Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Christmas 2012

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Collin's wedding gave us the chance to spend the Christmas with Justin's family.  We haven't all been together since 2006!  There were three nieces and nephews I had yet to meet and I was completely charmed by all the kids this trip.  Everyone had a buddy and I found myself hanging out with the oldest ones much of the day.  Sadie can totally take my brand of teasing (and dish it right back) and Lena still has the sweetest, kindest heart I've ever seen.  The only downside was Bennett was so sick the whole trip--more sick than any of my kids have been.  One evening, we left him sleeping with my father-in-law and took the girls down to see the Lights at Temple Square.  I expected to see him awake when we got back since he had slept almost all day but when I walked in, he was totally passed out on the couch. My stomach dropped as soon as I saw him.  Poor baby--I am so grateful it didn't head down a road it was looking likely to head.  It was nice to have the extra hands to always hold him this week and the extra eyes to constantly monitor him.

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{ryan's son, devan}

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{tahna's oldest, mason, and hayden}

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{andi, cade, and amber's thea}

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{amber's daughter, izzy; grandma pace, justin lee, & rosie}

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{ryan's william, eli's ashton & cameron, & amber's boston}

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The pack of 4 year olds ran the roost.  Rosie and Hayden were attached at the hip and Izzy would jump in the fun wearing this hilarious zebra costume Justin had as a kid.  At some point they just helped themselves to rolls and an entire cube of butter: 

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{Lena reading the girls stories on Christmas Eve}

Christmas morning was pretty low key and pretty perfect.  Tahna and Justin had done Christmas the week before so they didn't have to pack presents from Colorado, so her kids were prepared for no gifts. I don't think anyone knew Kathy had picked up a present or two for each grandchild.  Benson (Tahna's son who is 6) sleepily wandered down to watch the other kids open theirs and noticed a small pile for him.  My heart melted into a puddle on the floor when his face lit up, looking around, quietly asking "Are these for me?!??"  Perfect.  Christmas.  Nobody spent a lot of money this year, but the kids were so happy with the little treasures they received and so happy to play with and enjoy each other.  And the adults may have had a few hours of perfect volleyball time Christmas afternoon against the Richins Family down the road...

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Cade called up one afternoon and said to load the kids and meet him at a hill.  They had a blast being pulled behind the 4-wheeler.  He went gentle on the young ones but let loose on the older ones.  Abbey would die laughing every time they toppled over.

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Justin's buddies from high school put together a dinner night in Park City so we could meet up and see everyone.  So glad they did.  Those Coalville boys have the best stories!

Then it was back to Ogden to help my family get ready for the reception.  We ended up going to a church so Justin could get in his volleyball fix before flying back home.  We called up my cousin, Justin Barlow, who played with J in college, and they had a great time playing together.  Until we realized nobody stood a chance against them and had to split them up :)  My forever friend, Erica, stopped by with her kiddos and helped my mom dip chocolates.  So.  Many.  Chocolates.

After the reception, Megan dodged a bullet by hitching a ride down to Koryn's house with the Knudsens.  It saved her a good extra two hours of driving she would have had with us.  One of my little ones had...some digestive issues.  We had to stop at every little freezing rest stop along the way.  Throw in some missed turns and you have yourself a car full of grouchy, grouchy travelers.  But we made it and had some good R&R in the tiny town of Monticello (it's like you drive as far into the middle of nowhere as you think you can go and you're halfway there). 

Koryn can whip together a meal like it's nobody's business.  My mom has endless energy and patience with my kids.  Megan is the most pleasant human being in the history of mankind.  My girls disappeared into Whitney's room for most of the trip and my baby was feeling much better.  Life is good, I love that I got to see 38 out of 39 members of my family this week (yup.  that's you, dad.  see you this summer!).

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(I need to keep this picture in my bag for the dozen times I hear each week, "How did you and Justin end up with such BLONDE kids?!"  Isn't my mom the cutest?)


val said...

Lovely lovely. And Monticello! We used to have family there. I totally remember that [awful] drive. Your mom IS the cutest.

Melody said...

Beautiful post, beautiful family, beautiful Christmas! Love you..
I hope you are recovering easily!