Tuesday, January 6, 2009
There's no place like home for the holiday's
I was so happy that I was able to be home for two weeks during the Christmas break! Almost my whole family was going to be there, all my nieces and nephews were going to be together and we had lots of fun activities planned. It was a long time to be away from Brent, but not long enough to be away from the snow. I have really been having a hard time with them since I have been back. But I want to share with you the things I did while I was home in sunny Santa Barbara... which was a long drive with kids, but well worth it. First off... on our drive to California, there was SO much snow! We saw snow on the ground in the middle of the desert from Provo all the way to the 14 which is most of the drive. I had never seen it like that before. It was crazy. But as long as there was no snow in Santa Barbara... I was good to go.
The first week we were there the family had fun catching up with each other and watching the nieces and nephews play together and getting ready for Christmas. Helping the kids make cookies for Santa... and Reanne never forgets the carrot for the reindeer. Reanne and Sierra also made a gingerbread Christmas Tree which I had never seen before, but I thought that was very cute. And of course every year we have our family tradition of going Christmas Caroling on Christmas Eve to friends. This year we also went caroling at the rest home and handed out little wreaths and it was a neat service for the family to do together. I also went to see my sister Jamie perform in her singing group "The Nightingales" which is always fun to see her perform in anything. Besides that, we spent a lot of time together eating a lot of food and opening a few gifts... which some were home made which was really awesome.After Christmas was over, the activities began. The day after Christmas we took pictures at the Santa Barbara Mission (Those pictures will be in my next post, stay tuned for my brother in law, Dan's amazing photography) and then we went to dinner and headed downtown to take a trolley ride around town. Although it was kind of long, it was pretty enjoyable for me. Sierra fell asleep on me after it had just started so she missed the excitement, but they take you around town to see Christmas lights on different people's home while playing Christmas music and people wave to you and you can have cookies and cider.
After that, I went over to a friends house to visit with many friends that I grew up with in Santa Barbara. It is always nice to come home over the Holidays and see them and catch up on their lives.The next day was also a busy one. We all drove down to LA because Lori, Billy and baby William were all sealed together has an eternal family that day. Sadly, I am the only one in the family that is now endowed, so I didn't get to experience the joy with them... although I was very happy for them, I was going a little crazy watching Reanne- 5, Sierra- 3, Asher- 17 months and Grant- 4 moths. I was happy when they all came out of the temple. :o)After we left the temple and got a little to eat, we headed over to The Getty Museum. I have been before and enjoy it... but this particular day was very very crowded, and we decided as a family that they should take some tips from Disneyland on how to handle a crowd. But it was still nice to go. Some people in my family had never been before and it was a really beautiful day to be there. The view is amazing from the museum.
Next, I have another tradition, but this one is not with my family. It is with my friend Cherry who is in my home ward and back in the day was one of my Young Women Leaders. We have kept in touch and stayed good friends. Every time I come home for a visit we always see a movie together. It is normally a chick flick because her husband doesn't like to see those ones and I do, but this time she had already seen everything in the theater practically but this one, "Valkyrie" with Tom Cruise about trying to kill Hitler. It was not as great as the movies we usually see. It was entertaining, but I wouldn't care to ever see it again. But we still had to keep our tradition, so I will take what I can get with the movies.
Our next family activity was a fun one. We took the kids down to the Harbor/Wharf and took them to a Museum that has all the sea creatures that are in our ocean in Santa Barbara... so you can learn about them there and there is a touch tank where you can hold star fish and sea cucumbers and such. It is pretty cool. The kids and adults enjoyed it. After the museum we went on "Lil Toot" which is a little boat that just takes you to the Harbor and back from the Wharf. There were so many pelicans out that day. It was such a beautiful day to be out on the ocean and forgetting that it is winter. :o) I loved it.
Along with all of the activities... I also had a couple of projects to do while I was home and I am happy to say that I completed each one.
The first one... Brent kind of hinted when he found out that I knitted scarf's that he wanted one. So before I left for home I picked out what yarn I wanted and knitted it for him while I was home. I had not knitted in so long I almost forgot how to do it. But after many hours, I completed it and I think it turned out really nice. And most importantly, he loved it.
The other project I had was a present that I got for Christmas from my Mom. She got each one of her daughters wood cut outs of the word "NOEL" that on each letter was part of a nativity. My Mom loves nativities, so I thought it was a really nice gift. But it was supposed to be a mother daughter bonding project for us each to paint on our own how we wanted it. So since I don't have any paints in Utah... I knew I had to get it done while I was home. And I completed that. Kristy and I worked on ours at nights after the kids were in bed. It was fun. It was my first tole painting project and I thought it turned out nice. Of course it helped that my Mom put on some nice finishing touches... but I did the bulk of it.
Next came New Years Eve. This year I actually had a boyfriend which was exciting, but I still didn't have anyone to kiss at midnight because he ended up not coming out to Cali to see me. I was sad, but it was for the best because he had to move... which is a pain. I did however have good friends to spend it with. The last couple of years I have spent New Years Eve with Katie and Holly, two of my really good friends that I grew up with. We always happen to be home for New Year's and since we are like the only ones left not married, we spend it together. :o) Last year they both fell asleep and I was saying Happy New Year to myself at midnight... but this year they cooked a nice dinner and decorated the table all fancy and invited their parents and it was really nice. After we watched a movie and drank sparkling cider at midnight. It was nice and low key... which is how I like it these days as I am getting older.
My last days at home were kind of sad. I cooked dinner for the family, spent as much time with them as I could before I knew I had to leave and I don't know when we will all be together again... I guess for my wedding probably. I went shopping with my sisters and said goodbye to the beach because I knew I was going back to the bitter cold snow. But it was such a great couple of weeks with my family. I love my family so much and am so lucky to be a part of it. Sorry this was the longest entry ever. Happy New Year. This is going to be a great year!