At one point during the year, this title would have read "Christmas 2009 Hawaii".
Yes, my mom had our tickets bought, ready for the Snyder family HULA at the beach on the North Shore... but then we dropped the news that we were pregnant and due just DAYS after the event would have taken place.
So, the family voted to change locations and come visit US in Texas instead!
If that isn't love, I don't know WHAT is.
Because of that sacrifice, I'd like to take a moment to personally thank each family member for coming to see us. As we say here in Mexico, GRACIAS!
Now, with the background information behind us, let's go ahead with the post. They flew into San Antonio on Tuesday the 22nd and we caravan-ed in the two cars to Austin that night. Because there would be 8 of us total, my parents didn't want to do hotel rooms with no gathering place for us all to go, so they opted for a rental house. Did you know people rent out their homes for weeks at a time? Pretty cool.
It was great that we could go to Costco, get lots of food to cook, and hang out at the house with seating for all! Don't worry, we did our fair share of going out, shopping, eating at some great spots... overall, I think it was a success! The only sad part was that Jesse, my brother, wasn't able to make the trip down. And that, my friends, was a bummer.
Here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Christmas Eve at Costco aka the best place in the world... (oh, and this one is for those of you DYING to see my extremely pregnant body (did I mention that I deliver this child ONE week from today?)).
We wanted to drive around downtown Austin to check out Christmas lights, and had tossed around the idea of some of us attending a Midnight Mass. Well, as we were driving around, we remembered that there was an 8:00 p.m. Mass, too, that we could sit in on. We just happened to drive right by this cathedral at 7:55 p.m. So, we went in for a while, until Tillie had decided that she was ready to go. Let's just say, it's not fun to have your wee child sing and yell along to the beautiful music. It gave us a nice little taste of what attending a Mass would be like... without having to stay up till midnight.
Aaron shot these pictures as we were driving away.
Here we are in the famous matching pajamas that we opened Christmas Eve. Tillie got her own special threads in a penguin variation. She loved them.
group shot. one of the MANY photos taken.
I don't have many pictures taken from Christmas morning... but let's just say, Santa did not disappoint. It was fun having Tillie tear into her presents and get excited about them this year. Here she is, post opening time with her new blocks on the floor, dawning her new slipper socks that acted as mock boots. Darling.
Here's the painting I made. It looks better framed. And, in the end, I had done 3 different pictures for my mom to choose from. So, I got to keep this one for the time being, until she has a place big enough to put it. Fine by me.This beauty I've been dreaming about for months. Thanks to both sets of our parents, we were able to justify this purchase. We welcome to our family the BOB Revolution Duallie Stroller (round of applause). Do you like my Vana-White-esque-pose above?
Christmas Day, 2009. (note to the reader: my sister Becca loves to take a TON of pictures, and because of that, we've been able to combine ALL my photos with hers... equating to a BILLION and a HALF photos. So, that's why there are SO many pictures. You can thank her later.)
Because my fabulous sister-in-law purchased it first and told me all the WONDERFUL things about it (and she did TONS of research and had even purchased one or two double strollers previously and had to return them), I felt like I couldn't pass it up at the semi-annual sale at REI. So, we talked to our parents asking if they'd like to help us with it for the bulk of our Christmas and they obliged (and even gave us other things too, which they SO didn't need to!)---and alas, after getting it shipped to Utah and then having my parents store it in their garage, only to return it to the Utah store and having Austin's store set one aside for me... in the end, we got our stroller (long story, don't worry)!!! I am SOOOO excited about it. We are all in love with it. This new baby better think it's pretty great too.
This was the big reason why we wanted to go to the park. Aaron and my dad got matching helicopters.
We just HAD to test them out... and the stroller too, of course!
We just HAD to test them out... and the stroller too, of course!
Poor Matilda had an awful cold the first part of the trip. Here she is coughing her face off (so sad), but she loved hanging out on Em's shoulders. And, Em looks so cute here. Had to show.
* The Snyder family received a super rad Karaoke set from Santa. Let's just say we all had a fabulous time singing our guts out.
Too bad I'm not showing the video of my dad belting out "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" when he thought no one was watching. Obviously, it was awesome. And, pictured above is a lovely rendition of Aaron and my mom singing "Blue Moon"--- hA! And while we're at it, I have to say, Becca and I did a great job singing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." I was impressed with MYSELF because I didn't realize I knew all the lyrics by heart. I didn't even need to watch the screen. Wow. Good work, Melis.
* Switching gears. Our good family friends, the Gardners, happened to be in town visiting their son and his family in Austin. They were blessing their new darling baby boy, Cannon. So, we went down to watch and here's a group shot afterward. We joked that it felt like a wedding shot in front of the SLC Temple after a marriage ceremony.
*After church, we headed up to take a look at Lake Travis. The bulk of us were tired and sleepy, so Aaron, Becca, and my dad took a look around and here are the pictures I found later.
Here we are hanging out at the house. Tillie is featured here with her IKEA bib that we can't live without. I discovered this froggy months ago and have LOVED it ever since. It is SO great. Wipes off in the sink and catches EVERYTHING in the trough. I love love LOVE love it. And, currently at Ikea you can get the set: bib, bowl, sippy cup, and a great little spoon---for the LOW price of $2.99 folks. Buy one for you and your friends. I'm telling you. LIFE CHANGING.
CAUGHT RED HANDED!
Here she is heading back for more, not thinking she was being watched. BUSTED. Apparently she loved it.
Hanging out in Austin. Eating in Austin. Here are some more random pictures...
We found a brand new AWESOME globe for the baby's room at this place. Both Aaron and I are THRILLED about it.
So there you have it. Christmas in Austin, Texas. It was a TON of fun. Thanks, mom and dad.
My parents and Emily flew home on the following Tuesday, but Becca and Lizzy's flights weren't until the next afternoon. So, we spent the day at our house in San Antonio where Aaron put up the baby's new dresser with his new present from Adam (his bro). Adam? In case you were curious, Aaron has found ANY excuse to use this little drill you gave him. He feels so handy with it. Good work.
While Aaron was hard at work doing MANLY things, Becca went to work in the kitchen insisting she make us some frozen meals to cook after the baby is born. Love that girl. See, we all benefit from her mad skills. She made 4 casseroles for us and grilled up chicken to freeze that we can pull out and add to pasta or salad. Nice!!
Because Aaron knew that us girls would be having a GIRL NIGHT with Lizzy painting my toe-nails and Becca using her Dead Sea Spa kit (she wishes she were Palestinian) on my finger nails---all while watching girly movies---he opted to go to a movie by himself.
While he was away we did the above AND tested out my new AIR POPPER (thanks to Becca!) and make some caramel popcorn. Because we didn't do the caramel quite right, we had a bunch of leftover un-sugary popcorn. So, we pulled out the white chocolate, made a little more caramel, and sprinkled it with brown sugar. Hello delicious!! Here's one-half of the photo shoot. Because it is MY blog and I don't want to show you the HIDEOUS pictures of myself posing with both bowls and big belly... I'll post Becca instead. Yes, you love me, Becca.
*No trip would be complete without ChaCho's Mexican food. Here we are right before we dropped them off at the airport.
So, there you have it. Christmas 2009. It was great. Thanks, Team Snyder. Good times all around.