One of the best parts of this visit was time with Emily! (Or 'Llamaly', as those in the inner circle know her.)
I have to say, Emily is just one of my all-time favorite people. (As are her mother Denise, and her sister Charlotte) Isn't it fortunate when you can say that about your family? I love that I love my family. (The women especially) I love that I count them among my chief inspirations, examples, and friends.
So back to Emily. I've loved Emily since she was a little girl. We are ten years apart, which is how far apart Michelle and I are, so I have lots of memories of her as a girl. I visited Denver annually, and lived briefly with Grandma a couple of times and have many fond memories of her. She has grown into one of the most splendid people I can imagine! She is equal parts entertaining, charitable, hard-working, intelligent, tasteful, stylish, and plain good company. She is easy and enjoyable to have around.
Simply stated, I was really glad I got to see her as much as I did. I didn't mean for that to turn into an Emily gush, but there you have it. If you know her, you get it.
We baked a lot while she was there, specifically these Samoas bar cookies, Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars and these wonderful cookies of Michelle's. Incidentally, should any of you endeavor to make either of the bar cookies, may we offer a piece of advice? Make your own caramel. It probably should go without saying, but homemade caramel will really be your best bet. Both recipes call for melted Kraft caramels, but we unanimously agreed once hardened, they are way too tough and chewy in a bad way. Once again, homemade trumps all.
Emily treated us all to giant fountain drinks: Coke Zero for me, of course.
(A staple where Emily is concerned.)
I took this picture for Timm to show Emily's pathetic version of a wand. I know what some of you are thinking- any version of wand is pathetic for someone over the age of 10. However, among this Harry Potter-loving sect, it is not unusual to have a wand commissioned and handmade by Timm. I know Charlotte has one. So I found this knobbly little twig a sad excuse for a wand, especially when she has a wand maker in the family. Timm: take note.
Happy Emily at Cafe Rio, with only one final to go the next morning.
I was also able to see Michelle's in-laws Mim and Bob, who as Jill put it, might possibly be the nicest people on the planet. I love seeing them! They have always been so supportive and sweet to me, and they are only my sister's in-laws. Within a few minutes Bella started calling them Grandma and Grandpa, so apparently they make everyone feel that accepted and loved.
Every trip to Utah's just full of people to see!