As a special holiday treat, Megan and James (well, really just James) got us rooms at Inn on the Creek in Midway, Utah. It's a nice little bed and breakfast near Park City. We stayed in condo-like rooms with a kitchen so that we could prepare our own food. It was great staying in a hotel because it meant that we could all be together but have some personal space as well. An added plus: beds for everyone.
Having all 8 Orton cousins together was interesting to say the least. I think everybody had fun interacting, but the adults had to occasionally hide for a few moments of peace and quiet.
Of course, Dad had to line up all the grandkids for pictures. It's pretty much a definite that you're not going to get a perfect picture. There was always someone doing something weird in every picture, but a couple turned out really cute. I like this one. I think Ethan is watching Brenna pick her nose.
This was my other favorite. The personalities come out loud and clear. Taylie is trying to look like a little princess. Luke is trying to escape. And is Bridget singing or yawning?
So about the trip: We went to Utah on the 22nd, and went to Midway that evening. There was a snow storm earlier in the day, so we weren't sure we'd be able to make it, but we did. That night we just played games and hung out. Jared and I were a little jet lagged (it's two hours later in Virginia), so we went to bed pretty early.
The next day, we hung out in the morning. Luke LOVED this one step in the living area. We always had to watch him because he could get up just fine, but couldn't get down. He'd just walk off, trip, and hit his head.
Luke had a lot of fun playing with his cousins that day. Taylie and Brenna would chase him around, and Taylie liked giving Luke horsey rides. In the picture below, Luke is sitting on Taylie's back.
Later that afternoon, Jared and most of the others went to Soldier's Hollow to sled. There's a lift there where you can hook up your sled or tube, and it pulls you to the top so you don't have to walk up yourself. Jared had a lot of fun.
I stayed at the hotel for the special chance to see my friend Tessa who drove over from Park City to see me. It was great to see her again and catch up.
Later that night, we celebrated Christmas Eve a day early because Eric's family had to meet up with Monica's brother and parents on the real Christmas Eve afternoon. Luke fell asleep and missed most of the traditions, but he was awake for aebleskievers (sp?). We eat round, Danish pancakes every Christmas Eve along with lil' smokies. The highlight was the nativity. I love seeing all the little kids act it out. This year, Ethan wanted to be the donkey instead of Joseph, so Michael (who is usually the donkey) switched roles with him. Taylie was Mary, Baby Blake was Jesus, and Bridget (in the picture below/ left) was an angel along with Brenna.
My brother Eric was reading the Christmas story from Luke. When he got to the angel's lines, he would read a sentence or two to Bridget, and she would repeat it. I thought, "There's no way she'll be able to remember that much at a time!" But she did! She's a smart little girl.
On Christmas Eve, we decided we would have to check out earlier than planned because another snow storm was supposed to be coming, so we opened presents early and left that afternoon.
Luke and Skyler got matching UT outfits from Michael.
Luke opening presents
Luke looking at his new books from Grandma Debbi and Grandpa Terry. (I hope you guys don't mind being called Grandma and Grandpa, but if you're my honorary parents, you have to be Luke's honorary grandparents)!