I really wanted to get everything we could out of this holiday break. My success in doing so has been confirmed by us having a VERY rough week getting back to real life. It's fun to lose the routine, stay up late, sleep in, visit family, get projects done, eat loads, and have entire days of being out of the house, right? RIGHT?
We've reminisced a lot this week about the holidays, like it was ages ago. Thank goodness we caught a few of our favorite moments with the camera. Ironically enough, my very favorite moments all had to do with music, and you just can't quite do them justice with pictures!
I took the kids to the nursing home my Grandma lived in for the last several years of her life. I love my Grandma and will forever think of her at Christmas time. We met many nice residents there and the kids (especially Jane) loved playing their violins and singing for them while they lounged, got pedicures, and ate their lunch.
Singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve with our Christmas crowd. Love that. My brother was smart and married a pianist, something our family has definitely lacked! But that's not the only reason we love Aunt Danielle.
And of course... I'm still glowing from this whole experience.
How about my kids and their cousins (and myself, my sisters, brothers, and mother) dancing their little hearts out to my sister's new Wii game. I haven't danced and laughed like that in a while! I love (hate at first, but in the end love) things that break through our cushy bubbles of comfort.
Jack's favorites most likely revolved around two things... cousins and toys. Pretty typical kid. His grandparents and Santa sure know his style. They spoiled him with a science kit and legos that he's hardly put away. He and Jeff built all kinds of things with his Circuit board kit and even were able to transmit their own voices through the AM radio stations with it. Very cool for a budding engineer!
Jane loved her new dress-ups and her adorable doll, Rainbow. She names all her dolls to sound like Care Bears (which she has never even heard of) or My Little Ponies (which she has almost every one of). My vote was for Molly, or Suzie, but no. Rainbow, it is!
Another favorite of Jane's... Sledding.
Of course, sledding it always more fun with cousins who join you in (and encourage) doing crazy things on your way down each time. These two were nuts.
Alice's favorite moments... using her new doll crib for herself. Doesn't she look cozy? Thank goodness she barely breaks 20 lbs!
Eating all the goodies we received from neighbors, or just made ourselves. I couldn't/didn't resist either.
Lounging with Papa at our 2nd annual Rich Family holiday gathering on New Year's Day at Noah's. If you ever go there, ask for Jesse. He's the best. Of course, I might be a bit biased since I grew up being mom #4 to the poor kid. That's what you get when you have 3 older sisters! We ate all the holiday leftovers, and played raquetball, pool, arcade games, wii games, rock band something or other (I was an awesome drummer)...
...and discovered that Vanessa is by far the better ping pong player out of the sisters. Who would have guessed? Look at that form!
Jeff's favorite holiday moment... our date night on New Year's Eve with Joanna and Laren. As close as I am to my sisters, I'm amazed that we've never gone out together like that before! We had dinner, went bowling (where we ended up trying to beat our speed record rather than knocking pins down), and then welcomed in the new year at Comedy Sportz in Provo. I expected to have fun, but I honestly haven't laughed like that in years.
Other fun pictures... Christmas eve in front of the tree. Seriously... my kids are so fun.
Tired, but too excited to admit it on Christmas morning. Oh, that was fun!
And everyone, minus my mom and myself, on the stairs waiting to go see if Santa came! It was so fun to share our home with my parents and Jesse and Danielle this year. It reminds me of why living in Utah is great... family.
So, after a rough week of dragging ourselves out of bed, trying to practice again, catching up on housework, church calling stuff, homework, projects that have been on hold, putting decorations away, and the worst, sending Jeff back to work, there have been times where I've wondered if it's worth it! In the end though, I think we'd all agree... I'm just dramatic. Of course it's worth it!
The other day:
Jane: I know how many more days until Christmas!
Me: Great. (Thinking we're going to have to start the countdown already!) How many?
Jane: A year.