Santa came early to our house. On December 22 we got a note:
Dear Isaac and James,
My elves have been visiting all the children. I am happy to say that both of you are on the NICE list! While my elves were at your house, they saw a note to Santa saying you were going on a trip. Well, ho, ho, ho, I have SO MANY presents for you that they wouldn't fit in your suitcase if I gave them to you on your trip! So make sure you stay in your beds tonight, because Santa is going to make a special early delivery to your house! Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! Love, Santa
(Isaac had written a note to Santa under the tree that said: : Dear Santa, Did you know we are on a trip? Will you see this note that says we are on a trip? Yes___ No____)
Santa came early last year too because Blake worked Christmas Eve and Christmas and Isaac was not happy the morning we woke him up to tell him Santa came because he knew it was the wrong day. This year it went much better...
This picture is horrible but I love James' excitement jumping up and down--this kind of captures it.
Isaac was so excited to get scuba gear he used it in the bathtub for like 30 minutes.
Isaac got a lot of art supplies. He loves projects. He got 5 things of tape, paper, markers, paints, etc.
Isaac was THRILLED to get a baby doll. Oh how he loves her. James was very jealous and wanted his own. So when he got some money later from a different set of grandparents, what do you think he chose at Target? A baby doll. So now we have two boys and two baby dolls.
James loves puzzles. These were way too easy for him! He put them together way fast. You can kind of see one of my gifts to Blake in this picture--I made him a shirt that says: Home is where the wifi connects automatically. When I looked up funny t-shirts that stood out to me as best fitting Blake! He is always on google news or reddit or something on his iPad.
It was a good Christmas. We bounced around from toy to toy that whole day. The kids both got costumes so they played spiderman and superman for a while. We painted. We read their Berenstain Bear books at least three times each. Blake helped Isaac put together his model airplane. We tried to do trucks outside but the dirt was pretty hard. We raced cars down the ramp. We played trouble three times and chutes and ladder twice.
Then the next morning we flew to Utah to be with family for Christmas. We haven't done it in two years and weren't really planning on it this year either but it just kind of worked out this was the time for us to visit home. It is going to get a lot harder to travel once we are a family of five in April. We first went to Blake's parents and had a big old Christmas Eve party with his family.
Lots and lots of cousins.
Poor James started acting really shy and tired right when it was time for the nativity. After it ended we found out why he was acting so strange--he threw up. So he finally got the flu Isaac and I had had the week previous. I was worried it would ruin Christmas the next day but he didn't ever throw up again and was fine in the morning. Phew!
For some reason I only got two pictures of Christmas. One of James with some unexpected gifts from Santa who "forgot" some things when he came to St. Louis.
One of Isaac watching a new movie--Lego Batman. Let me tell you, it deserves five stars. After this we spent all day on the road. We went to Blake's sister's house, Blake's brother's house, Blake's grandparents' house, my mom's house, my sister's house, and my dad's house. But it didn't wear the kids out--they had a great day and we got lots of unexpected gifts and it was a great day.
The rest of the trip we just did things with family. We played outside a little bit.
James loves hockey since we watched part of a game we saw going on at the outlet malls one day. He was so excited to play with real hockey sticks.
We went downtown to Temple Square to see the lights. I haven't done that in years. It was freezing but still neat.
When I ask Isaac why he is so silly for pictures he says "I just like to make you laugh all the time!"
I love this temple where Blake and I were married.
We spent lots of time with my family too. Blake had to leave after five days to go back to work and I stayed another week at my mom's house. We went snowshoeing with my family. I always love to get up in the mountains when I am in Utah and was glad we made it this trip.
Chris was nice to carry James up partway until he freaked out that he was cold and mostly his feet were cold.
Luckily my family always seems to be prepared and Bekah had brought some warmers that we put in James' boots. He cried for a little bit but once I started carrying him in the pack and his feet warmed up a little he did a lot better. I was so glad Bekah also gave me some spikes to wear on my running shoes so that I didn't slip while I carried him.
Do you love the licorice stuck in James' mouth so he won't start crying again?!
So we hiked over four miles, about three of which I carried James on my back. I was feeling it at the end and was so happy to see the parking lot. Isaac did so great! He walked the whole thing and only complained a few times that it was too long. But he just trekked along with his cousins and played with his stick in the snow. He is going to be some athlete.
We had a fun trip playing with grandparents and cousins. The kids especially liked going to Jump Around Utah--a warehouse full of bounce houses. I didn't even see Isaac for an hour and a half! James would run do one thing, run around, do it again, giggling.
The plane trip home was an adventure. Our plane was delayed, of course, by first 15 minutes, then 30, and finally really almost an hour. But we made it on and I managed not to freak out when I realized they had switched planes from the one I had booked to a smaller plane with only 4 seats across instead of 6 which meant that the kids sat together and I sat across the aisle. Good thing I have such good boys and good thing James is over three and he handled himself quite well. Once we were finally able to turn on a dvd the kids just sat and ate millions of cookies and crackers and drank orange juice and watched Curious George and Toy Story until we were landing. They did really really well. Getting out to the car was a struggle going to the bathroom and then Isaac saying he had to go again and poop and him needing help and James running out of the bathroom to look at a train picture and someone walking in on Isaac and finally we were out of the bathroom and Blake got there right at the right moment and we were able to go home.
The next day church was cancelled due to a huge snowstorm! I think we got 10 inches or so. And subsequently due to bad weather school was cancelled almost all week: Monday-Thursday. It was crazy. I wished I had stayed an extra week in Utah! Somehow we made it through those long days of cold weather and snow. Now it is all gone and Isaac went to school all week last week so things are back to normal.