Friday, April 13, 2012

For the Love of Family!

Real quick, I am so excited to say that my MOM is coming to visit today!!! She is picking up Camille from BYU in Provo and is swinging by to spend the weekend with us while Camille finishes up finals, packing, etc. I am SO excited!! My parents don't travel often, and we get to see them twice a year if we're lucky. I can't wait!! :o)

This post is dedicated to my "family-in-law", Mitch's family.

I seriously am the luckiest.

And yes, my family-in-law is better than yours. That's right. Be jealous. Ha.

You've heard my talking about Mitch's sister, Dani Bean, and her husband Danny Bean. They as adorable as their matching names, and just as fun! 

Dani is actually the reason I met Mitch in the first place; she was my roommate! So, imagine how shocked I was when her brother came for a visit and I got a date! Who knew I'd marry the kid! :o) Dani was more than selfless to share her brother with me. With her own wedding coming up, it couldn't be easy to try and share your family at the wedding with a tag-along roommate. And I was NOT an easy roommate, something I hope she'll forgive me for one day :o)

Anyway, we have loved living in Rexburg with "the Dannies" for 3+ years. They were some of the first people I met when I moved to Rexburg. Dani was in my first apartment, then we shared a room my second semester, the one where I met/dated/got engaged to her brother (I know, I know, it happened one was planning on that!). "Danny boy" helped me with my stuff and told me how great BYU-Idaho was when I was devastated that yes, my parents WERE planning on just leaving me there and driving 1150 miles away from me. Dani girl and her friend Natalie were warm and inviting, and helped me feel at home in the apartment. Let's just say they were a huge part of why I fell in love with Rexburg and BYU-Idaho my very first semester!

Anyway, last weekend, these two adorables graduated college. Yup, a year before me and 2 years before Mitch...luckies!

We are so proud of them, especially knowing them through most of their school careers (they both started a couple semesters before us), and seeing how hard they've worked!

The bittersweet part is that they left Rexburg when they graduated. We say bittersweet because Danny boy is set up to start a great job at Nordstrom that has him on a track to corporate. Woo hoo!! This is fantastic, especially in our economy right now. They have moved to Seattle, WA, to start a new chapter of their lives!

Graduation week was so FUN, until we had to say goodbyes. We all got together for family pictures, and Danny boy's dad was generous enough to help us out, while his wife made a very tired Nathan giggle and grin by dancing around with his bunny toy. We loved it!
The Dooley Family, including Mitch's grandparents who traveled all the way from St. George for the graduation!

Mitch's parents and their 4 children, including 2 of their kids' spouses (me + Danny Boy) and their grandkiddo, Nathan.
(Sidenote: yes, there are other, better-cropped pictures of Mitch's parents and their kids, other than the one in this post, but Mitch's mom needed an 8x10, so that's what the final version was cropped to...)

There was a freak snowstorm going on outside, which moved our shoot inside. Luckily we found a spot with great light and made it work :o)

That night we enjoyed graduation, then headed to our place for a bite to eat. I LOVE that we live somewhere with a living room bigger than 12 square feet so we can actually have people over! We had everyone in the top family picture, plus Danny boy's parents (and 5 dogs between all of us). It was so FUN having everyone in one place!

The next day the family loaded the moving truck. The Dannies worked so hard to have their whole apartment all packed up (DURING finals week...amazing!), and loading/cleaning took no time at all. Of course we made it fun...
Later we had me on Mitch's shoulders, but we didn't get a picture of probably wouldn't have been pretty!
Nathan all ready to "help"...aka wander around wondering why no one will give him pizza and why there are TWO vacuums going at once...

And then the next morning we all had to say goodbye.

 The reason this family picture is so significant to us all is because Mitch's grandparents are headed on a mission for our church (and so is Mitch's brother Ethan sometime this year), their little sister Jayna is headed to college in the fall, and the Dannies have moved on to Seattle. Our little family and Mitch's parents are the only ones staying put! 

It is very bittersweet; family members are all off to big adventures and opportunities, but we seriously have gotten together as a family at least six times a year, and it's hard to move on from that.

The Dooleys have been fantastic to me, and I'm sure Danny boy will say the same about his relationship with them. They really are the best in-laws. The only place I even CALL them my in-laws is on the internet, where people see both my and Mitch's families and would be confused. ("Alaina's two brothers!? She has no brothers! What lies!!") I also inherited some fantastic grandparents to add to the 3 sets from my family. What a blessing this family has been to me! I am proud to be a Dooley :o)


  1. So sad I missed all the fun! I love the Dooleys!!!

  2. yay! yay! for surprise visits from your mom! and yay! for planned ones with the in-laws! Sounds like you guys had tons of fun, even with helping to move :)


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