We left Nevada on Christmas day, and we drove to Utah to visit with my side of the family. My dad met us at the Salt Lake airport, and then we met everybody else in temple square to look at the lights.
It was beautiful, but very cold. All the buildings closed at 5 pm, but we were able to nab a few minutes of warmth in the tabernacle before everyone was kicked out.
Let me tell you that nursing a baby outside in the freezing cold is not a fun experience! But it felt so good and Christmasy to be around so many lights. And looking at the temple was the perfect reminder of the true reason for the Christmas season.
I love this depiction of the nativity.
It felt like we were pretty busy the whole time we were in Utah. But all the days have run together in my memory and I'm not sure what we did on which day. We had dinner at Megan's and hung out there one day. We hung out in Provo another day. I was very excited to see my friend Nora one of those mornings. I'm pretty sure that Nathan's family and Michael came into town on the 29th. While we were waiting for Michael's flight to get in the rest of us went to Chuck E. Cheese.
Luke loved it! He pretended to play this video game for awhile. He tried a couple games of ski ball in which he definitely got his token's worth because the ball never made it all the way up the ramp so he could have just kept rolling it and rolling it all day long.
And then he discovered Blue Car.
And that was that. He wouldn't look at any other ride. He would grin and drive the car. When it stopped moving, he would run over to Jared and say, "More monies," then climb back into the car, insert the token, and drive to his heart's content. When we noticed other kids waiting we'd drag him out and restrain him until it could be his turn again.
He didn't mind sharing his car. Here he is with Skyler. I think he also drove it with Blake. He definitely shared a ride with a little girl with more than a casual encounter on her mind. She climbed right into the car and put her arm around Luke. Luke leaned as far away from her as he could. His head was literally hanging out of the car, but he never let go of the steering wheel for a second.
We tried to get Luke to go on another ride. This is the result:
He was straining so hard to get out of the seat that he didn't even finish the ride. We got him out and let him drive the blue car some more.
On the 30th we took family pictures at the Provo Library. Megan's friend does photography as a hobby and she got some pretty good shots. Here's the fam (minus Michael's fiancee Cara, whom I have yet to meet.)
After the big group shots, we did individual family photos.
My brother Eric with his wife Monica and daughters Bridget and Brooklyn
My sister Megan and her husband James and kids: Ethan, Taylie, Brenna, and Blake
And then we did my parents with their kids, grandkids, and a few more group shots.
I loved this picture of the Orton Brady Bunch.
My beautiful sister Amber
This picture makes me want to have a big family. We have so much fun together! And we always did. Then of course I remember that 6 kids means 6 pregnancies and 6 births and 6 years of very little sleep and I just think to myself, "Mmmmm....we'll have to think that through a little more." I'm so glad my mom was a lot more tough than myself. I sure am glad that she did it.
Later that day my whole family (minus grandkids) did a temple session in the Mount Timpanogas Temple where we could all be with Michael when he received his endowments. What a special, special day! It was amazing to be there with my whole family.
On New Years day, Jared and I met up with his parents (in town for the blessing) for a breakfast buffet at Golden Corral. Then we met up with my family for a lunch buffet at Golden Corral. Yeah. I ate a lot that day. Then we went home for a few hours break before the blessing. Luke played outside in the snow with his cousins Bridget and Brooklyn.
Micah and Zack
Most of the people from out of town took off on the 2nd. We were able to nab a few pictures of Luke and Micah with Mima and Papa before they left. I'm excited that Luke and Micah will have a lot of time with them over this coming summer.
We stayed in Utah until the 5th, and it was nice to have a little bit more time with Michael, Megan, and Amber. With Micah being so small and Luke being so crazy it was hard to have time to just sit and visit. A few extra days to talk with a few of my siblings was nice. I wish we lived closer together. How does everyone feel about Texas???