Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Feasts and Fun with some of our most favorite people

Has it really been almost an entire month since I posted?  Amazing!  Ahh, 'tis the season!  (I love that no matter what excuse you have, you can cover it with, "Ahh, 'tis the season!")

I heard a quote a few months ago that went something like this, "If you want something to get done, give it to a busy person."  And I was like, "Whhaaat? That makes no sense."  But as I've lived my life and have gone through times of major busy-ness and then, in turn, had times of blank calendars and nothing going on, I can see how true that statement is.  I accomplish a ton when I have to.  And, I'm SUPER lazy when I can be.  (I can see my mom being so proud of that last sentence.)

Unfortunately for all of us, the blog hasn't been happening during this time of busy-ness.  Lo siento.  I'm more sad about it than you, because I have a LOT to catch up on.  I keep trying to figure out a way that I can just THINK blog posts and have them be written, instead of having to take the time to type it all out.  Isn't there some App that will do that?  Or at least can someone invent something great where I can just talk into it and have it compute everything I said and put it in typed form?

Sigh.  Until that day comes, I'll still be here chugging along. 

Anyway, let's talk about the vacation we just went on, shall we?  Bahamas?  no.  Rome?  Nope.  Boston?  nope.  Utah?  DING DING DING.  Are you surprised?  Me neither.  Let's face it, that will forever be our number one destination in life.  Why?  Family.  And, really, does it get any better than that?

Do I need to keep this format of typing questions?  apparently.

Another thing I've learned as I've grown up is this:  There is nothing quite like being surrounded by people who love you and are invested in you.  Really.  There is nothing quite like it.  It's a magical place to be in.  Some of you who live by your family/close friends might take it for granted because you are used to it.  But, me?  I try to soak it in.

Let's talk about the hermit life I lead.  It's a good life and if I wanted to be more social, I could, so don't be sad for me.  There are church playgroups to join, Mother's Day Out groups to participate in, girls who I've met that seem really nice---I could do a lot with other people if I chose to, but I really like being in my own space.  I love that we have this unique time in our lives where we aren't dictated by school schedules and extra-curricular activities.  I love being home.  I like our same ol' day-in-day-out routine.  We wake up, eat breakfast, exercise (kids watch tv), play/work, eat lunch, take naps (sometimes I get to participate in this one), play/work, see dad again, eat dinner, play/work, baths, bed.  Occasionally, we'll slip a play date in during the morning hours or go grocery shopping/running errands.  It's simple.  Maybe monotonous to some, but I really enjoy it.

But then, we take a break from "our normal" and fly to Utah to be with our family and good good friends.  And THEN I remember.  Then I remember how GOOD it is to be with people who love me.  People who care deeply about me.  People who know who I REALLY am.  People who know where I've been.  People who see where I am going.  People who I don't have to impress.  People who encourage me.  People who call me out.  People who adore my kids.  When we go home to Utah we get to be around people who are invested.  And THAT is why I love going to Utah.

Have I ever taken a time out to write that before?  Maybe I have.  Maybe I haven't.  But, it's how I feel.  Luckily, the days of me getting hives when we traveled home to Utah are over.  Yes, I used to get hives each time we went because I'd get so stressed about fitting EVERYONE and EVERYTHING that is unique to Utah in.  It was craziness.  No wonder I was an itchy mess.

I love that during a friend fun night this past trip, someone said something along these lines, "For someone who lives in another state, we see you a lot.  That's pretty great."  And, I shook my head and agreed.  It's true.  We are truly blessed.

With that as the preamble, if you will, let's take a look at the photos.  I didn't remember to pull out my camera a lot during this trip.  But, let me assure you, we had some good times.  

The first portion of our trip was spent at the Wood house, and that's where we consumed our big Thanksgiving feast.  It was wonderful.  All of it.

He'd been up since 5a.m. from our flight and wanted to check out what was going on in the backyard.  I love his eyebrows.
Let's guess who is who!  Do I spy Cousin Max??
Loving the leaves... we've never had a big batch of leaves like this to play in.

::: The next day was Thanksgiving.  It was grand.  Can't you tell from my face?  When I see my face from this angle I think, "Wow, I had no idea my nose could be so pointy?"  Ahh, the things you learn from photos.  In other news, did you notice that all the dark wallpaper has been taken off (by the kids as a surprise for Aaron's parents while they were out of town).  It's amazing how much brighter the space is now without it!
Cute cousin Kelsey and her husband Davidson and darling little baby came too.  It was so fun to see them!
They didn't have any fun.  I feel so bad for them.
Which witch is witch?  I love the plaid little boys.
Tillie running.
always running.  check out that hair!
the gang minus cal

