Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Family Send-Off

It’s a tradition to send off our about-to-be-married couples the night before the wedding with an casual family dinner complete with toasts, roasts, songs and a book.  When we had our first wedding, Shawni and Dave’s in 1995, the immediate family, even though the bride and groom each had eight siblings was pretty small. Parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents only added up to about 25-30 people. Almost 20 years later the crowd was a little different.

Although a few of the collective 70 family members couldn’t come it was a pizza dinner for 58 on the night before the wedding. What fun we had getting to know the Wright family which included five of Ian’s siblings and their spouses, his stellar parents and eight grandchildren, nine of our children and their spouses and twenty grandchildren. Times have changed!

Thanks to Shawni who came from China, for four days to honor her sister, we have some great photos of our evening together: 

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Cousins bonded:

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Neices and nephews adored Charity…

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And whenever there was  a spare second….

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Charian (their new combo name)….adored by all the kids!

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“The Boys” were having a great time being together and Josh was, as usual, the “Kid Magnet””

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A couple of months ago, Charity was going through all her old clothing “treasures” and decided it was time to part with some of them. As I was loading them into the car for the Deseret Industries (thrift store) I got an idea. We should have a “THIS WAS YOUR LIFE” fashion show for Charity and Ian at the family dinner, showing some of the clothes they had worn through the adventures of their lives far….just .as the adventures were about to change….big time!

The grandchildren and some of the adults happily donned the clothing and here you go…..

Our newest granddaughter Shelby modeled Charity’s blessing dress. .(Saydi obviously didn’t know this picture was being taken).

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Zara and Po modeled her “little girl dresses”

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Em wore a dress that was one of Charity’s childhood favorites and carried in her flute which she learned to play proficiently and with passion!

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Elsie and Emmeline modeled a couple of her dresses from the Dance Company, which represented the world of dance which Charity immersed herself in, from The Dance Company to East High Dance Company and beyond. Great job on getting these photos Shawni, even though you were dealing with moving targets!

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Hazel Eliza and Ana even did a little cheer for the crowd using Charity Cheerleader and Songleader uniforms!

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This crew below modeled shirts from Charity’s travels…from left to right: Oliver, her summer studying at Oxford after her Junior year in High School, Camden showed off a sweat shirt from her years at Wellesley College, McKay her study abroad in Jerusalem, Charilie (sorry Charilie) her visit to Palestine and Isaac, her grand time with Eli at Anghor Wat. This represents only a few of the myriads of countries Charity was blessed to visit in our wild travels across the earth.

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Lyla modeled the boots from her mission that walked hundreds of miles in England as she served the people there tirelessly as a missionary. Also a football Jersey sponsored by Waitrose, one of the most popular grocery stores there.

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And last, her favorite nightgown, worn for years because it was handmade by one of her sisters, modeled by Eliza. Aja,( who had prepared the clothing and the order of the show) joked that this was also a vision of the new outfit of the future Smile 

 

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“THIS WAS YOUR LIFE CHARITY as you launch into your NEW LIFE AHEAD!

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And on to “THIS WAS YOUR LIFE IAN” modeled by Ian’s nieces, nephews and brothers.

First, and my favorite:  His Joy School Shirt, modeled by Charlotte….who was just not feeling at all joyful at the moment. So sorry Charlotte!  (Fashion show narrated by Ian’s mother Lynette):

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Ian’s favorite childhood team….the Rangers, T shirt modeled by Jonathan.

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And his Scout uniform which include his badges earned for his Eagle Scout Award was proudly modeled by Jonathon.

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Ian became an avid Jazz fan, for which we Eyres are all grateful….as, being from Dallas, could have gone another way.

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And Caleb modeled his mission T shirt (Washington DC), complete with Metro Map!

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Here is a Family Reunion shirt from Yellowstone where Ian’s Mother’s Family gathers every other summer.

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We were delighted to know that Ian took a cooking class at BYU!  Here is his apron modeled by Hannah.

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Ian was fabulous at Cross Country in High School. Josh wore his Letterman Jacket, even though it was just a titch too big….

 

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How proud we are of Ian’s educational skills. After graduating from BYU he applied and was accepted at Stanford. After plus long years of hard work, he has just defended his dissertaion and has earned his PHD in Economics from Stanford University  He will be formally graduating in June. His accomplishments in that field are a mile long but here’s a shout out to Ian for his dedication to education!  But wait!  At the same time he was working on his PHD, he balanced his life with his religious faith and spent time also working at the LDS Temple in Los Angeles and recently as a member of the Bishopric in his LDS Ward. 

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Brothers Nathan and Hyrum along with baby Samuel….are wearing clothes that represent those beautiful years!  

Ian has developed his own style, which his brother Brigham displays below! It has sort of a patriotic/Hawaiian flare, don’t you think Smile   We LOVE it!

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Hooray for Ian’s clothing contributions to THIS WAS YOUR LIFE (with multiple clothes changes for the kids because there are only six nieces and nephews old enough to participate). Here are the participants of Ian’s  “fashion show” although without many of the “costumes”. Charlotte is definitely looks happier!

 

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Family members then volunteered memorable stories about the lives of Ian and Charity. It was fun to hear those great stories. 

And as per tradition, Charity’s Dad sang a song for Charity and Ian accompanied by 14 year old Ashton on the guitar to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. It was an audience participation song so we all  joined in the chorus:

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This will be a great memory!

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The Wright Family presented Ian and Charity with a beautiful painting of the Salt Lake Temple where they would be married on the following morning.

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And I handed over “The Book” to our baby girl. For each of our children I have kept a handwritten record of their life as they grew up in our family from the time they were babies. Charity’s book had stories of her life growing up and also included many delightful notes that she had written and precious letters from friends through the years. One little essay written for a Reflections Contest when she was in the 5th grade was titled “The Perfect Man.” The astonishing description of the perfect man she was looking forward to finding as an 11-year-old was sitting right beside her! What a delight! 

So glad to have “The Book” safely in her hands after all these years! From day one we knew Charity was a very special child, full of passion for life and unique gifts. and now we are so delighted for her to be living her dream as she steps into her new life as a married woman within hours! 

It was a memorable send-off! 

7 comments:

Jamaille Noto said...

I KNEW at least Shawni would make it back from China for her little sisters wedding. I have been waiting for a glimpse of her. I think I saw her in the video on Charity's blog. That is so tremendously special! I love your family!

Jennifer said...

I would love to learn more about the "book".

Hello. My name is Meshan. said...

Wow, you Eyres never cease to amaze me. What a special time. You're such great examples to the world!

Susan said...

Fun!! : )

Mike, Adi & Drew said...

Oh "the book" idea is awesome! Do you think it is too late for me start those fir my kids if the oldest is about to turn 5?! Your family is super cool and as a mother, I found y'all to be very inspiring. Thank you, and I am so happy for all if you.

Eyrealm said...

Jennifer, it's never too late! You can easily catch up on the first five years and then go on from there. The books have been been my little traveling companions through the years. I started when the kids were babies but I have to admit that there were lots of catch-up letters. I wrote to each child personally and talked about what they were like at each age and added pictures here and there. I added funny things they said and did and little notes from them to me through the years.I started in the old days when the computer wasn't an option, but you could also keep track of their lives on the computer. It's easier to add pictures, but there's something about a physical book, even though it was pretty well-worn after 28 years of carrying it around. Give it a try. It's such a fun collection of memories as well as a permanent record of your feelings for your child!

Eyrealm said...

Sorry the last person who commented wanted to know about starting when their oldest was 5. Jennifer just wanted more information. Thanks for your interest you two!