Saturday, February 12, 2011

december 2010 (the second half---you know, where Christmas happened?

My, how times does fly!
Before I spend TOO much time sounding like A grandma (no offense to my "more sophisticated" readers), I'll go ahead and get started telling you the tale that was CHRISTMAS 2010.
Yes, we had a lot of fun up in Utah.  Basically, we spent 98% of the time hanging out with our favorite families (ours).  This trip we didn't spend very much time with friends, so we'll hopefully make up for it on the next trip. But, don't worry, we packed in the fun.
We flew out of town on the 23rd.  I'll tell you something, those DIRECT Delta flights are SWEEEEET.  When I can score good deals on those direct flights, you bet we're gonna pick it!  Honestly, flying (in general) gives me major anxiety. But, WITH kids?  Fah-get 'bout it.  My stress levels go through the roof.  So, alas, we lucked out with the Delta flight and it was CAKE.  The kids did PERFECT.  I mean, really, couldn't have been better.
Thanks to the heavens for that one.

And, we're rolling.
Cal got some darling little jams from Nana and Papa.  He looks so cute in them and laughs whenever he sees the monkey heads on his feet.  Too sweet.
Aaron's dad shares his birthday with CHRISTMAS EVE.  Luckily, we were able to spend the whole day with the Woods making sure he had a good birthday and then, in the evening, transitioned to Christmas Eve fun.
What says fun like CHUCK-A-RAMA?  I'd never been to this establishment, but boy! What a cool place!  (side note, did you know that when my family lived in California, our license plate said, "VANARAMA".  My parents are so clever.  EVERYone knew it was us coming down the street in our silver van!  Good times.)  So, with that background, you understand why it was so *special* going to this restaurant finally.  Luckily, The Starrs were able to come so Tillie and Max helped motivate each other to eat.  They're good like that.  It was great fun.

The birthday boy being a GREAT sport wearing the birthday hat.  Sweet Grandma Petty isn't a fan of the camera.  hA!!  She is the best.
Back at the Wood house...
Aaron patiently waits for someone to play with him.
the beautiful Wood Christmas tree.  The pictures don't do it justice.  It was LOVELY.
this one gives you a better feel.  It was awesome.  Isn't it the best just sitting around the lit Christmas tree?  I know.  The best.
All the kids slept downstairs.  It was so much fun to have Adam, Tyler, and Melody all there to help Tillie get excited.  Matilda didn't really have a total grasp on what was happening, but she knew there would be presents, so she was thrilled.
we decided to wake up Calvin.  We knew he'd have some fun in a minute.  I love that he is such a little snuggler.

We found these at the Disney outlet store for Tillie.  As soon as she opened up each one of them (yes, wrapped separately, to make the magic continue for a bit longer), she'd place them on this side table.  It was funny how she put them all in a row.  If you look closely, you'll see how CREEEEEEEPY their eyes are.  Really sick looking.  I was close to NOT purchasing them b/c of the face jobs, but in the end,  was proud of this purchase b/c it was a great TRAVEL size for her.  She's still a big fan.  And, I still can't look at their faces.
I found Tillie's jams at Ross in their clearance section and was smitten.  She looks so cute in them.
The blow up lion was cool for the first few minutes of playtime, but once we put water in it (so it would wobble, but not fall over) it started leaking everywhere.  LAME.  In the end, we chucked it.  Sad.  Sorry, Cal.  It was fun while it lasted.  Better luck next year...  :)
this was one of the highlights for Matilda.  When she opened this doll, she was literally SPEECHLESS!  So funny.  This is the same type of singing doll we saw at the Disney store.  Grandma and Grandpa must have known she was a fan. So funny.
this is her AWE STRUCK face.  So funny.
Cousin Max came over with his family and he scored some new boots, so they both pulled their boots and went to check out the remains of the GIANT Snowman.  What Giant snowman, you ask?  Oh, look below.
is this ridiculous or what?!  It was huge.  The family built it a few days (weeks?) before we arrived.  Amazing, right?

In the afternoon, we headed over to the Snyder house to see what was in store over there.  The good times kept coming!
a little despicable me?  haven't seen the movie (Sorry), but Cal thought these goggles were cool for 30 seconds.  Can you believe those are TOY tools?  They are so much fun!
Tillie got a new Snow-White dress and princess shoes.  She is in LOVE with dressing up and asks to wear her "princess stuff" all the time.  Oh man.  What a girly girl.  Pretty cute, though.
pretty cute one of Aunty Becca and Tillie.
Later that night, my Grandma J., Aunt Deann and Uncle Fred and Uncle Jerry came over to hang out and eat a delicious Christmas feast.  All in all, it was a WONDERFUL day and we were totally spoiled.  Thanks for the fun, fam.

