Mariah's Homecoming Part I

So, that last post, huh?  I kind of left you all hanging with, "BRB Mariah is coming home."  And no follow-up.  Well, I'll give you a little taste today and continue to do so over the next few days.  Because I'm caught in the middle of scholarship applications, work and trying to drink a lot of water.

You guys. She is home.  She is HOME.  I can hug her and call her and text her and snapchat her.  It's like I haven't seen her in 50 years and then at the same time it's like she never left.  She is beautiful and happy and half the time I don't know what she is saying because she is speaking Spanish.  That night was incredible.  Waiting at the airport, watching her flight on the screens and anticipating her walking through the doors was about all I could handle.  That and waving the Paraguayan flag, because you know, we're that family at the airport.
And as we had been anxiously waiting all day, we had no idea how close we came to not actually getting to see her because she was almost held in Cancun for another 24 hours due to having a knife in her suitcase.  We were getting pictures of her in Paraguay carrying around this huge knife because she was using it to cut up mangoes while she walked everywhere.  So my mom sent her a pocket knife to carry instead so she wouldn't end up cutting herself on accident.  She didn't think when she packed it in her bag that it would be a problem.  And it wasn't in Paraguay or Panama City.  But when she went to change flights in Cancun it showed up in the X-Ray and they grabbed her suitcase and opened it up to search it.  BUT- she only had a few minutes until her flight left and all the other missionaries left her because they didn't want to get stuck in Mexico until the next flight 24 hours later. Mariah said she started to panic and then started to cry, and the small, Mexican lady pointed at her and said, "No!! You do not cry!"  As she started tearing her suitcase apart desperately trying to find whatever it was that flagged them.  She found the pocket knife, threw it to the side and furiously started shoving everything back in the suitcase.  Mariah said she cringed a little knowing the treasures she was bringing home were breaking, but at the same time was desperate to get on her plane.  They started running down the terminal and the lady was yelling, "EVERYBODY MOVE! GET OUT OF OUR WAY!" as they sprinted all the way across the airport.  Mariah got there right as they closed to door of the airplane and the woman yelled, "OPEN THAT DOOR!!"  And Mariah jumped inside as the door closed behind her.  I will never know who that woman was, and can only imagine what she looks like and sounds like, but I will love her for the rest of my life for getting Mariah on that plane home.

When her plane landed in Salt Lake, we waited like crazy people at the ropes as the passengers came through the frosted doors.  Each time it wasn't them, the people were greeted with an overwhelming, "Ahhh...."  Which is so welcoming, I'm sure.  As more of them came through, they started to say, "They were in the very back of the plane.  They'll be the last ones out."  and, "They're coming, don't worry!"  After what seemed like an eternity, the doors slid open and Mariah pushed her cart of luggage through and we all started to scream.  My mom and I jumped the ropes and ran to hug her.  She was wearing a beautiful, hand-made shirt with colorful flowers stitched all over it and her hair smelled like the rain forest.  Her shoes were falling apart and full of holes, but the smile on her face and light in her eyes could have lit the whole world.  I held her in my arms and never wanted to let go.  And for a moment, I didn't think I was ever going to.

After hugging her and crying and laughing for a few moments, Security noticed us behind the ropes we weren't supposed to cross and they shooed us back behind them and she was met with the rest of our family and her best friend.  She went from person to person hugging and laughing and being blown away and how grown up our little cousins are.  Johnny was waiting patiently for her to make her way to him for his hug.  Now when you are set apart as a missionary you aren't allowed to have any sort of physical contact with the opposite sex that isn't family aside from a handshake.  But Johnny- he is Brenden's best friend, he lives at our house and I refer to him as my brother because he really IS part of our family.  It hadn't even crossed any of our minds that he wouldn't get a hug from her.  But she is a rule follower and she walked towards him with her arms open and at the last second only gave him her hand.  It was hilarious and totally unexpected.  I will remember the look of surprise on his face for the rest of my life.  And as she moved to the next person, he dropped his sign and pouted.  And it was amazing.  We still laugh at the video clip of it.  
Once she was released as a missionary she jumped up from her chair and gave him a huge hug and all was well.  

And now the gang is all back together.  It's amazing.  I spent the next two weeks at my mom's hanging with her, going shopping, working out and partying.  And I'm going through withdrawals again now that I'm back at work, but just being able to text her is the greatest. UGH, I'm so happy.  I will continue with our shenanigans over the next few days so stay tuned. 

**this has nothing to do with Mariah coming home, BUT you guys should TOTALLY tune into American Idol tonight because Mr. John Wayne Schulz up there is going to make an appearance.  Let him woo you with his silky smooth cowboy pipes, you won't be sorry.  That is all.**


  1. THIS IS SO ADORABLE. Mariah is the cutest!! She has such a beautiful smile. I'm so happy she's back with you!! :)

  2. How sweet!! I'm so glad she's home.

    IS JOHNNY THE GUY WHO WAS DANCING TO FERGIE? Because I love him. And I will go find a way to watch American Idol.


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