The Calls headed up to Spokane to have an open house before coming to Portland for the Temple Sealing. Betsie, Randy and the kids had to leave 2 days later because there was a bit of food poisoning at their house. The night after they arrived, Betsie got really really sick and had to go to the emergency room. She had to stay isolated in the hospital for a couple of days. Poor girl. Her kids were farmed out to the relatives there. Juli fell in Spokane resulting in an extremely hurt and bruised knee/leg and a very hurt arm. Her other arm had just had surgery a week or so prior so now she was completely unable to use both her arms. :-( On Seki's way up to Spokane, the car he was driving (Quinn's) decided to break down about half way there. Oh man, how much more could this family have to endure!?!? Quinn was stressed, the family was stressed, everyone was worn out and tired by the time they arrived in Portland. I felt so bad for them, but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. In 2 days, Quinn and Seki would be married in the Temple and all of these bad things would be a distant memory that someday she could laugh about...and it'd be a great story to tell her kids and grand kids.
We went to see the family at their hotel shortly after they arrived and they all looked just so tired and ready to sleep for days. The kids were SO excited to see their Grandma/Grandpa/Aunts/cousins! It was a very joyful reunion.
Aunt Ami was a life-saver with the youngest Sayers baby, Evelyn, while Betsie was in the hospital and Juli unable to do much. She is always so fun to be around and so loving and hands on with all the kids. It was so great seeing her and her whole family! :-)
Poor Quinn...so worn out.
With everyone staying in a hotel, of course the kids wanted to go swimming EVERY DAY, so that's what they did. Every day! :-) Nick and Randy were amazing! They were the only adults who went in with the kids and kept an eye on them. Seriously, it was so much fun watching them all play and swim together. The men were worn out and tired, but the kids loved it!
Nick decided to be a stinker and kept doing cannon balls in to the water to get us all wet and when that didn't work as well as he wanted, he came right out and sat on Quinn's lap and got her completely soaking wet. Hilarious! Quinn is such a great sport! There's nothing like a wonderful brother to drive you nuts! ;-)
The next night we met the family at a church in Portland for the Pre-wedding Tongan festivities. It was combined with Seki's cousin's mission homecoming, which was a little weird. We felt so out of place at first and Seki didn't arrive until much later than all of us and I could see that it was stressing Quinn out a bit. I didn't dare touch the food...I'm just not that adventurous when it comes to food I don't recognize, but everyone else said it was all really good. :-) I wish I had taken more pictures...there was a ton of food, a ton of people, and a ton of things on the agenda for the night. Once we sort of figured out what to do and where to be, we blended right in and we had SO much fun!!!! We all danced and danced and danced and were so hot and sweaty. Such a great night...but anytime you have kids, someone ruins the fun and this night it was Preston's turn. He was so tired and hungry and so we decided to leave early. I was bummed, especially when I heard that all the "cool stuff" started after we left! Lame.
The happy and nervous almost married couple! Just a few more hours to go....
The next day we were due at the temple at about 1030am. We were late, Betsie was late...but it was good because we watched Betsie's kids so she could go in for the Sealing. Ashleigh, Brinley, and the other little girl cousins were Quinn's flower girls so they all wore matching skirts and headbands and similar shirts/leggings/shoes. oh man, they looked SO adorable!!!
Ashleigh with Jennidee and Emma
While we waited outside I took a few cousin pictures - minus Evelyn who was back at the hotel with Aunt Ami. Poor Evelyn had an ear infection and had to go to the doctor almost immediately when they arrived in Portland to get meds. I still hadn't met her and didn't think she really existed! ;-)
L to R: Ashleigh, Emma, Jennidee, Preston, Jadon, Josiah
We waited some more inside the garden area in the temple....and I got a few more pictures before someone told us that the bride and groom come out a door at the back of the temple. Dang it. So be booked it out of the temple and went around to where apparently everyone else knew to wait! :-)
Finally. Ah. The gorgeous couple emerged and I got to see my amazing little sister for the first time and her new husband! She is married! It's still hard for me to believe it. I'm SO proud of her and I'm SO happy for her and Seki. I know, without a doubt, that they will be so happy together and I know they are so in love! My heart was so full...I had a hard time keeping in the tears and finally at the reception I just let them pour out. I blubbered all over Quinn when we hugged, but she was the epitome of poise and grace and beauty.
Nick, and then I, got the first hugs. Quinn planned it that way and it definitely made us both feel so loved. We both really appreciated that moment with her before everyone else swooped in to offer their congratulations to the happy couple.
I love the line up of groomsmen to welcome the husband and wife!
The wedding party. I love the colors.
Such a beautiful bride!!!
Isn't her dress gorgeous?!?! It was perfect!
:-) Sisters :-)
We took our kids to get some lunch with Betsie and Uncle Matt and all their kids and then we headed over to the Community Center for the reception. We walked in and saw this incredible quilt that the Tongan families had made as a gift for the couple. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
Ashleigh was a bit grossed out by the whole pig on the bridge and grooms dinner table. Haha.
Donna DeMille made the wedding cake! She did a great job!!
Everyone (except me) ate...and ate...and ate. lol. and then it was time for the dancing! I had heard about the money dance, but I thought it was just the bride who dances and everyone gives her money. Boy was I wrong! There were probably 20-30+ dances from all different people, different types of dances, different costumes, etc. They were all so fun to watch and so entertaining and interesting. And during each dance, people would go up and either put money on the dancer, or throw money at them, or throw it in the air. It was so cool to watch! After each dance the money was taken to a guy who looked like a big scary security guard and he would count it. In the end Quinn and Seki went home with about $2,700!!!! What a great way to start your lives together! The Tongan people are incredibly generous. That was very apparent!
I was able to record on my phone a couple of dances that the boys did! You can see money being put on them and you can see Quinn watching too as Seki had her sit in a chair in front so she had the best view of their dance. ;-) I could watch these over and over and over again! it was awesome!
And more dancing.
And more dancing.
Nick's beautiful little sister! Such a gorgeous bride!!!!
Ashleigh and her "cousin" Brinley (Technically she's Nick's cousin) were inseparable the whole weekend. We even had her over to sleep at our house one of the nights. They look SO cute in their matching outfits.
After such a wonderful day, we had a fun fun fun night, but then it was time to go...
We went back to the hotel and Nick took the kids for one last swim.
Brinley and Ash after their swim
Then we hung out in the hotel room and I finally got to hold Evelyn (she was asleep, so she didn't cry!) and then Ash got to hold her too. She's SO sweet and SO cute!!! I just love her so much.
It was a wonderful joyous weekend, an amazing wedding, a fun reunion, and we had the best time! Congratulations to Quinn and Seki Kofe. We love you both SO much!!! Here's to many many years of happiness and love. Xoxo