::: Next up was our ONE day of friend fun.  We started out the day heading up to SLC to see our great friends, the Jessops and Eversheds. It was SO much fun to see them since they MOVED away from us in Texas.  We've missed them so much!  It was great to catch up and hear about everyone's lives since school!  Thank you guys, for making it happen! (p.s. yes, Melissa J., I stole these from your facebook page).  :)

Lindsay, Morgan, Tim, Melissa J., Aaron, and that would be me.
love these happy kids.  They had a ton of fun together!
After our fun lunch date we headed back down to Utah County to drop off our kids with Aaron's parents (THANK YOU!) and have a night of fun with some of our favorite friends.  These boys have been BFF's since elementary school.  They roomed together in college.  And, what's even cooler about it all, I LOVE all their wives and it is ALWAYS a riot hanging out with them.  We had a lovely party at Adam and Ashley's house in their new SPIFFY basement.  Man, times like these make me wish I lived closer to our Utah pals.  Thanks for the fun!

don't ask me what I'm doing on the right.  Focus on the rest of the group.  Why is this the only picture we got with SOME of the girls?  Sigh.  What to do?
yes, Aaron and Blake were trading off being foot stools for one another.  Weird?  yes.  But, they all love each other so much..
cute scott and tiffany
(and, Tiffany, I need to get that amazing bruschetta recipe from you. it was heaven on earth. THANKS in advance.)
the lovely Dani and Kevin
darling Ash and Libbey
gotta love Russ, (jandee in the back) Nat and Ben
"Let's hear it for the BOYS...
Good times.  Good times.

::: Meanwhile, back at the ranch, here are some fun shots that happened over the next few days of just hanging out.
ahh, brothers.

ahh, the shot is complete.
::: SPEAKING of brothers, Tyler (the mysterious one on the far right), is THE man.  Check out the BOOK he created for our little family.  It is a book all about the adventures of Cal and Tillie and it is THE BEST BOOK EVER!!  Ty went through our blog finding random pictures that would work for his story (which, going through the archives of this blog was QUITE a feat, in and of itself).  Anyway, then he took the photos into Photoshop and worked his magic.  I don't know if you've ever used the program Photoshop, but I have, and it is so tricky to work with and SUPER time consuming.  Does this boy have patience or what?!

Anyway, we all love this book and think Tyler is the best for making it.  Oh, and ladies, he is single.  :)  Check out some of my favorite pages... 

I might need to have this one blown up for Cal's room.  LOVE it.
gotta love Grandpa Wood on the far right!  And,check out Cal chilling on the rock.  So funny!!
are you reading these captions?  so funny.  And, if you remember correctly, Aaron was raised in a UTAH JAZZ household, in case you didn't understand the angst toward Ginobli.

 Thanks again, Tyler.  Your gift ROCKED the house!!  It's becoming a fast favorite over here!

 ::: More hanging out and playing games...
crazy scrabble-esque game.  very fast and fun.  look how serious everyone is.  Games are serious business at the Wood home.  Gotta love it.  Oh, and looks like Grandma P. is done.  :)

::: Becca-face was in charge of the advertising for a current exhibition at BYU.  It was lovely.  If you have a chance, you should check it out.  And, I must say, the posters and placards are all designed really well (way to go, becca!). P.S. I love the description for the exhibit.  Feel free to click on this next one and read the text.  It is a beautiful description and a lovely show.

cute gallery go-ers.
more cute gallery go-ers.  matchy matchy with their boots!
becca's artwork. I love how it all is framed to look like a home.  She'll have to explain it to you (I smell a blog post, becca!), b/c it is wonderful and so meaningful.

::: More hanging out with the family...
More dancing.  This time on the Wii ---what's that new dance game?  Yeah, it's awesome.  We all loved it.
yeah, this wasn't working out too well... especially since Calvin is practically her same size.
I had a feeling it wouldn't last too long.  Mothers can guess these types of things...  :)

::: Aaron got bumped from his flight back to San Antonio (he loves when that happens and always volunteers when they get over the intercom and say the flight is full), so we got him for an extra night in Utah. (yes, Aaron was leaving before I did. SOMEone has to pay for these trips... hA! Just kidding. Love you, Aaron.)  Anyway, I had a girl's night planned with my sisters, so Aaron's fam all went to celebrate his extra night of fun!  BOWLING!

thank you, adam!
pickin' her nose in style.  nice one, Tillie.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
Looks like Matilda was over the piggy buns.  I love the new do'.
 ::: More hanging out.  This time at the Snyder house.
same smile, different shot.
Tillie was in desperate need of a trim, both for her long locks and her bangs.  My mom gave me the confidence that I needed to butch her hair.  :)  Jk.  It didn't turn out half bad, but it was SO scary.  And, I'll be honest, it was MUCH shorter than I'd anticipated. Gotta love guinea pig children.  Thanks, first born!!!  :)
people seem to make it a big deal that we have so much cereal here in Texas.  Do you know why???  Options for breakfast cereal has been ingrained deep within me.  Calvin loved that it all was within reach.
 ::: Aaron and I were lucky enough to get FREE babysitting while we visited Utah.  To all you people who have family around to help in the babysitting department (among other things), YOU ARE VERY LUCKY.  Take a moment and call your parents/siblings/whoever it is and tell them THANK YOU for how awesome they are to watch your kids on occasion.  And, make sure you aren't taking advantage of them!!
Okay, just jumped off of my soap box.  Back to ME. :)  We were lucky enough to go out for an early "Happy Anniversary" (yes, that's what I'll call it) date.  We went to one of our favorite places in SLC (at the Gateway) Biaggi's.  It is really really delicious.  If you go, you need to try their fried ravioli. It's the bomb. 
Anyway, because we like our kids so much, and really, they're pretty easy going, we tend to not mind when we bring them places.  But, I had forgotten how nice it was to go on a REAL date.  It was lovely.  Lovely enough that we felt we should capture a few photos...
Does it look like we're having fun, or what?!  Aaron especially.

