Right before Nate returned home from his mission, my family and I, the Morales’, traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica to pick up another honorable missionary, my brother, Andrew. My father was born and raised in Costa Rica and has not been there since 1978 when he returned from his mission. My mother has always dreamed of taking our whole family there, and over all, it was probably one of the most fantastic, memorable experiences my family has witnessed. Aside from meeting all of our relatives, traveling, eating and “soaking up the local color,” the country itself was breathtaking.
Cam loved the food…
…and Brooke (our niece) thought all the exotic flowers looked especially beautiful in her hair.
My cousins taught me how to perform the native dances of Costa Rica and even let me borrow their authentic, folkloric costumes to practice in.
For me, I felt the most satisfying part of our journey was bringing a righteous servant home. I took this picture in the San Jose Airport. I thought the holes in the soles of his shoes were especially representative of Andrew’s long and devoted service to the country and people of our father. Well done, Andrew. We love you. And Mom & Dad, that was phenomenal! Thank you for making it happen.
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: He came home! Yet another missionary had fulfilled his calling and arrived safely to the awaiting arms of his family. Having received letters from Nate throughout MY entire mission and after, I know how hard he worked and how much he loved. I am confident the Lord accepted his sacrifice.
We hit it off right away.
For Valentine’s Day, Nate took me to a Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood concert in Madison Square Garden. WHAT A SHOW!! Keith Urban even came off stage and right up into our seats. We touched him!! But then, he signed his guitar and handed it to the girl standing right next to us. Blast! My mother told me after the fact, that she was hoping Nate would propose to me that night at the concert. He had a better plan…
Whenever I see this picture I think: “I’ve never looked that happy!”
Finally, we got engaged! And what a fiasco that was. Nate used almost every mode of transportation available to the modern man. And on a train, he popped the question! I was beyond ecstatic, as displayed in Picture #1.
We had a very short engagement. I went into Wedding Planning Overload and Nate went to “school”. There I met my competition: Tina…. the horse: Nate’s crush in Rexburg. We did manage to squeeze our mission reunions in to our busy schedule. Here is a shot of some of my mission companions.
Though very protective, as all best friends should be, my ex-companions were supportive of my suitor, soon-to-be eternal companion. But Nate won their hearts with ease. We cooked dinner for them, and Nate baked the famous Barbie Holden Breaksticks. Those breaksticks, baked to perfection and carefully served with a side of Ranch, and my companions completely melted in his hands.
We bought our first car!! 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer! Nice pick, Nate!
Following true Hispanic tradition, Nate serenaded me the night before we were married. My father did the same to my mother, except with a full blown Mariachi band. Personally, I preferred Nate’s acoustic rendition of “our” song, “Making Memories of Us.” By who? Keith Urban, of course.
Our wedding was the
… full of lots of goofing around. We enjoyed the time in the car the most, eating Caramelo’s (our signature candy bar), playing music, singing way too loud, and honking and waving at everyone we drove by. Our rental car is now our dream car: Inifiti G36
I barely fit.
And then we partied hard!!
Exhausted, we headed for our Bahama getaway!
The view from our window!
We got the chance to fulfil one of our greatest dreams: Swimming with dolphins! And kissing them too!
We then headed to our first home: COLORADO for Nate’s summer sales. We found it to our liking more than anywhere we’ve lived so far. We hope to return there someday.
We liked to picnic in Colorado and these three pictures are on such occasions. One of those pictures, we were celebrating Kate’s birthday! She also happens to be an amazing photographer. Nice shot of the kiddo’s, Kate! We know how impossible it can be to get that perfect shot with children all under the age of 4!