Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Way Too Fast

It’s not really fair that we celebrated Halloween for what seemed like months, and then we get a measly 3 weeks for Christmas! But we did let Christmas leak a little into Thanksgiving time, and I am not ashamed of that in the least (sorry all you Holiday overlap haters). It really is such a  joyous time of year. Not that it makes my home any less chaotic (definitely more), but still, it makes the air just a little lighter in the crazy times, and to have the grand finale of the year to look forward to everyday just makes life more fun. The day before Christmas Eve always gets to me. I try not to think about how quickly the couple following days will go, yet I can’t wait for the big day to arrive! Ah well, the years come and go so fast as I get older, I always have the holiday season to get excited about.

Enough of all this downer stuff, it’s time to bring the holiday cheer! Santa’s almost here! This year the kids are just on the verge of grasping the it all. An hour is an eternity to them, so when we would excitedly tell them things like “Christmas is only a week away!”, they’d just squirm around, saying they couldn’t possibly wait that long. So, I can’t wait to tell them when they go to bed tomorrow that Santa is really going to come the very next morning. I know that is something they’ll understand and really get excited about.  Oh, I can’t wait! Family presents were wrapped a few days ago while watching (and laughing out loud at) Christmas vacation, Santa gifts have been organized, some impulse buys have been returned (at about 6:45 this morning because a)I wake up that early, and b)I really didn’t want to deal with the crazy crowds, and the festive groceries have been purchased. I think all we need is for someone to find the Santa presents, and we’ll be all set!

Oh wait, that already happened last night! I have been so careful to keep things tucked here and there, up high and down low, in trunks of cars and behind locked doors. After we did the gift audit/organization, I had a stash in my closet ready to go, covered with a nearby towel I just grabbed, and always being careful to close the door behind me. Well, my little bedtime wanderer Ruby (we’re working on ways to get her to stay in her ever-loving bed, while the boys have never once come out without permission) and I happened to be downstairs when the silent sneaker made her way there for some crazy reason. Seriously, why?! Luckily, being the honest, permission-seeking girl that she is, she came down and asked to play with certain items she saw, and when I figured out what she was talking about, my heart sank a little. I didn’t want to get mad, I was just confused. But it wasn’t the end of the world, because like I said, she’s still so young, Santa facts haven’t quite sunken in yet, and I felt like I could still fix the situation. When she asked me about the presents again in the morning (the kid never forgets anything, ever) I told her I had to take them all back to the store, and if she was really, really good for the next couple days, Santa might just bring her those very things. And hey, now I know she really wants those things, and will be thrilled to see them come Christmas morning. If Santa brings them to her, that is. Not the worst predicament, just something I hadn’t encountered yet as a parent, so definitely a funny situation for me to be in.

The Sunday before Christmas is always fun. I guess since we never really get spruced up on Christmas Day (who has time when there are toys to be played with?!) that’s the opportunity to get on the Christmasy clothes, comb the hair, and take pictures. How can we not take so many when they look so shiny and cute? Bennett has been on a rebellious streak lately, and asking him to pose for a pictures is never something he’s happy to do. But as I’ve said before, I’ve learned to appreciate, and  even love, the candid nature of our photos since the kids were born. It’s always fun to see what our real life was like through the pictures we take. So here’s as good as it gets with three four-year-olds all darling and ready for Christmas Sunday.

Ruby and Alex always love a group hug. Bennett doesn’t care for them197199201


Getting closer.218220222223228230

Maybe adding KC will help keep them in line.233


Not sure how these faces survive the kisses I smother them with everyday.245263252

There was only one willing to pose with me. Love that boyfriend.272273276

And the cheesy family shot. And not even a great one, but the kids were done, so I didn’t care that feet were cut off. 283

Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about those few minutes of picture-taking craziness. Now, I must got to sleep for our fun, eventful day we have planned for tomorrow! I really do love Christmas Eve the most. I’m giddy just thinking about it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Day and a Half

I went visit my family in Utah for a quick weekend. Elise was visiting from Maryland, and I just had to join the party! I am only a quick plane-ride away, after all.  So I hopped on a plane last Friday night, and forgot just how wonderfully short that flight is! As soon as you get up, you just come back down. The pleasant company helped the time go by extra quickly, and there was a car full of sisters (and niece) to greet me! So nice of them since my plane arrived around 11 pm. I spent a lovely night at Melody’s beautiful Christmasy house, and loved waking up to Gabe and Juju playing. And Evy’s bedhead was the icing on the cake. We all made our way to my mom’s where the big fun began! I couldn't get my hands on Elise’s new baby Link (Lincoln) fast enough! He is so snuggly, warm, and grunty, as new babies are. I was missing Penny, who was in CA with her other grandparents, but loved that I could spend so much time with the little babe. It makes me sad that I don’t get to play with him everyday.1503914_10202731121710045_1953539793_n0481507962_10202731125990152_28936815_n

More family filtered in an out, everyone taking turns with the babe. 1441585_10202731123950101_417209974_n


It didn’t take us long to decide that Mexican food was needed, so we all went out for a Nacho/fajita feast. 1515039_10202731126230158_2070113284_n077

The rest of the day was filled with fabric buying, sewing, laughing, singing, eating, baby-holding, game playing, dressing up, and picture taking. 1461869_10202731123670094_1197220984_n

1472041_10202731123390087_707233450_nBaby Nora was so smiley and happy! And so much bigger than when we visited her as a newborn before. I’m loving this baby boom in the family! The last one was when the triplets were born.1463058_10202731127110180_271011918_n

Mom’s Wedding and Prom dresses! Still Beautiful the week of my parent’s 40th anniversary!!1489297_10202731128630218_618034651_n1470398_10202731130750271_811850313_n120146

Lili joined in with her own prom dress.1512721_10202731129790247_117056709_n






It was the first time we’d all been together in some years, and you never know when it will happen again, so we tried to make the most of our time together.1417769_10202737828437709_1743675354_o

Mom’s house changes a little every time I go back, and she had an awesome picture wall of so many old family pictures going up to the attic. I could’ve spent hours looking at all those old pictures. As a kid, those were just family pictures, but now that I’m older, they’re like treasures.1515019_10202721241103036_1363104274_n092090101(It’s scary how much those three little ones on the bottom resemble their offspring: Link, Gabe, Ruby)

I’ve really missed being neighbors with Lili. We had some memorable years together, and we shed tears of laughter as we reminisced. It’s so fun when all the sisters get   together.  Around midnight we sang together around the piano like we used to, and it was fun to be there again harmonizing with the gang. We stayed up until all hours, and had a sleepover in the family room. The party never ends when we’re together!160164193

The next morning Melody and I went and visited our  lifelong friend Ashley, and her new beautiful baby. We never have enough time to catch up. Then a few of us when to Drew’s ward to hear his choir’s Christmas program (he’s the director), which included a beautiful solo he sang of O Holy Night. I loved snuggling with baby Charlie. He is the sweetest baby boy, and had grown so much in the last few months.

Mom made us a delicious curry, and then we went to visit Grandmother. Always a good time visiting with her. I have a lot of Christmas memories at her house.1531623_10202762117604923_151764680_n

And then is was off to the airport for me. It was sad saying goodbye to Lili. I really hope our families get together someday soon. It’s just not right being apart for so long! I also didn’t like saying goodbye to everyone else, but our family is planning on driving over after Christmas, so not too sad. It was a lovely, solo, getaway, and I hope to do it many more times in the future. Living closer to everyone just makes me so happy. This mini vacation was packed with good memories I’ll never forget. I can’t wait until we’re all together again.217