parents so far away. Love you and your sweet family!