This place is holy. Evan was antsy for one "last" trip before school started and we have been racking up the Marriott points specifically for this destination so I, as usual, obliged. I had been to Nauvoo once before as a 14 year old during the temple open house but it was such a sweet opportunity to be able to go inside it again, this time as a dedicated house of worship. We had to forgo a lot of the tours because we are nuts-o and drag our 4 year old, 2 year old, and 3 month old along with us everywhere we go, but the highlight of this trip was the British Pageant. I have over and over again looked at the restoration of the gospel through the lens of an American citizen. I felt grateful that God allowed this country to be created largely for the purpose of freedom to worship for all religions, including a place where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints could be established. Hearing this story from a new perspective, from a place that people like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale called home, added another layer of depth to the reverence I feel for the early members of our church. 

Carthage was another particularly special experience because the missionary who led our tour group happened to be one of Evan's previous students from Lone Peak. Just a sweet little personal touch for us! This trip was 50% faith fortifying and the other 50% a serious revelation of the behavioral struggles ahead of us with Winston but for both reasons I'm grateful we went.