After dinner we had talked about grabbing a little treatsy from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, but it was FRRRRREEEZING cold so it made us forget about our plan as we booked it to our parked car.  As we were getting back onto the freeway I remembered our plan to get me some delicious chocolate!!  But, then decided, "Nah, let's just find somewhere on the way home..." 

So, I was racking my brain trying to think of something that sounded chocolaty and delicious---and I kept drawing blanks!  We were getting very close to home and I was still undecided.  We remembered there was a JCW's by our last exit, so thought I could find something there. 

Before you read on, I'm normally not SO picky and indecisive, but this night, I was especially weird.

We walk in and I talked about the shake options with Aaron.  I kept asking him what he was going to get, and he kept saying, "it doesn't matter what I get, b/c you need to get whatever you want..."  So, I was debating between their Grasshopper shake and their Choc. Brownie shake.  Since Aaron isn't a huge choc. brownie fan, I opted for the Grasshopper shake so I could share a bit with him.

The shakes were ready, but the Oreo chunks were so sparse and tiny, I knew it wasn't going to be what I was craving.  I moped.  Perhaps whined a little bit and told Aaron it probably wasn't worth the calories, so I wasn't really eating it.  He was like, "Why did you order that if you didn't feel like it?"  And, then I proceeded to explain my rational.  He said, "Let this be a lesson to you.  Sometimes you need to do what YOU want.  This is one of those times."  True. True.

Since it WAS, after all, our anniversary date, Aaron LOVINGLY went BACK up to the girl to order me another shake.  Guess what?  I got the choc. brownie one and guess what?  GROSS!

Whatever.  Stop reading.  I'm a brat.  It didn't taste good.  Plasticy brownie syndrome.  So, I didn't eat it.  And, I am lame.  Again, this is NOT normal behavior.  I typically don't "waste" money like this very often.  Why did I just confess this awful story?  I don't know.  But, I am what I am.

Here's Aaron.  He was getting tired (for good reason), but look how happy his face is. 

a symbol of us.
And, last but not least, here is Aaron.  He's really happy about my decisions that night.  He's really glad that he married me.  He's really proud to be my date.  Happy 6 years, honey.

::: More hanging out.  This time was at the Snyder house.  We might have had TOO much fun with the camera and loud music.  Maybe.  Plus the kids (including Becca and Lizzy) were SUPER hyper.  Here's how it went down...

I love these next two shots.  In the first one, Lizzy is irritated with something Becca did.  Perhaps she tried to tickle her?  Lizzy is saying, "Hey, tickling me is OFF LIMITS!"  

The next one is where Becca is irritated with Lizzy.  Perhaps she is going to beat her like a little drummer boy??  You can never tell with these two.  Ahh, gotta love sister drama-a-rama.

yes, she lives to dance.  she's good too.
::: These next ones make me very happy.  My mom wanted help figuring out what updated pictures to put on her family room wall.  So, I helped.  They are really big frames.  In fact, Becca's was LIFE SIZED.  Here THEY are to prove it.

I imagine her saying, "am i at the right angle?"

"Looking good, Bec. Uh huh, you're looking real good."
and back at the camera, one more time.  work it.

Wow, what a great note to end on.
Becca's Life Sized face.
But, there you have it.  The CHRISTMAS portion of our lovely trip.
Cal's birthday is coming up next.  Stay tuned...


Jared and Kelly said...

1. Goodness gracious I absolutely love that picture of you and Cal sleeping on your shoulder. That's a keeper.
2. The book of the kids is just about the coolest gift I've ever seen. Way to go Super Uncle!

emily snyder said...

okay - talk about a great great post!!
so many fabulous pictures and as always, gotta love your commentary!

i was reading your post on sunday while blow drying my hair and was laughing soo hard! good thing i have a silent laugh when i am really laughing . . otherwise i would have woken the house up!

Jordan and Jandee said...

I am loving all the updates....I keep thinking of all the comments I want to make whilst reading, but by the time I get to the end they have flown right out of my head. It must be late. But overall awesome! Love the pictures.

elements: overexposed said...

We had a feeling you were in Utah we LOVE thee, just like us! And, just like us, it looks like every minute of every day was filled. Perhaps we'll see you next year! Great post and lots of family fun!


Kirstin - Klinton - Max - Krieg Starr said...

I love when you are up here. I am thinking our next family trip (not in near future) needs to be down to your homeland. It was so fun to relive the Christmas memories. I can't wait to see you guys again some time.

Tillie and Calvin are so cute. You are the best mom ever!


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