The month of October, our temple FINALLY was available for the open house tours. I can't tell you how anxious we've been for this and how long we've waited. Even though both the Gilbert and Glendale (Phoenix) temples were both announced at the same time that they'd be built- our temple has gotten delayed from day one. The neighbors in surrounding land were stubborn and irritated with having a massive building in their backyard that would attract unwanted traffic and business. Understandable, considering that when those homes were originally built, they were in the middle of nowhere- trying to get away from all the hustle and bustle of downtown Phoenix. So there were A LOT of city meetings to try and work with the people who were opposed to the temple being built. Fortunately, things have resolved for the most part and there is no longer the strong animosity that once existed.
With that back story, you can see how YEARS later we are so extremely thrilled to have it all be done and able to go inside! We took our neighbor, Mickey through with us- who has almost been like a Grandma to all of us. We were glad she wanted to come with us!
The first feeling I had as I entered, was similar to the feeling you get when you walk into your home after a long vacation. The feeling that hits you that tells you that, "you are home". Well that wonderful feeling washed over me and I was grinning like a kid on his birthday! The kids were so extremely excited to go in too! In fact, one night we went just to see the outside (this was before our tour) and the kids could hardly stand it that we weren't going inside....their little bodies were just itching to see what was inside this temple! We've been lucky that we've gotten to go to two open houses this year so they sort of knew what to expect.....well all except Trevin. He literally squawked and hollered through almost the entire tour. Hard to let it all sink in when you're trying to hush the obstinate kid! He wanted to walk but had no interest in being shuffled around where he was supposed to go- he wanted to roam free and would start pitching a fit whenever I tried steering him in the right direction.
Since Trevin kind of ruined the experience (particularly for me since I was holding him) I was so grateful to go again! My non- member friend whom I used to watch her kids, was supposed to come through with me. But at the last minute, she had car troubles so I ended up going by myself since my mom was watching the boys and Addie was at preschool! It was the sweetest experience and I soaked it all in. There were literally rooms that I didn't even remember walking in!! I guess when you have a screaming child it's a little distracting ;).
We are so excited for the cultural celebration next Sunday after which the temple will officially be open! I can't wait! We have so much gratitude that the temple will be so close to us (5 minutes away!!) and Jared and I are excited that we'll easily be able to do sessions for date nights now. We are thrilled for all the blessings this temple has already brought our family!