matchy-matchy with aunt melody
somber cal.  the lighting is pretty crazy.  adds to the whole MOOD of the photo.
Pretty tables.
Crazy Tillie.  It's a good thing she didn't pull off that table cloth!  I might have cried.
Wrestling on the floor.  Hanging out waiting to eat pie.  Uncle Tyler observing the fun.  Fun times.
Matching M's Making their way.  Just call me Dr. Suess...
speaking of matching... I think these two have similar genes.  It's especially apparent when they snack on chips. 
Am I right or am I right?
Hanging out after the hub-bub.  I love this one of K'.  Sorry, Aaron.  This shot proves that you are willing to take one for the team.
a few of the other late night hanger-outers.
::: Uncle Aaron (Steph's husband) wanted to take the kids out for ice cream.  Little did we know he meant the fancy kind of ice cream.  Orange Cup in Highland was delicious.  And, their chairs are super cool.  Here is the big crew all enjoying Shrek on the tv.
Cousin Caden is SUCH a great kid.  He's always so willing to help the little kids.  Steph and Aaron raised him right!
Good times!  Thanks, Uncle Aaron!
 ::: Next up, we had a little friend potluck dinner.  We ate delicious food and chatted the night away.  We love our Utah friends!  Here are a few shots Aaron took.  There were more people, but these were the ones he chose to capture in the two seconds he took out the camera. 

::: Pathetic, I know, but we only have these few shots at my parent's house.  Tillie was in HEAVEN when Nana told her that she could help decorate the house with Christmas stuff.  Nana decided to  trim TILLIE instead of the tree.  She thought it was pretty funny.

During this trip to Utah, Calvin learned to climb out of a pack n' play AND the big legit crib.  BOO!!!  Tillie never considered this option when she was in the crib---but then again, she was OUT of the crib by the time Cal was born (19 months).  So, maybe it's the fact that he is almost 2 years old, or maybe it's the fact that he is so much more curious/stubborn than she is... Who knows?!  All I know is that it's probably time for him to switch to a REAL TRUE Big Boy Bed.  Since I didn't want him to break his neck during his escape act, I opted to have him sleep in the twin bed next to Tillie.

It took a while for them both to fall asleep b/c of the excitement of sharing a room, but after a few hours, they both konked out.  Tillie likes sleeping with a lamp on, so I had some low light to capture Cal's first night in a BIG BED.  He did great.  And, he looked WAY too old sleeping on that huge pillow.  I might have cried a little.

p.s. one of these days I need to take some pictures of that darling room my mom and dad redecorated.  She made the quilts too.  It's probably one of the sweetest most darling-est rooms I've ever seen.  TRUE STORY. 
 ::: We had to run some errands in Provo and stopped by the BYU Bookstore to frame an amazing quilt/art piece my mom made (pictures to come one day) and get some pens.  Tillie started talking to the mannequin and then grabbed his hand and said, "Let's go!"  She thought she was pretty hilarious.  My mom and I thought so too.

As we headed back to the car on BYU campus I had an Awesome Mom Moment.  I said, "Hey guys, why don't you go play in all those leaves over there!"  So they ran.  It was great.  I had my camera started snapping away.  I let them leap off those big boulders... right into a huge hard pile of rocks.  Needless to say, I stopped snapping photos as my son was crying bloody murder.  How was I to know there would be a huge pile of rocks under those fun crunchy leaves?!

Luckily, he calmed down and forgave me and all was well.

Is it strange to anyone else to be back in their old stomping ground living in a totally different life?  I feel like I was in college just yesterday, but uhhh... not so much.  I felt SO old and had so many crazy emotions.  Was it sadness?  Was it happiness?  It was weird, but good all around.

::: We had another little get-together at Ashley's house before I left.  I'm such a big fan of these gals.  So, I made them pose with me for a picture.  You know, so we can always remember.  We stay up till way late in the night and it is always a good time.  Always.

 ::: Before we knew it, it was time for the kids and I to board a plane to find Aaron.  He only stayed in Utah for a few days before he had to head back to work.  But, I thought since we were there, we should stay a week longer.

Oh, did I mention this was the LAST TIME that we could fly with Cal as a LAP CHILD?  Boo.  That's a sad thought for MANY reasons. 

I'm a veteran at flying with the kids by myself.  I will say this, it is a BILLION times easier to fly with toddlers than it is two babies!  Overall, the kids did pretty well.  Poor Cal had an ear infection, so he was miserable, and really I just felt bad for him.  But, those direct flights make all the difference in the world!
I can just hear Cal saying, "Uh, mom.  You are disrupting my movie watching experience."
Wouldn't you know it?  They BOTH fell asleep 10 minutes before we landed.  Nice timing. Nice.
We made it back to Tejas.  Another great trip to see some of our most favorite people.
Thanks for the fun.


Becker said...

Do you have any idea how blessed you are to have THAT kind of family? I have to psych myself up when I get around my family. What a wonderful gift to have a family that is so supportive, loving and genuinely glad to have you around. That's the family I'm trying to raise, but honestly, not the one I came from. I look to you and yours for such an example of that. Sounds like a lovely trip.

Amanda Jane said...

That's exactly how I feel about going home! As long as we live away I doubt we'll ever vacation anywhere else. I even love seeing the Alpine mountains in your pictures.


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