Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Road Trip

We decided to road trip to Idaho to see the Laters for Christmas this year.  It was a grand total of 22 hours of driving, broken up into 3 days.  Night one we stayed in Albuquerque.  Night two we stayed at my grandparents house in Provo and were able to see a lot of family there.  We also made a quick appearance at the Hemsley's baby blessing and Deven's grandparent's house.  Then we made our final drive to Idaho Falls to see these cute kids!...  Tyler, Ethan, Hanna, and the twins Owen and Abram. 

Of course the first thing we had to do was play in all of that snow that showed up on the same night that we did.  While Deven and his brothers worked diligently on building an igloo for the kids, I made sure that when they finally came inside, there were cups of hot coco and apple cider waiting to warm them up.  
Probably the cutest nativity scene I have ever seen!  On Christmas eve each kid got to open one present and then we talked them into performing the biblical Christmas story while uncle Ryan read it.  Trenton didn't want to be Joseph until we let him where the sunglasses.  Allison stole the show as the Angel... But after the production she decided to practice her role as Mary... for next time.  
Christmas morning whet something like this:  No time to change out of our pajamas or eat breakfast!  Open presents from Santa... and grandma... and grandpa... and their Aunts and Uncles... and their other grandparents...  Then the kids and adults alike played with all of their new toys!  Of course we eventually made and ate the traditional Ebelskeebers.  

We did a couple of sledding trips while we were there.  The kids were fearless and loved it!

Although it was not quite the same, they even practiced sledding when we got back home to Texas.  We are sure glad we made the trip to see our fun family and build memorable traditions with our kids.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I flew in to San Francisco with the kids for Thanksgiving while Deven wrapped up a deal at work and arranged to meet us a week later. The trip there was especially fun as I dealt with pee pee accidents in the air port, a very full and long airplane ride and one too many car seats for me to carry.  But I knew it would be worth it to see my whole family together at the ranch, which hasn't happened for a long time!  Right when we got to the ranch Bryan told us to stand all together for a picture.  As he was taking the picture he said, "everybody say: Taylor's pregnant!"  Great way to share the exciting news!
It didn't take long before Trenton was ready to explore the ranch again, with a special interest in keeping his cousin, Aspen, close by and a close eye on Grandpa Tiger.  Allison made quick friends with Tucker the dog and grew very attached to her uncle Trevor.  
My Mom's famous garden is always a hit with the kids and I love the inspiration it gives me to work on my own garden.  I can't believe how big the vegetables get!
My Dad is a busy body, but he spent a lot of time pushing Trenton on the swings, feeding the horses with him and even building a wooden toy tractor.  Trenton loves every minute he spends with his Grandpa. 
We spent our time enjoying the ranch, having dance parties in Trevor's room, playing dress up with the kids, exploring the attic and garage for forgotten treasures, cooking, coloring, more dance parties and promoting a lot of cousin and family bonding time.  
...Smile if you're excited for a baby in Aunt Taylor's tummy!
Grandpa and his girls with their pretty pink dresses from Grandma. 
The weather was nice enough for a family drive in the Mustang so we made sure to do that once or twice.  As to be expected, the kitchen was crazy on Thanksgiving, but it was well worth it for a perfect feast.  Deven cooked another beautiful turkey while I made a few pies.  We enjoyed having my Dad's aunt Carolyn, uncle Glen, cousin Terry and assistant Ann over to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and talk about what we were thankful for.  
I love this picture of Trenton and his Lumberjack Uncles looking for the perfect Christmas tree in style. We have a fun tradition of driving up Big Basin's beautiful hills to get a tree after Thanksgiving.   We took our time wondering in the fresh air and even explored an old abandoned cabin. 

We took a few day-trips while we were there.  This was our first time brining the kids to San Francisco and we were still able to do all of our favorite things...which mainly include eating.  We had clam chowder bread bowls at Boudin's (the home of fresh baked sourdough bread!), walked Pier 39, visited the sea lions, window shopped, and ended the day with chocolate milkshakes from Ghirardelli Square. 
We also went to a beach house in Carmel for a day.  I wasn't anticipating anyone playing in the water as it was November and the cold Pacific Ocean... but as a mom I should have known better!  Of course all the kids (and Dad) wanted to do was play on the beach.  That night we ordered pizza to enjoy in the beach side house.
We always have a great time when we go and visit my parents.  I am especially happy that our kids will have such fun grandparents to go and visit as they grow up, and hopefully they'll develop great memories at the ranch like I have.  

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