Mom and Dad leaving the house ready to go to the temple together for the first time

The dad that Shane and I grew up with is not the same dad we know today. He has changed. The change in him is so noticeable that my friends from high school, ward members, and various other people have pointed it out to him. He is truly a different person.

This change started taking place when Shane left for his mission. Shane served a mission in Brazil (6,500 miles away) and one of the biggest conversions that took place as result of his service was in the home he left. We were all touched/affected/blessed by Shane’s choice to serve a mission. I certainly think my dad was most of all.

It’s been a slow process. But Dad started going to church and started preparing for the temple. He has truly changed. He is a happier person. Far less angry than the man I once knew. I have a better relationship with him. I feel more comfortable asking him for help (ahem, he’s helping put our floors in this weekend and I haven’t been one bit shy in asking him to). He smiles more. He almost laughs more. He’s all around a happier person.

We love this person. I have always loved my dad and have always had a special place in my heart for him, but this “new dad” as Shane and I like to call him is a much better fit. In his change, our family has changed for the better and I couldn’t be more grateful. Understanding who you are and where you come from literally can change your life…and can affect many who surround you as well. I see it in my dad more than I have ever seen it in another person. He is an example to me.

Saturday was a great day! Zach had class that morning. I got up, exercised, cleaned my house, and got ready for the temple. I met Zach at my parents’ house. Zach and I took Shane in our car and my parents took the missionaries that live with them in their car. We stopped for gas, snacks, and drinks before taking off. We hadn’t really thought much about how much we would need those drinks.

Zach and I don’t have air conditioning. Well, we do, but it doesn’t work. We don’t really think about it. I don’t notice much because I’ve never had a car that had it. Zach doesn’t care or notice because he’s Zach( Well add my brother to that car ( and the air conditioning is an instant problem.

We hadn’t even hit the freeway yet, and already my brother is having a cow about the heat in the backseat. We had the windows rolled down but it was 97 on Saturday, so it was undeniably hot. Shane is freaking out.

“I’m going to get a rash from sitting here all day in this heat, sweating.”

“I’m cooking.”

“Oh my gosh, this is how my friends feel when I refuse to turn on the AC because I’m a tight wad, I’ll never do that again. I’m so sorry.”

“How can you be happy right now?”

“Don’t you dare use your water bottle to cool off in front of me! Give that to me right now!”

“How much leg room to you have up there, Shar? My legs are sweaty and cramping?”

“Oh my gosh!! All this time you’ve had that much room?!!”

Meanwhile, I am having a dandy time. I make Shane get on his phone and read mom’s blog from Friday to see if he laughed OUT LOUD at the exact same part I did. (He didn’t. My favorite part of that post was “Why is everything in this house wet?” I was sad Shane didn’t laugh until he informed me that he was there when dad said it and he laughed really hard and proceeded to tell me how funny it was).

I’m talking about funny parts on Frasier and laughing so hard. I’m laughing at the constant stream of comments coming from my brother. I’m reliving funny memories with Zach. I was truly having the best time.

While I’m making the most of our long, hot drive to Twin Falls, my brother proceeds to ask, “Have you gotten any texts, Ham?’ “Are you sure?” “Check again.” Finally I receive two picture texts from him with captions as follows:

I’m going to pass out in the back of the car.

Me suffering in the back while you two are all chirpy.

It’s the picture of his nasty white legs with his church shoes on and ankle socks that really did me in. I laughed so hard.

We made good time and finally got to the temple. We had a wonderful experience. Lots of people family/friends came to support dad. We really had a good day there. After the temple we went with the missionaries, dad’s family, and a few ward friends to dinner at an Italian restaurant. The food was good, the wait was long.

We left for Twin Falls at 1:30…we got home from Twin Falls at 12:30. Talk about a long day. The drive home was a little better. It was down to 75 at the time we left so it was cooler, but Shane was still in a mood and anxious to get home. This little exchange had me dying laughing:

As we’re getting on the freeway to Boise we take this long loop (those of you who’ve gone this route know)

Shane: Oh my gosh! What is this loop?!?!?!

Zach: (Laughing) Oh my gosh, you and Shar are seriously so alike. You’re like the same person. You two could have been twins and you were just a delayed birth, Shane. You guys are so much alike.

Shane: (Confused and mildly irritable) Why? Did she say something about this loop? Did I miss something?

Zach: No, but she would have if she had been in a mood.

(Which by the way is so true!)

Shane: (laughing) In a mood! Yeah, I know how that goes with her.

I didn’t even care, I was laughing too hard.

When we got home Zach and I were talking in the driveway about what a good day it had been. Someone had said something to us in the temple that meant a lot to both of us and we were talking about it and saying how blessed we were. It had been a good day.

Zach says, “Let’s go get Mal.” We walk in the door to let Mal in and he was gone. That definitely put a damper on things, but we said our prayers that night with gratitude for a great day and asked to help us find Mal.

We know full well that Heavenly Father doesn’t always answer prayers the way that we want him to, but we are sure glad he did this time. Our dog is home safe with us now, and we continue to be grateful for a wonderful (if exhausting) weekend.

Congrats, Dad!